Bridge Camera

Background

A bit of background may help in understanding where I am coming from. I have been a keen photographer for many, many years and cut my teeth, so to speak, on film SLR’s having used Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras long before digital cameras came on the scene.

I embraced the digital format and enjoyed the differences that it brought. In the intervening years I have tried a wide selection of different types of digital cameras. I have tried the simple compact, the bridge, the DSLR and more recently the CSC or compact mirrorless camera. Each one has their benefits, depending on what you want from a camera.

The quality of each type is generally good, although in many respects you still ‘get what you pay for’.

Popularity

Thinking about the popularity of each, I think there will always be a larger proportion of people who prefer the DSLR, but there is a newer kid on the block that is fast gaining ground over the DSLR because of the difference in size and portability among other things and that is the Compact System Camera or Mirrorless camera, so named because of the omission of the pentaprism mirror of the DSLR and thus enabling the smaller, more portable design.

I think these would be the top two types of camera in the market today, but I notice that the Bridge camera is also keeping it’s fair share of the market and with the newer models that are constantly emerging from the likes of Panasonic, Sony, Canon and Nikon there seems to be a healthy respect for this type of camera. I have recently purchased a Panasonic Bridge camera, the FZ330 and I am very pleased with what I have got. It has some great features and in my opinion will give any camera a good run for their money.

Sensor

Ask any decent photographer about the Bridge camera and they will no doubt point to the fact that they generally use a very small sensor, which is true and is limiting to a degree. But as a regular user I find the quality of the photos that I take are of sufficient clarity to keep me happy. At the end of the day is it not about what each person wants and if the end result is pleasing and fit for purpose then why worry that the sensor is very small.

Sensor Gel Stick

First of all, you should get the sensor exposed. Once the whole sensor becomes visible, you should clean the lens with the gel stick. Then you should clean the dust off the gel using the adhesive paper that comes with the gel stick. Remember: don’t make a rush when cleaning the camera. You don’t want to drop the camera accidentally.

You can use the gel several times repeating the process over and over again. Once you are done, you should turn the camera off, install the lens and set the aperture to f/32. Now, take a photo of a white wall or a white piece of paper. If the picture is free of any spots, the lens is clean.

Usually, sensor gel sticks should not be used in a room with a temperature lower than 40F. The ideal temperature is 70F if you want the best performance. Using the product in too low or too high temperatures will not give you the best performance. In worse cases, you may end up reducing the shine of the sensor, which will adversely affect the image quality. Therefore, you may want to check the temperature of the room first.

Since the stickiness of the gel varies based on the coating technologies applied on the sensor filters, we suggest that you don’t use one sensor gel stick for cleaning the lens of different cameras, as one shoe can’t fit everyone.

Normally, the cleaning product can be used on all digital cameras that come with interchangeable lenses. The good news is that most camera manufacturers have cameras that have interchangeable lens.

Some mirrorless cameras feature a coating technology that allows the gel sticks to leave behind some residue on the sensor filter surface. As a result, you will need to clean the sensor thoroughly. You should use the right type of sensor gel stick for cleaning these cameras.

Cameras that don’t come with a mirror are not easy to clean. Therefore, it’s a lot better to go for a camera that can be easily cleaned. A lens that is not clean won’t allow you to take high-quality pictures, as the quality of the pictures depends largely on the clarity of the lens or sensor. Therefore, cleaning the lens with a quality cleaner is highly recommended.

Become Self Taught Photographer

People say that to become a professional photographer takes at least from five to six years of steady and regular training and development. Market conditions are constantly changing; if a person is ill-versed in it, he has to wade through a lot of difficulties. The fact is that what there was five or six years ago may be no longer applicable today. This also applies to the practical work, and education. Paradoxically, today photographers are not prepared in any educational institution, they start from scratch with the camera and simply do photography depending on practice and taking some theory from I-net. A complete professional education involves the viability of the labor market, a good level of preparation of the photographer, both technical and artistic. So, relying on that, there are some ways of getting knowledge for the future photography career.

PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOLS

Higher education in photography is available in many institutes of higher education, schools, training, etc. But now, according to professional photographers, this formation does not meet modern requirements. More and more people step aside from the formal education for independent courses or even free I-net lectures.

The problem is not only in the time lack or some global market tendencies, but also in the fact that the individual faculties of photographers, can be a sufficient basis. Also, the overall high demand for entrance exams can become a serious obstacle for the novice photographers. Studying online or in private with the craftsman turns out to be cheaper, more effective, and easy-going.

