Alternate title: 10 Pro Photo Tips for the Casual Shooter

Alternate title: 10 Pro Photo Tips for the Casual Shooter

1. NOT FOCUSED – If shooting people focus in their eyes – “the window to the soul”. Let your camera focus properly before shooting, and don’t be closer to the subject than your camera can focus.
2. BLURRY OVERALL – hold the camera steady with both hands, feet apart slightly; slowly press the shutter button, don’t stab it.
3. DIRT LENS (BLURRY AREAS IN PHOTO) – small camera lenses seem to attract fingers. Keep lenses clear with a soft cloth or Lenspen ($10 at camera stores – works great!)
4. TILTED BUILDINGS OR HORIZON – Take a half second to square up the picture in your viewfinder.
5. CUT OFF HEADS, ARMS, FEET – include all or most of the person(s) in the photo.
6. HORIZONTAL PHOTOS OF VERTICAL SUBJECTS – utilize the whole frame by turning your camera on its side. It’s OK – it works fine that way. 😉
7. COLOR IS BAD – most cameras will let you tell the camera what kind of light your subject is in (called ‘setting the white balance’). Do that if needed, otherwise indoor photos will be orange and outdoor shade photos will be blue!
8. SUBJECT MOTION IS BLURRED – Move the camera (pan) with the movement to follow your subject. Click the shutter WHILE moving the camera.
9. PEAK ACTION IS OVER BY THE TIME YOUR CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS – do you have lots of photos of already blown out birthday cake candles? Lower priced cameras often suffer from “shutter lag”. Learn how long that lag is and anticipate the action. You’ll get the hang of it. Turning off the ‘red eye’ option helps a lot!
10. PLAIN AND SIMPLE, THE PHOTO IS BORING – In the words of legendary war photographer Robert Capa, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Move in on some interesting details – smiling faces, twinkling eyes, flowers – whatever it was that caught your eye in the first place.
So next time you pick up your camera practice these tips. Your photos will be better for it. I promise!
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