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The Basics of Digital Photography

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1 The Basics of Digital Photography
By Dana Reese Welcome to our 6th Made In Alaska Webinar…we hope you enjoy the Webinar and find the information helpful. Tomorrow we will follow up with a brief survey on the webinar, and hope you will take 2-3 minutes to answer the questions and provide us feedback regarding the webinar. The Goal of this webinar is to teach you and motivate you to take your own photo’s of your products. Not only is doing it yourself cost effective, but with today technological advancements one can capture close to perfect photos, and then enhance the photos with photo editing software. I’m not a professional photographer by any means…I’ve basically just researched, practiced. 1st Poll – Do you have pictures of your product? 1

2 Poll #1 A poll will be displayed on your screen.
Please select the appropriate responses You have 15 seconds Do you have photographs of your product or services? Yes No If you don’t have photos of your product or services you need to get some. Either get pictures done professionally or take them yourselves. Bottom line is you need photos. 2

3 Do I Need Photographs of my Product?
The answer is YES! Absolute necessity to have digital photographs to market your product Brochures Web page Press release Juried shows Spotlight a new product Made In Alaska website Not many people would purchase a product with out seeing it first; especially if it is expensive. 3

4 Poll #2 A poll will be displayed on your screen.
Please select the appropriate responses You have 15 seconds Do you have a Digital Camera? Yes No If you don’t have photos of your product, invest in a digital camera 10 mgp camera at costco for $200.00 8 mgp camera at costco for $129.00 Digital Memory Cards are really Cheap Costco 4GB - $30-$40 4

5 Advantages of Digital Cameras
Save time Save money Memory cards hold large amounts of photos Easy to use programs for downloading photos Easy to use

6 Advantages of Digital Images
More creative control Use computer and photo-editing software to touch up and enhance pictures Instant, easy, photo sharing Website Photo gallery Going digital opens up a world of artistic and practical possibilities that you simply don’t have with film

7 Digital Camera Terms Resolution Image Quality File Formats
Media Storage Devices OPTICAL vs. DIGITAL ZOOM Exposure

8 Resolution Digital Pictures are made up of thousands of pixels
Pixels square “tiles” of color that make up all digital images. 1 Megapixel (MP) = 1 Million Pixels More Pixels = Better Image Detail and Quality More Pixels = Higher Camera Price Most digital cameras allow you to change the resolution setting Simply put, the greater the number of pixels in an image, the higher the resolution. And the higher the resolution, the better and larger the prints you can make. Most Cameras allow you to set your resolution…Set it to the maximum resolution…. However, keep in mind that higher resolution photos will take up more space on your memory card and in your computer.

9 Selecting the Image Quality
Good, Better, and Best These settings reflect the compression levels of photos Compression refers to the amount of image your camera collects when taking a photo Lower Compression = Large File Size High Compression = Small File Size The Image quality settings reflects the compression levels of the photos Compression refers to the amount of image your camera collects when taking a photo

10 Selecting the Image Quality
Best – Excellent Picture Quality, Large File Sizes, and Prints (11x17) Better – Acceptable Picture Quality, Medium File Sizes, Prints 8x10 and Smaller Good – Lowest Acceptable Quality, Good for Online Usage, Prints 5x7 and 4x6 The Image quality settings reflects the compression levels of the photos Compression refers to the amount of image your camera collects when taking a photo

11 To maximize both the resolution and clarity of your photos, set your camera on its highest resolution and Best Image quality setting

12 File Formats JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group
Most Common Format Low Quality - Compressed File Ideal for Web and TIFF – Tagged Image File Format High Quality – Uncompressed File Capable of Editing Intended for Printing RAW Digital Negatives Not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image The file format you choose doesn't affect the resolution of the photo

13 Media Storage Device Memory Stick CD DVD
Measured in Megabytes (MB) & Gigabytes (GB) Hard Disks Compact Flash 􀂄 Memory Stick 􀂄 Floppy Disk 􀂄 CD-R & CD-RWs 􀂄 Measured Back up your photos

