Text: ©2014 Garry Benson
Images: ©2014 Garry Benson
1. Experiment with digital camera settings
Don’t be intimidated by the options – experiment with shutter speed, aperture & white balance settings to get better results. For example, do you get blurry shots in low light? You can set your minimum shutter speed to say 1/100th sec but if the lights too low you miss the shot. How do you fix it? Set Auto ISO on, and the camera will automatically raise the sensitivity. You might have a grainy image but that’s better than no shot at all or a blurry one.
2. Take plenty of digital film
Forget the days of counting remaining frames of film, and capture lots and lots of images while using a large capacity memory card and several smaller capacity cards. ALWAYS shoot with the maximum resolution – you might take less shots per memory card but the quality will be better. If you’re a fanatically keen to get the best shots shoot both RAW and maximum JPEG.
3. A funny thing happened on the way to the image
Turn on your “Highlight Alert” indicator (commonly called “blinkies”). If you are shooting RAW images, you will actually have at least a half-stop of overexposure fudge-room where you can, in essence, recover that data! This will not be possible if you are shooting JPEG images only. A carefully exposed image will produce a print with a full range of tones. Get the exposure right and you will spend much less time in front of your computer screen!
4. Experiment with natural light
Digital cameras are just like traditional cameras when it comes to lighting so use soft, natural light near windows and doorways for natural looking images. Paying more attention to light is perhaps the single most important step you can take to improve your photography. Different types of natural light can also produce a wide variety of subject appearances — even though these all have the same light source. Learn how to achieve the right light for your subject by utilizing the unique qualities of your particular time of day and weather. One other advantage is that you don’t use flash – every time you shoot with flash the battery levels plummet.
5. Change the perspective
Today’s digital cameras are compact and lightweight, allowing users to capture images from every angle. It is often said that a telephoto lens compresses perspective but actually the perspective remains the same. Perspective, in fact can only be changed by changing position. If you were to use the wide-angle lens and physically move closer to your subject to get the same framing as the telephoto lens, then, you will have changed the perspective. What actually happens when you change lens is that your angle of view changes.
There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. ~ Ansel Adams