Growing up, I was going to be a photographer. Photography didn’t end up being my career path, but I’m lucky enough that I frequently get to incorporate it into my job. My Minolta, which took film, used to go with me everywhere. My specialty was taking photos of reflections. Now the digital camera has changed everything, giving photographers more control and allowing them to correct settings on the spot. Here are three things to keep in mind in order to take quality photos with your digital camera.
If you’re not shooting on automatic mode, you’ll need to keep in mind shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you get the right camera settings. When it comes to shutter speed, take into account how fast the object you’re photographing is moving and whether or not you want the image blurred or frozen. If you’re taking a photo of someone running and want to capture the race, you’ll want a faster, shorter shutter speed. When it comes to the aperture, determine how much of the image you want crisp and how much you want blurred. For a portrait, use a shallow depth of field, or a lower f-stop. If you’re shooting the mountains, you’ll need a deeper depth of field, or a higher number. Check the ISO. In a dimly lit room, you’ll need a higher ISO. If you’re photographing an event that’s outside, you can use a lower ISO.
Don’t want to carry around a heavy tripod? Try using your elbows to steady your camera. Brace them into your side at your hips when you take the photo to prevent the camera from shaking. Another option is to sit or hold the camera on a solid surface. A table, the ground, a chair all work well as a makeshift tripod and allow you the freedom to move around quickly.
Don’t center the subject in the middle of the camera. Instead, divide the viewfinder into an imaginary tic-tac-toe grid. Where the lines intersect is where you want to place the most important visual elements in the photo. This will ensure you end up with a balanced image and will help draw the viewer into the photograph. This is known as the rule of thirds.
Interested in learning how to get your camera to work for you so your photos are worthy of putting in a frame? Join us for the upcoming Photography: Basic class. Call 405.377.3333 with questions or register here. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Dana Wallace is the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing at Meridian Technology Center.