Digital photography tips and tricks
With the advent of digital photography and the smartphone camera, it seems like everyone in today's world is a photographer. Because of how advanced camera technology has become, it is true that the average person can produce better results today than they could have ten years ago. However, there are some mistakes that even the most advanced technology simply cannot correct for you, and can doom your photos to looking helplessly amateur.
Autofocus can be a fantastic tool for capturing photos as quickly and candidly as possible. However, technology isn't perfect, and your camera's autofocus can betray you as easily as it can help you Because it isn't sentient, there's no guarantee you will end up with the focus in the right place. The effect can be subtle, but if one section is clearer than another, the viewer's eyes automatically travel there, even if the difference is small enough that you can't quite put your finger on why your subject doesn't stand out as much as he did when you were taking the photo. While it does require more time and patience, turning off autofocus and learning how to manually choose your subject will make a world of difference in the final quality of your image.
Don't overdo it
The ability to edit our photos after they've already been taken is a great thing to have in our toolbox, because capturing a truly perfect image is extremely difficult. Bumping the contrast, sharpness, or saturation of an image can not only make it more aesthetically pleasing, it can also alter the mood of an image and how the viewer feels when looking at it. In the case of photo editing, however, less is more. A photo that is overly edited is usually obviously so, making it look more kitschy and adolescent in its attempts to be dramatic. Try to keep your edits to only one component of the photo, and try to keep any changes you make within a ten percent range of increase/decrease.
What we do in the shadows
Shadows can be an excellent way to add depth and contrast to our photos, as well as to ensure that the focus is where you want it to be since the eye is drawn to what is illuminated first. However, most cameras are not designed to handle the extremes of both ends at one time Too bright a light and too dark a shadow combined in one image will usually result in your brights looking washed out and your ‘darks’ looking muddy. Further, because your camera is so overloaded with trying to balance the extremes in lighting, it won't be able to capture the details and depth of your subjects. Make sure your lighting is consistent, and that you are shooting somewhere your subjects are well-lit but not blinded. Shadows can be used to add depth and draw the eye towards the light, but should not be used to ‘cancel out' part of an image.