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Digital photography for beginners -
So, I've taken my photo.... now what?
processing and editing images (new window)
Having captured your image there are numerous options of what you can do next.
The ability to review your images directly after taking them on your camera lcd screen, is perhaps one of the most significant advantages of digital versus film photography. Aside from the thrill of being able to immediately see your masterpiece, it provides valuable feedback allowing you to check the reality of how you framed your shot (you may notice a lamppost appearing to grow out of aunt Mabel's head that wasn't so obvious when you took the photo), or perhaps the photo appears too light or dark, it may be that the subject is out of focus or blurred due to the movement of your subject or camera shake. Maybe the colors don't seem quite the same as they appeared to your eye or it could be that you simply don't like the photo (perhaps you inadvertently captured aunt Mabel squinting, blinking or yawning!). In all these cases you can choose to adjust your camera's settings and/or re-frame the subject and give it another go!
Your camera will come with a cable and some software that lets you hook it up to a computer (or directly to a printer). Some of the latest cameras even allow you to use a WiFi memory card that permits you to transfer the images wirelessly. Alternatively it is possible to extract the removable memory card from the camera and connect it via a card reader and copy the files this way.
If your images were shot in camera RAW they will need further processing before they can be printed or viewed in most image display software. But even if you shot in JPEG format, although it is possible to proceed directly to printing or sharing your photos, it is often a good idea to put them through some further processing first.This can range from optimizing the image size and format for print or web display (or both), making enhancements to the image such as removing red eye, or cropping to improve composition, or adjusting color, contrast, or the sharpness of the image. With powerful image editing software such as photo shop it is possible to manipulate the image in an almost limitless number of ways.
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With digital photography removing the constraints of expensive film, and with many modern cameras shooting numerous frames per second in burst mode, it is quite possible to end up with 1000s of images on your computer. It is a good idea to develop some good habits for sorting, categorizing and labeling your photos so you can easily find your keepers. It can be a good idea to simply delete any real duds - but a word of caution, it may well be that a photo that you consider a dud now - can be turned in to your favorite masterpiece at later date by some more advanced post processing as your skills and knowledge improve (or maybe after an upgrade to more advanced photo editing software). Digital storage is relatively inexpensive (with prices dropping all the time. So my advice is if in doubt, keep it! - after all you can always choose to delete it at a later date.. but once its gone.. its gone forever.
And finally a "Digital photography for beginners" top tip -
I seriously suggest you get into the habit of keeping backup copies of your images in a safe and separate location to your computer hard drive. Losing your computer due to accident, theft or failure is bad enough but if you lose the only surviving images you have of aunt Mabel you will kick yourself forever.
processing and editing images
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