I?m no professional photographer, but I love pictures! I found a lot
of great sites out there with excellent tips for the amateur
photographer. I?m excited to try some of them myself!
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There is a great article written by professional photographer, Derrick
Story. He gives 10 simple tips that will improve the quality of your
digital pictures, along with examples of the effects. Here they are
with brief descriptions:
* Warm Up Those Tones: Use the ?cloudy? setting rather than ?auto?
when taking outdoor photos and sunny landscapes. This should increase
the reds and yellows, resulting in richer, warmer pictures.
* Sunglasses Polarizer: Get a polarizing filter for general outdoor
shots. It reduces the glare and enriches the photos. If your camera
doesn?t accommodate filters, Story suggests placing a good pair of
sunglasses over the lens, being careful to leave the rims out of the
* Outdoor Portraits That Shine: Try using the ?fill flash? option on
your flash. This will light up the background initially, and then
place just enough light on the subject. This improves outdoor
* Macro Mode Madness: Experiment with the ?close up? or ?macro mode?
setting. Be sure to focus on the one subject that is most important to
you and see what happens!
* Horizon Line Mayhem: LCD monitors on digital cameras can distort
images just enough to make a picture seem uneven. Experiment with
different angling on the same shot to discover just where horizontal
* Massive Media Card: Story suggests that for a 3 megapixel camera, a
256MB card is the bare minimum. For 4 megapixels you?ll need 512MB,
and for a 6 megapixel camera you?ll need at least 1GB.
* High Rez All the Way: As long as you have enough memory, shooting at
a higher resolution will ensure that you can get great pictures that
can be blown up larger than the size of a credit card without
* Tolerable Tripod: A tripod can be a great tool when you need to take
a self-timed picture, or where you really need to keep the camera
steady. Story suggests the compact UltraPod II by Pedco, but there are
a number of quality products out there.
* Self Timer Fun: Get yourself in all the shots. Another great use for
the self-timer is when you don?t want to jostle the camera when
clicking the shutter. Use the self timer and then it will be nice and
steady for the shot.
* Slow Motion Water: If your camera has the ability to adjust the
shutter speed, keeping it open longer will capture great moving water
pictures while preserving the sharp background. If your camera doesn?t
have that capability, just skip this tip and keep on going.
There is a great website with basic tips, utilizing your camera?s
basic features. I thought a lot of them bore repeating, so here they
*Bring your camera closer
*Pose your subjects
*Take candid photos, too
*Get on the eye level of your subject, especially children
*Take more than one photo of special moments
*Check the background through the camera viewfinder
*Turn off the flash to capture the glow of candles and lights
*The family photographer should be in photos?use a tripod, or
occasionally give the camera to someone else.
*Avoid red-eye?have subjects look slightly away, use natural light
rather than the flash when able
*Keep away from reflective surfaces
*Understand your camera?s maximum and minimum flash ranges
Here is the index page of help topics from digicamhelp.com. I found a
lot of the articles and links on this page to be quite useful.
Best Family Photography Tips is a site dedicated to the amateur
photographer. There are a number of articles with basic how-to
information, as well as interesting tips. I found the information on
holding steady useful.
* Make sure both feet are secure on the ground
* Find a ?neutral and comfortable? stance
* Take and hold your breath gently just before snapping the picture
* Use a tripod, especially when your hand is shaking or you?ve had too
* If you don?t have a tripod, brace yourself against something solid
Shutterbug.com includes the sage counsel that ?vacation photos are
often some of the most boring collections known to viewer.? With that
in mind, they give a few interesting tidbits to make your holiday
photos as enjoyable as possible.
* Take plenty of film (or, in the case of digital cameras, memory cards)
* Include people pictures
* Include a variety of image types
* Tell a story
* Edit the photos carefully when you get back home
Here is another quick list of basic tips to improve holiday photos.
This site also has links to other, more specific information about
This is a link to a short article posted in the Travel section of
CNN.com regarding taking better photos.
Here is another article with basic amateur photography tips. Some are
repeats, but there are a few new ideas.
Kodak has a number of helpful tips about digital photography on their
site. It includes ideas about outdoor flashes, close-ups, and others.
Check it out at:
Kodak has an index site with links to all sorts of other tips and ideas at:
The editors at TigerDirect.com compiled their own list of quick tips
to improve your digital pictures. Highlights include:
*Cut the clutter
*Try a new angle
*Take LOTS of pictures
*Hold it steady
*Learn when to use your flash . . .
* . . . or use the natural light
*Avoid the ?bull?s-eye effect; learn to take ?off-centered? pictures
Here are ten more tips on how to take better pictures.
MalekTips is a great site with hundreds of tips and suggestions. They
have a section specifically about travel and vacation photos with at
least 25 specific hints, accompanied by short articles, to improve
your vacation photos. There is also a section on digital camera
accessories, which you may find interesting.
Hewlett Packard has a section on their website dedicated to digital
cameras and digital photography. Some of the following tips come from
* Learn to use your camera?s auto-focus and zoom features to their
highest potentials. Read your camera?s instructions to understand when
to use each, and then experiment.
* Understand the different flash settings available on your camera.
Examples are the forced flash (activated regardless of lighting),
red-eye reduction (a quick burst of light just prior to the actual
flash photo), and forced off (no flash, regardless of lighting).
* Recognize combinations of natural light, windows, and artificial
light that can make it difficult for the auto flash to properly adjust
itself. Some include strong artificial light, partially dim
surroundings, and dark subjects against light backgrounds.
There are other tips on this page as well. See the rest at:
The Fuji Film website has a list of questions and answers about taking
pictures of children in particular. For example, there are articles
about preventing squinting and getting great candid shots. Links can
be found at:
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Well, this should be a good list to get you started. There is a wealth
of information out there on digital photography, so I?ve tried to find
the best, most consolidated lists possible to maximize your efforts.
One thing that was repeated on many sites was to understand the
features of your camera and experiment by taking lots of pictures. I
hope you have a wonderful holiday and get some great pictures! If you
have any need of further clarification, please let me know how I can
Digital photography tips
Better digital pictures
vacation photo tips