Photography for beginners: 04 The subject is backlit
This problem is similar to having a predominantly bright scene as the metering maybe fooled by the bright areas around the main subject so that the important part of the image is dark.
Exposure compensation and manual control can come to the rescue, but you need to assess the exposure that’s required for the subject and the best way to do this is to switch from the Matrix or Evaluative metering to Spot or Centeweighted metering.
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Photography for beginners: 05 You’re shooting a macro subject
Very close subjects tend to give AF systems problems because they expect the main subject to be a little further away and they often make the lens hunt around. In some cases it may miss the target altogether.
The first step is to set the AF point carefully so that it’s directly over the subject. If this solves the problem, then great, but in many macro situations it’s better to focus manually.
If possible activate the camera’s live view and compose the image on the main screen.
Then use the magnify control to zoom right into the most important part of the subject and adjust the focus until it’s sharp.
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Photography for beginners: 06 Shooting in warm/cold light
Most automatic white balance systems to a fabulous job of producing natural-looking images, but they have a habit of over-correcting in warm or cool light so that the image looks more neutral than the scene appears to our eyes.
In many cases the problem can be resolved by switching to the Daylight white balance setting, or tuning the white balance to make the image slightly cooler or warmer as required.
Conversely, some systems also cannot cope with artificial light and the images have a strong colourcast.
This may be corrected by switching to the white balance setting that specifically designed for those lighting conditions.
Alternatively, you can set the white balance manually. With most cameras this is just a question of finding and activating the custom white balance calibration mode (it’s called Preset Manual on Nikon cameras) and photographing a neutral white or grey card in the same light as your subject.
With Canon DSLRs, take the photo of the white target first with AWB set, then navigate to Custom White Balance in the menu and, when prompted, select the image. The last step is to set the white balance to the custom setting.
You could also use the Kelvin setting to adjust the white balance until you get a result that you are happy with.
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