Digital cameras obey many of the rules of conventional cameras. What was a dumb thing to do on your box brownie is still the sort of thing you have to be careful about with your digital camera.
- It does not come out in the wash
It is unwise to think that you can edit the picture after downloading the image into a computer. It is always better to have a good original, even if it is going to be retouched. There are often cases in which a picture seems sharp on the LCD, but looks blurry on the computer screen.
- Camera shake
Because digital camera owners are not paying for film, they tend to "snap" everything that moves while looking at the LCD rather than the viewfinder. This may cause you to hold the camera unsteadily and leads to camera shake and blurry pictures.
If you use the optical viewfinder, you can support the camera with your hands and your face. But with LCD, you only hold it with your hands.
To prevent camera shake, hold the digital camera tight using both hands and keep your elbows poised against your body when taking a picture. It is also a good idea to lean against something for support.
- Use light effectively
Just like an ordinary camera, you should take pictures with the sun behind you. Don't think you can get away with moving the camera to make use of shadow for "semi-backlighting", as you would with a conventional camera. The brightness ratio is narrower, which makes it less effective for semi-backlit shots.
Also, in the case of a backlit subject or when there is a large bright area, like the sky in the picture, you should prevent the subject from becoming too dark by intentionally firing the speedlight.
With some cameras you can check the subject and the brightness in the LCD before taking the picture, but this does not always give you a clear picture. With practice, you will be able to recognise the difference between the two and make the appropriate adjustment.
- Get in close
It does not pay to be shy with a digital camera. Because of the resolution probems on most people's cameras, they are not suited for distance shots.
As of mid-1997, the most popular type of digital camera boasts picture resolution of around 350,000 pixels. This means you have to get in very close to your subject to make it worthwhile. It's no good snapping your auntie from 200 paces and hope to fix the problem in the editing room. If enlarged, the digital photo becomes grainy.
Fill the screen with your subject. This means the photographer should move one or two steps closer to the subject than usual.
- Creating a simple and clear-cut portrait
A pan-focus digital camera with a fixed-focus lens generally uses a medium wide-angle lens which employs a deep depth of field. For portraits, a shallow depth of field works best. So, to make the subject stand out, keep your background simple.
A simple picture is also needed because a digital camera compresses the image data to save memory. When the image is complicated, the compression procedure does not work and means pictures are not very good. By choosing a simple background and making the main subject stand out, you get a better picture.
You should shoot as many pictures as possible to make you that you get the one you want to keep.
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