Digital Photography-Basic Notions

Basic PhotographyAs long as we can remember, the humanity as felt the need of communicating. Using hieroglyph, paintings, words, sculptures, or even through photography, we have always achieved to express ourselves in beautiful ways. But, with the advance of technologies, every day is easier to learn more and faster about these ways of expressions and the perfection of them in order to express the deepest of ourselves. In this article, I introduce the basic notions of digital photography in a SIMPLE, FUN and SHORT way to do it, with that YOU WILL TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP INTO CAPTURING ALL YOUR MEMORIES!

Digital photography? What is that?

As simple as it could sound, “Digital Photography” is nothing more than the proof of evolution itself! The ape cousin is called “Traditional photography” in which the image was capture in a photosensitive support that we know as photographic film, to then be revealed by the use of chemist. And the more advance version, the homo sapiens, capture the image using a photosensitive sensor that converts light in digital information. All this allows us to view our image on a computer.

So, to make it easy:

  • The Ape: Traditional photography that uses a film to capture the image. This image is then revealed by the use of chemists,
  • The Homo sapiens: Digital photography that use a photosensitive sensor that converts the light in digital information. The results? We see our images in the computer!

Capturing all the basic terms.

There is a ton of specialized vocabulary that we will learn from now on. This list, is just a summary of the many terms we will be learning little by little on this website. And all of this will be exposed in detail later on the site.

  • Pixel: smallest unit of a digital image. A combination of pixels form an image, a video, a text or anything that you can see on your computer.
  • Megapixel: image sensor with more than 1 million of pixels. The more megapixels a camera has, the better the quality of the image but also the bigger you can print your photograph.
  • Resolution: refers to the number of pixel in one image. More pixels, better resolution.
  • RGB: color system used by most cameras.
  • Focal Length: distance between a single optical length and the focal point. In simple words, is the point where light rays meet each other.
  • Aperture: this controls how much light can get into the camera. It can be wide open for letting a lot of light get in (Ideal for situation where the light of the environment is low) or wide close in order to restraint the amount of light that can get in into the camera (Ideal for situation where there are too much natural light, for example a shoot on the beach at noon).
  • Shutter Speed: this describe how fast the shutter is open when you are taking your picture. The fastest the shutter is open the less light enter in the lens and you will be able to freeze the movement. The contrary happens with a slow opening of the shutter.
  • ISO sensitivity: different levels of sensitivity of the sensor. The smallest de ISO number is the more light you need for an appropriate exposure of the photo. On the contrary, the higher the ISO number is, less light you will need, but pay attention to this, higher ISO cause “noise” in the picture.
  • Exposure: Combining the ISO, the shutter speed and the aperture will give you the best results in your photo. For every shoot you need to adjust the parameters in order to get the effect that you want in your photo.
  • Noise: refers to visual distortions in your photo, for example, a visual distortion can be when you get to see the pixels (little squares) in your image.

As I said, this is just a little introduction to photography and we will have to study all this later, but for the moment is a great start. Now, we are going to discuss a little about the different formats of photographs, so we are going to get into the heart of an image!

In the heart of an image. Photography formats.

Let’s start by the most common photography formats, I am sure you have already heard about these!

  • JPEG: probably the most common one. The majority of camera provides it, but it has limitations. The user has some control over the image, is used by the public and mostly for printing or websites. You don’t need to invest a lot of editing time when using this format and you require less space in your memory.
  • RAW: available in advanced cameras. You have more control of the image as it is saved in his natural state. It is mostly used by photographers for the editing of image. You need to invest time in editing but the results could be pretty amazing. You will require more memory to saved photos using this format.
  • TIFF: Commonly used by for printers and by publishers, the image is usually uncompressed and that give the opportunity for extensive editing. These are much bigger file, so you will need much more space.

Now that we have covered a little about the basic terms of digital photography and the most common formats. Which is the right equipment to start???

Ready. Set. Shoot! The right equipment for beginners

Every head is a world and a planet of endless possibilities!!! And with photography evolving more and more every day it is difficult to know which equipment is the right one to start with.

Cameras came in all different types and shapes, the one that works for you is going to depend on your needs and wishes. There are 3 categories of cameras Compacts, Mirrorless (Interchangeable lens) and digital DSLRs. As the purpose of this article is to give you an introduction to digital photography, I am going to explain to you the differences between these categories! Later, in other articles we will dig deeply on this matter and we will explain more in detail every one of these categories.

  1. Compact cameras: These cameras are very affordable, small, light and way to do it more easy to use than the others categories. With the advance of technology, phone camera has been replacing compact models. The compact models have a comparable quality of image than a phone camera could have but these models can offer you a lot of functions that are not normally included in phone cameras. For example, with compact models you can play more with the menus that would help you have better photos, or even have a larger sensor, or more zoom.
  2. Mirrorless: These offers better quality of image, or option and menus to plays with than the compact models. In the mirrorless models you will not find the mirror that is included in DSLRs models (with optical viewfinder). Instead, these cameras are always in live view mode. The price of mirrorless models is higher than it is in compact models.
  3. DSLRs: These offers a much better quality of image than compact models thanks to his larger sensor. Compares to mirrorless the prince range is pretty comparable and in terms of the quality of image a DSLR is not going to offers you necessarily a better image quality.

As I said, this article is just and introduction to photography, I will post a whole guide of how to choose your model in other post next week!

Capture your memories forever!!

The art of capturing your memories you will you the opportunity to re-live moments over and over. As I say in my own language “Recordar es vivir” (Remember is living)… I hope you have enjoyed this short post about the basic notions of photography. I you have any questions please leave a comment below!!

Have a great day, I remember, there is beauty everywhere! Just open your eyes and be ready to SHOOT!

Estefania!

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