Five Common Digital Photography Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Problem: Lackluster composition

Sometimes just a subtle shift of emphasis is all it takes to turn a throwaway digital photograph into a treasured keeper. Here are the top tips to immediately improving your composition.

Tip 1: The Rule of Thirds is a time-honored technique professional photographers use to improve composition. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the image you want to take. Use the intersection of those lines to place your subject slightly off center, and bring interest up or down.

Tip 2: Take photos at various angles and distances to give you more options to choose from. Also experiment with vertical and horizontal camera orientation–you may discover that this simple shift yields interesting results.

Tip 3: Eliminate distracting background clutter by getting closer to your subject. Or try using your camera’s Portrait pre-set mode. This will keep objects close to you in focus, while blurring the background. You can achieve the same effect, known as a shallow depth of field, by manually adjusting your aperture setting to a low f-number, such as f2.8.

Problem: Poor lighting

Digital photography is all about catching that magic moment when the light is just right. But lighting also provides some challenges. These tips will help, whether you’re indoors or out.

Tip 1: Balance bright or dim light

Digital cameras get “confused” by unbalanced conditions, such as a very bright or dim light, causing the camera to under or over expose your photo.

In low light conditions, try using your camera’s night shooting mode, or lower the ISO to 50 or 100 to get rich detail in low light. Use a tripod, or steady yourself against a stable object to avoid moving the camera.

In bright light, try your camera’s Beach or Sunshine mode, or manually choose a fast shutter speed to control the amount of light that comes in.

Tip 2: Shooting indoors

Avoid using your flash. Instead, provide as much natural light as possible–open curtains, or even the door. Or use lamps to add light to the scene. Your flash mutes color and casts stark, deep shadows that are especially unflattering in portraits.

Don’t place your subject in front of a bright window or they will become a silhouette (although this can be a nice effect when done intentionally). Try placing them off to the side instead, or facing a natural light source.

Tip 3: Shooting outdoors

Try to have the sun behind you when you shoot. This will provide the most flattering light to your subject.

Shoot early or later in the day–dawn and dusk provide lovely light, whereas midday light can be harsh.

Take advantage of overcast days for photography. That’s when the light is even, and casts almost no shadows.

Problem: Red-eye

The appearance of glowing red eyes can ruin a portrait of even the cutest child or pet. The red color comes from light reflecting off of the retinas in our eyes. The following quick tips can help get the red out.

Tip 1: Try not to use a flash if possible–it is the number one cause of red-eye. Instead, turn on lights or open curtains to add additional light to your scene.

Tip 2: Ask your subject to look toward the camera but not directly at the lens or to look into a bright light first.

Tip 3: Stand farther away from your subject.

Tip 5: Take advantage of in-camera red-eye removal. Many digital cameras and photo printers now allow you to remove red-eye or prevent it altogether. Check your digital camera’s manual to see if it includes these features.

Problem: Blurry photos

While a photo with a dramatic blur can often be artistic, it can also render a subject incomprehensible. Here are some ways to add clarity to your digital photographs.

Tip 1: Reduce shutter lag. The time between pressing the trigger and the camera taking the picture is called shutter lag, and it can cause blurry pictures. Avoid it by pressing the trigger halfway down until you’re ready to shoot. When the right moment comes, press the rest of the way. This strategy is great when you’re taking pictures of people (especially kids) or animals. ?

Tip 2: Minimize camera shake. Even the slightest camera movement can cause unclear photos. Use a tripod or brace yourself against a stationary object to hold the camera still. Some digital cameras come with image stabilization, another way to get clear images of moving subjects.

Tip 3: Use your digital camera’s Action shooting mode for sports or other action shots. It automatically optimizes your shutter speed to help capture motion. Or manually increase your camera’s shutter speed to achieve the same effect.?

Problem: Low-quality prints

If you plan to print your photographs using a digital photo printer, keep resolution in mind. Resolution is measured in megapixels (MP), and matching the resolution to the print size will help you get clear digital photo prints.

Tip 1: If you plan to enlarge or crop photos before printing, it’s best to shoot at the highest resolution possible. But high-resolution pictures take up more memory.

Tip 2: If you plan to e-mail images or print smaller sizes, like 4″ x 6″ or 5″ x 7″ photos, you can stick to 4-5 MP with no problems.

