White Balance SLR Cameras

Many digital cameras function on the default white balance setting, which is auto mode, meaning the camera will automatically adjust to the type of lighting available for the photograph to be shot. The auto white balance setting doesn’t work equally well in all digital cameras. It can be tricked by several false cues, and so make a mistake while trying to determine type of lighting condition present. You get pictures you won’t be proud of.

Learning to change the white balance settings will give you greater control over the quality of the pictures you take. The basic settings in most digital cameras function well enough. The white balance settings outlined below are the most commonly ones.

  • Auto. This is the automatic setting discussed earlier. When in auto white balance, your camera will do the adjusting by itself depending on the kind of lighting it assumes you have on hand.
  • Cloudy. This white balance setting is used outdoors under cloudy or overcast conditions.
  • Daylight. When outdoors on sunlit days or indoors illumined by daylight style bulb or lamps, choose Daylight setting.
  • Tungsten. In some cameras, this will be indicated as “indoors” or “incandescent.” Interior lamps and overhead lights impart an orange or yellow hue to your pictures. Choosing the Tungsten white balance mode will alert your camera to make the necessary adjustments.
  • Fluorescent. Fluorescent lighting tends to give subjects a slightly bluish appearance. This setting will help to make the skin tones of the people in your photos look closer to the way they would be in person.
  • Flash. This is the white balance setting to select when using a flash on your digital camera.
  • Custom. Found in some point-and-shoot digital cameras and all DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras, this setting has a bit more ins and outs than the others. If this feature is new to you, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with it by going over a tutorial or two before proceeding.

Advertising Photography

Always remember, advertising photography is strictly done for someone else. It is not about you or what you like. It is not about how you see things and what appeases your eyes. Every shot you click is meant for a group of people who are the customers of your client. This group of people, in advertising parlance, is called the target audience. All your photographs should be – who the target audience is, what they like, how they see things and what pleases them.

That was the most important thing of advertising. Next, you have to keep in mind the message. Every advertising or PR campaign has a message. The message can be as blatant as ‘buy me’ or a public message like save water where the product or the advertiser has some role to play, or a subtle hint towards the product while campaigning for something different from the product. Every shot you click, ask yourself, is the picture delivering the message that the client wants to communicate?

Now last but not the least, trends. See what the trends are. If you do not fall under the category of trend followers, at least this is not the time to set trends. Simply study the works of the top dogs in your line. Research on what is accepted by the people and what do they dislike. Which ads are doing well and how much does Advertising photography contribute in their success. General awareness always gives you the power to fight the battle in the right way.

Visual Balance

Informal Balance is the balancing on opposite sides of a given point, by one or more elements that are dissimilar or contrasting elements. Say we had a picture of a baby playing with some blocks. If you folded that image in half; on one side you would focus on just the baby, but on the other side you would focus on just the blocks. Here you have two entirely different things that do not even remotely look the same, but that’s OK. Informal balance is less obvious, because its subjects are often not uniform, in fact they vary greatly. There is nothing wrong with this, because it gives the viewer more to appreciate.

Is one type of balance better than another? That depends on what you’re shooting. Buildings, monuments and cars are often taken as a formal balance shots, after all . . . that’s how they were built. On the other hand; mountains, plants and people often come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Obviously, since I also used people in the first example, you can always choose to shoot any given subject in a variety of ways. This is where both personal style and taste come into play.

At one time or another, I’m sure all of us have seen or taken a shot of a mountain reflected off a perfectly still pond or lake. If you get in close enough (leaving out the things on the edge of the lake) the shot almost becomes an abstract work of art. Very interesting, very intriguing, very much a formal balance shot. But what happens if in the lower left hand corner we add a man in a fishing boat trying to net the big bass that’s on the end of his fishing pole? Is it any less of an interesting shot now? No. In fact, many would argue that it is now much more interesting. This is Informal balance at its best.

Both shots have emotional appeal, but one makes you feel peace and one makes you feel active. This is one of those areas that people who only take snap shots, just don’t get. If every thing you shoot is always dead center and always the same on both sides (formal balance) your work can get boring really quick. Don’t take that wrong, you can take really great formal balance shots, but you have to plan it that way. When you decide which balance looks best for any given situation; you are the master creator . . . you are in control.

Have you ever noticed two people arguing and suddenly a third person shows up and magically makes them feel like friends again? That third person has an eye for balance. He or she can see both points of view and has the gift to make others see a different point of view as well. That’s what learning balance is all about. As a great photographer; you should work at seeing things in more than one way. More importantly, you should be able to help others see things differently than they have before too.

