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October 19th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Cylence Cylence is offline
I'm a Toys 'R Us kid
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,510
I've been asked several times about what camera I use or would reccomend for better picture taking, so I decided to make a post with some tips & tricks for better picture taking. In the end, it's not the camera that takes better pictures, it's the person controlling the camera.

Yes, DSLR's have neat functions & the ability to manually decide your settings, but you can create a great image from point & shoots, too. Megapixels, in the end, really only determine how large you can print the image before it begins to pixelize & distort the image. There are a couple key elements to getting a great shot, which I'll talk about & even offer some sites you can explore on your own time to better your own images. I'll even reccomend some cameras, should you decide to do an upgrade.
I've been doing photography for over 10 years & everything I've learned, I've taught myself. And I'm still learning, but I'm happy to share my knowledge with others.



Lighting
It's SO important to have proper lighting. Natural light is the best, but try to avoid direct light. It causes squinted faces & harsh shadows. If you're inside, turn on all the lights, open the curtains * let in as much light as you can.

The Rule of Thirds
I'll let DPS tell you about the rule of thirds: Rule of Thirds

Composition
You want to use your surrounding elements to draw focus to the subject. Lines leading to your subject are the BEST way to draw the eye to your subject. And frames aren't just for hanging pictures in.
Take your favorite photographer's images and LOOK at their images. You'll notice that 9 times out of 10 you can point out WHAT is making the subject the focal point.
- Are they walking down the road, hand in hand? The lines of the road are guiding your eyes to the couple. Are the standing in a break in the tree lines? The tree line is not only using lines inward to draw you to the couple, but also framing them.

- Is the subject filling the frame? Most newborn photography is done with the baby filling the frame. The classic naked baby on a blanket is the best example of this.

Photographers get crafty with their methods of drawing you into an image, but guaranteed, this method is being used. Scan through other's photography to get a feel for what's being used to draw in focus and then play & use your own ideas.

Angles
Change your perspective and change up your angles. Sit down and shoot at their level. Lay down & shoot up. Peak through things.
A simple change in the perspective of the image can make a HUGE difference.


Play with your camera, take thousands of images. That's the great thing about digital. Keep what you like & disgard the rest. In saying that, don't throw away an image because it's not composed properly or the lighting sucks. If it means something to you, keep it.

CAMERA RECOMMENDATIONS

I use a Canon Rebel T1i.
Canon & Olympus are my favorite cameras. They're durable and you get some pretty **** good quality & functions for your money.

Point & Shoot cameras under $200
Olympus Panasonic Lumix I have this exact camera and I LOVE it! Seriously, I couldn't possibly sing it's praises louder. Its small, durable, has so many functions & capabilities for a point & shoot... Brilliant!
Canon PowerShot
Nikon CoolPix

DSLRs
Nikon D3100 I learned how to use a dslr with this body. It was easy to adjust to & I was constantly learning new tricks
Canon Rebel T3i
Canon T1i This is the camera I use




Useful links to check out:
Digital Photography School I love love LOVE this site. It's what I use consistently for learning new things for improving my own photography
10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits
8 Tips for Mom-a-raz-zo Photographers
10 Surefire Tips To Help You Capture Better Images of Your Children
11 Tips for Better Candid Photography (The post makes you think wedding, but this really applies to any candid/every day picture taking)
How to Take Great Pictures of Your Kids
5 Steps to Better Composition

This isn't even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tutorials & how to's to improving your photography. Continue to read & learn and get out and shoot.
Hope this helped! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Last edited by Cylence; October 23rd, 2012 at 01:54 PM.
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