Four Steps to a Better Photo

With so many great cameras on the market today for great prices almost anyone can take an amazing photo. At Gallery Direct we want your photos to turn out amazing, it makes our job as your printing solution a lot easier. Here are some tips to taking a better photo.

1. Eliminate red-eye

Red-eye is probably the most common and, let’s face it, scariest photo mishap. While there are tons of sources out there that aid in the removal of red-eye, wouldn’t it just be easier to avoid it altogether?

What causes it?
I was always told that people with light eyes are more prone to red-eye. This may be true, but that never explained why my brown-eyed friends were inflicted with the red-eye as well. Turns out, the main cause is the camera’s flash. The light from the flash reflects off the subject’s eyes and illuminates the blood vessels within the retinas. The result is a red glow scary enough to make you reach for holy water.

How do I prevent it?
Well, the obvious answer is to avoid using a flash. If you’re unsure about whether or not to use it, take a few test shots first. You might be surprised. If you absolutely need the flash, ask your subject not to look directly into the camera lens. Also, many cameras today come equipped with a red-eye reduction feature. Check your manual to see if this is an option for you.

2. Designate a focal point

Have you ever looked at a picture and thought “what am I supposed to be looking at?” Yes, we all have. Even a picture with great lighting and color can be compromised if the subject is nowhere to be found.

What causes it?
Lots of things, like a competing background, too many landmarks or a subject that’s too far away. Basically just trying to fit too many things in one picture.

How do I prevent it?
Try not to be distracted by everything around you and focus only what you can see through the viewfinder. Treat what you see as a two-dimensional image with a hierarchy of importance. Sometimes the solution is simply to use the zoom feature or take the shot from a slightly different angle.

3. Make it sharp

I know sometimes blurring is intentional and can create really nice photos, but I also know sometimes it’s not.

What causes it?
Blurry photos are the result of either a moving subject or a moving photographer and the wrong shutter speed.

How do I prevent it?
If you’re taking an action shot, make sure the shutter speed is set appropriately. Many cameras come equipped with an Action mode that automatically sets it for you. If it’s a low-light situation, use a tripod to keep the camera steady and prevent camera shake.

4. Expose it just right

Exposure is the amount of light that passes through the camera lens. Too much light can result in a bright, washed-out photo, while too little light makes the photo look dark.

What causes it?
Dimly lit spaces with a fast shutter speed, or really bright spaces with a slow shutter speed.

How do I prevent it?
If you have the option to adjust your shutter speed, do so accordingly. If not, don’t fret, there are still things you can do. If you’re shooting indoors, move near a window or lamp to add extra light. If you’re outdoors and it’s too bright, find a shady spot for your subject. Or, as counterintuitive as it sounds, try using the flash to avoid severe shadows. Overcast days really create the best lighting for photography.

Well, there you have it. I can sense your photos getting better by the minute!


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