Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DIY - 5 tips for editing and creating beautiful digital photo projects.

I am not a professional photographer... by any means! I do love to add photos to my blog and even more I love taking pics of our crazy life! I mean, some days I just need proof. I have a simple digital camera, a little Cannon PowerShot, that I wouldn't want to be without! I still have so much to learn about taking better photos, but here are 5 of my favorite tips for newbies like myself.

1. Play Around. Even a simple point and shoot has various options available. My little digital camera is simple, it isn't as intimidating as my DH's hulking Cannon, but there are still some simple settings I can play with to achieve better results.  Though I am tempted to leave the setting on "Auto"... switching to Macro for showing off details can be a huge help. Here is the difference,

The before shot is on auto and the second shot is on macro. See the difference?

2. Cover Up. Have you ever taken a pic of an item, or in my case it would be a product, and the package or container has too much glare? Usually this comes from the light reflected back from the flash. This is one tip my DH taught me that is so simple and slick. In my camera case I have a business card, but a sticky note or small scrap of paper will work as well. Don't cover your flash completely, but hold the paper at an angle near the base of the flash. This will let some light out near the top, but diffuse it quite a bit. This is great for reducing the glare from dishes in food shots.

Yes, there is still some glare, but much easier to tell what the product is a picture of. Play around with this one. I haven't mastered it yet, but my DH is a pro.

3. Auto Balance or Saturation. Depending on if I am using Adobe, Picasa or other editing programs check to see if there is an auto balance option. Sometimes all you need to do is click on it to boost the colors perfectly. When I was a graphic artist (before being a SAHM) I would often adjust saturation to touch up photos. Color is so key to a great shot! If you are not sure how to adjust the color balance in your particular program, do a quick Google search on the topic. You will be able to find specific instructions for your particular situation.

4. Clever Cropping. An artistic eye for the perfect shot would be nice, but many photographers enhance this vision by clever cropping afterward. Of course there is a limit, but focusing on the subject of your photo instead of just presenting a wide shot will convey your message more clearly. Do your subject justice. Of course photos with kids can often be saved from the digital trash if you crop out hands or legs. Focus on their facial expressions, or crop out the stack of dishes in the background.

5. Greyscale Save. This is the last dirty trick a newbie needs to keep up their sleeve. Sometimes a slightly blurry photo or a photo you aren't as happy with will turn out great when put in black and white. Greyscale makes everything look more dramatic and classy, IMHO. Go beyond this by adding color to just certain key items in your photo or leave it in good ole' black and white.

See how easy that was? Yeah, I have so much more to learn. If you have a great tip to share, please leave a comment. I enjoyed writing this, and want to thank TwitterMoms & Adobe Photoshop for this great topic!

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*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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