3 Tips for Getting Great Images with a Point and Shoot Camera
Many people assume that you must have a fancy expensive DSLR in order to capture great images. But for many beginner photographers and hobbyists, this just isn’t possible, or even necessary. Great images are more about the person using the camera than the actual camera itself. Sure, DSLR cameras typically have better resolution, more settings and options, etc. But, it is entirely possible to get some great shots without investing all of that money into fancy gear. Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your point-and-shoot camera.
If you take the time to really get to know your camera, you can learn how to work around any shortcomings it may have compared to a DSLR. Take the time to read the owner’s manual, in fact, read it a few times. Learn what every single button and setting means and does. The better you understand all if the functions, the more functional you will be when using it.
Practice as you learn. As you learn about each setting and function, practice taking shots so you can physically get a feel for the camera and see firsthand how they each work. You can literally take photos of ANYTHING in ANY setting when it comes to practicing and getting to know the camera. When it comes to photography, practice really does make perfect!
One of the biggest downfalls of point-and-shoot cameras is they lack the option to connect to Off-Camera Flashes. The benefit of those is that they can be placed in specific areas where you want light to come from, and can be even adjusted when mounted on a DSLR to bounce light.
Built-in flashes can be really harsh when it comes to lighting your images. It can leave the end result being over-exposed and overall unappealing to the eye.
If you can learn how to see light in a whole different way, you can get some beautifully exposed images with your point-and-shoot without using that built-in flash.
When shooting outside, one of the best times of day to take images is during the golden hour. This usually falls about an hour or so before sunset. During this time of day, the sun is positioned so that it gives off an even light across the scene. No flash is necessary and the overall exposure usually comes out just right. You can even purchase affordable reflectors to help you work with the light you have and “bounce” the light to your subject from the exact direction that you are aiming for.
When shooting inside, take advantage of the natural light coming through windows when possible. Basically, any time you can avoid using that harsh built-in flash, do so. Your images will thank you.
You can completely transform the overall image simply by changing your perspective. Get out of the habit of just shooting straight ahead.
Get down on the ground and shoot up, get above your subject and shoot down…physically moving in different positions to take images of subjects or objects can completely transform your images.
The overall composition of an image is one of the main key factors of a well-executed photo. Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots from multiple perspectives for one particular image. The more you practice doing this, the more you will see that things just look completely different when you look at them from multiple angles. Taking multiple images from different perspectives will leave you with options to choose the “best” one when sitting down at your computer and reviewing them.
Get out of the mindset that you have to have an expensive DSLR to get professional quality images. This simply isn’t true. YOU are in control of your images, not the camera you are using.
If you really take the time to learn your way your point-and-shoot camera and all if it’s functions, learn how to see light and use light in a whole different way, and learn how to try different perspectives; you will be shooting like a pro with your handy little point-and-shoot in no time.
The biggest advantage of a point and shoot versus a DSLR is that are lightweight and compact. Therefore, you have no excuse to not have it with you at all times and take practice shots every chance you get!
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Magan Ward is a photographer, wife, mom of 3, and educator to fellow photographers. She has an unhealthy obsession with Chick-Fil-A mac and cheese, and has a bit of a love affair with dry shampoo – something she tried to avoid for years until the pandemic of 2020 occurred rendering her dependent upon the waterless revelation that saves her time, something now used to instead apply nutella to waffles for tiny humans.
Putting that Masters in Education to good use, Magan enjoys teaching her fellow photographers and online entrepreneurs the ins and outs of building a business that they love…and occasionally sprinkles in some encouragement for Mamas, because life with littles is just plum hard sometimes.
You can grab her free list of favorite tools for entrepreneurs here.