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Features information, tips and hints on all aspects of photography as well as photo editing technique. Your critique, comments and compliments are always welcomed to help me improve and learn.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Seven Tips for Taking Great Photos

Shoot at the highest resolution you can

While high-res pictures will take up more space on your
digital camera's memory card, shooting big gives you the
most flexibility later. Shooting at a higher resolution
guarantees that when the magic strikes, you've captured
the picture at the highest quality level. So whether you
want to crop the picture to show a special detail or print
at a large size, you'll have plenty of detail to work
with.

Get comfortable with your digital camera settings

In addition to auto, most digital cameras have a variety
of settings calibrated for special situations-like the
bright light of the beach, or the muted light of a museum.
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these before
you start shooting. This will let you adjust settings
without consulting your manual.

Take lots of pictures

The best way to get good photos is to shoot often. Try
shooting the same subject from a variety of angles: low,
high, side view, close up and far away. If your camera
lets you, also experiment with different settings when
you shoot.

Use the Rule of Thirds to compose photos

When you compose a picture, imagine a tic-tac-toe grid
over your digital camera's LCD screen or viewfinder. The
vertical and horizontal lines divide the image into
thirds. Experiment with placing the subject off center-
right or left-or higher or lower. This is called the Rule
of Thirds, and using it will result in fresher, more
interesting photos.

Think in terms of stories

Imagine you're taking pictures at your son's third
birthday party. Before it starts, think about the
different activities, and plan to shoot parts of each
one. Also, strive to show the emotion in the moment:
Delighted grads throwing their mortar boards high in the
air, the big inhale before the birthday candles are blown
out-look for moments such as these that express the
feeling of what you're photographing. This will let you
tell the story in pictures-perfect for scrapbooks, albums,
or sharing online.

Shoot against a simple background

Whether you're shooting a portrait, a landscape, or a
quick snapshot, make sure there aren't any distracting
elements in the shot. Trees sticking out of heads, or
wires dangling will inevitably draw the eye away from
the subject. So when you're ready to shoot, double check
that the background is simple and sets off your subject
to its best advantage.

Maximize natural light

Light can transform an ordinary photo into one that evokes
emotion and captures the essence of the moment. So shoot
during the "beauty" hours of early morning and late day,
when natural light is most even and flattering. Avoid the
bright light of midday, which can cast harsh shadows and
flatten out colors.

When shooting indoors, let in as much light as you can.
Open curtains, turn on lights-but avoid using your flash
as it causes shadows and color distortion.

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