Shooting great digital photographs is getting easier all of the time with the great improvement being made in the area of photographic technology. However, the most important aspect of creating great photographs is still the photographer. The camera by itself cannot take great pictures. It’s the photographer behind the camera and his/her skill and technique that ultimately determine photo quality.
• Know Your Camera-Many people simply purchase a camera, flip quickly through the manual included with it and proceed to start shooting. This is not a good idea! After purchasing a new camera, you should take extra efforts to understand all aspects of its operation including how to control exposure, flash and different modes.
• Learn to Control the Flash-You should not always rely on the automatic flash included with the camera. Depending on the setting, you may need to switch the flash off or on. For example, when taking outdoor photos, it’s sometimes a good idea to turn on the flash to illuminate the subject. Conversely, you can use manual flash to turn off the flash when shooting photos indoors not requiring it.
• A Tripod is Essential for Long Distance Shots-Most modern digital cameras come equipped with a zoom lens for both wide and telephoto shots. However, when using the some of the longest telephoto settings, the camera can shake causing a blurred photo. By using a tripod, you can keep your camera still like. All wildlife photographers use tripods.
• Hold the Camera Level-Since most modern cameras come with a LCD, you can use it to properly frame your shots. Try to use horizontal lines and use them as guides. Holding the camera level is one of the most basic and important rules of photography to remember.
• Don’t Always Center Your Subjects-While centering a subject sometimes makes the best photo, you should also experiment by positioning the subject slightly off-center. Some photographers even suggest placing the subject 1/3 away from the center. This will help add variety to your shots and portfolio.
• Turn Around to Avoid the Sun-When taking outdoor photos, try to position subjects with the sun behind you. If the sun is directly in the camera’s field-of-view, your subjects could easily get overexposed and look washed out. However, with the sunlight behind you, enough light reaches the subject to showcase a wide variety of color without washing out features.
• Decrease Your Digital Camera’s Image Compression for Higher Quality Photographs-The more you compress your photographs, the more you decrease their quality. Try to set the compression settings on your digital camera as low as possible, or don’t compress at all if you can get away with it. If you can’t keep all your photos on one memory card, shop around and buy extra media.
• Get Down to Your Subject’s Level-Hold your camera eye level with your subject to capture expression. The subject doesn’t have to look directly at the camera. The eye level angle itself will create a personal and inviting feeling.
• Use Variety in Your Shots-Spice up your collection by including landscapes, people shots, close ups, wide angles, good weather, bad weather, black and white, etc…
• Add Depth to Your Photographs-Depth is very important to good photographs. You want the viewer to think they’re not looking at a flat picture, but through a window at a three-dimensional image. Add physical pointers just to assist the viewer’s eye. If your subject is a distant object, add a person or a tree in the foreground. A wide angle lens can exaggerate this perspective also. New techniques, like High Dynamic Range photography or HDR can also help achieve more depth in your photographs. New software like HDRCapture makes taking HDR photographs easier and quicker.
New technology is making digital photographs more and more life-like and this trend will surely continue into the future. However, it will always be essential for the person behind the camera to practice good techniques. Hopefully, these tips will prove useful as you explore the exciting hobby/profession of digital photography.
About the Author
Jason Dick is a technology expert and web author who works for eAcceleration Corporation in the Seattle, Washington area. He has been taking photographs for over 30 years and recently began writing articles for HDRCapture.
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