How to Take Good, Sharp Digital Pictures - Tips Pros Use

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Almost anyone can take good, sharp pictures with any digital camera if they follow the suggestions I make on this page. The advanced features on expensive digital cameras are there for convenience and selling cameras more than necessity. Granted, higher mega pixel cameras will take better pictures in adverse conditions. But, even the cheapest, off the self digital camera found in a Kmart can take excellent, high quality pictures if used right in good lighting conditions.

How to take good, sharp digital pictures. Plus some tips the Pro's use:

  1. Make sure the camera lens is clean. Fingerprints on the camera lens are a common cause of blurry pictures.
  2. Make sure the area the subject is in is well lighted. I leave it to you to experiment and learn how to use the flash if you have one because all flashes are different. Natural lighting or bright, but distant artificial lighting from above and behind the camera is often best. Keep the sun or light source to the camera's back if possible. The light source can be from the side of the subject as long as it doesn't shine directly into the camera lens. Shield the camera lens from the light source if necessary. Make sure the subject can still be seen through the camera lens.
  3. Set the f-stop value (if available) to about the distance the subject is from the camera. This is technically incorrect. But, it works if you don't know how to set the f-stop. (Optional. But worth reading.) Here are some suggestions on how to correctly set the f-stop:
  4. Focus on the subject with the subject in the center of the camera lens. You can always move the camera so the subject is off to the side if wanted after you have the camera focused correctly. Auto focus always focuses on the object in the center of the camera lens. So, make sure the subject is the first thing seen in the center of the lens (the fuzzy circle). If a tree branch, for example, can be seen before the subject in the center of the lens, auto focus will focus on the branch and you may end up with a blurry subject.
  5. Prevent camera shake. Camera shake is the most common cause of blurriness. Camera shake is more pronounced when using digital cameras because digital cameras are more sensitive to movement. If you don't have a tripod, rest your hand or the camera on something to prevent camera shake. Quickening the shutter speed will make up for some shakiness.
  6. Digital cameras are more sensitive to camera shake than film cameras.
    Use the camera's timer option if available for self portraits and still shots. If you don't have a tripod, set the camera on a desk, table, chair or whatever is available. Books etc. can be used to raise, lower and angle the camera. Put something where the subject (you) will be and focus on that from the same distance and angle as the camera will be. Set the lighting on that area also. I use a digital camera's self timer and a tripod almost exclusively on still shots. I hardly ever used them with my film camera. That's an example of how much more sensitive digital cameras are to camera shake than film cameras. It can't be because I'm older and my hands shake more.

And Finally:

I am sometimes asked: "How large should I make the digital pictures my camera takes?" I say make them the largest size available. If you don't like the results, work down from there until you find the size you like best. Remember, a 8 x 10 inch print requires a minimum of a 1440 x 1800 pixel digital picture at 180 ppi. Use the link below to determine print sizes.

Click here to use my free print size calculator to calculate optimal print sizes.

PS. Those who say they never look good in pictures are very photogenic. Even their bad side shows up well.

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How to Take Good, Sharp Digital Pictures - Tips Pros Use

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