Monday, October 19, 2009

Photography Tips

Digital cameras are great, aren’t they? We’re snapping more pictures than ever before and there is no fear of “wasting” film because we can just delete the files we don’t like. Here are ten simple tips to keep in mind when you go to pick up that camera and capture a special moment.

  1. Resolution. Use the highest resolution possible on your camera. Most digital cameras these days offer very high megapixels, but be sure yours is above 3. You can set what resolution your camera takes pictures. Set it to the highest possible level in order to give yourself crisp pictures that can be enlarged to an 8x10 or larger.

  2. Focus. Most digital cameras require you to press the shutter button halfway in order for the camera to focus on your subject. This allows the camera to lock in the focus, and then you can depress the button completely to take the picture. This should avoid most, if not all, blurry pictures. In low light situations, the shutter speed is slower (meaning the shutter stays open longer) so you’ll want to steady your camera on a solid object or use a tripod.

  3. Zoom In. Keep it simple!! Think about what you are taking a picture of, and zoom in on that subject. Avoid any distracting elements around the subject. And when taking pictures of your babies and toddlers, get down on their level. This may mean you have to lie down on the floor, but trust me it will be worth it!

  4. Lighting. Great lighting makes a great picture. The use of natural light is best, and outdoor photos always look the best especially when it’s overcast and you avoid squinting eyes. Early and late sunlight are best. Always have the sun to YOUR back while taking a picture. If you take the photo into the sun your subject and colors will look washed out. When taking pictures indoors, pay attention to the amount of natural light entering the room. Turn your flash off and your subject will have a soft, glowing look. Either indoors or out, if needed, use a fill flash in order to cast a soft light on your subject’s face.

  5. Be an artist. You don’t always have to have your subject in the middle of the frame. Imagine your viewfinder is a tic-tac-toe pattern and place your subject at one of the intersections, off center. Or let the personalities of your subjects shine – allow them to relax and have fun, add some props, rearrange them in a fun position, or have them do something together (like jump or act silly). You can also use different angles to capture a variety of looks. Stand on a chair and shoot down on your baby, or photograph upward if they are in someone’s arms.

  6. Capture your everyday moments. Don’t wait for holidays or special occasions to take pictures. Keep your camera handy and you’ll find yourself snapping candid pictures of the most random things. This your life! You’ll soon find that it’s really not so random (or boring!) and worthy of documenting for future generations. Snap a shot of your child’s favorite toy in the spot he/she dropped it. Capture a casual picture of your kids watching TV on the couch. Or running through the sprinkler on a hot day. Or your husband and toddler wrestling on the floor. These are all worthy of documenting and will tell a rich story of your life today.

  7. Capture everyday emotions. Especially with your babies and toddlers. They communicate through their smiles, cries, and body expressions and worthy of documenting. Snap pictures of your babies and toddlers smiling, frowning, screaming, smirking, etc. You’ll be glad you did!

  8. Capture friends and family. Don’t forget to include your children’s friends and family in the pictures. These make for wonderful memories down the road.

  9. Capture You! If you’re like me, you take all the pictures in the family and there are very few photos of you. Make it a point to hand the camera to others to get some shots of you. Better yet, let your children take pictures. You might be surprised what you’ll see through their eyes.

  10. Have fun! Take lots of pictures. You’ll be sure to capture more than a few great shots. Live life. Capture Moments. Forever!

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