Hello again, crafting friends! Leslie Smith of Urban Xpressions back for some more photo pointers to help with capturing all your summertime adventures.
In this blog post I want to explain some of the basic and commonly used functions found on most point and shoot cameras. Cameras are a quickly evolving technology, and a point and shoot camera can shoot much like an SLR camera if you know what functions to use in which situations. I’ll go over a few of these in this post.
Night Shot (AKA the little stars or other night scene in your shooting menu)
This is one of the more complicated settings on your point and shoot. Not that you have to be a camera aficionado to use it, you just have to understand it’s way of thinking.
In your night shot mode the camera is going to slow down your shutter speed to allow more light to be recorded on your camera’s sensor. This is why it is often suggested you use a tripod or stand of some kind in this mode. Slower shutter speeds catch movement, even the slight movement of breathing from the photographer, thus if you want a sharp night shot find a steady place for you camera.
Another thing night shot does is brings up what is called your ISO. The higher your ISO the noisier your photo will be, and by noise I’m talking about all the red and green dots that end up in your photo. This is the camera using all it’s facilities to compensate for the lack of light you’re shooting in. You can always use a flash to help bring more light into your photos, just remember: A flash stops at the first thing it hits, and is usually only good for a few feet of extra light.
Kids and Pets
Most moms and dads know trying to get your kids to hold still for anything that isn’t sugary and delicious can be a trial, and I think many camera manufacturers have realized this too. The kids and pets function speeds up your shutter speed to help your camera keep up with the rambunctious children, even if you can’t. This setting is ideally used outdoors, for a soccer or baseball game, or when any kind of movement is needing to be “stopped” on camera. I’ve also seen this setting aptly named as “sports mode”.
Once again a flash is handy when trying to help stop action, but tread carefully because as I alluded to before, flash alters the look of your photo.
Despite our greatest desires to be outdoors in the sun all summer, some of our fun activities happen indoors too. This gives us a chance to use our indoor setting. This setting is sort of like night shot, in that it slows down your shutter speed, but more often than not includes your flash to help stop action and movement on the camera’s sensor. The camera may also have a built in color balance that will help make up for the color of light that indoor lights often create (typically yellow or green). This is another one of those settings where having your subject hold still is ideal, but the flash helps the camera record the stillness of the object much better than if there were no flash.
Remember it always helps to keep your camera manuals handy in case you want to learn to do something new and different. Try using something besides the “auto” setting on your camera, you never know what fun things you can achieve by taking over what the camera does. Keep shooting and experimenting!