Back in the 1980s when I was studying engineering in college, I used to joke that in the future every conceivable device would come with a built-in digital clock. I was right, in a way; but if I had been truly prescient, I would have predicted that someday everything would come with a camera. After all, almost everyone owns at least one camera and probably two (if you include the ones in cell phones) these days. In 1985, that would have seemed as strange as the thought of owning more than one television did in 1955.
Recording our lives with digital photography is so commonplace today that it has become second nature. In 1985, who would have thought to shoot a panoramic photo of a vacation spot or to experiment with an evening photo of a neighbor's yard light? Film was too expensive to justify such unlimited picture taking. These days, "film" is free, and you can capture images like this one all day (or night) long.
If we're snapping so many photos, though, shouldn't we try to take the best ones we can? Here's a primer on digital photography--how to get started, explore the world of photography, and start down the path toward becoming a better photographer.