How To Take Better Photos
The key to winning a photography contest is to have the best photo possible. Judges for photography contests for kids are probably not expecting the most technically advanced photo, but they are still looking for a really good picture with great subject matter. Here are seven easy tips to take better photos and maybe even win a photography contest.
1.) Read your camera manual. Sounds simple right? But many people don't bother. Having better photos means taking the time to read the manual. This will help you to utilize the correct settings for things like night photos, snow photos, beach photos, fireworks photos, etc. Setting the camera correctly helps it to adjust in different lights, helping the photo to turn out the best in those given conditions.
2.) Clean the camera lenses to ensure they are free from fingerprints or other debris. Don't use just anything to clean the lenses though or you risk scratching the camera lens. Lens paper and cleaner must be used and are available pretty much anywhere (drugstores, major stores like Walmart, Target, etc.); even cleaner for eyeglass lenses will work; just make sure to use the lens cleaner or an eyeglass lens cloth with it.
3.) Don't obstruct the view. Make sure your fingertips or a piece of hair is not obstructing the camera lens when you are about to snap a photo. Hair or a finger in the photo will completely ruin the shot.
4.) No photobombers! Check your background for unwanted people, pets, etc. who shouldn't be in the photo.
5.) Fill the frame with as much of your subject as possible. This is especially true if you are taking a picture of people. A picture of a person who fills the frame is much more inviting to look at then one who is far away with lots of other things in the photo to distract from the main subject.
6.) Make sure you are holding the camera steady, or use a tripod if necessary. Try holding your breath for a second while you press the shutter button; this should help to avoid blur.
7.) If you aren't experienced with action shots, don't try one for a photography contest. Using your manual to help you, practice taking action shots outside of a contest. It can be difficult to capture a person or thing in motion correctly without making the photo blurry. For a novice, this can end in frustration.
8.) Whenever possible, take pictures in daylight. It is the most natural light and if used to photograph people, it should prevent redeye. The only caveat to taking pictures in daylight is to watch for shadows in the photograph. Filling up the frame with as much of the subject as possible (see #5) should prevent unwanted shadows in the photograph.
9.) Keep your camera with you at all times. If you are trying to enter a photography contest, this is especially important. How many times have you heard someone say "That would make such a great picture; I wish I had my camera!"? By keeping your camera handy, you'll never miss that unexpected photo opportunity. Using a cellphone camera does not count; pictures taken on cellphones are not normally as high of a quality as those taken with an actual camera.
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