PRIVATE COURSES

Most private schools, although compared to the public ones having the better technical equipment, have a serious drawback: as a rule, they do not teach mechanic photography basics like chromatic, and chemistry, photo processes and photo composition, or lack separate lessons on photographic technique and lighting. Usually, it is a photographer with a lot of shooting experience, both analog and digital, who does not always practice some photography disciplines. Again, most currently known professional photographers did not receive education themselves. So, anyone who wants to become a professional photographer does so at their own risk. There’s no sure way to become a good photographer just like there’s no universal recipe for becoming an excellent product manager.

Main problem of a professional photographer

The main problem of a professional photographer is that money on taking a photo will always stand in the first place. It’s enough to have a look at a good photographic technique and materials price tag to make sure of it. There’s no work for free, even if you’re an artist. And to sell good, you should follow the market demands, but not your ambitions, want it or not.

Another problem is the need for an art education, which is the kinda paradox. Of course, every new client wants to know if you’re keen on what you do, and your glossy diploma usually serves as a solid proof, if not numerous honorable mentions of respected customers.

Another issue which are kinda bias and a perpetuated stereotype is the fact that the photographer can not be regarded as a professional simply because he earns his living by filming. Everyone can be such a “professional” and benefit from a mediocre level in photos. True, without having a good reputation, the photographer will not be able to succeed. Being professional means understanding what the customer needs, even the most insane and inadequate ones. After all, they’re just people who pay you.

All this is complicated and time was eating. Anyone who has education, a permanent job, and a family, will never agree to constant moving in pursue of career photography laurels because it’s simply incompatible. No worries. You can be a photographer in mind and have a small circle of friends. Or you can take casual photos as a well-paid hobby, and your little passion, without chasing Siberian Tigers or Lady Gaga for a sensational shoot for neither National Geographic nor Cosmopolitan, whatever.

Photo Retouching

The techniques and processes of getting an image ready for final presentation are implemented by image retouching, resulting in augmentation of its looks. Almost all images you see in any format of advertisements have undergone retouching, which can vary from just a subtle change to a dramatic changeover of various elements of the image. Even the photos of real beauty campaigns undergo this important process, may be for small improvements like dust removal and sharpening.

Image retouching works towards slightly changing, rather improving, looks of the subject. The digital manipulation includes basic “fixes”, like erasing pimples or making a ruddy complexion appear even. Experienced and talented photo retouches can even perform more complex manipulations such as making a subject appear slimmer or even morphing two or more subjects seamlessly. Scars on the face or body of a person are also easily erased through this process of digital enhancement.

In the case of a product, the experts of photo retouching make the product appear attractive by all round development of its image. Mostly a reader or viewer decides on buying a product after seeing its picture, especially decor items or furniture, quality enhancement of their images holds the key to attract customers. Hence this process ensures that the products look attractive by highlighting its important areas in every possible manner.

At the onset, the professionals at retouching analyze the image from the point of view of a viewer and assert what improvements are needed to make the picture look more attractive, impressive and lively. They use advanced computer imaging software to change the appearance of a photo or any other digital image.

The two most common ways of retouching a photo are sharpening the image or causing some parts to become blurry, ostensibly to hide some deformity. Other important ways to enhancing the looks of a person are hiding blemishes, like pimples and scars, as well as retouching the skin to give it a smoother or more youthful appearance.

Guide to Camera Kit

Prime Lens:

Unlike the zoom lens, a prime lens has a fixed focal length which cannot be adjusted. Prime lenses are slightly quicker to focus with a much better level in picture quality as there are less moving parts within the lens itself.

Macro Lens:

Macro lenses allow you to capture extreme close ups. They create a unique image of tiny subjects that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Wide Angle Lens:

This lens allows you to fit much more into an image than others, widening the amount of space that you can capture within the image.

This lens is great when you have limited ability to step backwards to get more into an image or when shooting land and seascapes.

Fish Eye Lens:

This is an oval shaped, 180 degree view of the world. Initially created to give the photographer the ability to capture whole skies and landscapes. A fun little lens that you can use creatively.

Telephoto Lens:

High magnification lens enabling you to take long range action photography for the likes of sports and wildlife. It allows you to be further from the action and still capture in close shots. A monopod is usually used to stop camera shake on the images.

Tripods:

These are pretty straight forward. They hold the camera steady for long periods of time. It also give you the ability to take yourself into the image!

