Top tips for taking good digital photos

  • Digital photos are made up of a mosaic of tiny squares called pixels. Each pixel is a solid, uniform colour. The quality of an image depends partly on the number of pixels used to create the picture. This is often called resolution. The more pixels in an image, the more detail that is captured.

  • It is not recommended to enlarge images above the size they were initially taken at. When you enlarge any digital image, the pixels start to show, an effect called pixelisation.

  • Select a high quality mode on your camera. Look up your camera manual for a section on image quality, image size, compression or JPEG.

  • Image sizes are expressed as dimensions in pixels (1600 x 1200) OR by the total number of pixels (1.9 megapixels). For example, an image with these dimensions would print out well in a 6” x 8” format.

  • JPEG is usually the default format used by most digital cameras. This format allows you to specify both image size and compression. There is a trade-off between image quality and compression. Less compression gives you better images so you can make larger prints but more compression allows you to store more images on the memory card.

  • If your pictures are blurred, it may be as a result of the camera shaking slightly as you press the shutter button. Most blurry photos are caused by this. You may also be too close to the subject or the subject may be moving too fast.

  • Most shutter buttons have 2 stages. When you press it half-way down, the camera sets focus and exposure. When you press it all the way down you take the picture.

  • On some cameras you can also press the shutter button all the way down in one action, but there will be a delay before the photo is taken and it may be out of focus.

  • If the focus sensor blinks when you press the shutter button halfway down, the camera may be having difficulty focusing.

  • If photos are too dark, you are probably too far from the subject. Most built-in flash units are only good up to about 3 metres. They don’t have the power to illuminate subjects much further than that.

  • If the photos are too light when using the flash, you may want to reduce the flash power.

  • When photographing an off-centre subject, you place the subject in the centre of the viewfinder initially and press the shutter button half-way down.

  • Without releasing the shutter button, compose the image the way you want it and press the shutter button the rest of the way down to capture it.

  • Never take pictures of the sun or other bright light sources. Doing so can injure your eyes or the camera’s image sensor.