While some of the least expensive digital cameras have only automatic focus, meaning the camera does all the work on bringing your subject into the best possible focus, most SLR digitals offer three different focus modes: manual, single auto focus and continuous auto focus. All three of these will be addressed here.
With manual focus, the camera stays out of the focus equation and you, the photographer, make all the decisions regarding this. This is done by setting different buttons or actually using an attached focusing ring that rotates on the camera lens. For those who like to have complete creative control of the finished product, this is the best focus mode.
In single auto focus mode, the camera automatically focuses when you press the shutter button either all the way down to shoot a photo or half way down to lock the focus. This mode is useful when shooting static objects.
In continuous auto focus the camera continuously focuses on the objects in the photo. In this mode the camera continuously corrects the focus as the objects distance from the camera changes. This mode is useful when you shoot photos of moving objects such as a race car during a race or airplanes during an air show. You can hold the shutter button half way down and continuously move the camera to follow the object. The camera will continuously keep the object in focus.
Like any other feature automatic and manual focus modes have their pros and cons. The first step to using them to your advantage is to understand how they work and what they were designed for. The next step is to experiment shoot photos using different focus modes and different types of objects and see how the camera behaves. Once you have done that you will be ready to instinctively use the best focus mode for each photo situation.
Have you ever wondered how a photographer gets such clear, detailed photos of things like flowers or insects? Capturing such close-up pictures is most often done with a setting that comes as an option on many digital cameras–the macro setting.
What the macro setting on your camera essentially does is focus on a very small area. The background often appears unfocused to further bring out your intended subject. Getting in close to capture all the detail of a small object is nearly impossible with the regular setting on a camera. Anything closer than about three feet becomes blurred. The macro setting changes the distance your camera will be able to focus and often allows you to take clear pictures from as close as two or three inches.
This camera mode allows for a lot of experimenting. Try taking a picture of a bee sitting on a flower petal or a close-up of frost on the window. You will be amazed at the details brought out. You will be able to almost feel the furriness of the bee and the ice crystals are beautiful.
If you are planning to sell at online auctions, a macro setting on your camera will help with taking better pictures–and better pictures help with sales. You can take close-up photos of such objects as stamps and coins, show the engraving on an object or allow a viewer to see that a piece of jewelry is flawless.
Don’t save your photo taking for big events exclusively. Take a walk and notice the little things like the pattern on a tree trunk or an ant carrying a bread crumb twice his size. There are interesting photos everywhere once you start to look, and the macro mode on your digital camera is the perfect tool for capturing them.
Have you ever wanted to find a way to bring extra money into your household–yet don’t have a lot of time to spend on a full-time endeavor? The solution is as close as the digital camera sitting there in a drawer. The following suggestions are only a few of the many ways you can make money in your spare time with your camera.
* Pet photos – Most owners won’t struggle to take a photograph with their pet all by themselves. You can be the one who makes it easy on them. Not only can you charge for the service and your time, but you can offer the photograph in it’s digital form or as a print that you can mail to them later – either created by your own photo printer or by a photo processing service.
*Graduations – preschool, high school, or college graduations offer dozens, if not hundreds of opportunities to capture a significant moment in someone’s life. If the family members of the graduate aren’t located in as good a location or don’t have as good a camera as yourself – you’ll have even greater opportunity at getting the shots they couldn’t.
*Holiday Family Postcards – offer your services to families that want their picture taken and put on a postcard that they can send to their extended family and friends.
*Photo Novelty Items – take photographs of people that want the pictures of themselves of their loved ones imprinted on coffee mugs, mouse pads, key chains, tee-shirts, and other items.
*Newborn photo service – parents of newborns are some of the busiest people in the world. Advertise your services on an on-call basis so that you can take informal snapshots for the growing family either before they leave the hospital, or after they get home. This way both parents and the child can be in more of the pictures all together, and the parents have one less thing to try and figure out
With all the features digital cameras have these days, you may find keeping batteries a problem. This could well be your biggest expense, but there are some things you can do to increase the length of time your batteries stay charged. Let’s start with the three biggest sources of power drain.
The LCD screen takes up the most power. It is possible to turn this feature off unless you really feel the need for it. Using the camera’s viewfinder will conserve power. Another big power drain is the flash. Whenever you can, use natural lighting to take your photos and turn off the flash. This will help save your battery for times when you absolutely need the flash. A third drain on your battery is constantly using your zoom. It takes more power zooming in and out than it does keeping your zoom at a steady place. Try to find a setting you like and sticking with it as much as possible..
Some other things you can do to make your battery last longer are::
* Make sure Power Saving mode is on, or simply switch off your camera when you’re not using it.
*In cold weather, keep your camera and batteries warm in your jacket until you are ready to use them. The cold drains batteries very quickly.
*Store batteries in a cool, dry location away from sunlight and other heat sources.
*Avoid unnecessary playback of your already taken images. Try to decide when you take the picture if it is a “keeper” or needs deleted and then refrain from reviewing until the pictures are downloaded to your computer.
*Use the AC adapter. Most digital cameras have an adapter that allows you to plug directly into a power point. If you don’t plan on moving around a lot and are near an outlet, the AC adapter will increase the life of your batteries.
Needing to buy more or recharge your battery is something you won’t be able to avoid completely, but with a few precautions this won’t be needed as often.