Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Hello everyone, and happy WEDNESDAY! It’s time for another Focus on Photos…point and shoot style!
I’ve had the pleasure of talking photography on here many times, but have never taken the time to explore ways to help every scrapper get the most from her everyday point and shoot camera. With these simple tips, you can learn to get the very best results from your basic camera, and maybe even get some creative shots you never expected along the way :) Ready?? let’s go!
(oh, and for reference, I have the Canon Powershot SD770 “Digital Elph”…about 2-3 yrs old)
1. READ YOUR MANUAL
Boring, I know. But there’s just no way around it. You’ll never know what your camera is capable of unless you read the manual. Nearly all point and shoots have many different shooting modes and creative settings and you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth! If you’re like me and you’ve uh…mis-placed your actual manual… :) …never fear! All the major camera makers have .pdf manuals available for free download in the “Support” area of their websites.
As you’re reading along, if you find an interesting feature – stop right then and try to access it on your camera. Most point and shoot cameras use only a few basic buttons and you might be surprised at how easy it is to access these features! You’ll also remember them better if you’ve practiced :)
For my camera, I realized – after finally reading the manual – that most of the options displayed on the screen have “sub menus” with additional settings available to scroll through with one simple click. For example, I’d seen a little icon labeled “Kids and Pets” – but after I read the manual I realized it had A TON of special shooting settings: Beach, Snow, Aquarium, Under Water, and even Fireworks!
2. Know how and when to access the special shooting modes
Learning to rock your point and shoot means that you don’t have to understand the “science” behind ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. But if you want the best possible images, you really need to know how to access the special shooting modes. This is your only way to tell the camera how to set the correct settings for you. Foliage mode in my camera enhances colors! Snow mode ensures your images don’t have the dreaded blue/gray color cast common in snow photos. Kids and Pets is particularly good for moving subjects…like kids and pets :) Knowing how to select the right “shooting mode” for your conditions will ensure that you get the best possible photos!
3. Sometimes the instructions in the manual really stink
I was very intrigued to finally take the time to figure out what my camera’s “manual” mode is capable of. What does my manual say? “Allows you to select settings yourself, such as the exposure compensation, white balance, or my colors.” Then it tells me how to set it to manual, and that’s it. nothing else.
Well, turns out that in manual mode, I can specify a metering mode! I can set the shutter speed, and even white balance! The instructions are written to explain the mechanics of how it works, but they don’t begin to explain what the camera is capable of. So be sure to get out and play, play, play! (oh, and for what it’s worth…I’ve kind of decided that manual mode isn’t worth the effort on my camera. Especially with so many special shooting modes available! I did learn how to use many more features though after I got out and tried it.)
4. Read about your camera’s focusing modes
You don’t want to leave this to chance. Understanding how your camera grabs focus is critical to ensuring you get quality shots. Most point and shoot cameras have a “face detect” focus option, that is a good choice for most all-purpose photo situations. Be sure to understand how your face detect works if this is the mode you prefer. My camera even allows me to toggle between numerous faces detected in the image to specify the one I’d like to have in focus. You want the birthday boy in focus, not the random neighbor standing next to him :)
5. Check out your macro mode
Hands down, the feature that I was most pleasantly surprised with was my macro mode (for getting very close-up shots). I love doing macro with my dSLR and find that I’m very naturally drawn to beautiful flowers, interesting bugs, etc. I rarely scrap them – but I have tons of them on my hard drive, LOL! I first attempted macro shots with my camera in full “auto”, normal shooting mode and got this:
Then…by simply pressing a button twice to go into Macro mode, I got these!
I hope you all enjoyed learning a little bit about how to “rock what you got” :) Thanks for stopping by…SP will be ‘checking-in’ with you tomorrow!!