Digital Photography Techniques.

Using natural light in digital photography is far superior to that of using a flash or other artificial light source. Whilst there are some top of the range cameras that can produce highly realistic lighting, the average consumer camera will produce flash photos that really ruin the overall quality of the camera. Not only is it often easy to identify that the picture has had some artificial manipulation, but also with a flash it can be almost impossible to get the absolute desired effect you want.

Optimise your environment.
When using digital photography it is essential that you optimise your environment for taking the best quality photos possible. If you are taking a photograph indoors, you should always open the curtains or adjust the blinds so that you can let in your desired amount of sunlight. If you are outside, you need to first check if there are clouds in the sky as they often produce a better result, and you need to ensure that you are under enough shade to get the desired effect. The great thing about clouds in that they diffuse the sunlight for you creating less harsh shadows, and an overall more high quality effect.

Use anything that can enhance the photo.
Now once you have optimised you environment for taking the best photos possible, it is time to adjust the settings on your chosen camera. Most modern cameras today come with a set list of functions and things that you can adjust in order to take the best photographs. One of the best things that you can adjust is the aperture to decide how much of the available light you wish for the camera to use.
If it is a bright and sunny day you may want to increase your shutter speed in order to get the proper exposure, however if there is low light you will want to set your aperture open. Aside from this you can adjust the various other tools that your camera has available to produce the best looking photos. Just remember to not over compensate natural light with effects, as this will ultimately ruin your photo.

Positioning and lighting. 
The final core aspect of taking a high quality photo that utilises natural light, it the positioning of the people/objects you are shooting, as well as the direction of the lighting. Based on the desired effect you with to capture with your camera you need to make some adjustments to both the positioning of the objects you are taking a picture of in accordance to where the light is coming from. Again this is all based on the result you desire from the photo, but generally it is always a good idea to make sure that wherever your objects are positioned, they make the most of the sun light available. You can also move your position if you need the objects to be in a certain place for the effect, but this is completely your own choice.
Remember, with natural light photography, it is the effective utilisation of the light available that determines whether a camera captures the desired effect or not. For this reason, it is important that you keep finding new ways through experimentation, and eventually you will develop a sense of techniques that can aid you in taking the best photographs possible.

The "Rule of Thirds"

The rule of thirds is a way of describing where to place focal points in a photograph.

Focal points are the areas of interest in a photograph. If you are taking a portrait, the area of interest is the person's eyes. If you are taking a landscape it could be a tree in the foreground.

Here is a photography tip - do not put the areas of interest in the middle of the photograph.

Photographs work better when the area of interest are placed off center.
How far off center?

There is an old rule of thumb to guide you on this.
Imagine a grid drawn over your photograph that divides it into thirds, like a tic-tac-toe grid.

Now, picture that middle square in the grid. The four corners of that square mark the locations of your areas of interest.
Now move your point of interest away from the center of your photographs and onto the "thirds".

Start to do that and you will be well on the way to mastering this simple, but powerful photographic technique!

Camera Shutter Speed

A camera's shutter speed controls exposure, but it's also a powerful creative tools.
It can convey freeze action, motion,  isolate subjects and smooth water, and much more.
This tutorial explain how to create these different effects.

A camera's shutter lets in light to start the exposure, then closes to end it.
A photo represents an average of light over time.
"shutter speed" is used to describe this duration.

When a scene contains moving subjects,  The choice of shutter speed determines which of these subjects will appear frozen and which will appear as a blur.
However, one cannot change the shutter speed in isolation without also affecting the exposure or image quality

The combinations of ISO speed and f-number (aperture) enable a broad range of shutter speeds.
More light enables faster maximum shutter speeds, whereas less light permits slower minimum shutter speeds.

Achieving the intended amount of blur can be difficult. For a given shutter speed, three* subject traits determine how blurred they will appear:
Speed. Subjects which are moving faster will appear more blurred.
Direction of Motion. Subjects which are moving towards or away from the camera usually won't become as blurred as those moving side to side
Magnification. A subject will appear more blurred if they occupy a greater portion of your image frame. Longer focal lengths (more zoom) result in more magnification for a given subjects distance, but this also increases the likelihood of blur due to camera shake.

A common application of using shutter speed to convey motion is with moving water.
Shutter speeds of around 1/2 a second or longer can make waterfalls appear silky.
Freezing the motion of splashing water required a shutter speed of 1/400 of a second.

You can also use a slow shutter speed to emphasize a stationary subject amongst movement, such as a person standing still with a moving trains as a background when the shutter speed is as slow as about 1/10 to 1/2 a second.