7 Simple Digital Photography Tips For 2010

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned photographer or if your new camera appeared under the Christmas Tree this year. New Year’s Eve tends to make people reflect over the past year and look forward to new possibilities in the coming year.

Tradition has it that we should make some sort of list to try and motivate us to achieving greater success in different areas of our lives. It is no different for the professional photographer or the budding photographer. Making a list of New Year’s Resolutions can be positive and encouraging. Here are 7 simple photography tips for 2010 that will help you all year long.

Tip #1: Read Your Camera Manual.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read it or perhaps read it several years ago. It’s always good to refresh your memory and perhaps find a hidden nugget you’ve either never knew or forgot that you had. You can pick up new tips from your photography bible.

Tip #2: Take a Photography Class.

If you’re new to photography or if you’re seasoned but find yourself a little stale, look for a course that will broaden your horizons. There are numerous courses offered online from beginner to advanced. It is always a good experience to find a local school or experienced photographer that offers hands-on training. It might take a little digging but having ‘real’ people to talk to and learn from is worth the time and expense.

Tip #3: Join a Camera Cub.

Joining the local camera or photography club can help you network with local photographers. Meeting regularly with them can provide you with educational resources, motivation and offer you encouragement.

Tip #4: Learn to Use Your Lenses.

Chances are you have at least a couple of lenses in your bag. Sometimes we are tempted to buy a new lens when we can’t quite get the image we want with the lenses we have. Spend time this year learning how to use the lenses you have to their fullest potential. You might amaze yourself at what can be achieved by making more effective use of what you have.

Tip #5: Use Your Tripod.

I am sure most camera owners have a tripod of some sort laying in a closet or drawer somewhere. Learn to use your tripod and then make use of it regularly. It can increase the sharpness of your image by controlling camera shake and enables you to compose your shots more effectively.

Tip #6: Getting Off the Green Mode.

The auto (green) mode on your digital camera can do a wonderful job of taking snapshots. Take the time to learn about using your manual settings (this can be a scary thing to do) and you will find a whole new world of camera control opens up to you. Search the internet; there are plenty of books and tutorials that can help you learn about exposure, shutter speed and ISO settings.

Tip #7: Take More Photographs.

In photography, as in anything else, practice, practice, practice. In the digital world, there is no reason to limit your picture taking. It does not cost you to develop rolls of film, you simply hit the delete button and start over again. Make a commitment to take at least one photo every day. If you take more, pick out your best shot and save it in a ‘365 Day’ folder. At the end of the year pick out your favorite image for each month, arrange them in a collage then print it. You will be amazed at your progress and have something permanent to remember your year in pictures.

These are just some suggestions, so feel free to add your own.

Basic Digital Photography Tutorial

Basic Digital Photography

To get the absolute most out of the material, you should have a digital SLR or a high-end digital camera that presents you a wide group of control over shutter speeds and aperture settings.
Digital photography has many advantages far more than traditional film photography. You can be astonished which the greatest digital camera is, and if you are conscious of digital photography basics you may make the decision effortlessly.

Digital cameras are principally characterized by their picture resolution or mega-pixel capacities; from low-resolution (less than 1 mega-pixel) to high-resolution (greater than 1 mega-pixel) to advanced high-resolution (4 mega-pixels or more). Digital photography uses electronic instruments to seize a snapshot of a particular thing and translate the portrait into binary record, which is readable by a computer. ISO ranges from 100-3200, and it is extremely low-noise across the whole collection. When you’re altering the settings on a camera, you’re trying to observe the correct exposure for the subject and lighting conditions. How to set shutterspeed, aperture, and exposure depending on the type of condition and much more. 5 megapixels are sufficient for most situations.

If everything you are worried about is knowing how to be able to have a digital camera to obtain your Myspace pictures hence you don’t have to be concerned about developing and scanning everything, you should perhaps just get a small lesson from our digital camera and check the handbook or owner’s instruction manual to deal with any troubles you can undergo.

What is great about the digital camera is the fact that you can have a continual amount of pictures. If you are barely planning to use the pictures online or with a computer, you would have a lower resolution setting. Have the ISO set for the surroundings you’re in hence you don’t lose valuable moment. Digital photography for beginners could be mastered by anybody. You will notice that it is easy to go off from digital photography for beginners to the subsequent level of photography, for you find more comfortable with your digital camera.

What Are The Advantages Of Digital Photography Training?

You will be taken through the steps of loading your camera and getting the most out of your camera’ s storage space for images. The advantages are many if you are willing to take them. Not only will you learn new techniques and new ways to take photos, you will also meet like minded people who can share stories of their own skills and weak points. It is being able to share information in this way that makes digital photography classes so appealing to many people.

