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Bonnie Caton, here. I’m in Ecuador this week with professional photographer Rich Wagner and 14 of our Right Way to Travel readers. Lori has asked me to send back videos of some of the things we’re learning here. But first, here are a few key shooting tips you’ll always want to keep in mind… #1: Once you set your camera up properly (you know you’re using the highest quality jpeg or RAW setting your camera is capable of, your ISO is where it needs to be, and you’re in the right shooting mode), check your lens. Smudges on your lens can affect the quality of your photos. If you have a smudge, wipe it softly with a lens cloth to remove it. #2: Shade the lens if you’re in bright sun. Most cameras come with a lens shield that snaps onto the front of the lens. If yours didn’t, you can get one at your local camera store or online. (Rich will explain another use for camera lens shields in the video below.) #3: Turn off your digital zoom. Digital zoom lowers the quality of your picture by stretching it. If you need to get closer to your subject, use your feet and get right up close. If it’s not physically possible to get closer, take the picture without digital zoom and enlarge it with photo processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop. You’ll still lose some of your image quality. But at least you’ll be in control of how much you lose. #4: Check your composition. We talk about composition a lot in this e-letter and it’s something we’ve been working on every day here in Ecuador. You’ll find all kinds of composition tips in our archives, here. #5: Check your exposure. Tomorrow, I’ll ask Rich to show you how to do that when you’re out in the field. For today, here’s Rich with a few basic, key shooting tips people often forget. They sound simple enough. But I can’t tell you how many attendees I’ve seen over the last two years walking around with their cameras off to conserve their battery, or their lens cap on to protect their lens — only to miss a great photo opportunity because they had to wait for their camera to boot up or they put the camera to their eye and had a big lens cap in the way. Boy scout motto: Always be prepared. Here’s Rich…

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]    

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