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Top Ten Tips for Better Outdoor Photography

by Matt Lindler, NWTF Photo Director

1. Keep the sun to your back. This ensures the scene is always well lit.

2. Use a tripod. This will help eliminate blurry pictures due to movement as you hold the camera. If you don't have a tripod, use anything else you can to stabilize the camera, such as a stick, etc.

3. Squeeze the shutter release like you squeeze a rifle's trigger. This helps reduce blurry photos from camera shake.

4. Don't be afraid to turn your camera on a vertical axis. A scene may look better vertically than it does horizontally. Shoot both ways and experiment.

5. Centered is not always better. Sometimes the focus of an image looks better when it is not dead center in the frame. When photographing a moving subject, give the subject room to move in the direction it is heading. If a turkey is walking from left to right, give it more room on the right to walk into. This makes for a more pleasing composition than if the turkey was walking off of the frame.

6. Watch the background. Avoid putting power lines, telephone poles, etc. into the background. Make sure no foreign objects look like they're growing out of your subject's head or body.

7. Get close to your subject. When photographing people, focus on their eyes or face.

8. Try to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon, if possible. The sun casts a softer, warmer light during these hours that looks great in photos.

9. Encourage people to smile. Chat with your subjects and get them to loosen up and show pleasant facial expressions. A portrait of nothing but straight faces is uninviting.

10. Take lots of photos. Practice makes perfect, and the more photos you shoot, the more fun you'll have and the faster you'll learn. Remember, you can make as many mistakes as you want with a digital camera and not waste any film.




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