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Come in! There are a few adventures I’ve written about, but most of the content offers classes in photography and mentoring for photographers, including photo theory, which, although a vital part in our profession, is largely an overlooked subject in all published media that profits from and feeds our gadget minded mindset today.

Without limitation of film, camera gains functionality -A18

September 19 2009 - Photo Technical

Welcome aboard photo enthusiast!  Remember how we used to have to buy film?  We wanted (had) to make every shot count.  It could take weeks before we finished a roll of exposures, and then we would process, print, and pay while a day or more passed before we picked up the results.  With this in mind it is worth mentioning again how digital cameras has changed the way I use my camera.  Sure, I still photograph my shipmates and beautiful seaside vistas, but now since I no longer have to wait and pay, and I can delete pictures I don’t like or need, I literally often use my camera as a copy and recording machine.

If you see something on a sister ship you might like for yours, if you need to replace a certain part on board, if you had a little fender bender, if you are doing some comparative shopping, why try to remember or take notes…..just take a picture.   There are so my possible “if’s” where you can use your camera to copy and record, and then when your needs are met you can delete the photo from your camera memory card.

There are several handy camera features that I often use when using my camera as simply a recording device.  One is usually, that is on most compact cameras, represented by symbol of flower close up.  On my camera the symbol has a button next to it.  When pressed it shows up on the LCD screen to let me know it is in the ‘macro mode.”

You will have to experiment with your camera to determine its actual magnification capabilities.  If it were 1 to 1 (1:1) it would mean you could photograph your ring at it’s actual size without enlarging it in the printing process.  But with most cameras this will not be possible.

There may also be a bit of distortion, called barrel distortion, but if you are taking close ups of flowers or using your camera for copy-recording purposes it will not be a troublesome issue.  You can have a bit of fun with it getting real close on friendly faces.

Finally, you might think that setting the lens to telephoto using the zoom button while also pressing the close up feature will get you really close to a subject.  Well, yes, but the results will also be out of focus.  It is important to have your camera lens set to its widest angle, so press the zoom out button to be sure.

Talking about things being out of focus, whether you are taking a photo of friends or recording some pricing on a shopping excursion it is always worthwhile to check your focus and here is the way to do this.  Most compacts have a review or preview button.  On my camera it is noted by a green right facing arrow.

When I press the arrow button the last photo taken appears.  From here I can press the right or left arrows on my “omni selector” to work my way through other photos I have taken.  Now I can check the focus of any picture by pressing the same button used for “zooming in and out” in the photo mode (remember I pressed that button to go into review/preview mode).  The zoom ‘rocker’ button most often has a + sign and – sign signifying its function.

So when I press the zoom + I will zoom in.  On my camera I can zoom in close quite a bit.  Once I have zoomed in at any level the right and left direction buttons on the “omni selector” no longer change through the photos I have taken.  Instead they allow me to pan right or left through a photograph taken, while the up and down arrows allow me to tilt through the photo.  Overall I can zoom in a great deal on a photograph taken and at any stage move around it, up, down, right or left to easily determine how well things were focused.

Whether you take photographs of friend’s water skiing or you are recording a document, you certainly want the results to be in focus using the means described above.  After you have reviewed your image, simply press the zoom out (-) side of the button and you will get back to the full frame shot.  From there you can use the right and left buttons on the “omni selector” to go through and check other photos taken, or hit the review/preview button again to get back the photo taking mode again.

Do note on my camera the right, left, up, down dial is termed an “omni selector.”  Your camera will have the same functional dial under another name.  So while you are making good use of the close up and focus checking functions I ask for permission to come ashore.