Thursday, March 4, 2010

10 Tips to taking great photos over Spring Break

Passport? Check. Suntan lotion? Yep. Camera? Of course. Taking a camera on a vacation is a must in order to immortalize those memories in the sun and sharing them with family and friends. But you don’t get a second chance to capture that moment, so our friends at Nikon Canada have shared their Top 10 tips to taking great vacation pictures.

Nikopn D5000In case you missed our Sympatico article on recommended cameras and camcordes for spring break,  you definitely don’t want to be without something to catch all the action on your upcoming vacation.
Nikon Canada is also sharing some photo-taking tips to those with a point-and-shoot or dSLR (Single Lens Reflex) model. Here’s a look at each one for fun in the sun:
1. Shoot in continuous mode. If you’ve ever had trouble taking crisp, clear photos of a constantly moving subject, a child or pet for example, try changing your camera settings to a continuous burst mode. Several frames per second will increase your chances of catching your subject just the way you want. If you have Subject Tracking, you’ll have an even greater array of features to help you capture that perfect shot.
2. Flash forward. Using a flash ensures all your photos are crisp and clear, especially in darker lit settings such as a dinner or dance party. And don’t stop there — be sure to use flash outdoors as well to help balance any dark contrasts.
3. Work with what you’ve got. Take advantage of your camera’s settings whether it’s a low-light sensitive capability such as a broad ISO range, or automatic setting selections for taking pictures in various environments. Learn the features your camera offers and use them to create impressive images you’ll be proud to put on display.
4. Shutter finger. The beauty of digital is the ability to review any photographs you take instantly and decide which you would like to keep or re-shoot. With this in mind, don’t hold back. Take more pictures rather than fewer and sort through them later. This will help you
focus on the photo opportunities at hand, giving you a better chance of capturing that perfect shot.
5. Exposure is key. Any good photo has an intended balance to the amount of light used when the picture was taken. Experiment with your camera’s exposure settings, bracketing the brightness levels for different effects. Sometimes an over or underexposed photo can be a creative expression of an otherwise normal photograph. Just remember, when in doubt, underexpose — these images can be brightened later on, whereas an overexposed image won’t pick up all the details and not much can be done to correct it.
6. Get to know, be a pro. Take into account who or what your subject is. If you are photographing a person, learn what their personality is like and what they are comfortable with; if you are taking photos of an animal [there are plnty of those on Spring Break! - Marc], you will need to know what its temperament is; and taking pictures of an object requires you to identify the best features to highlight. The more you learn and understand, the better you will be able to model your photograph in its best light.
7. Wherever you will go. Take your camera with you so you never miss a moment. When selecting a new camera, consider how you will transport it. If you select a smaller unit, this will be less of a concern, but if you purchase a larger, heavier camera with additional lenses and flash attachments, consider investing in a good camera bag to protect your equipment and make it more portable. When on foot, take advantage of a camera strap around your neck — many of today’s digital SLR cameras feature rapid start-up times, so you’ll always be ready if a picture opportunity arises.
8. The more the merrier. Challenge your skill level. Investing in a few accessories can make photography easier and help to produce better photos. A tripod can help to steady a shot, while additional lenses provide various zoom options, macro options, wide-angle, and more. Adding an external flash can make a photo more dynamic. Digital SLRs are great because they are customizable to every photographer’s needs.
9. Don’t forget to touch up. Make life easier by performing simple image corrections right on the camera before uploading them to your computer. This makes picture development a snap.
10. Have fun! Be creative. Get up high or down real low to capture that perfect shot, creating dimension, angles and a personal flare to all your photos. Develop your own style of photography to set yourself apart from the crowd.

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