7 Easy Tips for Taking Great Photos with Your Digital Camera
By Laura Slade
If you think that all you need to do is just push the shutter button on your digital camera and great pictures magically appear; or the more features and options available in the digital camera, the better the digital photos … then prepare to be disappointed. With these thoughts, you’ll get mediocre to average digital photos, and maybe once in a while a lucky good photographic shot.
The truth is that great photos don’t happen by using great cameras, it’s you. You create great pictures. With a digital camera, you can make your own digital images look professional with a few basic skills and a willingness to do some digital photo retouching now and then.
Here are seven easy tips to help you take better photographs.
1. Set Your Tones
When shooting nature or wildlife photographs, try changing your white balance setting from auto to cloudy. This adjustment is like putting a mild warming filter on your digital camera. It increases the reds and yellows, resulting in richer and warmer pictures.
2: Polarizing Filter
A polarizing filter is the one filter every photographer should have for landscapes and general outdoor photography. Polarized shots reduce glare and unwanted reflections. The results are richer and more saturated colors in your photos. If your digital camera can't accommodate filters, a neat trick is to take a pair of quality sunglasses, and use them as your polarizing filter. Place the sunglasses as close to the camera lens as possible, check their position in the LCD viewfinder to make sure you don't have the rims in the shot, and get some color-rich digital images.
3. Outdoor Portraits
Set your camera settings to “flash on” mode. This lets the camera expose for the background first, then adds just enough flash to illuminate your portrait subject. The result is a professional looking picture where everything in the composition looks good without the need for digital photo retouching.
4. Macro Mode
Take better close-up and personal digital shots of the small things in your surroundings. On regular or auto digital camera settings, the minimum distance to take decent photos is about 3 feet. If you activate the close up mode on your digital camera you’ll be able to get within a foot of your selected object. Begin to explore your world in finer detail, you'll be rewarded with clear images unlike anything you've ever photographed before.
5. Horizon Line
Many times it’s hard to hold the digital camera level when using the LCD screen for viewing, which then results in uneven or crooked images. A great way to square up a photo is to look at nature's horizontal lines and use them as guides. Sometimes you can use the line where the sky meets the ocean, other times you can use a strip of land as your level. This is especially important when you’re thinking of enlarging your digital photographs, as the bigger the digital image, the more off balance the image will appear.
6: Digital Camera Memory Card Awareness
Always make sure you set aside a budget for additional digital camera memory cards. The nice thing with digital is that you can take several digital shots of the same scene, making little adjustments with tones, polarizing filters, flash, macro mode, etc. Then delete those digital photos that aren’t quite right. You’ll need the memory card space to store the extra shots until you review them.
7: High Resolution All the time
Select the highest resolution possible when taking digital photos. High resolution digital images give you more freedom to edit, crop and/or manipulate the image in any way you want without losing the quality. It’s easy to reduce the size of the digital photo once you’ve transferred it to your computer. It’s not advisable to enlarge the digital photo because you can’t add the depth of pixel color back into the digitized image. Unless you’re only taking photographs to e-mail to friends, you’ll want to have a high resolution image to edit and print.
For any of these tips, the best advice is to practice them. You’ll become familiar with the new techniques and along the way, learn more about your digital camera’s capabilities and settings. Those great photographs that you’ll want to share and display are just a few practice steps away.
About the Author: Laura Slade publishes the digital photo website http://www.digital-photo-tutor.com, a resource center for ideas and information on digital photo sharing, digital photo printing, digital photo projects, and the basics of caring for and using your digital photo equipment.[top of page] [more scrapbooking articles]