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These are easy techniques to learn. These digital photography tricks have been the most effective at improving my picture taking. They are my favorites.
These are very brief descriptions, if you want more information on any of them, click on the title above each description and you will find a more in depth discussion.
1. Play Tic Tac Toe (not exactly)
Have you ever looked at a picture that you took and one of your friends or family took what looks like almost the same exact picture, but theirs looks better? Did you ever wonder why the difference? Well, it could be “The Rule of Thirds”. Probably the easiest digital photography trick is this idea.
2. Change The Angle
If you are like I use to be, you look through the view finder in your camera, everything is straight and right in front of you and “click” you take the picture. I will have to admit how boring my pictures were. To add more character to the photo, you tilt the camera slightly, rotate it 45 degrees. This is another one of the easiest digital photography tricks to improve your photographs.
3. Leading the Viewer into the Picture
You can take better pictures by leading the viewer’s eye into the picture. One of the easiest ways that I have found to do this is with leading lines. It could be something as simple as a railroad track or road. Other items could be the edge of a building, a dock just about anything that will grab the viewer’s attention and pull them in.
4. Fill the entire frame with the subject
This one may seem like everyone does this, but the truth is, most pictures that I use to take would be full of non-essential items. What I have learned is to zoom in, get closer, make the frame tighter. Get rid of any distracting object in the background by getting closer to the subject. If you think you are close enough, your not. Get Closer.
Look throughout nature and find patterns or repetition. It could be in shape, color, texture. A picture that has a lot of similar items is a better picture. Don’t forget to use the angle rule above to help out to add a bit more.
The other day I was reflecting on past experiences… Oh, I know you don’t want to hear about that, but think about this: One of the great digital photography tricks is to use a reflective surface to add dimension. You could take a picture using the reflection of water, a mirror, a window or anything metallic and shiny. The most famous reflection object that I know of is called “The Bean” in Chicago.
Yes, I know it sounds simple, since we are talking about pictures. But, you can use color to take better pictures, you just have to think about what the idea is that you are trying to convey. Color can produce many emotions in your pictures. What about the absence of color? Black and white photographs invoke a sense of timelessness.
8. Fill Flash
Flashing people is not just good at night. Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right. What I mean is that you can use the flash on your camera during the day to get rid of dark shadows. This works especially well on people’s faces.
9. Light and Shadows
Photography is the art of copying light onto a photosensitive item, paper, sensor… So, it almost goes without saying to use light and shadows to take better pictures. But, the light in the final picture helps (like the color item above) create a mood a feeling or emotion. Light and shadows can help you get that mood across.
10. Frame within a Frame
Creating a “Frame” within the picture will draw the viewer’s eye directly to the subject. A frame can be a window, door, leaves, or just about anything that surrounds the subject.
The Most important of all the Digital Photography Tricks, Practice, Practice, Practice!
These are just a few different digital photography tricks that will help you take better pictures. The best way to improve is to practice each of these. One day go out and take nothing but patterns, the next use leading lines. These may seem very simple, but their power to improve photographs is tremendous.
Another item, it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have in order to use these simple techniques to take better pictures. They work with point and shoot, DSLR, Film SLR, and even camera phones. Don’t worry about the equipment, improve your composition today.
One last thing, just like the english language, there are exceptions to every rule. You may take a fantastic shot and the subject is centered. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad photo. Once you know the rules, you can break them and end up with a spectacular picture.
So, get out there and Say Cheese!
So, you think that you need a $1,000 camera in order to take advantage of these digital photography tricks? Well, that is not necessarily so, but let’s look at the differences in cameras:
Disposable: These are film cameras, do you still remember them? They are the true “Point and Shoot”. You look through the veiw finder, click the button and advance the film. That’s it. Simple right?
