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How to Take Better Digital Photos

Jun 12, 2008
Do you want to get the most out of your digital camera? Anyone can point-and-shoot. But to attain those dazzling professional looking shots, you'll need to avoid common mistakes and understand some basic photographic techniques.

Here are a few tips to help get you started taking better digital photos.

1. Avoiding common mistakes -

One of the biggest advantages of digital photography is being able to fix problems in your photos after the shooting is done. However, you can save yourself a lot of time simply by taking better photos in the first place. Here are a few suggestions to help you get better results:

Pay attention to what's in your frame: Carefully look over the image on your digicam's LCD for anything in the frame that you don't want in the photo. If you see a telephone pole sticking out of Uncle Harry's head then it might be a good idea to move yourself or your subject to avoid it. Always look at your background before pressing that shutter button. Besides, if you watch the background you won't miss that shot of a UFO doing a flyby behind the wedding cake.

2. Using the flash -

It's always better to turn off the flash on a small digital camera and use the available light, but for dimly lit, indoor snapshots, the flash can make the difference between an out of focus splash of colors or getting a sharp shot of your brother splashing backwards into the pool still wearing that rented Tux.

Avoid red-eye by changing your angle: You all have seen those photos where the people have those glowing red eyes. No, it's not time to call the Exorcist, it's because when using flash you shot the photo with the subject's face dead on. Move to a slight angle to decrease the intensity of the red-eye.

3. Get closer to your subjects -

If you intend to include a large amount of background, then by all means stand back. Otherwise, get close to your subject! Some photographers tend to stand too far away, especially when shooting portraits. Or they could just have a sensitive nose!

4. Get better prints from your digital camera -

Most of the time the images on your camera's LCD screen look great but are disappointing when you print them. No it's not time to play Office Space and take the printer out to the sandpit and clobber it into little chunks. The problem is that flaws can be difficult to see on your digital camera's small screen.

Sometimes your image simply needs a little work. If you have a photo that prints poorly, try modifying the image in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements before printing. Lightening or darkening an image can make a dramatic difference. And sometimes it helps to boost the contrast or to use the sharpening filter (but I recommend that you do so sparingly).

5. Put your photos online for friends and family to enjoy -

Because there are no film or processing costs involved when using a digital camera it's easy to snap a humongous number of photos. Finding a practical way to share your pictures with friends and family can be a hassle. Fortunately, there are many Web sites that allow you to upload your photos to online albums, as well as order prints of them to be mailed to your home.

Photo-sharing Web sites, such as Webshots, Flickr, or Shutterfly let you arrange your photos into albums and display them for visitors. Many of these sites also offer online image-editing tools that will help you erase that Frisbee logo from your official UFO photos.
About the Author
Mark Boucher is an accomplished photographer with over 30 years of experience. You can see his stunning work at Mystical Light Photography. Mark has also made available to you the Internet's most Powerful Free Online Digital Photo Editor.
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