Tip 3: Many digital cameras let you select the resolution level, so you can determine ahead of time whether you want to shoot a big file with lots of detail, or a quick snapshot you can post to a website or e-mail to friends and family.

Scuba Diving – How to Get Started In Underwater Photography

While you are scuba diving, you are no doubt amazed by the beauty and grace of the underwater world and wish to share it with your family and friends who you have not been able to convince to go with you as of yet. Or maybe you just want to capture photos of your experiences so that you can keep them for your own enjoyment. No matter the reason, most people have a great desire to begin learning underwater photography fairly early on in their scuba diving career.

If this sounds like you, you have likely already begun browsing your local scuba dive shops for equipment and started reading up on articles and information published by underwater photography professionals. While you can find a lot of information in this way, a lot of it is technical and hard to follow. For this reason, the best way to learn how to take pictures underwater is to start taking them and then learn through trial and error.

Your first underwater camera will likely be a disposable water-proof camera that works great for taking pictures in shallow depths. This will get you used to taking pictures underwater but is not ideal for taking photos in deep water. The next step up from this camera is the amphibious camera. This camera is small, lightweight, and ideal for beginning underwater photography in deeper waters. You can also take a normal land camera, house it, and outfit it for use in underwater photography. While this is the most expensive option, this is the equipment that produces the vivid, breathtaking photos featured in magazines. Whatever equipment you choose, two things that you cannot take underwater photos without are an external flashgun and interchangeable lenses.

Once you have your equipment, the best way to begin is to start taking pictures. Be sure to stock up on lots of film and take several shots of each subject. This way you can compare shots and learn from your own underwater photography mistakes. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Get close to your subject. One reason why underwater photography is so challenging is that matter is suspended in the water between you and your subject. The flash reflects off of this material resulting in blurry, obstructed pictures.

Start photographing small objects first. This will allow you to preset your equipment before you dive. Use a flashgun to provide white light as monochromatic blue light is the only light that penetrates deeper water. Artificial white light is vital in underwater photography for producing sharp, colorful images.

Position your flashgun correctly. Your flashgun should be positioned a good distance from the lens axis to avoid reflection of light off of suspended matter otherwise called back scatter.

After you get a feel for underwater photography, you will find that you can easily learn as you go. Take lots of film as this is the cheapest component of underwater photography. Compare shots, learn from your mistakes, and you will soon be wowing your friends and family with more than stories. You’ll have the photos to back them up.

Wedding Photography Mistakes Amateurs Need to Avoid

Wedding shooting can be one of the most difficult assignments a photographer can come by in his lifetime. A lot is at stake here and photographers usually make loads of mistakes while they are looking for the right kind of photo at weddings.

Step 1: Inexperience

Anyone who owns a DSLR or any other advanced compact camera system has to be called for a wedding photography some time or the other. Shooting a wedding is mighty big job and must not be left on the shoulders of an inexperienced. In case you are being paid, ensure that your commitment actually pays off. Ensure that the couple in question knows all about the situation they are about to face.

The perfect kit makes the job perfect. To this ensure, two decent cameras, selected lenses and a couple of flashguns added to it.

And in case you are not confident enough just accept the role but as the second photographer, this means you will be shooting from alternative angles, having duplicate shots and take a couple of the pro’s shots. This will all add to your experience.

Step 2: Exposure

The next big trouble is set in form of the color combination of the costumes of the bride and the groom. The biggest headache to every photographer is not to overexpose the bride’s white dress, while he tunes in to the details in the groom’s suit.

If over exposed, the dress will be set as an uniform mass of white light, that can be put to no further use. While any underexposure will make it look grey and grubby. Underexposure can be corrected post photography, with a little noise, but it must be a little so as not to lose on the groom’s dark suit.

An ideal photograph is one that produces an image which has the details finely lined throughout the range of the tonal area.

Use digital cameras, the features of this will have a huge range of advantage over the film cameras. Check the exposure immediately after you take the picture and adjust the exposure accordingly. The auto-exposure bracketing facility is used to take a sequence of images without any extra cost and in quick succession.

The histogram view to your camera, aims to produce images that actually has a peak towards the end right side of the scale. To make things easier, turn on the cams highlight settings. This will warn you of over- exposed areas, so that you can shoot again.