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Photography is part technics and part art. To have better art you will need to master some technicks. Digital Photography is a bit more than just using a digital camera and it is often not as complicated as you might think it is. Most digital images will look good if they where correctly lighted. A correctly exposed image means that the right amount of light has exposed the image sensor. Lighting issues are the number one consideration and obstacle to good professional looking interior shots. 

Basic Tips and Rules:

  • If you have the manual for your camera now would be a good time to read through it.
  • Make sure you have enough storage space on your digital camera to take plenty of photos. 
  • When taking photographs of the exterior of the subject, try to arrive at the location on a clear, sunny day. Gray skies dull the reflection of exterior walls and landscapes leaving a subdued and unimpressive shot.
  • Always control your composition. The one thing your camera can't do is to compose your picture for you. The most effective way to control your composition is to alter your viewpoint and see if you can improve on your original composition by changing it. You may be surprised how much difference walking a few steps can make.
  • Try shooting from a slight angle because slight angle gives the object more definition.
  • Use a frame to create your masterpiece. A frame serves to isolate your main subject, gives a feeling of depth and create an interesting composition. Many objects can be used as a natural frame (fence, wall, door, arches, overhanging tree branch etc.).
  • Make sure your subject fills the frame. Before you press that shutter release have a quick look round the edge of the frame, behind your subject and check for 'stuff' intruding into your masterpiece. Also make sure that you don't have acres of space full of nothing interesting.
  • When taking photographs of the interior, make sure that all lights are turned on inside the room you are shooting. Try to position your self in a location that best views the ultimate features of each room. Decide what you would like to see if you are just observer. You don't want your shots to be of blank and boring walls! Always try to back yourself into a corner or towards the entry of each room to best capture the full spectrum of the architecture. If you have a wide angle attachment, we recommend using it. Make sure you are zoomed out all the way to maximize the size of your photo. 
  • Avoid shooting directly at mirrors. Try to either stand next to or away from the mirror if you don't want a shot of the photographer! 
  • Whenever possible use tripod and (if your camera allows it) use a release cable or remote controller to reduce camera shake.
  • Take as many pictures as you'd like, and later decide which represent your subject in its best light. Since you're taking the photos, you can decide which are good enough to be displayed, and which are going to be left out.
  • REMEMBER: Only show people the good stuff - Don't show bad stuff to anybody. 


The Larger the Aperture, the Better Your Digital Camera Will Perform in Low-Light Situations
The aperture defines the size of the opening in the lens, which in advanced cameras can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or digital sensor (CCD or CMOS). In combination with variation of the shutter speed, this will regulate the photograph's degree of exposure to light. Typically, a fast shutter speed will require a larger aperture to ensure a sufficient exposure to light, just as a slow shutter speed will typically require a smaller aperture to prevent excessive exposure to light. A larger max. aperture also allows you to use a faster shutter speed to freeze action. Aperture is usually measured in f-numbers. More...
 

Most Common Exposure Problems
Exposure is controlled in a camera by shutter speed and lens aperture. Today, most cameras automatically determine the correct exposure at the time of taking a photograph by using a built-in light meter. 

Underexposure (when your pictures are consistently coming out dark) - Setting your camera on Auto Mode does not guarantee a correctly exposed picture. You need to increase the light source by using the on-camera flash, or an alternate light source, or if you can try to move your subject to someplace brighter. Otherwise, an underexposed shot will result.

Overexposure - It occurs when a photograph receives too much light. It results in a loss of resolution, less detail in highlight areas and more graininess.

Blurred Images - A blurred image results when you are either using a shutter speed that is too slow to avoid camera shake or too slow to 'freeze' motion. To avoid that problem, use a faster shutter speed and adjust the aperture accordingly. A rule of thumb is to use the reciprocal of the 35mm equivalent focal length in use. Say you zoom to 125mm, then use a shutter speed of at least 1/125 sec. to avoid camera shake. To 'freeze' motion, a shutter speed faster than 1/60 sec. is usually necessary depending on the type and speed of the motion.

TIP: Keep in mind that a slow shutter speed usually requires a tripod, or other ways to hold the camera steady. 
 

About White Balance (WB)
White balance is the concept of color temperature. It is very important to know that different light sources emit light at different colour temperatures. Color temperature is a way of measuring the quality of a light source. It is based on the ratio of the amount of blue light to the amount of red light, and the green light is ignored. The unit for measuring this ratio is in degree Kelvin (K). A light with higher color temperature (or larger Kelvin value) shifts light toward the blue and a light with lower color temperature (or smaller Kelvin value) shifts light toward the red. More..

Setting White Balance Incorrectly May Cause a Color Shift in the Image
Usually digital cameras have built-in sensors to measure the current color temperature and use an algorithm to process the image so that the final result may be close to what we see (with our eyes, of course). Most advanced digital cameras provide the feature to manually set the white balance by using preset WB settings such as, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Sunny, etc. Using preset WB can improve on a picture, especially under indoors lighting. With some cameras when the in-camera algorithm is not able to set the color temperature correctly or when some creative and special effects are needed, you can instruct the camera to use a particular color temperature to fulfill specific need. Just follow the manufacturer instruction manual if you need to do that.

NOTE: Don't forget to reset this white balance setting when you head back outdoors into natural light, or you may end up with some strange, out of this world, colours.
 

Depth of field (DOF) 
Depth of field is the distance wherein objects are in focus. If you want to decrease the DOF, you can do that by using a large aperture, moving closer to the subject, or by using a long focal length. You can also increase the DOF by using a small aperture, moving away from our subject, or using a wide-angle lens. A change in focal length allows you to come closer to the subject or to move away from it and has therefore an indirect effect on perspective. A wide-angle lens has greater DOF than a telephoto lens. Generally we have three ways to control DOF in our pictures: 

1. By lens aperture or the size of the opening that allows light to go through the lens. A large lens aperture gives a shallow DOF, and a small lens aperture gives great DOF. In most advanced consumer digital cameras you will be able to directly control the lens aperture.

2. By distance from subject or focus on subject. To obtain greater DOF, you just need to step away from the subject. To decrease DOF you just need to move in closer to the subject, because when you focus on a subject close to the camera, the DOF is less than when you focus on the subject farther away from the camera. 

3. By focal length or the amount of the scene your camera can see left and right. The focal length of a lens establishes the field of view of the camera. By adjusting the focal length on your camera, you affect the zoom. 
The amount of scene that the camera can see in inversely proportional to the focal length of the lens. The larger the focal length, the higher the amount of zoom which yield a smaller scene view. The smaller the focal length, the more scene will be visible. Some digital cameras suffer from barrel distortion at the wide angle end and from pincushion distortion at the tele end of their zoom ranges. Learn more...

Types of Lenses For a Camera
There are three general types of lenses for a camera: 
1. Normal or Standard Lenses - The focal length of a normal lens for a 35 mm SLR camera is approximately 50 mm. A standard or normal lens produces a picture with a perspective similar to the human eye.
2. Wide Angle Lenses - The focal length of a wide angle lens is any measurement less than 50 mm, but is typically 28 mm. A wide angle lens makes things appear smaller and distorts the view if the object is too close to the camera. 
3. Telephoto Lenses - The focal length of a telephoto lens ranges from 60 to 1000 mm. A telephoto lens magnifies the subject while at the same time narrowing the field of vision. These lenses create an image that looks flatter than that produced by a standard lens.
 

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