Jim Bell's Home Page

Table of Contents:

This is the book that I'm suggesting you may like to use.
Start-up time, Shutter lag, Image resolution, Display Resolution
A mind map about factors ... when buying a digital camera
Focus modes, Digital Focus: Choose the right Exposure Mode....
Picassa is the main tool for this course but it has it's limitations.

Digital Photography Tips for Beginners
A large proportion of the readers of Digital Photography School classify themselves as beginners - so we thought it might be helpful to have a page set up that collates some of our Digital Photography Tips for Beginners.

NB . Use of italics. In these notes I intend to use extensive quotation of external sources, I'll put these in italics.
I will attemp to always link to the external source that I obtained the information from.
In very many cases I will use Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) as my source
My own work will be in manuscript.(ie. not italics) Check on Page Two for a list of other sources.

Digital Photography - in easy steps [Go back to the top of the page]

This is the book that I'm suggesting you may like to use.

Digital Photography in easy steps, 5th edition


Their also seems to be one called "Digital Photography for Seniors in easy steps"


On the left of the board is where we talked about a digital picture being made up of "Picture Elements" (pixels). The more pixels you have, the more detail you have in an image. BUT they have to be "good pixels" (sharply focused and properly organised) so you need a good lens and a good processor inside the camera as well as enough pixels to give you the detail that you need.

This "mind map" shows some of the considerations when you come to buy a camera

Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) is a great resource


"Welcome to Digital Photography Review
Here you will find all the latest digital photography and imaging news, reviews of the latest digital cameras and accessories, the most active discussion forums, a large selection of sample galleries, a digital camera database and buyers guide and the most comprehensive database of digital camera features and specifications. We believe in quality, original, unbiased content. Make us your home page, add us to your bookmarks or to your Google Toolbar. We have had 888,125,594 visits since January 1999."

Picassa: Find, organise and share your photos


Find, organise and share your photos. Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you: • Locate and organise all the photos on your computer. • Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks. • Share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web: it’s fast, easy and free.

Go Here to take a tour of Picassa

Start Up Time and Resolution [Go back to the top of the page]

Start-up time
"You will have noticed that after turning on your digital camera, it takes some time before it is ready to use. Start-up time with digicams is usually between 1 to 4 seconds, which is considerably longer than with conventional compact cameras. The reason for this is that the built-in processor will have to do a “self-test” to determine all the settings, load the operating system (just like a PC) and get everything ready for action."

Shutter lag
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutter_lag"Shutter lag is much more of a problem with digital cameras. In digital cameras, the delay results from the charging of the CCD and relatively slow transmission of its capture data to the circuitry of the camera for processing and storage."

Image resolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_resolution"Image resolution describes the detail an image holds. The term applies equally to digital images, film images, and other types of images. Higher resolution means more image detail."


Display Resolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution"The display resolution of a digital television or computer display typically refers to the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed."
Click the picture for a larger view
Shutter Lag - What is it?
http://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/shutter-lag.html One of the most frustrating problems some people run into with digital cameras is the characteristic known as shutter lag. How many times have you waited for the right moment to take a shot, only to spend the next second waiting for the camera to take the picture, if at all? Meanwhile, your perfect shot has vanished from view. This is shutter lag.


The link above gives a good description of various factors involved in shutter lag including, Autofocus Lag, Shutter Release Lag and Startup Delay

Different pixel resolutions
"Below is an illustration of how the same image might appear at different pixel resolutions,
if the pixels were poorly rendered as sharp squares (normally, a smooth image reconstruction from pixels would be preferred,
but for illustration of pixels, the sharp squares make the point better)".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_resolution

How to select a camera [Go back to the top of the page]

This is a mind map exploring factors to keep in mind when buying a digital camera or any other piece of technology.
Technology purchases are different to many othe purchases due to the speed of change in the development of the industry.
It's a sad fact that your wonderful device will only too soon become "Old Fashioned" .... but remember ...
your new device will always be able to do what you bought it for just as well as the day you bought it.
Below are links to some articles about buying a digital camera

How To Select the Right Digital Camera for You
Factors To Consider When Buying A Digital Camera
Want to buy a Digital SLR?
Digital Cameras: The Essential Buying Guide
Digital Photography Review™ is an independent resource dedicated to the provision of news, reviews and information about Digital Photography and Digital Imaging published at the Internet address www.dpreview.com™.


