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Updated: Aug 3, 2020

The Basics

We are using Canon 3000d dSLR cameras for the IMAgEN8 workshops. Remember to put the camera strap around you neck when you pick up the camera.

Once you find something beautiful or interesting to take a picture of, look through the viewfinder of the camera, zoom in or out to suit the subject, and gently half-click the shutter to focus. You'll hear a beep and see red lights lighting the parts of the picture that will be in focus. If the red dots are not on your subject, move the camera and half-click to focus again. Pause for half a second and decide if the picture you see through the viewfinder is what you want to capture. Remember, what you see is what you get! Once you are happy with the composition, press the shutter all the way and you'll hear the click of the shutter indicating that the picture has been taken. Look at the picture on the display and check if it is clear and in focus. Take a few more pictures of the subject, spend time with it before you move on to the next thing. Don't be afraid to shoot four or five versions, as the LCD screen is not always accurate. You can delete the bad pictures later.

The most common mistake people make is camera shake. When you move the camera inadvertently at the time you press the shutter, you risk the chance of blurring your image or reducing the sharpness of the image. Keep it steady!


One basic rule of composition is known as the rule of thirds, or the tic-tac-toe rule. Imagine your viewfinder or LCD monitor divided into nine equal-size squares, like a tic-tac-toe grid. Compose your picture with your subject center-positioned at one of the four intersecting points. This should help you compose more aesthetic portraits.


The cameras have an autofocus zoom lens. You will discover that the ability to zoom in on your subject is fantastic. Get bold. Use your zoom lens and compose your picture with the subject filling your frame. When you look through the viewfinder, look at the whole picture frame and how big the subject is in your picture. Remember, what you see is what you get! Some things can be adjusted on the computer, but best to get it right in the original image.

Changing the Point of View

Another thing to consider when taking your picture is your point of view. A picture can be more interesting when taken from an unusual angle. Don't be afraid to lie down and look up at your subject. Equally, you could try climbing up to a higher viewpoint and looking down on your subject. Better yet, try both and then delete the one you like less.

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