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Easy Digital Imaging

For just a minimal investment, you can begin to digitally enhance your pictures and, in just a few hours, come up with exciting results that will really amaze you. And I use the word "amaze" not as hype, but as an accurate description of how you'll feel, because this stuff is really easy to do...much easier than learning how to develop and print film the traditional way. Just don't buy into the myth that nothing less than high-end programs and super-pricey computer equipment will do the job- that's like saying only an expensive camera can produce good pictures.

All you need is a digital camera, a basic computer (which you probably already have), a photo-quality printer, maybe some additional memory, and a removable media external drive- all of which are dirt cheap these days. You'll also need some imaging programs. More than one program? Well, yes, because just as one camera (or a single lens) is usually not enough to give you the technical and creative versatility you need, one program may not suffice either. But the good news is the programs I'll suggest are all under $100...and one of the best is under $40!

You'll be able to crop, get rid of dust marks and scratches, burn-in, dodge, bleach, sharpen, soften, split tone, retouch color, and perform dozens of other functions including correcting perspective. And do it so quickly and easily, that your results will soon surpass those of conventional photographers who took years to learn their craft.

Cameras and Computers

First, let's talk about basic camera requirements. Any digital camera that has a 640 by 480 pixel resolution would be a good start if you don't need or want prints larger than 4 by 6 inches. If you do require bigger prints, you'll need to up the resolution: digital cameras in the 1060 by 768 range will produce excellent 5 by 7 inch prints while cameras with 1280 by 960 pixel resolution and beyond will yield prints 8 by 10 inches and larger.

Now for computers. PC users will need a 386 or later processor, Windows 3.1, 95 or 98 and at least 12MB of RAM. On the MAC side, you can squeak by with a 68020 or 68030 processor, but a 68040 would be better. You'll need System Software 7.1 or later and at least 8MB of RAM for 68k machines and 12MB for Power Macs.

Both platforms require at least 20MB of free hard drive space available (over and above what's required for your System and other programs). If you can afford it, buy more memory; you can now get 32MB of RAM which used to cost $1300 for under $100. To embellish an old saying: You can never be too rich or too thin... or have too much RAM.



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