Digital Photography for Beginners

1. Product comparisons: What kind of camera do you need? How much are you prepared to spend?

Film vs. Digital
Point-and-shoot (under ~$500)
Pro-sumer ($500-$1500)
Professonal ($1000+ for the camera body -- lenses not generally included)

2. Feature considerations: What kind of pictures do you want to take?

Price
Megapixels
Optical vs. Digital Zoom
Size and weight
Battery type

proprietary

standard (AA)

rechargeable (NiMH) vs disposable (alkaline)

Storage type: Memory Stick (Sony), Compact Flash, SD Card (the most popular these days) , CD-RW
Special considerations

Weather and/or shock proofing
Automatic timer
Nighttime photography
Underwater photography
Long exposures
Fast action (Burst mode)
Panoramas
Close-ups

3. Review sites: How do you choose a camera or compare models?

Digital Photography Review
Digital Camera Resource

4. Safe places to shop online: Where can I get a good deal from a reliable company?

J&R
BH Photo
Amazon
Calumet Photo

5. Let's take some pictures: How do I take a good picture?

Focus

Auto vs. manual

Focal point

Stability (Tripods/Monopods)

GorillaPod

UltraPod

*Manual vs. auto features
Lighting

Outdoors-back to the sun
White balance (set for incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, sunny)
Err on the side of overexposure (more data to work with)

Exposure: auto vs. manual

Composition

Rule of Thirds

Candid vs. Posed

Angles

Zoom

Optical vs. Digital Zoom

Close-ups

Macro

Portrait using a telephoto lens

Flash and red-eye reduction

*Off-camera flash (Prosumer and Pro only)

Field trip: let's take some pictures

6. Sizing photos: How do I prep a photo before sharing it?

Crop: Can I cut unnecessary information from the picture?
Scale before you mail: Can I reduce the size of the file?

File Size Calculator

Web safe colors

Color picker

Digital Image File Formats: Different image formats for different purposes

JPEG

GIF

PNG

BMP
TIFF

RAW

7. Digital Editing Tools: How can I adjust a photo?

Software that comes with camera?
Software that works with your computer?

Photoshop & PhotoShop Elements
Aperture (Mac only)
iPhoto (Mac only)
GraphicConverter (Mac only)

8. Photo publishing websites: Where can I publish a set of photos?

Flickr
Photobucket
Picasa
.Mac and iPhoto's Web Gallery (Mac only)

9. Photo printing websites: Where can I get prints of my digital photos?

Snapfish
Shutterfly
iPhoto (Mac only)

10. Color Printing: How do I print my digital photos?

Selecting a photo printer

Inkjet

Dye-sub

Color laser

Color management
Sharpness
Resolution
Paper type
Fading
Waterproofing