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We love the outdoors and all of us at Fixate enjoy photography.  It seems that we can’t go anywhere without a camera of some sort, whether it’s an iPhone or our Canon 1Dx MarkII.  Over time, we have learned a lot of tricks that will help you improve the quality of your photos and create memories that will last a lifetime.

  1.  When possible, try to shoot with the sun at your back or your side.  Shooting directly into the sun will most likely create unwanted shadows, especially if people are in the picture.  By front lighting the subject, the overall quality will be much more appealing.
  2.  Select the lowest ISO possible, such as 200 or 400.  By using higher ISO numbers such as 800, 1600, 3200 or higher, there will be more digital “noise” introduced into the image.  This digital “noise” takes away the crispness of the image and can make the overall photo appear pixelated.
  3.  Typically, wider lenses are better in nature because they provide a good overall perspective and something your eye typically can’t see. Telephoto lenses tend to isolate too much. Ideally, if you are shooting with a DSLR camera, we recommend a zoom lens such as a 24-70mm.  Of course, these will vary by manufacturer, but this is a good range.
  4.  Set the camera’s white balance to automatic.  This will allow the camera’s sophisticated electronics to calculate the settings for the best reproduction of natural color.  You see, color shifts throughout the day and it’s measured by something called the Kelvin scale.  This can sometimes be difficult and time consuming to manually white balance a camera, so we recommend letting technology handle this portion of the shot.
  5.  Consider finding an object such as a flower, rock, or tree to help frame the sides of your photo.  This can sometime add unique appeal.
  6.  Don’t be afraid to experiment. You are only limited by the amount of space on your memory card, so shoot away.  You can always delete photos later if you begin to run out of space.
  7.  Play around with your focus and a phenomenon known as depth-of-field.  This is where you focus on closeup subjects and intentionally blur the background.  You can control the amount of depth-of-field through a combination of shutter speed and aperture control.  Aperture is the amount the lens opens during a photo and is usually measured in strange numbers (like f2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, etc.).  The smaller the number, the more blur will occur.  The aperture settings work inversely with shutter speed, so if you decrease the time the shutter is open (i.e. going from 1/250th of a second to 1/500th of a second), your camera will open up the aperture (or go to a smaller number) and it will change the way the image appears.
  8.  For early morning and late evening photos when there is little light, we recommend the use of a tripod.  This is because you will need to use a slow shutter speed to capture the image properly, and the slow shutter speeds can cause camera shake or blurring.
  9.  Carry spare batteries, memory cards and a lens cleaning cloth.
  10.  After you have downloaded your memory cards play around with them in post-production programs such as iPhoto, Affinity Photo or PhotoShop. By doing this, you can enhance many different characteristics in your photos and get the best possible results.

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