Saturday, October 20, 2007

FIVE Tips and Techniques That Will Have You Taking Great Digital Photos

Taking great digital photos is not as hard as you might think! In fact, if you are wondering how to take great digital photos, these 5 proven practical tips will tell you just that! By following these quick tips and techniques you will significantly improve your digital photography to the point where you will be taking impressive photos everyday
Taking great digital photos is not as hard as you might think!In fact, if you are wondering how to take great digital photos, these 5 proven practical tips will tell you just that!By following these quick tips and techniques you will significantly improve your digital photography to the point where you will be taking impressive photos everyday!

1) Focus & use Flash
Make sure you and your camera are focusing on the same thing!Check which ‘mode' the camera is set at to see whether your camera is ‘looking for' a single subject (often in Macro, Portrait and Sports Modes). Or is it trying to ‘pull' everything into focus - such as in the Landscape Mode?Set the camera to the appropriate mode for your subject, or use the auto mode - where the camera will decide for you the best focus and exposure for the subject.
Use Flash - even in daylight!This is often called ‘fill-flash'. Using it will lessen any harsh shadows, resulting in better light for your photo. This tip is great if you take photos in the middle of the day when the light is harshest.
It works particularly well for portrait and group photography.
But remember the flash on your camera is only good for about 10 feet - don't stand too far away from your subject!

2) Take More Photos!
Get out there and take more photos with your digital camera.
It won't cost you anything!It will give you practice and skill using your camera so handling it will become second nature; you then have more time to think about the photo itself!This tip will also increase your chances of getting that great photo – particularly with group shots, where you might find later that someone was blinking etc.
Children and pets are great to practice this tip on as they can be difficult to get that perfect shot of, and you will need to keep taking photos to capture it!*NB* If you don't have a big enough memory card you will need to delete some photos every half hour or so.
A better option is to invest in a larger memory card. That way you can take as many photos as you need (always more than you think), and not worry about deleting those that don't quite make it until later!

3) Off-Centre the Subject
That's right! Get the subject out of the middle of the photo!Use the ‘rule-of-thirds' to position the subject in a pleasing location in the image.
The ‘rule-of-thirds' is like having an imaginary ‘tick-tack-toe' diagram drawn on your focus screen. Where those lines cross is where you place the subject.
This can really make a difference to your photographs.
But don't use it all the time - remember rules are made to be broken!

4) Move In Closer & Simple Backgrounds
Most people stand too far away from their subject!Don't be afraid to get in close! Take a few steps closer and see what a difference it makes.
If you cannot get in closer, use your optical zoom (never the digital zoom) to bring the focus closer to you.
You could even kneel or stand on a chair to get in closer and to change the perspective of the photo.
Optical zoom uses the mechanics of your camera; digital zoom is an electronic function. Results from digital zoom often produce poor quality photographs.
Simple Backgrounds -Try to find a ‘simple' background for your subject.
One that is uncluttered and unobtrusive.
This can be particularly important for portrait and group photographs. You don't want to have a distracting background for a lovely soft portrait, or have the classic light pole ‘growing' out of someone's head!Move the subject/s into a position that will minimize the background.
Remember having the subject further from the background will also lessen its effect.

5) One Key Subject
Focus on one key subject to make the photo really stand out!Stop trying to record everything you see!Pick a focal point that will be the centre of ‘attention' which you can concentrate on.
Using portrait or macro mode can help this technique as both have shallow depth of field - which effectively ‘blurs' everything in front and behind the focused subject.
Try picking one key subject, such as a single flower, and see what the difference it makes to your digital photos!
There are factors which affect the depth of field, such as how close you stand to your subject, so you will need to experiment as see what works best for you.

How Many Remote Controls Does It Take?

If you already have a pile of remote controls for your home entertainment center, here are some options on how to reduce it down to one.
If you have purchased a number of electronic A/V components for your home entertainment system you already know that each one usually comes with its own remote control, and you probably already have a growing collection. You can imagine what it can become if you outfit your A/V system with lots of new equipment with even more remotes. You can easily end up with a pile of 10 remote controls or even more. This can become a real nuisance.

For example, just imagine that all you want to do is watch a DVD movie. Typically you would have to pick up the TV remote, turn it on and switch the source to DVD input. Then you need to pick up the Receiver remote, turn it on and switch the input to DVD audio. Then you need to pick up the DVD remote, turn it on and press play. Then if you want to adjust the volume, it’s back to the Receiver remote. To solve this problem there are lots of special remote controls on the market that can combine all remotes into one.

