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Tips to Improve Your Digital Photographs

By: B.L. Hill

We’ve all experienced the dreaded “red-eye photo” syndrome or the “left out half of someone’s head in the photo” syndrome. Once we have moved past those mistakes, our photos can still seem to be missing a certain something that moves our friends and family from saying, ‘Oh, that’s nice, dear’ to saying, “Wow! How did you do that?”

Below we've given you 5 tips that will help you move from beginner to master of digital photography whether you’re using your cellphone or a point-and-shoot camera to take your photos.

Compose Carefully

One of the most basic digital photography tips (actually this is important regardless of the camera you use) is composition - pay attention to what you see in the viewfinder. Fill the frame. Nothing but blue sky, for instance, behind a single subject throws off the proportions of the photo and decreases interest. Having something in the foreground can make that same subject catch the eye.

Try positioning your subject a little off centre rather than in the middle of the photograph. You can also turn the camera sideways to see if a vertical photo might have more impact than a horizontal shot of the same subject.

Be aware of what is both in front of and behind the subject of your photo to make sure neither takes away from the subject.

Get Close-Up

If your digital camera has a “macro mode” – think of it as a super magnifying glass. In macro mode, for example, flower petals take on new textures that can turn a floral portrait from ‘yawn’ to ‘cool!’

Buy a Tripod

Digital cameras are prone to blurry photographs if your hands shake even a little bit. This is particularly important when taking close-ups. There is no need to use a heavy tripod as light, portable, inexpensive versions are readily available.


Stand on your head, and take a shot from the top of a teeter-totter! You can always just delete the shot if you don't like it. Use the different settings under different circumstances and see what kind of results you get. You’ll truly get once-in-a-lifetime shots by shooting outside the box.

Take a Class

There’s nothing like practice to improve your photography – except practice plus experience gained by learning from a pro. You can find photography classes online, at your local recreation centers, and community colleges. If you attend a class locally, you'll get to meet other likeminded people with whom you can share ideas and talk about problems you may be having with your digital camera.

One of the advantages of digital cameras is that you can see the results (a small version anyway) immediately and, if you have a computer at home, you can download them and look at them to decide which ones you want to print. So go ahead, try something new. Who cares if it doesn't work out as expected - it just may be even better!

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