oooo that's pretty neat. Only downside is that they don't make them anymore and I cant find a listing on ebay.. But anyhow just wondering maybe its just me who can't use a camera properly? ive been using my sister's 12.1MP digital (Canon pc1248.. pretty much no record of it on the internet at all) but I find it terrible with focusing on closeups... Maybe there's a setting I need to fiddle with or something but when I turn flash off my pictures are always a bit fuzzy? I don't really know :s
Just wondering though these photos are put through photoshop right? or another image manipulating software? is that usually a requirement for nice photos?
Well, I'm not really familiar with that model of Canon PC1248, but from pics I see on the 'net, it looks like a small "point & shoot". Is that correct? Anyway, a lot of digital cameras have 3 settings that affect the way the camera focuses ... "normal", "landscape" and "close-up". The close-up setting is usually designated by an icon of a flower. On mine, it has a button that cycles through these settings and the icons show up in the viewfinder/lcd screen. The close-up setting still won't let you get SUPER close (ie, "macro
" photography), but it will allow you to get closer
. Fore example, my pictures of the Iris and the butterfly, were taken just using the close-up setting on my camera. The grasshopper nymph and the spider were taken with the camera on the close-up setting and
using a +10 close-up lens (which screws on to that filter adapter I had mentioned before).
And in answer to using photo-editing software, I will say unequivocally ... yes - and no. All of the ones I've posted on Psypokes (including those above) were at the very least resized so they weren't as huge. Most of them were cropped a little (to improve framing, or to show off/isolate the subject a little more). The Iris was only resized for posting. Occasionally, if I have a photo which I really like (subject, focus & composition are the way I like them) but the exposure is slightly off, I will make adjustments using some software or other. In general if a photo needs large
adjustments to fix brightnes, contrast, gamma correction, and so on, I just delete it. If the focus is off (unless it's intentional for some reason) there is generally no fixing it - just delete it. For the most part I have found that when a photo needs large adjustments (such as trying to "fix" one that's badly overexposed), they still don't look good afterwards.
So, the short answer is yes, I do tweak my photos occasionally. For the most part I use software only to make small adjustments and if the photo needs large adjustments, I generally delete it. I prefer to rely on getting the photo as close to what I really want when I take it. The software is a nice thing to have, but is definitely not
a requirement for good photography.
There are two software packages I use. One is the Kodak "Easy Share" photo managing software that came with my camera - I use it for making quick, very minor adjustments. When I'm planning to do more, such as resizing, tweaking several aspects (like brightness, contrast, color saturation, etc.) and basically am doing more work on a given photo, I use PaintShop Pro 8.
Whatever you do, don't get discouraged. The great thing about digital cameras is that it doesn't really cost you anything other than time to take a LOT of photos. Do take a lot of photos of a given subject, change your exposure settings, change your composition, get closer, try further away ... in short, expirement. When you look at the photos on the computer, be critical
... and by that I don't mean just saying "this picture sucks" ... ask yourself why
does it suck? Is the focus off?
(Learn how your camera focuses - does it focus on a single subject in the center, does it have focus averaging across several spots, etc.) Is the photo over- or under-exposed?
(Again, learn how the camera determines exposure and learn if and how you can adjust it.) Is the composition wrong?
(It is usually more desirable to have your subject slightly off of center - the Yellow-headed Blackbird is a good example, and note how he has room in the direction he is looking.) Is your background too busy?
(My Nashville Warbler has a background that approaches being too busy - really is too busy for my likes. On the other hand, Ajit's sap beads and his Cicada are excellent examples of keeping your backgrounds simple.)
The flip-side of this is, when you're looking at your own (or anyone else's) photos that you really like . . . ask your self why
you like it. Look at those same things, composition, background, focus, exposure, and so on.
And one other suggestion (if you don't mind it), start with easy to photograph subjects; flowers, plants, sleeping dogs . . . essentially, things that don't move around a lot. On the other hand, if you see a good opportunity for something, jump on it. Take lots of photographs whenever you get a chance.
[Edit to add:] Here's a real good example of what I mean by "tweaking" - The following photos show the original picture I took, you'll note that, in an attempt to adjust for harsh sunlight, I under-exposed the picture. I still liked the picture, so I adjusted it by brightening, adjusting contrast and giving the color a bit of red-yellow to simulate a later-daytime sun (ie, towards sunset). This photo has about as much adjusting as I'm usually willing to do. BTW, the "original" photo is as is (except for being resized for uploading) it was not cropped or otherwise adjusted. Just in case you were wondering.
Hope this helps . . .