Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tips for Using Your Point & Shoot at Night

Hey fellow shutterbugs,

If you're like a lot photographers, you probably keep a camera somewhere close to you most of the time. For many, like myself, dragging around my main rig DSLR all the time just isn't very practical. But I have an Olympus P&S that takes great pictures. It's small & easy to carry just about anywhere.

Here's a few ideas to try next time you're out at night & get the urge to go looking for an image.

Shutter Speed Settings - Pretty much all point & shoot cameras have some means of adjusting the shutter speed. This is principally done in one of two ways. First, is an actual control that allows you to select a specific speed. If yours had a manual mode setting, that would be the first place to check. If yours does not allow for specific speeds, then it probably has different pre-programmed "scenes" or modes that you can choose from. Try some different speeds & see what effect they have on moving lights. You'll be amazed at what you get. The longer open shutter time will also force a smaller aperture to help bring distant objects into clearer focus.

No tripod? - That's OK! Most of us don't keep one of these real handy. All you really need a steady & sturdy to help you stay still. You might find that this object becomes part of the picture itself. You can buy or make a beanbag holder that is easy to transport. Finally, don't forget to take advantage of the timer feature that most all units have. That way, you won't even be touching the camera when the shutter fires.

ISO Selection - Here's another method you can use to effectively control exposure to get the look you want. Just note that with higher ISO rating, you will get increased noise, which may not be desirable. The level of noise-reduction capabilities varies amongst camera manufacturers and also depends on what the individual photographer likes.

So there you have it! Just a few ways you can use to improve the images you take at night. These work great & you will notice an improvement. Be sure to post some examples so we can check out your work too!

Happy shooting,


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