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Digital photography's popularity


Why are so many people going digital?


Once a digital image is in your computer, it can be altered, emailed, printed or uploaded to a web page.
Once a digital image is in your computer, it can be altered, emailed, printed or uploaded to a web page.

The joys of digital photography were discovered a few years before digital cameras became such a big hit with the public. They began with the advent of the consumer scanner, when ordinary prints or film could be digitized for use in home computers.

The ability to edit images without the need for a darkroom or without having to send them to a professional lab was the big attractant. Suddenly, almost anyone with the right combination of hardware and software could scan images, then crop them for better composition, lighten or darken them, adjust the colors and even alter them so drastically that often they bore minimal resemblance to the original image. Not only could images be improved, but it was fun. Text could be added to images, either inside the image itself or as captions placed beneath or beside them. And improvements in color printers and papers made printing pictures relatively simple.

The internet plays a big part in the enormous popularity of the digital image. Email and websites allow people to share images with one another, almost instantaneously, providing both parties have access to a computer and the world wide web.

The availability of faster processors in computers and larger hard drives for storing huge image files made the boom in digital cameras the next logical step. Why purchase film if your main use of a camera would be to have digital images on your computer, especially when it was suddenly so easy to manipulate images on computer? Why wait for film to be processed and printed, even if it was done in a one-hour lab, when you could download images minutes after taking them?

TRADITIONAL CAMERAS ARE BETTER FOR MANY APPLICATIONS

A traditional camera can be better for some photographic projects. If you intend to produce very large prints, for example, the memory needed to do so totally digitally is large and the time it takes to edit and print a super-large image is more than most people want to take. Film is probably still best for capturing detail, but the degree of detail available from the average digital camera is fine for most people who view their images on computer. High-end digital cameras, however, are catching up quickly, and enlargements from them are of very good quality.

The times are a-changing, though. Wedding photography used to be a good example of a photo assignment that was better handled by traditional photography using film, since so many pictures are taken for the wedding album and to send to friends and relatives, and brides and grooms usually order sizeable enlargements to be framed. Nowadays, many weddings are photograped entirely digitally, and the resulting prints and enlargements are quite satisfactory for most brides and grooms.

Traditional photography can still do things that cannot be done by a digital camera, although the gap is narrowing. Some super digital cameras in use by professionals seem to have few limitations, but their prices are so high as to keep them out of the reach of consumers, particularly when compared with similar features found in traditional cameras at much less cost.

DIGITAL CAMERAS CAN BEAT TRADITIONAL CAMERAS IN SOME AREAS

And, of course, the digital camera can do some things that traditional cameras can’t. For example, some digital cameras have a motion picture recording mode that is faster than the best traditional camera’s abilities using high-speed motor-drive to quickly shoot exposures one frame after the other. The digital camera is also generally less noisy than most traditional cameras. And the two big advantages, of course, are (1) that you can view a digital image immediately after taking a picture, then take it again if you don't like what you see, and (2) you don't need to pay for film and processing.

TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES APPLY TO DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Most of the techniques employed in traditional photography apply to digital photography, too, so the person who has experience taking pictures on film should find it quite easy to use a digital camera to capture similar images. You can improve your digital photography by wandering through most of the various sections of photographytips.com and absorbing the hints, tips and principles that apply to general photography, regardless of format.

Sometimes, we have a little too much fun when manipulating digital images.
Sometimes, we have a little too much fun when manipulating digital images.

Toning the effects down a bit can make a bulldog look even more wrinkly.
Toning the effects down a bit can make a bulldog look even more wrinkly.

Exploring the many effects of digital photo manipulation may bring out your artistic side.
Exploring the many effects of digital photo manipulation may bring out your artistic side.

You can also get quite absurd effects in the
You can also get quite absurd effects in the "digital darkroom" of your computer, but it's all fun. Would this be called a bull-duck?

You can even make a photograph look like it is a painting.
You can even make a photograph look like it is a painting.

 
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