Photography is easy. Really!
The first thing youíll need is a camera. Obviously. Without that, youíll be reduced to drawing what youíve seen with crayons! To start, get yourself an inexpensive digital camera. Try to get one with at least 6 megapixels. No, a megapixel not a big camera fairy. All you need to know is that the more megapixels a camera has, the better quality your photos will have.
Digital cameras come with a memory card that stores your photos. Usually, the memory card that comes with the camera doesnít hold very many photos. Invest in a memory card that does. It may cost you more, but remember, you wonít be buying rolls and rolls of film. Youíll keep using that memory card over and over.
A nice camera is . . . well, nice. But itís the skill and vision of the photographer that really counts. What? You donít think youíre skilled? Can you pick up a camera, point it toward your subject and push the little button? Ok, youíve got 90% of the technique down. The rest is fine-tuning. The camera will do most of the work for you.
Please, donít set your camera to take the most photos at the least resolution. Theyíll look terrible! Set it at the highest resolution so you can actually do something with the photos when youíre done. Oh, and all digital cameras come with a fantastic, terrific, extraordinary accessory Ė the ownerís manual. Donít be afraid. Dive in!
Use your manual to find out these three things:
The Magical Rule of Thirds
The Power of Thirds is not to be underestimated. It transforms dull photos into art. Basically, donít center your subject in all your photos. Thatís our natural tendency and it's naturally boring. For a more in-depth explanation of this easy rule, please go to the free classroom section at http://www.morguefile.com/docs/Jodie_Coston:_Lesson_1
Ready for your close up?
Your camera came with a zoom function. Try not to use it. Whenever you zoom in, thereís more of a chance the photo will turn out blurry. WALK closer. Yep. Get up. Stretch your legs. Get into the action! While youíre at it, make sure whatever youíre photographing fills the frame. Donít take a photo of your beautiful grand daughter from fifty feet away. Get in there and fill the whole viewfinder with her beautiful face! No one cares about the jungle gym behind her.
Keep her sweet little features sharp, too. You want to see those baby blue eyes, not blurry blue dots floating in a sea of wobbly flesh and hair. Keep the camera as close to your face as possible, not at arms length. Practice keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides. Thatíll do it. Now, take a breath. As you exhale, push the button. Itís like meditating. Youíll feel good!
Ready, Set, Shoot!
Youíve bought the camera, read the manual, learned the rule of thirds . . . what are you waiting for? Get out there and have some fun! Practice in your yard. Youíd be surprised whatís out there when you really look. Morning and dusk have the best light, so right before or after work are perfect times to practice.
Take your camera with you everywhere! (Well, not in public bathrooms.) If you want to take photos while driving, please pull over. Remember the blur issue? You donít want to become a smudge yourself. Be safe.
Torment your family. Get them used to that flash! Theyíll be seeing a lot of it. Take photos at family barbeques, birthday parties, reunions and other fun events. One word of advice: go easy on the people you actually live with. After all, they know where you keep your camera. Paybacks can be costly.
Tweaking is not a Twitter function. Itís what you do to the photo after itís in your computer and you wish it was a little brighter, more colorful or cropped a certain way. You can download Picasa, a free photo processing program thatís really easy to use and FUN. Hereís the link: http://www.picasa.google.com
Congratulations! Youíre a photographer!