Thanks to digital photography, you are no longer required to have years of experience in the field in order to take breathtaking photos that you share with your family and friends. While it is easy to blame your current equipment for the images you are not completely satisfied with, the truth is that the camera actually plays a minor part in shooting top-notch photos. Following is a list of guidelines that will improve the quality of your photos without having to spend an arm and a leg for it.
- Learn the “Rule of Thirds”
The Rule of Thirds implies breaking the frame into nine squares of the same size and aligning the main theme of your picture along the newly created intersections and lines. Planning your subject across the grid will add to the dramatic effect of the shot and make the photo more interesting than if you placed the topic directly in the dead center.
- Adjust the exposure accordingly
More often than not, the camera will automatically adjust the exposure depending on the light available at the shooting location. However, considering that most cameras rely on an 18% gray card to adjust the exposure, there is a chance your photos could end up too bright or too dark. In order to avoid this issue, you could dial in a bit of exposure or you could browse through your camera’s scene modes and find the appropriate exposure compensation.
- Keep the photo steady with a tripod
Even though it may appear like a heavy and usel
ess piece of equipment, it is necessary to mention that a tripod can save you a lot of time and headache. Not only does it come in handy for setting up the frame correctly, but it is also a must-have utensil for getting those perfectly steady shots.
- Mind the white balance
As with all digital cameras, the gadget will try to set the white balance according to the available light so that the pictures look natural automatically. However, if you are shooting under mixed light or if you notice that the digital device has not identified the lighting properly, then you can adjust it manually. Even though it is true that you can address this issue later on during the post-processing phase of the picture in Picasa or iPhoto for instance, the truth is that the photos will look a lot better if the white balance is set correctly from the beginning.
- Not all photos require flash
Unless you plan to play a joke on one of your friends by making them look like Casper, it is better to avoid firing the flash when you are too close to the target. In the situations when utilizing flash is mandatory, it is advisable to take a step back, zoom in and verify whether the lighting is just right before taking the picture. In addition, keep in mind that many cameras nowadays allow you tinker with the flash’s power, a very useful feature for photos that require you fill in the shadows.