What To Look For In A Photography School

Unlike some school programs that are offered in all state universities and colleges, photography, as a full-pledged course, is not as common. In fact, only a handful of art schools have such a comprehensive program.

This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage for students who are interested in taking up photography as a course and not just as an elective in college. Finding the right school can be crucial and with only a few to choose from, it will either be easy or hard depending on your priorities and resources.

Location
Having so few photography schools can be a disadvantage, as most will probably be offered in New York or in other key cities in the country. Finding a good photography school will then create a problem with students who live far away from major cities.

Expenses

Spendings during school year should also be looked into as students will probably have to reside in dormitories. Also, one must remember that photography requires a lot of additional expenses for materials and projects. Students may need to buy their own camera and spend a fortune in films and developing. Look into the curriculum and if possible ask if equipment and other materials are already provided or included in the tuition fee.

Specialty

Before you submit your requirements and enroll, make sure that you have thoroughly research the program in photography that the school offers. Remember that there are schools that specialize in photography as a course. Look for that school and try your best to get in. The reputation that the school has will eventually serve you in good stead when you apply for a job.

Professors

College is not just the time to develop your skill but also to establish connections in the profession and perhaps, if one is lucky to also find a mentor. Research on the professors that would be teaching the course. It would be good if they are giants in the field and even better if they are people whose work you really admire.

Curriculum

Photography has different subfields. If you have already identified the sub-field that you want to concentrate in, you should look into the curriculum and make sure that it is included. If not, try to look into other photography schools, that do offer the subject. This way, you will be able to learn more about it and eventually concentrate on it. Still, it is also important to look into the overall curriculum and see what other areas of photography will be taught.

Using A Digital Camera Panoramic Photography Mode

Panoramic digital photos cover a wide angle of view. In its extreme a panoramic photo can cover 360 degrees of view. Such panoramic photos are for example taken from a sky scraper to convey the view it provides. Most new digital cameras provide a panoramic mode that supports such photography.

There is no formal or definitive definition of what a panoramic photo is. It is common practice to define panoramic photos as such that cover a wide angle of view. How wide? A common definition is wider than our eyes can see” or in other worlds provide an artificial view that otherwise we could not have gotten by just looking at the scene (without moving our head left and right or up and down of course). Panoramic digital photos can be taken in a single shot using special panoramic wide angle lenses. This technique is limited of course as for example a 360 degree panoramic photo can not be taken this way.

Another way in which panoramic photos are created is in segments a few photos are taken in series and are later attached to each other to create one big panoramic photo. The process of attaching the photos together is fast and easy thanks to modern digital photo processing software (as long as you’re following some guidelines when taking the photos). Panoramic photos are not limited to capturing landscape or wide angle view. They can be very useful when capturing objects that are just too big to be captured from where you stand. For example if you are standing too close to a tall tower and can not retreat to a farther position using panoramic photography will enable you to capture the complete tower (in 2 or more shots).

Most digital cameras support a special panoramic mode. In this mode the camera optimizes its optical settings for panoramic wide angle photography. But more than just setting the optical parameters the camera also provides tools that allow you to more easily take the photos series and later on stitch them together. When put in panoramic mode the camera will first let you choose if you plan to take a horizontal panoramic photo (i.e. taking photos from left to right or right to left while keeping the vertical position fixed) or to take a vertical panoramic photo (i.e. taking the photos from bottom to top or top to bottom while keeping the horizontal position fixed). You can also choose a combination.

After you choose the panoramic mode the camera will let you start taking the photos. On its LCD screen you would always see the previous photo you took and the new photo you are taking. This allows you to easily compose each photo in a way that it complements the previous one. You would also want to make sure the photo overlaps a bit with the previous photo this allows for easier photo stitching later on. The camera also names the digital photos files in a special format that further helps stitching.

