How to take better pictures | How About Orange

February 26, 2010

How to take better pictures

Blog reader Andrea wrote a post this week summarizing what she learned in a digital photography class. She kindly made her notes available right here. Anyone interested in product photography might find this DIY collapsible light box tutorial useful, compliments of Amy Kingman. I myself am not a stellar photographer, but as for my two cents, I got a new digital camera for Christmas this year. So far I love it. It's a Canon Digital Rebel XSi. (This picture is my old camera taken with my new camera.) My single best tip for taking decent photos: study the instruction manual that came with your camera. I know you're squirming with dread at the thought, but seriously, it will help you.

Update: More useful tutorials here, at I Heart Faces.

47 comments:

Sandy said...

wow, thanks for the link to the blog that has lots of tips for photographers! i plain to do a post like that someday as i am new to photography as well!

Grandma G said...

I want to see a pic of your new camera taken with your new camera! I've seen your old one before.

Jess said...

I tried to do that but failed.

Caroline said...

Thanks for sharing! I need all the help I can get!

iris said...

I got an XSi for Christmas, too! I also bought a photography book specifically written for my camera. And that's helped a lot, too. Way more pleasant than the manual.

Kosmika said...

Wow!! this is useful!
I'm just trying to build a new and decent light box...
and I do belive in reading instructions: at first I try and experiment, but sometimes to discover some funcions of what you have just bought you do need the manual. :)
My boyfriend will disagree,I know. Men hates to ask, even to manuals. (That's why GSP navigators were invented)

Marisa@make*happy said...

I'm jealous of your rebel. I'm craving more megapixels.

And I'm making an appointment with myself to read the blasted manual. :)

Nikki said...

Excellent! Thank you for the lead. That was very helpful.

Trying hard to retain it all...whoops, it already slipped away.

Alli (One Pearl Button) said...

I also have an XSi that I completely love. That camera has literally changed my life, I recommend it to everyone!

Lori said...

Oh my gosh, I so need every part of this! Thanks and I'm headed to follow links now.

CitricSugar said...

I actually used that tutorial (or part of it, anyway) to build a lightbox. It was a necessity. I just wish I wasn't so extremely lazy when it came to setting it up and that it was little bit bigger.

Andrea said...

Thanks!!
Blessings,
Another Andrea

remarkablydomestic said...

Thanks for this! I've been trying really hard to improve the quality of my photos. I think my Rebel is an XTi? But I love it. I also got a book (the "For Dummies" series) that is specific to my camera, and that helped a lot too, as the previous commenter mentioned.

Jennifer Katherine said...

I love my Canon Rebel!

Molly said...

I got that camera for Christmas as well and I love it! And I agree, the instruction manual was really helpful!

Teresa @ good-grace said...

FanTAStic!! Thank you for pointing us to these great tips... I need all the help I can get.

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for this post! I've only recently started to go beyond the "auto" setting. Sad I know. But I love my "old" PowerShot G6 and I'm excited about doing more with it. This came at a great time!

Sara&Eva said...

Actually, I prefer to use colourful backgrounds for my photos, but it's good to know differents ways to take a picture.

Thank you so much!

kermiefrg said...

Just wanted to tell you that I just spent the last couple of hours going through all your archive posts. I'm hooked! As a fellow graphic designer in the Chi area, we have a lot of similar interests! Thanks for such a great blog! I'll be following now : )

heather said...

Thank you so much for this link! I can use all the tips I can get! :-)

paperscissors said...

i follow your blog because of the eclectic nature of your postings, the pretty things, the wallpaper things, the orange things and today i happily learned some valuable things. thank you, i do not comment enough to reflect how much i thoroughly enjoy your blog!!!

Jess said...

Awesome! I have been looking at how to make a light box. Love this idea!

sara lee said...

thank you for this post! I am always looking for info on taking better photos.
Your blog is SUPER inspirational and so helpful - I really appreciate your time and work in sharing all of these good things!
sara lee

Jess said...

You're quite welcome.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the links!

I recently put up a post about the importance of using a tripod (and the timer function) if you don't always have perfect light to photograph your still life creations. A lot of people found it helpful.

http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2010/02/low-light-pictures-with-point-and-shoot.html

Sarah said...

thanks for the link. i am actaully preparing do a post on this very subject this week!

Amyface said...

Your old camera is my camera! I'm trying to save up to make it my old camera as well. It's a goody but oldy.

Heidi said...

Love love love our digital Rebel. I prefer the "try it and see what happens" school over reading through manuals, but that's just me. :)

My husband got a unipod (i.e. a tripod, except with 1 leg, not 3) for shooting with the longer lens he bought and likes it a lot.

Entertain Exchange said...

I got the same camera for Christmas as well. I love it. Thanks for the photo box tips...I really need to make one and it looks easy.

Cathy Lyons said...

Hi! I love your blog first and foremost. Secondly, I wanted to share another great light box link from The Strobist...

http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

The nice thing about this light box is that you can soften the light easily! Check it out if you get the chance. Lots of great photo tips as well.

The Needle Shop said...

We have a DIY Product Photography class coming up in March!
http://www.theneedleshop.net/fashion.php

BLONDEDESIGN said...

Great wrte up, you can never learn enough. Kx

zelzee said...

Thank you so much! I have such a hard time getting good pictures..

Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life said...

Been focusing on my photography lately, guess I'm getting that dang user manual out...

Umatji said...

Great post! I know what you mean about the manual but I am so not wanting to read the words as I know it is true and you are right I dread it!

Cheryl Oz said...

I got an XSi last year for Christmas. I love it!!!

megan v said...

I just got myself an XSi a couple of months ago and can't believe I ever lived without it!!! I agree that reading the manual, or even easier, the "For Dummies" book specifically for your camera is essential. So many people just point their cameras at things and click. If the point of a photo is to enjoy it - take one that is enjoyable to look at!

Laura said...

Thanks for the info! I'm dealing with the subject these days while taking pictures for my online shop. Reading the instructions is a really good thing to do, I had to gather all my patience and concentration to do it but I'm glad I did... I have a Canon too.

Raru said...

Lovely. Thank you SOOOOO much for this tutorial :)))
WIsh you a great day :)
xoxo,
Raru

Levinson & Axelrod said...

Thanks for the link with the DIY light box tut. That was brilliant! Your blog is brilliant as well, I'm following this one.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Going to check out that DIY light box tutorial. I need to make one. I had your old camera and just got the new Rebel about 6 months ago... you're going to LOVE it! Getting new lenses really made me fall in love with mine.

This is a link to my photography web site. It's great for beginners. We have a bunch of awesome tutorials about getting to know your DSLR camera. Hopefully they will help you or your readers:

http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/2007/10/tutorials-your-camera.html

Jess said...

Amy, I'm excited to check it out, esp. to learn about lenses. Thanks!

Cat Sitter in the City said...

Thanks for the info. I mostly photograph cats for my blog, and I get some great shots--when I can get them to stay still!

andrea of ffft said...

Just wanted to thank you for your link! Was pretty sure I did this already, but was probably so excited when I saw your post that I headed right over to see if anyone followed it :) Better late than ever I s'pose! Good blog vibe heading right back atcha... Cheers!

Beadcharmer said...

Thank you soo much for all of the wonderful information. I learn something everytime I visit your beautiful blog!

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this article.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

I Heart Faces said...

Just noticed your link to I Heart Faces! Thanks so much:-) Hope you're enjoying your new camera. The lenses are what makes everything look so great. You should attend a photography workshop sometime. Bet there are great ones in the Chicago area.

-Amy

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