1)    Read the camera manual and ask for help if you do not understand something.

2)    Use a tripod, monopod, telephone pole, or any other support when taking the picture. A steady camera results in a sharper larger print.

3)    After you frame the picture, step into the picture if you can and re-frame. Sometimes less is more.

4)    After your picture is framed, check the edges and eliminate hot spots, deep shadows, and unwanted elements.

5)    After you have taken your picture, turn around and check in all direction for other photos.

6)    In most cases placing the main subject of your picture off center provides greater impact.

7)    If photographing a person (or animal) the eyes should be sharp and looking toward the camera.

8)    If photographing people (or animals) try having the folks looking at each other not you.

9)    Visit art galleries and book stores. It is okay to “borrow” ideas from the Greats.

10) Photograph kids, birds, animals, and etc at their level.

11) If the sky is “bald” frame it out of your picture.

12) The best light for photographing is early morning and late afternoon. In general, quality light provides a quality picture.

13) Use the middle of the day to scout out locations for morning or evening shooting.

14) An overcast day is great for photographing water and waterfalls. A long exposure, greater then ½ second, results in the misty look.

15) Fog can be used to hide unwanted background.

16) It is not true that all the great pictures have been taken. Your backyard or town can be great places to be creative.

17) Use a polarizing filter to eliminate reflections and a graduated gray filter to reduce contrast. A polarizing filter can be used to increase exposure time at a fixed f-stop.

18) Practice, practice, and practice. Pick a subject (flowers, water, bugs or whatever) and shot at least at 100 images then have them reviewed See PT-23. You will see improvement with each practice session.

19) If your camera stops working, try removing the battery for a few seconds. It is just like a computer, cycling power might fix the problem.

20) Before the “trip of a life time” check the camera batteries, clean the lenses and the camera sensor, and review the camera manual.

21) Check your camera setting often!

22) Travel with a small AC to DC converter to charge your batteries on the fly.  An AC extension cord with power strip is useful in the car or hotel.

23) Join the Photographic Society of America (PSA) and use member services to improve your photography.  In addition the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) sponsors a three day photo fest at UMass Amherst in July.  This is a great place to immerse yourself into photography which includes workshops with some of the best Pros, model shoots, setups and more.  (PSA website: http://psa-photo.org/, NECCC website: http://www.neccc.org/).