7 Ways to Take Better Photos
Point-and-Shoot digital cameras make it easy to do just that. But as you know, that alone doesn’t always make for the kind of mesmerizing photos that cause you to pause in awe and others to beg you for a copy. To boost your chances of creating some striking photography, try experimenting with a combination of a few or all of the techniques below.

1. Let’s Be Candid

Sneak in candid shots when no one is looking. You’ll capture “real” emotions and people just being themselves –sassy, grouchy, thoughtful, or whatever they happen to be in the moment. It’s a nice break from the standard smiley-faced photos people usually pose for.
2. Keep on Snapping
An official White House photographer recently remarked that you’re always haunted by the pictures you didn’t take. Most memory cards hold a staggering amount of photos. For example, a 4GB card can hold in the ballpark of 650 photos at 12MP, so snap away now, and delete the “undesirables” later.
3. Follow the Rule of Thirds
It’s tempting to place people and objects center-frame or “center-stage”, but try to avoid it if you can. Instead, use the “rule of thirds” drawn from generations of landscape painters. Think of your frame like a tic-tac-toe board. Or if your camera is capable, use the grid feature on your LCD screen. Place faces, structures, or other points of interest on or near one of the four points where two lines intersect. Using more than one point can result in a well-balanced composition, but one may be all you need to capture an engaging photo.
4. Don’t Flash Everyone
Nothing kills the moment like a bright flash to the face. Flashes also tend to flatten out images and wash out colors. So when you find yourself in a low light situation like outside in the moonlight or indoors at a dimly lit party, try turning your flash off. An easy way to capture photos in low light is to adjust your ISO to 400 and shoot with soft light sources like candles or moonlight in the foreground or background. You may notice digital “noise” or graininess, but most photos you share online or print are small enough to make it barely noticeable. Either way, your pictures will look more artistic and less like the beginning of an interrogation. You can also see good results from a preset mode like Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or Night Scene Mode. Note: these types of shots can get blurry if your camera is not held perfectly still, so use your environment (tabletops, ledges, etc.) or a tripod or monopod for best results.
5. Get Shallow With
Your Depth of Field

You know those cool-looking wedding pictures where a face or a flower is in perfect focus in the foreground and the background fades into blurry oblivion? The simplest way to accomplish this is to select the Portrait Preset. It creates a shallow depth of field (DOF), which isolates the area in which your subject remains in focus. Move in close, so your subject fills a good portion of the frame. (Note: the further your subject is from the background, the blurrier the background becomes.) Then, focus on your subject (holding the shutter button half-way down until you hear a beep or see a green light) and snap. If you’re familiar with the manual settings, try lowering your f-stop to f2 or f4 for the same “time stopping” effect.
6. Burst into Action
When things are happening fast (people and objects in motion) or when you want to have more than one shot to choose from, set your camera to Burst Mode or Continuous Mode. It snaps off a series of quick photos in a few seconds, increasing your chances of capturing that perfect shot. Some cameras compromise picture resolution for speed, but the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 can capture 2.3 frames per second in full resolution and has a High-Speed Burst Mode that can snap up to approximately 10 frames per second –most impressive.
7. Change Your Perspective
One of the easiest ways to add flair to your photos is to shoot from multiple angles. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Climb up some stairs, lie on the ground, or simply stand up on your couch (take those shoes off) and start snapping. The dimensions it creates are more than just physical and may pleasantly surprise you.

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