Digital Horizons; Digial Story

Digital Horizons

DS322: Make a photograph that emphasizes the horizon. It’s your choice whether to place it on the third lines or to center it.

As much as I want to just “jump in” and start taking pictures, I’ve forced myself to take a step back and read up on some of the basics to get me started with my digital story.

To begin, Hedgecoe reminded me to familiarize myself with my camera’s capabilities; so, to recap, here’s what I’ve discovered about my humble little Cyber-shot:

While my camera has several auto modes for specific scenarios (e.g. low-light/night settings or portraits/”soft snaps”), the “Program Auto,” or “P” mode (as I’ve always referred to it) allows the photographer to manually adjust more settings than I was aware of, including:

  • focus distance: auto/center/0.5 m/1.0 m/3.0 m/infinity
  • metering: spot/center/multi
  • white balance: flash/incandescent/fluorescent/cloudy/daylight
  • ISO: 1250/800/400/200/100/80/auto
  • image quality: fine (8.1 mpx)/standard (#? mpx)
  • REC mode (for recording?): multi/multiburst/burst/normal
  • contrast
  • sharpness

Unfortunately, the most important setting that I cannot adjust is exposure time (which lets you take amazing pictures like this one.)  Anyway, I can work around this problem once I upload my pictures or gain access to a more versatile camera, so I’m not too worried.

I was also curious as to what the differences are between digital and film cameras.  Schaub outlines a good comparison in his first chapter. Basically, digital cameras are more convenient versions of film cameras; however, I personally disagree with Schaub’s assertion that “your digital camera can do everything a comparable film camera can do, and more.” While I agree digital cameras are more convenient than film cameras (e.g. no film changing, dark rooms, or excessive printing charges–and more), I disagree that the quality of digital images is better than what I’ve seen from film cameras.  There’s something about pixels that can’t quite touch the clarity of film images. Regardless, I don’t think I’ll be enlarging my photos to the point that 8.1 mpx will be an issue, but it was a statement that struck me as somewhat questionable.

I also uncovered some food for thought concerning the creation of “good” photographs.

When discussion digital photography, Schaub points out,

“the essential nature of making a picture has not changed all that much.  The effectiveness of a photograph still relies on the quality of light, the photographer’s point of view, and, of course, the content.”

This statement eased my apprehension about learning digital photography prior to film photography.  I’d initially wanted to work with film, which most of my friends did back in high school (while I was sentenced to taking physics—yes, I’m still bitter), but since the principles of composition and design still apply, pixels or no pixels, it’s just simpler to share digital photos than develop and scan a roll every week.

Lastly, something I noticed that I’d failed at with Daily Shoot and was verified by Comon, who asserts images that “cross language barriers, appeal to people of all age groups, and to individuals of both sexes equally” are what make certain photographers stand out.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think my photographs appeal to both sexes, which I’ll admit (if you haven’t noticed already) are often products of my rather “girly” style.  That being said, I was surprised that an even distribution of guys and girls liked my chaos entry considering it featured ridiculously girly jewelry.

Enough rambling!  The plan (thus far) for the week is to experiment with the fundamentals of photographic composition, which I’ll post the results of next weekend.


  1. I really am looking forward to your project this semester, to see what you learn and what kinds of photos you take. Maybe I will learn something to… considering I know almost nothing about photography 🙂