Oct 20, 2009

Getting the most out of your point and shoot camera

By far the number one question I get is "What kind of camera should I buy?". And almost always in that conversation they say something to the effect that they have to buy an SLR to have good pictures. DON'T believe that lie for ONE SECOND! {puts hands on hips and stomps one foot} I have heard that phrase one too many times and watched as moms shovel out $500-$800 on a camera. Once at home they keep it in auto mode. When they could have saved some money by buying a point and shoot. Point and shoots have a bad reputation for taking too long to take a picture, having poor quality pictures, and having too many limitations. I agree the older models aren't that great but technology with P&S's has come so far that anyone can take a beautiful picture. {Although, I must say that there are some P&S's out there that are better than others.}

If your point and shoot has manual settings you have many options but even if it doesn't you still can take a great picture.

You want to be able to blur backgrounds- P&S can do that!
You want sharp pictures- P&S can do that!
You want to be able to stuff you camera in the diaper bag or  purse, heck even your pocket- P&S can do that but a SLR can't!

Getting great pictures with a point and shoot is about knowledge and skill. I read a great analogy somewhere. (if I knew where I would give proper credit) If we were to give Tiger Woods a set of old golf clubs he would still be able to play well. Not because of the clubs but solely due to his knowledge and skill. Same with picture taking. It doesn't matter what camera you use, you have the ability to take a great photograph.

* First piece of advice is to read the manual. You would be surprised at how many people don't. If there is photography lingo in the manual that you don't understand highlight it and bookmark it. When you have time look up what the definitions of those terms are. If you still have questions ask a photographer or someone knowledgeable in that area.

* Think outside the box when taking pictures. Most of the time people take straight on shots. Try different angles and know that every shot does not need to be posed. {I love angles} Here is a picture with an angle. Both are great pics but the angle adds character. {Thank you hubby for posing}
                                                
Here is a picture taken straight on.
IMG_9027


Here is a picture at an angle. Both are great pics but the angle adds character. {Thank you hubby for posing, HA! Looks like he had fun}
IMG_9028


* Capture emotion. {candid shots are beautiful}

The following shot was candid. Hubby was talking to little man and I snapped it. Again it wasn't straight on but it made for a beautiful shot.
IMG_9238

*If you can, avoid using flash! {in my opinion} There is nothing more beautiful and flattering than natural light. To successfully pull this off there has to be plenty of light but avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause harsh shadows.

*When trying to take pictures of kids make sure your camera is ready before you try to get the child's attention. I have the camera in front of my face and finger on the trigger. I will make a silly noise, whistle, or call them by name...then snap. This may seem like common sense but you'd be surprised. :)

*Take several pictures. You will always find one that you like better. I rarely get a good shot the first try, when photographing children.

IMG_3414
This picture was taken in Maui. Do you think it was shot with a P&S or SLR?? This was shot with a P&S and only a 5 megapixel at that!!

Newer models usually offer several manual settings that you can play with to be able to get the effect that you want. If you want to be brave and venture out from auto mode and get to know your camera! {Which I strongly recommend.}

Ok, so what are some good P&S's... I love all things Canon. But recently I saw some pictures that were taken from a Nikon P&S and they looked AMAZING!!

This is my first tutorial post. There is SO much information on photography that I'm not sure where to start with my next tutorial. So, I will ask you.... if you have a question or if there is something you want to know more about, regarding photography leave a comment and I will try to answer it in my next tutorial post.

**I want to know what type of camera you use. Head over to my blogfrog forum and let me know what you like and don't like about your camera.

19 comments:

  1. i use both a p&s & a slr (both canons) and i couldn't agree more that you can get some amazing shots from a p&s. in fact i use it more than ever with my lil'guy. i just found your site & look forward to more post about photography!

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  2. I have a Kodak EasyShare Z612. I've had it for a couple of years and I think I would like to get something else.

