Photography is not just for pros and as far as I’m concerned, no-one should be left out! Right?! Photography is not just for pros. Even amateurs holding not so sophisticated cameras can shoot amazing photos. According to most professional photographers, while equipment can help a lot in producing technically fine grade photos, most of the success depends on the hands of the person holding the camera. Many beginners are fascinated at photos taken using DSLR cameras and assume they should have one to achieve the dream of having the best possible photos. But you might be surprised to learn that even with a sophisticated camera, your photos might look like ordinary pictures.
Making extraordinary photographs with ordinary cameras
1. Pay attention to light – Photography is pretty much like seeing—our eyes are like cameras. In both processes, light is your best friend. You utilize light, you should play with it, it’s basically what you need—whether you have a compact camera or a digital single lens reflex camera.
2. To flash or not to flash – I think so many people holding their point and shoot cameras make it a point that the flash works—meaning, that it should flash every time. However, sometimes bright flash removes the realism of a scene. In fact, some of the most dramatic images are taken relying on only natural light. Gloomy days with overcast skies cast a dark coating on everything on the ground, and that nasty flash can ruin the opportunity to present nature photography in its raw state. There are a lot more instances when you just don’t need that flash, aside from wanting to capture your subject’s facial shadow under the sun. If you’re taking pictures of landscapes and sceneries, turn off the flash.
3. Play with different angles – How many pictures of a subject do you capture? One? Mostly about three or five? Professional photographers can take dozens of photographs of a single subject, experimenting with different angles, heights, light settings, and distance. The more photographs you take of a single subject, the greater chances of picking out good photographs. Regardless of your subject—a child holding a cone of ice cream, red maple trees on an autumn day, ominous clouds before a storm, or a blooming flower in a garden—use your creativity and capture it in the frame.
4. Use a tripod – A tripod for your point and shoot camera is not a bad option, especially if you have issues keeping the camera still.
5. Focus on your subject – You can adjust the aperture to get your subjects in focus although this is not something you’d do when taking pictures of hills and landscapes. However, if you have a particular subject and you want it to steal someone’s attention, increase the aperture. A large aperture reduces depth of the photo and puts focus on the main subject and blurs the foreground. This could create some impressive effects especially with a wide array of subjects—flowers, insects, faces, etc.
6. Play with colour effects – Colour adjustments can be done during photo editing or through the changing camera settings prior to taking the shots. While you can capture a realistic imagery using normal color settings, you can create surreal or fancy effects by adjusting these settings, and this is much of a trial-error thing. For instance, portraits would look classic and elegant using grayscale tone.
7. Learn the ins and outs of your camera – Did you bother to read the user manual? Many don’t. Knowing much about that gadget is just as important as taking good pictures. Take it to bed and read it again. It’s an essential factor because if you know little about your camera, you also have limited access to its functionality and capability. Therefore you should experiment with its functions and settings frequently.