• 5 Photography Tips for Point-and-Shoot Cameras

    5 Photography Tips for Point-and-Shoot Cameras

    We always say Foto Ruta is for everyone, whether you’re shooting with regular point-and-shoot camera or a fancy DSLR set up. Many of us, with the idea of packing light, head out for the day with our point-and-shoots. However, the results can sometimes be disappointing if you don’t know how to make the most of your little compact camera. Don’t fret, the following point-and-shoot photography tips will help you take great photos with your camera and you just might find yourself taking it out more often.

    example of point and shoot camera

    (Photo courtesy of GabPRR)

    If you aren’t even sure what a point-and-shoot camera is, that’s one in the photo above. It’s basically any compact camera without detachable lenses that doesn’t usually include a lot of the fancy settings that a pro- camera would have.

    Tip 1: Get Acquainted

    The first step is getting to know your camera. The attraction of a point-and-shoot camera is that they are generally easy to use, but the more you know about your camera the better your photos will be. Start by reading the manual. I know, I know… reading the manual probably doesn’t sound very exciting, but if you are really interested in taking better photographs, that’s the best place to start. You should also practice shooting with your camera before taking it out to a important event or on a trip. You’ll learn a lot by trial and error and it’s best to do your learning when there’s less pressure to capture an important moment.

    an example of the rule of thirds

    (Photo courtesy of eflon)

    Tip 2: Play Around with Composition

    Many talented photographers are skilled at taking photos with interesting composition. One general rule any photographer can follow is to shy away from taking photos where your subject appears dead center. Notice the photo above. It wouldn’t be half as interesting if the woman was in the exact center of the photo. Positioning her off to the side provided a much more visually appealing shot. Also experiment with different angles, such as shooting from below or from above. Don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees to get a good shot.

    Tip 3: Tricky Flash

    My policy on flash when it comes to point-and-shoot is to turn it off altogether (not sure how? check your manual!). You may have already noticed that your camera gives you less than appealing pics in low lighting with the flash on. Try working without flash and bracing your arm against the wall or table to get as steady a shot as possible.

    example of low light, no flash

    (Photo courtesy of ben matthews)

    Then there are some situations where your flash will be your best friend. Backlit shots are one of them. If you are taking a photo with bright sun or light behind your subject, you might notice that everything but your subject shows up well lit in the picture. If that’s not the look you’re going for, turn on your flash. It won’t work on automatic mode so you will have to put on the force flash setting. Then the flash will illuminate the subject while the natural lighting will take care of the background.

    Tip 4: Zoom with Caution

    Zooming on your point-and-shoot camera will lower the quality of the shot that you’re taking unless you have a camera with an optical zoom (again, consult your manual). Either way, the best tactic is to get as close to the subject as possible instead of zooming. If you can’t get as close as you want, you can use the optical zoom or take the photo as is and crop it after you have uploaded it onto your computer.

    Tip 5: Learn and Test Your Presets

    Example of point and shoot presents

    (Photo courtesy of Madison Guy)

    Your camera has a lot of different preset functions that can be really useful to help you get the photo you want. The presets will be things like “sport,” “landscape,” “portrait,” “macro,” and so on. Be sure to read up on the presets, what they’re for, and test them out.

    The best way to learn about your camera is to shoot, shoot, shoot. Point-and-shoot cameras have the benefit of fitting easily into your pocket or purse without taking up too much room. Take it with you wherever you go so you always have a chance to test out your new skills when a photographic moment occurs.


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