Kathy Wilson, who writes for Ontario Photography Colleges, contacted me asking if she could write a short photography related article for my blog. And here it is. Thanks Kathy.
We love the word “instant” these days – it makes life so much easier for most of us. And so we have instant coffee, instant noodles, instant photographs and so on. While true connoisseurs of these items would cringe at their bastardization – anyone who has used a sophisticated camera would definitely turn their nose down at a basic point and shoot digital model – for the rest of us who belong to the plebian community, we’re just happy that even we can be excellent photographers. Yes, it’s true – if you know a few tricks of the trade, you can take great pictures with your digital camera:
- Get the exact picture that you want: When you’re photographing a moving person, you find that it’s hard to get the exact picture you want – the picture on your screen is usually one that captures the scene that occurred a few seconds later than when you pressed the button. The problem with point and shoot, automatic digital cameras is that they come with a fixed aperture and exposure. There is also considerable shutter lag – the time between you clicking the shot and the picture being captured on the internal chip, which is why your photo does not turn out the way you imagined. You can get around this by focusing on your target a few minutes before you really want the shot and keeping the shutter button half pressed. This locks in the exposure and aperture, and when the target is in the right pose, press the button fully. This reduces the shutter lag and you get the picture you want.
- Use lighting and positions correctly: The quality of your pictures depends on the amount of light available and the angle of the shot. Ensure that you shoot in daylight with the source of light behind you. The best part about point and shoot cameras is that they allow you to take as many shots as you want as you experiment in getting the light right. And to get the angle right, change positions according to the subject. When photographing children and animals, get down to their level so that the photos are more focused on the subject. And when you want close ups of small objects, use the macro mode which is available in even the simplest of cameras today.
- Hold steady: If your pictures are shaky and grainy, it’s because you didn’t have steady hands when you clicked the shot. To take good pictures, hold the camera with both hands and ensure that you don’t shake or move it until you hear the whirring of the shutter button stop. Very often, most amateurs move the camera once they’ve pressed the button. Also, use the optical zoom to get close up shots of people and other subjects – get a simple point and shoot camera that has a high optical zoom to get good pictures.