1) Take More Pictures
If you have a decent memory card, you should be able to take more
pictures than you would ever want. Before, with a film camera,
if you took too many images of the same thing, you were wasting
film. Now if you don't take enough images, you are wasting
Remember if you take two pictures, one will be better. If you
take 10 or more, usually you will have at least one excellent
shot. If you take hundreds of images of the same thing with different
angles and lighting, you should have at least one magazine cover.
Copy your best images into another folder. See "Selecting
Images" for more information.
2) Turn down your Exposure
This author has never seen a digital camera where the images weren't
improved by turning down the exposure by -.3 or -.7, some cameras
work their best at -1.
Take pictures of the same thing with different exposures, through
a little trial and error in the beginning, you will become an
3) Look for Light
Pretend like you are a hunter of light, always be on the
lookout. Your garden or subject will look dramatically better
in good lighting. Take advantage of good light and spring into
action when the opportunity arises. Some flowers only open early
in the morning, some only at night. Be persistent and you will
reap the rewards. Take pictures of your subject, in every
lighting condition, you will be surprised at how your images improve
If you find multiples of a subject, flowers for example, you should
then look for the ones with the best lighting. That doesn't mean
you can't take pictures of every other flower in the shade (Rule
1), it just means that the ones with good light will be the keepers.
Understanding lighting is 90% of photography.
If you understand lighting and can adjust your cameras exposure,
you can take a good image with almost any camera. Again, a little
trial and error, and you'll know exactly what to expect with your
Digital cameras almost always Auto-Focus. You will benefit from
learning how to sharply focus on your subjects. The Metering Mode
is a good function to understand, the metering mode is the area
of the image that the camera is looking at to determine what to
focus on, and how to adjust the exposure. Most cameras have at
least two Metering Modes; Full image metering, which samples the
whole image for focus and lighting and adjusts to the most common
levels of both. Then there's Center Metering, which adjusts the
focus and exposure to the center of the image. If you have trouble
focusing on a small flower on the end of a long stem, this should
Another thing to consider about focus it the fact that while the
shutter is open, if you move too much it might blur the image.
With the new image stabilization functions that come standard
in most cameras, there is really no need for any tripod when taking
pictures in full light. This affords the digital photographer
a luxury that the analog photographer wouldn't dream of.