Shoot Like A Pro With Your Compact Camera


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Shoot like a Pro with your Compact Camera is a must have for anyone starting out in photography or want a few tips to take great looking photographs. Its a easy to use, download-print-carry ebook. Check it out and tell me how it is.

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Shoot Like A Pro With Your Compact Camera

  1. 1. Shoot like a Pro with Compact Camera Rahul Prasad ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 1 of 15
  2. 2. © 2010 by Lifeblob LLC Lifeblob is a Bangalore based startup focused on creating a social media community for hobbyist and amateur photographers. Images courtesy Z’hung Lee, Henry Lee, Pranav Bhasin, Vishwas Narendra, Rakshith Prasad, Karthik Bhat, sicklenessclown, Vinod Gowda Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution 3 Please feel free to post this on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it. Thank you ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 2 of 15
  3. 3. What is so hard about photography? With the proliferation of digital point-and-shoot cameras and cameras in cell phones, photography has become accessible to everyone. However, most people stick to the “Auto” mode and expect the camera to churn out great looking photos with the click of a button. Photography, however, still requires the intelligence of the photographer. With the tips given in this ebook, we at help you, the photographer, get the most out of your camera and take professional quality photos. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 3 of 15
  4. 4. Contents In this ebook we discuss 5 simple, yet powerful tips to get you started taking professional looking photographs. They are: • Tip #1: Control the Flash • Tip #2: Macro Mode • Tip #3: Composition • Tip #4: ISO Setting • Tip #5: Polarization Hack ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 4 of 15
  5. 5. Tip #1: Control the Flash • Diffuse Light: Though the flash brightens up the image in a low lighting situation; it results in unnatural skin color and harsh glares with unflattering shadows. One nice hack to reduce the harsh light and get a softer natural looking photo is to diffuse the light from the flash. The cheapest way to get this done, is to cover the flash with a translucent cellophane tape, to reduce the intensity of flash • Fill Flash: There is one other nifty use of flash which most beginners are not aware of. Flash can be used to light up the subjects in the foreground while shooting directly into sunlight, thus helping bring out the details rather than the silhouette. Flash can be used to light up the subjects in the foreground while shooting directly into sunlight ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 5 of 15
  6. 6. Tip #2: Macro Mode Macro mode is used to take close up shots of small objects. Given below are some tips to get the most out of Macro mode: The macro mode works within a particular part of the zoom range. By trial and error, check the cameras optimal range. Better still, leave the camera “unzoomed” and try to get as close to the subject as possible. Increase the ISO of your camera to 400 or above. Make sure that this doesn’t increase the visible noise in your photo. Tripods are one of the essential items in a macro photography kit bag. But, what if we don’t have one? Keep your camera on a flat dry surface such as a stone, or a bench near the subject. If you can’t find such a surface, its better to switch off macro, and try shooting the subject in your normal mode. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 6 of 15
  7. 7. Tip #3: Composition You would have heard professional photographers talking about composition. What do they mean by composing a shot? Technically, it is the arrangement of elements in your frame. Does it require a diploma in design to compose well? NO. The truth is, by following a set of simple techniques you can shoot amazing compositions which will make your friends and family go “WOW”! Here are those: Rule of Thirds This is one of the oldest techniques, which was shamelessly borrowed from the painters. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid. Place this across your image and where the lines intersect are your points where you should place your subjects. Most of the cameras now a days come with a grid to help you with this. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 7 of 15
  8. 8. Tip #3: Composition (Cont’d) Lines Lines play a very important element of composition. It draws the attention of the viewer to the main subject. Horizontal lines help divide the scene while vertical lines give a sense of strength and height. Try shooting an image with the diagonal line passing from the bottom left to the top right and see for yourself the power of lines! Perspectives Photography is a two dimensional medium while the subjects are in 3D. Perspectives help us add the third dimension by creating a sense of scale and depth. You can try keeping with one subject in the foreground and another a bit farther away in the background or try different positions while taking portraits. Perspectives help us add the third dimension by creating a sense of scale and depth ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 8 of 15
  9. 9. Tip #4: ISO Setting The ISO settings in the camera relates to the sensitivity of the camera sensor. In other words, higher the ISO number greater the amount of details captured by the sensor. All cameras come with Auto ISO mode and most people tend to stick with that, and most cameras do a good job of choosing the ISO. However, controlling the ISO has it benefits. Firstly, changing the ISO settings will impact the aperture and shutter speed needed for a well exposed shot. For e.g. changing the ISO from 100 to 400 allows you to shoot at higher shutter speeds and/or smaller apertures. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 9 of 15
  10. 10. Tip #4: ISO Setting (Cont’d) Secondly, higher ISO settings help you capture low light situations without using Flash. ISO helps you take soft moody shots like blowing-candle-in-dark birthday photos without the glaring flash spoiling the mood. The downside however is that higher ISO tends to increase the digital noise in the image. Finally, although its best to avoid noise in your image; it can be used creatively to give a grunge, raw feel to your creations. ISO is an important aspect of digital photography to have an understanding of if you want to gain more control of your digital camera. ISO helps you take soft moody shots ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 10 of 15
  11. 11. Tip #5: Polarization Hack Photographic filters are add-ons to the camera which alters the image captured by the sensor. These give the photographer more control over the photo he wants produced. Filters range from simple UV blocking ones which subtly cuts out unwanted light to ones which gives special effects. Polarizer is one such filter which you will find in any professional outdoor photographers kit bag. It has one main effect: it eliminates reflection from non- metal surfaces. Because of this property, a polarizer is very useful when it comes to photographing running water or skies. Because it filters out unwanted light it tends to make the water more transparent and the skies more saturated and slightly more darker. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 11 of 15
  12. 12. Tip #5: Polarization Hack (Cont’d) “All this is fine. But how do we get this effect on a normal point and shoot?” you ask. Your solution is sitting right on top of your nose. Yes, your sunglasses can be effectively used as a polarizing filter. For better results, get them as close to the viewfinder as possible and make sure you can’t see the rims in the shot. Note however that, if your sunglasses come with a dark shade, the photo you get would be on the darker side. Though this can be “brightened” during the post processing make sure that you try it on a sunny day with the sun behind your back to get the best results. Your sunglasses can be effectively used as a polarizing filter ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 12 of 15
  13. 13. Summary For people starting off in photography these tips will help you keep getting better at this art “Practice, practice and more practice” is the mantra when it comes to getting better at photography. Also, make it a point to learn from your past mistakes and make sure not to do them again. Find Inspiration – Internet is strewn with awe inspiring photos by other photographers. (lifeblob has more than a few!). Explore them. Figure out how they got that result and try to replicate. Learn from your peers – It helps to learn in groups. Form an informal photography community or join an existing one in your area. Learning from your peers hastens your learning and inspires you to explore more. ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 13 of 15
  14. 14. About Lifeblob Lifeblob is a social photo sharing service that helps you connect with your friends and family through photos. For every photo you upload, lifeblob discovers photos that are related to it in some manner and shows it next to your photo. Lifeblob currently hosts over 3 million photos and has a thriving community where amateur photographers improve their skills by interacting with experts. Check out Become a fan here: Follow us on twitter at ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 14 of 15
  15. 15. About the Author Rahul Prasad is a hobbyist photographer who got inspired to take up photography seriously when his dad gifted him a point and shoot (Kodak Easyshare Z7590) 5 years back. He currently owns a Canon 1000D DSLR with kit and 50mm prime lens. Though he likes all kinds of photography, his current interests are into Black and White and people photography. Check out his photos here He regularly blogs at Follow him on twitter at ©Lifeblob LLC 2010 15 of 15