Tutorial: Master digital SLR photography

Step-by-step guide to taking the perfect image

Step 11: A reference point for colour capture on your camera is the way it handles white areas. Normally this is dealt with automatically, but adjusting the white balance can dramatically improve your pictures. To experiment, take a photo of a white object under the light conditions you'll be using for your subject.

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Step 12: With your photo on display, the simplest way to change the white balance on a camera such as the Canon EOS 450D is to press the WB button and scroll between standard settings. More advanced white colour correction is available under the WB option in the main menu.

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Step 13: Most dSLRs feature a built-in flash that can be used automatically or switched off altogether (this is useful in settings where you wish to preserve natural light, for example). More advanced models will also have a ‘hot shoe' where an external flash can be mounted or connected to the camera.

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Step 14: Choose RAW mode when selecting image quality to preserve as much information as possible. RAW files require special software to view, however. Plug-ins for your camera model may need to be downloaded from the camera maker's site if the photo editor you've chosen doesn't offer native support for it.

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