7 Tips For Capturing The Perfect Digital Photo
by Dan Feildman
- Know Your Camera Does this sound familiar? You buy the latest digital camera out there, come home, rip off the box, then proceed to fiddle with the device. You briefly flick through the hundred page camera manual and then never look at it again. Not a good idea! If you buy a digital camera, you owe it to yourself to understand its ins and outs. Learn how to control exposure, how to use different camera modes and how to use the flash. The knowledge you gain about the camera will be invaluable when you’re out in the field taking those special photos.
- Controlling the Flash One of the most imperative things you need to be familiar with in digital photography is how to control the flash. Don’t fall in to the habit of always relying on the built in automatic flash on your digital camera. In many instances, you might need to turn the flash off or on.For example, when taking outdoor photos, it is sometimes good to turn on the flash to illuminate the subject, especially if he or she is in the shade. On the other hand, you can also choose to turn off the flash when taking indoor shots. Sometimes, using the flash indoors will result in unnatural skin color and harsh glare in your photos.
- Experiment with the Macro Mode Most digital cameras available these days come with a macro mode. This setting is perfect for capturing close ups of objects like flowers or insects. I have a Canon PowerShot S500 and its macro mode is represented with a flower symbol. To take photos in this style, choose your subject and making sure the macro mode is turned on, get as close to your subject as possible. Give your camera enough time to focus properly before pressing the shutter button all the way.
- Hold the Camera Level One of the most basic photography rules is to hold the camera level. Most digital cameras come with an LCD that can be used to accurately frame your shots. Utilize the horizontal lines as guides next time you are behind the lens. One such case is making use of the horizon when taking a photo of the sunrise.
- Using a Tripod I would recommend this to all photographers of any level. You will find camera tripods an invaluable tool in your photography cache. When do you need a tripod you might ask? It becomes useful when taking a shot in low-light conditions or when your subject includes fast moving objects. I use a tripod while taking pictures of city streets at night to capture all of the elements. You don’t have to invest in the largest or heaviest tripod for personal use. Choose a tripod that is compact and easy to carry with you.
- Experiment with the ISO Setting I have found the ISO setting in digital cameras very helpful. The ISO setting of a camera essentially controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. Use a low ISO setting if you’re taking a photo of a still object, like a flower. This allows for a longer shutter speed and creates a cleaner image. A higher ISO setting of about 400 would be appropriate while taking a photo of a moving subject such as a baby in a swing. Keep in mind that a higher ISO setting results in a faster shutter speed and needs less light.
- Have Enough Memory Capacity Just like you must have enough rolls of film when using traditional cameras, make sure you always have enough memory capacity in your digital camera. It’s terrible to be on a holiday taking great photos and suddenly realizing you’ve no memory space left. Here are some general guidelines for digital camera storage.2 megapixel cameras – requires at least a 64MB card3 megapixel camera – requires at least a 128MB card
4 megapixel camera – requires at least a 256MB card
5 megapixel camera and above – requires at least a 512MB or 1GB card
While it seems like a lot of information to learn, they are all pretty simple with just a little practice. I hope these tips help you to produce the best digital photos possible. Even though the camera plays an important role in your photography, remember that your role as the photographer is the most important of all. Utilize the features that your digital camera offers to make the most of every picture and with incorporating the above tips, you will be shooting photos like a pro in no time!