Basic Digital Photography

infoThe number one thing that you need is a quality camera. Although today's phones DO have decent cameras, they just cannot match the quality of a real camera, such as a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera. And today, they even make compact DSLR cameras, known as Mirrorless Cameras, which can produce even higher-resolution images at even faster shutter speeds. .

Many phone cameras have a lot of 'megapixels', which just means that they have a lot of 'dots' in the photo. The more dots the larger image you can print. However, this is not all that important; you can print an excellent 11X14 print from a camera (or phone) with only 3.2 megapixels. The real issue is the optics or lens. A phone is just not going to match the optics of a decent DSLR camera. There is not a phone on the market that can match the optics of a lens such as that shown below which is a Canon Image Stabilizing 75-300 MM Telephoto lens typically used on a Canon DSLR camera.

Cammon 75-300 lens

That does not mean that you cannot get excellent results from a phone. It just all depends on the quality level that you want.

So, you have taken your first set of photos with your brand-new digital camera and like the results... well, you almost like the results, but the images do seem a little dark. This is another advantage with a digital camera. You can fix this with photo editing software and make the images lighter. You can also add effects, crop the image to get rid of stuff you didn't mean to shoot, etc. In other words, you can 'clean up' the photo before printing. Photo editing software is pretty amazing these days. You can even make a photo look like an oil painting or an old yellowed newspaper. Here is an example of making a photo look like an old newspaper, where the original image is followed by the effect.

original bird

newspaper bird

This effect change was done with one single click of a mouse.

Photo editing software has been mentioned but what do you really need? Of course, this is not a question that we can answer, because as what you need depends on what you want to do. The two most popular editing packages are Adobe Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro, but both have a price tag. While PaintShop Pro is not as expensive as Photoshop, it is still not free.

So what is a free photo editing package? In our opinion, there is only one answer to this question, that being 'GIMP'! GIMP is an awesome editing package that is totally public domain. Unless you are doing photography as a business, GIMP will blow away any purchased package and could probably be used by a professional without issue. You can get GIMP for free through the following link.