Monday, July 8, 2013
If you regularly read the Outdoor Photographer Tip of the Week, you know I gear them for DSLR users.
Filters: The one filter I never leave home without is my polarizer. On my DSLR, I screw it on the front of my lens and rotate it to provide its effect. Point-and-shoots don't have front element threads, but you can still use the filter. Hold it up to your eye and rotate it until you see its effect to either saturate a blue sky or eliminate glare. Keep the same orientation and place the filter in front of your P&S lens and the same effect you witnessed when you held it up to your eye will be imparted. You'll see it on the LCD. You can also spin the filter while it's in front of the lens and notice the change on the LCD.
Flash: Forced Flash On works like fill flash—the flash fires with every press of the shutter. Use it outdoors if the light is too contrasty and you're close to the subject. Forced Flash Off : The flash on most point-and-shoots will fire automatically in low light. For those times when you don't want the flash to pop, use this feature.
Scene Modes: Scene modes perform "behind-the-scenes" actions that tell the camera to fire with specific settings the same way you'd dial in given apertures or shutter speeds on your DSLR. Landscape Scene Mode maximizes depth of field. Portrait scene mode sets the widest aperture. Action biases the settings to higher shutter speeds. Given the small sensors in a point-and-shoot, it's tough to limit depth of field, but scene modes provide the best opportunity for the camera to work the way you'd want, if you did have complete control. For instance, Night Portrait scene mode tells the flash to fire in conjunction with a slow shutter speed to record background ambient light. In that it's dark, the more time the shutter stays open, the better. The camera automatically sets itself to a higher ISO. Night Scenery mode uses many of the same aspects of the Night Portrait mode but there's one key difference. The flash is set to the Forced Off position because you don't want the light from the flash to interfere with the scenery.
The Flower: An icon found on many point-and-shoots is a flower that looks very tulip-like. Set the camera to this icon to take images close-up. Don't be afraid to get very close. When I photograph in this mode, I place the camera only a few inches away from the subject—my DSLR won't even allow me to do this!
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