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Compact, point-and-shoot cameras are convenient, travel-ready, and inexpensive. They're also more capable—and complex—than ever. In Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera, photographer Derrick Story shows how to use a compact camera to take photos that rival those of far more expensive cameras. Derrick shows how to get the most out the camera's lens as you shoot wide-angle, telephoto, and even macro shots. Derrick also discusses the camera's exposure system and clarifies the differences among ISO settings and scene modes. He also shows how to get the best pictures in a variety of lighting conditions, including making judicious use of the flash to supplement existing light.
So you may recall when we were out in the field and we're talking about being able to locking the exposure on a particular area in the scene. So I have an extreme example for you here. You might recall these shots that we took of Samara. She was standing in the shade of a tree, and we had a nice bright background. So the original shot where we didn't do anything, the camera exposed for the background, and that's a very logical thing to do. It is the dominant lighting of the scene and I had no idea really that we wanted a picture of Samara too.
Now on the second shot I actually pointed the camera down near her feet and locked in the exposure using Exposure Lock, pressed the shutter halfway, and that also allowed me to lock in the focus on her right here. And this is the shot we got. So now we have Samara properly exposed, but the background is way blown out, and this is what you're dealing with in contrast-y situations. Unless you use supplemental lighting, such as a flash or reflectors, you have to pick one or the other.
What Exposure Lock allows you to do is you get to decide what you are picking and not the camera, and I think that's what's important about this technique.
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