8 Quick Tips to Fix Your Bad Photos

The heart of a photograph
is its composition, which is the position of
different elements in a frame. The easiest rule of thumb to learn and remember is the rule of thirds. Basically, you will
want to break your frame into nine squares of roughly equal size, try and align the subject of your photo along these lines and intersections, and imagine the main image
divided over these nine boxes. This gives you a more dramatic,
visually interesting shot than one where your subject
is located dead center. Many cameras and smartphones have a rule of thirds grid overlay that you can activate when shooting. As long as you’re not
shooting in full manual mode, your digital camera is making decisions that determine how bright
or dark a photo appears. If a photo is too light or dark, you can either delve through
the dozens of scene modes that are available in modern
point-and-shoot cameras, or simply dial in a bit
of exposure compensation. Many cameras have a physical
button or dial for this, identified by a plus-minus symbol. If your photo is too dark,
move the scale up above zero. If too bright, move it down a bit. Your camera is likely to
have scores of shooting modes ranging from fully automatic
to very specific scene modes. If you’re shooting fast action, you can put the camera
into shutter priority mode and increase the speed at
which a photo is taken. Setting it to 1/25 second or faster will help to freeze action. In lower light, you can
use aperture priority mode to make sure as much light is
entering the lens as possible. Or if you’re shooting
landscapes on a tripod, you can close the lens’s iris
to increase depth of field, keeping everything in sharp focus from the foreground to the horizon. If you’re a DSLR shooter,
you’re more likely to use the A or S modes,
while point-and-shoot cameras will often feature more specific modes that cater to activities like sports, low light use, or landscape shooting. Pay attention to how much light you have and where it’s coming from
when taking your photos. If you’re shooting outdoors, be careful not to take photos of a person
when the sun is at their back unless you want to make a
portrait with some dramatic flair. If you’re grabbing a photo
in front of a monument or landmark and you want to make sure it’s not overexposed, use
some fill flash instead to make your back-lit subject
as bright as the background. You may have to manually
activate the flash, as there’s a good chance that the camera will think that it’s
unnecessary on a bright day. Many a photo has been foiled by a flash firing too close to a subject. If your friends and family look like Casper the Friendly Ghost
when you photograph them, chances are that you’re too
close when snapping your photos. If you need to activate the flash, back up a bit and zoom in
to get the proper framing. If things are still
too bright or too dark, check and see if flash
compensation is an option. Most snap shooters and beginners will stand on two legs and
take snapshots from eye level. While this is fine for many
images, it’s not always ideal. If you’ve got a camera
with a tilting screen, you can more easily shoot
from a low or high angle to get a different
perspective on your subject. If you don’t have a tilting LCD, think about getting down low to the ground to get the best shots
of pets and toddlers. You’ll want the camera at their eye level to get an image that stands out. You don’t have to pay for every
shot with a digital camera, so play around with the different angles and camera positions
until you’ve found one that captures a moment and stands out. Sometimes, the best way
to get your shot perfect is to take some extra time. Using a tripod will allow
you to set up framing and can come in handy
for getting that shot of you and the kids in
front of Mount Rushmore. You can get away with
an inexpensive tripod if you’re a point-and-shoot user. Although spending a bit more
on a brand like Manfrotto or MeFOTO will result
in much less frustration than with the bargain
brands that you’ll find at the local Five & Dime. DSLR users should definitely put care into selecting a tripod,
as a set of legs and a head that are sturdy enough to
hold the camera are paramount. If you’re more of a run-and-gun shooter, a monopod will help you
stabilize your shots. Great for use at zoos and sporting events, a monopod is supplemented by your two legs in order to add stability to your camera, as opposed to the
sometimes cumbersome setup and breakdown required with a good tripod. It’s easy to take hundreds of photos in a few hours when shooting digitally, but don’t just dump your memory card and upload all of the images to Facebook. Spend some time going through your photos so you can eliminate redundant
shots and discard photos that may be out of focus
or poorly composed. It’s better to post a few dozen
great photos by themselves rather than the same good photos hiding among hundreds of not-so-good ones.

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