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Taking the Perfect Photo is Possible: Follow These Tips to Find Out How

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/19/2011

If you want to take the perfect picture there is a lot to think about: equipment and settings, lighting and composition and even the subject you are shooting. Get some tips for making that ideal photo a reality.

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    Taking Pictures 

    Before you can learn how to take the perfect picture, you must be able to define what perfect means. Photography is a form of art, which means that perfection is completely subjective. What one photographer deems ideal may be completely off base in another photographer's eyes, and a client or patron might have another opinion entirely.

    As you strive to capture what is, in your estimation, the perfect photo, the first step is to determine the type of photography you want to produce. Once you have done so, study what works best for that particular niche and then work to improve your skills.

    Some key knowledge and ability is pertinent to all manners of photography. Although the specifics on incorporating them will vary from one genre to the next, learning about and improving upon your awareness of and expertise in them will move you ever closer to taking the perfect picture.

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    The Best Equipment

    Nikon Camera + Tripod 

    In order to take the perfect picture -- or at least the best possible photos -- you must have suitable equipment. While you do not have to go broke buying a camera, chances are good that you will not achieve perfection taking pictures with your cell phone. Invest in a quality camera that has the settings and features you require. Read copious reviews by both experts and average users to determine which camera is the best one for the types of photos you wish to take. Check out digital camera buying guides as well to help you make an informed decision while staying within your budget.

    Along with a good camera, you must have the proper accessories, including tripods, filters and lenses. You cannot skimp on these tools when you are endeavoring to capture a flawless image. Again, reviews, ratings and buying guides will point you in the right direction.

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    Consider Your Subject

    Photographers 2 

    As mentioned previously, taking the best photos depends greatly on the types of pictures you shoot. For instance, if you are a portrait photographer, you should seek out interesting backdrops, utilize your tripod and experiment with poses and composition to produce stunning photos of people. If nature is your niche, you must learn to work with natural lighting, since you do not have control over it as a studio photographer does. Your photos will benefit from a keen understanding depth of field as well, so that you can add interest and emphasis to each photo.

    When learning how to take the perfect picture, think about the primary subjects you shoot and determine what skills and equipment you require to improve the quality of those photos.

     

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    The Right Lighting

    Studio Light 

    When trying to learn how to take the perfect picture, determine what factors you can control and use them to your advantage. Likewise, consider what elements you cannot influence and find ways to work with or around them. One such dynamic is lighting. If you work in a professional or even home based studio, you have the advantage of complete control over the lighting you use. Implement as many lighting options into your studio as you can, as the more options available the better.

    While you cannot dictate the lighting when taking outdoor photographs or even location photography, you can learn the best times to shoot by taking photos of the same scene throughout the day and in varying weather conditions. In addition, you can enhance outdoor lighting with the use of a flash and other portable lighting options.

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    Carefully Selected Composition and Angles

    Framing 

    No matter what type of photos you typically capture, you can get closer to learning how to take the perfect picture by polishing your photographic composition skills. Work towards becoming acutely aware of how you fill each frame. Study the rule of thirds, which advocates placing focal points near intersections of an imaginary grid. Try out various angles to depict the subject in different lighting and viewpoints. Move your own body as well. A good picture can become a great one when you go from shooting on a tripod to shooting while flat on your belly. The key is to take hundreds of photos and study them to learn what works and what does not.

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    Benefit From Editing

    Guy With Laptop 

    Finally, you must learn to use photo editing software. These programs can become a photographer's best friend, as you can use them to remove red eye, smooth away blemishes, crop to create the ideal frame and even filter your photos after the fact. Read tutorials for the software you choose to use and play around with the various features and tools. Becoming skilled in the editing application of your choice can take an outstanding picture and nudge it even closer to perfection!

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    References

    HP.comKodak.com

    BetterPhoto.com

    Images:

    Taking Pictures: sxc.hu/Edwin Pijpe

    Nikon Camera + Tripod: sxc.hu/Csaba J. Szabo

    Photographer: sxc.hu/Edwin Pijpe

    Studio Light: sxc.hu/Edwin Stemp

    Framing: sxc.hu/Jeff Hire

    Guy With Laptop: sxc.hu/Renxx Gmdr