From Our Portfolio To Your Project...Buy Direct And Save!
Digital Photography Tips

Read The Manual For Your Digital Anita Cross

Summary: "If all else fails, read the instructions!" We've all heard it at least once. It's funny because we can so easily relate to "reading the instructions" as a last resort. With your digital camera, however, reading the manual up front will go a long way towards better pictures, and more fun taking them.

early every digital camera on the market today has an incredible number of features. Most of these features will help you take better photos if you learn how to use them.

You could just "dive in", play around, and hope for the best. And that's exactly what most of us do, at least when we first get a new digital camera. Whether it's a new toy, or a new tool, it's exciting to get out there and start taking pictures.

To get the most out of your new toy, uh, I mean tool, you really need to read the camera's manual!

For example: Your camera has a built in light meter, with three "metering modes", to calculate the correct exposure value (EV) for the various lighting conditions. The default metering mode evaluates the entire scene, breaking it into zones or regions. The resulting exposure works well for most photographs.

Do you know what the other two metering modes are, how they affect the image, or when to use them? Do you know how to change the metering mode?

It's all there in the manual. Along with information about what each of the buttons and dials are for; What all those confusing symbols on the LCD are actually telling you; How to use the menu: How to turn off and on different functions such as digital zoom and red eye reduction; How to use special effects, like sepia and solarize; How to change the white balance; And much more.

Don't let the manual, and all those features, intimidate you. Go ahead and get comfortable with your new camera, using the features that are intuitive, or obvious to you from your experience with other cameras. Just don't stop there.

Pick an unfamiliar feature, like metering modes, and read the instructions. Then experiment with what you've just learned. Take the same shot several times, varying the feature you're working with. Upload your test images to your computer, and compare the results. When you feel comfortable working with that feature, move on to another one.

At your own pace, use the manual to explore the features and options of your new digital camera. The day will come when your tenacity pays off, when an unusual photo opportunity results in a truly great photograph.

About the Author Anita Cross is the owner of Call Of The Wild, an Internet Marketing company which sponsors the Call Of The Wild Photo web site. Anita is also a professional photographer and an amateur writer who spends more time than she'd like looking at a computer monitor, and far less time looking through the lens of her camera.