Photography Tips from the Pros at Canon

by Megan Hoeppner

Winning Photo by Stephen Cunliffe, 2009

Canon Photography in the Parks winning photo by Stephen Cunliffe, 2009


For a unique summer vacation combined with hands-on photo training, opportunities to test out Canon photo equipment, and advice from well-known photography experts, check out the Canon Photography in the Parks event and photo contest hosted in some of the country's most breathtaking national parks.


* Yosemite Natioinal Park: June 4-28
* Grand Canyon National Park: July 4-26
* Yellowstone NationallPark: August 1-8
* Acadia National Park: August 16-23


Canon invited me to attend lone of their events ast year, and I'm telling you it's not something you'll soon forget. Whether you're a photo enthusiast or an advanced photographer, there's something new to discover and great fun to be had. Here are just a few of the tips I learned on my trip:

Framing the Perfect Background

  • Photo Enthusiast: Would you like to shoot a sunset on the horizon of the Grand Canyon or a tall structure like the Empire State Building and not have to kneel or walk backward to capture the full frame?  

    Check out your camera's Landscape Mode, which minimizes the size of the lens opening and provides maximum sharpness for distant scenes.


  • Advanced User: When composing your pictures, always have the horizon line near the top or bottom of the frame and avoid pictures where the horizon line cuts the scene in half.  

    In terms of composition placement, make sure the scene is off center, thus providing interest to the picture.  

Give Yourself Room to Zoom

  • Photo Enthusiast: When shooting a picture always remember to stand a comfortable distance from your subject, especially when shooting close-ups. Rather than leaning in too close to the person you're shooting, stand back and zoom in for maximum impact and a clear shot.  If you stand too close, not only will your photo be blurry, but your chances of having red-eye in the photo will increase. 


  • Advanced User: Convey a sense of depth in a photograph by composing your scene with a foreground element (tree, fence, rock, etc.).    

Night Shots

  • Photo Enthusiast: Is it impossible to take good pictures in the dark?  Absolutely not! Whether you're shooting fireworks on July 4th or snapping shots of your friends in front of the Eiffel Tower at night, try setting your camera to 'Night Mode,' which slows your camera's shutter speed, allowing for more light to enter the frame.  This casts the perfect amount of light on both the subject of your photo and the memorable attraction behind it. Using an SLR?  Set your camera on a tri-pod and use the self-timer to release the shutter. That will avoid a blurry picture caused by camera shake. 


  • Advanced User: If you want to shoot in the TV (Shutter Priority) mode, choose a slow shutter to streak the lights of moving cars. This will make an interesting nighttime effect.


For more expert advice, visit Canon's website, where you'll find tutorials, tips, workshops, and more!


To learn more about how to make the most of your digital photos, check out the July/August 2010 "Tips & Tricks" column found in Creating Keepsakes magazine.


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