Allied Publishing Books and Training Manuals

Taking Better Pictures with Digital Cameras

The quality of a photo depends on its composition, what you choose to include and leave out of the picture, how you arrange it in the frame, and how you select the right shooting mode for the job.

If you want to take better photos, you have to become familiar and use more advanced shooting modes, including:

  • Aperture Priority – This setting is used to control the depth of field or how sharp you want to show the image from front to back. Use it for portraits, macro photos, and landscape. For example, the headshot will be in focus and background will be out of focus to put emphasis on the model with a blurred background.
  • Shutter Priority – This setting is generally used for shooting sports and action.
  • Program mode – Camera automatically sets the aperture and shutter speed.
  • Manual – You set both aperture and shutter speed. However, you don’t have to use the manual; many of the automatic settings provide great results. The camera will raise or lower ISO sensitivity based on the lighting condition to provide a sharp image.

You will need to practice different settings in both bright and dark lighting condition and to compare the quality of your image. Best shooting time is when the light is soft and diffused such as early morning and evening. Avoid shooting during midday when the light is too harsh.

For portraits, try backlighting and use reflectors for better results. Watch out for shadows. Also beware of camera shakes, especially in dim lighting conditions.

Most digital cameras offer a choice of RAW and JPEG formats. RAW file format gives you the choice of editing if you find that your images are too dark or too bright. You can fix them in Photoshop or similar image-editing software. However, if you choose to save images as RAW files, then you have to process the images yourself. When you see JPEG option on the camera, the image will be processed automatically from the raw data and saved as JPEG to the memory card.

You may discover some of your images are overexposed. You need to prevent overexposed images. Find your camera’s brightness histogram. The graph can be displayed alongside a photo during playback. You will see the highlights on the right and the shadows on the left. If the histogram is pushed towards the right side, then the image may be overexposed. You need to learn to use your camera’s exposure compensation function to reduce the overexposure.

The highest quality pictures come from taking a lot of photos on a daily basis using different setting and learning how to use your camera in different lighting conditions.

Use of tripod or keeping your camera steady can help in giving you better images. In addition, good images come from turning off the camera flash or at least pointing the flash towards ceiling to allow the light to bounce from the ceiling.

Try to use a low ISO in most of your shooting because you will get a lot of noise using higher ISO. For portraits, adjust the height of camera on tripod and set the camera at about the center of the model’s face. Also use reflectors to help model’s features to stand out and to provide a soft lighting.

By Robert Stevens – 2019
Copyright © 2019 Allied Publishing
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For additional articles written by Robert Stevens, see alliedpublishing.com/freelance-photography. Robert Stevens is the author of How to Make Money With Your Camera published in 2019.