Got a point and shoot camera for Christmas? Here are some easy to remember tips to help you get the best out of it.
1. Turn off the flash.
The smaller your light source is, the harsher it is – and this thing is tiny! No one looks good when photographed with a compact cameras on board flash and it’s so weedy you need to stand close to you subject. Moon faces ahoy! Which leads us on to:
2. Stand back and zoom in for portraits.
When you turn on your compact camera it’s going to be at the wide end of its zoom range. For portraits, this is U.G.L.Y. A wide angle (aka a short focal length) gives people big noses and round faces. Take a few steps back and zoom in a little – instant improvement. And as a bonus, you’ll notice the background is a little more out of focus too making your subject pop.
3. Shoot. A Lot!
Digital is free so take lots of photos. I used to imagine the photographers I admired walking into a scene or onto a set, pressing the shutter and boom – magic! Photography’s dirty little secret is that you need to take a lot of images to get that great one. But be sure to…
4. Edit Ruthlessly.
Just because you shot 200 photos doesn’t mean you need to show all 200. Pick the best and share them with the world. If you have 3 amazing shots, don’t drag them into the mire of mediocrity by sharing 50 average ones too.
5. Have Fun!
The more you shoot the better you get and the more fun you have – so get out there and shoot. Take some time to learn the craft but make sure you practise what you learn as much as you can. Don’t sit at home fretting about the terms and conditions on Facebook or Instagram and don’t feel like you have to watermark everything. Shoot. Enjoy. Repeat.