Tips and Techniques for taking better Photographs.

Photographs are a great way to share your experiences with family, and friends. Here are a few suggestions to help you capture these memories that you will treasure for years to come. ( My photo tips are specific to digital cameras, but can also apply to traditional film cameras as well).

 Plan your photos ahead. Make sure your camera is in good working order before you go out, and keep it in a water and shock - resistant case if possible. Purchase a couple of additional rechargeable battery when you buy your camera, and don’t forget the charger and relevant cords. Make sure your digital camera has enough memory. Packing an extra memory card in your bag is a wise move, as there is nothing worse than running out of space for photos when your walking across the moors or down on the beach etc. It may be tempting to lower the resolution so you can store more photos, but you will regret this later as it could result in poorer quality photo prints, or you will be limited to smaller size prints. Set your camera at its highest quality JPEG setting and get that extra memory card if you have to. You will appreciate this when you’re viewing and printing your photographs after your trip.

Take lots and lots of photographs. With a digital camera you can always erase the photos you don’t want. Take pictures of anything you find interesting and try to focus on some of the details such as an attractive or a colourful object within the picture, not just panoramic scenes or major landmarks. Try different lens sizes if your camera is fitted with an optical or digital zoom lens. Let your photos tell a story by creating a visual diary of your trip. Include street scenes, interesting signs, people you see along the way. For variety take both vertical and horizontal photos.

Close up Photography. When taking photographs of people, don’t make the mistake of standing too far away. You want to be able to recognize the people in your photos. Get close enough so you can see the expressions on your subject's face. Zoom in on individuals or capture them from the waist up. Holiday photos are often more interesting when you can catch people at candid un-posed moments. In posed photos try to incorporate some of the background into your shot. Try snapping from interesting angles rather than simply head-on and use your built-in camera flash. “Fill” or “forced” flash is a very helpful technique, particularly when photographing people. Brilliant sunlight often makes people's faces look harsh, casting dark shadows under the eyes and accentuating wrinkles. The daytime fill-in flash will soften the lighting and make the images more flattering. Your family and friends in the photos will thank you!

Edit your digital photos. When you get home you can edit, crop and enhance your favourite pictures using photo-editing software such as The Adobe® Photoshop® family of products. One technique for adding drama to your photo images is by turning some of your colour photos into black and white, then upload all your images to an online photo printing service or drop them into your local retail photofinishing shop for fast and convenient size prints. You can edit your best snaps using your photo editing software to create a photo calendar, photo greeting cards, web albums and other photo gifts. You can email your favourite's to family and friends within seconds from your home computer.

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