Monopod:

The same basic functionality as the tripod with only one ‘leg’. Much more convenient to carry around than a tripod, easier to carry and transport. Some places won’t allow a tripod, like courtside at a sports match. They are often used in fashion and paparazzi images as well as they are easy to pick up and carry. Having only one leg means that you cannot simply let the camera sit on top of it and walk away, the main difference between the two.

Become Photography Hobbyist

1. Pick Your Partner: If you really wish to give it a shot, get yourself acquainted with the various devices available to you. Check your budget range and pick a camera or a smart phone that you think suits you the best. Put in a few hours of research and find yourself a device that is not only good to begin with but also decent enough to take you a little beyond just the ‘beginner’ level.

2. Develop An ‘Eye’: The mark of a good photographer is often the uniqueness of their perspective. Try to gain that unique perspective on your surroundings and capture it on film. Take pictures of the ordinary, the mundane and see how you can bring a new dimension to them.

3. Take Pictures Even If You Don’t Want To: Be consistent. It is easy to indulge yourself with a new camera and play with photography for a little while before getting distracted. Remain focused. Try to take pictures even when you aren’t in the mood. Any hobby, any talent needs to be hewn into perfection with constant practice and patience.

4. Experiment: Try everything that you can do with your camera. Use the different settings for the same picture and observe the differences. Learn to use software applications to enhance your pictures after you have taken them to bring out certain elements. The more you experiment, the more you learn.

5. Share And Take Advice: Make it a habit to share your work with better photographers and ask them what they think, work on the feedback they give you to improve your skill learn more by observing their work.

Ways To Fast Track Photography

Update your camera gear

There comes a time when your digital camera doesn’t do your skills justice. While point-and-shoot cameras are convenient and cheaper, they are restricted by their simplicity and their smaller sensor size.

Unfortunately, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is still the truth. Even an entry-level DSLR and kit lens will produce sharper and bigger images, and allow you to play with a wider aperture range, from at least f/4 to f/22.

If you’re into landscape photography, a sturdy tripod is a must, as is a polarising filter to darken blue skies. A cable release will prevent camera shake during longer exposures. A decent kit bag will protect your expensive gear, and enable more efficient access to it.

Subscribe to a photography magazine

The racks of most bookshops are stacked with numerous photography magazines. My favourite is Digital SLR Photography*, which boasts a higher standard of writing than found in other titles from the UK. Of course, these days you can subscribe to the digital version of magazines, and download them to your mobile device of choice.

Start a personal project

A popular pastime is to shoot a photo every day for 365 days. The idea is to force yourself into the habit of getting your camera out regularly, not just for holidays, or special occasions. Shoot ordinary events or items.

Dedicated 365 websites give tips and ideas.

You could photograph a ‘selfie’ in the mirror to record your beard growth for 12 months, and then create a time lapse.

Another worthwhile project is to choose a numeral (e.g. 8) or a colour (e.g. red). Walk around town for a day, only shooting this topic. You will be amazed at how such a focussed assignment will hone your observation skills.

Enter a photography competition

Success in a local, national or even international competition is not only a huge boost to your confidence, and reputation – you may collect some fantastic prizes too. Competitions range from promotional gimmicks at local events (think A&P shows or radio stations), non-profit organisations (think camera clubs) to magazines which run these on an annual basis.

This is a great way to expose your work to a wider audience, and broaden your skill set. The more prestigious competitions will charge entry fees, particularly the umbrella organisations for professionals, where winners are highly acclaimed.

Get your work published

If you love to photograph in a narrow niche (e.g. animals, gardens, fashion, children, or sports), and believe your images will withstand an editor’s scrutiny, why not send a sample CD off to your favourite publication? Magazine editors are forever on the lookout for fresh takes on old topics. Follow up with a phone call, or better, a personal visit.

If you’re a competent wordsmith, even better, as you’ll get paid more for quality writing than for a handful of photos. However, be warned: editors are notorious for not replying, so you will need to be tenacious. Don’t give up.

Cleaning Camera for Better Performance

Cleaning the lens

The camera lens is one of the most important parts of the camera, but it is not that hard to clean. You simply need to take off end and front caps and use a soft lens cleaning brush to get rid of sand and large particles present. The brush should be very soft, so it does not scratch the lens. Using lens wipes and lens cleaning fluid you can then wipe clean the glass. The lens tissues are non-abrasive and will not scratch the glass. You can then use a dry wipe to dry up any residue.

