21 Jan The best digital photography tips
Read digital photography tips from photographers Rob Sheppard and Bob Martin in this National Geographic photography field guide.
Today’s digital cameras offer excellent image quality that directly rivals photographic film.
These cameras work like traditional cameras and have the same look and feel, with a number of additional features. More complex camera designs are fast disappearing from the market, as photographers want to take pictures rather than get bogged down in difficult-to-use technology.
Many of the features of digital cameras are identical to those of film cameras, some of them are slightly different from what is expected of a film camera, and a number of features are unique to digital photography. Some of the big differences can actually help you take better photos than you might expect with a film camera.
The term “digital” in “digital camera” has caused even the most experienced photographers to worry about the difficulties of mastering this new type of technology. But keep in mind that no beginner has ever picked up a camera and automatically knows all the functions of the controls. For the non-amateur photographer, f-stops and shutter speeds are not instinctive.
Types of cameras
Digital cameras can be found in a wide variety of forms, from compact point-and-shoot cameras to reflex (SLR) cameras. There is no better or worse type, although there is always one that can be the best for you and your photography.
Simple point-and-shoot digital cameras can provide amazing quality when they have the right sensors and lenses. Because they are fully automatic in exposure and focus, all you have to do is the point at a subject and shoot. They have limited capabilities to control the image, although even the least expensive cameras have white balance controls. Some are exceptionally compact and can easily fit in a shirt pocket, making them ideal cameras to keep close at hand so you don’t miss a great photo opportunity.
Digital SLR cameras offer all the controls of a 35mm SLR, including lenses that provide numerous focal length possibilities. These cameras are definitely bigger than other digital ones. They include complete and comprehensive photographic controls, the best image sensor and processing technology, and high levels of noise control, among others. The LCD panel on the back of an SLR can only be used for viewing images, as the sensor cannot provide “live” images due to the design of the mirrors.
Good photos from the start
The way to get the best photos with a digital camera is to do it from the beginning. Still, there is the idea that it doesn’t take much effort when you have a computer to “help”. This idea has at times taken on surreal proportions. A couple of years ago, a digital photography article in a major news magazine said that software was available to automatically transform an amateur’s photos into images that could rival the best of professionals. Such software has never existed, nor will it ever exist, because good photography has always been about art and craft, understanding tools and knowing how to use them correctly, and perceiving and being able to capture an image that appeals. the attention of the audience and can communicate.
The most common mistake people make is moving the camera. When you move inadvertently, pressing the shutter risks blurring or reducing the sharpness of the photo. Keep the camera still!
Most compact cameras have a simple device to manage the exposure, usually allowing the image to be overexposed or underexposed. So if your subject is predominantly dark, try overexposing to compensate. If the subject is predominantly bright, then go for underexposure. Try taking a test shot, looking at it on the camera’s rear screen, checking the histogram, and adjusting the exposure compensation. Don’t be afraid to pull out four or five versions, as the LCD isn’t always accurate. You can delete the bad photos later.
A basic rule of composition is the rule of three thirds or “three in a row rule”. Imagine that your viewfinder or LCD monitor is divided into nine equal-sized squares, like a tic-tac-toe board. Compose your image with your subject centered on one of the four intersection points. This should help get more aesthetic portraits.
Your point-and-shoot camera will likely have autofocus zoom lenses. You’ll find that the ability to zoom in on your subject is fantastic, so be bold. Use your zoom lenses and compose your image with the subject filling your frame. To begin with, I would be surprised if there were no small images in the frame. When you look through the viewfinder, notice the image frame and the large size of the subject in your photo, not just the eyes of the person you’re photographing.
Changepoint of view
Another factor to consider when taking a photo is the point of view. An image can be more interesting when it is taken from an unusual angle. Don’t be afraid to lie down and look down at your subject, a particularly dynamic perspective when photographing pets or children, and also less threatening to your subject. You can also try climbing to a higher vantage point and looking down on your subject. Even better: try both ways and then delete the ones you like less.
Transfer digital images
Today’s digital cameras come with some way to transfer photos to your computer. This usually involves some form of cable, although some cameras use infrared and other wireless technologies. However, a direct connection might not be the best way to transfer photos to your computer’s hard drive. Many people believe that a card can be much more comfortable.
The keys to working in the “digital darkroom”
Many photographers have tried working with image processing programs like Adobe Photoshop and have found the process difficult, intimidating, and tedious. One of the big reasons for this is that many of the instruction books and classes for photographers have the wrong approach: they stop at the software but not the photography.
Photography is “who’s in charge”. It is something important to keep in mind. When the software is “in charge”, the focus is not on the image, but on learning and memorizing all the functions of the program. Many photographers have sat through classes taught things like selections and layers long before they had any idea why they would want to have such knowledge. This was simply because the teacher thought that these were the key elements of Photoshop.
Experimenting without fear is another key idea to use the “digital darkroom”. Photographers have typically had to pay a price for experimentation, and many have grown cautious. And brought that caution with them into the digital darkroom. Just remember that there is little you can do with an image on your computer that cannot be undone. Let yourself go and don’t be afraid to experiment.
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