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Yolande, our Digital Diva exposes all (Posted On: Tuesday, December 20, 2005)

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OK boys... time to get focused when you capture that special moment...

Sure, we all have digital cameras and can instantly review our work... but all of the fancy software in the world can’t make up for a badly composed picture taken in poor lighting with your finger over the lens. Here are a few tips on how to get a great shot the first try!

The first rule of photography is always, pay attention to what is IN your picture. Like, sure, your three hottest female friends dressed in cute snowboard outfits are all lined up atop ‘Tranquility’ and you’re poised to take their picture…but take a quick 5 seconds to check out what else is in the picture that you might not have bargained on. Some random guy bent over adjusting his bindings with butt crack showing? A group of teens smoking pot (oh no wait, that would be in Whistler not Collingwood!) It’s much easier to recompose a picture or wait for the butt crack guy to move on than spend hours in Photoshop later trying to edit him out. At a party I once took a picture of a big group of friends and didn’t notice that the creepy dude that had been leering at me all night had somehow snuck into the shot. Took me HOURS to edit him out, and I’ll never get that time back.

Second rule, get closer!! Subjects can get lost in a sea of background, and let’s face it, if you wanted to take a picture of the grassy hillside, you’d take a picture of the grassy hillside. Move in closer to your subjects, and you’ll always be pleased with the results…within reason of course, nobody wants to be made aware of a slight nose hair problem because of one of your shots.

Third rule, take a few minutes getting to know the settings on your camera. Most of us think that the switch to digital means we no longer have to spend time fretting over what kind of film to buy (100ISO, 200ISO, 400ISO, I don’t know!) which is true…but you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes when you actually switch on the NIGHT setting on your camera at night. Go on, try it, you’ll be amazed!

And last but not least, warn your subjects about your cameras particular behavior. ie. If you have it on the red-eye setting and your camera will flash 26 times consecutively before taking a photo, let people know so they don’t return their faces to the slack and stray-eyed position after the first one.

By: Yolande Lougheed (Digital Diva)

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