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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

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You’ve succumbed to temptation and have invested in a digital camera. Congratulations! And you’re just itching to use it to take some awesome photos.  The great thing about digital cameras is how easy it is to delete the awful photos. No waste of film or time involved in the bad ones. But you want to take good photos, which is not so easy.

Good or bad photos, the common denominator is you. A camera doesn’t take great photos — the photographer does.

To help you create your portfolio of totally awesome photos, here are nine tips for your consideration.

1.            Get to know your camera. I think every single person on the planet who buys a nifty gadget like a digital camera wants to pull it out of the box and start using it right away. I hate to say it but read the manual! Boring, I know, but your digital camera is not as uncomplicated as a crayon. It comes equipped with many cool features, and if you want to use them, learn from the manual.

2.            Learn to use the flash properly. Don’t rely solely on the automatic flash. There are some shots, such as outdoor photos, when using the flash to illuminate a subject makes for a much better picture.  This is especially true when the subject is in the shade.

3.            Keep your camera level unless you are getting all artsy and purposely want your subjects at an angle. This takes practice. Your camera’s optics may distort the picture when rendering it on the screen, and this makes it difficult to line up your shot perfectly. So practice away, and discard the photos that are cockeyed.

4.            Use a tripod. A lot of tripods are small and compact so it’s no big deal to carry one with you. The most important function of a tripod is to hold the camera steady and avoid that camera shake which gives you blurred pictures. Lower light levels mean a longer exposure, so avoiding camera shake is more important in low-light conditions. If you are planning to photograph sunsets, for instance, a tripod is very useful.

5.            Learn to use the Macro Mode. Almost all digital cameras come with a macro mode these days. It is ideal for taking close-ups of objects. Turn on the macro mode, get as close to the object as you can, and when the camera focuses just press the button. Presto! A crisp, detailed close-up of your subject.

6.            Check to make sure your digital camera has plenty of memory capacity. You don’t want to find yourself at that once in a lifetime event with no memory space left to take more photos. For 2 megapixel cameras you should get at least a 64MB card. For 3 megapixel cameras, get at least a 128MB card. For 4 megapixel cameras, get at least a 256MB card. For 5 megapixel cameras, get at least a 512MB card. Please note I used the term “at least” — there’s nothing stopping you from getting a bigger card if you want.

7.             Think high resolution. If you’re packing a lot of memory storage then shoot at your camera’s highest resolution. Shoot at the highest quality compression setting while you’re at it.  If you choose to use a lower resolution and lower quality compression setting, you will succeed in squeezing the maximum number of photos you can onto your memory card. BUT what if you take your best photo ever at the lower settings? It’ll only print out the size of a credit card and not a glorious 8×10 suitable for framing.

8.             And then there’s the ISO setting to figure out. The ISO setting controls your camera’s sensitivity to light. If your subject is stationary, like a rock or a flower, use a low ISO setting. This gives you a longer shutter speed and a cleaner, clearer picture. If your subject is moving, like a dog or child at play, use a higher ISO setting, maybe around 400.

9.            Play with your white balance setting. By default the setting is on auto, and while that’s great for most photos, it sometimes makes your picture look pale. If you change your setting to cloudy, more red and yellow tones are added to the mix, making your photos look warmer.

Hopefully these tips will help you as you embark on your hobby. I can offer one more tip for those who enjoy digital photography.

10.            Save your most precious photos using online data backup. Your photos are already digital. And online data storage allows you to keep your photos available for reproduction and distribution. 

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