Saturday, November 20, 2010

National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography: Part Six

"National Audubon Society Guide To Digital Nature Photography"
Part Six: Digital Processing

     The final section of the "National Audubon Society Guide To Digital Nature Photography"by Tim Fitzharris is titled "Digital Processing" and reviews how to store images, process them, as well as gives you an idea of what you need to know about preparing images for display of some sort. As a novice photographer, I've  learned that this section,  above all, is one of the most important. Hopefully, through continued practice and knowledge, I will become a better photographer and spend less time manipulating images. However, this part of the process is one of the most important because it helps you create a proper presentation of your images.
     In the first chapter of this section, Fitzharris points out the importance of having enough memory and space to hold your images. Being in the field and taking so many shots with only having a few that turn out, it is important to have enough space so that you don't worry about taking too many shots, or not taking what could be a quality shot because you don't have the space for it. I realized this early on and bought a 4 gigabyte memory card, so that I had an adequate amount of space. Options for storing these images include putting them on your laptop, hard-drive, or other portable storage devices. Personally, I like to store images not only on my laptop but also on an external hard-drive so that if something happens to my computer, I have a backup.
     One reason I make sure that I have enough memory and space and that I frequently convert my images to another storage device is because I like to shoot in RAW format. You have the ability to do so much more with RAW photos because the data is saved in its original state. I found RAW extremely important when my camera was set to a weird setting that made all my photos looked washed out. By shooting in RAW, I was able to fix this. Also in RAW, you are able to change so many more things that you might have done wrong, such as changing exposure and light settings.
     In creating quality photos, the use of Photoshop or other image processing software comes in handy. This is the reason why shooting in RAW is really helpful; when you are in Photoshop (or another program), you have the ability to manipulate your photos by changing brightness, saturation, and color balance, cropping or straightening your image, layering multiple images, and many other useful things. For example, you have the ability to select specific sections of your photo and adjust color, saturation, brightness, etc. on that single selection. Photoshop is also a fun way to create more artistic and creative images because it provides you with endless opportunities.
     Through reading the "National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography, I have learned numerous things that will help me in becoming a better photographer. From what types of clothes to wear, to what type of equipment to use, to actually shooting the subject matter, and finally to processing and presenting the final image. After reading this book, I can see nature from a different perspective--I have the ability to see the potential of a subject and can think of how I can capture a quality shot and maybe what I can do with it in Photoshop to manipulate it. From start to finish, Fitzharris does a great job helping a novice photographer learn how to photograph nature subjects.

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