Take Your Best Shot!

I do not own a camera.  Yep.  I heard that collective “gasp” out there in the blogosphere.  Admit it: your image of me as mom extraordinaire is totally blown.  I take all of my pics on my iPhone 3G, which means a) The quality of most of my pics is pretty darn pathetic by most photographic standards. b) I have no flash, and so all of my pics must either be taken outdoors on a sunny day, or in a light store.  c) I am lazy about moving my pics from my phone to my computer, and so if I ever accidentally drop my phone into the seal pen at the Lincoln Park Zoo, proving to my children 20 years from now that they did in fact have a happy childhood will be difficult.

Today, I say “no more” to this camera depraved lifestyle I lead.  I am taking a stand against my phone pic habit and embracing real photography.  And camera manufacturers everywhere are even enticing me with cute cameras in fab shades.  Case in point: a red Canon PowerShot digital camera, which would of course look adorable with these cute Prada flats.

And to show how truly committed I am to using my phone exclusively for phone calls (and texting, and GPS, and email and…) I even did a little research on how to take a good picture:

1. Get down!  Hold your camera at the subject’s eye level.

2. Before taking a picture, check the area behind your subject.  Look out for trees or poles sprouting from your subject’s head!

3. Use flash out doors.

4. Move in close and fill your picture with the subject.

5. Take some vertical pictures.  Many subjects look better!

6. Lock the focus to create a sharp picture of off-center subjects.  Here’s how you do it:

  • Center the subject.
  • Press the shutter button halfway down.
  • Re-frame your picture (while holding the shutter button halfway down).
  • Finish by pressing the shutter button all the way.

7. Move it from the middle.  Bring your picture to life simply by placing your subject off-center.  Since most cameras focus on whatever is in the middle, remember to lock the focus on your subject before re-framing the shot (see tip #6 above).

8. Know your flash’s range.  For many cameras, this is only 10 feet (or 4 steps away).

9. Watch the light!  For people pics, choose soft lighting (think cloudy day).  For scenic pics, use long shadows (think really early or really late daylight).

10. Be a director.  Add some props, rearrange your subjects or try a different viewpoint.  Hint: bringing subjects together tends to let personalities shine!

And always say “cheese!”

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