You will probably have to take photographs for the DiDA project. For this you should know the basic functions of a digital camera and how to take good photographs.
Although some settings differ on cameras, most have the same basic functions. The diagramme and table below show the most common components [Components: The working parts of a product or system. In electronics: a part in an electronic circuit. ] and functions.
|On/Off button||Turns the camera on and off. Some digitial cameras will have a power-saving mode that automatically turns the camera off when it's not in use.|
|Shutter button||Press this to take a photograph. Most cameras have an auto-focus function that is operated by holding the shutter button halfway down. You then press the button all the way down to take the photograph.|
|Mode switch||This allows you to switch between the different modes of the camera - still photograph, video clip, or view photos.|
|LCD monitor||View your shot and playback photographs and video clips. You can also change the settings of the camera using the LCD monitor.|
For more on basic camera functions, watch this video from the Bitesize Art and Design section.
Watch more Art and Design technique videos in the Photography section.
Close or tight shots are good for capturing expressions or atmosphere. When capturing images, focus on what you want to show and eliminate distractions.
Always remember when taking photographs of people to get their permission first.
To create interesting photographs, you need to fill the frame and minimise the amount of dead space. The first rule is to get in close. This will help you to capture emotion that wouldn't be detectable from far away.
Capturing action shots requires practise. You could practise capturing images of footballers in action. Take lots of pictures to see if you can capture a player making contact with the ball.
Some cameras have a function called continuous mode that allows you to take several photos in quick succession. This is great for taking action shots.
These photos were shot in continuous mode.
The focal point is the most interesting object/person in your photograph. Any more than one focal point looks cluttered.
There are too many focal points (people, trees, bench) in the first image shown above, whereas the second image shows the tree as the clear focal point.
Arrange your subjects to ensure you translate what you want the audience to focus on. Use plain backgrounds. Be selective. If your object is in front of a messy background, move it until you are satisfied with the shot.
In the first image above, the messy background takes the focus away from the fruit.
Cameras view things differently to the human eye. Cameras have a limited focus range whereas the eye is constantly scanning scenery, recomposing it, and responding to changes in light conditions. Cameras have a much narrower exposure range than the human eye.
Photographs with the focal point exactly in the centre can lack depth and interest, so it's better to position your focal point off-centre. To do this, apply the rule of thirds. Draw two horizontal and two vertical lines through the picture you want to capture.
The eyes are naturally drawn to the four focal points illustrated in red above, so place the important elements of your picture on one or more of these points.
Compare the two images above. A focal point placed in the centre often just looks boring, so avoid placing your focal point in the centre. You will see this rule being applied in any magazine you look at.
Most cameras have an automatic flash that works when there isn't enough natural light. Experiment with the flash to work out its depth or range.
Also think about natural light, especially outside. Try to make sure the sun/light source is behind you, or focussed on your subjects.
Be aware that strong bright light will show up people's wrinkles and blemishes. Similarly, try to take pictures of landscapes in early morning or early evening because the light is softer.
Experiment with using your camera horizontally and vertically. A photograph of Nelson's Column, for example, would be ideal for a vertical shot.
Once you have mastered these rules, you can then begin to break them. With digital photography, it's easy to take lots of pictures, so don't be afraid to experiment. If you can create an unusual image, it's likely that people will be interested in it.