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March 17, 2009, 12:16 pm betterhomesgardens
Follow these simple steps and your scenic snaps will be beautiful every time.
Select the landscape mode to bring the background into sharper focus by reducing the aperture size.
Switch off the flash.
Remember the rule of thirds. Picture a noughts and crosses grid. Imagine your viewfinder or LCD screen is similarly divided into thirds, horizontally and vertically. Line up your subject or focus at a point where the lines intersect. Use these lines to suggest the horizon placement.
Pay careful attention to framing. Look into the corners of the viewfinder or screen to see what is there. Do you need all that background? Is it too distracting? Can you get closer to your subject or zoom in? Use natural frames, such as overhanging tree branches, to frame the scene or subject. Leave a border of sufficient background for cropping, so you can crop the picture to suit or fit a standard-size frame.
If your camera focus is in the centre of the frame, but you want to compose the picture so your subject is off-centre, first frame your subject in the centre. Press and hold the shutter button halfway to lock the focus and exposure. Then, without taking your finger off the button, re-frame the picture to the composition you want, then press the button all the way down.
Point of view is the position from which you shoot the scene. Most images are taken at eye level. But, shooting from below can add grandeur and significance to the subject or scene as it changes its size and appearance, and creates a sense of height. Shooting from a high point may reduce the significance of the subject.
Keep the camera still to prevent blurring. When shooting at a low shutter speed, use a tripod or improvise one by leaning on a fence or post, if possible, for extra stability and to avoid camera shake.
Digital cameras can take slightly longer to focus than film cameras. To counter this, frame the shot and half-press the shutter button so the camera locks in the exposure and focus. Then fully press the button to take the actual shot.
Increase the shutter speed if your subject is moving. If your camera doesn't have a manual shutter control, look for a sports or action creative scene mode to set the camera at its fastest shutter speed.Changing the depth of field is an easy way to emphasise the most important part of your photo. When only part of the shot is in focus, the eye is immediately drawn to the subject. The best way to create contrasting sharp and soft elements is to minimise depth of field by using a wide aperture (small f-stop). You can also shorten the depth of field by using a zoom lens or getting closer to the subject.
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