Sunday, September 23, 2012

Improve Your Photography

Today most of us know how to use our cell phones to snap a quick picture whenever we feel like it.  My 3-year-old granddaughter knows how to do this and regularly uses an old cell phone her parents’ gave her expressly for this purpose.  She likes to take pictures, which she thinks are hysterically funny by the way, of her baby sister’s chubby little feet.  She recently surprised me when she showed me a picture she had taken of her own face.   I wondered if she had figured out how to hold the camera at arm’s length and photograph herself so I demonstrated that technique and asked: “Did you take it like this?”  She said: “No, Nana, in the mirror.”  Wow!  What a smart child she is.

If you would like to improve your photography skills, the Fauquier County Viewfinders Camera Club will provide an overview on the basics of digital photography, from cameras to processing, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Warrenton Library. The program is free; registration is not required.

The library also has some great books on photography.  Someone like me would probably need to start with the absolute basics and read Jennifer Dowling’s Multimedia Demystified, and then progress to Digital Photography: A No-Nonsense, Jargon-Free Guide For Beginners by Steve Bravister. 
I’m an admirer of nature photography and have heard that it is very difficult to capture those mountain views and vistas.  John Clements offers some helpful tips in that regard in his book:  A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Landscape Photography. 

Those who are more comfortable with all things digital might want to check out The Life Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need to Shoot Like the Pros by Joe McNally, or The Complete Digital Photo Manual: Your #1 Guide For Better Photography. 
Snapping a picture is only part of the job when you use a digital camera.  There remains the task of editing and manipulating the picture on the computer.  This requires using some form of photo editing software.  For help with computer editing you might read Photoshop Elements 8 In Easy Steps for Windows and Mac by Nick Vandome, or, if you are already comfortable with the basics, try Advanced Digital Photography (Techniques and Tips for Creating Professional Quality Images) by Tom Ang. 
I haven’t even touched on the resources you can find at the library on the history of photography or on building scrapbooks or albums.  Come in and take a look and mark your calendar to attend the Viewfinders Camera Club program on October 6.  I hope to see you there.
Jeanne, Warrenton Library

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