Congratulations, you got a Digital Camera. In this blog, you are going to get a lot of tips to taking better pictures. You are going to have a lot of fun learning new photography tips and techniques!
You will even have more fun when you figure out how to use this amazing piece of equipment you’ve received. This lesson will be about hand holding camera. We are going to make this as easy as possible for you. Hang on and enjoy the ride.
Let’s start with tips to taking better pictures and making sure you are successful as possible.
Step 1: It all starts with holding the camera properly
Clarity in communication is key, it is the same with a photograph. It needs to be sharp! Or at least the part of the photograph that is important to you to tell your story, needs to be extremely sharp. Oh, did I say, tell your story? You bet I did. Any picture that you take should tell a story, it shouldn’t need you to explain what it is all about.
When I take a photograph, I want people to say wow that is great or yuck that is awful. Any show of emotion to me is a good thing. It means the story that I was trying to tell was conveyed. Of course, if it is a photograph of people, all the people must look good, or at least sharp!
Not to get ahead of ourselves, but Focus can be affected by too low of an ISO Setting, too large an Aperture Setting, or too slow a Shutter Speed. We will discuss each of these in later blogs. But now we are focusing (pun intended – boo) on properly holding or supporting the camera.
Here are the various ways you can troubleshoot pictures that are out of focus.
- When you look at the photograph there is nothing in focus. Or, your Center of Interest (we will call this CEI from now on) is blurry, but another part of the picture is in focus. This is caused by poor focusing. If you used manual focus, or when you used Auto-Focus your sensor was not set on the CEI. This is a Focus
2. Let’s say that you carefully set up your picture and your centre of interest is in focus but the area in front of your CEI and behind your CEI is out of focus it means one of two things. 1. You choose an Aperture Setting that was too large or 2. Your ISO was too low and your automatic setting chooses an aperture that was too large. This is a Depth of Field We will learn more about this in another post.
3. In this scenario, the background and foreground are sharp but any subject that can move is out of focus. In order to stop motion, a person running, or a car driving by, you need to choose a Shutter Speed that is set high enough to “stop” motion. Shutter speed will be addressed on a blog coming up soon.
4. Blurry is different than out of focus. If you see a blurry image it is caused by one of two errors.
- You moved the camera during the exposure.
2. You choose or the autoexposure choose a shutter speed that was too slow to stop motion. Shutter Speed is another topic we will cover in a later blog, but both errors fall under the Camera Movement section.
Let’s talk about camera movement and how to reduce the chance of it ruining your image. To begin with, holding the camera properly is essential. As a matter of fact, the smaller the camera, it is even more important to hold correctly. With a smaller camera, the motion is exaggerated causing more distortion. Especially if it is the camera on your phone.
- Hold the camera in your right hand with your fingers wrapped around the body of the camera and your index figure on the Shutter Release Button.
- With your left hand lay your camera on the palm of your hand to give it extra support. As I mentioned early, the smaller the camera, the more important it is.
- Have both of your elbows into your sides for additional support.
When taking your photograph, it is important to depress your shutter release button very gently halfway down. Your camera is a computer which needs to assess the amount of light, choose an appropriate shutter speed/aperture combination, and determine the correct focus area. This is done very quickly, but it still takes some time, it is not instant. Then gently depress the shutter release button till the photograph is taken. You should hear a sound.
Take the picture slowly and gently. Pressing hard and fast will not take the picture any faster or better. In fact, you most surely have a subpar photograph.
Here are some bonus pointers:
- If you can, find a place to place the camera on, like a railing, tree bough, chair, or car if the light level is low (early morning or late afternoon – early evening).
- When taking a vertical photograph, you place the bottom of the camera on a door jam, tree trunk, or fence.
The most important thing for you to do is to take pictures. Go Play. Experiment and try different things. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask it on the form below and I promise to get your answer as soon as possible.
Chuck and Bob
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