If you or somebody you know gets a new digital camera (even as a gift), but has limited photography experience, this information will help get them started.

1. Right Camera – double check if you actually received the ‘right’ camera. There are three things that make a great digital photo, (a) the size of the sensor (larger is better), (b) the number of mega-pixels (MP), and (c) the quality of the optics.

2. Batteries – you want to try and get a camera that can take NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries. They last the longest and can save thousands of dollars over the life of a camera. If you want a slim (very small) camera, then Lithium-Ion batteries are ok too. -if your camera isn’t good and you don’t use the right batteries, you will be opening up a money pit-

3. Rule of Thirds – make sure you think about putting people and objects into thirds in the frame. If there is one person, put that person in the left or the right had portion. Don’t put the person in the center, a common mistake, as this creates a feeling of stillness or aloneness.

4. Lighting – pay attention to the light. Take pictures of people near the bright light of windows. Experiment with turning all of the light on in a room. It’s also important to use a flash gun ‘off camera’ to eliminate unflattering lighting.

5. EV Value – otherwise known as exposure compensation value. Look it up in your camera’s manual and start to use it. It will help increase the light quality (or decrease it) in your photos. It’s an easy way to bracket.

6. White Balance – also look this one up. It will make a big difference in your photos by providing the right ‘color balance’ for each room. Get to know how to do this. Hint – you will need blank white sheet of paper.

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