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How to Take a Picture

p8A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photography may be a more effective and reasonably inexpensive alternative to drawing or painting, but more thought and feeling goes into a painting than a photograph.

Photography is relatively simple in comparison to painting, which is a much more complex task. With photography, the composition is already completely arranged, but with a painting the objective is much more open to interpretation by the artist. The artist has the ability to capture much more emotion, understanding, and significance in an event and apply this fiery drive to his paintbrush when creating his own masterpiece.

When dealing with reality, I think a photograph may represent an actual physical recollection of a person or object, but a painting created from scratch adds the reality of perception to the equation. Reality is always open to a different observation and interpretation.

Artists during the Realism period concentrated on the real world as they saw it, and chose to construct their pieces of work with normal, everyday activities, therefore making it all the more real. One painter during this time period was Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In his piece titled Ville d'Avray, he chooses to capture a woman in a forest-like setting. The text states Corot worked very quickly so that he could capture the "underlying rhythm of nature" to make his landscapes reveal the magic moment of truth. In my interpretation, his quick brushstrokes in light and dark values are meant to create movement; you can practically see the wind blowing through the rustling trees, gently swaying the woman's long, flowing skirt. With his choice of colors, I can feel a slight chill from the breeze due to the haziness and dimly lit sky. If this were a photograph, the image would be less blurred, and I would see a woman, a couple of trees, and more defined colors. I wouldn't feel anything from the photograph. I would just see objects. With this painting however, I interpret it to make me feel a certain way (serene and lethargic), and it provokes me to ponder as to why this woman is amongst the trees on such a blustery day. This painting allows me to reflect and speculate upon whether the artist had similar feelings while creating such a magnificent composition.

Another thought-provoking painting created during the Realism period is Gustave Courbet's Burial at Ornans. Courbet was viewed as the leader of Realism in art, and he said "to paint a bit of country, one must know it." This may be the foundation of realism, because the artists chose simple, everyday events (such as Courbet chose a burial in this particular painting), and made them into complex narratives. In Burial at Ornans, Courbet makes me feel mournful from the dark composition, as it unfortunately reminds me of a funeral I recently attended. When I read that Courbet demanded the subjects in his picture of numerous sittings, I can only imagine what they had to think about to achieve such sorrowful dispositions. It is especially heart-wrenching when the viewer painstakingly examines all of the detailed faces, especially that of the altar boys. One innocent child is looking up towards an elder man, probably questioning "Why?" This simple action may be symbolic of so many of us looking up towards Heaven and asking God "Why?" when we lose a loved one. This painting is a true example of realism, and it was probably primarily rejected because people of that time period wanted optimistic pieces of art; not work that made them pessimistically question real life events.

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Basic Tips to Take the Perfect Photo for a Canvas

p7Expensive cameras do not equate to perfect photos on canvas! However, following some basic techniques and a good camera can get you the perfect shot! Some basic steps and suggestions from our end to get your perfect shot for the canvas:

  1. Set your camera to 'Highest' Quality Mode & Ensure Enough Free Memory

Your camera or phone may be able to take photos of a certain amount of pixels, but this doesn't necessarily mean that all photos taken will be captured using the highest pixels possible. So, ensure that your camera is set to high quality mode and there is enough memory. For example, if your camera or SD card is low on memory, your camera may automatically switch to taking photos using fewer pixels in order to save them to your device - the smaller the pixels the smaller the file. This, of course, will cause quality problems and when printed on canvas, this distortion will be obvious.

  1. Straighten the Horizon

Always pay attention to the lines and horizons in your photograph, even if you are taking a portrait. This is because unintentional angular lines throw off the balance of the photograph - the eye prefers level lines instead of uneven angles. This is even more important when considering a canvas, as your print will be hung on a wall above a fireplace, bed, or sofa. With straight lines surrounding your canvas, your image will look extremely out of place if it has been taken at an awkward angle.

