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Photo Basics

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Here are some simple tips and rules that can help you to create better pictures. Use them as a guide to lead you in creating that extraordinary picture. But remember there are exceptions to every rule, so if you think something will look good, do not be afraid to try it! Enjoy!

This seems like a little thing, but often times just taking a pause before pressing the button and really looking through the view finder can go a long way to improving your shots. Check that everything is in the viewfinder that you want or that there is not too much there. Check that the camera is straight and level.

If you are shooting a person try and watch that objects behind the subject do not appear cluttered around the subjects head. An example might be a lamp directly behind someones head will tend to detract from the picture.

Try shooting your subject from different angles not just straight on. Often times a unique point of view can really add dimension to a picture. Do not be afraid to climb up that hill, stand on a chair, or even lie on your back. Great artists will go to great lengths to get that perfect shot!

Try turning the camera 90 degrees and taking a vertical shot instead of a horizontal shot. This particular technique works great when shooting a picture of one or two persons.
You will undoubtedly notice a time lag between pressing the shutter release and the exposure. This delay is necessary because your camera needs a little time for pre-shot calibration and to balance the colors. Just hold the camera steady for a little longer than usual until you get used to the time delay.

There is also a delay between shots as the camera processes the previous images. Some new cameras have buffers that let you continue shooting during the processing time, which is great for fast action photography. If your camera does not have a buffer you will have to wait between shots, so look for a camera with fast shot-to-shot time.

If your camera lets you to override the auto focus, you will want to use this feature if you take a lot of action shots, or if you are shooting through glass. Even if your camera has a buffer, the auto focus may not react fast enough to give you sharp pictures if you shoot too quickly or the light is too low.

Have you ever noticed that your shots sometimes have a cool, clammy feel to them? If so, you are not alone. The default white balance setting for digital cameras is auto, which is fine for most snapshots, but tends to be a bit on the cool side.

When shooting outdoor portraits and sunny landscapes, try changing your white balance setting from auto to cloudy. Thats right, cloudy. Why? This adjustment is like putting a mild warming filter on your camera. It increases the reds and yellows resulting in richer, warmer pictures.

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