Digital Camera Basics for Quality Digital Photos

Basic tips for getting the best photos from your digital camera:

There is a great degree of difference in the quality of digital photos produced from different makes and models of digital cameras. To go further, the degree of quality difference is even greater between lower and higher priced digital cameras. If you have not purchased your digital camera yet, I highly recommend you buy the best quality camera you can afford.

Even though this quality difference does exist, there are a few simple things you can do to produce the best quality photos from whatever digital camera you use. A few of the pointers in this article are just common sense tips, and some are more technical in nature. Using these simple tips when shooting photos will help you produce the best images possible from your particular digital camera.

To get down to the real basic and common sense advice for photo taking, you first and foremost have to hold you camera steady. I know this may sound silly, but you would be surprised how many photos we get that have mild to severe camera shake. This camera shake really becomes obvious when the photo is enlarged.

A good tip is the same tip given for shooting firearms. Slowly exhale while snapping the photo, and hold your arms at a 45 degree angle from the vertical or horizontal plane. This will help you have a steady hold on the camera. Better yet, if you have problems with a steady grip, the best thing to do is rest the camera against a tree or other firm steady structure when shooting. Best of all, use a tripod, especially in low light conditions.

Digital cameras are very light critical, more so than film cameras. The amount and direction of the ambient light is very important when using digital cameras. It is hard to get a well balanced photo when shooting into the direction of the source lighting.

This is where making specific white balance settings can make a real difference in color and tonal qualities with digital cameras. Even when shooting in an auto mode with any digital camera you should be able to set different white balance modes. Learn what the different setting modes mean for your particular digital camera and use them for different ambient lighting conditions. It will make a big difference in the quality of your digital photos.

Probably the most important thing you can do to take better digital photos is to always have your camera set on the highest quality, or resolution setting. No matter what the megapixel rating for your camera is, the higher the image resolution the larger the amount of image data that is collected. Image data translates into more and finer gradation of color, finer image detail and more dynamic image contrast. If you are worried about the amount of pictures you can take for your storage card, get a larger capacity card. This is by far the most important element for higher quality digital photos.

The average person is usually using a digital camera equipped with auto focus. The time it may take for a camera to perform this auto focus is sometimes longer than you may think. Also, the camera’s ability to auto focus accurately in lower light conditions may be an issue. I would recommend reading your camera’s operations manual to get a working knowledge of these two focusing aspects. After all, how good can a photograph be if it is not in focus. Photo enlargements really make this problem obvious.

Many digital cameras have the feature of capturing the image with different file formats. The file format used for taking digital photos can make a difference in the quality of the photo. Most point and shoot cameras use the JPG file format. The JPG format used in most of today’s digital cameras is better and just a few years ago. The JPG format is a compressed file format which reduces file size so more images can be captured in a smaller storage space. You will get good photos using this format, but may encounter slight issues like a chromatic hazing around finer image details contrasted by the sky or something lighter or brighter.

If you have a file format setting choice with your camera, I would recommend using either the RAW or .tif format. Either of these formats will capture more image data, and most RAW format cameras capture with a higher color gamut, or capture a wider range of color. Even if you convert a 12 or 16 bit color image to 8 bit for printing, the fact that it was captured with a higher color bit, means you still will have a wider range of color in the print. Once again, you will need more storage card capacity using these formats, but the increase in photo quality will be worth it.

I would also like to say a couple things about digital camera zooming. You see some makes and models boasting 8x and 10x zooming capabilities these days. Well I really question the quality produced with this type of zooming and believe this to be just a marketing ploy. You may be surprised at the cost of a high quality long distance lens. I would suggest keeping your zooming more in the 2x to 3x range with point and shoot cameras and never use the digital zoom. This will create a resampled photo with much lower quality.

These are just a few basic points you may want to keep in mind when shooting digital photographs. To really get the highest performance possible out of any digital camera I would highly recommend reading and learning the details of the camera outlined in the owners manual. There you will find all the ins and outs of your particular make and model which will give you the absolute knowledge for the finest quality photos. Happy Shooting!

