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Make Better Photos

Try These Simple Tips for Quick Improvements in Your Photos

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One of the great things about digital photography is the ease with which you can make changes to your photos after you shoot them. With good photo-editing software on your computer, you can fix quite a few problems. Better yet, though, you can save a lot of time and require less editing by making a few adjustments to your photography techniques, which should result in better photo quality immediately. Here are several simple tips you can use to make better photos with even the least expensive point and shoot camera.

  • If at all possible, shoot in good lighting. Many low-priced point and shoot digital cameras struggle to create good images in low light. If you can add light to the shot with a good flash unit or with external lights, do it. Better yet, move the photo subjects outdoors, if at all possible. Having plenty of light will help you make better photos immediately.

  • Try to avoid using the digital zoom of the camera. The optical zoom measurement represents a magnification of the image by the lens. Digital zoom measurement is the process of software inside the camera magnifying the image, which leads to lower image quality and less image sharpness. Only use digital zoom if you have no other option.

  • In fact, try to avoid relying on the zoom feature of your camera whenever possible. Obviously, with some types of photos (wildlife, sporting events, etc.), you cannot move closer, but if you get in the habit of moving closer to the subject, you'll probably be surprised by how much your photos improve. By moving closer, you can try some different angles and vantage points, too, such as crouching or kneeling when shooting images of children, which changes the angle of the photo, matching the height of the subjects.

  • Keep in mind that if you're using a point and shoot digital camera over a long distance or with a flash, you'll probably experience some shutter lag, which is the delay from the time you press the shutter button until the camera actually records the photo. Your shutter lag might only be half a second or a full second, but that is a lot of time when shooting a photo with moving subjects. Familiarize yourself with the length of time of your camera's shutter lag so you won't miss a spontaneous photo. If you're unsure about the shutter lag on a particular camera, just plan on pressing the shutter button a little sooner than you normally do ... and shoot a lot of backup images.

  • Finally, with a photo where you simply cannot make a mistake, take several shots from several angles. Shooting many images should improve your odds of ending up with a high-quality photo. Remember: You can't waste film with a digital camera, so don't feel guilty about shooting plenty of images.
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