Photo stitching can be easily done on a computer at home. Many digital cameras come with a photo stitching software. If your digital camera did not come with one you can find either free or low priced commercial software that can stitch single photos. Basically what the photo stitching software does is: based on the photo file names it orders the photos in their right order. Then it identifies the overlapping areas in each pair of photos and places the photos in a way that these overlapping areas match (this is why having a bit of overlap is important). The final step is to attach all those pairs of files and create a single panoramic digital photo.

It is a good practice to use a tripod when taking panoramic photos. A tripod will help you maintaining either a fixed horizontal or a fixed vertical position. Also it is good practice to keep the optical settings fixed between shots and to make sure that the lighting stays the same. As always practice makes perfect go and experiment with panoramic photography and master your digital camera panoramic mode.

How Do I Get Started In Digital Photography, The Ins And Outs Of Great Photography

Whether you are a seasoned photographer or a novice, or just someone who want to do photography as a hobby, the first thing you need to be clear on is, what exactly is digital photography?

Digital photography is the use of a digital camera to capture; take an image that can be viewed on a computer screen. The main benefits of digital photography are:

You can see the result of your work right away
You can delete unwanted photographs instantly
You can easily and cheaply edit your photographs by improving the tone, retouching some areas, adding background etc.
Digital photographs can be send instantly via email
Except for batteries you do not need to constantly buy items to use in digital photography such as films.

Next you will need to decide on the type of digital camera to buy. This will of course depend on the following factors:

How much money you can spend
What is your goal, that is, why do you need to take digital pictures: business, hobby, personal
What functionality do you want with your camera

There are two basic types of digital camera, the DSLR-Digital Single Lens Reflex- and automatic. If you are really serious about digital photography you will want to get yourself a DSLR since this type of camera gives you more control.

In making a decision on type of digital camera also explore the types of storage media available and see which one may be best for you. The two most popular storage media for digital camera are flashcards -digital film- and microdrives. The storage media in a digital camera is really important; it is what holds the pictures. It is important to read reviews and talk to other users of digital cameras to determine the type of memory, and the capacity of the memory -how much images can it hold- you will need. I recommend flash cards since they have no moving parts and are more reliable.

After you have decided on the type of digital camera to purchase, you must now look at the other types of equipment you need to make a success of digital photography. A good personal computer and printer is needed, especially if you do not wish to pay to have your pictures printed elsewhere.

Your computer is important because this is where you will download, store, edit, review and any number of other things to your photographs. If you are using an older computer, make sure your operating system is compatible with the camera and software you will be using.

If you plan to do this professionally, you will also need to invest in software to help you get the most out of your digital photographs. Software used by professional digital photographers include Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady.

How to take great digital photographs

There are seven main steps to ensuing that you take professional looking digital photographs. These are:

Subject: Pose your subject with care. Even with the best software some faults cannot be totally corrected.
Lighting: Right light is important in digital photography as the appearance of your subject will be affected if lighting is wrong. Too harsh a light will show up wrinkles
ISO calibration: To ensure that your pictures do not come out looking like they were done by a total novice, check to ensure that your camera is properly calibrated. Getting the right camera setting can be the difference between brilliant pictures and blah.
Composition: Good photography is an art form, so your background is as important as your subject. Too much clutter in your picture will make the result look unprofessional.
White balance: If you want to ensure that your photograph has natural looking colors, then make sure to manually set the white balance.
Do not be afraid to experiment: Do creative crazy things with your camera, the results may just surprise you. Remember, with a digital camera you can always delete the images if you do not want to keep them.
Zoom and flash: Practice using these features until you find what works best in different situations.

One point to remember about digital photography is that it cannot turn a lousy photography into a professional overnight, but with practice and learning you can become good at photography using a digital camera. And, with enough talent, business savvy, luck, downright determination and love of the craft you might even be able to turn it into a business venture.

Photography Just What Does It Mean

Photography got its name from the Greek words “photos” which means light and “graphein” meaning to draw. The first person to use this term was the scientist Sir John Herschel in the year 1839. Thus, photography means the method or process of registering images with the aid of light , related radiation, on a medium that is made of sensitive materials.

