Tuesday’s Take a Better Photo Tip: Don’t use flash

So you bought a DSLR to take better pictures of your kids – better than your point and shoot, only to find out that you actually take WORSE pictures with the so-called better camera.  Why is that? Well, firstly the point and shoot doesn’t let you make mistakes, but you actually have to know what you’re doing with a DSLR.

Secondly, the point and shoot always uses a flash indoors.  Well 95% of the time.  You know why that is?  Unless you’re standing near a window in daytime, taking pictures of your kid inside is just too dark.  For the lens that came with the camera, that is.  Or a zoom lens.  So you’re not going to get what you want…at least not that way.

So here’s my self-help #1 tip for those who attempt to buy their way to better pictures.  Although your first buying-up experience didn’t net you anything, this will:

NEVER, use the built in flash! At least not indoors, or if you can help it anyway.

Buy an external, hot-shoe flash.  And you must make sure of a couple of things before you do:

1) does your house have white ceilings?  If no, you can’t use any of these tips in rooms with colored or wooden ceilings. Wait for another tip on another day!

2) the flash must be able to be rotated upwords in order to bounce off the ceilings.  While you’re at it, get one that also swivels, unless you like having to buy the same thing twice and having to upgrade a year from now when you understand why it’s useful.

And from now on, indoors at night, use the external flash pointed up towards the ceiling, not facing your subject.  The light falls down from the ceiling, larger and softer than it would’ve and voila, no more shiny foreheads!

Stay tuned for other tips.