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Digital Photography - Basics

Updated on January 28, 2018
agvulpes profile image

Although not a professional, Peter is a very keen photographer who mainly takes wildlife and landscape images.

My Canon PowerShot A 400 Digital Camera
My Canon PowerShot A 400 Digital Camera

Basics of Digital Photography

In this Hub, I would like to go through with you how I am now handling all of my photographic work.

Bearing in mind that it is purely a hobby for me so therefore I have to work on a tight budget and I will use a free program even if it is more difficult to use.

I will touch briefly on my Canon Powershot A400 Camera.

My choices on image manipulation programs are:

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  • GIMP.
  • Paint .net.

How I get around not using Printers at home, Printers such as the Kodak ESP All-in-One are in my opinion a waste of good money for the amateur photographer.

Lesson 1 : This is a Telephone Booth not a Photo Booth!
Lesson 1 : This is a Telephone Booth not a Photo Booth!

Digital Cameras

Getting started with a Digital Camera.

To be perfectly honest you do not even need a computer to obtain snapshots from your Digital Camera. It can be as simple as this :

  • Buy a digital Camera point and shoot, mine is a Canon PowerShot A400 but any 3.1-megapixel camera will work OK.
  • Read the instruction manual. Hmm come to think of it, I did not, I just loaded up the batteries and started shooting.
  • Take your Photographs with your camera. Go ahead and practice. Delete the shots you don't like, it really is quite simple and immediate.
  • Then all you do is remove the memory device from your camera, take it down to a photo store.Large stores like KMart and I would presume Walmart have photo processing booths. In Australia, even Chemists and Supermarkets have photo booths for printing snaps.
  • Plug your memory device into the Automatic machine, follow the prompts on the machine as far as selecting which images you would like to print, some even have manipulation programs for editing things like color and making collages.
  • Press the go button and boom there are your prints.

I must declare, that is not the way I or most serious hobbyists would work. We prefer much more control over our images, so if you bear with me I will run over the way I have set up my little electronic 'darkroom'. There will come a time when future generations will ask "What is a Darkroom"?

New fangled Kodak Order Station
New fangled Kodak Order Station

Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements | a cut down version of Photoshop but still very good value.
Photoshop Elements | a cut down version of Photoshop but still very good value.

Image Manipulation

Now no need to get frightened about the terminology. Image Manipulation is just a geeky way of saying 'edit'. When you change anything on a photograph you are simply manipulating the pixels.

Ok, let's get serious now. To do justice to your photographs you really do need to have a reasonable Computer and an Image Manipulation program, whether it be a bought one such as Photoshop or a free program.

There are two free programs that I like one is GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) and the other is Paint .net.

The old saying is 'you get what you pay for'?

In this case, I would dispute this statement because I have used all three programs and I find that they all have a heavy learning curve, but with patience and perseverance they will all accomplish the same result.

Having said that, I still prefer to use Photoshop simply because I cut my teeth on the program and see no reason to change. I must declare that I would not purchase another upgrade of the Photoshop Pro but I would go for the latest version of Photoshop Elements or I would simply move over to a free program, more than likely Anyhow more of that in a later Hub.

Kodak ESP 7 All in One Printer
Kodak ESP 7 All in One Printer

To Print or Not Print that is the Question

Now here's a news flash for you!!!!

You think I'm going to tell you to go out and spend a squillion dollars on a fancy printer like the Kodak ESP 7 All in One Printer pictured here?

Well, no siree bob.

I've been down that track myself and I'm here to tell you right now that if you want to go through countless hours of printing test photo's and color balancing on your printer and computer, go right ahead and be my guest.

And please, let me be the first one to say " I told you so", and did I mention the cost of Ink. Hmmm no, I don't believe I did!

No folks my suggestion on the printing of photographs is: 'leave it to the experts'

Get your images all composed on your computer using your imaging programs.

Load them onto a Thumb Drive or Disc and take them to the Photo Printing Booth at your Photo processing Store.

Extras for Photographs and Slides

Ok so now that is the basics of what I've got, now for some extras.

When you change over to digital photography you will now be left with hundreds if not thousands of old photographs and Slides (Transparencies) and if you are anything like me plenty of Negatives.

You can at your own expense shell out hard earned money and have these converted to digital professionally.

However, there is a far less expensive and fun way of converting analog to digital images.

