Archive for February, 2011
As the film is no longer often used in cameras today, people experience utmost convenience with their digital cameras as they can click away and take as many pictures as they want using only a memory card. For this reason, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality external memory card reader that will allow you to transfer your images to the computer with ease.
This kind of digital camera accessory is very affordable you can get it at a few dollars up to $100 and it comes in various sizes. It’s also very lightweight you can bring it along in your pocket wherever you go. Depending on your needs, you can get one that has only a single slot, two slots or you can purchase the all-in-one type which can accommodate all types and sizes of memory cards and compatible with both PC and Mac.
For those who are not aware yet, some memory flash cards now come with a card reader. This is easy to use because of its USB feature.
The main advantage of having an external memory card reader is convenience. As you will be able to insert any kind of storage media in the device, you don’t have to get every electronic gadget you have such as your laptop, digital camera or mobile phone and connect them one at a time to the computer just to view your data. It can be time consuming.
What you can do then is gather the different cards you have and then insert whatever you need in the appropriate slot to check your images. This is possible if you have the multi-card reader which can accommodate several storage media.
In terms of price, it will vary according to the capability of the memory card reader but generally, they’re very inexpensive. You may want to get one that can read and write which will allow you to transfer data to your computer and at the same time save data on your memory card. Check as well the transfer speed if you’re particular about how fast such device can move images and even videos to your PC.
Portability is another advantage. Being a small and lightweight device, you can bring it to any location if you need to work on your images while away from home. This allows you to make use of your memory cards to their fullest extent.
When choosing a media card reader, make sure that you search for one that supports not just a single type of card that you regularly use. In this digital age, many of the affordable media card readers available on the market today can accommodate 15 or more types of storage media from the SD, miniSD, microSD to the SonyProDuo.
Before deciding on your memory card reader, it would be a good idea to determine your budget and how you’re going to use the device. If your main goal is just to transfer data, then you can get a cheap one that comes with a USB cable. If speed of utmost importance to you, you need to get the type that can transfer files at a faster speed than the regular ones.
Time Lapse tricks of the trade
Time lapse photography is an interesting aspect of photography that is really not undertaken much today because our demand for speed and the need for instant gratification. However time lapse photos can give the photographer a completely different view and understanding of the world around him/her.
The basic equipment and a timer is all that is really needed, and off course the right location or subject. When I have done time lapse, I normally reserve it for nature, especially blooms. Most flower blooms will take around two hours, from start to finish, for the bloom to completely open. If you inspect your flower bed early in the morning and notice blooms that have yet to fully open, set up your camera on a tripod, attach a timer, set it for lapses of about 7 to 10 minutes each, and leave it alone for about two hours. Upon developing the film or examining the images if digital, you will notice how the blooming process evolves.
Note: by leaving alone I don’t mean go somewhere else and leave the camera gear unattended. On the technical side, I rarely use the auto mode in my camera, but for time lapse please do, as unpredictable weather and light changes can alter the image rendition.
Time lapse is especially suited for night photography but with much less waiting time. Follow the same suggestions as those for the bloom, but adjust the timer for shorter periods between snaps.
Examples for night photography would be roads, busy pedestrian streets,lighting storms, the moon, the stars, firework displays, erupting volcanoes, falling snow,sunsets and dawns, creeping shadows,and if you’re really lucky an eclipse. The number of exposures is limited with film, but almost unlimited with digital, so consider your medium first.
Nature subjects besides flowers in bloom, are nesting birds, wave patterns, cloud formations, fish in aquariums, ocean & river life,and subjects that are being carried by water. Other subjects are racing sports events, people sleeping, and eating, kids jumping, jump ropes.
The results will be different from static subjects as compared to moving subjects. Keep in mind that with moving subjects blurring will create a sense of movement, the same as you would obtain from using a slow shutter speed. Blurring will not occur for lighting or fireworks as the total darkness usually present during these events will only show the bursts of light created by the light of the lighting strike and that of the fireworks.
For more specialized time lapse photos, such as bursting balloons, apple bursting after bullet strike etc.. you will also need a high speed synchronized flash unit along with lots of planning and safety protocols.
The LCD screen today has become a very important part of a digital camera. In fact in some camera models, the LCD already serves as the viewfinder which people can use for adjusting settings and previewing an image. As such, this part needs to be properly taken care of so it remains free from scratches and dust.
As always prevention is better to ensure that your digital camera and its LCD remain in good condition for a long time. You have to keep in mind that this component where you preview images is delicate being made of glass. For this reason, your fingers should never touch the screen as much as possible because even a little pressure can cause damage.
An important consideration for people who own digital cameras where the LCD screen has no cover or is not the fold-away type is to get a clean and non-abrasive case. This will help protect the device from getting scratches and fingerprints.
When cleaning your photographic device, use only a lens or other microfiber cloth. Remember to turn off the camera before you start. You may use cleaning solutions available on the market but make sure that it does not contain ammonia. At home, you can also make your own solution by mixing 50/50 distilled water and isopropyl alcohol.
