One has to learn how to take great pictures, because it is the photographer who takes the photos, not the camera. You may take excellent pictures with an inexpensive digital camera, while someone else might shoot pathetic photographs with a top of the line SLR.
However, with effort everyone can learn to take good pictures. Some of the points that need to be learnt are:
-- Try to hold the camera level by aligning it with natural horizontal lines, like the horizon.
-- If you aim your camera slightly downwards on the subject’s face, you will give a more complimentary effect. Take a view from one side, to get a three-quarter view of the face, which will give a better picture.
-- Avoid putting the subject in the center of the frame. This is a habit most people find hard to break. Remember to move close and put the subject slightly off center.
-- Think about the focus of your picture, when you frame the shot. If you are trying to capture the expression on your child’s face, you can leave out the other children, the swing, the dog, etc.
--. Turn your flash off if there is sufficient light. A camera flash may make people look pale.
-- Use soft ambient light that is available under a tree. The light filtering through a tree can give better results by warming up the skin and throwing a soft light on the features. You will get a similar effect if you shoot indoors near an open window.
-- Always be conscious of the background. Many good photos are ruined by the clutter in the frame. Change your position to avoid a messy background.
-- Change the white balance from auto to cloudy, for warmer, richer colors. The macro mode can open new possibilities for close-up photography, giving you new perspectives on everyday objects.
-- A polarizing filter can improve landscapes by reducing glare and reflections. It can give richer, saturated colors.
-- A small tripod can give you a much better shot, by lending stability. Tripods are not meant only for professionals, as some people think. Using a self-timer can put you in a number of pictures, where you are usually not visible.
-- You can use the camera with a tripod and a timer, with a slow shutter speed, to capture the effects of moving water, in streams and waterfalls.
-- Get a media card with plenty of memory, so you will not run out of space, at a crucial time. Shoot at the highest resolution allowed by your camera, to get the best results and sharper enlargements.