Mar 302012
 

 

A recent email exchange:

To: Heather
From: Friend
Subject: CAMERA HELP!

I just got a new Canon Rebel DSLR. Come over here and teach me everything you know about using this camera! Any advice on where I should start?

To: Friend
From: Heather
Subject: RE: CAMERA HELP!

Oh, honey girl.  I don’t know how to use that thing.  I paid $40 for my point-n-shoot camera from a pawn shop.  Here is what I DO know:  You should spend some time reading through this – http://www.edibleperspective.com/photography/  xo.

To: Heather
From: Friend
Subject: RE: CAMERA HELP!

WHAT!?!?!?!  The photos on your blog make me think you have a fancy camera!! How did you do that?

Now – I’m not completely delusional.  I don’t think that my blog photos look DSLR quality AT ALL .  Most of the photos that I have posted on THS come from a point-n-shoot of one sort of another.

Actual DSLR photo by Savvy Julie

I previously used a Kodak Easy Share. Then I left it in a bar one night [after way too many drinks] never to be seen again.  I now have a Nikon Coolpix S550.  Sometimes, I use Nick’s camera which is very similar to my mom’s old camera, which I use everytime I am in Texas because I love it so much.

 Even though I have a less expensive camera, I refuse to submit to the “my blog photos will suck because I don’t have hundreds of dollars to invest in something fancy right now” philosophy.  I remember reading “the best camera you have is the one you have with you” on Tina’s blog a while ago, and have taken it as my own photography philosophy, instead.  I refuse to swear off the possibility of a decent photo, and have taken a bit of time in the past few years to research how to take a more interesting picture with what I DO have in my possession. 

My tips for you are simple:

1. Read your point-n-shoot camera’s manual.  If you’re not one of those people who files those sorts of documents, GOOGLE IT.  There is a good possibility that you can find a copy online.  Does the idea of reading a booklet full of technical data and instruction sound dull?  Break it up into small segments – try setting aside 10-20 minutes a few times a week to sit with your camera and your manual and get to know that tiny machine!

2. Search YouTube.  When I had my Kodak Easy Share, I learned a heck-of-a-lot about my camera’s settings and how to best use them by typing “Kodak Easy Share Tutorial” in the YouTube search bar and watching a few instructional videos.

3. Take your time and  keep practicing.  It doesn’t matter what kind of basketball you’re using, you can’t expect to be an awesome free throw shooter the first time on the court.  Totally a common-sense thing, right?  Taking a decent photo is much more of a skill and much less of a talent than you may think.  The more shots you take, the more likely you are to get some good ones.

4. Read: Learn from Others. I’ve kept a little list of some of the posts that have helped me develop [hardy har har] my photo skills a bit.   I’ve included this list below,  for your reading [and learning!] pleasure.  

5. Tell a story. Look for scenes to photography rather than simply an object.  My favorite photos are visually appealing to me because they tell a story – sharing a setting involving the time, place and characters involved.  I like when there is something going on there in the picture.
 

I know all the information available for your learning can be overwhelming and that being overwhelmed can be discouraging.  Like everything else in life, I suggest just taking it one step at a time.  One article at a time. One page of your manual at a time. One photo at a time.  Just put one photography step in front of the other and you’ll find your way.

Photography Posts that have helped me as a point-n-shoot photographer:

Taking Your Photos from Blah to Bam from That Wife
Point & Shoot Tips with Under the Sycamore by Ashley Ann Photography on Little Blue Boo
Must Get Christmas Photos Before the Tree Comes Down by Kevin and Amanda
A Little Lighting Demo from Taylor Takes a Taste
How to Improve Your Photos by Carrots N Cake
Get in the Photos by Tatum Tales
The 10 Commandments of Food Photos by Healthy Blog Helper
How to Take Better Photos by Fannetastic Food
Photography Class from Brownies and Zucchini
White Balance Demystified from Giverslog
Try Something New by Sugar Bee
Vacation Photo Tips by Under the Sycamore
Photographing Children from Jasmine Star
Food Photography Lighting Tips from Taylor Takes a Taste
How to Take Photos of Food at Indoors & at Night from Taylor Takes a Taste
Basic Photography Tips by Marta Writes
Finding the Right Light from Kevin and Amanda
Let’s Shoot Christmas Lights
Photo Tips from Danielle Lyn