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   LEARN ABOUT digital photography from first principles to advanced techniques.

Before you buy: Make sure you buy the camera which is best for you.  go there . . .
What to look for and what it does:features and functions of the digital camera.
                 more . . .
Quick-start guide: start taking pictures right away.
                 more . . .
Versatility: the choices - from pixels to paper.
                 more . . .
Storage media and sharing your photos.  more . . .
Essentials of photography
      more . . .

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Versatility of digital photography

Explaining the main elements of the digital photography process
and how they relate and inter-react with each other: from pixels to print


  CAMERA  
   
Short-term Storage
memory card, flash stick, zip etc
Long-term Storage
CD, DVD, web
   
Process
PC, High St
  Print
Home / office printer, High St

buy cameras, camcorder, lenses, books, memory and accessoriesThere are eleven possible direct paths between the five main components of the digital photography process. From camera to print, and taking in storage, almost all of these are direct and can be achieved by the photographer.

This puts the photographer in control of the whole process, or gives the choice of handing over any element. This degree of control and choice is one of the main benefits and attractions of digital over chemical photography.

1.CAMERA
The camera is obviously the key of the whole process. The camera can hook up directly to a computer, even to a printer, but it is usually more convenient to use a card reader as an interim storage medium.

2.STORAGE: short-term
The memory card is sometimes described as 'digital film' because it is the medium on which the photograph is immediately stored. The card can stay in the camera while the pictures are transferred but there are many advantages in removing the card and using a card reader. The first of these is that cameras are heavy on battery power and you will be using this during transfer unless you go to the extra trouble of plugging it into the mains.
A card reader plugs into your computer and your photographs are available for viewing, editing, or transferring. Alternatively you can take the card along to any up-to-date processor and have your photographs printed directly from the card.
Many home printers these days will also print direct from the card.

3.STORAGE: long-term
The file which constitutes all of the information about a photograph (more than just the image) is the digital equivalent of a negative. Because it is digital data it will never degrade and will not reduce in quality however often it is transferred. This of course does not mean that the storage medium cannot degrade or that the file may become corrupt if improperly transferred but there is a wide choice of media and backups can be kept on moret han one.
The first medium is likely to be your hard disk on the computer but this should never be relied upon for longer than processing time.
The most popular medium at the moment is the CD, which is rapidly being overtaken by DVD.

4.PROCESSING
Processing used to mean the chemical development of a negative or transparency and and the creation of a subsequent print. With digital it is quite possible to go sttaight from camera to print, but let's assume that the picture isn't perfect. Once it is on the computer there is a vast array of software available to enable you to make simple corrections or crops, or to transform your photograph completely.

5.PRINT
Finally, to print. Although many people still keep it simple and take their snaps or masterpieces in to be printed, today's generation of inkjet printers, combined with photographis quality inks and papers, are capable of producing superb photographs at up to exhibition size prints.
Printers will produce a picture direct from the card or computer, or - via the computer - from a long-term storage medium.
There are also a number of online printshops which will accept your photograph by email and post the finished prints to you.

If there is one quality which makes digital excel over chemical photography it is the element of choice. You can control the whole of the process, or any part, at any stage.

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