5 tips for better photos with point-and-shoot cameras

Summary: Taken using a Canon PowerShot SD550, lying on its back with 10-sec timer without flash.We all want to be better photographers, but we don't always have the equipment for it.

 

Taken using a Canon PowerShot SD550, lying on its back with 10-sec timer without flash.

Taken using a Canon PowerShot SD550, lying on its back with 10-sec timer without flash.

We all want to be better photographers, but we don't always have the equipment for it. It's a misconception, however, that you need an SLR to take excellent photos. Here are five tips to better shots on a point-and-shoot:

 

  1. Don't use your flash. This may sound weird, but I'm really anti-flash, especially when it comes to point-and-shoots. The photos look weak and fake. Try turning off your flash, and if your photos are coming out blurry, hold your camera on a surface such as a table when pressing the shutter button to take a stable picture. If your hand is still shaking the camera on the surface, use the timer function.
  2. Use your flash. Obviously, if you're at a party or in a dark space, the above tip won't work. And sometimes, flash can be artistic - even on a point-and-shoot. Photo.net advises how to shade your background and make your foreground characters light, using a point-and-shoot and not an SLR. Using prefocus (holding your shutter button down, but not all the way so that it snaps a shot), you can meter for the foreground and the background and latch on to where you want to the flash to focus.
  3. Change your focus: Using the macro setting, you can really turn out photos on a point-and-shoot the way you would on an SLR camera with a fancy lens. What you have to watch out for here is making sure your focus is sharp on the object you're zooming in on. Ideally, the background would be out of focus, but perhaps try playing around so that it's in focus, and your foreground is blurred. This setting might take some practice, but sometimes, you get your best photos while just fooling around with settings.
  4. Take multiple shots on different settings. Most digital cameras come with sizable memory cards these days, and if you're serious about photography, you should be using a 2 GB or larger. Thus, you should have a lot of space for testing out different functions and light settings to get the best picture possible. 
  5. Use different angles: The average person shoots a photo from 5 ft tall. Don't be average. It doesn't matter how tall or short you are. If you're standing still or comfortably, you're doing something wrong. Get low on the ground, stand on something, or simply tilt the camera for a more unique shot.

Topics: Hardware

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.