A word of caution when cleaning using solutions is to make sure no water or liquid is left on the screen. Experts suggest not to spray the solution on the screen but instead to dampen the cloth with the solution before applying it on the LCD.
Another tip is to use a protective film known as screen guard or protector. This is normally made from polycarbonate filters and is meant to protect your LCD display from dirt, dust and bumps. It comes in various sizes depending on the device you’re using and it fits snugly on your screen with plastic tabs. And since it stays in place, you don’t have to regularly adjust it on your camera display.
The screen protector is available for digital cameras, laptops, mobile phones particularly the iPhone that features a touch screen and electronic gaming devices such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. Another advantage of this tool is its ability to reduce glare and reflection making it easy for you to capture your favorite images even under the sun.
There is also another product called as hood which can also protect your LCD. This usually attaches right above the screen to cover it from sunlight and prevent glaring. You can buy this from camera shops or from camera manufacturers. Some even come in the foldable type.
Or you can always create your own LCD hood using cardboards. Take the proper measurements first and then design one according to what suits you.
So never ignore your digital camera’s LCD screen because it serves a good purpose. It deserves to be protected when in use and even when not in use so be a responsible camera owner and you can be sure to keep your favorite device for many long years.
Let’s face it, these days making a mistake on a photo is really no big deal. Like most of us if a picture doesn’t turn out we can simple preview, delete and shoot the photo again until we get something we are satisfied with. What if we could save us a step, how about we cover a few tips on how to take better pictures, it’s really not that hard and you wont need that much other than a digital camera and some props/people to take pictures of.
If you are new to taking photos lets cover some general photography tips:
If you want to become good at photography the bottom line is you must practice! Try shooting at different angles, position your subject in different parts of the screen, for example not all of your pictures need to have a person standing in the dead center.
Just keep in mind the basics to taking a good photo, working your way to becoming a good photographer takes a lot of time and patience, the more your practice the better you’ll get.
Army Retires Legendary UH-1 Huey Helo
An icon of the Vietnam War, a faithful conveyer of American troops across the globe and savior to countless lost or injured civilians, the Huey helicopter’s long Army service is ending.
More than 50 years after the first models lifted off, the Army is retiring the few single-bladed UH-1 variants still sitting on the flightline.
The Huey was well known in its role as a medevac chopper and its pilots earned a reputation as the “cowboys of aviation” for their willingness to fly whenever, wherever, however if somebody needed help under fire. The bird was nicknamed “Dustoff” for the cloud of dirt kicked up on takeoff, a name still given to medevac crews. But the Huey also served as a troop transport and air assault platform, part of the military’s decision to broaden the Army’s aviation aspect for the “helicopter war” in Vietnam.
The Huey is considered the most widely known modern helicopter, thanks to numerous Hollywood depictions and the characteristic “whoop-whoop-whoop” sound made by the spinning main rotor.
Photography is an incredible and powerful method of expression. The same tools that can capture and preserve precious memories of a graduation or a wedding can be used to document social conditions around the world. A powerful photograph can bring a tear to the eye or a smile to the face of its observer. Currently, digital SLR cameras are the standard in the imaging industry. Used by working professionals and by casual photographers alike, the digital SLR provides a high degree of functionality and capability for those looking to get the very most out of their photographs.
Digital SLR cameras hold a number of advantages over consumer point-and-shoot models. Most importantly, digital SLR cameras have a much larger image sensor than compact models, allowing for a high degree of creative control and image quality. Control over depth of field and selective focus, while possible with certain compact cameras, is considerably easier and more capable with SLR bodies. Enhanced performance in adverse lighting is another advantage of SLR cameras. Put simply, SLR cameras are considerably more capable than point-and-shoot models.
The one considerable downside to DSLR photography is portability. Compared to the compact cameras currently on the market, mainstream DLSRs are large and bulky in comparison. While it might be quite simple to carry along a point-and-shoot on a night out, keeping a Sony Alpha a700 in your pocket simply isn’t an option given the heft and size of the camera. Manufacturers such as Sony and Olympus, however, now offer compact interchangeable lens cameras that blur the lines between compact and SLR cameras and eliminate some of the compromises that each type of camera creates by design.
The time and place for DSLR photography is what you make of it. If you are willing to forgo the discretion and portability of a compact camera in favor of the superior image quality and creative control of a DSLR, then you’ll be willing to make the sacrifice and drag around your SLR everywhere you go. If ‘getting the shot’ is your only concern, the convenience of a point-and-shoot will prevail.
For situations demanding the highest image quality, creative control, selective focus, and for adverse lighting conditions, the DSLR will almost always be the better camera choice in comparison to most compact bodies. The freedom to change lenses for different applications and seamlessly manipulate camera settings makes SLR photography infinitely more versatile than shooting with a compact model.
In the end, the choice is up to you. For the best image possible, SLR photography allows the most control and potential for your images. For convenience, SLRs simply can’t match the function and portability of compact cameras. There’s no one factor that will decide whether you should haul out your DSLR or toss your compact camera in your pocket. That decision is dependent only on the expectations you hold for your own images.