Photographers can become obsessed by lighting, yet many of us ignore the effect the angle of the sun can have on the pictures we take. Most people know the best times for photography are early in the morning and late in the afternoon, and many are aware that the low sun angle produces elongated shadows, which lend definition to subjects. But sun angle can have other effects on the ways in which digital camera sensor records the tones in image files. Understanding these effects can not only help you to use your camera more effectively; it can also illustrate the value of having equipment reviewed in the lighting conditions that apply where you live.
PANASONIC FEATURE: Panasonic’s Lumix 12 megapixel DMC- FT1 sets a new benchmark in the waterproof/shockproof compact category. Not only is it rugged enough to survive a tumble from your pocket, it will stay watertight at depths to three metres. And, because it’s not much bigger than a pack of playing cards, it stows easily and is light and small enough to take anywhere.
Taking digital photographs can make even experienced photographers let some aspects of their practice slip occasionally. Being able to shoot and review on the spot, and the enormous scope for post-capture tweaking of images can make digital photographers careless. Standards slip and before long you find the shots on those memory cards don’t meet your expectations. Or maybe, there aren’t any shots at all!
People are the most common subjects for everyday photography – with pets as a close second. Consequently, it’s no surprise to see the development of systems that make it easier to identify faces and adjust the focus and exposure of a camera to produce well-exposed and in-focus pictures.
Although firmware is defined by Wikipedia as a combination of hardware and software, when applied to digital equipment it generally refers to small software programs that control the operations of various internal components. Residing in the interface between the camera’s software and hardware, it is embedded in the microprocessor chip(s) that control all the device’s operations.
Exposure determination in modern cameras is largely automated, although advanced cameras let photographers override the camera settings and also set exposures manually. An exposure setting has two components: the lens aperture and the shutter speed (how long the light is allowed into the camera). A correct balance between them creates pictures in which all tones in the subject are recorded correctly.
Aside from the pictures you miss because you forget to carry a camera, two factors are responsible for the majority of missed shots everyday photographers report.