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Learn Outdoor Photography.

Taking pictures in general is easy. Learning how to get good outdoor pictures will take patience, practice, and good timing.

I happen to be a fan of outdoor photography, especially portrait photography. I like the natural lighting.

How to get better outdoor photos.

Here are a few tips and techniques to take better outdoor photos with your digital camera.

Time of day.

The best time to get good outdoor photos is earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon or when the sky is overcast - these times will all help to even out your pictures and you won't get the harsh glare from the sunlight.

There have been many mornings getting up early traveling to local malls, antique malls or the beach to get portraits of kids and grandkids.

Antique malls are fun because they decorate walkways and store fronts for the season and they usually have outdoor displays of antique farm equipment and other things that are great backgrounds. No studio setup, they've done it for you.

Malls are also nice as you have a variety of background textures for your portraits like brick walls, stucco walls, and decorations like lamp posts, benches, and more.

Sometimes a rainy or windy day can be a great day for getting fun photographs of the kids or still life photos.

If you're looking for a good romantic setting, try later evening when the sun is setting for soft diffused lighting.

If you are taking pictures on a sunny day in the middle of the afternoon, try to keep your subject(s) in the shade or at an angle from the sun to avoid squinting and a washed out face.

Tripod.

If you have a tripod, bring this along so you can experiment with slower shutter speeds allowing for more depth of field.

If you don't have a tripod, experiment with your camera's settings so you know what shutter speed you can use and get a good picture that isn't blurry.

Reflectors.

If you have a reflector(s) bring these along as well to help supplement the lighting.

Watch the background.

Because you want the focus on your subject, don't let the background overpower them. If there is a busy background you really want in the picture, zoom in on the subject so the background is slightly blurred.

Rule of Thirds.

Remember the Rule of Thirds when composing your photo.

Use the imaginary tic-tac-toe frame, and place the important components of your picture along the lines or their intersecting points.

It is said that placing an object: a tree, a person, the horizon, etc. on one of these lines or intersections; or close to them, it creates a more interesting composition.

Putting your subject right in the middle of a picture can be boring. Try experimenting with the same picture by centering one in the middle of the frame, then using the rule-of-thirds in another frame. See what you think of the results.

Camera Techniques for better outdoor photography.

Filters.

If you have the capability, try using a polarizing filter on your digital camera lens. A polarizing filter can be used for eliminating glare and reflections and can be used to darken the sky.

Using the flash.

You may think just because you are outdoors you won't have to use a flash. This may be true for quite a bit of outdoor photography but there may be times when you will want to use your flash to help eliminate shadows from someone who, for instance, is standing in the shade.

Test using your flash for the range limitations.

General outdoor photography tips.

Don't be afraid to be creative and try a new perspective for the photo; such as standing on a ladder looking down on your subject, etc. Try a few candid shots as they can be fun and relaxing for your subject vs. posing.

Change the scenery so you have a variety of backgrounds, walk around the area you are at, public gardens offer an abundance of backgrounds.

The best way to learn outdoor photography is practice, take multiple pictures of the same thing using different camera settings, time of day, and angles then go home and review them. Try practicing with people and using the available landscape as you may not use the same settings.

We want you to improve your outdoor photography skills and get better results, so go have fun.

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