Here are are 10 tips that will help you take your digital photography to the next level.
1. Compose correctly
Always compose correctly in camera, ensuring you crop tightly and remove all unwanted elements. Cropping you image later on the computer reduces image detail; your pictures lose sharpness and overall quality.
2. Use the viewfinder
Try to avoid using the screen when composing your pictures. Using the viewfinder will probably ensure you get closer to your subject and fill the frame with it. It also means longer battery life, because the LCD screen is the most power-hungry device on your digital camera.
3. Don’t suffer memory loss
Ensure you have plenty of memory. The larger the card, the more pictures you can take in any situation. Smaller cards may fill quickly, requiring that you delete pictures you may not otherwise need to remove. Buy quality brand cards, just as you bought quality film. Cheaper brands often suffer corruption and picture loss.
4. Make prints
Make sure you get your pictures printed. Don’t be too fussy as to your choice of prints – today’s bad picture could be tomorrows’ irreplaceable memory. While inkjet printing at home is convenient. It’s not always cost effective. Photographic prints last longer and are usually of higher quality.
5. Control contrast
For more pixel information in your pictures, set your camera to its lowest contrast setting if your camera has this option. This setting will ensure the greatest amount of digital information in both shadows and highlights. If you wish, you can boost the contrast and colour later on the computer or when you have your photos printed at the lab.
6. Learn to enhance
Familiarize yourself with basic digital enhancement skills using the software that came with your camera, or other programs like Paint Shop Pro, Photo Impact, or Photoshop Elements. These programs can be used for functions, like boosting contrast, saturating colour, balancing exposure and cropping. As you become more familiar with the program you can add borders and text or enhance using diffusion, toning and special effect filters.
7. Back up
Always back up your pictures-all of them to CD, as soon as you can. Hard drives can corrupt and images can be lost. If you cannot do these yourself, see your local photographic retailer, who can do it for you in no time.
8. Opt for optical zoom
Purchase a digital camera with as much optical zoom as you can afford. Digital zoom is not a quality choice as it simply crops the image and adds identical pixels to build the file size.
9. Go higher resolution
Always purchase the highest resolution camera your budget will allow. The higher the resolution your camera has, the greater the detail in the image. While pixels can always be added in software, this does not boost detail, only image size. The more pixels across and down, the finer the detail in your image. Combined with quality lenses, your digital images will be every bit as good as your film photographs – perhaps better.
10. Get it right in camera
Don’t adopt the attitude of “I can fix it later in the computer”. A bad picture is the same as it always was, and images that are overexposed or underexposed, out of focus or badly composed will never fully recuperate, no matter what level of digital expertise is applied later. Always get your picture right in the camera, just as you tried to do with your film camera.