Digital Cameras 101: How to Take Pictures Like the Pros

Digital cameras may seem complicated but these easy tips will have you taking pictures like a pro in no time.

1. Your flash is completely useless if your subject is more than eight feet away. Don’t bother using it unless you’re shooting a close-up shot.

2. If you accidentally erase photos from your memory card, you can still retrieve them as long as you haven’t used the card since. Search the Internet for “memory card recovery” to find and download recovery programs.

3. Take more artistic pictures by avoiding putting the subject in the center of the frame. You’ll get the most interesting photos when your subject isn’t centered, but is positioned off-center, to the left, right, up, or down.

4. When you’re using a smartphone camera, it won’t take a photograph until you lift your finger off of the shutter button. So rather than giving it a fast tap, place your finger on the button and wait until you have the photo framed just right, and then release.

5. Experiment with contrast. If you are shooting outdoors at noon on a bright, clear day, normal contrast may make your images appear terrible. See if toning down the contrast will soften the shadows and eliminate hot spots. If the light is weak, you may be able to improve the image by adding contrast.

6. Turn off auto focus. While auto focus is useful, if you always let your camera select the focus you could be missing out on some great images. Maybe you’d like part of your subject to be out of focus. It’s an artistic decision and your camera cannot make that decision for you. So try using manual focus when you can.

7. Defrost your images. The default white balance setting for digital cameras is auto, which is fine for most snapshots, but tends to be a bit on the cool side. So when shooting outdoor portraits and sunny landscapes, try changing your white balance setting from auto to cloudy. This is like putting a mild warming filter on your camera that increases the reds and yellows, creating richer, warmer photographs.

8. You don’t need a tripod to hold your camera steady; supporting it against a fence, wall, or tree will help you avoid camera trembling, and a beanbag (or just a bag of rice) can also give you a more stable shooting platform.

Sources: The New York Times,,,,,

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.