Digital photography is changing the way we take photos. It has made us more productive, creative and sloppy all at the same time.
We can shoot thousands of pictures without needing to pay for developing just to see if we “got a good one.” This underscores the idea that the difference between a recreational photographer and a good photographer is the unseen pictures.
Digital editing enables us to fix a lot of photographic problems. With that in mind here are some helpful hints.
- When taking outdoor photographs use the golden hour. (one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset) The light at these times is less harsh and color will appear richer compared than in full sunlight. If that isn’t possible learn to manage light effectively. Look for interesting shadows. Shoot when the sun is higher in the sky. Don’t be afraid to shoot on overcast days.
- Most digital cameras have a shutter delay. This means the photo isn’t taken exactly when you press the button. Check your camera manual to adjust it if possible.
- Most digital cameras have a digital zoom. Don’t use it. In fact if you can turn it off. Digital zoom works by cropping part of the picture, magnifying the remaining part then adding pixels to complete the image. Bottom line it makes the picture fuzzy and basically unusable.
- Don’t be afraid to use fill flash in bright lighting. It can remove unwanted shadows. Consider changing your exposure or iris settings so you don’t over expose your subject.
- Many cameras have special effects. If you use them you are stuck with the image exactly as affected. It is better to shoot a quality color photo then apply the effect in editing.
- It is fun to check your pictures on the view screen after you shoot them. This uses a lot of battery power. Download them to a computer to make your selections by viewing your pictures on a larger screen. This of course means that you may need to invest in multiple SD cards so you can capture a lot of images.
- If you are taking group pics think about lighting and perspective before you shoot. You don’t want people squinting in the sunlight or hidden from view in your shot. Take multiple shots so you have choices.
- Use a tripod.
- Don’t be afraid to explore shooting in continuous or “burst mode.”
- Lack of sharpness ruins many images. It is usually caused by camera shake, lack of focus or subject movement. Again, use a tripod and make sure you are shooting with the proper shutter speed, light and iris settings.