With the technology of digital cameras many youth and adults now enjoy photography as a hobby. Many of today’s youth do not remember taking pictures with film and then having rolls of undeveloped film in a kitchen drawer or sending a roll in to have it developed only to realize then you paid for the photos that many were blurred or out of focus. Digital photography allows the photographer the opportunity to review the photo instantly. Even with the technology of semi-auto focus cameras not all photos are magazine quality. Youth who participate in the Tech Wizards program offered at the Fairfield Public Library have learned some ways to increase the quality of the photos they take. A few simple steps and you too can improve your photography skills.
1. Learn the parts of your camera and how it works. Be able to set the time and date if you want that to appear on your photos. Simple point and shoot cameras may have only a few very simple settings while more advanced models may have many settings. Get to know your camera.
2. Once you are familiar with your camera practice, take a lot of photos. Decide what you want your focal point to be of the photo. Youth learned that very simple things could be creative focal points. 2. Take a good look at the area that will be to the side and in the background – is itcluttered
are there overhanging wires, can you improve the background by moving to one side and changing the angel of the shot.
3. Lighting - experiment with lighting and the time of day you try to take your photos – many professional photographers who work outside prefer early morning or early evening light for the best color.
Students experimented with different types of photography, landscape, portrait, self-portrait, action, and pets. The youth brainstormed career opportunities that include photography. Some of the ideas that they shared included, free-lance photographer, news photographer, portrait photographer, and wedding or event photographer. The youth enjoyed sharing their photos with the group, families, and with the public by putting them on a digital photo frame that was on display at the library. Some of the youth also exhibited at the local fair. We also downloaded a free version of Picas, from http://picasa.google.com/ that allowed the youth to experiment with digital photography enhancement and manipulation. This technology allowed to youth to be creative while exploring the various options.
If you would like to learn more about 4-H photography and the photography curriculum go to: http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/curriculum/4-h-photography/mastering-photography/ to check out the available curriculum or contact your local 4-H Educator to explore resources available for youth interested in photography.