Digital Camera Projects

Practice New Skills and Use New Features of Your Camera

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November 25, 2004

Photograph Your Family

Since a major holiday is upon us, this project makes perfect sense right now. Of course, there is a small catch.

The goal of this project is to capture photos of your relatives and loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday. The trick will be to take photos of them that don't look like every other Thanksgiving holiday.

If your camera has a black and white setting, switch to that, especially if you've never taken black and white photos. Change the white balance on your camera, adjust the focus.

Think of new and creative ways to pose your family members for group photographs so that they don't look quite so static. Some of your family memebers will be willing, others won't want to participate.

The camera-shy are best captured when they are not paying attention and are relaxed. Use your zoom lens creatively to capture shots without being right in front of the person you're photographing.

Do anything and everything you can think of to come up with at least one truly unique image. While you will probably wind up with a lot of photos you have to discard (this is typical of experimentation), you may also find one real gem, something that breaks out of the standard holiday photograph mold.

Posted by Chris at 08:00 AM

November 03, 2004

Same Object, Different Light

This week's project is going to require some diligence on your part. It's a bit on the tedious side, but once we're done I hope you will have learned something valuable from it.

The goal this week is to pick one object or subject (only one now, no cheating) and spend an entire day photographing it. Change your camera settings as necessary to get a correct exposure, by try very hard to maintain the same framing in each photo you take. Always photograph your subject from the same angle.

This exercise should help you see the color of light. Since you are taking a photo of the exact same thing at the exact same angle throughout the course of the day, the only variable that is changing is the color and quality of the light.

You should notice a distinct difference between morning, noon and afternoon in terms of colors, contrast and mood.

Once you've done this exercise, view the photographs on your computer, but also make sure to order some prints. Looking at the color in the prints is what's really going to open your eyes to the subtle light differences at different times of day.

Once you have determined how the time of day affects the quality of light, you can go on to photograph other subjects, and intentionally wait for a certain time of day to get your photograph just right.

Posted by Chris at 08:25 AM