Whether you are a novice or a beginner in the world of digital photography, chances are you can never know too much. There is so much information designed to teach you how take better digital photos that you may feel a bit overwhelmed when you take pictures. However don’t worry, as long as you remember some of these basic techniques for digital photography, you will be well on your way to making better pictures!
The most important aspect of taking pictures will be your digital camera. If you don’t know how it works, you wont get the best out of it, right? If you take a little time to familiarize yourself with your digital camera, your pictures will tell a different tale.
Having the very best or most expensive camera available wont matter if you don’t know how to use it. Not only will you need to learn about your camera by reading the user’s manual, but also by using it. The more you use your camera, the more comfortable you are going to feel with it.
Because many of the new digital cameras offer different modes for shooting, familiarizing yourself with your camera will make a huge difference in the quality of photos that you produce.
Make sure that your camera is capable of holding the amount of storage that you need. If you are a professional photographer, taking numerous pictures on a daily basis, you will probably need quite a bit of memory space. If you are a working mom that uses the camera only on special occasions, you probably aren’t going to need quite so much memory on your camera.
But how much memory should your digital camera have? Well … you’ll need to use your own judgment, however if you are a professional, a camera with a 4 megapixel size and up is a good place to start. For those that are not professional photographers, anything from a 2 mega pixel and up should be good enough for you.
Another key aspect for taking great digital pictures is to hold the camera still. If you are trying to take a picture and your hand moves at the wrong time, then the picture will not turn out the way you had planned!
As with anything you are learning, you will feel more comfortable if you understand what it is that you’re studying. Fundamentally, you don’t really need to know exactly every detail of how your new digital camera works.
However, if you are not really informed about some of the inner workings, you may not purchase the right gear you need for making great photos. You need to at least know the basics, so that when you are looking for a digital camera, you’ll know what to keep an eye out for. Simply put, the more you know, the better your pictures are going to end up!
Not there’s something known as a “Digital Zoom” that you will likely need to familiarize yourself with. Digital zoom is what differs from the “Optical Zoom”, and electronically makes pixels in the middle of your picture appear larger. In essence, it takes a small part of the picture and enlarges that section, rather than the entire photo.
If you are trying to focus on the entire picture and make the image much larger, then you need to use your “Optical Zoom”. And if you want to focus on an image in the middle of the picture, and let the rest of the picture appear less in focus, then the “Digital Zoom” is the function that you’ll want to use.
Your picture is make up of “Pixels”. If you take a closer look at any picture you’ll notice some tiny dots. These dots are known as “Pixels”. A “megapixel” is term that you will often hear and see continuously used in the world of digital photography and refers to the highest resolution possible a given digital camera offers. “Mega” means millions, so if you have a camera with a 5-megapixel resolution, your camera uses 5 million pixels an image. Ergo the more pixels a camera uses, the higher the quality of each photo.
Another term you’ll hear often is “ISO”. “ISO” is an abbreviation for the International Standards Organization. This is the organization that in many ways sets the bar for photography. ISO in terms of your digital camera determines how sensitive your camera is to lighting. You need to know that higher ISO values on a camera is generally the better for conditions when there is less light while lower ISO values is better suited for better lit conditions.
If you ever hear the term “Shutter Lag”, it refers to the time it takes between you pressing the shutter button for a picture and how long before the image gets taken. Occasionally, the picture may appear to take a pause in that time, and that is because of the shutter lag. This is not something you need worry about if you expect to be taking pictures. For example, you may want a faster shutter speed for shooting fast moving objects. If you are taking pictures of sleeping babies, it probably won’t matter if there is a lapse in time. Nevertheless it is important that you ask questions about the camera you are buying. Most camera manufacturers won’t state the shutter speed of a camera. The best way to find out is to test it yourself, before you buy the camera. Additionally, many digital cameras have different “modes” of shooting which can be used to control the shutter speed for various conditions. If you need a versatile camera, get one that offers several modes of shooting.
Lastly, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with something known as “Focal Length”. This explains how far out a shot can be taken, and still have the subject in focus. There are different categories of focal lengths however the most commonly used are telephoto and wide-angle.
Notably that most of the digital cameras are offered with telephoto lenses, and not the wide-angle. If you are looking to take pictures of wide spaces such as in landscapes then you may need an additional lens.
Unsure which lens you would use? A general rule to often go by is; if you are taking pictures of a large group of people or wide angle nature shots then a wide-angle is what you will need.