There are many types of photographers, casual, intermediate, advanced, and professional. There are many types of cameras from inexpensive point & shoot to very expensive pro DSLRs. Just because the person standing next to you has a pro model and you’re using a point & shoot doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will take a better photo.
Some of the advantages of a DSLR are the ability to change lenses, much faster start up time and writing time to the card. Other advantages include more menu choices, faster burst rates, the ability to use lens filters, and higher ISO settings.
Whether your camera is a 5 megapixel or an 18 megapixel you won’t tell the difference on your computer screen. They both will produce a very nice 11x14 print. The rule here is simple: the benefit of more pixels is the ability to render larger prints. Another advantage of more pixels is when cropping a photo you will still have enough pixels left for an 8x10 or an 11x14 print.
Most people don’t like to read manuals but it is a great advantage to learn as much as you can about your camera. An important part of your knowledge should include white balance. Sometimes auto WB will do a decent job, but most of the time a custom WB setting will create a better photograph. After studying your manual…then practice, practice, practice!
Before shooting be sure all your camera settings are correct. Now study the light. Often the best shots are achieved 90 degrees from the sun. Take horizontal and vertical shots and lots of them. Be creative and use different angles. When shooting children or pets, get down on their level.
Very few photos come out of the camera looking perfect. Learn the art of post editing to make your photos “pop.” For example this photo taken in Sedona, Arizona, is right out of the camera.
After a few minutes of editing, that photo looks like this! (Click on photos for larger view.)
After editing save your photo using the “Save As” command, thus saving the original.
Now that you’re proud of your photos, you will want to share them. You can email them to friends, print them, frame them, post them to the Internet or even make a photo book.
Lastly you’ll want to protect your photos. Be safe, not sorry, by copying them to an external hard drive!