Basic Photography Tips

Digital Photography School has a great post on 13 Lessons to Teach Your Child About Digital Photography that apply to anyone interested in learning more about photography. My favorite lessons include…

  • Hold a camera straight
  • Get in close
  • Balance between photographing things, people and places
  • Rule of thirds
  • Focal lock
  • Different modes for different situations

Of course how old your child is and their interest in photography depends on how deeply you can get into these subjects.

Three great photo web sites

Photo portfolio sites are moving beyond the simple Photoshop/Fireworks exported images thrown onto a page to where the site should showcase the photographers vision and personality while being cutting edge in order to attract new clients. Layers Magazine looks at three distinct approaches to photographers web portfolios.

My favorite photo portfolio sites are CSS driven sites that are easy to navigate and showcase the images with plenty of white (or black) space. I really don’t care for the flash driven sites with images thrown all over the place where you to make your mouse do back flips to get around.

Canon problems and service

I have had a Canon Powershot A95 digital camera since April 1995. I bought the camera to take with us to Maui and it took awesome photos, but after I got my Canon 20D Digital SLR I haven’t used it for much more than shooting videos. Today, I was shooting video of my kids with it and after I took a couple of seconds of video the LCD went black with some brown highlights and light streaks. Every second of video I took after that looked just like that LCD screen: black with brown highlights and light streaks. I could go back and look at older movies that I had shot and they looked fine, but the new video looked horrible. It was obvious to me that the image sensor was knocked off center or had a short in it or something. I thought the camera was trashed since it has been out of warranty for at least a year already.

Just to make sure there wasn’t anything I could do I visited Canon’s support website and found a Service Notice describing my problem exactly and offering a free repair. I called their toll free service number and now they are sending me a shipping label to send my camera in for a free repair.

That is great service! I have recommended Canon digital point and shoot cameras to friends and students for a number of years because of their quality photos, custom settings, ease of use and durability. Just when I thought I had found a flaw in their product, I discover instead that I can add great service and integrity to the list.

New color filter promises sharper picts

Kodak is introducing a new lowlight color image sensor filter that will producer crisper photos. The new filter uses “panchromatic cells that are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light and collect a larger amount of light striking the sensor.” Then, a computer algorithm converts the electronic pulses from the cells into an image file. Kodak’s general manager of the photography company’s image sensor, Chris McNiffe, said “We’re talking about a 2-to-4-times improvement in (light) sensitivity.” The new filters will be incorporated first in mass-market point-and-shoot cameras and camera-equipped mobile phones beginning sometime next year. The new filter will be used in low-end phones first because camera phones are using smaller sensors to begin with and smaller sensors generally mean smaller pixels, which means lower sensitivity.”

New format to replace JPEG?

Today at PMA ’07 Microsoft announced a new “Photo HD” format. According to the Microsoft press release…

“HD Photo offers compression with up to twice the efficiency of JPEG, with fewer damaging artifacts, resulting in higher-quality images that are one-half the file size. In addition, HD Photo offers increased image fidelity, preserving the entire original image content and enabling higher-quality exposure and color adjustments in the image. This new format offers the ability to decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, or the option to manipulate the image as compressed data.”

Is this going to be like PNG replaced GIF or actually going to work?