Musings: Photography

(If you missed my introduction to “Musings” yesterday, you can read it here.)

Today’s topic is: “5 tips to take the perfect photo”

I am by no means a professional photographer, nor can I claim to know how to take THE perfect photo, but my smartphone (with its 21MP camera) and I are inseparable. And like every other parent, I think that my children are certainly photo-worthy. So, here are my top 5 tips for taking pictures.

TIP #1: Take Ten, Delete Nine
The beauty of digital photography is that there is (almost) no limit to the number of pictures you can take. So, take advantage of this and snap away. Just remember that the real key to success here is to go back and delete the bad, blurry, and eyes-closed shots right away. If you think you’ll do it later, when you have time, let me assure you, it’s probably not going to happen, and your phone (or computer or memory disk) will be full before you know it.


TIP #2: Avoid Back Light, Unless You’re Going For That Effect
Our living room is our center of daily activity in the winter. It’s cozy and warm, and full of natural light thanks to two extra-large picture windows. Unfortunately, those windows (and the bright snow outside) make it hard to take decent pictures. So, if you want to see the cute faces of people in your pictures, make sure you avoid bright back lighting.



TIP #3: Embrace Contrast
Some of my favorite pictures this time of year are from our little farm. The gray trees standing out against the stark white snow or the vibrant red of a homemade strawberry shortcake.



TIP #4: Zoom In
No one likes complicated backgrounds detracting from the overall picture, so crop photos to minimize these distracting backgrounds. I especially love super-up-close pictures of people and food (did I mention the shortcake?).



TIP #5: Don’t Forget About Filters
This is a tip I don’t do very often, but hope to start doing more. A few simple changes can turn a so-so picture into a truly special shot. (By the way, when your toddler is being extra quiet in the other room, go be sure she isn’t putting healing salve all over her face, hair, and clothes.)

I’d love to hear your favorite photo tip too. Share a comment below.

~Phoebe DeCook


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