7 Digital Photography Tips
In this post we look at seven tips to improve your Digital photography. Topics include: Memory cards and batteries, shooting for type, the rule of thirds, color filters, polarizers and more.
1. Memory Cards and Batteries
If you’ve ever been on location and you’ve run out of room on your memory card or your battery has died you know how frustrating that can be. In my opinion, having at least one extra memory card and battery could be the antidote to your problem. If you can also charge batteries on location, that’s great but a better solution is a fully charged battery that you can replace right away.
2. Shooting for Type
An important consideration when shooting for advertising is to allow for type in the image. In this case, verticals account for the vast majority of images, so that’s what I’ll use here.
This shot of a Mexican Crane is an example of an image that would work well for advertising and stock photography because there is plenty of room for type at the top and sides of the image.
3. Use a High-Resolution Setting
Choose the highest possible resolution/quality setting available with your camera. This will use up memory faster but will get you a higher quality shot. The problem here is the file format and many cameras use JPEG. As pointed out in an earlier chapter, the JPEG format is “lossy” and discards data as it saves the image. The higher the compression, the more image data you lose.
4. Shoot Both Vertical and Horizontal Formats
Shoot both vertical and horizontal images, especially if you work in advertising or stock photography. If one image isn’t acceptable, the other might be. It’s also worthy to note that vertical images have more usage possibilities than horizontals, but that’s now changing with the advent of the Web.
5. Use a Polarizer
Not getting the color depth you want in shots outside? Are your images washed out? Then consider investing in a polarizer. It will reduce annoying glare and your images will improve as a result.
6. Use Color Filters on Location
Occasionally you’ll want to create a color filter effect on location. You can do so by using a swatch of filter gels to hold over the lens. Another options is purchase the Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras ebook by Peter iNova, which gives you 48 filters to use on location.
7. The Rule of Thirds
A relatively simple method of working with photographs is the Rule of Thirds, where you create imaginary lines in your field of view, breaking up the image into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. The task is to place the key elements of your image where the lines intersect. While this creates balance in images, it also leads to images becoming static, where the main focus in on the center of the image. Breaking this rule and experimenting with different placements will give you more creative freedom.
Note: Some digital cameras (such as the Canon G9) have a setting that breaks up the viewfinder into a grid which allows precise positioning of images.
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