Every leap in technology is, initially, at the expense of quality. Only in time does quality catch up,and digital photography took several years to get near the results of slide film. But in the end film was buried under the mountain of advantages that digital offers. The constant search for greater speeds and reduction in size and costs follows Moore's Law of computers, which states that every 18 months the number of transistors that can be placed in an integrated circuit doubles. ln photogra- phy, this translates as memory, speed and pixels, which all continue to increase at a rapid rate while the hardware shrinks in size.

Every method has its particular quality. Digital tends to flatten photos, and auto focus keeps everything sharp. But early complaints about quality have largely disappeared, and results from the amateur photographer using inexpensive equipment can be stunning.

It is not just the figure in the picture above that tells you this is the Caribbean. It is the colour and the light. Beneath a deep blue sky, painted green and blue, the colours of these buildings could not be found in a northern climate. Heading away from the equator, the earth's atmosphere, through which the sun's rays have to travel, increases, causing a more limpid light and lowering the intensity of the co- lour. Nearer home, like wine that does not travel, the attractive lavendar blue of window shutters in Provence can look dull in a northern European country, even when the paint is taken from the same paint pot. Paints evolve locally, and the vernacular architecture in many countries for decades relied on — and was defined by — a limited range of proprietary paints

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We are all photographers now. It is almost impossible to travel without taking a camera, even if itls an addendum to a mobile phone. Sales from lapanese manufacturers, which make up more than 90 percent of the world market, are running at around 100 million cameras a year, and every month three billion photos are uploaded onto Facebook, videos reach YouTube at the rate of more than 20 hours a minute, and more words and pictures are added to the 200 million exist- ing travel blogs. Nobody thinks of travelling far without a camera, and when presented with new sights, we want to view them through a viewfinder or LCD.

Recent research by a former Latin America tour guide at the anthropology department of London University concluded that, when presented with a sight, tourists always take three photo- graphs: (1) the sight, (2) their travelling companion(s) in front of the sight, and (3) themselves in front of the sight, taken by a companion. What they are doing, the writer concluded, is behaving like consumers: they had bought the travel experience, and they wanted to have the goods to show for it, the pictures of them with the items, material entitlement for the money spent. To get better travel photo, you may view some photo retouching examples.

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For dramatic colour in nature, nothing beats a sunset,which is why it is so popular with photographers;to avoid your picture looking like a cliché, you need some forethought. The first thing you have to realise when photographing a sunset is that you don't have to shoot directly at the sun each time. If the light is exceptionally clear and bright, face away from it to see its reddish glow illuminating the scene stunningly.But if you do choose to shoot the sun itself, the two keys to success will be composing the sun against an interesting part of the horizon, and getting the exposure right. As the examples here show, it's what else is in the shot that makes all the difference, whether an ancient temple, or outstanding rocks on which the sun is putting on a departing show. The sun alone is never enough. When shooting into the sun, remove all filters to avoid ghost images. Polaroid filters are effective only if the sun is off to one side.

Overexposure is the worst mistake; this kind of shot wants colour richness. And if you want more landscape detail than a deep silhouette can provide, consider shooting a bracketed sequence for later exposure blending.

A telephoto will make the sun’s disc larger in the frame, and a really long lens (500mm equivalent focal length or more) can be spectacular, with the disc large enough to be a backdrop for a flock of geese, for example, in silhouette. Wide-angle compositions can also work well, with the sun a pinpoint and the horizon a wide sweep of silhouette. A cloud passing in front of the sun in this Wide-angle scenario can be useful for the composition as well as lowering the contrast.

In 2003 Stephen Johnson became the first photographer to be elected into the Photoshop Hall of Paine, an organisation that has much to slap backs about. Adobe Photoshop and its successors have meant that post-production now has just as much a roll to play in making an image as the camera. Be- cause the image can be practically re-shot on screen, altering the aperture by a full four stops, sharpening the focus and changing colour balance, many of the skills of the professional film photogra- pher are no longer necessary. Grain (“noise” in digital) has been all but eliminated and in 2005 I-IDR (High Dynamic Range) tonemapping was introduced by Adobe, allowing adjustments in brightness, contrast and saturation in local areas across the image, thereby enhancing detail. Some find the re- sults can look over-processed; others, once they learn a picture is created using HDR, say it detracts from their appreciation of the image. Whatever anybody thinks, it is a remarkable tool. If you have no time on retouching photos, choose our photoshop service as a prompt solution.

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