Express your creativity visually, through photographs.

World Photography Day is celebrated on August 19 every year. Today photography is a popular hobby amongst children and adults alike. And much like painting or drawing, photos have become a great way to express ourselves visually and to document our lives. The best part about photography is that we need only two things to begin – you and the camera.

Cameras are of many kinds, while professional photographers use highly specialised cameras called SLRs, our very own point-and-shoot cameras (digital compact cameras) or even cell phone cameras can be effective in creating good photographs.

Most point-and-shoot and cell phone cameras these days have various settings.

Right settings

Some of these settings include- exposure (the amount of light you allow into you picture), focus (some cameras allow you to specifically ‘focus' on a particular point), flash (for taking pictures in low light), contrast, ‘mode' selection (which specifically allows you to set your camera for shooting specific subjects - landscape, portraits and so on), zoom (to move closer or farther from your subject) and effects (that allow you to take pictures in black and white or sepia). Understanding and using these setting help us take better photographs.

What makes photography exciting is the fact that you can explore various subjects, says Sucharitha Rao, a professional photographer. “I personally love do portrait photography, but landscapes, flowers, monuments, objects, pets, festivals and people doing various activities all make very interesting subjects! My friends love my food photography too.

Good photography is all about experimenting- try taking photographs from unusual angles- from up high or down low. Play with light! Take pictures in different types of lighting- bright and low. Take pictures outdoors and indoors. A very interesting way to take pictures is to set your subject in a room with low light near a window with bright light! You'll love the effect! Move around your subject and experiment with zoom. Avoid flash as much as possible.”

Once you take your pictures and load them onto your computer, basic photo-editing software like Picasa and www.picnik.com can help you .