February 27, 2008

Last year for mother’s day my children presented me with a Nikon D40X. I was thrilled! However, after I experienced a few takes, the thrill quickly transformed into frustration. Why? Because I approached digital photography with the idea it would be as easy as film photography. What a misconception that was!

Over the next few postings I will attempt to explain some of the differences between 35mm (film) and digital SLR’s. I will use various resources including my own “trail by error” method. If you’re a pro or just learning, please read along with us. I may surprise you with a few new tricks of the trade. If you would like to share some information with me, please leave a comment.

I will start with the basics and progress from there-. OK, here we go!

Always follow the principal of “knowing” your camera! Read everything in your camera’s instruction booklet. Knowledge of how to use your camera (and its many features) will enhance your digital experience.

Digital offers other great benefits too. You can view your pictures immediately, and save tons of money on development fees. Your film has now been replaced by a memory card.

If you choose to invest in an SLR, you will have the creative control many photographers’ desire. Either type of camera (SLR or Point and Shoot) is a personal preference; I carry both. Last but not least, here are three guidelines to follow when taking pictures:

1. Clearly define your subject or theme—it should always appear clear and unmistakable…

2. Focus attention--the eye should immediately be drawn to your subject.

3. Simplify—include only the necessary elements that draw the eye to your subject.

Learn to see in pictures. This is the most important lesson a photographer learns. It’s called composition and without it, the art of photography is lost.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” ~~Aaron Siskind—American Photographer 1903-1991

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