Digital Beginner Photography
Exposure Modes: Exposure modes are the different options of shooting in digital cameras. They are the options on the control dial of your camera.
What format are you shooting in, JPEG or RAW?
Editing programs: You may already have on your computer that are user friendly and help you organize as well as edit are iPhoto on a Mac, Windows Photo Viewer or Picasa; a free download and can be used for Mac or PC. Every camera generally will come with its own image-editing program but these are not widely used or maintained. The state of the art programs for image editing are Adobe Photoshop Elements or Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom.
Lenses and Focal Lengths: Here's a quick guide for what lenses to choose and when:
Polarizing filters: Though technically an accessory, Polarizing filters are a must have for outdoor shooters! The best option is the circular polarizing filter; 2 pieces of glass, that when rotated, help to darken blue skies, saturate colors and reduce glare on reflective surfaces. These inexpensive filter can be one of the most effective accessories! Try your circular polarizer on all subjects shot outdoors.
First image w/out polarizer, second image w/ polarizer. (No additional filters or post processing!) This is a must-have accessory for landscape and wildlife shooters as well as anyone who shoots outdoors!
White Balance: White balance is how the camera sees and interprets color of light. All light sources have a different color temperature. This temperature scale is call Kelvin Temperature. White balance has nothing to do with exposure, or how bright/ dark you image is, it refers to if you image is looking too yellow or blue, etc. Cameras can be set to “Auto White Balance" in which the camera will interpret the light and take the exposure as an estimate of color temperature. AWB tends to be too cool or blue in most situations. All cameras have WB settings for; daylight, shade, incandescent, fluorescent and you can choose one based on your lighting situation. Alternatively, you can create an ‘in camera’ Custom White Balance for the most accurate color rendition. Whit balance is especially important for capturing accurate skin tones.