Digital photography classes are also often designed to appeal to people at different stages of learning. For example, a beginner’ s class will be aimed at people who have never previously used a digital camera, and want to learn how to take competent photos with one.

The aim of an intermediate class will be to develop the beginner’ s knowledge and introduce more techniques and skills to make their photography more enjoyable and interesting.

Finally, for the more advanced student there will be a number of classes that go into greater depth in a wide range of areas. You may be able to take a class which teaches you how to produce excellent photos with night photography, for example.

Learn Digital Photography – Photographing Garden Birds for Beginners

The great thing about photographing garden birds is that it’s much easier than going out to a reserve or park and therefore much simpler for beginners. When starting out with bird photography you want to minimise expensive equipment until you know that you enjoy it and are capable enough to pursue it.

Bird photography at home can be as simple as sitting in a lounge chair and firing away until you get your shot. I say can, but really you will get as much out of your photography as you put into it. So careful planning is going to go a long way to getting those beautiful shots even if it is in your own garden. Here are the basics of getting into garden bird photography.

1. Attract the birds

If there is one task you need to perform successfully with this genre of photography then its attracting birds. If you have a garden that is bird friendly, then you are away and ready to start. This is where good research begins. Either buy a local guide to garden photography, find someone else doing it from a local bird club or use the internet to locate some of the great websites dedicated to this genre. You need to understand what type of food they like and where they like to hang out together. This means going further than putting out their favourite food by planting the vegetation they like and even growing the food they seek out. Another tip here is to grow the vegetation near to where you will be shooting from. Create a dedicated area in your garden or outside a window.

2. Establish your location

Now this can be as simple as shooting from a window in your home to building a purpose-built hide somewhere in your garden near to all the best perches and food. It’s up to you as to how much effort you put into it. I have found that for people starting out a simple location is a bedroom or living room window looking onto a garden with plenty foliage and vegetation. This is a place where there is good potential with great lighting and places to perch.

3. Create the setting

This step is vital because you want the place where the birds will perch to be as close to the window or hide are setting up as possible. In this area ensure that there are places high enough for the bird perch and survey its surroundings for danger. Add an intermediate perch before the food source and have the food source at a reasonable height in order to shoot your images. Light is important as the better the lighting the less artificial light you’ll need and of course using a flash will disturb them. Be very aware of your backgrounds as these will make or break your final image. Getting the set up right is a large part of the final image.

4. Create the hide

As I said this is as simple as a bedroom or lounge or as complex as a purpose-built hide. To begin with I suggest using a room in the house. The glass forms a natural barrier and allows you shoot freely most times as the reflection hides you from the birds. Just make sure that the glass has been cleaned on both sides so that you don’t have dirty or blurry images. Inside the hide make sure that you have a comfy chair because you will probably have to wait a while until you know what the feeding and perching patterns are. Whatever happens you’ll need a fair amount of patience. Remember that when you move around inside to do it slowly because the birds might not see you clearly but will react to flashes of movement. Turn any lights off and close any other curtains to limit the light inside the room.

5. Set up your equipment

Of course in this situation you aren’t really limited by your equipment because most cameras will shoot reasonable images because you are close to the birds. What I mean by this is that the lenses won’t necessarily need to have huge focal lengths. Even most bridge or prosumer cameras will have sufficient focal length. Compacts may be a little wanting even in this situation. Remember you are trying this out to see if you can do it or even enjoy it. Whatever your equipment a tripod is essential and if possible a cable release or your shutter set to timed release of 2 to 10 seconds in order to minismise camera shake. Then another vital action to ensure success is pre-focus your camera, using the manual focus setting, on a well-used perch or branch, the bird feeder or feeding platform you have set up. This increases the chance of getting your shot instead of focusing wherever a bird lands and hoping for the best. Again, planning is a big part of a successful bird image.

6. Keep shooting

Don’t wait for the perfect shot just shoot as much as you can. Key at this stage is to get as many good shoots as possible. You can always crop the image later because you want good clear photos of the birds. If you focus on the perfect composition the chance of get good images will reduce. Remember that this is the beginning of you bird photography journey and there is lots of time to improve. There’s an old saying that says ‘nothing breeds success like success’. You need to be getting the shots to keep you motivated.

These are some simple steps to get you going and not turn you into a top bird photographer. They are some keys to getting into bird photography the easiest and simplest possible way. The bottom line is to have fun and continue having fun. I can assure you that when you start getting those great images you will not stop so make sure your bank balance is full because the expense starts here. Happy shooting!

Holding the Camera Right – A Tutorial For Beginners

Cameras are tricky. Some come with comfortable grips while others are smooth, leaving it up to you to decide what the comfortable holding position is. The problem is that being so many different cameras on the market, photography beginners can get the feeling that holding one right is some sort of rocket science.

