Basic Tips for taking really good Pictures
By Rodney Bergquist
Why do we take pictures?
a. Janis & I, take pictures to capture memories of things we have enjoyed during the past year.
b. We take pictures to fill our Vallejo Branch page in the annual AFS calendar.
c. We take pictures to enter in the annual AFS Photo Contest.
d. But Janis & I mostly take pictures to share with our family and friends which tell a story about some of the fun things were doing or did during the past year. Janis puts our best photos in an annual family calendar.
Today’s Cameras are mostly digital: Many people think you need to have a big expensive camera to take really good pictures but that not the case, because today’s digital cameras are small, easy to use and are relatively inexpensive.
Cell phone picture quality has improved significantly in the last 5 years: Most of us have a camera in our cell phone, so we are always taking pictures which can almost instantly be shared with friends as an attachment to a text message, email or uploaded to a social network, like Facebook or Google + or other picture viewing websites.
However, if you want to take quality photos, like weddings or family pictures or enter a photography contest, you need to use some basic photography tips which will improve you picture quality significantly.
The most important photography tips I have learned
1. You must do your best to hold the camera steady, to prevent blurred images. It’s very discouraging to look at a picture later and see that your picture is blurred
2. Do not take pictures in hash sunlight because the sunlight washes out the detail in your photo. From my experience, even Photoshop or other photo editing programs cannot make a great picture out of a blurred image or an extremely over exposed image. Best time to take outside photos is generally early morning between 10-11 am., or during overcast days.
3. Check Image background: Sometimes quick memory photos, don’t allow us the opportunity to change the background, move people or objects to a better location.
However, when taking fuchsia pictures for the AFS Photo Contest, I look at the background behind the picture I am taking. It’s important to look for unwanted detail that will show up in the picture and ruin the image.
If you want to have a really nice background in your picture, you may have to put something behind the plant to improve the background. If the plant is in a container you can move the plant to a better location.
4. Groom the plant, and container:
a. I remove torn or damaged leaves, old flowers, seed pods, fuchsia berries and plant
b. I look for spider webs, aphids, whitefly, sticks & tie wires.
c. If possible, I always use newly opened flowers. Tips of stamens/anthers should not be brown.
5. Get as close to the fuchsia as your camera lens will allow. Most of today’s cameras have a macro setting (a little tulip icon) which will allow you to get within 4 inches of the subject.
6. And finally, I always take at least two pictures before moving to my next picture. I want to make sure I have at least one picture that is of useable quality, not blurred.
Good advice. Someone told me, if you want to enjoy something, you have to participate. Enjoy taking photos and sharing them with family, friends, the AFS Photo Contest and the AFS annual branch calendar.