What Is Digital Photography?

Today, with almost every person having a smartphone that has a camera app pre-installed, people no longer view digital photography as an expensive hobby or skill. Almost everyone can take some sort of picture now!

Instead of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to learn how to use a DSLR (digital SLR), you can pick up a much cheaper beginner’s piece of equipment – a smartphone!

Many people have made their living off of their creative skills in taking pictures using only their phone for the tools they needed to hone their craft.

With this article, I will go over everything you need to know about taking good photographs with your smartphone. It is very affordable and you do not require any special training to start doing it!

I will also discuss what types of photos are worth investing in and which ones are not. This way, you will be able to determine if these tips help you achieve that goal or not.

History of digital photography

what is digital photography

Before there was ever a term like ‘digital photography,’ we had analog photography. This means that instead of capturing an image with light directly exposed onto film or paper, we use electronics to create our pictures.

The first instances of this happened in the 19th century when people used photogenic drawing (or PhotostiPrinting) to make their own photographs. You would expose photographic plates using strong natural sunlight, then develop them and put a pencil layer over the picture to write your caption!

In the early 20th century, some photographers experimented with exposing chemical emulsions on transparencies to create what is now called a photocopy photograph. But it took until the 1960s for most professional studios to fully adopt the technology as standard equipment.

That all changed in 1975 with the invention of solid state photography by George Eastman. He originally marketed his new tech as Velvia, but soon rebranded it as DSLR – digital still camera re-enameled.

Since then, digital photography has gone through many different phases and styles, from large format cameras designed for landscape work to pocket-sized models. We even have self-produced photos via apps like Instagram!

But one thing hasn’t changed: digital photography is here to stay. It’s not only faster and more convenient than older techniques, but also gives you much higher quality images.

Different types of digital photography

what is digital photography

There are several different ways to take pictures with your smartphone or other camera device.

Ways of taking digital photos

 

A very important part of any kind of photography is knowing how to take pictures! There are several different ways to do this, with most photographers having more than one way they like to take their own photographs.

Some prefer shooting with a still camera, while others enjoy using a smartphone or webcam as their tool. Some use special lighting equipment such as large softboxes or tripods and studio lights, and some even create their own light source or use an existing one (such as natural sunlight).

Whatever your style, there’s sure to be something out there that will help you achieve your photographic goals! While it’s great to have a lot of shutterbugs in your life, it can get annoying when they go off and try to teach each other what their tools are.

Understanding your camera settings

what is digital photography

When taking pictures with your smartphone, computer or other device, it is important to know how to use your equipment!

Just like with any type of photography, there are several key parts that make up the picture. These components include light exposure, shutter speed, and focal length (or lens size).

Light exposure refers to whether the photo is overexposed or under exposed. Overexposed photos look very bright but no details can be seen, while an image that is too dark has lost its shape and detail. An adequate amount of light makes sure the pixels in the photograph are well-defined and visible.

Shutter speed also plays a large role in capturing beautiful photographs. A long time between exposures creates a blurred effect, which is typically referred to as a “narrow depth of field”. The focus is sharp only at one distance from the camera and everything else becomes blurry. This looks cool and is often used for artistic purposes.

The second part of digital photography is determining the appropriate focal length for the photo. Different lenses have different ranges, such as wide angle, normal, and telephoto. Telephoto lenses let you get closer to the subject, whereas wideangle lenses take wider shots that do not contain much close range content. Normalfocal lenses are usually considered standard.

These three elements — light exposure, shutter speed, and focal length — play an integral part in creating stunning pictures.

Taking good photos

what is digital photography

A nice, clean background can totally change the feel of your photograph! Using appropriate levels of light is an integral part to taking beautiful pictures.

Photographers spend hours learning how to use natural light, artificial light like flash, or both. They are careful to mix it up so that their images look interesting.

Using off-the-shelf equipment, developing your photography skills comes down to experimenting with lighting, capturing great stills and videos, and editing your photographs and videos using software.

This article will talk about some things you can do to take better digital self-photos. We will also go into some easy ways to capture fun and intimate moments with your loved ones.

Understanding exposure

what is digital photography

A key part of taking good pictures is understanding exposure! This term refers to how much light your camera detects in a given area, and how it balances that with the rest of the photo.

Digital cameras have an automatic setting called ISO (or sensitivity). You can usually find this under Settings -> Mode/Print / Auto or somewhere similar.

Most people leave this at its default value of 200 which means the camera will use twice as many photons to determine light levels as it would at lower ISOs.

This is why photos taken during daylight look very bright and “white” – the pixels are not able to gauge enough light for contrast and shape. By increasing the ISO, you allow the camera to gather more light before it is balanced by other parts of the image.

However, higher ISOs mean less quality control over noise – those annoying little lines and textures that appear in images. These can quickly taint the overall picture so most people turn down the ISO when shooting outside.

That said, some photographers prefer low-ISO shots because they like the way soft, beautiful lights look, but others dislike having to work with slightly blurred images due to overexposure. It all depends on what you want from your photography and what types of scenes you hope to capture!

Another important factor in exposure is shutter speed. This determines whether or not there are any trails left behind after the bulb has timed out.

Editing your photos

what is digital photography

After you take your picture, it is time to start editing! The number one way to improve the quality of your pictures is by investing in an advanced photo editor such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

These software programs are very expensive, however they will change how beautiful your photographs look. They also have various features that can be used for more than just improving the aesthetic value of your images.

Some examples include: enhancing special effects (like vignettes or lens flares), adding artistic filters, cropping the image, and even creating new images from parts of another photograph.

There are many ways to use these tools to achieve this, so do not feel like you need to spend lots of money on them. Some free apps exist as well that contain most of the basic functions of photoshop.

The importance of good editing

what is digital photography

While there is some debate about what makes up digital photography, one thing almost every definition agrees on is that taking excellent pictures includes great photo editing.

The term “editing” can mean many things to different people depending on what kind of editing you are talking about. Some consider cropping or retouching as part of the editing process while other’s feel it belongs more in the pre-processing stage.

Whatever type of editing you choose to include, make sure you do not cut off important parts of your image! Avoid going all-in with Photoshop by only using basic tools like crop, contrast, and color balance.

There are plenty of free online resources that offer very high quality video and picture editing. Many of these have you create an account which allows you to save your work and easily access them later.

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Benjamin Coleman

About the Author: Benjamin Coleman

I am a graduate of the University of Miami, where I studied Marketing. I hold an MBA from the University of Maryland. I currently live in South Florida, but am originally from New Jersey. I am a writer/editor/proofreader/seo consultant who focuses on social media, SEO, and web content. I also help businesses understand and implement social media marketing.

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