Learning remotes
These remotes can actually learn the infrared codes of your other remotes. So, for example, you can enter a number for your TV brand and it will "learn" the infrared codes of your TV remote. This sounds pretty neat but sometimes there isn’t a code for each piece of your equipment.
A better type of "learning remote" can actually receive the infrared codes from your other remotes by just aiming each remote at it and pressing each button that you want it to learn. It can take a while to send the codes of all of your remote buttons, but once it is set up, this one remote should be able to control all of your equipment. If you are going to get this type of remote, you should have it demonstrated to see how easy it is to use since the quality and complexity varies quite a bit.
Learning remotes are sometimes included with A/V Receivers since receivers are often used as the main switching device for all of your A/V inputs and outputs in a home entertainment system.
The best learning remotes also allow you to program single button "macros". These single buttons actually contain a string of automated commands such as: "Turn on TV, Turn on DVD, Turn on Receiver, Set Receiver input to DVD, Set TV input to DVD, and finally Play DVD". A good example of a learning remote with macros is the "Pronto" made by Phillips.

Universal remotes
These multi-brand (or "universal") remotes are pre-programmed to operate several different brands and types of equipment. They are designed to allow you to control a lot of your equipment from just one remote. At first, this may seem like the solution, but the problem is that it may not have all of the infrared codes needed for your particular equipment. So, it may help, but won’t completely solve the problem.

2 Way remotes
Two way remotes are remote controls that (in addition to all of the other things mentioned above) can upload and display information on the remote’s LCD screen from your equipment. This lets you see information like what radio station you are tuned to or what input is active on your receiver, etc...
Once the "Netcommand" system is set up, control becomes somewhat automated. So, for example if you select the DVD player from the onscreen display, the TV and Receiver will automatically switch to the correct DVD inputs and the TV remote will now operate the DVD player.

Crestron control systems
Crestron is a company that makes high end control system components that are designed for sophisticated control and automation of A/V systems. The primary control unit is usually a LCD touch screen which can be wireless and sit on a table or be wall mounted in several locations throughout the home. This is useful if you want audio and video distributed to several rooms with multiple remote control stations. Crestron systems will not only control your home theater components, but can also control your lighting, curtains, electric screens, video security systems, and even environmental temperature and humidity controls.
Crestron makes a number of different Color and B&W LCD touch panels ranging in size from 6" up to 15" that can have a customized screen layout that can even have the floor plan of your home appear on it. They can be wired or wireless and can have 1 way or 2 way control. These installations usually require a professional and often require a lot of custom wiring in the walls. If you are creating a home theater from the ground up, you should consider their offerings. See the Crestron web site at

Home Audio Video interoperability control systems
HAVi (Home Audio Video interoperability) is a standardized technical specification that allows for bi-directional communication between audio, video and other components linked together by "firewire". This allows command and control of all of the components that are linked together including routing of power signals between devices. This is a relatively new standard and not all manufacturers have components that are compatible.
Mitsubishi has developed an HDTV with this HAVi system where the TV is the primary control device and any firewire enabled component that is plugged into the network of equipment can be controlled from the TV. Since not all components are available with this firewire technology, Mitsubishi has added a "NetCommand" system that allows the TV remote to control everything. Once everything is set up, the TV displays onscreen menus for all of your components and lets you choose and control them.
So in summary, you can get rid of all of those remotes and replace them with one.

Legal Music Downloads is better

Artists and Music companies were enraged years ago by Napster, a website that allowed online enthusiasts to download and share music with free charge. People figured that since you can get songs from the internet, there was no reason to buy CDs. And As a result record sales dipped and many companies lost millions, cases were filed at Napster and many people were charged for stealing music.

Now legal music download sites have replaced the illegal sites of the past and are becoming more popular. After realizing that paying for music downloads help the music industry, many people have become comfortable with paying for the songs they want. MP3 players have also contributed to the rise of modern digital music and legal music downloads. Those who still chose to defy the law to acquire free music are finding out the hard way that the risks of downloading music through illegal means can be costly mistakes.

Although many online sites still offer free music downloads, most of these music downloads are littered by spyware and virus. These sites are illegal and can wreck havoc to you computer. You may choose to download music from these sites but do at your peril. After being reincarnated Napster is now a safe and legal music download site that offer free membership. Restrictions have been placed on some songs but these are meant to protect the rights of the music companies and the singers who made the song.

We have the risks of downloading music on sites that are not for legal music download far outweigh the gains. With each song you download you also receive a bonus of viruses , malware, and spyware to infect your system. You cannot rely on firewalls and antivirus programs to protect you every time you download free music. Sure, they will be able to detect a few corrupted files but for how long? To be on the safe side and to avoid spyware, virus, and legal charges support legal music download sites to enjoy junk free music. Have a nice download