Making Your Camera Work for You


Even if you take your family photos with a basic point-and-shoot camera, or a Smart Phone camera, there are still some basic tips that can greatly improve your photos, making your camera work better for you.
Point-and-Shoot Cameras
One of the biggest issues with non-SLR (single lens reflex) cameras is that everything in your shot is in focus. This creates clutter in your shot. With professional photography, you will often see an out-of-focus background where only your subject is in focus. (This effect, which is called bokeh, can only be achieved with specific lenses and an SLR camera.)

What can you do if you have a point-and-shoot camera? Shoot wide-angle shots, remembering the points I mentioned previously:

  • Position your subject off to one side
  • Watch for clutter
  • Watch for trees/poles/etc. behind your subject, which can make the shot look awkward

Or use the macro mode for close-up shots (i.e. filling the frame) of your subject.

Smart Phone Cameras
If you have a smart phone, you are ready to go with that camera and a few apps. I use an iPhone because of all the cool photography apps available. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Mobile: This Photoshop for iPhone app allows you to quickly edit your photo—crop, correct exposure, adjust contrast and even apply some nice effects and borders. (Bonus, it’s a free app!)
  • BlurFX: This app allows you to blur the whole image, then remove the blur from the subject, giving you a bokeh-life effect.
  • PictureShow: This app is a favourite because it emulates various toy camera styles, including frames, light leaks and noise. The only downfall is there are so many different options that it can take a while to pick your favourite!
  • Hipstamatic: Here’s another toy camera app which you can use to take photos. The interface is an old toy camera, and it includes a few lenses, films and a flash that you can mix and match to achieve different effects.

Any questions or apps you recommend? Please post a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Holly Sisson is generously offering Toronto SavvyMom subscribers a complimentary 8×10 print ($95 value) with a family session booked before October 31, 2010.

Four step iPhone app process


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