There is one product that is given away as a gift more often than any other product and that is a digital camera. The hardest part about receiving a gift like this is learning how to use it. Photography classes are the best way to learn how to properly use a digital camera but here are a few basic tips to get started.

1. Choosing the Correct Setting

The easiest mode to learn in is the Auto Mode. In this mode the camera decides the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and flash for you. The other modes which are fairly simple to use include: Portrait Mode-the camera will automatically focus on one object, Macro Mode-for up close objects such as a flower, Landscape Mode-this is just the opposite of Portrait Mode and focuses on the whole scene, Action Mode-the camera will attempt to freeze an object during its motion and Night Mode-this mode is for low light situations. Manual or semi-automatic modes require the user to set all the functions and it is best to take some photography classes to learn about these settings.

2. Focusing the Camera

When learning on how to focus on a shot it is important to keep in mind what the points of interest are and where these points should be placed in the photo. One of the first lessons learned in photography classes is known as the “rule of thirds” for well-balanced photos. Imagine breaking the view finder into thirds both horizontally and vertically leaving nine imaginary squares. By placing your points of interest at the intersection of these lines the photo will be natural and well-balanced.

3. Taking the Shot

When the subject is focused in and the shot is ready to be taken one of the most common problems occur “camera shake” which leads to blurry photos. The easiest way to avoid this is by leaning up against a solid object or kneeling down. It is also amazing how much just taking a breath of air can shake a camera. To eliminate this take a deep breathe, exhale and take the shot before inhaling again. When pressing on the shutter just apply gently pressure. A shutter button does not require a lot of force and by pressing hard the camera is actually moving. Never press the shutter with the tip of a finger either, always use the flat part of the finger instead. This keeps the finger horizontal to the camera which helps in controlling the camera and it stops the camera from shaking.

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