Get Great Shots With Your Inexpensive Digital Camera by Anita Cross
igital cameras have become the "Instamatics" of the 21st Century. The proliferation of inexpensive consumer cameras, which are equally inexpensive to use, has made virtually everyone a shutterbug.
The challenge for the budding photographer becomes learning how to take a great photograph with their point and shoot digital, instead of a mediocre snapshot.
Composition Is Important:
Always centering the subject in the frame is a mistake. Offset the subject to the left or right of frame. Move horizontal lines, such as the shore of a lake, up or down. This is known as the "rule of thirds" in photography lingo. That doesn't mean you should never center the subject. But centering should be the exception, not the rule.
Try to get close to your subject if you can. A mountain, for example, is far more impressive when it dominates the shot. Avoid using your zoom lens if taking a few steps closer will do the trick.
Tell A Visual Story:
Determine what message you want to convey, then eliminate visual distractions. This may mean moving to the left or right in order to keep the background simple, or the foreground uncluttered.
Draw the eye into the shot. If your subject is looking left, place them to the right of the frame. If there is a wide expanse of sameness in the foreground, such as a lake or meadow, use a close object seen at a diagonal to add interest and draw the viewer into the scene.
Use your zoom lens and macro mode to show a common subject with extreme detail. A garden full of bees and flowers is common place. A close up of a bumble bee gathering nectar, with pollen on his legs, is anything but.
Take Advantage Of Your Equipment:
Not unlike film grain, higher ISO ratings introduce noise into the final image, causing a grainy appearance. To keep the noise to a minimum in your shots, always use the lowest ISO possible for the situation. ISO values on a consumer digital camera usually range from 100 to 800.
Use a tripod for low light situations. This will allow you to get sharp photos even while leaving the ISO set to 100. A tripod will also allow you to take shots from angles that make it awkward to hand-hold the camera.
Consider investing in a remote shutter control, as well, if it's available for your camera. Even with a tripod, in low light, manually pushing the shutter button can cause slight camera movement and result in blurry photos.
Always set your camera to capture the largest size image at the highest quality setting. More digital information means the image can be printed in larger sizes. You can always use image software to resize a copy of the image, when a smaller size is needed.
Nothing will improve your photography more than getting out there and taking pictures. Lots of pictures. Use the guidelines offered here as a starting point. Once you feel comfortable with your camera and equipment, it's time to experiment. Find out what works, and what doesn't work.