Digital Photography

Digital Cameras – What’s the problem? To understand digital photography, we have to go back to years gone by, and see just what photography is all about. Photography, the means of recording an image onto medium using variations in Film speed aperture and shutter speed has been around for a long time. People have also been able to trick the viewing public for much longer as well. If someone was in a photograph and you didn’t want them there, then you needed to get rid of him or her somehow. That is where darkroom skills come in. Stalin famously removed people from photographs, and arguably the most famous is the removal of Commissar Yezhov, head of Stalin’s secret police. He was removed when Stalin and he fell out. This happened much before photo editing equipment was available to the mass markets it is today – and way before everyone had a camera. Maybe that is an extreme example. People have been dodging and burning images for years.

Up or Down rating film speeds is common, also the use of filters, such as neutral density graduated filters to preserve detail, and even out the exposure, or colour ones for black and white images. These are still used today. However, the common misconception is that digital photography is “playing with computers”. This is not true. Digital photography works just the same as traditional film photography. You look through the viewfinder on a Digital SLR, or the rear screen on a compact, and you focus on the subject. You can focus manually or automatically (although automatic focusing was not brought in with digital photography; it started before). You read the light using either the built in meter or an external one, and you set the exposure. The great advantage is you can have an ISO choice up to 102,400 or more on some of the new cameras - impossible to do with film. This means, if you have an image to take and you need to boost the light sensitivity, there is no need to compromise on aperture or shutter speed – the ISO will do it all for you.

Here is a quick guide to Aperture, Shutter Speed, & ISO

Here is an Exposure Simulator for you to play with

And here is a great Depth of Field simulator