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Three Ways to Stop Ruining Your Pictures

Some of the most common problems in photography can be solved before you ever click the shutter. Here are three scenarios to remember as you snap away!

Thinking your camera can shoot in the dark

Modern cameras are amazing, but they aren’t magic. The digital sensor in your camera needs a lot more light than you may think in order to create a decent picture. Either get realistic about the amount of light that is available or invest in a flash so that you can supplement your scene with extra light. Fair warning: the pop-up flash on your camera is probably not going to be much help. If anything, using the pop-up flash will result in a subject that is too bright and a black background. Double fail. Keep that puppy down.

Getting too close

Most lenses have a minimum focal distance, meaning that you have to be a certain distance away from your subject for the lens to work. This distance varies from lens to lens. (Hint: it’s usually printed right on the lens rim itself.)  If you are too close to what you are photographing, the picture will be blurry no matter what you do.

Telling someone to smile

Oh, those gritted teeth and grimacing lips... That’s the smile of someone who does not want to be photographed. It’s an instinctive and unfriendly expression that humans make when they feel uncomfortable. And why is your subject making this face? Perhaps because you have heightened the expectation of a good picture by asking your subject to smile. Say anything, literally anything, other than “smile.” If you want a genuine expression then say something for your subject that is truly smile-worthy. Kids love a good joke, a funny noise or even just a silly word to repeat.

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