Life Through the Lens

By - November 27th 2014.

Countless individuals have discovered the joy of viewing life through the lens of a camera.

Digital technology makes it the perfect time to get started.

Digital cameras come in a wide variety of styles bearing an equally wide variety of price tags. If you’re not familiar with digital cameras, you can choose the one that’s right for you with a little guidance from someone “in the know.” You may even want to borrow one from a friend or family member before deciding which one to purchase for yourself.

The photos you take appear on a screen. No more film. And no more developing all your pictures to see which ones you want to keep.

The more expensive cameras have a wide variety of attachments you can purchase if you find you enjoy photography—all kinds of lens and flashes, for example.

Tips for Choosing the Right Camera

1. Make sure the screen is big enough for you to see the images clearly.
2. Make sure you are able to change the batteries and SD card without assistance if at all possible. (The SD card is where the pictures are stored and some are very small.)
3. Make sure you can easily see the settings in order to select the best one.
4. Of course, cost is a factor. Don’t pay for several features you will never use. On the other hand, don’t settle for a model you’ll tire of easily. Your confidence and ability will grow, and you don’t want to outgrow your camera too quickly.

Tips for Picture Taking

1. Ignore the naysayers. No, it isn’t too late to take up photography. No, there isn’t a shortage of things to take pictures of—no matter where you live. No, it doesn’t matter if your shots are blurry. (After all you’re just learning. Plus, there are times the pros intentionally focus on one element of the picture and blur all but the primary subject.)
2. Go snap happy. You just never know when you’re going to capture an exceptional shot. Some award winning photos have been happy accidents.
3. Snap pictures of people and events you want to remember. Don’t worry if the photos aren’t perfect. Some moments should be immortalized even so. After all, they’ll never come again.
4. Look for beauty all around: in people’s faces, in the bouquet of flowers on the nurses’ desk, in the billowing clouds outside the window.
5. Just like paintings, photographs can be realistic or abstract. If certain shapes and/or colours catch your eye, snap a picture.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes the image you capture will be even more intriguing than you thought it was going to be.
7. Children make wonderful subjects for photos. Just remember to always ask the parents’ or caregiver’s permission to take pictures of children.
8. Of course, respect others’ right to privacy. If they don’t want you to take their picture, don’t.
9. Technically, you need signed model release forms and property release forms . . . especially if you publish your pictures, even on a family member’s Facebook page or blog—or your own.

Finding Resources

Borrow books on the subject of picture taking (especially digital photography) from the local library. You may also want to purchase a book or two that catch your attention. There are many available from brick and mortar stores as well as online.

Visit a local art gallery that features photographs. You just may get some great ideas for your own work.

Type “photographers” into your computer’s search engine. Visit a wide variety of sites and see how many amazing things can be captured with the camera lens.

What to Do with Your Photographs

Develop those you particularly like. (You may also want to save them to CD to either develop at a later time or replace photos that get damaged or lost over time.)

Keep your prints in a photo box to look through every now and then.

Buy a simple photo album to display your work. (It’s best not to use those with adhesive. The pages will eventually discolour and the adhesive makes it virtually impossible to remove the photos at a later time.)

Scrapbook your work—or ask someone else to do so for you.

Purchase a digital frame and upload your photos so they can cycle through. This makes a wonderful, space-saving way to preserve your favourite shots. Plus, digital frames with pictures you’ve taken yourself make wonderful gifts.

No matter what you do with your photos, enjoy exploring life through the lens.