There was this guy who owns a state-of-the-art, high-end digital SLR. Since it was my first time to meet him, I initially thought that he could be a photographer, hobbyist or by profession, when he brandished the hi-tech gear. This initial impression only lasted until I saw one of his shots – man, there was no composition! What waste of money – unless of course, he manages to get acquainted with photography, even the basics at the least. Otherwise, the digicam ends up as the display instead of it churning out images for display.
Before you can even jump to tinkering with digital photography techniques, it would be good to learn basic composition skills to produce good-looking photographs. By composition, we mean that the elements in the captured image are interacting with each other in harmonious relationship. There is a focal point and overall balance. Framing the subject matter helps improve the appearance of your photograph. You can try canopies of trees, arbors, or rows of trees for such effect. Weeping willows are just one example of elements effective for framing, with their drooping branches that can form into a dramatic frame for the composition. Your focal point does not necessarily have to be always at the center, but make sure that you still achieve a visual balance. Also, your finished product will turn out better if you keep looking for the best vantage point to create your desired composition.
To yield better picture results, it is imperative that you learn the tricks of your camera by reading the user’s manual carefully. Some people would waste time wondering why their pictures turn out bad with their digital camera, when all they needed to do was read the manual to know that they have to press halfway first to lock into focus. This attitude is perhaps influenced by the false assumption that digital cameras are supposed to make perfect-looking pictures with the least effort, and without the hassles associated with conventional cameras. It would also help to check out the website of your camera’s manufacturer to gain information, tricks and techniques that may not have been discussed in the manual.
The most common mistake in digital photography has got to be blurs. Pictures turn out blurred when the photographer does not keep a steady hand while shooting. It will help if you hold the camera closer to your body, bringing your elbows as near to your chest as possible, so long as you can still view the LCD. Another sure way of ensuring the camera is steady is with the use of a tripod. Tripods are useful when creating special effects, which you can do using special effects features already built inside your camera or by switching to the manual mode.
Once you feel you have outgrown the auto mode function, it would be interesting to experiment with the manual mode, so you can create more interesting photos. For instance, by slowing down the shutter, you can create impressive pictures of flowing water, or create interesting photos of moving objects. It is advisable that you use a tripod if you are going to expose the subject for longer than one second. You can also experiment on the use of the flash. Do not be too dependent on the auto mode to decide when it is appropriate to turn on the flash. Most digital cameras offer excellent close up functionality through the macro mode, so you might want to take advantage of this and experiment on your own. You can use the macro mode to get really close to a minute subject matter, as close as the camera will allow.
With digital imagery, it becomes easier to enhance and alter photos with the use of computer software. Here, you will not need worry about red eye, and you can even remove blemishes like magic. However, software can only go so far, and it is still best to perfect the picture at the point of capture – it will save you a huge amount of time editing.
Digital cameras offer broad possibilities for creating great images. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not take full advantage of these possibilities and end up with mediocre photographs. Do not assume that the digital camera will do the magic for you. A lot of the work will have to rely on the user, so you should exert some effort to learn some tricks and techniques to see the full potential of your gadget.
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