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Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Tips for Taking Less-Crappy Digital Photos

Posted on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM

ANDREW MASON / FLICKR

We don't really get a summer in San Francisco, but we do get several months when it doesn't rain and the sun lasts, well, at least until the fog comes in. Nonetheless, there's lots of light, and light means good conditions for digital photography -- and this time of year we have more things to shoot, such as sporting events, weddings, and so on. It's also when most of us travel for pleasure and generally spend more time outdoors.

And hey, look, there's a three-day weekend upon us and no precipitation in the forecast. Seems like a good time to learn a thing or two about that million-megapixel thing you picked up on eBay and haven't learned how to use yet. For help, we turn to Josh Anon, who works with the aptly named Digital Photo Academy. He has a five-point "starter kit" of basic things to know about making your shots hit their creative target.

Take it away, Josh:

JOSH ANON
  • Josh Anon

1. Crowd Shots: When shooting events with large groups of people, such as weddings or graduations, you might want a wide shot that shows everyone. Especially at graduations, when everyone is dressed the same, wide shots help convey a sense of scale and provide any interesting patterns formed by the group. If you stand and shoot at eye level, it's tough to tell how big a crowd is. Try getting up higher than everyone else and shooting from a downward angle. If you have an SLR -- a single-lens reflex camera, ones that look like older professional film cameras -- then a specialty lens, such a Lensbaby, will let you soften the focus around everything but the crowd, which makes for a more distinct and unusual shot.

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