Techniques - The Secrets That Make The
Difference Between Dazzling Photos... or Boring Bloopers
So far we've talked about cameras and accessories. But
there's another very important element to taking pictures
that can't be ignored — the person behind the camera.
Digital photography technique may seem like a daunting
term, but it's really about the basics of digital photography.
No matter how good the camera is, the critical decisions
about the picture are always in the hands of the photographer.
That's why today we're going to talk about the art of
taking good pictures...
How Can I Improve My Digital Photography Techniques
And Make Sure I Take Good Pictures?
There is only one chance to capture each magic moment.
It's impossible to re-play the scene if you're disappointed
with your picture. That's why it pays to be prepared
and ready. Here are several tips to help you make sure
your digital pictures turn out memorable:
Get The Lighting And White Balance Right:
Lighting is much more important to digital cameras than to film cameras. If
your digital camera has settings for
different lighting conditions, such as daylight, cloudy,
fluorescent, incandescent, make sure you use them-it
can make or break your pictures. Never aim a digital
camera at a light source (unless it's a sunset or candles). Make sure that bright
lamps, sunshine, glare, etc. are out of the frame.
Use a flash for indoor shots and dim outdoor lighting. If
the flash is too bright, lower the intensity a couple of
f-stops, or use a homemade diffuser by placing a one-ply
tissue over the flash.
Be Sure To Get Close Enough:
One of the biggest reasons digital pictures look bad is
because they were taken from too far away. Avoid vast expanses of boring "dead" space
(like the walls, ceiling, grass, pavement). Move in and get close to your subject.
Fill the frame with the scene, the people,
or the faces you want and leave the background out.
It's almost impossible to completely eliminate red eye with a pocket or compact
digital camera. But it can be reduced by using the "Portrait" setting,
turning up the house lights, and having the subject face the light while
turning slightly away from the flash. If all else fails, use image-editing
software to remove red-eye.
Compose Your Pictures:
Before pressing the shutter, take a quick, objective look at the composition
and background. If there's clutter, distraction or a confusing subject, make
changes before taking the picture.
Steady The Camera:
Prevent "camera shake," by using a wall, table or tripod to hold
the camera steady, especially at night. And be sure to wait until the camera
completes the shot before you put the camera down can take 5 seconds or longer
if the light is low.
Be Prepared For Shutter Lag:
Digital cameras are really small computers-they require time to capture the
scene. Plan ahead when shooting people and especially children or your two-year-old's
smile could be a scowl by the time the shutter snaps. Anticipate the perfect moment
and press the shutter just before it happens. It's tough to do, but with
practice, you get better at it.
Use High Resolution:
High resolution and low compression produce smoother and more detailed images.
For best results, get 3.2 MP or higher and use the highest resolution for
important pictures you plan to print.
Have Battery Backups And Extra Storage On Hand:
Running out of batteries or room on your storage card puts a quick end to your
photo fun. Be prepared with spare batteries and another memory card so nothing
puts a damper on your memories.
Learn more digital photography techniques in "Master
Your Digital Camera in Four Easy Steps:"
Do all the strange terms in digital photography sometimes
seem to be another language? Can't tell the difference between
compression and dynamic range? Or a megabyte from a megapixel?
In the next section, I've included a quick Digital
Photography Terminology reference guide. Feel free to print it out and refer
Look for it tomorrow,