14th Jan 2006

Digital Photography Basics

Putting together a list of digital photography basics can be a daunting task if you’re approaching the subject for the first time. This article will make the job a lot easier by detailing what you need to get started in this exciting, new photography technology.

Equipment Basics

At the very top of the digital photography basics list is, of course, a digital camera. There are so many makes, models, and price ranges that it can be a full time job just picking a camera. Check our other articles for valuable information on how to select a digital camera that’s right for you. Here are some other basic items to consider:

  • A computer with a photo-capable printer and a CD-RW drive (a CD writer) is optimum. The CD writer lets you store images off of your hard drive and free up the tremendous amount of space that digital images require. The printer, of course, let you print physical copies of your images. A photo-capable printer uses photographic paper and can produce an image that very closely resembles the quality that a traditional film print provides.
  • A high-speed, or broadband Internet connection is a must if you are going to be regularly posting your images on the Internet, or emailing them to other people . Slow dial-up connections can take what seems like forever to process a large image file and sent it on its way.
  • Software programs like Photoshop let you edit your digital images, change their format, remove “red eye”, make calendars, and do all sorts of tricky things.
  • Spare Memory cards allow you to pop one out, when it’s full, and insert another so you can keep shooting. Think of memory cards as the “film” in your digital camera.
  • Speaking of memory, a memory card reader is very inexpensive and quite handy when it comes time to download your images. Instead of hooking up cables, and further draining your batteries while the slow process of downloading unfolds, a memory card reader appears like a removable disk drive to your computer. Just plug in you full memory card and copy the photos to whatever drive and folder you want them in.
  • Spare batteries and a battery charger help you combat the fact that digital cameras eat power faster than rabbits through a carrot patch.
  • A tripod is handy if you are going to be shooting macro photography or you want to shoot a group photo that includes you.
  • A camera and gadget bag keeps everything safe and handy when you are in the field. Waterproof nylon are good if you’re headed out on the boat, and the artificial leather bags are great for all-around storage.

If you camera supports removable lenses, then you should have at least one “skylight” filter per lens. This not only balances the sunlight in bright outdoor photography, but it protects the lens from scratches.

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