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Digital Photo Basics

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Tips for capturing picture-perfect memories.

Using a digital camera or smartphone doesn’t have to be intimidating or stop you from capturing life’s special moments. Just a few tips can have you capturing excellent photos in no time!

Study Up

Start with your camera or smartphone’s user manual to get familiar with the settings and capabilities. Guidebooks, tutorials on YouTube and classes can be helpful as well (some are offered for free at the public library).

Move Away From Center

Photos where the subject is slightly to the left or the right of center tend to be more visually appealing than when the subject is directly centered. Use the viewing screen on your camera instead of looking through the lens, or imagine a grid on your phone screen to help you.

Focus on the Details

Your camera will likely have a setting specifically for capturing objects at close range. The flowers in your community’s garden are excellent subjects to practice on. In fact, the icon used for that setting is often represented as a small flower.

Capture Flattering Portraits

You want the person to be the focal point of the photo, not a distracting background. Encourage subjects to relax and act natural — too much posing can sometimes look stiff and forced.

Practice!

Try taking photos of the same subject in various settings, then compare them and see what results you get. Most importantly, be sure to have fun!