14 Memory Cards Size does matter
Take as many pictures as needed; delete bad pictures, keep the good ones Limited Storage Higher resolution photos Takes up more storage space Lower resolution photos Takes up less storage space

15 Memory Cards Capacity # of Photos (jpeg format) 128 MB 98 256 MB 196
392 1 GB 784 2 GB 1,568 4 GB 3, 136 8 GB 6, 272

16 Digital Zoom vs. Optical Zoom
Most Cameras come with both Optical Zoom The lens changes focal length and magnification as it is zoomed. Image quality is high throughout the zoom range. Digital Zoom simply crops the image to a smaller size, then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame again zoom results in a significant loss of quality Optical is better because it maintains image quality by relying on the lens itself. Digital electronically magnifies a section of the image from the sensor, almost always resulting in a degraded image. Pay more attention to Optical Zoom because it will give you the results that you want.

17 Exposure Image affected by shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (sensitivity to light) Programmed auto exposure Camera selects proper aperture and shutter speed Very Convenient Exposure – is the amount of light that falls on to the film ISO The higher the ISO, the less light required to capture the image Higher ISO can also make grainy image ISO: A measure of film speed, the higher the number the faster the film. Raising the ISO allows faster shutter speed, smaller aperture can result in a grainy image Ideal picture is a combo of all three

18 Built-in Flash Very Convenient Low Power Limited Range 10-20 ft range
Prone to Red-eye very convenient low power limited range 10-20 ft range prone to red-eye

19 Flash Heads External Flash More Power Good Range Up to 100’
Ability to Bounce Light Eliminates Red-eye More Features and Flexibility Hot Shoe Flash Heads more power good range up to 100’ can bounce eliminates red-eye more features and flexibility

20 Tips for getting the most from on-camera flash
Stay within the Flash Range Turn on Additional Lights Avoid Reflective Surfaces 􀂄 Rule of Thirds 􀂄 Fill-Flash 􀂄 Kodak’s Top 10 Tips for Great Photos 􀂄 Infopeople Digital Photography 101 Tips

21 Taking Great Digital Photos
Know your camera Diffuser Close Up Stabilize Angles Lighting Top Ten Digital Tips

22 “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This quote goes a long way but not if you take a terrible photo Know your camera Learning just a few of your digital camera features can help in achieving powerful and meaningful photos Read your cameras manual! Read about the various features and play around with them Your camera’s manual will not only teach you what all the buttons on your camera do, but it will also teach you how different techniques.

23 Light Diffuser White-translucent fabric that is setup between a light source and subject “softens” Light Diffusing the light source allows for greater detail to be revealed Eliminates dark shadows and bright spots caused by direct light Tissue Paper With direct sunlight falling on the subject, notice the very bright spots and dark shadows on the subject. There is very little detail in the dark, shadowed areas and detail is lost in the bright “hot spots” as well. Overall, this kind of light is not very flattering to most subjects

24 Light Diffuser Captured without diffuser Captured with diffuser

25 Close Up – Zoom In Always get as close as possible to subject Zoom in
Removes background clutter Zoom in Beware: some auto focus cameras have limits on how close they will work Fill picture with the subject For small objects, use the camera’s Macro Mode and a Tripod Get close, then get closer • Zoom in, get camera closer to subject • Beware some auto focus cameras have limits on how close they will work Use Macro mode, enables you to shoot up close.

26 Take Vertical Pictures
Many subjects look better in a vertical picture Make a conscious effort to turn your camera and take vertical pictures Yes, it can be a little awkward to hold until you get used to it but, what a difference it can make to the picture. If you are taking a picture of one person then it is essential to shoot upright, you waste so much of the picture area at the sides if you don't. Wasted Space

27 Use Auto Focus Center the subject Press Shutter Button halfway down
Re-Frame your picture Finish by Pressing the Shutter Button all the way down Many Focusing Options – Auto, Manual,

28 Stabilize Tripods Use for sharp images Eliminates shake
Get a stiff tripod Great for close ups Tripods 􀂃 use for sharp images 􀂃 low light or night 􀂃 use mirror lockup 􀂃 eliminates shake 􀂃 get a stiff tripod

29 Use a Plain Background A cluttered background is distracting
Plain background will emphasize your subject Experiment with different color backgrounds Use sheets, towel, etc. While your subject will already have a color of its own, pay attention to how that color interacts with your background and foreground. If your subject is green and the background is green, your subject is liable to be hard to see in the image. In contrast, if your subject is red and the background purple, you may be able to see the subject very well but the clashing colors can distract from the subject.

