Guest Author - Pam Cartwright
The digital cameras we have today are both more sophisticated and yet easier to use. We’ve gotten past the “point and click” cameras. We can view and erase a bad picture immediately. We can change the settings and get sepia-toned or a sunburst shining down strategically. If we want, we can just set it on automatic and let the camera set the lighting and timing for us. No matter which way we go, we usually have time to get several shots, so that we can put that fabulous image we’re seeing in our photo album. If you want one of the special looks, you will definitely need to know about your camera. But if you’re like me, you are still in the “point and click” mode. So, maybe you just need to learn a LITTLE about your camera to get a photo that’s exceptional.
If you have the opportunity, take a photography class. It doesn’t have to be a college course, just something that makes you more comfortable with your camera. The first class I took was a three hour class at a local camera store. It cost $25 and took three hours. It was well worth my time and money. Of course, I didn’t learn how to be a professional photographer, but I DID learn a little about my camera. My second class was on a cruise we took recently. It was one of the onboard lectures given by the ship’s photographers. It was geared to those of us who know little or nothing of the workings of a digital camera. Their instructions were basic, but helpful.
If you begin by setting up the shot itself, you’ll find yourself taking better pictures. Thinking about how you want the photo to look might lead you to make some uncomplicated camera adjustments that make a world of difference in the outcome.
I had always believed it was best to center the shot. I recently learned that looking at the subject from various angles makes a more interesting photo. There’s even a rule about it. It’s called the rule of thirds. Read all about it here at Bella in the photography section: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art51025.asp. If you’re taking photos of a child or flowers in a garden, you might want to get down to eye level with the subject. Try focusing on the subject from the side. You’ll be surprised how perspective changes the photo.
Have you ever seen a beautiful vista and wanted to get more of it into the shot than you can see through the view finder? You don’t need a panoramic camera. You have something almost as good with your digital camera. The mountain icon on your camera changes to a wide angle shot. You’ll get more of that gorgeous canyon or seashore.
Would you like to take a picture from inside the car? But you’re afraid of the flash from the window? To stop it, turn off the flash. It’s that lightning symbol that you’ll find somewhere on your camera. Turn off the flash and the window reflections won’t show in your photo.
My dear husband taught me something on our most recent trip. He took pictures of our room (of course, with the bed made)! It may seem a little bizarre, but think about it. If your room was special in some way, it’s memorable. Our last trip was a cruise where we spent many days in the same room, so a photo of the room is a memory.
Learning just a little about your camera can have a big impact on your memories. Try it!!