Don't just look in the foreground - the background needs to be level too. There is a really easy way to make sure everything in your picture lines up, and most phones allow you to do this too. In your settings you will have the option of turning your viewfinder on or off. If you turn it on, you will see vertical and horizontal rulers on your screen that will allow you to align your images correctly. You can then view your photos normally without the viewfinder on.

  1. Shoot in a Good Light

Lighting is very important when it comes to taking photographs and even average lighting can define the difference between an amazing picture and a poor one. For printing on a canvas, you will need to take photos in a setting with a lot of natural light in order to get the highest quality print possible. If you are using a mobile phone or a compact camera try to avoid using flash and taking photographs in dark settings as the image you take will distort when it is printed big.

If you stand with the light behind you when taking a photograph, the subject of your shot will naturally light up, avoiding shadows across their structure. This isn't just relevant for portraits as photographs of nature, landscapes and buildings will be the same.

  1. Stabilize - Use a Tripod

Steadiness of your hand is very crucial to the final outcome of your shot. Many a times, the difference between a great and a good shot is how steady was your hand when the shot was taken. Good old tripods can be very handy to provide that steadiness especially when it comes to nature photography, shooting landscapes and sporting shots!

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Canon EOS 1300D Rebel T6 Camera Review, How Good Is It

p6The Canon Rebel T6, or 1300D as it is also called, is an entry-level DSLR camera, designed for people who want to develop their photography and perhaps move up from compact photography or bridge camera photography.

It has a good range of options in terms of helping people progress from the fully Auto settings to the preset ranges such as portrait or landscape, or food photography and and then on to the semi-automatic settings (Aperture priority or Shutter Speed priority on to full manual. It's quite nicely done. The design of the camera is simple, so it doesn't overwhelm you with too many buttons or distracting options. It's very well put together, and feels solid in the hand. The button tends to be designed for a right-handed photographer.

The file size it is just over 18 megapixels. There are cameras in this band which will offer you 24 megapixels, but 18 will give you 50 megabyte file and that's pretty much big enough for anybody. Professional cameras only five years ago would have shot about 18 possibly 24 megapixels as a maximum, so this is a pretty decent size.

The second thing to look at is the processor which is a DIGIC4+ processor. It is a an incremental increase on the DIGIC4 but Canon say it's about 60% percent faster and more efficient which is pretty good, and as a processor for this type of camera it works very well. It produces very high quality images and it can turn them around very quickly which means that when you get onto the burst speed which is 3 frames per second - not the fastest - but when you are shooting Jpgs at 3 frames per second, you can shoot continuously because the processor is fast enough to turn those into jpegs and format them very quickly. Which means there's no lag at all.

The next thing to talk about is the ISO range. It starts at 100 and goes up to 6,400 with a possible boost up to 12,800. Now to be honest most photographers probably won't want to go beyond 3,200 for this camera. To be fair, there's not a great deal of noise up to 3,200. There is a bit getting up to 6400 and more at 12800. But most photographers will probably want to work with in the 100 to 800 range and for that this is a pretty good camera.

The Rebel T6 also has a high resolution screen on the back which is very useful for two reasons - first of all you will need it if you're going to shoot video because that's how you look to shoot video through the screen. You will also possibly want it for shooting stills. This is ideal for people coming up from compact photography because that's how they shot before. The screen itself is very good it's actually really good high resolution and it does represent what you would see through the lens very well. The other reason for the screen is that it allows you to navigate through the menus and the tabs. It is not too complicated on the menus - it's actually quite intuitive.

In terms of Auto focus it has nine points which is OK. There are cameras which have more and why would you have more? Well if you're shooting something very small and very fast then having more focus points is useful, but for most purposes having a nine-point diamond shape focus Autofocus system is enough and as I say because we go back again to the processor the processor is quick enough so the autofocus is pretty sharp and pretty quick. The only places where you find difficulty are in very low light and also sometimes when you're shooting something which is low contrast so if you're shooting something which is all the same or similar sorts of colors. It will sometimes have difficulty focusing on that.

