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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Info of Digital Imaging Explained

Traditional cameras capture images onto film while digital cameras use an electronic chip known as a Charged Coupling Device (CCD). The CCD is actually a grid of miniature light-sensitive diodes. These diodes convert photons (light) that strikes them into electrons (electrical impulses). The technical name for these diodes is ‘photosite’. The brighter the light is that hits the photosite the stronger the electrical charge is that’s produced.

After converting the photons into electrons, a mini-computer, located inside of the camera, reads the stored electrical value in each photograph. Then a built-in analog-to-digital converter turns the stored electrical value into a digital value. These digital values are then stored on the cameras memory storage device. When these digital values are recalled by software, and displayed on a screen, they reproduce the image that was originally captured by the camera or digital input device.

The digital image that is created by the CCD is huge. It’s far too big to be easily stored in the relatively little amount of storage space that’s available to a digital camera. Accordingly, the camera’s computer compresses the image to make it smaller.

There are two basic methods for achieving this compression. The first method takes advantage of repetitive patterns in the image. For example, if you are taking a picture of an airplane that is flying in the sky, a lot of the picture will be a chunk of blue sky. The camera recognizes that there are multiple parts of the image containing the same digital information, so it only records a small piece of the sky. Then it simply creates a map to tell it where the rest of the sky belongs. When the picture is ultimately displayed the sky appears exactly the same as it did in the original image when it was first captured. The only difference is that the overall storage requirements were reduced thanks to the camera’s clever mapping techniques.

The other method uses a procedure called irrelevancy. This methodology automatically removes digital information that is not visible to the human eye such an infra red light.

Specialized Styles

–Wildlife photography

–Landscape photography

–Sports events

–Photo-journalism

–Fashion photography

–Black & White treatment

–Shooting Celebrities

–>Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is often assumed to be an exciting and high adventure genre of photography. In reality it is extremely challenging and wildlife photographers find themselves at the mercy of inclement weather and sometimes even face danger. Here are some suggestions for this specialized form of photography.

Understand the life form that you plan to photograph in terms of living habits, habitat and behavior. In other words you need a perspective on ‘a day in the life of’ your wildlife subject. Books and online research will throw light on your subject. The importance of getting acquainted with the behavior of the animal is a lot more important when you have to shoot dangerous jungle animals that can attack like lions or tigers or even bears. Animals will become aware of you when you enter close to their habitat but will usually not attack if you keep your distance. But you have to be clear on the distance at which an animal will begin to feel threatened by your presence and decide to attack you.

It goes without saying that you can’t expect any kind cooperation from your subject! You have to fit yourself in, place yourself in a vantage point and have your camera set and ready and then wait for the ‘right moment’ to take the shot that you are looking for.

You may have to wait many days before you can capture the right shot. Your subject could not care less if the light is diminishing or the light is at its best. You may have perfect light conditions on a particular day but your subject may not be in the right spot for you to take the shot.

You need telephoto lenses to shoot from a distance and other camera features like Center-weighted metering. The Center-weighted meter allows you to meter the wildlife subject at the center of the frame and vary the size of the sensing area based on the dimensions of the subject and its distance from you.

–>Landscape Photography

Taking landscape pictures within a city from atop a building or on the beach is one type of landscape photography. But if you want to get closer to nature and shoot unique pictures of nature and environment in remote locations like wild forest area or mountain ranges, then you have your task cut out for you just like a wildlife photographer. You need the spirit of adventure within you in order to travels around to different places and scour different regions for landscape opportunity.

It is tough to firstly identify the right spots, you may have to explore for days before you find an idyllic panoramic landscape to shoot. You then have to wait for the right light conditions while braving the weather and the rough living conditions. In terms of equipment, landscape photographers need to go in for a variety of wide-angle lenses since this type of lens is capable of lending depth in the photograph. A wide-angle zoom lens is useful in this type of photography because of the range of focal lengths it can provide while fine-tuning a shot. But there is also the need for telephoto lenses for certain shot though not of the high focal length required by sports photographers. Landscape photographers usually go in for telephoto lenses with focal length less than 300mm (a telephoto lens has a focal length greater than 50mm, a wide angle lens is less than 50mm, and a standard lens has a focal length of 50mm).

–>Sports Events

Those who have made a career of photographing sporting events have a different style of operation to capture the high action of dramatic moments in a game. The length of the lens, the location of the photographer taking the shot and the need to limit blurring are the three critical aspects in sports photography.

Sports photographers use a telephoto lens. This type of lens magnifies the subject. The focal length to choose from in telephoto lenses varies from 60mm to 1000 mm. A lens with a high focal length can give you a wider visual area which is a necessity when you photograph field events. Sports photographers by and large prefer 35mm cameras and use focal lengths of 300-600mm especially for field events like soccer.

The location where photographers position themselves to take different shots is directly responsible for capturing the relevant high-points in a match. It also helps if you have a good knowledge of the sport. This ensures that you identify the right moments and are alert and ready when a memorable situation occurs during the sport. You can get the right shots if you are able to move around and use the right location in different points in a game. However, quite often the areas of movement are restricted for photographers and the best way to tide over this problem is to use a lens of focal length in the region of 600mm to enable shots of the far end of a court or field. Though a good location is usually described by the angle and distance from the court or field, the other aspect of a good location is also the play of light from your vantage point. Most photographers have the task of avoiding shadows caused by the quality of light. The intensity of color in a photograph is reduced in dull light conditions while bright sunlight can create shadows in certain angles.

Shoot Less

I now realise that there was another cost. With all this constant snapping I was losing my skills as a photographer. Sure, I could see a scene, shoot it and make appropriate adjustments on the camera before shooting again. But I stopped thinking “before” I pressed the shutter release.

Digital had cost my skill. Or almost.

I gradually realised that I no longer viewed the scene before I put the camera to my eye. I didn’t see the components in their entirity and I didn’t compose as accurately as I should. I forgot to look for lamposts coming out of people’s heads and didn’t get the groups to all look at the camera at the same time. I relied on repeating a shot to get it perfect and when I downloaded my images I could have easily have discarded 90% or more of them.

This wasn’t what I wanted in photography and the digital medium, which was such a great advance in photography, had been taken and manhandled by me. I was becoming a bad photographer.

But now I have reformed. I still take shots that I am not proud of and I still discard a good proportion of my images. But I think more than I used to in order to harness the digital medium rather than ignore it.

Now I shoot less. And by doing so I put more thought into each image. I look for the right light, the right expression, the right patterns and the right timing. I look around the viwefinder to see what is there and try, where possible, to get an image that needs little or no manipulation after download.

I ask myself a series of questions: why am I taking this shot? what do I hope to achieve? what needs to be added or taken away to make the image better? where is the light coming from, where does it fall and what quality does it have? what adjustments do I need to make before taking the picture – how can I harness the power of my camera in order to get it right first time?