1. Photography is all about light so it is important to understand how light can affect your photos. Try taking a few shots of a park near you at different times of the day and in different lighting conditions to help you understand the effects of light. Take pictures at different angles to the sun. There is no substitute for practical experience and there is no excuse with a digital camera not to practice and throw away the shots you don’t want.
2. Understand your camera – sounds silly but try taking some shots with your camera set to landscape and then go for some taken at different aperture settings (in aperture priority mode) see what gives you the best results. Usually a small aperture (high f number) will give you the greatest depth of field with more of your picture in focus.
3. Use a tripod especially in low light conditions and if you don’t possess a shutter release cable set your camera’s 2 second timer to on, to avoid any camera shake. If your camera has image stabilisation you should set this to off when you use your tripod.
4. Try taking your pictures using the rule of two thirds – try it with the sky and horizon in the top third, then try it with the sky and horizon in the top two thirds of the picture.
5. Frame the focal point. Alternatively use a path, fence or wall to lead the eye to the focal point.
6. Take your pictures during the magic hours. Many professional photographers like to take most of their landscapes photos a few hours after sunrise or before sunset to get the best lighting affects.
7. When taking pictures at dawn or dusk try using the slow sync flash mode on your digital camera to highlight the area close to you. This is particularly useful when you want to use an object like a tree branch to frame the scene.
8. Use high definition photography (HDR) or pseudo HDR to bring out the background and make your pictures dramatic. If you are not acquainted with the term HDR – basically it involves taking 3 shots of the scene with your camera mounted on a tripod. One shot is over exposed by one stop and one shot is underexposed by one stop and the final shot is at the correct exposure. The photographs are merged using HDR software to give a broader tonal range resulting in more dramatic pictures.
9. Consider about using a graduated filter to emphasise the sky. Graduated grey filters are fairly cheap and they can often help avoid that overblown sky.
10. Once you’ve take all your pictures the fun processing them begins. It’s worthwhile getting to grips with photo editing software such as Photoshop. If you don’t want to buy photo editing software you can always download Gimp which has many of Photoshop’s features. If you don’t want software that is too complicated to learn try Picasa by Google – that’s also free.
Bill Morrison is a keen amateur photographer and recommends www.digicamuser.com as a good place to find tips for taking digital photography and tips on buying editing and choosing a camera.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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