One of my all time favorite photo lessons was to shoot a mailbox. The rules were simple. It had to be the same mailbox and each shot had to be uniquely different. Oh, and by the way, you had 36 shots. Think that sounds easy? Well let’s see . . . Up, down, left, right, close-up, far away, that’s great now all you need are 30 more shots. The point of that lesson was to force you to look at things differently. Most people liked their last three or four shots the best. Why? Those shots forced them to look at things differently. If you always shoot formal or informal, take a step back and look again. I promise it will bring more balance to your work and your life.

Cheap Digital Camera

It is also necessary to remember that even though you might gift your child a digital camera to click photographs for school projects, they will be using it to take pictures of their friends. If you have made your mind up to start using a digital camera, or perhaps upgrading from an existing one, then you can be forgiven for being confused. The pictures taken by a digital camera have to be extracted by some means in order to get them onto a computer, or perhaps directly onto a printer.

Find a site that offers a wealth of information about how to choose your digital camera accessories, lighting and computer components to ensure you have everything you need to capture those special images. Software that can help you to organize your images properly is one of the essential digital camera accessories that you need. So should you be one of the lucky ones who find a digital SLR camera under the tree this year, you can maximize your photographic skills with the right camera accessories.

Much like a car, a digital camera loses around 30% of its value as soon as it leaves the shop so with Christmas coming up and the fact that soon many people will be trying to get rid of their unwanted gifts, it will shortly be boom time in the used digital camera market. Scrutinizing in some more detail, it can be observed that in digital photography some really good and fantastic one-trick-pony printers have filled up the market that are exclusively designed for the sake of printing digital camera photos.

One of the most important things for children is that the digital camera should be one of the latest available in the market. Looking at the advantages of these digital camera printers, the very first and the most significant one is that these printers do not require a computer for their functioning. Since a SLR is more expensive than other digital cameras, it is very important that you get yourself a proper insurance for the camera.

Hence, it is very important that you know exactly what you need your camera for in order to ensure that you are truly buying the best digital camera for yourself. So, the first question that you need to answer is that for what purpose you are planning to buy a digital camera. Before you buy a tripod for your digital camera, the first thing you must consider is how you plan to use the camera.

For long shots, if you don’t have a tripod handy, you can always use someone else’s shoulder for support – just so your cheap digital camera won’t shake as much when you take the shot. If your objective is to take a camera on holiday, take it onto the beach and up a mountain and to print memorable images of your time on 6 x 4 inch prints, then do not spend a lot of money on your camera.

Close-Up Magic

What happens when your lens doesn’t get as close as you want? Sure you can run out and by a more powerful lens, but that gets pretty expensive. There are cheaper ways to get close. The most obvious
is getting a close-up filter set, this set will have a 1x, 2x, 4x, and in some cases even a 10x filter
included which you add on to the end of your lens. These filters do get you dramatically closer but
also cut some of the light getting into the camera. Not as commonly known is what is called an
extension tube. An extension tube actually goes between the camera body and the lens itself. This
will allow you to get extremely close shots (fill the picture frame with a bee for example), however
it does cut down on the available light even more so than filters. It is a good idea when using either
one or both of these to also be using a tripod.

The third way is the least expensive and surprisingly the least used. If you have a digital camera,
this is where having one that uses high “Mega Pixels” comes in handy. Set your camera to its highest resolution, shoot as close as you dare, and then request that your photo lab crops the image tighter. Think about it. If you have say a 6 “Mega Pixel” camera that means you can make prints up to 18×24 inches or bigger. If you only want a really nice 5×7 or 8×10 print you have a lot of leeway. Not all
photo labs have the ability to enlarge images very much, but ask your photo lab where they send
things to, to get really big prints made. If a place can make a good 18 x 24 print, the odds are in
your favor that they can do great at making 8 x 10 prints as well.

If you are thinking that you still have to have that super powerful lens, be aware of one thing. Macro
and Close-Up is not the same thing. Some camera manufactures use the phrase “Macro” when in
reality they should be saying “Close-Up.” As a general rule Close-up lens (at their best) can focus
down to 18 inches, but a true macro lens on the other hand will focus at about 2 inches or less. A
close-up lens will take a photo of a butterfly; a macro lens will take a photo of a close-up of the
detail on a butterfly’s wing.

Other factors to remember when shooting close-up include the lighting. Most on board flashes, where
not designed to be used on really close shots. If you have a separate flash that allows you to use say
1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 power, now is the time to play with those settings. If on board flash is all you have,
or if your separate flash doesn’t allow those kinds of adjustments, think about how you can defuse
the light so it doesn’t blow your image away. If your flash head tilts, try bouncing it off another surface.
If it does not, try covering the flash itself with something like tissue paper. Whatever paper you use it
has to let enough light through or it’s just like having no flash at all. A single ply of Kleenex does nicely, but may get strange looks from others.

