How To Take Better Pictures!

Learn how to take better pictures!

Photography is everywhere today, so why not whip out that 35mm camera and embrace the exciting world of taking pictures. Many of you out there may fear that photography is just too complicated or just too hard to get into, but that's not true at all. By reading this I hope you'll gain a better sense of what photography is, and a few tips on how you can take beautiful pictures without professional help.

Just what is a successful picture? A great photograph is usually a simple picture which portrays a strong message. The message doesn't have to deal with world issues or even change a person's outlook, but it should touch the person. A strong picture is a picture that makes a child laugh or brings a tear to your eye.

Now let's talk about your camera for a second. Your camera has a variety of buttons, switches, and knobs. By discussing the parts on your camera, you should get a better understanding of your own camera and different tricks you can play with.

Shutter Speed Dial: This is a dial usually located on the top right hand side of your camera. It will give certain numbers, generally ranging from 4 secs to 1/2000. This will control the duration of exposure. In other words, this dial will keep the shutter of your camera open for a certain amount of time. The time elapsed between open and close, controls how much light is allowed into the picture.

Shutter Release: A button that is usually next to the shutter speed dial. You push this button to take a picture.

Lever Wind: A short black lever located next to the shutter release which allows you to advance to the next exposure. You simple pull back the lever, and the film is moved so you can take the next picture.

Counter: A small frame which displays how many pictures you've taken.

Self Timer: A small black lever next to your lens which allows you to delay a an exposure. A photographer would use this feature to be in the picture.

Rewind Knob: A silver knob located on the left side of your camera. This knob is used to rewind the film back into the cassette when all of the exposure's have been taken.

Aperture Ring: This ring will be located on the lens of your camera. The ring controls how much light can pass into the lens.

Focusing Ring: This ring will also be located on the outside of your lens. This ring will allow you to focus in on a variety of subjects. When an object is out of focus, you simple turn the ring until the object is crisp and sharp.

Now that you are familiar with most of your camera's features, let's start taking some pictures. Never be scared to experiment! You will always have a few bad pictures, but the best way to learn how to take great pictures is to take pictures. Don't be scared to take bad picture because eventually you'll know why those pictures are bad.

Helpful Hints

1. Keep the camera steady. To capture a sharp picture, you must not cause the camera to shake.

2. Focus in on the image. When you've decided on a good scene, make sure your main object is in focus. Blurring an image can create wonderful images, but make sure that's what you're going for when it happens.

3. Choose the film for you. If you are looking for a black and white image, make sure you've purchased black and white film If you're going for a colorful image do the same.

4. Control your shutter. The shutter speed dial on your camera was developed for a reason, so use it. This feature determines how long the shutter stays open. When you take a picture at a slow shutter speed (1/30) the image will be blurry. If you take a picture at a medium shutter speed (1/125 or 1/250) the image will be crisp at certain parts, and blurred in the other places. At a fast shutter speed (1/500- 1/2000) the image with have very sharp details.

5. Watch your aperture. The aperture will control how much of your picture will be in focus due to the light, it is generally referred to as your depth of field. At an aperture of f/2 your picture will be bright and have a shallow depth of field. If you adjust your camera to a medium aperture(f/4-f/8), the depth of field will be greater. The background of your image will be sharp, but the foreground will continue to be slightly blurred. The smallest apertures (f/11-f/22) will create a strong depth of field. Everything in the image will become focused.

6. Choosing your light. Should there be a little light? Should there be light at all? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before taking that picture. Light something people have different feelings about. Some people enjoy dark images, while others are right the opposite. If you want light, but always end up with to dark of an image, you may want to look into purchasing a flash. The flash will allow you to light up a dark image.

Hopefully, you've walked away from this with a better understanding of your camera, and with an understanding of a few ways to take a successful picture. Keep those camera's working!

© High Speed Ventures 2011