Thursday, April 28, 2005

Learning to Use a Digital Camera

When digital cameras first came out, I was intrigued. At first they were too expensive for me to consider buying one just to take family photos, since I had several perfectly good 35mm ones. I had taken some instruction in using a digital camera at work, but they still seemed very mysterious and complex. In one of those day-after-Thanksgiving sales, a major retailer put a Kodak EasyShare digital camera on sale for a price I thought reasonable, and I bought one. I used it quite a bit, putting the photos on my laptop and sharing them with family members through email, but it always took me awhile cause I didn't really know what I was doing. I didn't understand all the terms like megapixel, resolution, and such.

Shortly after I got my camera, I saw an ad for a part-time job using a digital camera to do inspections in Dallas. I answered the ad, immediately got a reply and was assigned an inspection to do. I went to a business, photographed some damaged cargo, filled out a report and then emailed the report and photos to someone in Missouri. After doing this job many times I began to finally understand how to use the camera effectively, how to change the resolution, how to put the reports and photos together in zip files, and how to arrange the photos in folders. The guy I worked for helped me over the phone with problems and I became much more confident with my camera. I photographed everything from huge rolls of cable in bright sunlight to expensive, wet shoes in the back corners of a truck. I was sad when the company went out of business and I no longer did inspections with my camera.

I dropped my first camera and cracked the lens, so I got another. By that time I realized I didn't need a high resolution camera to take photos to send online, so I bought a 2 megapixel one. I now have three cameras, one for business, a spare, and one for family photos that I might want to enlarge. I love taking digital photos, and even though I don't have the inspection job anymore, I take photos to accompany articles I write. I email photos to family members frequently, and I have a very large collection of digital photos both on my laptop and stored on memory cards. Digital photography is fun, and it became very easy after I got the hang of it. My granddaughter is so used to digital cameras and being able to immediately see the photo, when someone takes a photo of her with a 35mm she says, "I want to look." I now have a camera phone also, and although my phone does not take photos with a very high resolution, I've seen some of the newer that have more than 1.2 megapixels. Before long, mobile phones will have high resolution digital cameras included, and everyone will be able to take a good photo and email it immediately from the phone. I'm going to try to keep up with technology as it evolves, because I love taking photos.

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