Remember that being close does not give you an excuse to ignore all the other rules you’ve learned.
Still be aware of leading lines, shape, texture and the rule of thirds. To me, someone who takes a shot
so close of an orange pealing that you have no idea what the subject even is . . . that person is NOT a great photographer. On the other hand; if a person shoots body parts so closely that they almost looks like a mountain range, that person may be a good photographer if . . . they use good composition and
the elements of design. In other words; shooting close just because you can, doesn’t automatically
make it a great image. Your work still has to tell a story; it has to have a reason for being, and use
good composition. All photos must be photographically worthy of your time and effort to qualify as a
great photo.

Framing Photographs

Using the power and convenience of the web, photographers can now frame their work from the comfort of their own home effectively and efficiently any time of the day. There are many good online picture framing software in the market. Most of them require the following steps:

Uploading image

Uploading pictures is usually the first step. Most people made the mistake by uploading high-res images which can take forever especially if your connection is 56k. If you do not require the software to print your picture, under 200kb is good enough. A small image can also increase your navigation speed from step to step.

Follow the prompts

There are usually wizards to guide you through the entire framing process after you uploaded your picture. You should be able to match your mat board colours and mouldings easily to your picture. Some software such as YourFramer offers a “smart preview” option for you to see your picture in different mouldings at one go. This is a cool feature for you to choose the best moulding for your photo.

Purchase when happy with the settings

This step is self explainatory. Just fill in your credit card and shipping details… then wait for your frame to arrive and what you need to do is just to insert your photo in it!

Framing your pictures online is fun and can save you money and time. This is the 21st century, work smart, be techkie and start framing all your beautiful photographs online.

Camera Clipart

You have come to the right place!

The advantage to this is that this site continues to add images. You probably will never have to
search for clipart again. This site will also explain how to handle all types of image transfers. Whether
it is your camera or different software. By the way it is also fun to just play with the site creating
any type of image.

This is a microsoft website that has over 150,000 free images and sounds that you can add to your documents, spreadsheets, or publisher creations.

Once at the site they make it very easy. To search through the extensive online free clip art library, all you need to do is go to the Clip Art page on Microsoft Office Online, and type your search into the box at the top of the screen! Does it get much easier? Seriously if you are a camera buff this will ease your pain and patience.

Good luck and keep cliparting

5 Megapixel Camera

Finding the Best Digital 5 Megapixel Cameras

If you are in the market for a 5 megapixel camera you will be amazed at the enormous selection of models grasping for your attention. Many times this smorgasboard of makes and model of digital cameras can be very misleading to the average photographer, and finding the best digital cameras is subjective to each buyer.

What do You Want from Your Digital Camera?

The first steps to choosing your digital camera is to determine how much memory you want, what your new camera will be used for, the types and number of features you want, and, of course, whether these features and gizmos will fit your pocketbook.

All these decisions can be overwhelming making it imperative to do research in order to simplify your search. Then you will be able to make a more informed decision before buying.

How Much to Spend?

It doesn’t matter which camera you want to buy it is going to cost some money. How much investment do you have for your new camera? As soon as you have decided on a price range to fit your budget, you can start to look for the best 5 megapixel camera you can afford.

You will find good digital cameras from cheap to expensive. But, remember, the more you invest the more gizmos and cool features you will get. If you are merely looking for a simple photography tool, a low-priced model may be right for you.

Hope this report is helping so far. If not, you should find more of the facts you need about buying 5 megapixel digital cameras in the next few paragraphs. Keep reading.

How Much Memory do You Need?

Now that you have narrowed down the products according to a price range you can live with, your next step is memory. The goal here is to get the maximum amount of digital memory for the lowest price.

In the digital camera world, the quality of your pictures will be higher the more mega pixels you get. So, you can decide whether you want to go cheaper or better quality with the digital photos you snap. It may be worth paying a little more up front to keep from being dissapointed with your photography later.

Another thought to keep in mind is, you can add a memory card in the future to increase memory at an additional cost. The best 5 megapixel cameras come with an acceptable amount of memory. Most of the time you will get what you pay for.

Choosing the Features of Your 5 Megapixal Camera

Now you are ready to determine which features you want in a camera and which you can live without. Some digital cameras come with video capabilities while others are jam-packed with numerous settings to dial in a host of different picture taking situations.

