How to Enjoy Your Digital Camera to the Fullest
The advent of digital cameras ushered in digital photography that swept and transformed the world of photography in many ways.
Photography ceased to be the exclusive preserve of a few and swept into its fold millions of new practitioners with varying skill and involvement levels. There are casual photographers who want to just take a snap on their smart phone or point and shoot, and you have serious enthusiasts and amateurs who create stunning images, quite often relying on an advanced compact camera or basic DSLR. At the very extreme we have the semi-professional and professional photographers who have mastered and enjoy their photography to the fullest and may not need any of the tips given below.
Many of the casual or hobbyist photographers take up photography with great enthusiasm but soon get tired and keep aside their cameras, until the next sleek gizmo comes along with technological advancements to rekindle their interest. So is something missing? Is it possible to have a sustained level of involvement and derive fullest enjoyment from your digital camera? I would say, based on my experience, that it is possible.
The camera vs the photographer
First of all we need to recognize a very important point.
It is a very common mistake to think that the next digital camera will provide all the enjoyment. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Thanks to the growing market for cameras and stiff competition among manufacturers, newer cameras with better features and technology will keep coming all the time. But enjoyment depends more on the photographer than the camera - it just doesn’t matter what camera you have!
Take a look at some professionals shoot with a basic point and shoot and watch the passion and pleasure that they derive; see the stunning images that they create and you will soon be convinced that the camera does not matter.
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What is required if we are to enjoy?
There are a few simple things that we need to do or understand if we are to enjoy our photography:
Many beginners learn just the bare basics – how to switch on the camera, how to click, how to recharge the battery and how to download images. Once they become comfortable with the process they continue to take pictures without bothering to learn any more. “I am not thinking of becoming a photographer,” is their logic. But this is exactly what makes photography seem so boring after some time. If we are to enjoy digital photography, it is important that we continue to explore and learn.
You can begin with the menu settings and options. Even the most basic cameras offer a number of options and it can be great fun discovering what is there.
An easy way of going about it is to read the manual that came with the camera and start using the various options that are available. It may take some time but can be great fun. Moreover, as you explore you will discover new options that will pose new questions. If there is an option to switch off the flash, when should it be switched off? If there is a custom white balance option, how do we do it? If the image display provides an option of viewing the histogram, what is it all about? And so on.
Unlike film cameras, your digital camera allows you full freedom to make mistakes. You can take hundreds of images and delete all but a few. Which means that you can experiment to your heart’s content. And this experimentation can not only add to your knowledge and improve your skills but also give you tremendous satisfaction and enjoyment.
So try out something new. If all your pictures are horizontal why not try out a few vertical shots? Change the perspective – How does it look when the picture is shot from above? What happens if it is shot from below? What difference does it make when you move in close to the subject? Or move far away?
The scope increases tremendously if you use the manual settings option on your digital camera. Start changing the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO at will and see what happens? Not only will you grasp the fundamentals faster, you will also get the satisfaction of being able to control the image much more.
Experiment wholeheartedly, knowing for sure that mistakes are fine and all it takes is a few seconds to delete what you would rather not preserve.
If you want to derive true satisfaction and enjoyment, take your photography to the next level. Fortunately, there is a lot that one can learn in photography – from macro photography to HDR, focus stacked images and tilt-shift photography - and there are enough resources on the Internet for all this. A lot of it is free but if you are seriously into it, you can consider subscribing to courses conducted by professionals. To get a flavor of what this means, take a look at this short video by a professional photographer, where he guides you on getting great images from your basic point and shoot camera.
How to take better photos with your point and shoot
If you set out to explore experiment and educate yourself, you will soon discover that your photography has generally improved by leaps and bounds and one or two of your images have created that impact on the viewer that great photographs are capable of. It is a moment of elation that is priceless and can only be experienced. Crucially it will provide the fuel to keep you going, mastering the medium and updating yourself with the constantly upgrading technology that pushes the borders of possibilities while you strive to scale the elusive creative heights that can give you the kind of continuous enjoyment that you had wished for.
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