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If you have recently purchased a new digital camera, your excitement is understandable. The quality of the photos you take with it can be markedly improved from what you previously managed by making use of some simple tips and tricks. Fortunately, this doesn’t involve anything so taxing as studying photography at the college or university level; in fact, most of these tips are common sense that has been confirmed by the experience of professional photographers. Even if you have years of experience, there will be something new for you here because we’ve kept things really practical and to the point. It won’t take long to read through them all and they will prove invaluable when using your camera again. To get started, keep reading to discover what you need to know about taking great photos every time.
Know the Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO Basics
The different types of photography use different methods, but the fundamentals remain the same. For example, the aperture determines how much light is able to enter the camera, while the shutter speed determines how long the camera is able to retain the light that enters it. The ISO setting determines how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to the light. For example, in low light conditions, you will need to increase the shutter speed so that you can capture enough light to create a well-exposed image. You can do this by increasing the ISO. On the other hand, in bright sunlight, you will need to decrease the shutter speed so that you don’t capture too much light and create an image that is too bright. However, doing this will mean that you will also need to decrease the ISO setting to decrease the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to the light. As you can see, understanding these basics of photography will allow you to take better photos in a variety of different light conditions.
Change the Way You Hold the Camera
Many people find that their first instinct is to hold a camera as if it were a weapon, using two hands and aiming it in the direction of the subject. While this can be helpful when you are trying to line up a complicated shot, it is not a good way to hold the camera when you are trying to take general photos. This is because you will find that you have a limited range of motion in your arms and wrists, meaning that you will have difficulty moving the camera quickly or tilting it up or down as required. Instead, try to rest the camera against your face or shoulder and allow your arms to be free to move the camera around as necessary.
Use Continuous Shooting Mode
When you are taking a large number of photos, it can be easy to become impatient and want to take each photo as quickly as possible. This can result in you moving the camera too quickly to get it back into position for the next shot, leading to blurred images. Rather than taking each photo individually, try using the “continuous shooting mode” on your camera so that you can take a large number of photos in quick succession. This will allow you to select the best shots when you are done. If you are photographing a particularly active subject, continuous shooting mode can also be helpful in ensuring that you get at least one shot with your eyes, rather than the camera, closed.
Keep Your Camera Steady
Nothing makes a more amateurish impression than a photo in which people’s heads are blurred because the camera was moved too quickly. If you are shooting in low light, you may need to increase the shutter speed, which will lead to the risk of blurred images if you are moving the camera. Similarly, when photographing at a long zoom distance, a slight movement of the camera can lead to blurred images. If you are photographing with a tripod, you can use it to steady the camera and minimize the risk of blurred images. However, if you don’t have a tripod, a remote trigger or a self-timer can also be helpful in ensuring that you don’t shake the camera when pressing the shutter button.
Try Manual Exposure Mode
If you are taking a number of photos that all require different settings, it can be time-consuming to change the settings on your camera each time. Manual exposure mode allows you to set the exposure settings and lock them in, meaning that you can change them once and they will stay the same until you decide to change them again. This can be particularly helpful when you are photographing a single subject and you want to ensure that the settings are correct. For example, if you are photographing a person in low light, you may need to increase the ISO setting to ensure that you have enough light to create a well-exposed image. If you then want to take a photo of a building, you can change the ISO setting to a lower setting so that the building isn’t too brightly lit.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment With Exposure Settings
Many photographers favor a “full manual” mode where they select the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO setting for their photos. However, it can be helpful to experiment with different settings to see what works best for a given scene. Similarly, you may find that different scenes require different settings, and you can change them as necessary. For example, if you are taking photos in a forest where there are lots of dark shadows, you will need to increase the shutter speed to keep the image well exposed. However, if you are taking a photo of a beach in the midday sun, you will need to decrease the shutter speed so that you capture enough light.
For many people, taking great photos is a challenging hobby. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you understand what you need to do to achieve good results. With the help of these tips, you can be taking amazing photos in no time at all. If you have recently purchased a new digital camera, your excitement is understandable. The quality of the photos you take with it can be markedly improved from what you previously managed by making use of some simple tips and tricks. Fortunately, this doesn’t involve anything so taxing as studying photography at the college or university level; in fact, most of these tips are common sense that has been confirmed by the experience of professional photographers. Even if you have years of experience, there will be something new for you here because we’ve kept things really practical and to the point. It won’t take long to read through them all and they will prove invaluable when using your camera again.