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How to Take Good Pictures with a Digital Camera

Here are a few relevant tips on how to take good pictures with a digital camera.

1.  Make good use of the autofocus function that will undoubtedly be built into your digital camera - whichever model you select. Always begin by helping the camera focus on the subject of the photograph but then feel free to move the camera to also capture the background and total arrangement.

What does this mean? The autofocus will try to bring whatever is in the center of the viewfinder into focus. This is fine if that’s where the subject of your photograph is but it does not always make for a good arrangement. Photographs are more interesting and attractive with the main subject placed off-center with a pleasing background behind them.

Focus the camera on the actual subject before repositioning the camera to capture your overall arrangement.

2. Remember the basic photography rule - The Rule of Thirds.

What does this mean? Imagine looking through your viewfinder or at your LCD screen and having your view divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections, an imaginary grid placed over your intended image. By lining up key components of your photographic subject at the point where the gridlines intersect you create balance in your photographs and they will be more pleasing to view. Also, rather than placing your subject in the center of the photograph, consider off setting to one side or the other, having your subject occupy one third of the photo and the remaining two thirds showing background detail.

3. What are you trying to achieve?

What does this mean? What is the point of the photograph you are about to take. Are you capturing a subject or a moment in time? What is it about the composition that is most important to you? What overall effect are you trying to achieve? It’s an overused cliché but do begin with the end in mind.

4. Pay attention to the horizon.

What does this mean? While concentrating on the perfect composition in the foreground, make a final check of the horizon. It needs to be horizontal. It is possible to take photos that make a statement by having the horizon noticeably and deliberately off line but having a horizon that falls away to one side or the other can ruin an otherwise brilliant composition - and you will not always realize what it is that’s spoiling the photograph.

5. People and faces need to be seen in detail.

What does this mean? Get as much detail as you can into your viewfinder before taking the photo. Get as close as you can and, bearing in mind the other suggestions here, fill as much of the view as you can with something worth looking at. Don’t be afraid to crop shots once home and editing them on your computer. That’s what the crop function is for - to focus on what matters within an image.

You can read a lot about how to take good pictures with a digital camera but these tips should give you enough to get going and begin to practice. There is nothing like firsthand experience for learning.