Every form of work, art and part time hobbies have basic fundamentals that enthusiasts need to implement in order to increase their level of skill. Below or four such basics that apply to photography:
The Rule of Thirds
Every digital camera – even your iPhone – comes with a grid option, which overlays two vertical and two horizontal lines on the picture, splitting the image into 9 sections. Enable it now, and look around. Place items of visual interest onto these lines or at the intersections for a better composition.
Change your elevation or viewpoint
Move the camera either up or down for a more interesting shot; obviously, this makes seeing the viewfinder somewhat more difficult, which is why a rotatable LCD screen can be a wonderful thing – you can hold the camera high above your head or on the ground, and still see what’s going on. This is especially important when photographing things like animals and kids.
Always take photos in full resolution and full quality
With memory cards so cheap nowadays, there’s absolutely no excuse for dropping the quality down on the camera side – if you need to optimize the image for sharing or sending over email, do this on the computer using any standard photo management app. Why take anything less than the best?
Learn the modes on your camera
Even the most basic point and shoot will at least have:
- Manual mode where you can specify everything.
- Automatic mode where the camera will make a best guess.
- Programmed mode where certain characteristics are pre-determind.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to stay away from programmed mode and anything to do with adding effects to the photo – these can always be controlled better with manual mode, or applied afterwards. If you take a photo in black and white on a compact camera, you’re simply destroying data that you can never get back again.
On a DSLR, you’ll find a few other modes, and it’s important you understand those too. These modes allow you to set a particular variable and let the camera work out the best values for the others.
- Av: Aperture Value. This is the most widely used mode for general shooting and gives you control over the Aperture. The camera will calculate the best shutter speed and exposure to use.
- Tv: Time Value. This gives you control over the shutter speed, allowing you to capture either motion or a single moment. The camera will calculate the best aperture and exposure values to use.