Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Five tips for better pictures from you point and shoot camera

Most fisherman carry a point and shoot camera with them on their outings. Their motivations may differ. They might simply be looking for a hero shot to show their buddies over a couple of Raineers, look be the next "One Shot Wonder" in Catch magazine, or simply just want to document their adventures. Regardless of your motivation these five tips will help you take better pictures.

5. Think vertical. Don't be afraid to turn you camera vertical to frame a better photo. Often times you can do this to cut certain undesirable aspects out of picture.

4. Watch your background. In most cases (especially hero shots) you want the viewers attention to be on the foreground. So why would you care about the background? Well a poorly composed background can distract from the foreground. Look to: Avoid a dark background. Watch for trees and other objects that line up with the head of your subject (tree growing out of the head effect.) Keep a high level of contrast between your subject and the background. This will allow the subject to "pop" drawing your attention to them. Also check the horizon lines to make sure your picture is level. Nothing is worse then a tilted photo.

3. Keep the sun to your back (especially mid day.) This will reduce any chance of silhouetting your subject. Unless you have an "artistic" shot in mind, play it safe and position your self with the sun to your back.

This also goes with #4. If you move around so that your buddy is facing the sun, have them move with you. A picture of a fisherman with a gravel bar behind them isn't that desirable.

2. Meter the sky. I learned this trick with one of my first P&S cameras. Essentially P&S cameras have crummy sensors that (I think) tend to over expose pictures. A trick that I've done to overcome this is to meter the blue sky. This works especially well on landscape shots. To do this simply point the camera higher then your intended composition, and then push the exposure button half way down so that it meters and focuses. While holding the button down aim the camera back to your original composition.

I took this photo using that technique on the Chikamin Tye MTB trail near Lake Wenatchee. The first shot I took had the sky way over exposed. This is the result of "metering the sky." I've found is easier to brighten dark pictures then darken bright pictures. Plus bright spots are distracting.

1. Take lots of photos! Don't just pull the camera out when there is a fish on snap shots through out the day. Going fishing isn't just about catching fish, so why should your photos only show that. Taking several photos per trip can only increase your odds of getting a "winner"

Falling victim to my own rule. Notice how the picture is tilting to the right.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention getting a copy of Photoshop and learning to use it tastefully ;)


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