Five tips for better pics

Looking to get the most out of your digital camera? Here’s a handful of suggestions that could help transform your point-and-shoot experience into something more professional looking



From the November 2011 issue of the magazine.


Stash that flash: If you often use the flash, consider shutting it off. Photographer Phillip Greenspun points out that shadows help frame the subjects in the shot—and with the flash, the camera can erase shadows, making images appear flat. In low-light situations, use a higher ISO and steady the camera on a desk or some other stable object to help reduce shake.

Crank up the quality: Adjust the camera to capture the highest quality image, advises David Cardinal at PC Magazine. Many cameras are preset for low-quality images so you can fit more of them on the memory card. By setting the image resolution and image quality options to the maximum, your pictures will look better—even if it means filling up the memory card faster.

What’s your angle? Try different viewpoints. One of the best ways to capture a new perspective on your subject is to get low and aim high, or get above the subject and point the camera down. Tilting the camera to the left or right can add a sense of dynamism to your stills.

Look, think, and toss: Assess your photos as you take them. Put that LCD view screen to good use and check the pictures immediately. See what works, and what doesn’t. Try different settings, and toss the photos that don’t make the cut. This not only ensures that you’re keeping nothing but the best, but it also cuts down on the amount of memory card space you need.

Seeing red: If you really want your subject to pop, ask your subject to wear a bit of red, or seek scenes with red in them, says photojournalist Karen Cheung, as red attracts the eye.

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