Remember when you had to focus the camera manually on your own? Those were the days. The age of auto focus has taken the pains out of capturing the perfect image and let us old guys stay sharp.
Has this ever happened to you? Your child is right in the middle of looking so cute laying her head on the family dog. What a picture! You quickly pick up your camera, and as you get ready to fire, she moves. The word you need to think about is “focus lock.” Now I have your attention. Taking a photo with your point-and-shoot camera is a two-step process. Step One: when you press the focus button halfway down, you are locking in the focus on whatever you were pointing at. If you keep your finger in the halfway position, you are still in focus even if you drop the camera at your side…as long as your subject has not walked away! Step Two: reposition the camera and follow through all the way. Wow! The sweet clicking sound of success and a great image!
Push down the shutter half way and hold your finger on the trigger ready for the moment.
So here is a good way to capture the special moment. While your child is being so cute, pick up your camera before she realizes you are there. Go ahead, point the camera, frame your image, and lock in the focus by pressing down the button halfway. Whisper “hey sweetie,” and as she looks up in that gentle moment, continue pressing all the way down on the shutter. Quick, and you got it. Using the focus lock, you will find the traditional point-and-shoot camera will fire much faster. Of course, DSLR cameras (digital single-lens reflex) are designed for fast, one-step focusing. It seems the more you spend, the faster they are.
When I see others using point-and-shoot cameras, they often point the camera and press as fast as possible only to miss that special moment because of the delay it takes to lock and shoot. When shooting those fun group shots—when everyone is pushing their heads in the middle of the image—go ahead and lock in that focus while you are arranging everyone together. Then when you say ”smile,” you can get the shot quickly and will look like a pro. Don’t let this tip move you one step toward a new career, though. There are enough of us out there already.
Point and shoot cameras are so much fun to use, and I find myself shooting at home with mine whenever the grandkids are around rather than using the big guns. Often, I am asked what is the best camera? There are many choices. The first big consideration is how big of a camera you want to carry. You will sacrifice some features for size. The most exciting feature in many point-and-shoot cameras is high definition (HD) video, which is like having a top quality camera and video camera in the size of a pack of smokes.
I will save the details on purchasing the best point-and-shoot camera and how to use video for another time. If you want to see the best features in most cameras on the market, I suggest visiting www.dpreview.com. It’s a great site with all the details on the newest cameras. I always visit this site when searching what’s new.
And remember today’s camera tip! To get that perfect image, you must be ready to lock on the target, focus, and shoot!
Talk to you soon,
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