Article - 10 Tips to Improve your Photos Written by: Stevo309

I'm sure we've all taken pictures that we're dissapointed with and pictures that have turned out suprisingly well? It's sometimes hard to know what makes a photo special and i'm no pretending to be an expert by any means but i have achieved some decent results using nothing more than a cheap digital camera. Here are just 10 simple tips to help you capture those moments:

1. Get down low - You have to remember that you are photographing a scale model. If you're standing up and taking a picture of small item like a buggy on the ground it's the scale equivalent of taking a photo from a helicopter or the top of a tall building. Get down on the ground so your eye level is with the model and it will all of a sudden become more realistic in your photos.
2. Composition - Remember that again because these are scale items objects like plant pots or plants can sometimes appear odd as they are oversized compared to the subject. If you can eliminate them from the foreground and have an uncluttered background. Focus if you can on just the subject and aim to fill the shot. Remember also to centre the subject unless you want to go for an arty shot although digital images can be cropped. Choose backgrounds with colours that contrast and compliment the colours of the object for best results.

Subject matter - Despite what some people think you actually can't polish a turd so your photo will only ever be as good as your subject matter. Clear up litter or whatever might complicate the photo and be unsightly and if the object has a better or worse side to it then use the better side for the majority of shots.

4. Setting - Great pictures can be taken indoors but generally it's best to take shots outdoors when you can. You can't beat a proper setting too, for example a sand scorcher just look a million times better on a beach, it's where it's meant to be! Urban or rural settings can work very well but again look for places that might suit the model and offer an uncluttered background lacking in small detail that will only detract from the subject.
5. Light - You need good light to take a good picture. It's a fundamental rule and should always be remembered. Using the flash will almost always give you a bad result because it glares too much and is too harsh and will hardly ever create enough light to balance the foreground and background. The best light conditions would be a bright day with cloud cover. Bright sunshine is normally best avoided for detail work because details can get lost in shadows or reflective glare. Pay attention to the direction of the light too, it's best to take shots with the main lightsource behind you as this will illuminate the subject and cast shadows away from the object and behind it. Also, modern cameras adjust to the light and will often under-expose if you are facing into the sun which will give you dark shots.
6. Safety in numbers - If you set everything up and expect to take a couple of shots and walk away you'll pretty much always end up dissapointed. Always take as many shots as you possibly can from a variety of angles. The more you take the more likely you'll get a good one or more. If you're using a digital camera then it costs you nothing to do this. I've seen professional photographers use 6 films or more of 36 shots each taking pictures of a car for magazine features that would maybe use 10 photos.
7. Equipment - It's not necessarily the case that the more you pay the better your photos will be but generally you do get what you pay for. A more expensive camera will normally have a better lense, more adjustment options and a generally higher quality of output. It's best to experiment with all the settings to get an idea of what they do under different circumstances. This way you'll stand a better chance of getting the best from your equipment. A tripod or mini-tripod is a great asset for this kind of thing.
8. Gently does it - It's always important to hold the camera still relative to the object being photographed. If you object is static then it's a lot easier because you must simply keep the camera still, a tripod or any object that the camera can rest on is a great help. If your object is moving it's normally best to track with it so the focus is on the subject and the background motion blurred. You don't have to do this if your shutter speed is quick enough but i think fast shutter speeds tend to take the life out of motion shots.
9. The camera never lies - Well that may be true but the computer does! If you're taking digital photographs they can be manipulated and improved in unimaginable ways using modern graphics packages. Packages like Adobe Photoshop can instantly corrent exposure problems in pictures and allow you to make up for problems in the pictures. In fact a package like this in the right hands can make improvements to almost any digital photo when it comes off the camera. Many simpler graphics packages come bundled with digital cameras and can be excellent for making quick and obvious digital enhancements.
10. Practice makes perfect - Last but not least take pics of a variety of objects in different settings as often as you can and don't be afraid to experiment, there's no substitute for experience! Good luck!
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