Everyone has a story to tell, and a growing number of people are turning to photography as a tool for either self-expression or recording the important moments in life. As a science that has grown and changed considerably with the advance of technology, it is important to stay informed with tips from those who are experienced and knowledgeable in the field.

To create photographic images that resemble paintings, try having your photos printed onto matte or semi-gloss papers, then painting them by hand with photographic oils or pastels. These items can be picked up at most art supply stores and many camera shops. The most popular paints are made by Marshall’s and are created specifically for use on photographs.

In order to take good pictures, get closer to what you want to photograph. Many cameras allow you to zoom in on your object, but you will get a better quality photo if you actually get closer instead of relying on the zoom feature. Besides, you need to take a good look at what you are taking a picture of so as to get a better feel for it.

Select a subject and focus on it. Point your camera towards this subject or object and use the auto focus feature if necessary. If you do not do this, your picture will look blurry. Play with conventions and select an unusual point of focus if you want original pictures.

Pay attention to your light. The lighting in a photograph can bring a subject into better focus or change the mood of the picture. Different lighting setups will result in very different photographs. Avoid harsh direct lighting on your subject’s face, as this will generally cause them to squint.

When aiming for the perfect shot, remember to keep sunlight in mind. Too little and you can’t see the subject. Too much and one of two things happen. The first is that too much sunlight is directed into the camera’s lens or on the subject and washes out the picture. The second is the person being photographed has to blink or close his eyes because of the massive amounts of sunlight coming into his eyes.

A good photography tip is to use color contrast as a way to create your focal point. Basically this means the area you want the viewer to focus on should have high color contrast. A good way to achieve this is by putting two pure colors side by side.

Many cameras allow you to set the white balance. This setting tells the camera which colors to see as highlights. When shooting in artificial light (indoors) set the while balance setting to the “artificial light” mode. It will make your photos look as if they were shot in natural light.

With these helpful hints, you are ready to move forward in cultivating skills that will greatly improve the images that you capture. Practice your newly learned techniques and apply them to photos of family, events, business and community affairs. Everyone can hold a camera in their hands, but only those who pay attention to the details will capture the moments, in a skilled and artistic way.