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Digital Photography



The world of digital photography can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it. With the ability to shoot, view, review, shoot again, crop, edit, and send in a matter of minutes, what's not to love?

Now that you have a new digital camera, let's look at a few things that will help you get the best results from it.

The first key to understanding your camera is resolution. Resolution is measured in pixels, which is short for picture element, which refers to the tiny "cells" that gather information in a digital camera.? (More pixels means higher resolution, so a higher-resolution camera means you can enlarge images without losing detail. The higher the megapixels, the better the resolution. Megapixel simply stands for one million pixels.) 

Keep a spare set of batteries nearby, and remember these pointers to conserve battery power:

  • Viewfinder more, LCD less: Use the viewfinder to frame pictures and verify that you've captured a shot. Be sure to turn your camera off when not in use.
  • AC does it: Power the camera from a wall socket whenever you transfer images, if possible.


Once you've taken your photos, you'll want to download, store, print, or e-mail, or all of the above! Your camera came with the software you need to download, so just follow the onscreen instructions. You can save battery power by plugging in with an AC adapter during the download process. Or, you can "dock" your camera by placing it in a connecting cradle (if a cradle is available), pressing the Download button, and following directions. Connecting the cradle directly to your printer via USB cable will allow you to print without your computer. If you don't have a cradle, most digital cameras come with either a FireWire/IEEE 1394 connection or USB cable (often both) to get you downloading in no time.

Basic tips before you click:

  • Have fun: Capture those "unposed" outtake photos, they're often the best! Be casual and try to capture those spontaneous laughs, funny expressions, and candid interactions.
  • Get a little closer: Stand within two to four feet of your subject to minimize background. Think 90% subject and 10% background. For a more interesting composition, don't place your subject smack-dab in the middle of the photo; frame them off center.
  • Get down: Get a new perspective from above, below, or behind.
  • Go natural: Use natural light if possible (near a window or filtered sunlight).
  • Move it: Reposition your subject until you're happy with the composition.
  • Try again: That's the beauty of digital: If you don't like the picture you took, delete it and try again. No worries about wasting film.

Transferring pictures to your computer frees up your camera's memory card, but it can also quickly fill up your hard drive. And what if your computer crashes? Your memories could be lost to posterity. Here's a bit of sage advice: Save your photos to a rewritable DVD. It has seven times more storage capacity than a CD, and it's easy to store and share. Best yet, with LightScribe technology, you can burn beautiful, customized, professional-looking labels onto your discs to let everyone know that this is "Hunter's First Birthday" or "Mom and Dad's Cruise to Hawaii."