Digital Point and Shoot: (I won’t go over the film version here) These have improved so much over the years. Most have a viewfinder, but also an LCD screen where you can review the picture you just took (did aunt Bea have her eyes open?). Most have the capability to zoom and have a built in flash. You can insert a memory card and all (as far as I can tell) have the ability to upload to a computer. Some have special settings for; backlit, panoramic, night, sports, portrait and a few others. These settings help tell the camera what type of effect you are looking for and it adjusts it’s shutter speed and aperature accordingly. There are a few that can be adjusted manually by the user, but most are all automatic. The lens cannot be changed.
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR): (Again, I won’t go over the film version here) These are the cream of the crop for photographers. These are the large cameras that you see professionals dragging around. Some offer the automatic settings modes, but that is not what they are designed for. Photographers love them because they are manually adjustable. On the newer models just about everything is adjustable; shutter speed, aperature, ISO (film speed), white balance, focus…the list just goes on and on. They have an LCD screen, like the point and shoot, so that the photographer can review their pictures.
The main advantage to the DSLR is it’s ability to change lens and flashes. This gives the photographer unlimited resources to change the look of any picture they take.
The really nice thing about DSLR is that their price keeps coming down and the technology keeps getting better. The consumer level models are wonderful and powerful.
Phone Cameras: Just about every model of cellphone now comes with a camera. These are very limited in their options. Most camera phones can zoom and that’s about it. After you take the picture, they have some editing software. A few have flashes as well. I have found the overall quality of the pictures to be lacking, especially in low light situations.
Medium and Large Format Cameras: These are the large and extra large versions of the DSLR. The truly professionals use these.
Portraits can be improved greatly with just a few simple adjustments.
One way to improve a portrait is to have the subject tilt their head to the side. Even better yet, have them rotate their body to the side and then look at the camera. Straight on views tend to look flat and the angle of their body will give more depth to the picture.
Another digital photography trick that can improve your photography is putting the model at ease. If you know the model, try and talk about things before you get shooting. Don’t just walk up and start clicking pictures. If you the model is more relaxed, they will appear less rigid and more natural. You can also take this time to review your surroundings to come up with some great backdrops or poses for the picture.
One of the great digital photography tricks that will add an “angelic” effect to your pictures is to have the model positioned so that light from the sun is hitting their back. If you are positioned correctly, their hair should light up from behind. This does take some planning, because the sun needs to be at the correct location. This technique won’t work if it’s directly overhead.
Also, if you want your models to look slimmer, get above them. Never take a portrait from below if your model is concerned with looking overweight. If you are lower than the model’s head, when they look down, it could create a double chin.
If you are trying to get more of the models personality into the photo, take pictures with objects that they identify with. Do they play an instrument, what about a sport. Add objects to have more detail about the person. It makes it more personal.
Lastly, change your point of view. (This is good for just about any photograph) Get directly above them. Zoom in where you only see a portion of their face. Any way to add interest, by taking a picture that is not a usual pose. I know it sounds cliché, but think outside the box!
Use some or all of these digital photography tricks to improve your next portrait shoot!
Do you want to take better photographs? What if I could teach you some very simple digital photography tricks?
After purchasing my first digital SLR camera, I took hundreds of pictures, but found that I had no digital photography technique. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
My father had a Minolta 101 and always had it out for special occasions. My grandfather would send out Christmas Cards that he and my great uncle would make with pictures of the family on them. Those were produced in a darkroom, not at the local photo-mat.
Photographs, over the years, have created a lot of memories. When I had my child, we couldn’t take enough. I have boxes and boxes of photos.
But, even after all of the pictures I have taken, probably thousands with at least a dozen different cameras, my skills in digital photography technique were lacking. I wanted to learn some digital photography tricks to take better pictures!
So, nine months ago, I decided to do something about it. I took a few classes, read some books and magazines. What I found out was that with some simple digital photography tricks and ideas, a photograph could go from okay to great.
I then thought, why keep all of this to myself? I want to share these ideas and help more people learn how to improve their digital photography technique. So, below are some simple ideas to help you take better pictures.
I have also included some ideas on where you can get more information. I believe that the learning process never ends.