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Canon® PowerShot® Digital Field Guide by Michael Guncheon

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Chapter 4. The Fundamentals of Photography

In This Chapter

  • Keep it simple

  • Composition basics

  • Make it sharp

  • Understanding light

  • Understanding exposure

Although understanding how to set up your PowerShot is a good first step, the key to great images is understanding how to compose your photo and using the camera's sensor to capture the vision you have in mind for your photograph.

Merely pointing the camera and shooting doesn't make great images. Good photography takes practice, patience, and perseverance. Practice means carrying your camera everywhere and taking pictures — lots of them. You need patience to wait for the right light or for a scene with moving subjects to form properly. Perseverance is needed to keep trying different exposures and different compositions in order to capture a great shot. Also, do not be discouraged if the shot that looked great on the LCD doesn't make a good print. Learn from your mistakes and also from any happy accidents.

Keep It Simple

Think of some of the great photographs of the twentieth century: the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima or the Afghan girl with the piercing green eyes who stared out from the cover of National Geographic. While the message each image conveys may be complex, the photos are created using the same basic techniques. Your message can be as simple as "Rowen's Birthday" or as complicated as "A man walking alone at sunrise thinking about the world around him." Your viewpoint and a simple composition can more clearly present your ...

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