16 Tips For Nikon/Canon Owner

1. Understand your camera well
I must have to start with a basic rule of photography which is 'You must understand how to operate your equipment'. Many people come to us and tell they would shoot better pictures but they have only "ordinary pocket camera". I have not come across an ordinary, digital camera yet. I agree certainly to shoot some kind of photos, you need better camera, but you can shoot very good photos with any camera. So, search for the camera manual that you have received with your camera and start reading it from page 1 till end. Keep your camera beside and understand how to use different controls and buttons thoroughly. If you know your equipment, you will be equipped to shoot better pictures.

2. Be at the right place at the right time
The second rule of photography is this - be at the right place at the right time. This applies very well for landscape photos. How do you predict the right place and time? You can't. If you want to shoot better pictures, take your camera with wherever you go and shoot whatever you can. Most of the best photos are ordinary because most of the photos are taken during ordinary time of the day. The photographer was at the right place at the right moment, that's all it made the difference.

3. Practise, practise and practise
I took some 500+ ordinary photos then I took a great photo. The more photos you shoot, the more good photos you will shoot. It's just practice - after all. You are practising to see better, you are practising to use your camera better. Practice alone will help you to become a master photographer.
When you are shooting, shoot in all modes - especially shooting group shots or people shots, Flash-On, Flash-off, Auto-mode, Sports mode etc. Try different things, it is OK to experiment. You may not get a good opportunity again after all. Always shoot more photos than you require.
4. Get closer to the object
This is by far the easiest tip for any aspiring photographer to practise. If you want to make your photos look great, just get close to the object and fill entire LCD screen with that object. Just try it now; your photo will immediately look great, because you have removed all the distractions out.

5. Use the preset modes
Do you always use the "Auto" or "Automatic" mode? If so, it is time to try the other preset modes or scene modes. Many of the ordinary digital cameras do not allow you to vary Exposure, Shutter Speed or Aperture size, but the preset modes will vary them for you. For instance, if you want to shoot a cityscape during sunset, use the "Night Landscape" mode and shoot the photo. Just make sure you place the camera on a sturdy platform / wall / pillar so you won't shake it. Also use the self-timer to shoot the photo so that you wont shake the camera while pressing the button.

6. Practise holding your camera
You have captured the perfect shot that's what you thought when you looked at the LCD screen on the back of your camera. Nothing is disheartening to know the photo came up with a blur when you see on the computer screen. So, learn how you can firmly grip the camera. Look at the following pictures
Some people say holding your breath while pressing the shutter button.
If your hands are shaking or if the light is not enough, then place your camera on a nearby wall / fridge or a table (tripod if you have one).
7. Change the Point of View
Just by changing the 'point of view' of the photo, you can create a good photo. When you see an object, think of alternative viewing positions and shoot as many photos as you can. Go to ground level and tilt your camera up. Or go to an elevated place and shoot your picture from above. Avoid ordinary, eye-level views.

8. Trust your camera
We think our pocket camera can shoot only ordinary photos. Yes, that's why it does shoot only ordinary photos. But, when you see a good photo taken with the same camera, you are worried as if only your camera has a defect. Often, we don't attempt to shoot a picture thinking our camera is not capable. Say, if a baby is smiling or playing, change to the Sports mode and shoot pictures. It doesn't cost anything to try, if the photos turn out badly, they can be deleted.

9. Look at great photos
I am against the so-called golden rules of photography and I don't want you to fall into the trap. As long as a photo is appealing, I don't care what rules it follows. The best way to learn about photography is to look at great photos. Where do you find great photos? If you are near a library, go and refer some photography books. If you want to see them online, visithttp://photo.netngm.comflickr.com/explore,

10. Show your photos
I don't mean to say that your should show your photos to your family and friends. They would probably say that your photos are very nice and incredibly good. They are saying to please you or make you feel good. Instead, put your portfolio on the social photo-sharing websites such as flickr.comdeviantart.com. This will allow you to invite honest comments from fellow photographers. Don't be afraid to showcase your 'ordinary photos' to start with. You will improve your photographic skills anyway.

11. Understand light
If you understand light and shadows, you will see many dramatic photos even before you shoot them. If you like a location, go and shoot them during sunrise and sunset. The shadows and lights created by the rising / setting sun will be very beautiful.

12. Create some photos
You won't get a perfect photo all the time. You may need to wait for the right opportunity. But, there's a shortcut. You can create a photo to some extent. You can move or rearrange things if it is OK to do so. You can arrange things in an order to create an artistic photo out of ordinary. You can place two contrasting things in one place and create a good photo. Hey, that's not cheating - you are actually overcoming some obstacles in becoming a good photographer.

13. Use Auto-Mode
Even if you are placing your camera on a wall or a tripod for night shots, you may accidentally disturb the camera while pressing the button. To avoid this, use the Auto-Timer mode and use a 2-second or 10-second delay to shoot a picture.

14. Look at corners

See your photo on the Viewfinder or LCD screen; you will know how it will look like even before you shoot it. Many a times, we just blindly shoot without noticing many disturbances that spoil a great photo. So, look at all the corners if anything is disturbing the overall photo.

15. Use Flash wisely
Using your camera's flash is unavoidable at night when there is no light. You will end up with ghostly faces popping out of the dark. First, get used to different types of flash in your camera. You can either read the manual or experiment taking same shot with different flash settings.
During mid-noon, when the sun is directly above your head, you can use flash to avoid the shadows that fall under your eyes.

16. Set your Exposure correctly
Usually, the Auto mode/function in the camera adjusts for "technically" a good photo. You may find that on a bright sunny day, your picture might have a "dim, washed look". Decrease the Exposure. On a cloudy day,increase the exposure. Read your camera manual on how to change exposures.

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