Tree of Life

Healthy Home Gardening
Rules of Digital Photography

Taking Great Pictures

Choosing a
Digital Camera


Macro Zoom

Downloading Images



Naming your image files

Rules of Digital Photography

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 your memory.

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 expert quickly.

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 quickly.

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 exposure settings.

4) Focus

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 solve it.

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.

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