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4 Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

beginning photography

Any beginner doing digital photography can often get confused by the numerous settings and options on their digital camera. Yet even before getting into the technicalities of how a dslr operates there are a few different things you can do to achieve good shots from the get-go.

Assuming you’ve just started using you dslr, we’ll take a look now at 4 different photography tips for getting the most out of the easiest setting on your dslr, the automatic mode.

1. Camera shake. Anyone regardless of their experience can still suffer from the dreaded camera shake that can cause blurring in shots. Now although your camera is on an automatic setting and is unlikely under most circumstances to choose a shutter speed that will cause blurring, it won’t hurt to get the right technique down-to-pat.

What to do: Holding the dslr with both hands either side of the camera body, or one of the hands holding the lens for support and the camera body, position your elbows inwards, with your upper body and stomach supporting them. This will give you a super-steady base for taking shots with little if any blurring.

2. Composition. Composition is sadly overlooked by most beginners in photography, many believing that simply taking a shot in the same way as a snap-shot is good enough. Certainly a dslr may make it appear much better than what it may have looked like with a point and shoot camera, but there are some useful rules of composition that may help spice up your shots.

What to do: Read more information about Photography’s Rule of Thirds, a composition technique that has been used since before the dawning of photography and throughout the ages by painters. When taking a picture of a horizon, make sure it takes up only one third of the upper frame of the photograph.

3. Dynamic-Tension. Some action photography shots can fall really flat simply because of a lack of dynamic tension. Dynamic tension is basically a shot taken in such a way as it looks like something will happen next.  This adds tons of interest to the viewer of the photograph.

What to do: When you take a picture of a person moving or doing some sports for example, make sure their body movement shows them just having the full extension of their movement, or be about to exert themselves to that full extension. A photograph of a boxer winding up about to hit his opponent is a perfect example of dynamic tension.

photography-dynamic-tension

4. Lighting. Probably one of the most important, yet seldom understood, aspects of digital photography is lighting. In truth photography is all about lighting. Although your dslr does have an in-built light meter, it doesn’t always make the right choice exposure wise.

What to do: Now at this beginning stage it’s well to understand a few basic points before trying to understand the complexity of apertures and shutter speeds. Firstly, try not to take photographs of subjects with the light behind them, as mostly this will result in darkness in the subject as the light meter is reading the amount of light behind the subject.

Another useful point at this stage to know about lighting is that lighting coming from the side of a subject will result in more detail in the final photograph. You will especially see this result in peoples hair when doing portrait photography.

Find out more digital photography tips here on my home site.

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Digital Camera Care and Maintenance

digital camera cleaning

Regularly cleaning your camera is pretty much a ‘must do’. There are so many environmental factors that can affect your camera and lens, that at some point it will be something you should take care of.

This is especially the case with your lenses, and the camera body that houses the mirror.

An Air Blaster is perfect for this. Smaller than this one is generally not a good idea, as in my experience not enough force is generated by the pump. This one in particular is really good, as it has a one way valve that doesn’t allow any dust to go back into the pump (not all of them do).

cleaning digital cameraWhere dust or some kind of grit on the lens is concerned, simply position the blaster close to it and squeeze. Once should be enough with this one. It can really save the risk of possibly scratching the lens by trying to wipe it.

For inside the camera body and mirror, detach the lens and unless there is dust on the mirror, use the mirror lock-up setting and then press the shutter release, it will remain there while you clean the inside. One blast of air should do the trick with the Giottos Medium Rocket Air Blaster, then simply reset the mirror and re-attach the lens and you should be good to go.

Digital Dave

Trick of the Eye Photography

trick photography

I was looking around online sometime ago and found this picture which may be of interest to you.

It’s a negative of a woman, yet if you look at it directly for two minutes or more without shifting your gaze too much, and then look at a white wall or piece of paper, you will see the positive image.

This is a rather interesting effect of the human retina in the eye. I knew about this sometime ago in relation to working out the perfect opposite of a color. If you look at any solid color for some time and then transfer your view to a white surface, you will see the colors exact opposite complimentary color. It’s a very useful trick for artists.

The picture is clearly a clever ad by Sony, as can be seen by the Sony compact ‘point and shoot’ camera in her hand. Sony just recently posted an annual loss of 2.3 million dollars, which doesn’t really bode well for Sony cameras.

At this time, it’s only believed Sony will remove themselves from the television market in the near future as a cost cutting measure. Hopefully their mirrorless cameras won’t go the same way.

In any case, take a look at the picture below, I’m sure bearing in mind the above, Sony won’t mind me re-posting it here.

trick photography

Digital Dave