Taking photos while travelling is a must - sightseeing attractions, and interesting landscapes, architecture; all things you like to have photos of while your exploring the world or your local photo taking opportunities. While point and shoot cameras provide many preset auto modes for capturing most things we may want to photograph, there are times when you may want to be more creative with the photos you shoot.
As amateur photographers, most of us don't know about the many creative methods and composition techniques used by professional photographers. Many of these methods and techniques can also be used when shooting photos using your compact point and shoot camera.
The difference between the two types of cameras is not the composition techniques or creative methods; but more to do with additional camera features, for example, the DSLR camera has; Manual Modes for Shutter, Aperture, ISO, and the choice of lenses you can add; like telephoto and wide angle, the faster shutter speeds you can shoot with, faster processing sensors, and also, the ability to edit your shots after they have been taken.
Professional photographers have honed their craft by many hours of practice, more practice, which over time, has skilled them in their profession.
This, together with their own added creativeness, is what makes each photographers` photographs unique.
The good news is that novice and amateur photograhers can become as skilled by learning these same methods and techniques.
These Easy Photography Tutorials and Tips will Provide You with Many Of the Techniques and Methods Used by Professional Photographers
for Point and Shoot Cameras
Settings on point and shoot cameras, that can affect your photo shots are: shutter speed, ISO, distance from subject,(aperture), white balance, flash vs no flash: all important, and all adjustable....on point and shoot cameras -
...costing around $145-$225...Some less expensive point and shoot cameras may not have as many manual features, and therefore, would not allow for as much creativity in photo taking, as it pertains to some of our photography tutorials.
In particular, you might look for features such as: long (slow) shutter speed, usually in increments of 15, 30, or 60 secs look for Starry Sky mode; and 1- 15 secs in Long Shutter mode; (you can actually adjust yourself) many Canon point and shoots have the 1-15 secs, and Panasonic Lumix cameras have the Starry Sky modes. Night mode available on most point and shoots is a shutter delay of 1 or 2 seconds(depends on camera make) and Fireworks mode delay for 2-3 seconds good for fireworks and also night time slow shutter shots; Adjustable ISO settings are also commonplace on most point and shoots; 100-800 or 100-1600 is most common; while some have to 3200. Exposure compensation,(EV+-) easy to adjust as well; usually 1/3 stops, look for - + symbols on your camera menu buttons; mostly on all cameras.
Another worth mention is the white balance AWB, this is usually auto presets, like Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Candescent, Custom White Balance, and most cameras have these. All these features mentioned are important when composing your shot because they allow you to be creative with the lighting, color, and exposure in your photos.
A manual `fast shutter`, is not usually a feature in this price range of point and shoot cameras, however most do have `sports` mode which allows for auto fast shutter speed for action photos(usually at speeds of 1-125,1-250, 1-500, of a second) - as well, your ISO, at higher settings than 100 can increase shutter speed and therefore can be used to get more shutter speed required for taking action shots.
A manual 'aperture', is not usually a feature found in this pricing of point and shoot cameras; however, for point and shoot cameras zooming your lens out does change the aperture settings for you automatically. Example when your camera is not zoomed it may have an aperture of f3.4, and when you zoom it to its available length, it may have an aperture of f6.1.
Aperture refers to the amount of light that is let into the camera sensor when taking a photo. No zooming allows for greatest amount of light into the sensor while zooming to the extent allowed for your camera would allow the least amount of light into the camera sensor. On most cameras you can view the aperture f number(example f3.4,f3.6,f11) as soon as you press the shutter button half way to focus your shot; and also the ISO number(example 100,400,800,1600), and shutter speed(example 30,60,80,125,250).
If you must use flash, try to use it sparingly - again, opt for natural light where possible. This will create softer tones and an overall better photograph.
Natural light is the best for photography.
Harhness from direct lighting is usually more visible on photos taken indoors; shooting like portraits, food, and the like. Using the deflect method to send the light gives a more softer natural lighting to the photo.
These 2 photos show examples of different lighting and how insufficient lighting can make a photo unappealing. The first was shot with a direct and insufficient light source, which doesn't make the squares look very appetizing.
The second photo was shot in natural light at windows edge. The natural light provides a much better light source and this makes for a nicer photo shot.
If your new to photography, the best lighting source is a Softbox with Continuous Lighting. This means your Softbox takes a light bulb but it's a photography light bulb. They are made especially for Photography Lighting. Their cost depends on the wattage you buy; usually in the $15-$25 range for 1 bulb, and you can buy deal packs of them to save a few bucks. They have a life rating of 8000-10000 hours. They are usually eco friendly and cool bulbs. They don't get really hot like a standard household bulb.
There a few more types of lighting you can use, but generally they are more expensive for the same equivalent of a Softbox Continuous Light source. Common are the Led Video lights, Strobe Lights and Mono Flash Lights. Led light rings are also getting more popular, although they are also pricey.
For photographing small items like jewellery; you can buy Photography Tent Kits, which include the tent and the lighting; usually one light for either side of the tent.
The lights shine through the tent material, thus the light gets diffused and appears softer on the product your shooting.
To read more about Lighting Sources and Using a Softbox, GoTo our Tutorial: Portrait Shots: Section Portrait Shots - The Basics