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9 Ways to Get a DSLR Photo with Your Point-and-shoot

Your phone beeps for a new notification: your friend just uploaded their photos whilst abroad. The strong vibrant colours, the perfect portrait, the wonderful landscape and a picture of your friend in the middle of somewhere wonderful, you just wish you could have the same quality of photos as the ones they’ve took. The problem is, your camera is a simple point-and-shoot camera and your friend is using an upscale DSLR. It’s just a shame that your camera’s capability isn’t as great DSLR model.

BUT, hold on just there. Your camera isn’t as limited as you may think it is. Just because your camera costs about a hundred dollars doesn’t mean it’s that mediocre compared to a $2000 camera because it isn’t. DSLR cameras are for professional photographers but it takes more than just a camera to make someone a professional photographer.

close-up-of-recording-video

Professional photographers will commonly use point and shoot models along with their DSLRs. They love the fact that it is portable and easy to handle. DSLRs may be a great catch in taking great photography but these cameras are just plain huge. They can’t be put in a pocket and they attract unwanted attention.

a compact digital cameraOne of the professional photographers, Corey Rich, loves using point-and-shoot cameras. He said:

“Be it high on the side of a cliff climbing for fun, at a friend’s wedding, walking my dog or at Snoop Dog concert. My point is sometimes the best images happen when you least expect it and if you don’t have a camera then you simply miss the opportunity.”

He always has a point-and-shoot camera at hand, in order to preserve the present.

Here are ways for you to turn you inexpensive point-and-shoot into a silent DSLR camera.

1. Know Your Camera Like You Know Your Self

girls having fun with pocket cameraRead the manual! Face it. You don’t always know what your digicam can do. Take your time in knowing the presets of your camera. Read the manual and see which menus are available to your use. Some Digital cameras can also take manual photos, you can ditch presets and go for manual settings where you can control the aperture and the shooting speed of your camera.

If your camera is less capable of doing this, then focus on the things your camera can do. Check which filters are available to your point-and-shoot use them whenever possible. When you know what the settings are used for and which menus are needed in a certain scenarios then will be using your model to the fullest.

Vintage cameraRemember: Don’t just use your camera when something is happening. The best shots are always shots of something ordinary. No matter how uneventful something is, take a picture. Play around with your settings and see which would be best in taking a picture when it’s dark and when it’s bright. It’s your camera, you should know what you can do with it.

2. Make The Most of What You Have

pretty girl taking picturesTaking your camera when going to a beach or attending a birthday party is just common use for your model. Great shots can be taken anytime and anywhere. Put your camera in your camera at all times.

If what you have are the typical point-and-shoot modes like automatic modes such as landscape, portrait, night mode etc. use them! Try things out with what works best to prepare yourself for manual mode.

Tip:

It’s nice to take photos where your subject is highlighted and their background is blurred. You can use night mode to create such a shot. Night mode can also be used if you want to create depth in your photographs, night mode is best used in lowlight situations but it can also be used just to make your background blur. If you want a steady well-balanced photo, use a tripod with this mode.

3. Exploit Your Body’s Flexibility

Young girl looking through hand as a director and cameramanWith lesser filters and lesser ways of manipulating your cameras settings, use your body as a camera trick. Don’t just go for a shot where your subject is right in front of you. Kneel if you must: to get a better view from the ground. Stand on a chair if you must: you can get really awesome headshots. Go behind a bush if you must: it creates a rustic frame.

4. Experiment on a Certain Style of Taking Photographs

Woman hand holding retro camera close-upDon’t aim for high caliber styles that your camera cannot handle. Styles like HDR photography, Infrared, panoramic shots or underwater shots (unless your camera is waterproof and pressure proof) are beyond your cameras caliber.

Shoot simple color shots and black and white and even try landscape shots and portraiture with your typical digital camera.

5. Setting is the Key

Girl passenger taking picture out of windowFix your settings to fit the situation you are in. Sometimes, good photography isn’t only about a good camera; it’s also about a good location. Finding yourself on a hill with the view of a mountain filled with houses can be a good subject for your pictures. Set your typical digital camera on landscape mode and start taking pictures.

If landscape mode doesn’t work, try night mode. Try different modes and play around your settings to capture the landscape. Landscapes are one of the best pictures styles that you can get. Don’t hesitate on taking a picture with just your point-and-shoot, take a picture of a gazebo in the school yard. Take a photo of the restaurant filled with diners or an empty diner early in the morning.

6. Light the Path

Close up of photographing with smartphoneLighting is one of the factors that gives life and depth to a photo. Dimly lit places are places where your camera is quite limited. Point-and-shoot cameras cannot take high definition shots when the lighting is low and that is where the flash come in.

The way for a good shot is by finding the proper lighting for your shot. Work with the light that is available. If you found yourself in a place, where the only available light is a lampshade then that would make a good vintage shot.

Tip:

Always take a picture against the light. If you happen to be inside the house with the window behind your subject turn the flash on and take a picture.

7. Choose a Creative Subject

Nostalgic antique wooden spinning topCreative subjects don’t always mean it’s a person smiling in front of a camera. A subject will be something that will be of interest. It can be a pet on lying on the ground, your baby just grabbing a toy or just a person jogging around the block.

Tip 1:

You can choose someone who is pouting or crying or just a face that gives you a really intense look.

Tip 2:

If the person or thing of interest is found in a good background, take a shot of the background as well.

portrait of a fun brown dobermanTip 3:

In taking a portrait, don’t just take a picture head on. Take a picture of someone from the side or semi-side view. You can even take a portrait of a person from above it creates depth and illusion.

Tip 4:

Don’t take a picture with a flash either, you might end up with a picture of flat quality where shadows are gone because of the flash.

8. Position Your Frame Properly

freckles woman portraitIn photography, don’t always think that putting the subject in the middle of the picture is interesting. It really isn’t, it’s typical and very cliché this is why framing creates interest. It draws the attention of the viewer to where it’s supposed to be. When taking a picture, include either the entire background or just a bit of it.

Young Male Outside portraitsTip 1:

Don’t ever cut a picture of a person on the waist or on the knees. It’s always better to take a picture either on close-up or on a broader view. On close-up go only as far as a person’s shoulders and/or upper arm; if not, take a picture of the entire person from head to foot. Remember that pictures cut on the waist or on the knees can destroy the quality of a photo. Taking a picture of the entire thing gives a sense of completeness and continuity.

Tip 2:

Cut your frame on the waist when taking a formal picture. It is the best way to present a business-like image.

9. Take Your Flash Off the Menu (most of the time)

man stands on a snowy ridgeYou should pay close attention to the position of your flash. If your flash is close to your lenses or right above your lenses, try to lessen your use of the flash. Taking a picture with the flash on would remove the shadows of your subject creating a flat lifeless picture.

You may dim your flash a little by putting a semi-clear folder over the flash or even a thin piece of tissue. This will lessen the strength of the light making the picture more realistic.

Tip:

Flashes are only good when the background of your subject is brighter. Turn on the flash to

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Shaw Academy

Updated: Jul 30, 2015

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