Tips & Tricks


Resizing Without an Imaging Program by Bryson Leidich (PDF format)


Tip for Travelers using Cokin Filters

If you use the Cokin filters and would like to take all your filters along when you travel, instead of carrying all the filters in their respective cases, use a CD holder and slide the filters into the holders and zip it shut.  It's easy and safe for the filters. This tip was mentioned by member, Steph Sholly, at a Show and Tell meeting about filters.

Three guidelines for a good picture

  • Know your subject.
  • Focus attention on the subject (viewer’s eye is drawn to the subject).
  • Keep it simple (keep clutter out of the background).

Get close to your subject

By eliminating outside “extras”, you will get much more dramatic interesting pictures.

EZ Depth of Field

Depth of field is actually a lot easier to grasp than most photo teachers make it sound in school. All you have to remember is that the bigger number you choose (the bigger aperture or f-stops), the more depth of field you will achieve. And more depth of field means more of your picture in focus.

An inexpensive way to do macro work without spending extra money on a macro lens or bellows is to purchase a reversing ring for around $10-$15. By reversing your lens on your camera it will yield a high magnification. You can use any lens from a 28mm to 80mm for this purpose.

Polarizers are very helpful when shooting skyless landscapes such as a nature scene of forest undergrowth. Especially when the day is wet, you will find that your polarizer deeply intensifies the colors in fallen leaves and such. The fact that it reduces glare allows those colors to come shining through. Also, rainbows can be enhanced with a polarizer.

Using Built-in Flash Units Indoors

If you use built-in flash units indoors, move the subject away from the wall to avoid unattractive shadows.

Check the background

One of the most common mistakes is not paying attention to the background. You become so fixed on the subject you don’t notice things like trees “growing” out of the subjects head. Take a little time to check these things before you shoot.

The rule of thirds

Don’t always place the subject in the center. When you compose your picture, try to break it into “thirds”, either horizontally or vertically or both (like a grid.) Placing the subject at any point where the lines cross will make a more pleasing composition.

Golden Hours

Some of your best outdoor shots are taken just after sunrise and right before or during sunset. This is known as the “golden hours”.

Watch the direction of the light

Bright, direct light causes harsh shadows. People tend to squint. Whenever possible, use indirect or diffused lighting. When shooting outdoors, opt for the early morning or late afternoon, and shady or overcast days. For bright days or low light, use flash. The sun does not always have to be shining on your subject. Back lighting can be very effective.

Get down to “kid” level for great shots of the little ones.

Avoid red eye

Position your flash a short distance away from the camera, or shoot your subject from slightly above or below eye level, or with head turned slightly towards one side. Or try bouncing your flash off a wall or ceiling.


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