It’s not. Holding a camera differs from person to person as each and everyone has their personal preferences, but there are some basic guidelines to follow so that your grip is good and your photographs blur-free.

Here are the important things to check when taking your shots:

  1. Right hand holding the camera and controlling the settings
  2. Left hand supporting the weight of the camera
  3. Elbows tucked close to your body
  4. Camera close to your forehead for a viewfinder or not too far from your body for and LCD display
  5. Make sure the camera strap is around your wrist in case your grip is not that great yet!

Remember photographs are best taken when the camera is held with both hands and your body is in a steady position. With your right hand make sure your index finger is directly above the capture button. Your thumb should be at the bottom of the camera for support, and your other fingers curled around the front – making sure you haven’t covered the lens.

Your left hand can either be used to keep the camera steady or to control the lens depending on whether or not your camera needs you to manually adjust the lens. Also ensure that you are not blocking the flash if you are using it.

When using the view finder or the LCD display screen, make sure the camera is close to your body. If the camera only has an LCD display you have no choice but to hold the camera at a certain distance when taking a shot. Make sure that the distance is far enough for you to see and compose your image properly, and that your grip is firm. If your camera does have a viewfinder, place the camera firmly and comfortably against your face. For both the LCD and the viewfinder your elbows need to be tucked close to your body.

Portrait shots require that you hold the camera slightly differently. You will need to hold the camera in your left hand and support it with your right hand keeping your right index finger on the capture button. Be careful not to cover the flash as this is a common error especially with portrait shots.

Keep snapping and remember practice is all you need!

Some Photography Tips for Beginners

Photography may seem to involve highly complex and technical details but you cannot deny that some of the best photographs that have won international awards are those that are spontaneously ‘clicked in the moment’ bringing out the essence of the subject and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Of course, it helps to have the latest equipment and accessories in hand, but all that you require is that moment before each shot when your thought flow is in sync with the image you are capturing.

There are no doubt many guides and animated tutorials that can take you through the entire process; in general there are a few useful tips to keep in mind that can make an ordinary photograph a better one. Here, it should be understand that these tips are suitable mostly for beginners and non-technical camera people who like to take pictures to keep a travelogue or record images of vacations, family occasions and trips etc.

The basic premise of shooting photographs is to:

• Preserve pleasant memories of travels and vacations,
• Compile albums of family, friends, colleagues and pets,
• Get that adrenaline rushing through on seeing a well-taken photograph, and
• Just enjoy the feel of the camera in hand.

1. The first and foremost tip is to ‘be as close to the subject as possible’: often we see a photograph of a sunset which is the original intended subject, but because the distance was too much or the reach of the camera was too far, other objects appear in the frame that were not intended to be there. Finer details are more important as compared to overall views and the subject of the photograph must fill the frame as much as possible.

2. Speed and ‘quick to the draw’: “Shoot first ask questions later” is an oft repeated motto. That applies very well to photographing live subjects. Children, pets, wildlife and many others can get fidgety and dart around or not be interested in posing for that “perfect shot”. Sometimes candid shots like a laughing, pouting, somersaulting child or a leaping pet make beautiful memories and the best tip for someone choosing to shoot photographs in situations like these is always being ready and prepared to click at a moment’s notice.

3. Get the composition right: Nothing is more balanced than a picture in which all the elements are in place. Composition involves following the eye along the lines and contours of the subject and background, keeping a level horizon and taking out the extra elements that can skew the balance and symmetry.

4. Being selective: it may not always be possible to get the best shot in terms of symmetry and focus; in which case, the best option is to use the main subject as the pivot in the picture and blur out anything from the frame that doesn’t need to be there.

5. Focus and depth-of-field: some basic knowledge about different apertures helps to get good results. For example, pictures of people, children and pets stand out clearly against a blurred background using smaller depth-of-field whereas landscapes and outdoors turn out better when greater depth-of-field puts everything from the closest tree to the farthest one in the frame focused clearly.

6. Shutter Speed: Shutter speeds help take photographs of moving subjects by helping slow down time or catch split-second motions.

7. Be aware of the light conditions – direct or blazing light go well if bold colors and subject are in sync, indirect or subdued light provide soft and warm glows, side lights give silhouettes and provide dramatic relief.

8. The weather plays an important role: deep blue skies puffed with white fluffy clouds are always a delight as the colors turn out perfectly, so do rainy days in a black and white detail.

9. Keeping camera settings simple: If you are shooting mostly outdoors, tweak settings and keep them as simple as possible. Here’s where semi-automatic programs that allow aperture control and shooting.

10. Be bold and experimental: photography guides can only teach you so many things. Being imaginative, creative and playing around often brings more joy than just shooting perfect pictures.

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