30 Control Your Flash Turn it off experiment with available light
Know your flash range Pictures taken beyond the maximum flash range will be to dark Check your manual

31 Light Great light makes great pictures
Study the effects of light in your pictures Avoid strong over head lights that cast hard shadows Use a diffuser between light source and subject Diffuser spreads light over larger area of subject Use natural light to your advantage avoid harsh light behind your subject, watch out for dark shadows, and watch out for whites that glare in the light.

32 Light Manipulate the scene to create the effect you want
Move lights Move the subject Purchase additional light Professional Photo Studio Light Kit – 3 Head lighting set, stand and light bulbs ($149.00) Wireless Flash ($360.00) ours ($50.00 Cheapest) You need to manipulate the scene to create the effect you want, this might mean moving a light on a stand or moving your subject relative to the sun, or waiting for a better time of day to get the effect you want.

33 Angles Try different Angles Move the subject
Shoot your photo from different angles

34 Verify details in the display screen
For close-ups with a digital camera, use the display screen to compose the picture and then review it If you think it could be better, you can delete the picture and retake it The most common mistake people make when taking pictures is not filling the frame with the subject. Most cameras have some sort of circle or rectangle etched onto the glass and we are inclined to think, in our less thoughtful moments, that this is the whole picture area. Take a moment to glance around the viewfinder to see what you have got at the edges and especially in the corners. Watch out for clutter in the background Make sure that everything in the viewfinder is there because you want it to be.

35 Editing and Enhancing Digital Photos
With picture-editing software, you can enhance your pictures Recommend Photoshop Element (less than Costco) Photoshop Element Resize Rotate Crop Adjust Lighting Adjust Contrast Work with Tiff files One of the biggest advantages of digital photography is being able to edit photos with editing-software!

36 Create Your Own Studio A simple setup outside or inside by a window is all you need Create a plain background by draping a bath towel or solid-color sheet over something, or tacking it to the wall Smooth out any distracting folds Cheaper Be creative and create your own studio! You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just do whatever works best. There is no right or wrong way.

37 Purchase Portable Lighting Studio
Sunpak EBOX Portable Mini Studio Less than $80.00 Everything need to take professional studio-quality images Two 50 watt floor-standing lights Mini aluminum tripod with 3-way panhead Includes carrying case Pros Convenient and Complete Construction sturdy Backdrops are a good neutral color Cons Lights are poor

38 Practice, Practice, Practice
Experiment with lighting Experiment with different color backgrounds Experiment with different angles Have fun Read your manual Research online Take lots of pictures Create your own studio Hands-on In the Field 􀂃 Bring your camera! 􀂃 Bring your questions! 􀂃 Be prepared to experiment! 􀂃 Have fun! Take Lots of Pictures Try New Angles Camera Lights Subject Have Fun You Can Always Erase The Pictures That You Don’t Want

39 Resources The Complete Guide to Digital Photography
Michael Freeman Digital Photography Bible Desktop Edition Dan Simon The Joy of Digital Photography Jeff Wignall The Complete Guide to Light and Lighting in Digital Photography Digital Photography for Dummies Julie Adair King Listed are the resources which I used and think are really great. I highly recommend researching online. is a great site that has lots of info and tips.

40 Questions? Questions or concerns?

41 Made In Alaska Website Made In Alaska Permit Holders have the opportunity to display one photo on the Made In Alaska website, along with your business information. We Need Your Photos! Please your photo to Our goal is for all our Made In Alaska Permit holders to have a picture on our website! We don’t care if it is just your logo, or a picture of your staff…we want something! But, preferably a picture of your product.

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