HELPFUL TIPS with DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY for SCRAPBOOKING
With the advent of digital cameras the world of photography has taken a big jump forward for the novice photographer. Now, taking a great picture is a snap . . . not to mention the ability to erase snapshots we either don’t like, or didn’t come out as we’d hoped they would, and easily take another one. While these new cameras do a lot of the important things for us when taking pictures, it doesn’t release us from the need to be familiar and aware of what our camera, and its features, will or won’t do.
First, “when all else fails, read the instructions.” Be sure and read your camera’s manual before getting too far into your photography. You will be well informed of what capabilities your camera has, and how best to use them. You need to be familiar with your camera’s different settings. The last thing you want to have happen is for a “precious photograph moment” to arrive, and you are fidgeting with settings to see what works best. Too often our “special moments” are just that–moments! Experiment with the settings to see what they do before you have to use them. Remember, you can erase (delete) mistakes easily.
Be aware of the light. As much as possible, keep your light source behind the subject of your photograph . . . especially when shooting photos out of doors. Using a flash outdoors can help reduce unwanted shadows. When shooting indoors your flash is most helpful, but experiment with no flash when there is plenty of light from other sources. Also, on close ups, you have to be careful not to get “flash back” from shinny objects. Taking snapshots at off angles can help lessen this problem.
Take a full picture of your object. – fill up the frame. Try to put as much of your focal object in the photograph as is reasonably possible. Eliminate as much unwanted background as you can. A shoulder level shot may be better than a full body view because it allows you to eliminate unnecessary extraneous background.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Taking snapshots from different angles can give different views and clarity to a photo. As noted above, it can also reduce flash feedback which can cause unwanted glare on your photo’s objects. Try shooting from the right or left of the object, and from elevated positions above the object, or below–shooting upward to the photograph’s subject.
Being able to see instant results with digital cameras is a great feature. However, taking two or more snapshots while a subject or object is already posed could capture the right moment–the visual intent you were seeking. Re-posing, even if you can, may not give you the same results because the light has changed, or other uncontrollable aspects of your photograph–the background, etc. have also changed or disappeared. This is particularly important with children and pets . . . they have a tendency not to sit or pose for long periods. The wind, light and other aspects of your photograph can and do move–not where you may prefer them, or worse, they leave the scene all together.
Getting to know some photograph software can be very useful. Many software programs will allow you to fix minor errors, such as “red eye,” blur, and contrast. There are programs and services that will help you touch up, crop, organize and store files of your photographs (the last thing you want is for your special photos to be lost, accidentally deleted, etc.), as well as having a convenient and easy place to store them for future retrieval and use.
Check with your community education programs to enroll in a basic photography class. Also, some camera stores–maybe the one you purchased your camera from–offer free or inexpensive classes. This effort will be money and time well spent.
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