OUR TOP TEN PHOTO TIPS TIP 1 : Get up close Any shot will look better if you take a few steps closer to your subject. Fill the entire frame with your subject, it will make a real difference. Why does this work? With less clutter in the image, there’s less to draw the eye away from the main subject. If you can’t get close enough to your subject, you can zoom in later using photo editing software. Just crop closer to the subject’s face and see what difference it makes. TIP 2 : Think about angles If possible, take your photo using a creative angle instead of straight ahead. Consider a low position as you are looking up toward the subject or a high position as you look down on the image. If you have a nice background try to include more of that emphasising on colours and textures. TIP 3 : Off-centre Make sure you don't have every subject stand like a totem pole in the centre of your picture. You can liven up your picture by moving your subject off centre. Most cameras can help you to achieve this via their guidelines, but it could be achieved by cropping if you leave enough room on the side. Don't forget to lock the focus if you have an auto-focus camera because most cameras focus on whatever is in the centre of the viewfinder. TIP 4 : Know your zoom Try avoiding the use of digital zoom whenever you can this will have a positive effect on the quality of your images. Digital cameras have two different zooming options: optical (good), digital (not that good!). The digital zoom just makes things appear larger by adding in extra pixels to your photo, as a result, photos will appear blocky or blurry. Best to turn it off in your settings menu and use the one in your digital editing software which is less likely to damage your image irreversibly. TIP 5 : Use your flash Use the flash when taking photos of people in daylight, this will eliminate harsh shadows. Try it yourself by taking two same shots with and without a flash. Find the right flash setting on your camera: a “fill in” flash mode, or an “on” mode (not “auto”). Makes sure you test your flash's range, pictures taken beyond the maximum flash range will be too dark. Most cameras can only reach ten feet away. You can always read your camera manual to find out more about this. TIP 6 : Check your resolution Work with the highest resolution when you do digital photography. On your camera you will have a resolution selector that allows you to determine a low, medium or high resolution. TIP 7 : Reduce red eye When you are doing portraits, always use the red eye reduction feature, you'll eliminate the possibility of having your subjects eye in the wrong colour. If you'd rather not do that or you forget to set this up on your camera later on you'll still have the opportunity to correct this in a photo editing software. Tip 8 : Direct your photos Try to rearrange your subjects and take the shot from a different viewpoint. If you have something in the background that is not so appealing try switching angels TIP 9 : Choose colour Never use the black and white mode ! These days cameras have modes such as black and white, sepia, solarise . . . the list grows. But don’t use them. Once you have captured the image in black and white (or sepia, or solarise, or . . . ) you will never be able to put the colour back. Always take your photos in colour, and convert them in Photoshop when you get back home. Even the most basic editing software will be able to this for you. For example, Google’s Picasa can perform all of these effects, and a whole lot more. TIP 10 : Keep it steady Use a tripod for a steady image. If you are naturally shaky and want to make sure that you get the perfect digital photography, set up the tripod and point the camera directly at the subject before snapping a picture. If you don’t like to carry with you anything except your camera, there is a simple trick that many people don’t know. Instead of a tripod you can use any other horizontal surface that is still. Surfaces like rocks, chairs, cars, anything could do the same work as a tripod. But be careful not to damage your camera, though as cameras have tendency to slip and brake when put on chairs, rocks etc.