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collection of gray scale photos

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

When was the last time you sat down with a loved one to look through a treasured photo album? If you’re like many of us, it’s probably been a while. This Saturday, June 29, is National Camera Day, and we think there’s no better time to celebrate the magical history of photography as well as cameras themselves.

You may be surprised to learn that the cameras have an extensive history. The device first made its debut in the Middle Ages. A physicist named Alhazen discovered the idea of Camera Obscura, the act of reproducing an image with color and perspective preserved. This discovery led to the invention of history’s first pinhole camera.

Over the years, many scientists experimented with photography, developing different types of cameras, but the tools didn’t become accessible to amateurs until George Eastman began producing and manufacturing film in 1955. He later created a brand that we all surely recognize, Kodak.

Of course, the whole industry was turned on its side when Steven Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1975 while working at Eastman Kodak. Unfortunately, the discovery was not given the recognition that it deserved. At that time, the company was afraid that digital products would compete with their film products and did not pursue the venture. The digital camera became available to the public in the early 1990s.

Nearly 30 years later, we don’t have to tell you that times have changed. Unless you are an aspiring photographer, you probably don’t have a high-tech camera; you simply rely on the device that can be found beside you.

Smartphones have allowed everyone to become a photographer. We now all have the ability to take a picture, edit it and share it with the world in mere minutes. The problem; however, is that many of our photos never actually see the light of day. We may scroll through them occasionally when we want to take a quick stroll down Memory Lane, but they rarely get a permanent home in a photo album for future generations to see.

In honor of National Camera Day, we challenge you to start taking pictures with the intention of printing and preserving. These four easy tips can help you take your best photos yet, even if you are only using your trusted smartphone:

  1. Clean the lens

    We know, this is a simple one. You can take the sharpest images by staying on top of dust and grime. Use a clean, microfiber cloth to get the job done.

  2. Use natural lighting

    Did you know that the word “photography” effectively translates into “painting with light?” You may have noticed that professional photographers often have more tools to play with lighting. Remember this when taking your own pictures. When possible, be sure to have the primary source of light shining on the subject.

  3. Avoid using zoom

Again, you may see many professionals utilizing the zoom function, but smartphone cameras do not work the same way. Rather than actually zooming in on the subject, the camera just crops the image. Instead of using the zoom, just try moving closer.

  1. Turn on the grids setting

A common rule in photography is “The Rule of Thirds,” the idea behind the rule is to break the image into thirds to create a well-balanced and interesting shot. Learn more here. You can imagine the grids themselves, or you can find the setting on your device.

Just think of where we’d be if we didn’t have cameras in our life. We likely wouldn’t recognize many elder family members, look back at history or have the chance to relive the most important memories of our lives. Make sure to keep this in mind as you think about photographs in today’s world. Your great-grandchildren will want to see pictures of you!

Are you a smartphone photo gallery scroller, or do you still print many of your photographs? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy National Camera Day from Lions Pride!