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How to take great pictures with your point and shoot camera

Updated on March 14, 2015
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Better pictures with a Point and shoot camera

Almost everyone has a point and shoot digital camera nowadays. Most people use them for taking shot of family and vacation, and just everyday things to remember their life. Many of the pictures I see people taking with a point and shoot camera have flaws that make them disappointing to the person taking the shots. Which makes them not good for memories. I will tell you how to get good pictures out of your point and shoot camera that you will be proud to show everyone.

The first and most important thing to do is to take some time and read the manual with the camera in hand, so you can test and learn how the features work. Knowing how to use the features of the camera will go a long way to improving your pictures.

Most point and shoot cameras come with 5 to 20 shooting modes that will help you have the setting correct for the type of picture you want to take. The shooting modes are normally portrait, landscape, indoor, snow, beach, and a variety of other choices. What they do is optimize the camera settings for the pictures you are taking.

The landscape setting will set the aperture and shutter speed at the best settings to get you the best in focus shots from front to back of your picture, (depth of field), so you can have foreground objects in focus as well as the far away objects. For landscapes focus the camera about 1/3 of the way into the shot. The other shooting modes do the same thing for the other types of pictures.

Use the flash. Get as close as you can when taking shots of people, then use the flash to fill in shadows and make the overall lighting of the picture better. If shooting at night, use the night shooting mode or slow sync mode. It will allow you to get the person in the front lit with the flash as well as the background lighting.

The picture will not be of a person standing in a black nothingness. If the subject is too far away, don't use the flash. Steady the camera against something so it will not move and slowly squeeze the shutter release, I even hold my breath when I am shooting the shot.

Better Shots with a Point and Shoot Camera

Look behind the person to make sure the shot is not ruined by something that will look like it is coming out of their head in the background. Look around the rest of the shot through the viewfinder or the screen to make sure that there are not other distracting objects in the picture. Using bright colors as the focus of the picture can also lead to enhancing the shot.

When photographing people, focus on the eyes.

Try to frame the subject with something, some trees of a wall or something that will draw the viewers eyes into the picture so they will see what you want them to see. Anything that will enhance the subject.

Try to use the rule of 3rds. Get the subject out of the center of the shot. Picture a tic tac toe game drawn in the viewfinder, try to put the subject on one of the crossing lines.Your pictures will be better if the subject is not in the center of the shot.

Look through the viewfinder, think about how you want the finished picture to look. Try to frame the subject, use bright colors, focus on the eyes, use the shooting modes, use the flash when it will help, be creative, and most of all read the manual, so you know how to use the features on the point and shoot camera that are there to help you get better pictures.

Experiment with the camera. Go out alone on a nice afternoon and spend a couple of hours just shooting whatever you see interesting. Try to make the shot the best shot you can of the subject. If your camera has any manual settings, try the different settings and see what happens. Change the ISO setting. Try different angles of shooting, get low, shoot down on subject. The great thing about digital camera's is that you can just delete them and it costs nothing to experiment and learn.

I spent hundreds of dollars experimenting with film back when I was learning. Not many people wanted to do that then, now anyone can learn to take the best shots you possibly can.

Some good tips on getting better pictures


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    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      A good overview of point and shoot cameras. Thanks!

    • ShonEjai profile image

      ShonEjai 6 years ago from California

      Thanks for these tips. I practice digital photography too and have found that textures help. Visit my website for examples of textures. Best of luck!