Thanks to smartphones and easy-to-use digital cameras, photography has basically become a global pastime — I know grandparents, kids, and even toddlers who can take decent photos.
But while snapping a clear, focused picture is now as simple as pointing and shooting, there are some things you can do to improve your technique and produce higher-quality images. Follow these tips for digital photographers and find yourself well ahead of the average Instagram user.
1. Read the Book
My father-in-law, a first generation Hungarian immigrant and renowned Mr. Fix It, had one bit of advice for operating any piece of equipment, be it a lawn mower, piece of Ikea furniture, or a camera. In his thick accent, he would wryly state, “Read ze book.”
If you don’t trust my father-in-law, an insightful article from Photoventure imparts the same wisdom. While the owner’s manual won’t contain secret techniques to turn you from shutterbug to a photojournalist, it will provide you with a better understanding of your camera’s functions and abilities. In short, don’t assume you know everything.
2. Spot the Spot MeterAnother article from Photoventure explains that the spot meters on digital cameras aren’t entirely foolproof, and depending on the lighting, they can lead you to over or underexpose your subject.
However, modern metering features are much higher-functioning than the now-ancient light meters that first appeared on cameras in the late 1980s. These new meters are a great built-in element that typically have general-purpose settings, usually called Evaluative, Matrix, or Multi-Area.
3. Master Moving TargetsSnapping pictures of stationary subjects is easy — my father-in-law could’ve done that without the manual. The true challenge is capturing moving targets. In the pre-digital era, honing your craft in this category was sometimes a costly ordeal, depending on how much film you ended up wasting.
But fear not — with a modern camera and this article from Creative Bloq, which has some great insight about working with a moving subject, you’ll be just fine. And remember: switching your autofocus settings to continuous mode will allow better tracking of your target.
4. Explore DIY Camera HacksEver think of using a Pringles cannister as a studio-style snoot for your flash, or a bean bag to reduce camera shake? This Diply post has some camera tips that would make MacGyver shed tears of joy.
A fun example? Smear Vaseline over your lens for a vintage look, or try a sandwich bag cover if you’re not a fan of grease!
5. Tell a Story
“Practice makes perfect” may sound like a cliché, but there’s a reason people are always repeating it. Put your gear to use every day, and remember to share your work with friends through social media to get their feedback.
Try to envision the story you want to tell and work toward achieving that goal by snapping photos whenever you get the opportunity. Like a good story, your photo portfolio should have a beginning, middle, and end.
After you’ve created an inventory of captivating digital images, you can rely on AdoramaPix to help you immortalize them in physical form, ready to display in your home or to share as gifts. As an amateur, the safest bet you can make is on turning to the professionals — and AdoramaPix will make the most of your work, even before you know how to make the most of your camera.