Saturday, December 8, 2012

Use "motor drive" with your point and shoot

Firing at wide angle maximizes the f/stop in use.
 O.K., it's not quite a motor drive. But, holding the shutter button down on many point and shoots will give a continuous burst of shots at a subdued speed — more like an old fashioned camera winder than one of today's super quick motor drives. Still, even a humble winder has its place.

My Canon S90 (the Canon S110 is the replacement) has an f/2.0 lens when used wide open. This demands shooting at wide angle. As the lens is zoomed it loses maximum aperture size. Shooting at wide open with the lens at wide angle, set the camera to available light photography. You want natural looking images taken without a flash. Most folk prefer the look of available light over harsh on-camera flash.

The school gymnasium where my granddaughter's Christmas pageant was held was somewhat dark, at least for photography. The shutter delay on my point and shoot struggled to focus and this meant lost pictures.

In situations like this I have found waiting for picture moments and then simply laying on the shutter button works wonders. Line up your shot, or anticipated shot, and then when the moment is right start firing. With luck you will grab an image with minimal subject movement. (I know you will hold the camera steady and keep camera movement to a minimum, right?)

As this was a picture moment, the potential for capturing a good image is there. Unfortunately, the slow shutter speed necessitated by the available light approach dooms many of the images. But, with my system you will have choices and a few of those choices may be just what the (photo) doctor ordered.

Points to remember:

  • Wait for a picture moment.
  • Shoot at wide angle to maximize the f/stop in use.
  • Keep the shutter button depressed to fire off a series of shots.
  • Hold the camera steady. If possible, brace the camera. 
  • Use a very large SD card. You don't want to fill your card during your shoot.
  • View your pictures at the soonest possible moment; Enlarge the best ones to ensure you've got your picture.

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