Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Take Better Holiday Snaps

Having a family rapidly strips you of the notion that every shot must be painstakingly composed and lit.

Despite making a living out of photography, there are (just a few) times when I leave the DSLR's at home and just get holiday snaps with my point-and-shoot. Today I thought I'd share a few of my own holiday snaps along with a couple of tips on getting the best out of your point and shoot. I took all of these with my Canon Powershot G12 while Mrs C, Miss C(8) and I were camping at Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka last week.

Old FriendsNZ falconIMG_2705.jpgCockabully Creek

First, your point-and-shoot camera is built for convenience - so keep it handy! Life is full of Kodak moments (boy, that really is just a figure of speech nowadays), but they're gone forever if the camera is still at the bottom of your suitcase. From rare birds like this NZ falcon to rare moments with Miss C(8) and Mr A(8), I wouldn't have gotten these without the camera being in hand. 


Get the big picture. Nothing like some wide shots or panoramas to set the scene for your holiday pictures.

Shed SkinIMG_2755.jpgCicada invaders

Don't forget the little details. Today's point-and-shoots often come with a macro function for shooting little stuff up close. Use it to add some variety to your shots.

Shooting cloudsIMG_2702.jpgIMG_2697.jpg

Keep shooting. Captured moments are great, but little sequences can be real gold. When fun moments are unfolding, shoot in burst mode and keep your finger on the button.

IMG_2549.jpg IMG_2828.jpg

Get close. The first thing I ever did to improve my photography was to start filling the frame with what I wanted in the picture. Make every pixel count!

"What were you doing before your child drowned?"

We all have bad hair days and double chin moments. Don't let that put you off getting in the picture too sometimes. Your kids will thank you one day, even if they're more interested in the lake right now.

The Deep

Daylight flash. I laugh when I see folks firing flash in concerts, because there's no way the little light on a pocket camera is going to illuminate the stage. I also see a lot of other indoor night shots where the flash just hasn't reached the subject or it's just made for a flat-looking shot in a sea of darkness. I think your camera flash is best used in daytime for taking pictures of people.  It fills in the dark shadows and puts a little sparkle in your subjects' eyes. Or sunglasses. It works underwater too. Not that the shot below is an example of that...

Glendhu Bay Mermaid IMG_2512.jpg

The shots above should encourage you to shoot into the sun now and then, blocking it out with your subject to create a cool silhouette, or letting a little of the sun peek over an edge for a little creative flare. Daylight flash at work again with Miss C(8) above. See the little spark in her eyes?

The End of a Perfect day

Most importantly, if you like something, take a shot. Your flash card and hard drive don't care how many pictures you take.

1 comment:

  1. Awesomee stuff Clive, thanks for the tips and looks like a cool kiwi holiday.