F. Blurred background
G. All in focus
D. Down in the action
E. Shot from above
and your color problems will magically disappear.
At the office party, switch the white balance to
“Fluorescent.” In the shade (H), just set it to “Shade”
and the blue tint you see with auto white balance
Put the background out of focus
This is a trick the pros use to help their subjects stand out, instead of blending in with a busy
background (G). If you take photos with an automatic point-and-shoot compact camera, just
switch the “Mode” dial on top until it shows a small
photo of a person. That switches your camera’s settings to make the background softer and more out
of focus (F).
If you use a DSLR camera—one with interchangeable lenses—switch your camera to “Aperture
Priority” mode and then use the smallest aperture
number (f-stop) your camera will allow (f/3.5 or f.5/6
or lower, if you can). Next, put about 6 feet between
your subjects and the background. Stand back, use
your camera to zoom in nice and close, and voilà—a
nice out-of-focus background and a more professional look for your portraits.
Move in closer
Most people stand back too far (I) when taking a
portrait, so use an old trick: Get everything framed up
the way you want it—then take two or three big steps
closer (J). After moving closer (or zooming in
tighter with your zoom lens), the photos look much
more engaging, and more professional.
H. Poor color
I. Back too far
Get down low for
photos of kids or pets
Most shots of children or pets
look kind of ordinary (E) because
people typically take these photos
from a standing position, aiming
the camera down. That’s the way
the average adult usually sees kids
and pets, and that’s why the shots
look so average.
J. Closer is better
Ready to take these shots up a
big notch? Get down low—really
low, sitting or even lying down.
This new perspective changes
everything, and gives your photos
of pets (D) and children a much
more professional look. I haven’t
changed camera settings or the
light whatsoever. I just got down
on the floor, and with this new
angle little Monte looks dramatically better.
There you have it—simple tips
to help your holiday images look
like those of a professional. C
Costco member Scott Kelby is president of the
National Association of Photoshop Professionals,
editor in chief of Photoshop User and Layers
magazines, training director for the Adobe
Photoshop Seminar Tour and technical chair
of Photoshop World.
N OVEMBER 2010 e e Costco Connection 3 9
11/10/10 10:16 AM