In terms of video it's actually very easy to use - there's an option on the dial. It will shoot Full HD 1080, it will shoot HD 720 and then it will go down to 640 as well it shoots progressive not interlace and so actually the quality that comes out of here is really pretty good. Of course Canon have an excellent reputation for video cameras.

One of the great selling points of this camera is its connectivity It has Wi-Fi and NFC connections which means that you can either send pictures, or videos, for that matter to your phone or your laptop computer and get them on social media or to your social media platforms very quickly and that's a really useful thing. Obviously it's for a generation who are into that kind of thing and they're the generation probably who are moving up from the compacts and the bridges so it's a really useful function.

Overall, this is a very good camera - especially for those who want to learn about photography and take it further. If you wanted to be picky you could say that it doesn't really excel anywhere. The only thing that is cutting edge is the Wi-Fi connectivity. You could say that the frame speed is a bit slow - yes it is. You could say that 9 point AF could be better - yes it could, and you could. But this is a very competitively priced camera for people who want to learn about photography and take it further. I think on that basis Canon have probably made most of the right decisions.

There are a couple of things I would have quite liked to have seen. I'd have liked to have seen an HDR function because I think that produces really strong photography and encourages people to take more pictures because they like that look. Also I don't quite liked for video to have had an external microphone socket which I don't think would have cost too much to put in and would have taken the video potential of this camera little bit further.

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Photography, a Brief and Detailed History

p5Do you love photography? Have you ever wondered how it all started?

Here's a brief history.

The first "camera" was invented during the 9th century by a man named, Alhazen, he is an Arab scientist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher whom had a fascination with the principles of optic. He discovered that a box with a pinhole is able to project an image onto an object/canvas using light.

Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer describes the method of Camera Obcura(meaning; Dark Room in Latin) in 1604. The Camera Obscura is a box fitted with a Len in which when faced in the targeted image, it would project a negative image on a piece of paper therefore artist would trace that image on a canvas/paper. Artist like Leonardo DaVinci uses this method for perspective drawing.

Things started to change in the history for photography during the 17th - 18th century when man's drive for discovery gets the better of them and the nature to discover and create kicks in.

In 1717, a German professor named Johann Heinrick Schultz first discovered that images could be recorded using silver nitrate on paper but was not able to sustain the image permanently. This was only the beginning.

During the 18th century photography was truly born when the discovery that an image could remain permanently onto a light sensitive surface after exposure. During this era there were 2 inventors that would compete for the title of 'best ways to make photos.'

A British scientist, Henry Fox Talbot discovered the 'Cal Type' process that could develop many copies from a single negative but the clear winner was a French artist/chemist named Louis Daguerra whom discovered 'The Daguerro Type' process. This process would engrave an image onto a bitumen-coated metal plate calling this process 'heliograph' in which produces sharper images. It was more popular because it is targeted to consumer masses.

It was not until 1827, when a French inventor named Josph Niepce partnered with Louis Daguerra in which Josph Niepce would create the first permanent photograph named 'View from the window at Les Gras'. It is the oldest and surviving photograph in history today.

Although, 'The Daguerro Type' process had ruled the photography world for a long time but this process is a tiresome one. This process still needs a dark room to process photos and it takes longer exposure time to get the right picture taken which means you would have to bring a dark room along and stand really still for a while. When this became a problem, head holders were invented to hold a person's head and that's one of the main reasons why you don't see people smiling in the old photographs as it is because nobody could hold a steady grin for that long.

In 1888, an American innovator and entrepreneur, George Eastman believed that everyone should have access to photography whom spend many late nights mixing chemicals in his mother's kitchen and created a dry plate graphic process. This process would allow exposed negative to be stored and developed later in a more convenience place and during that time, he sold dry plates and discovered that he could store all negative inside a plastic roll films that could fit into any handheld cameras. These film rolls are still used today. George Eastman was the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.