    One of my best friends is a photographer and she told me to use the manual mode with NO flash as much as I can. Not matter what happens, if I am not using a flash, my picture turns out kind of yellow looking and blurry. Bummer. So, when I use my camera, my kids are either washed out white or yellow and blurry. What in the world am I doing wrong?

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  3. Thanks for the tips Monica!

    Hugs,
    Traci

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  4. Monica it is nice to meet you!

    Your photos are beautiful - all of them!

    Your son and hubby look so sweet together in the candid shot.

    I am looking forward to learning from you.

    I have my first SLR - Canon EOS XTI and bought a few new lens. I want to use all the modes but with 8 children I'm intimidated not being ready to capture the shot and missing it! Especially with this many blessings doing so many cute things!

    Have a blessed night! Looking forward to getting to know you better!

    In His amazing grace,
    Jill

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  5. I love this post! you do amazing work! I take pictures out on the beach alot and get shadows. HOw do avoid this? I know it's about time of day, I do the shoots 4pm sunset is at 6pm. I use an slr. I could really use some advice. Thank you for your help.
    Hetal

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  6. OMG! Found your blog through The Blog Frog...this is exactly the post/stuff I've been looking for! I'm a wanna be with an 8 year old P&S. Check out "Confessions of a wanna be" on my blog! I must check out your blog some more when I have time!

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  7. I just have a Nikon Coolpix. I just started reading my booklet and have been impressed with more of my photos shot with the flash turned off! I love your blog and love this kind of info! You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your talents wih us! I'm excited to learn more!

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  8. wow love ur blog and I have been looking for one with this kind of advice. what camera do you recommend for someone with a budget? Im deff keeping your blog on my blogroll!
    If you would like come check out my site for a giveaway: littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com
    xo
    Priscila

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  9. I have both a P&S and an SLR...I have a Nikon Coolpix and a Nikon D100. I LOVE my P&S...it takes great pictures and can go anywhere with me. I really want to learn to use my SLR to it's fullest capacity. I just don't have time to read the manual and I'm more of a hands on learner.

    Great tutorial with great info.

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  10. I am getting great thoughts on some more tutorials! Stay tuned....

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  11. I have both a slr and a p&s..and my ps camera takes great photos, it is a kodak easy share type, it has a little bit bigger zoom than most. My only complaint was the lag time for clicking a photo. I still use it when I don't want to lug my slr somewhere.

    great tips, thanks for sharing! I keep on trying to improve my photos...

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  12. I have a Nikon Cool Pix L2. I've had it for 3 years. I am not very pleased with it, but I know NOTHING about cameras, so I don't have a clue what to look for.

    So, thank you for your tutorials. Maybe I'll learn somethin! :)

    Umm... to show my lack of camera knowledge... what is a SLR?


    www.musingsofamanicmama.blogspot.com

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  13. Stumbled on your blog, and I LOVE it - and your photos are great! The P&S that I use and love is a Nikon Coolpix 8700. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Nikon.
    I am going to follow you!

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  14. I use a Canon Power Shot S51S. I'd love to push it- but am mostly in auto mode right now until I figure it all out. I'd love love love to see if I can blur backgrounds on it!

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  15. Ok, WOW! You take AMAZING photographs! I only have a little digital camera and even with skills, I doubt I could do that! I hope someday to take up photography, so your pics inspire me for sure!

    Tamara
    http://theunexperiencedmom.blogspot.com

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  16. How do you blur the background?

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  17. I will admit that I LOVE my Cannon Rebel XSi! I do play with the settings, but also shoot in auto mode at times. I edit a lot in Photoshop. DH is getting a point & shoot from Santa Wifey this year, which will probably end up in my diaper bag because that is one major downfall of the SLR!

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  18. thanks for the info! so, how can we get blurry backgrounds with a p&s??
    thanks!

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  19. Great tips. So much to learn. I'm very interested in photography, but am very new to it.

    Hope to learn from you!!!

    Thanks!

    Jasmine

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