Simple Tips for Taking Better Photos

By: Kristin Matori

Take better photos and add exciting artistic effects to yourphotos using HPdigital cameras which can be edited using in-camera design galleryfeatures.

1) Usingthe sun to light your photosNatural sunlight provides some of the best lighting for great shots with moredetail and vivid colors. Be careful:

  • Really bright sunlight casts harsh shadows
  • Overhead sunlight can wash out detail in faces

Tip: For best results, avoid takingphotos when the sun is directly overhead. This can cause harsh shadows. Also,try to shoot with the sun behind you. This prevents loss of detail caused bybright light.

2)Get creative on gray daysLess-than-ideal weather conditions won't keep you from getting that perfectshot. Cloudy skies produce unique photos:

  • Get interesting highlights with enhanced mood
  • Make colors pop in contrast to the gray sky

Tip: Shooting inthe rain can be fun, but be careful not to damage your camera. You canwaterproof your camera by wrapping it in a plastic bag and cutting a hole forthe lens to poke through.

3)Capture breathtaking evening photos The key to great night photos is turning off your flash. Just follow theseguidelines:

  • Set shutter speed slower to let in enough light
  • Stay steady, slow shutter speeds blur photos
  • Use a tripod or place camera on stationary surface

Tip: Place yourcamera on a tripod and set its shot timer so there's no risk of your cameramoving when you press the trigger.

4)Golden Hour - A great time for some photo magicSunrise and sunset are what photographers call the "golden hour" or"magic hour." Photos taken at these times are rich and dramatic:

  • Get "golden" light instead of blinding midday sun
  • Your photos will have warm and inviting colors

Tip:Using the golden hour is especially good for people shots so you avoidharsh shadows on faces caused by midday sun. Experiment with angles and zoom tofind the perfect balance of light.

5)Get more effective flash photosThe flash is a great tool if you know how to get the most of it. The key iskeeping your distance:

  • Your camera's flash has a range of about 10 feet
  • Too far? Your photo will be too dark
  • Too close? Bright light blows out detail

Tip: The best wayto avoid overexposed flash photos is to step back and zoom in to your subject.This way, the flash is a good distance from your subject, but you still getyour close-up.

6)Keep annoying "red-eye" out of your photosThe flash reflecting off the retina of your subject's eyes is what causes thecommon problem of red-eye. Reduce red-eye by following these guidelines:

  • Move outdoors or into brighter light
  • Have your subject avoid looking directly into the lens

Tip:Many HP cameras offer in camera automatic red-eye removal.

7)Move your subject for more compelling photosYou don't have to center your subject in every photo you shoot. Create morevisual interest by using the Rule of Thirds:

  • Divide your photo into a tic-tac-toe grid
  • Place the main "interest" at grid intersections
  • Use photo software to crop later if necessary

Tip:You don't always get the perfect shot to begin with, so keeping the Rule ofThirds in mind, try cropping your photo after you've shot it using HPPhotosmart Essential software for the same effect.

8)Change the angle and create more impactThe difference between a good photo and a great photo is sometimes just amatter of how you approach it.

  • Change the camera angle for creative shots
  • Move your camera in relation to the subject
  • Zoom in or out to change the composition

Tip:Try these ideas to get a different perspective when you take a photo:

  • Hold your camera at arm's length above your head
  • Lie on the ground
  • Get very close to your subject

9)Add more visual appeal to your shotsSometimes the best way to draw attention to your center of interest is tocreate a frame around it.

  • A "frame" helps the subject stand out
  • Add drama, depth and interest
  • Use scenic elements like trees or other objects

Tip: Once you'vesituated your subject in the area where you want to shoot, always view yoursubject from several different angles to locate objects you can use to frameyour photo. Use scenic elements like trees or otherobjects

10)Add depth and create interest with linesCreate interesting perspective and enhance ordinary shots by using straight orcurved lines within the frame.

  • Lines lead the eye to the center of interest
  • Look for brick walls, sidewalks, fences, and edges
  • Shoot lines at an angle for unique shots

Tip: Get creativewith lines in your photo. Position your subject at a corner where a fenceintersects, or use a long sidewalk to "point" to your subject.

11)The right background makes a better photoBackgrounds can play a huge role in how interesting your photo is. Considerthese points when choosing a background:

  • Watch for clutter and other distracting elements
  • Don't use a busy or competing background
  • Remove objects that connect to the subject

Tip: Watch out foritems in the background that might look odd when photographed, like a lamp poststicking out behind someone's head.

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