March 24, 2015

Whether you’re using a point and shoot, a smartphone or a DSLR, we’ve got some basic camera setting explanations to help get you started with making fabulous photos that deserve to hang on a wall:

– ISO: (go as low as possible–200 is low, 400 is higher, etc.). If shooting indoors, or in a darker location, you’ll probably have to boost ISO to 400 or higher. Some cameras have settings like “Party” or “Indoors.” Try and see what you get.

– Focus Mode: Start with Auto Focus (AF). Most smartphones and Val-Text-Heartpoint and shoots allow you to tap the LCD screen to select the focus point. Tap your chosen focus point, hit the shutter, then check what you got via the LCD. Zoom in.

DSLR cameras generally show a moving focus box or bracket set when you look through the viewfinder.

– Resolution/Image Size: Since you are printing you will want the best quality and the biggest size. Depending on your camera, select the high/best qualify/superfine jpg. If you are making something large, like a photo panorama wall hanging, the larger the pixel by pixel count, the better.

If you have a DSLR that produces a RAW file format (this is the largest file size and it contains a lot of information) you will need additional software to open and retouch a RAW file. Here are extension names for four brands: NEF=Nikon, CRW=Canon, Sony=ARW, ORF = Olympus.

– White Balance: Start with Auto White Balance (WB). Take a photo. A photo taken indoors with any light bulb lighting nearby often displays a slight unnatural color cast. If the Auto setting does not return a photo that looks great, consider setting to Incandescent or Fluorescent.

Colors still look odd? Try other setting options, experiment with the in-camera color grid picker (available on most DSLRs and some point and shoot cameras). When all else fails, consult the manual.magnet-girl

 – Scene Mode: Let the camera do the work for you by selecting a Scene Mode. Fireworks, Portrait, Sport, Indoors—just a sampling of some settings your device may have. Of course you can work in Manual and dial-in the aperture and shutter speed as desired.

– Turn on Vibration Reduction/Anti-Shake option if your device has it. Even better—use a tripod or place the camera on a flat surface.

The best way to really see how well you (and your camera) operate is to order photo digital prints. You can do this by uploading image files to Photo reprints can be ordered in sizes from 4” x 6” to 20” x 30”.

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