Cleaning the sensor

It is more sensitive compared to the lens and should be handled with care. If you have the right camera cleaning kit, then you might just manage to do a good job with the cleaning, but if you are not very sure then it would be wiser to have a professional do the cleaning for you. You will need a disposable sensor swab and a sensor cleaning solution. The swab should be just the right size of the sensor and only a few drops of the cleaning solution should be used. Soak the swab just to the tip ensuring that there are no risks of dripping or pooling the sensor. Wipe the sensor from side to the other with only one fluid motion, but you can re-swab if it does not clean effectively.

Cleaning the body

Regular cleaning of the body keeps dirt from creeping to the sensor and lens. Use cotton swabs and soft cloths dampened with rubbing alcohol or water to clean the body. The soft cloth will give you an easy time with flat body parts and the grip whereas the cotton swabs will allow access in hard to reach areas like diopter, switches and knobs.

Poster Frames

Construction

The border is made of plastic and a plexiglass that covers the poster. The back is made from cardboard, which makes the frame lightweight. For easy hanging, the back has a hook as well.

There is an option to install a mat as well. However, you won’t see double matting in these frames because they will add extra weight.

Snap Frames

Snap frames is another great option. Usually, snap frames load the photos from the very front, which allows you to replace the photo without removing the frame. For ease of access, all of the sides of the frame are open. They are good for movie posters.

Acid-free poster frames

When buying a poster frame, make sure you know whether it’s acid-free or archival. Ask yourself if you need to use a poster to beautify your room or you need to use one to preserve a memorabilia or a piece of art. If you want to use it for preservation purposes, you should give a go to a higher quality material.

Archival Poster Frames

If you want to preserve an artifact, you can take your poster frame to a professional to see if it is acid-free or not. This way you can rest assured that your pictures would be saved for a long term.

If you want to get started with archival picture frames, you may want to opt for one with the back of an acid-free paper. By definition, an acid-free paper has base pH of 7 or slightly higher. Besides, this type of paper is free of sulfur, which makes it an ideal choice for prints that tend to degrade with the passage of time.

You don’t have to go for the acid-free option. UV filtered glass gives you protection from the powerful UV rays. These rays negatively affect the picture within a few years based on the exposure level. Aside from this, conservation glass is relatively heavier and costlier. If you break it by mistake, your photo may get damaged.

As far as weight and other features are concerned, plexiglass frames are a good choice. Just make sure you don’t go for the ammonia-based cleaners. Another thing that you should keep in mind is that the print shouldn’t touch the glass surface or the condensation may show up on the internal side of the frame.

Must Scan Your Old Photographs

  • All photographic materials will deteriorate with time. The rate at which they decay is different for various materials (and storage conditions), but it is happening to all of your photographic memorabilia just the same.
  • Old slides and negatives will tend to color-shift over time. This happens when the film base (which is plastic!) slowly changes with age. The dyes which form the image can also fade – particularly in the case of less-expensive color photographs.
  • As soon as your pictures are digitized, that deterioration is stopped. Perhaps most importantly, the digitized images can, very often, be brought back to their original brilliance with relative ease, if the deterioration has not been too great. In addition, there are now digital storage discs that are expected to last for over 100 years
  • If you have a lot of slides, to view your slides, you have to dig out your old projector (if it still works – tried to find a projector bulb recently?), or a slide viewer, in order to see them.
  • If you have old negatives, you really can’t view them at all – unless you have some rare genetic ability to visually invert colors on your own.
  • Due to an unfortunate technical oversight, the manufacturers of old photo albums neglected to equip them with USB ports (it could have to do with the fact that the technology did not exist). That means, however, that there is no direct way to upload them to your computer. A good scanning service, however, will not only scan the full album pages (which preserves the “flavor” and character of the album), but they can also provide scans of the individual pictures as well – either all of them, or just selected ones if desired.
  • Your past is really important – not just to you, but also to your children, your grandchildren (if any) and other relatives. Your photos represent the best (often, the only) record of that past. By bringing them into digital form them, you can share them with all the important people in your life.
  • Once they are scanned into digital files, your collection old photographs can be shared effortlessly. You can post them to your Facebook pages, and share them on all your favorite social media sites. You can create slide shows, and load them into a digital picture frame so that they are on constant display.
  • Once you upload your photos onto your computer, it turns it into a time machine. Now, all those valued (or, in some cases – forgotten) parts of your history can be pulled up at any time, to be enjoyed and shared.