How to Maximize Your Point and Shoot Camera during Travels

Photos are as easy as 1,2,3 shoot.

So what if you don’t have an SLR camera? It’s bulky and it’s heavy, said the bitter person without one. But instead of sulking in the corner and getting all sad about how we could take good photos if only, let’s just pick up our trusty point and shoot digital camera and enjoy the perks of not having to mind knobs and simply, point, and, shoot!

  • Shoot in a well-lit location. The sad thing about a point and shoot camera is that it is not as obedient to its owner as an SLR. So the only time you can rely on its abilities is during a well-lit day. Snap away during the day, especially when it’s sunny. Although you can use flash in a dark place, you’d most likely end up with a black background; much like taking a photo against a blank black wall. So manage your expectations and don’t expect that you will be able to see the cityscape as your background from your hotel’s balcony. But don’t be discouraged; just read on.
  • Read the manual before you take your trip. Just because it’s called point and shoot doesn’t mean that it’s all you can do with it. A lot of point and shoot cameras have settings that mirror those of SLR cameras. You can adjust the white balance (white what?), shutter speed (what’s shutter and why does it go fast?) and even the ISO settings (does that mean International Standards Organization?) of your point and shoot camera. To use these settings, read the manual. It will tell you everything you need to know.
  • Bring it anywhere even before your trip. You won’t be able to maximize your point and shoot camera during your travels if you’re not familiar with it. As you get to know the different settings you can use, you should also experience taking photos as you adjust the knobs and select the different “scenes” your point and shoot has. This will make it easier for you next time to decide on the best settings to use in certain situations. And when you get to your destination, use it like there’s no tomorrow. The moment you land on Caticlan Airport for a trip to Boracay, take photos of your travel buddies and of all the other interesting stuff you see.
  • Get to know basic composition techniques. Hey, you can use your smartphone in taking good photos, what more your digital camera? They say that the photographer takes good photos, not the camera. Prove it right by learning composition basics, things that aren’t dependent on the camera’s abilities, or lack thereof.
  • Process your photos. You’d appreciate even the poorest performing point and shoot camera if you know how to optimize photos using processing software such as Photoshop. Since your camera is limited, there’d be times when all you can do is compensate by adjusting some knobs in the computer. Check out PicMonkey.com for a sampling of all the fun that photo processing is about.
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