Digital Photography Reviev is the site I usually use to check out a camera

Digital Cameras Buying FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) http://www.faqs.org/contrib/dc/dc-faq.html

Camera Modes & Controls [Go back to the top of the page]

Focus modes
http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-features/camera-modes/focus-modes.php Most consumer digital cameras often have more than one focusing mode.

Digital Focus: Choose the Right Exposure Mode

Metering mode
In photography, the metering mode refers to the way in which a camera determines the correct exposure.

(a very good explanation)

Understanding... Exposure Compensation

Exposure compensation
(Wikipedia - No Pictures)

Exposure Compensation
-In many extreme situations, you perhaps should not trust the exposure information provided to you by the camera exposure meter. In these cases, you need to use Exposure Compensation for exposure adjustment.
(This is a simple clear article with good example photos)

TUTORIALS: WHITE BALANCE -- White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo.
(Good clear pictures well explained)

Rule of thirds

'Rule of Thirds'
Perhaps the most well know principle of photographic composition is the ‘Rule of Thirds‘.
(Good clear pictures well explained)


Image Editing Software [Go back to the top of the page]
*All prices are either from the internet or from phone calls (March 2008), they may or course be subject to change.

Image Editing Software.
Picassa is the main tool for this course but it has it's limitations.
When it comes to rebuilding photos or making more elaborate .
changes we need to go from a photo management tool to a
photo editing tool. The king, of course, is Photoshop but at A$1155
(A$3205.00* for the full suite) that's too much for most of us!

My recommendations:
Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 on the other hand is only $155* (web site)
(Harvey Norman price $159* ask for a deal and you may get it cheaper.)
This is an outstanding program and well worth the money.

Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 Paint Shop Pro has many of the same features as the full Photoshop but is cheaper. (Harvey Norman price $199*) Since you can use it to make cards and other things as well as edit photos its quite good value.( Website RRP is $159* so show them this price and they should match it.)

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software
Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface. Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance.
(Download link here)
Some mucking about is needed to install it but this is a good quality program for free!

ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5 ( Free 30 day trial )(Version 5.5 $79.99 ) is the perfect photo editor for both beginners and enthusiasts. It boasts the high-end features needed to perform sophisticated image manipulation procedures and presents itself with a user interface that is simple, intuitive and completely customizable
This program is often supplied free with some scanners or cameras.

Note keep checking back in this section as I'm still researching and intend to add more free programs

Adobe Photoshop CS3 web site.

Wikipedia entry about Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6

This is a link to Adobe's site

Click here for more info from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Harvey Norman price $159*)


How to delete all the pictures on your Camera Card
-(Format Card)- This is how I clean off my card.
FIRST make sure you really want to clean off your card. This means that you have the pictures copied on to a CD or the hard drive or your computer AND you want the space on your card freed up.

Each camera is different but by looking in the settings you should be able to find a menu option called (Format Card) this will create a new card, as far as the camera is concerned, and may also solve problems that the camera may have had in reading the files on the card. Don't format the card using your computer or it may cause trouble. Also don't use your computer to delete files. It's OK to let Picasa do it for you but if you try to do it manually you can end up with a card that your camera still thinks is full.
Picasa Help
This is the main page for Picasa's online help
Example of Kodak "Format Card" procedure
This is one example. NB all cameras do it differently!
Importing, Exporting and Saving Using Picasa
also from Picasa's help site.

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