Understanding Digital Camera Focus Issues

There are some specific focus issues that are unique to digital cameras:

i Image sensors: It is especially important to keep digital cameras steady because the image sensors these cameras use are a third smaller than 35mm film. This means a digital image will be three times larger than a 35mm image. Consequently, any movement will make the digital image three times as blurry.

i LCD monitors: If you consistently have blurry images, try using the camera's viewfinder, not the LCD monitor, for taking your photos. When you use the LCD monitor, you hold the camera away from your body and, therefore, probably won't hold it as still. Hold your camera with both hands, keep your arms close to your body and stand with your feet firmly planted.

i Shutter lag: You probably noticed there is a lapse from the time you press the shutter release button and when the exposure is complete. This is referred to as shutter lag and may be the cause of a blurry image.

Or even worse, your subject may even move out of the photo during that lag, as shown in Figure 19-8. It goes without saying that you want to try not to move the camera after you press the shutter release button.

Get used to the lag of your camera so you can anticipate it. If your camera has a burst mode or best shot mode, try it.

Check your camera documentation to see what features are offered.

Digital cameras are great because they give you instant feedback on your photos. Check the photo in the LCD monitor immediately after taking it, make the necessary adjustments you need and reshoot, if possible.

Figure 19-8:

Watch the shutter lag on your camera. Your subject may move before the exposure is complete! Reshoot if you're using a digital camera.

Figure 19-8:

Watch the shutter lag on your camera. Your subject may move before the exposure is complete! Reshoot if you're using a digital camera.

Giving Direction

When you look at those magazines that feature the year's best photos, they all appear spontaneous and a matter of pure serendipity. Sometimes that's the case, but more often than not, the photographer arranged the shot or waited for the right light.

As an amateur photographer, you also shouldn't be afraid to play photo stylist:

i Give directions on where you want people to stand, how to stand, and so on. For example, tell people to touch each other, putting their arms around each other, as shown in Figure 19-9, or bringing their heads in toward each other.

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Figure 19-9:

Provide direction to the people you're photographing, while also trying to capture their spirits.

Figure 19-9:

Provide direction to the people you're photographing, while also trying to capture their spirits.

i Designate the location.

i Use props, such as trees or cars, to arrange people around.

i Use a variety of poses. Have some people sit and others stand.

i If it is a large group of people or you are dealing with unruly kids or wild pets, get someone to help direct. Just make sure that the parties being photographed pay attention and look at you, the camera.

i Try and get people to relax. While spontaneity can yield great images, you can still get good photos from posed subjects if they aren't hating the experience.

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.

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