The ultimate fantasy is to find a camera system having both within your price range. To commit to the best 5 megapixel camera for your picture-taking situation, think about where you take most of your photos. For instance; If you go to lots of different events or perhaps you are really into sports and you take lots of pictures at the ball game, it is essential that you own an exceptional digital camera with many different programs. If you purely want something for taking family photos or ordinary outside pictures, you won’t need as many settings and you will still come away with some good snapshots.

Finding the Best 5 Megapixel Camera

Now that you have found a 5 megapixel camera you like within your price range, have discovered what features you need and those you don’t, do an online search for comparisons of the best 5 megapixel cameras.

One tip is to read online personal reviews of individual models and also compare different brand names. The best formula for buying an outstanding digital camera is hearing what happy and satisfied customers have to say. Testimonials are everything!

Classic Camera Collecting

Here’s a checklist you can use to determine condition:

  • First look at the camera as a whole. Are there scratches, are there dents? Are parts missing, is there evidence it has been opened or repaired (look carefully if all screws are undamaged, and for signs the leatherette has been off to reach screws)
  • Then test if the shutter works at all speeds, especially the slower speeds like 1 second. A good test point is 1/10th of a second – it has a specific sound which will tell you if the shutter is off at that speed
  • For reflex cameras: check if the mirror flips up properly and isn’t dull
  • Then point the camera at an object at a known distance and check if when focusing the distance shown on the camera corresponds with the actual distance
  • Check if there is no play, especially at a film transport handle and between the lens and the body (try to move the lens while holding the body fixed in your other hand)
  • Then check the lens. You don’t want to see scratch marks or stains on the outside. Hold the lens to a light source like a light bulb and look through it. You don’t want to see scratches, and internally you don’t want to see obscurities or thin lines (fungus). Slight marks on the front of the lens are not so disastrous as marks on the back of the lens (inside the camera body)
  • Look on the inside of the camera for evidence of wear. Sometimes many rolls of film going through have caused a lot of wear. Shutter curtains may be damaged
  • For cameras with batteries: check the battery compartment. Leaking batteries could have caused a lot of damage
  • Check if the exposure meter works and gives a reading which makes sense in various light conditions

Learning Portrait Photography Lighting

First, we wonder what kind of lighting patterns there are.

We go to our local camera store and discover a book that discusses Rembrandt light. Then another guru says that narrow light is the way to go. But for each narrow light application, there’s another time when broad light will do the trick. They talk about split light, backlight, hair light, fill, ambient.

They use terms like main light, key light, fill, diffused, hot, continuous, strobe and so on…

It’s no wonder so many people throw up their hands in frustration. Then they light every subject the same tired old way.

So then, we start to question – why bother?

What difference does it make?

We soon learn that wide faces can be visually narrowed, narrow faces can be visually widened, noses can be shortened, cheekbones can be raised. Not to mention – blemishes can be minimized, wrinkles softened and weight reduced.

Then it finally hits. Lighting is important. We start to realize that being a photographer entails more than buying the latest digital gadget and spending countless hours in Photoshop.

By now we are in information overload. Which way to turn? How many hundreds of dollars do we need to spend – buying all the latest magazines and photo books?

There is an easier way.

It’s true that photo equipment is being improved all the time. Trying to keep up with all the most recent improvements in technology is impossibly difficult – but – peoples faces are pretty much the same now as they were 10 years ago, 50 years, 100.

The best lighting patterns haven’t changed. Rembrandt light is called that because Rembrandt used that lighting pattern! In the early 1600’s!

The point is, to learn the basic lighting patterns, old photo books work just as well as the new ones. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the local camera store, book store or on line. Go to the library. It’s free.

Find a book that shows a lighting pattern you want to learn, check it out and go home.

Now comes the expensive part.

You need some flashlights. I mean the kind you hold in your hand. The kind you keep in the kitchen junk drawer. (Yes, the one that always has dead batteries when you need it.) You will also need a notebook.

Now, for the fun part. Grab one of your kids, boyfriend, girlfriend, next door neighbor, next door neighbor’s kids…somebody! Bribe them. Tell them if they’ll help you learn about lighting, you’ll do a nice portrait of them!

Have them sit on a chair in a darkened room. (Leave your camera in the bag. We don’t need it.) Take out your flashlights and starting with one (add more as needed)- light up their face. Move it in and out, raise it, lower it, go to the sides and so on.

Watch what is happening! Learn how to exaggerate and minimize noses, bumps, acne, wrinkles. Learn where the light needs to be positioned to get the patterns in the book.

What happens when you put some tracing paper over the light? Bounce it off a nearby wall?

Then for each new discovery you make, write it down in your notebook. Use plenty of diagrams.

In a couple hours, you’ll know more about photographic lighting than 75% of all the photographers out there. Plus, you can have a great time!