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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.
When you're in outdoors like this, let's say at a birthday party or a wedding and you are taking pictures, you don't always have control over all the elements. The sun could be here, your people could be here, and the lighting just might not be what you want. For example, let's take a look at lovely Samara here. She is pretty cute, isn't she? Now look at how the light is coming in from the side. So one side is illuminated, but the other side is in shadow. The camera is actually going to accentuate that and not only is it going to accentuate that.
When light comes in from the side, it makes texture look more visible. It makes the nose stick out. It's going to be everything that's Samara doesn't want. Fortunately, we have a way to counteract that and that's called fill flash. When we turn on the flash, I am going to go to my Flash menu right here. I am going to just choose Flash On, just like this. It brings light in from the front, and that is a much more flattering light. The only thing you have to remember is that you want to be within 8 feet or less because that's the range of the flash.
Anything beyond that, the flash is not going to help you with. So let show you how I would take this picture with the flash on. So now all I have to do is just take the shot. So I am just going to line it up right here, fire it off. Now keep in mind, the closer that you get, the stronger the effect. But I think you really like what you see because the portraits will be very evenly illuminated. It's a very flattering look. I'll show you before and afters in the studio so you can really get a feel for how this is.
In fact, I think it's so effective you could just leave your flash on all day while you are taking these shots, but if you do remember to bring an extra battery.
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