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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Capturing the Moment: Simple Tips for Memorable Photography

Jul 01, 2012 08:37PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Festive Fourth of July celebrations and summer’s golden pleasures offer numerous opportunities to “freeze-frame” friends and family members in the act of having fun. While point-and-shoot moments, as well as 60-second video clips, can be captured by anyone with a cell phone, special keepsake-worthy shots may challenge the abilities of amateur photographers new to more sophisticated digital cameras.

“The capability of the equipment is essential, but even more important are the visual and technical abilities of the photographer to envision and deliver a true treasure,” says Eileen Laibinis, owner of Photo2Designs. A professional photographer with 15 years of experience in art photography and digital design, Laibinis notes that the lighting of outdoor shots often challenges photography newcomers. She offers several simple, easy-to-remember tips for taking perfect photos outside.

• Snap multiple pictures to get “the one” you really seek. Shoot from varying distances and different angles to ensure a variety of photos from which to choose.

• Use different settings on the camera for different lighting effects. Practice before the event, by taking under- and over-exposed pictures.

• Play with the camera’s f-stop, which indicates how much light the lens is letting in. The smaller the f-stop, the more light that enters the camera. Most lenses vary from f-4.5 (wide open) to f-22 (closed down). Try adjusting the f-stop and see how it changes your photo.

• Use the flash as much as possible, both indoors and outside, especially when the backdrop is a sunset.

• During a sunset, if the lighting is beautiful, turn your subject around and capture the light on their face, rather than positioning their back to the sun.

• Lighting behind a subject produces a silhouette effect, which can be interesting. If you want a portrait, use a flash to light your subject’s face.

• The distance between you and your subject makes a difference in the lighting. Try different exposures of the flash to get the correct lighting.

• Be aware of any flare from the sun into your lens; if this happens, you can attempt to block it with your hand. However, it is best to purchase a filter for your lens.

“The most important thing to remember is to have fun experimenting with the camera,” advises Laibinis. “The biggest selling point for purchasing a good digital camera is that you can learn from your mistakes and then delete them.”

Eileen Laibinis, 239-272-7730.

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