Traditional Photography Concept With Digital and News Photography

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Let’s learn about digital photography representing nothing less than a revolution in the way we take and manipulate images. Even so, the basic basics of film photography apply digitally. Both need a lens to focus the light and the shutter for the lamp to enter the camera. The main difference between digital and movie photography is how images are taken. Traditionally, you need to make your movie flourish in dark rooms using a variety of chemicals (none of which are very environmentally friendly). The film development process produces a “negative” that needs to be processed further and printed before a usable image is produced. Needless to say, when the shutter was initially snapped is long gone by when you actually see the product from your drawing. With digital, images are taken using an electronic sensor. This sensor consists of millions of “individual” pixels, or image elements, which convert light to zero or one (binary code). So instead of waiting for days or weeks (the longest, long hours) to view your pictures, with a digital camera, you see them instantly.

The picture quality with a digital camera depends on the number of pixels it has. These are commonly referred to as “resolutions” of digital cameras, and can be expressed as dimensions (800 x 600), or the number of pixels per inch. 800 x 600 is the general resolution for computer screens. The display with this resolution will display 800 pixels from side to side, and 600 from top to bottom, for a total of 480,000 pixels. Modern digital photography typically uses a much higher resolution than your average computer screen, up to millions of pixels, or megapixels. Thus, a camera with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 represents 3.1 megapixels.

We know that each pixel is represented by a number. The pixel color scale is determined by the size of the number. Black and white images can be produced by pixels measuring only 8 bits. Quick refresh in binary arithmetic tells us that 8 bit numbers represent decimal numbers between 0 and 256. Therefore, black and white images can have 255 shades of gray, plus black, 0, and white 256.

For color, we need more bits. At 16 bits per pixel, we can have a color scale with 65,536 different colors. 24 bit takes it to millions. Most digital cameras today use 24 bits, with some professional equipment utilizing 48 bits for 280 billion colors. That’s a lot of color!

Several factors affect the quality of digital cameras. Pixel resolution is usually considered the most important. To select and pixel resolution is adequate, you should consider the size of the image you want to print – or if you want to print your image altogether. The number of pixels in the image does not change, so larger images will have fewer pixels per inch, so the loss of detail will continue to decrease the larger the image gets.

Most photo labs print images 300 pixels per inch. Use this as a base to calculate the megapixel resolution for your digital camera. A two megapixel camera at 300 pixels per inch will produce a maximum print size of 5.8 “x 3.8”, less than the standard 4 “x8”. Given a four megapixel camera will produce a mold, at 300 pixels per inch, measuring 8.2 x 5.4 inches.

Nothing stops you from printing a bigger picture, of course. This is just a guide. Images of 200 pixels per inch are not as sharp as the standard 300 pixels per inch, but for many things are still acceptable. At this resolution, you can get images up to 8.7 “x 5.8” with a two megapixel camera, all the way up to a 12.2 “x 8.2” image from a four megapixel camera.

Now that we have pixels and megapixels that swim in your head, it’s time to back off and enjoy all the advantages offered by modern digital photography.

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