If you are in the +35 age group, then technology has probably overtaken you due to the sheer speed at which our electronic gadgets are advancing. One such example are digital cameras, which have made leaps in technology… but even though the camera specs may seem impressive, it’s a whole new ball game, when you actually take it out of the packaging, and want to start taking pics.
Then we either look at the instruction book or read the online instructions, well, that’s if we have enough patience, as everything can seem to be just too overwhelming. So to avoid being overwhelmed by modern photography technology, I have put together some great beginner tips for taking pics, and to virtually bypass any techy headaches you may be having.
First thing to remember is that you now own a Digital Camera, so you can take as many shots as you like… after you just select the best pic, and erase the rest. Just make sure that your camera has a large enough memory card to store all the photos you want to take, as one of the most important reasons to have a large memory card is so you can shoot photos at your camera’s highest resolution. If you pay a premium price for a 50 megapixel digital camera, you should get your money’s worth and shoot at 50 megapixels. Once you have moved the photos to online or offline storage, the camera will be ready once more to take more great pics:)
It goes without saying that you should at least take a look at the Camera Manual, so you are able to recognize all of those symbols found on the camera display… I’d suggest you begin with just the auto-settings, just to build up your confidence at taking photos, and then begin to explore some of your camera’s special features.
For close-up shots, a common setting on digital cameras is the macro mode, so have a go a shooting flowers or insects, and you will begin to see some really amazing fine details. You just need to activate the close-up or macro mode on your digital camera and explore your world in finer detail, and you’ll be rewarded with fresh new images that are unlike anything you’ve ever shot before.
You also want to get into the habit of using the viewfinder… This may seem trivial, but there are often times when taking just a small pause before taking a pic can go such a long way to improving the final outcome. So just quickly check that everything’s in the viewfinder that you want to be included in the final picture.
Now that really is a perfect tip for any form of event photography when you just want to include either your family or friends in a shot. Another problem to overcome in any form of event photography are fast action shots, and you’ll likely notice that there’s a delay between the time you can take one shot and the time you can take the next. This is rather annoying, but the good news is that many cameras on the market today have buffers which allow you to continue shooting during the processing time.
Another way to produce candid looking pics is trying different angles. For example: Try shooting subjects from different angles instead of just straight on, as this will add a unique point of view and dimension to the picture. Don’t be afraid to stand on a chair, climb up a hill, lay on your back, or get on your knees. Great photographers really will go to great lengths to get that perfect shot!
Anyway, another great setting found on most digital cameras is the “White Balance” mode… So when you’re outdoors shooting portraits or sunny landscapes, try changing your white balance setting from auto to cloudy, as it’s like putting a warming filter on your camera, and will result in capturing richer, and warmer pictures.
Okay, let’s not forget the flash, and you will find that many digital cameras actually have an automatic flash setting, although using it doesn’t always produce the best results, and you’ll get better shots by controlling the flash manually. For example, when taking outdoor portrait pics, it’s sometimes a good idea to turn on the flash to light up the subject, especially if he or she is in shade. On the other hand, you might want to turn off the flash when taking indoor shots, as it can result in producing unnatural skin color or a harsh glare in your photos.
You know, the golden rule for a perfect picture is quite simple really… Just present the subject in a clear, uncluttered way. But just for the record, professional photographers work with line, shape, texture, color, and pattern. But before we get out of our depth, first just remember to always have your camera with you, always shoot more pictures, and learn to trust your eye. In reality, it’s not the camera that takes a perfect picture, it’s the photographer! You can buy the most expensive camera on the market but it doesn’t guarantee you will take better photographs.
Hey, and you too needs to get into the picture frame at some time or other, so make sure you find the Self-Timer function on your camera. It’s often helpful to invest in a small tripod to make taking a self-portrait easier, although you could also set the camera on a table or other suitable surface to set the self timer and still have time to jump into the photo. So to take self-portraits and put yourself in group photos, you’ll need to line up the shot, activate the self timer, and then get into the picture. It’s also advisable to turn off the flash to ensure that the exposure is even for everyone who is in the composition. Also, make sure the focusing sensor is aimed at a person in the group and not in the distant background, or you’ll get very sharp trees and fuzzy family members.
My name’s Mike Chase, and I hope you are already feeling inspired, and desperate to get out there, and start using your digital camera without feeling frustrated. Click here to read more of my Easy Beginner Photography Tips