Workshops, Expeditions, and 1-on-1 Training

"Where the Fun Begins with your Smartphone Camera" (2 Hours)

"Beyond Auto Mode Smartphone Photography" (4 Hours)


Dark Skies Elephant Butte Lake


T or C, NM

DSLR / Full frame, Cropped senors, Micro 4/3. Point and shoot with manual operations.

Cost $756.00 per person

Cost Couple/Friends Cost $700.00 per person

March 23-26, 2020

Milky Way- City of Rocks Dark Skies , Star Trails, and possible Lightning 3 Nights.


Faywood, New Mexico

DSLR / Full frame, Cropped senors, Micro 4/3. Point and shoot with manual operations.

Cost $756.00 per person

Couple/Friends Cost $700.00 per person

Sept 27 - Sept 30, 2019 (This Date is FULL)

Sept 16- Sept 19, 2020

Designed to improve the areas that you would like to learn such as:

  • Focusing
  • ISO
  • Exposure
  • White Balance 
  • Resolution and File Type, 
  • Use of Filters: Both in Camera and Lens Mounted Filters.
  • Connecting Your DSLR to Smartphone or Tablet
  • Camera Trigger Systems
  • File Management
  • ETC.

Workshops are 2-8 hours of training. Most of instruction is in the field using your equipment and the provided equipment from the workshop instructors. Hands-on in-the-field experiences. Small student to instructor ratio. Actual taking of photographs so you experience what the workshop is teaching in real time. See the results immediately, then being able to adjust your technique to achieve your goals. Limit six students. Instructors are there to teach; they will not have a camera taking photographs.

Self-pace, enjoyable locations to photograph. Semi-formal instruction. 2-5 Days and Overnight Stays. 


Instruction will be in a classroom environment.

Designed to take a student from level 1 (point and shoot) to level 3 (understanding exposure and your camera capabilities). Most of the training is in the field with a small number of students. 

This is a free service! We want to make sure you will be happy with your photograph.

Tips For Digital Cameras

Icon Legend

Basic level icon

Basic level will use our online calculators and other tools we provide, it requires no additional equipment beside your camera.

Advance level icon

Advance level will go more in-depth and may require photo editing software.

Advance level icon

Technical level provide technical information such as mathematical equations, in-depth photo editing tools.


Normal support hours are:

Monday – Friday  MDT 8am to 8pm

Saturday  MDT 9am to 8pm

Sunday   MDT  10am to 6pm

If you get are voice mail please leave a message and we will return your call. 

I will share my screen with you.

The link will take you to this screen. You will enter the code I give you. Then you will be able to view my screen.

We are dropping the name Photo Art Imaging to simplify locating us on the web.

We do not own so this has caused some confusion for or customers trying to find us on the web.

The domain name of is the site we have own for over 16 years.

We feel this will help you are customers in locating us easier.

Pro Quality Enlarge Photos.

The Colorado Springs location has been closed for a few years and will drop the Colorado Springs phone number. Area code (719)

Our main phone number will be (575) 740-7468

415 North Date Street

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. 87901

Thanks for understanding

WxFireGraph LLC

Owns the following websites: short for:

Easy Order or Choice Order System (you make all Choices for options)

Easy Order System

1.) Select your Size.
The products available in that size will appear.
2.) Select your Product
3. ) Upload your image (file)
4.) Select quantity you want . ADD TO CART

Then our professional will review your order and select the product options that will be best for your photograph(s). We will make minor adjustments to your image for print quality. If your image will not look good or if it requires a major change, we will notify you of your options.

Works great with Smartphone Photos

Order from your Smartphone

Choice Order System

You make all Choices for Every Option to Customize Your Photograph

Technical level of guide articles.

Level – Basic 

  • Basic guide will use our online calculators and other tools we provide, it requires no additional equipment beside your camera.

Level – Advance

  • Advance guide will go more in-depth and may require photo editing software.

Level – Technical

  • Technical guides provide technical information such as mathematical equations, in-depth photo editing tools.