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Cliff's Corner: Things to Know

Photos preserve memories of good times and special occasions, all of which happen only once. With a little effort, you can make your photo collection one to be proud of and you will be greatly rewarded as your collection grows. For 50+ years, photography has given me a lot of pleasure. It's fun, with the added benefit of preserving the very special moments of my life. For tips and techniques, see Cliff's Photography Tips. - Cliff

Basic Photography
1)  If you have a camera, read the user guide front to back to learn about its features. To go a little further, buy a book about basic digital photography to learn about composition, lighting and other useful techniques.
2)  Don't just point and shoot, think about each shot to make it count.
3)  Use photo editing software to enhance, resize and organize your photos.
4)  Consider photo albums. This may seem 'old school' to you, but it really is a great way to pass on a visual history of your family to your children. Also consider that computers and smart devices have storage limitations and risk of loss. Plus, albums can be passed down for many generations.

Back Up Your Photos
Back up frequently so you don't lose your entire photo collection. Back up PCs, smart phones or tablets to a portable media (DVD, USB flash drive or external HDD) so you have another copy. A friend of mine lost five years worth of digital photos when his system crashed, every photo gone forever. All it takes is theft, failed computer disk or failed storage on your device. Don't let this happen to you. Do an internet search to learn how to back up the devices you use. It will take less than an hour to do ... and it's well worth your time.

Preserve Your Memories
You can preserve old family photos, slides, 8mm movies, VHS videos by converting them to DVDs. An internet search will turn up stores in your area that perform this service. For example, check out Costco Photo Center. Prices start at $20. I had many hours of old slides and 8mm/VHS movies converted to DVDs for viewing on a TV or computer, then gave a set to each of my sons. This is a priceless gift.

The Next Level
Photography can be such fun when you take it to the next level. You'd need to start with a real camera that will produce results way beyond a smartphone. Then with camera in hand, you can search out unique opportunities to get that beautiful or unusual shot beyond just a typical point and shoot result. Vacations become more than just sightseeing when you add photography to the mix. To get an idea of what you can do, check out the tips and techniques at Cliff's Photography Tips.

A Little Humor
This 'Pearls Before Swine' comic strip sums it up for the casual photographer!
Your basic photographer!

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