Digital Photos on Computers: Day 1

Flash Memory and Digital Storage Basics

Digital cameras store photos on "Flash Memory", an inexpensive storage format based on a silicon chip with no moving parts.

flash_storage.jpg

Uploading digital photos from a camera to a computer

Computing sizes

Hard Drives, Flash Memory, USB, CD, DVD, network, and other storage

Pixels

The basic reality and mystery of pixels: little rectangles storing a red, green, and blue brightness.  One million pixels makes a "megapixel" (or "MP"), which is actually quite a few pixels.  For example, the highest 1080p HD video is only 2 megapixels.  So a 10MP camera is capturing quite a bit more detail than you can see on the screen, but this lets you zoom or print poster-sized output. 

The general rule with pixels is it's easy to make fewer pixels, by averaging colors, but you can't make more pixels.  I've got some beautiful photos from my wedding that are nearly useless because they were taken on a 0.1 megapixel digital camera!

Image sizes:

The trickiest part about photo output is choosing a size.  More pixels gives you more detail, but also takes more disk space and network time.  You can shrink photos down one at a time in the GIMP or many other programs.  Picasa can shrink photos in batches, and can also automatically burn CD's.

Taking Nice Pictures with Digital Cameras

Digital cameras record light.  The more light there is to record, the better the image will be.  The amount of light captured is a product of:

Other tips and tricks:

Homework

 


Digital Photos on Computers is an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course taught by Dr. Orion Lawlor.