We live in a very privileged world.
The pictures that we see every day in newspapers,
magazines and on the TV would have been considered
miracles only a very short time ago. The passion,
the sorrow and the joy that they can impart can add
something to words, however accomplished the writer
may be. On a smaller scale, we all appreciate the
joy of family photos, particularly humorous ones and
they can give hundreds of hours of pleasure over the
years. These can either be natural (when you need
to have a camera on hand just at the right second)
or contrived (the setting up can give just as much
pleasure as the end result).
In order to become a good photographer, what steps
will you need to take and what equipment will you
need? Apart from the camera all photographers need
a tripod and a camera bag. Don't be lured by the
camera shop into buying lots of gadgets that you
don't need and will end up sitting on a shelf collecting
dust. Take some time to assess what you think you
will need before investing and know (from reading
magazines) what you need before you go into the
shop, so that you're not baffled with science and
come out with much more than you anticipated. Go
for a make that has demonstrated quality and durability
over the years and is within your budget. There
is a wide range of prices and qualities in all aspects
of photography. By reading and taking part in forums
you will learn the makes that other people have
found successful and value for money.
Digital cameras have almost exclusively taken over
from the traditional ones requiring films. They
offer the potential to achieve all types of effects
that would previously only have been possible with
the most sophisticated development processes. As
each new model comes on to the market, the clarity
is better and the memory card can hold more.
When the memory card is full it needs to be taken
out and downloaded onto a computer's hard drive
and saved. The memory card will be wiped clean and
you can start again; very like putting in a new
film into a traditional camera. By storing the photos
onto your hard disk you can use the viewfinder to
glance through your photos and you can delete those
that you don't want.
There are opportunities to takethings further with
software that can manipulate your photos, iron out
wrinkles and other imperfections, merge different
photos, adjust the brightness and color, crop off
the parts that you don't want and create your own
Laura Hedgegate is a consultant for Photo
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