Some Common Photography Problems – Digital Photography Tip of the Week

I have discussed in the past some common problems people often experience with photography and how they can be corrected. Crooked photos, too much background in your images, red eye. When polling some co-workers about a topic they would like to know more about, these were all issues that came up.

I have already covered how to straighten a crooked photo in a previous tip. Of course, it is always better to get things correct when you take the picture, but if not, you can still correct the image in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements or any other image editing program you may use.

The issue of too much background in a photo is a common one, partially caused by the photographer, but not always entirely. In my tip about moving in close to your subject, I explained how filling your frame can improve your images. Unfortunately, many optical viewfinders in cameras do not offer 100% coverage, that is, they do not show everything that will be recorded on your image. Some may only show as little at 80% of what will be recorded on your photo. So filling your frame on a camera may not be enough to completely fill your photo with your subject. A little cropping on the computer is all that is necessary to correct that though.

I talked only briefly about red-eye when discussing the use of external flash units. You can still minimize red eye when using an on board flash by using the camera’s red eye reduction mode. This will either create a few bursts of the flash prior to taking the photo or turn on an secondary lamp, again, prior to taking the photo. Both methods accomplish the same thing, forced the subject’s pupils to shrink, lessening the change (not eliminating it) of red eye. Another option to ask your subject to look at a bright light for a short second before take the photo, again to accomplish the same shrinking of the pupil.

I was also asked about white spots that appear in some digital photos. These are most likely caused by dust in the air near the lens when the photo is taken. The size of the sensor in many digital camera’s is quite small and one of the side effects of this small sensor size is an increase in depth of field. The small white specs you may see in your photographs are really the light of the flash illuminating dust in the air. The relative distance to the lens and sensor, brightness of the light due to the proximity to the flash, and increased depth of field of the smaller sensor size all contribute to these particles being reproduced on film. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to delaminate this issue other than clean your photos up using an image editing program.

I hope the topics I covered today remind you of a few of the basic things you can do to improve your photography. If you have a problem you are not sure about, please leave a comment

Until next time, happy shooting.

The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently the President of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo of the Day website. If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography he can address in the newsletter, send it to

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