Fig. 2: Always check the background of your subject to
make sure there are no distractions. Here, where the
child is the focus, the blurred shrubs makes a nice backdrop. Fig. 3: Using your Macro or Flower mode can give a
1. Make wise digital decisions.
If you’re shooting digital (and we’re assuming you
are), don’t compromise quality — capture all the pixels
you can. It’s the amount of pixels per square inch that
gives quality to your images, and you wouldn’t want to
take an award-winning shot that can only be enlarged
to the size of a credit card. So always shoot at your
camera’s highest possible resolution.
2. Showcase your subject.
Decide what you’re really taking a picture of, and
center your efforts on taking the best possible
photo of this subject, be it a person, place, thing,
or even mood. Be sure to keep anything that would
distract out of the picture. Also check the area
behind the subject, looking for trees or phone poles
sprouting from a person’s head. Remember, a clean
background will emphasize your subject and have
a stronger visual impact.
3. Get close, then get closer.
Try to zoom or move in to fill the frame with your
subject, and don’t be afraid to get close — really
close. That way you can truly make an impact.
Even cutting into the subject a bit can be dynamic
big impact to small subects. Fig. 4: A subject that is off-center usually makes a more interesting composition.
Fig. 5: Ensure that your subject is the sharpest image in
the photo by locking the focus with your shutter button.
and lend the image an intimate mood. Use the
Macro or Flower mode for small subjects. Even
the simplest object takes on new fascination in
4. Strive for dynamic compositions.
One of the most important aspects of composition
is the Rule of Thirds. The concept, discovered by
the Greeks, is simple. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid
across your frame, and place the subject at 1 of the
4 line intersections. This doesn’t mean that there
isn’t a time and place when you want to center your
subject (an image highlighting perfect symmetry
comes to mind). But usually, the strongest and
most visually interesting place for your subject is
at 1 of these 4 points.
5. Lock that focus.
Most cameras focus on whatever is in the middle of
the frame. As we just learned, that’s rarely the best
place for your subject, so it may be out of focus. To
combat this, center the subject and press the shutter
button down halfway to lock in the focus. Then
reframe the picture and press the shutter button all
the way to take the shot with perfect sharpness.