What makes a good photo?

The way you compose, frame, and time your photograph is critical in determining how successfully you will get your message across. See if you can spot which type, or genre, of photo is represented by each of these shots.

Landscape: A broad image of a landscape can capture the beauty of nature. B Moment or street shot: Crowd scenes can capture the dynamism of life on the street. C Sports/action: Stopping the action at a key moment can emphasize the drama of sports. D Portrait: A strong portrait can give real insights into the character of the subject.

Close-up or macro: Making something larger than life can have great visual impact. F Nature: The natural world is a rich source of dramatic subjects. G Fashion: Shooting the glamorous world of fashion is exciting, but you need to develop a feeling for how to show clothes and accessories at their best. H Architecture: The built environment can produce very dramatic images.

Try varying the angles and height from which you shoot, working around the subject to cover it in full. Sometimes changing your camera angle and position by just a small amount can make all the difference between an acceptable photograph and a perfect one. ◾ Shooting from a high position lets you get above the action, while shooting from behind the subject allows you to show what they see. ◾ Shoot at different times of the day to exploit the varying positions of the sun. ◾ With a digital camera, there are no limitations on the number of shots you can take, so make sure you shoot enough images to thoroughly explore every aspect of your subject.

Although cameras can give excellent results in fully automatic mode, it is important to understand how the various settings affect the final image. For real creative control you will sometimes need to override the camera’s automatic settings. Depending on the type of shot you are making, you will need to concentrate on a different aspect of the camera’s controls, using manual functions to set exposure and focus exactly how you want them.

APERTURE: A small aperture lets in less light and gives your images greater sharpness; a large one lets in more light. For landscapes, use a small aperture to achieve a deep depth of field, keeping the foreground, midground, and background all in focus

SHUTTER SPEED:A high shutter speed (opening the shutter for as little as 1/5000 sec) lets the sensor capture only a tiny fraction of your subject’s movement, allowing you to freeze the action . A slower shutter speed, such as 1/15 sec, can be used to create blur for effect, or to allow you to use a small aperture to achieve a greater depth of field.

VIEWFINDER:When we look at a scene, we tend to see only the important elements and ignore the rest. A camera, on the other hand, sees all the details. Elements we may not notice can become dominant when seen in print or on screen. Look through the Viewfinder in both horizontal and vertical formats to frame your images.

Try to get to the location early to give yourself time to find the best position to shoot from, then wait for the action and the light to come to you

FLASH:You can use your flash to “fill in” the shadows when shooting in sunny conditions with high contrast, or as a main source of light for a portrait.

CAMERA MODE:Most dSLRs have several shooting modes from which to choose . Program mode is good for general use or when you are shooting fast in changing light conditions. Aperture Priority is best for landscapes and static subjects, and Shutter Priority is perfect for action and sports. For ultimate control, switch to Manual to set the exact settings you want.

FOCUSING:Depending on the situation, you can use the camera’s built-in autofocus (AF) mode, or switch to Manual focus and choose the focus point yourself. In a portrait shot, you generally want to focus the lens on the subject’s eyes— usually the eye closest to the lens.

ISO:Setting your sensor’s sensitivity (or ISO) to a high number will let you shoot in low light , a common situation in documentary photography. Using a lower ISO will give maximum image quality, which is great for landscapes, but you may need to use a tripod to hold the camera steady.

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