If you want to do it yourself you will need to invest in the following pieces of equipment.

Scanner, one that is capable of scanning photographs and slides. Personally, I have opted for a dedicated scanner and a dedicated film and slide scanner. Total outlay for me was less than $200.

Have you ever used a Image manipulation Program

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    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      @dahoglund I have a feeling that because 'Digital Photography' has become so 'affordable' and 'accessible' that users will become a bit blasé and it will become a bit Ho-Hum.

      These days 'everyone' is a Photographer which in my opinion is a good thing !

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I have not put the effort into digital photography that I should I do find your information useful though. As far a converting old pictures to digital, I found Wlamart will do it fairly cheaply.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      I'm sure that you are not really a true "ME" person lol

      I like motivating people to adapt to new ideas (The ideas that I think are good) See I can be a 'me' person also :-)

      Ok now have you found your 'Canon Sure Shot' good!

      Now repeat after me: 'I promise to take at least one photograph a day for at least one month'

      Ok if you are busy make it a week!

      With cameras the more you use them the easier it becomes to take images that are reasonable!

      Thank you so much for dropping into my little Hub on digital photography basics and finding it of some use :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      How did you know that I needed this information? (It's all about me :-) Takes me forever to learn new technology, so this hub is useful and even motivating. Pardon me while I go dig for my Canon Sure Shot....oh, and thank you very much!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      itech thanks for the thoughtful and insightful comment.

      I can remember when these concepts were only figments in peoples minds. That my friend was not that long ago!

      We have and are advancing at an ever increasing rate of progress.

      One danger I see with storing our images is in the format that the images are stored ie jpg, tiff etc.

      The main danger I perceive is in the 'zipping' of files into proprietary programs. If that program becomes redundant in the future the file may not be functional?

    • itech profile image


      10 years ago from Dausa, India

      Interesting article on Digital photography | Basics, Some of the points were very useful. But I'm already aware of most of the basics you've described.

      Digital photography is really a great innovation in technology because if we want we can save all the images captured via digital camera for 1oO's, 10o0's of years in any storage units like memory cards, computers, servers etc.

      We can edit them, can send it to another corner of world in seconds in the form of Data....

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      wyanjen, thanks so much for your kind comment.

      You are so right about the experts, I nearly gave Photoshop away because of the experts trying to fill my head with 'not need to know' information.

      The problem is knowing where to start when you are trying to make a 'how to' turorial for a program like photoshop.

      You are very lucky indeed to have access to such a range of Graphic Manipulation programs.

    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      10 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      Hello agvulpes

      This is a great hub for beginners. The basics of digital photography can get skipped over when people jump into a high-tech how-to article about mega-pixels and exposures. Your hub covers the basic, easy points that hobbyists need to know, without throwing around technical jargon that scares beginners away.

      Folks don't even need to know what an F-stop is anymore. Digital photography is a great hobby. :-)

      I'm a loyal PhotoShop user. I have a couple Adobe Suites at my job, and I use Elements here at home. Each time the software is upgraded, it becomes more intuitive and user friendly.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      earnestshub, thanks for dropping in on my hub.

      Digital photography basics are now a must have for anyone that takes photographs. The days of film photography are drawing to a close for the amateur photographer.

    • earnestshub profile image


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks for teaching me digital photography | Basics agvulpes, maybe now I can get a start on some of my photos.

    • LittleWhistle profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm blushing! "Perfection"? Nooooo.. how about 'above average'??? LOLOLOL!! You do make me smile! (p)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      10 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Well, perspire on my friend! What ever you do.. works!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      Candie v you are too kind but I appreciate your compliments, but you know what they say, 10% inspiration 90% perspiration. ;-)

      Lol littlewhistle I could play with one of yours but really, how can one spoil perfection ?

    • LittleWhistle profile image


      10 years ago

      Well, my first thought, after "great hub!!" was "what would he do with MY picture?" Shall I send you one for you to play with? I love Photoshop.. the people who are really really good, blow me away! You and CrisA do wonderful work! Thanks agvulpes! I'll be back to whistle again!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      10 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      OOOH!!! I'm first so the score is 100% and I'm in the lead! You do amazing PhotoShop work!! Love it!! One of these days I'm gonna give it a try, but for now, I'll marvel at your creations!


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