How to Take Pictures with a Webcam

By Techwalla Contributor

The Internet affords the average user a variety of telecommunication methods. The ability to send correspondence in an email format is a simplification on traditional letter writing. As the Internet has revolutionized how we communicate, it has also brought about change to the way we photograph. Much like traditional media networks, web cams work on the same principle of "what you see is what you get." Taking a picture with a web cam can be as easy as "point and shoot."

Things You'll Need

  • A web cam
  • A personal computer
  • A mouse

Step 1

Ensure the web cam is secured to your personal computer (PC). Most web cams use a "plug and play" principle. You plug the web cam in; it operates.

Step 2

Install the required software for the web cam to operate. This may involve placing a CD in one of the drives, or alternatively, downloading the software from a host site.

Step 3

Always reboot the computer after installing new software.

Step 4

Click on the desktop icon or the program icon to start the program. If the program is correctly functioning, the web cam will start producing an image of its view on the desktop. Adjust the web cam for a clear picture and the view you want.

Step 5

Most web programs will have a icon for "take picture." Left click on that icon or button. The web cam, like a normal camera, will then "freeze" that image and place it in a photo library.

Step 6

Open the photo library and examine the image just taken. Congratulations, you just took a photograph with your web cam.

Tips & Warnings

  • The image taken by a web cam can be manipulated, resized and altered like all digital images. Often the clarity of the web cam is not as good as photographs taken on 35mm film. Select a program, such as Photoshop or Irfanview, to adjust the image before sharing.
  • The field of focus of a web cam diminishes the greater the subject distance. Primarily designed for the subject to be seen within 1 to 10 feet of the webcam, it can be used to take landscape photographs, although depth of field is compromised.