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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.
Well, here we are at the final shoot of the day. The sun is setting in the west, and before we ride off into that sunset, I want to show you these twilight portraits of Samara. Now let's start with what happens when you actually don't turn on the flash. These are flash shots here, but here, we don't have that flash on and as we see the camera exposes for the background, but under exposes our subject and that's generally what we don't want. So we do want to turn the flash on. We want both, right.
But as our background gets darker, it's harder for a regular flash setting to capture it. So that's when we move to Slow Synchro or we move to Night Portrait. That slows the shutter down and that allows the camera to capture the background, and then the flash illuminates our subject, and here we have a nice combination of Samara and background. You see that again here and then moving over to here. Now I have just one tip for you around this and that is if you want that background even darker, you can control that by using your exposure compensation scale.
We've talked about this before. But to darken that background, if you go to -1, that will make a little bit darker, and if you go to -2, that will make it even darker. Now that won't affect your subject, because your subject is being illuminated by flash. Exposure compensation controls the background. So that's what you want to keep in mind while you're shooting these shots. Just remember, as the background lighting goes down, you want to move from regular flash to either Slow Synchro or Night Portrait, and then that way you will be able to have both your subject and your background.
I think it's a very pretty shot and I hope you give it a try.
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