Digital cameras have revolutionised photography and opened up a whole new world of creativity. Digital SLR cameras are available in a range of prices and even the budget models are capable of producing fantastic results.
However, many people often experience disappointment with the results they achieve with their digital camera and this is often down to one of the following reasons.
Not focussing correctly. Modern cameras work on auto-focus and this is great for speed and convenience but can lead to problems. A common mistake is to focus on the background rather than the subject. Most cameras have a focus lock facility and this is an easy way to ensure the subject is sharply in focus. Digital SLR cameras can be switched to manual focus mode and this is often the safest way to ensure the correct focus.
Relying on automatic exposure modes. In most situations a modern digital camera can produce great pictures in full automatic mode. The camera measures the lighting conditions and adjusts its settings accordingly in the blink of an eye. However, in certain conditions the camera can be fooled by harsh or low lighting and will produce disappointing results. The answer is to learn how to operate the camera in manual mode in unusual lighting conditions.
Using zoom lenses incorrectly. Modern zoom lenses offer great flexibility and are practical for everyday shooting. Even digital compact cameras offer wide zoom ranges and have lenses which can take wide-angle and telephoto pictures at the press of a button. Many people zoom in too close to their subject when this is often not appropriate for the picture. At full zoom a lens will produce inferior quality pictures and this can be a disappointment.
Not following camera instructions. Digital cameras are advanced pieces of technology but they only perform when used correctly. There are often several modes for taking different kinds of pictures. For example, fast moving subjects and sports events require faster shutter speeds. A common mistake is to ignore the instructions and to use the camera straight from the box. Reading guidebooks and instructions allow the user to get the best possible results.
Expecting too much of the camera. Photography is not just about using the best cameras. Sophisticated as they are, cameras only produce results as good as the person using them. It’s important to compose and frame pictures correctly and not to make obvious mistakes such as cutting off the top of heads when framing portraits. Using a camera’s flash in darker conditions will improve results.
Understanding your camera and knowing its limitations are the cornerstones of great photography. Even a basic camera can produce great results if the basic principles of framing and composing pictures are applied.