digital cameras.jpeg

 The introduction of digital photography has been accompanied by actions that can be taken when photographing a scene that are beyond the control of the photographer. Built–in software accomplishes on site the adjustments made manually by the photographer in the days of film. Unfortunately, many owners of the digital cameras have very little insight into what lies within their grasp. To enlighten and fortify the use of the digital camera, Fred Shapiro will be teaching a one-day program “Understanding Your Digital Camera, “ Thursday, November 14th at 2:00 PM in the Annapolis Room in Clubhouse 1. The program is free but residents should register with E&R since there is a maximum of 20 students for the program. 

 Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and manuals to the class. While the built-in software is comparable from the least expensive to the most expensive digital cameras, the terminology and location on the camera differs by manufacturer. There will be time during the class for one-on-one instruction, as well as the opportunity to show your pictures for critique by the class. 

In the days when one used film in most cameras, the photographer had to use a separate light meter to measure the scene, enabling him or her to select the appropriate lens aperture and speed based on the ASA sensitivity of the film  to capture the image. The set the scene and focus manually. Based on the action within the scene, a speed for the shutter was necessary, this influencing the aperture opening. Everything had to be thought through and designated by the photographer.

 What many do not understand about the digital cameras of today, even the least expensive, is that the cameras now house software that enables the photographer to tailor the photographs according to the subject of the scene, action and lighting automatically. Each variation in subject is encompassed in what is called a Mode, or, in other words, a programmed category that will automatically consider the lighting, action, and depth of field that is peculiar to the subject. These are used to properly capture the image under all types of situations. 

In considering the purchase of a digital camera, one should be aware of the differences in the built in software, mainly expressed in the cost of the camera, and what will be needed for the photos they will be taking. Normal family and travel images do not require the more expensive cameras. They have adequate ability to cover many subjects. However, if one is looking for sports or wildlife subjects that are taken from a far off distance, the requirements change and these must be considered in the type of camera one buys and its accessories.

 In addition, many cameras now have a limited amount of in house editing that can be done to improve some of the basic features of the captured image.

Fred has been photographing anything and everything since he was a teenager, and has been active in the education about digital photography since its inception. He has been a member of the Rossmoor Camera Club since moving into Leisure World in 2003.