BEFORE THE BASICS – taking good snapshots
BEFORE THE BASICS: There are certain things to be aware of before you compose your first picture.
1. Excellent photos can be taken on almost any camera – it’s not necessary to have a professional camera or a digital SLR – a digital point and shoot will do just fine. The reason for this is – the eye of the photographer is the most important component of a good photo. When I know I am taking photos, I have my Canon EOS30D, but I always have my digital Canon Elph with me. It’s old, and the reload time between photos is slow, but it’s an excellent camera.
2. To take good photos, you must have your camera available. If your purpose is simply to take family photos at an event, or document your trip to Disneyland, for example, then you will have your camera with you. But if you are interested in documenting the world around you, you must carry a camera at all times. A small digital point-and-shoot will easily fit in a purse or pocket. Sound like trouble? Think of the times you’ve thought, I wish I had my camera with me. I always have my digital Elph.
3. Having your camera with you won’t help if your battery is dead. Buy a second battery, keep it charged and in your purse or pocket and you’ll never be caught short. When traveling, I also take a second memory card because even though I upload to my laptop every night, I want my photos in more than one place. I don’t want to have to erase a memory card.
4. That leads in to tip #4. If you are photographing something important, have your photos in more than one place. First, the memory card of your camera; second, download to your computer daily; third, consider uploading to a site like Kodak Easyshare or Shutterfly; and fourth – not just for photos – back up your computer on an external hard drive. Then, if you lose your camera, your photos will already be on your computer. If you have erased your memory card and your computer crashes, you will have your photos on an online site; and for good measure, they’ll be on your external hard drive.
5. Go digital. I am not a purist – I can’t afford to be. New technology isn’t going anywhere, and unless you are a serious amateur or professional who uses film for a specific reason, digital is the way to go. I don’t have the time to work in a darkroom, I wouldn’t be able to process color at home anyway, and I can’t afford to take film and hope the photos turn out. It’s expensive. Using digital you can take 500 photos and delete 450 and you haven’t lost anything.