Taking better photographs is a combination of proper technique, talent, and experience. Once you have shot your best work, you should consider sending your pics to a company that specializes in digital photo printing services, digital photo restoration, and 35 mm negative slide scanning, in order to obtain digital quality prints, even if a digital camera is not your preferred medium. Photo printing, restoration, and scanning services also give you the option of purchasing a CD of your photographs, which can be an invaluable backup resource in the event that your original files, film, or prints are lost or damaged.
One thing that photo restoration and 35 mm slide scanning services notice is that most people stand too far away from their subject, and since most photos are taken with digital cameras nowadays, this problem is becoming more prevalent. Before digital cameras, professional camera men used the term shoe leather zooms, when describing their photography techniques, meaning that if they wanted to zoom in on the subject, they just walked closer. Even if you are utilizing an antique camera, or a drug store disposable, you can improve your photographs, just by getting a little closer to your subject before taking the picture.
It is important to focus on your subject, and less important to focus on the really pretty flower or interesting tree next to it. It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised if you knew that amount of crowded shots that the average digital photo printing service company sees in a week, let alone a day. In other words, going along with the first tip, do not be afraid to get closer and make the subject, not the background, the focus of the picture. Take a look through the photo archives, particularly those of family portraits, and you will see that more often than not, the subject, (or subjects) was always the focal point of the shot, regardless of what was in the background.
You should think of the viewfinder of your camera as being divided into three columns and three rows, and position your subject in a way that will cover as many of these blocks as possible. Often, the only real distinction between a professional photograph and an amateur one, according to digital photo restoration and slide scanning pros, is the placement and size of the photographs subject. At the risk of sounding redundant: do not be afraid to move in for that close up.
If your family is like most, you probably have dozens upon dozens of photos that you have accumulated over the years. Some of your photos might even be on 35 mm slide negatives, or in even older formats, depending on how old they are. One of the most fun things about having old photos is seeing them restored to crisp, digital quality, and reputable photo restoration and slide scanning service companies can provide this service for you. When taking new photos, whether they are of your babys first steps or your family vacation, here are some tips to make them memorable:
Have some patience! This is particularly true when it comes to photographing young children, who are notorious for not staying in the same place for more than about three seconds at a time. Posed shots look nice, but it is often the natural, candid portraits that are most memorable.
Avoid the Crowded Effect. When shapes and colors compete with the subjects of the photo for attention, everyone loses. One way to combat this is to leave the background out of focus, which can be achieved by staying close to the subject and moving them forward, away from distracting backgrounds, people, art work, walls, etc.
Avoid Shooting In Broad Daylight. This is because harsh light can wash out colors, blur facial features, and create glare. If you must take photographs in direct sunlight, have your subjects turn at a 45 degree angle to reduce the above undesired effects.
Take More Action Shots. Candid shots, action shots, i.e. blowing out birthday candles, decorating a Christmas tree, running through a pile of leaves, etc. are sometimes the most memorable photographs of all. The trick to taking good action shots is patience, and adopting the practice of always carrying your camera. This may sound like more trouble than its worth, but the truth is that you never know when the opportunity for a great photograph will surface.
Once you have some memorable photographs to your credit, make sure to have a photo CD made in case of loss or damage of the originals, and also, be sure to store your photographs in albums that are acid and PVC free, since traditional magnet albums can actually degrade photos over time. Be sure also to write identifying information on the backs of each photograph, using a permanent marker. Future generations will thank you.
If you were to compare the video industry to the car industry, you would find that like Toyota and General Motors, Canon and Panasonic are clearly the market leaders for professional videographers.
One might expect a comparative review of the Canon XH-A1S and the Panasonic AG-HMC150 to be a long drawn-out affair and if we were a video magazine that needed 3,000 words, we'd probably do just that but when you look closely at each camcorder, you find there is very little difference between them.
The Panasonic, for example offers a-third inch three-mode image processing capability but so does the Canon A1S. Further, you would find that both of them shoot in high-definition mode, though the Panasonic has the edge in that it shoots at 1920 by 1080 or native high-definition mode, while the Canon shoots in 1440 by 1080 resolution. This is still high-definition mode, but with just a slight difference in resolution.
The Canon, though, offers a proprietary processor engine called the DIGIC DV II while the Panasonic doesn't list its processing engine, although since it is a very capable camera, we would suspect there's a specialized engine hidden somewhere in the camera body, as well.
Looking closely at modes, the Canon will shoot at three speeds 60i, 30 and 24 p, which the Panasonic also offers. However, the Canon does take this about six steps further by offering six resolutions and speeds at which you can shoot. The Canon also offers, thanks to its DIGIC processor, Optical Image Stabilization and while both cameras feature native 28 mm lens that are effectively 35 mm when you consider focal length, the Canon's comes out ahead at full extension because its 20X zoom effectively makes their camcorder 700 mm device that, when using their stabilization, makes images clear and sharp.
The Panasonic's images are also clear and sharp but they rely more on the image-processing mode technology for this. Panasonic's lens is only a 13X which means that it is also a shorter lens and that will also tend to limit any blur or shake because the Leica lens is about 455 mm and physics comes in here.
Really, aside from the capability offered by the DIGIC processing engine such as Instant Focus and 22 built-in operating modes, there is really physically very little that separates these two cameras.
The Panasonic does have two items going for it that the Canon lacks: waveform recognition and vectorscope focusing. Each gives the Panasonic a bit extra in the some low-light venues and in versatility.
Other than that, they're pretty much on a par, or at least we found that to be true.