Inexpensive digital cameras make it easy and affordable for anyone to become a good photographer. Unfortunately, it takes more than a camera, even a good camera, to take high quality pictures. You must also educate yourself on the proper use of digital cameras.

Photography is an art form. It takes a certain way of looking at things to be able to take pictures that are truly impressive and rise above the ordinary. Fortunately, this can be learned and the skills get better with practice.

Let's begin by analyzing some common mistakes people make when taking digital pictures.

Not Knowing Your Camera

Your camera's manual is a valuable resource. Using it will help you to get the most from your camera's features.

Not Using a Tripod

Tripods help you to achieve sharper pictures, even in low light conditions. It's well worth the extra time and effort. You may not always be able to use a tripod, but it can greatly improve your results when this is possible.

Not Allowing Enough Time for the Camera to Focus

Digital cameras need some time to focus properly and to get the right exposure. Depending on the situation and camera, this could take a fraction of a second to several seconds. Get in the habit of accounting for this when taking pictures. A little patience goes a long way in improving your photographs.

Relying too Much on Zoom

Zoom is a great feature, but it does make the picture grainier, so it's preferable to get closer to the subject then to rely too much on zoom. Of course, keep safety in mind, too. A grainy picture is preferable to entering an unsafe situation.

Relying too Much on the Flash

Natural light generally provides the best pictures. Flash can make pictures look harsh and unnatural, so it's preferable to use natural light as much as possible.

Not Taking Enough Pictures

A digital camera with a good memory card can easily store many hundreds of pictures. This makes it easy to experiment. Try many different angles and compositions and simply delete the pictures you don't like.

Always Putting the Subject in the Exact Center

Pictures like this can get boring. Learn the rule of thirds in composition and you will achieve better, more interesting photographs.

Forgetting to Check the Horizon

If you can see the horizon, make sure its horizontal in the picture. This can be a good way to level your shots.

Selecting a Low Resolution Setting

It's generally not necessary to select a low resolution setting on your camera. It's better to buy additional memory for your camera than to rely on a low resolution setting just to save memory space. Digital memory keeps getting cheaper and it's a good investment for photographers.

Trying to Include too Much

Don't try to cram too many objects and or people into one picture. Pictures are usually more effective when they focus on a single subject. Simplicity is often better than unnecessary complexity.

Not Using the Camera

You never know when you will get a good opportunity to take some great pictures, so make a habit of always having your digital camera with you.