Many of you have asked for tips you can use to take better photos with your own cameras. Some of you will most likely get cameras over the holidays. If you want to know more than the 3 tips I have here, I’ll be teaching a class through Olympic College’s Continuing Education Program next month in January. I will be going over the basic camera controls and settings, composition techniques, and what do do after the photograph is shot. The class is CEAC 042 Digital Photography Basics and is on Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Jan 13, 20, and 27. To register call Olympic College at 360-475-7786 or e-mail them at

In the mean time, here are

Three Tips to Take Better Photos with your Digital Camera

1. Know what the controls on your camera do. If you a messing with your camera trying to figure out which setting to use, the moment will pass and you will miss it and your photos will end up looking staged. Get out that manual and learn which settings are best for which uses. It is amazing what you can do when you know which setting to use.

2. Use the rule of thirds. When composing your photos, they will be more interesting to look at if you think about dividing your frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically and then put your subject at one of the intersections. Many cameras on the market now even put a grid in the viewfinder to help you compose using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds help you create an asymmetrical balance to your photos that will make your photos more “active”.

3. Pay attention to the background. Look to see what is going on in the background of your photo. Is it too busy? Will it distract from what you want the viewer to see? Sometimes just one step one direction or the other can eliminate things in the background that compete with your subject.

Want more: stay posted or sign up for the class! I will be doing a class through OC in spring and a workshop at our studio in February as well. I also will be posting tips here now and then. Until then happy picture taking!