Lots of great information which should improve your photography, whether you are a newbie or a pro. Photography techniques, composition, equipment and much more.

And you can be sure they are all appropriate family oriented sites. We have personally gone to each site to check it out. We want your web surfing be fun and safe.
We are proud to have been approved by "Family Friendly Site" and "Safe Surf".

This is some of our favorite music.
You can pick which song you want to listen to, or just let it play random songs.
If you don't want to hear it, just hit the off button, which is a nice feature.
And you can make your own Playlist at , using other people's music.


Everyone seems to be dazzled by the mega-pixel craze these days. The more you have, the better the pictures are, right?

I am sorry to say, not really. If you have a shakey hand, the images will still be blurry. If you take pictures in full sunlight, there will still be too much contrast. If the subject is boring, the megapixels will not be impressed and the print will not end up on someones wall (except maybe your mother's wall).

There's unually no reason to go wild with a 7 or 10 megapixel digital camera. When shopping for a basic point-and-shoot camera, there is no need for more than 3 megapixels. The reality is that there won't be any improvement in picture quality unless you plan to enlarge the photo print to larger than 8" x 10" or heavily crop the image. But you will notice a large price difference. A nice 5 megapixel camera costs just $150 while there are 10 mega-pixel cameras that will cost two or three times as much, but all you get are pixels. So, if they are just snapshots, you are not getting anything more for the extra money.

There is an interesting article by Dave Johnson on PC World, It is great info, but I don't agree, until he gets to the end of the article and talks about the camera's sensor size. That is what is important, in reference to quality. Read it and then experiment with print sizes.

A good rule of thumb is to use 200 to 300 pixels per inch of print. So if you want to make an 8" x 10" print, your digital file should be no smaller than 1600 by 2000 pixels, which multiplies out to a 3.2 megapixel image. Anything more does not improve the print. Strictly by the numbers.

There is one good reason for having mega-pixel capacity in your camera. It would be useful if you had to make a major crop of an image. If you only wanted to use a small portion of an image, and you cropped down to a small zoomed-in view, then the extra pixels would have been a good idea. If you only used a quarter of a 10 megapixel image, you would still have 2.5 megapixels left (I assume). But I can't imagine that a good photographer would need to do that very often. But I am giving you an excuse to pay extra money for those extra pixels when someone asks about it.

There are some things I would pay extra for. The standard optical zoom seems to be 3X or 4X. Anything more is always better, such as 10X. It is amazing how your options improve with more zoom. I enjoy sitting across the room and taking candid head shots of the family. They are not real nuts about it until they see a nice shot of themselves. And they are all so photogenic. Ignore the "digital" zoom feature. You can do the same thing at home on your computer by croping an image, with better control and a larger view. A camera with amazing zoom is the This is 20X zoom with 10 megapixels, which is way overkill. But the zoom must be fantastic. It also has the image stabilizer, which I imagine would be really nice. I have never touched one of these, but it must be amazing. And the price is not astronomical. Check it out.

The other features to look for are the many different automatic settings and the manual settings. The more setting options you have, the more creative you can be with your camera. And that's when the fun begins. And I love the "macro" setting, which allows you to get up close and gives that narrow "depth-of-field" look. It is fun learning what these different settings can do and can't do. And as you get advanced and learn more about your camera, you can have even more fun with the manual settings. My dyslexia keeps me from understanding the relationships, but I keep reading.

But pixels don't get you any of these creative options. And having lots of pixels doesn't make you a better photographer, but a good photographer can make great pictures without having monster pixels. Actually, many of the images we sell were taken with our old 3 megapixel PowerShot camera. And you know how great they are. So, if you are not going into the photography business, why pay extra for all of those megapixels?

Another good investment is a 2 giga-bit storage card.

Back in the old days, which would be two years ago, all I could afford were the 250 mega-byte storage cards. On a one day trip into the woods, I would could easily fill up two of those cards. But I would go home and download the files directly to our computer, just like everyone else.

When we went away for a vacation of a week or more, or even just a weekend, the cards would not be enough storage capacity, so we bought a portable hard drive. The device, made by SmartDisk, is called the FotoChute FC20 (this model is no longer available, it's been two years). It has a storage capacity of 20 giga-bytes and is small, 2.5" x 2.5" X .75" thick. Every night we download all of our files from the cameras and don't have to worry about storage. It downloads a lot of pictures relatively fast, directly from the camera. The operation is very simple, just plug in and push one button. It is a great device.

There is apparently a new model on the market, the .It is not always available and you might have to search for it on the internet. I would also believe that there are many other manufacturers and models out there to compare. Things change so quickly in electronics.

But, one of our storate cards died this past summer, so I replaced the old 2.5 mega-byte cards with a 2 giga-byte card. I was surprised how low the prices have come down. At these prices, you shouldn't get anything with less capacity. And I was also surprised at the fast performance. I thought the larger capacity would slow down the card's response. But I was wrong. Very nice. Here is one source for the cards, . Our camera uses the CF cards, so check to match your storage card type.

And you should not have to worry about running out of picture image file storage space on a day trip, ever again.

"For stunning photography with point and shoot ease, look no further than Canonís EOS Rebel XSi. The EOS Rebel XSi brings staggering technological innovation to the masses. It features Canonís EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Live View Function, a powerful DIGIC III Image Processor, plus a new 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and is available in a kit with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with Optical Image Stabilizer. The EOS Rebel XSiís refined, ergonomic design includes a new 3.0-inch LCD monitor, compatibility with SD and SDHC memory cards and new accessories that enhance every aspect of the photographic experience."

This is the camera we use. Well, ours is a few years old and has less features, but is still the same price. This is a great camera for someone who is serious about photography as a hobby. It has lots of flexibility, interchangeable lens (you can use your old Canon lens), and allows you to be creative and experimental. The price is midrange, and there are more expensive models (see mega-pixels above). We are very happy with our Canon Rebel.

Click on the link on the left for more details and latest price.

After going to site, click on "Electronics", then "Cameras". Nice selection of cameras, lenses, lens adapters, lights and flashes, batteries, media cards, tripods and accessories.

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