Remember those photos many years ago where the subject was so far away you could barely tell who it was? What a good friend told me was get your shot ready in your camera screen, then take a couple steps closer to your subject, making sure you still have the subject totally within the screen. Then snap your picture. You not only see who it is, but how they actually looked that day. Wonderful!
By Mary P. from Zeeland, MI
That is the one mistake most people make: Standing back too far from the subject. With today's cheaper digital cameras, you have to really make sure to get in close, because the wide-angle lenses make the subject look farther away than it actually is. :-)
I say this all the time, lo. Especially to my brother who is 6'1, when he takes a picture of his 5 year old daughter. Get down to her level, don't tower above her. Can't get a true balance of a small child. Is so much better to get a beautiful smile looking in your eye instead of looking up at the mountain, IMHO
Don't most cameras have a zoom feature; mine does.
Thank you! I tell this to people often! When I take a picture of them I get close. When they take a picture of me I have to ask them to get closer. I want the picture of me and whoever is with me, not the background, unless the background has significance. Think of the pictures professionals take of people. More people, less other stuff.
Great tips, all! Also, we find that our better shots are the ones in which the subjects are looking at each other or focused on something off center rather than staring straight-on to the lens.
One thing, before you print your photo crop them, bring the subject closer. I have wonderful programs on my computer to do this with, don't wait till you get to the drug store, etc to crop.
Also, find community ed opportunities to take classes from photographers, which offer tips on how to take better photos, also in how to Use All Your Settings on your digital cameras. It is not important to get closer to the subject if you know how to make your camera do it for you.
You can also focus your camera on the subject, then quickly tip your camera up to a light without moving closer, etc touch the button for snapping, then turn back down to subject for actual snap fools the camera into thinking there was better light behind the subject in the first place. Also, to bounce some light, have someone hold a white sheet of paper/tagboard under the camera for it to bounce the light back up to keep shadows off the wall.
Another tip, DO NOT let subjects lean up against the wall tightly. Step away from it for better shots.
I have 2 fantastic cameras that I grab and shoot several daily. Never know what makes the local news or a perfect entry into a photo contest. Simply stepping outside and shooting snow coming down was a beautiful shot, also on my hands and knees in the grass getting a shot of the first freezing frost of the season - subject - grass blades. As the day went on, I had also shot the flower beds and when the sun hit them, the destruction was obvious. If you can take photos at intervals of 15 minutes etc. it is great.
I am a trained skywarn and when weather spotting/chasing I snap the shutter every 15 seconds to catch the movement of the storms/tornadoes I am watching. Also allows you to understand what you are seeing as you are taking them and then post storm research.
You have to understand when your photo is in zoom or when it moves to digital zoom, what kind of photos you can take. My camera has a portrait setting which I love to use for non movement shots. When all else is exhausted, put it on the EASY button, where the camera does it all for you.
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