21 February 2010

Simple tips on how to take better photos

Photography is all about knowing how to use a camera and knowing how to make decisions. Photography is also a good way to occupy your free time. It is a fun and harmless hobby that everyone can have. Beside that, it is also a good way to bring a community together for projects, such as photographing activities and outing.
To get your photography hobby started, here are some simple guides that will help your to take better photos with your digital camera. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know how to take better photos with your camera, just know this few simple guides and you will start seeing significant results in your photograph.

Caring For Your Equipment
Before buying your digital camera, it is important that you know how to take care of it and keep it in its best condition. In order to take better photos, it is important that the optic lenses are kept clean at all times. Dust, dirt and even fingerprint will cause blurry photos. Cleaning your optics lenses require extra attention such as using proper cleaning tissue and solution that is meant for the purpose. Do not use general household cleaning solution, tissue paper or even saliva as this will cause serious damage to your equipment.
Well maintained equipment will prolong the lifespan of your equipment, especially the lens and in the same time help you in photographing flawless photos. This is one area that all photographer must pay extra attention to.

Understand How Camera Focus
Understanding how your camera lock a focus will help you take better photos too. Almost all digital cameras today have autofocus with two-step shutter release function. In dark lighting, you will notice when the trigger button is pressed halfway down, a red light appears for a moment but not in areas that are brighter. When the trigger button is press fully down, there is a flash. What actually happen here was when the trigger is half press, the camera is locking the focus on the objects and when the trigger is fully press, the camera takes the focused images. Therefore it is important to ensure that the camera has accurately locked the focus on the object that you want to photograph before it captured the focused images.
Many time and it happen to me also that blur photos are photographed when the camera lock the focus wrongly. In order to minimize this effect I usually will try to lock the focus a couple of time by 1/2 pressing the trigger a few time before I fully snap the photos. This helps a lot in ensuring better focus lock and takes better photos for you.

Depth Of Field
One aspect of taking a pleasing photograph is “depth of field”. When you look at a picture, you will notice that all the area surrounding the focused subject is also focused. This area is called “depth of field”. Depth of field will determine the amount of area that will be in focus. Many time depth of field can be manipulated by changing the aperture size of the lens. A smaller aperture size will give a wider depth of field and hence making everything look sharp. Vice versa, a big aperture opening will produce a narrow depth of field, this will produce a sharp focused object while the surrounding will be out focus / blur. Depth of field is one of the elements that can help you to take better photos by making an ordinary photo look different and better.

Rule of Thirds
Rule of thirds is a great technique that helps many photographers create eye-catching pictures. It is the most simple and popular technique to master and used in photography. In order to use the rule, divide your screen into six different parts: three horizontal sections, and three vertical. The area when both the vertical and horizontal line intersect, will be your focus point. Placing the subjects of your picture near to the focus point will help create a balanced and attractive picture.
It takes great practice to have this technique embedded into your composition skill. Therefore a photographer must have the habit of keep taking photos all the time. Engage in a 365 project is one way to improve and strengthen your photography skill if you want to take better photos.

Tripod
A tripod is a must have equipment for all photographer. In order to take better photos, the camera has to be steady when the shutter is press. A shaking camera will cause lens blur or motion artifact hence producing blurring photos. Tripod is one tool that help photographer to take steady shot and eliminate camera movement. A Tripod is particular useful when taking long exposure shot such as night scene, landscape photography where there’s no moving object and even macro photography, as small amount of movement will cause extreme motion artifact.
Invest in a good tripod that is steady and firmly stand when placed. Make it a habit to carrying it with you all the time when you are out photographing. You will be amaze how much better your photo will look with using a tripod to shoot.

Photo-editing software
Last but not lease, master your skills in photos post processing is a must for all digital photographer. There are so much you can do with your camera to take good photos, photo-editing software will help in making your photo much more eye-catching. Tweaking the brightness / contrast, color saturation, tone curve and simple sharpening the photos, cropping and resizing put the final touch to your photos before it is publish. A more comment photo editing software that most photographers prefer to use is Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Element.
Adobe Photoshop and Element are great software to own if you are serious about photo editing, however it don't come cheap. It will be a great investment to do in your photography hobby. Alternative to this two powerful software, there are alternative photo editing software that don't cost you an leg and arm. PhotoEditorX is one that you can consider, light weight, powerful and impressive in feature. Don't be fool by the price tag and thinks that it does not match up with those giant.
The above are some commons tips to help you on how to take better photos. There are other resources available such as books, magazines, online tutorials, forums and even ebooks that can help you to be a better photographer.
Never stop learning if you want to be a better photographer.

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