The first image

During one summer day in the year 1827, the Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce was able to achieve the creation of the first image that was fixed by working on it for 8 hours.

His compatriot, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre on the other hand was able to lower exposure time to a period of less than 30 minutes as well as preventing the captured image from disappearing.

Daguerre and the daguerreotype

Daguerre was the first to invent the most practical process for developing pictures during their time. He was born to a place in close proximity to Paris, France. Before experimenting on photography, he was a professional painter of various scenes in operas.

After many years of experimentation with light and its effects on images, Daguerre was able to develop a process to make pictures that were more efficient and effective. He sold the rights to the French government then wrote a book describing his invention.

The pinhole camera

Ibn Al-Haytham, who lived in the middle ages, was a greatly known in the field of optics. The pinhole camera was invented by Al-Haytham with the resulting image viewed upside down. A European named Della Porta was able to re-invent the pinhole camera, this enabled him to publish information regarding the pinhole camera.

The flashbulb

An Austrian named Paul Vierkotter is credited to be the first person to invent the flashbulb. He used a wire coated with magnesium which was placed in a glass globe that was vacuum sealed. This was later replaced with an aluminum foil inside an enclosure filled with oxygen.

The flashbulb became commercially available in the year 1930. It was patented by a German national, Johannes Ostermeier. The flashbulbs were called “vacublitz”. General Electric, a company engaging in suh ventures made their own version which was termed “Sashalite”.

Instant photos

You can take instant pictures using a polaroid camera. This type of camera was created by Edwin Land. His work on photography enabled a new age in photography wherein pictures can be obtained instantly. The exposure time was no longer a factor.

These are some fast facts that wil help you understand more the history of photography. Having a clear idea of how photography started will help you with your passion for pictures.

Digital Photography Equipment

What do we mean by Digital Photography Equipment?

Digital cameras are in vogue today and almost everyone carries one everywhere. It reminds one of the Japanese tourists in Europe or America decades ago who became the best ambassadors of Canon, Ikon, Yashika and other famous brands. Today the same companies are manufacturing digital photography equipment and competing with other digital firms around the world. Good and sharp results have always been the requirements of the photographer and digital products do offer the best there is in the world today.

But it is not only about digital cameras alone! One also need several other equipment as ancillaries before your collection of a digital studio or even that small hobby room is complete. With computers controlling the processing and printing of photographs, it is essential to learn a bit of information technology as well to be successful in the use of digital photography equipment.

What equipment do we require for Digital Photography?

Quite obviously the first piece of equipment is a digital camera! The market is full of different makes and models of this product and one need to be very careful in choosing one for their use. For a novice the basic models will suffice while for the professional one may go for a SLR model that is much more sophisticated and has a lot of useful features.

The memory chip or key is an essential part of the digital camera and depending on the usage is rated in terms of MB capacity of storage, just like a hard disk or RAM memory chip!

The batteries used in digital photography equipment are important and only Nickel Metal Hydride or NIMH rechargeable cells must be used. The charger is an important part of the digital equipment and a 4-cell charger is recommended. At least 8 to 10 hours charging is required for the batteries to retain a useful charge life.

The advantage of a digital camera is that you can easily take snapshots of the family and even use the inbuilt self timer to do a remote photographic session. For this one requires a good standard tripod for best results. The tripod will ensure trouble free photography of even moving objects and is imperative as an ancillary to this hobby. This digital photography equipment is only the basics and several optional items can still be purchased.

The software that accompanies the digital camera is without fail the most important item in digital photography. It not only provides proper drivers for the operating system being used, but also bundles variety of image processing software and viewers to facilitate your handling of those lovable pictures that your digital photography equipment took!

Finally, it is always worth your while to review and investigate the multitude of digital cameras and items available in the market. The Internet and off line stores offer great discounts and models to suit almost every taste. One must also check those who have purchased digital photography equipment at one time or the other and have experienced the immense pleasure one gets out of this – let us call it – a social hobby!