I bought my Canon t2i in December, 2010 because I was frustrated and annoyed with the perceived limitations of my old Sony point & shoot. I was convinced all the bad pictures I was producing were because I had a “crappy camera,” and that I needed a “nice” camera to take better ones.
Granted, my DSLR certainly took better pictures out of the box, but it was only with knowledge of how to actually work a camera that I was able to start producing great pictures. A “nice” camera, does not a photographer make.
After a year of studying and actually learning how photography really works, I pulled my old p&s out of the junk drawer and thought I’d play around with it one day. For the first time in the 6 years I’ve owned it, I realized that I could actually make changes to the settings… and I UNDERSTOOD what those settings would do.
And, whaddaya know? I was actually able to produce some pretty great pictures with it.
I share this, not because I’m going to abandon my DSLR now, but because I know so many of you only have a p&s, or even an iPhone, as your primary camera, and I need to show you that your excuse that you can’t take “great” pictures because you can’t afford a DSLR is INVALID.
I took this picture with my Canon t2i and a 50 1.4 lens. The camera was on auto, and the flash popped on.
Let’s pretend that green monkey is a really cooperative child and that chair isn’t covered in dog hair and Cheezit crumbs, okay?
That picture? Is crap, yet it was taken with a “nice” camera.
Then I busted this old boy out:
And proceeded to take this:
That picture is already a million times better than the one from the “nice” camera, right? Here’s why:
I moved my subject into natural light and turned the flash off. AVOID FLASH LIKE AN STD, FOLKS, at least until you have a really good grasp on how to use it properly (which I’ll admit, I don’t).
The composition and perspective are more interesting. I got down on my subjects level, and I tried to make the background more interesting with less clutter.
I used the Macro feature, found on most p&s cameras (that little tulip symbol) to help blur out that filthy chair in the background a little. (I got that tip from Me Ra Koh at Blissdom this year.)
Already, if you just do those 3 things, you’re well on your way to taking better pics with your p&s.
But then, for a little extra oomph, I took it into Lightroom 3. I made some small adjustments to the white balance, exposure, contrast and moved the noise reduction slider over a little to get rid of some of the graininess. I also cropped it just a bit to get rid of some of the clutter in the frame.
The first is processed with Clickin Moms Paparazzi in Daily Edition.
And this one is from the Clickin Moms Film Art presets- Pewter.
So, before you think you have to trash your p&s and invest in a “nice” camera, ask yourself if you’re really going to take the time to learn how that nice camera, and photography in general works. And if you don’t have the money to upgrade and feel frustrated, take a little time to learn how to get great pictures regardless of your equipment! I plan for this to be the first post in a series of many where I’ll help you do just that as I learn along the way.