I remember when I purchased my first DSLR camera, the Canon T1i, I said, “Finally my images will look more vibrant and professional.” I started snapping away at anything and everything, confident the lens would handle it now that I had upgraded from a point-and-shoot. When my photos weren’t popping out at me and my hopes and dreams of incredible photography started drifting away, I shifted my thought to “Wow, this camera really sucks.”
The Truth about DSLR’s
The reality is, the DSLR camera is just a canvas and what I just shelled out all the extra dollars for… is a larger palette. In fact, several point-and-shoot cameras offer very many of the same features as a DSLR; they are several more menu clicks away.
3 Quick Ways you can get stunning images without an expensive camera
- Sunrises and Sunsets offer incredible lighting scenarios. Rays of light are less competitive at these times so your images become less washed out and incredibly more vibrant than if you were to take a photo midday. One interesting thing to note is the difference in color warmth. An identical picture taken during sunrise will have a warmer (red/yellow) tint than a picture taken at sunset, a slightly blue tint.
- Photos taken before and after a storm passing offer a more unique and intense feel to your pictures that you couldn’t achieve with any camera settings or filters. Try this next time a storm is approaching or right after it ends and compare the picture to that of one taken during modest weather conditions. BONUS: set your camera on a tripod or anything stable and tell your camera to take a 30-second exposure of the sky, optionally setting your white balance to “Cloudy”. You won’t regret it.
- Whenever possible, simply take your subject outside. Outdoor photography offers wonderful natural light and your camera will love nothing more than to literally leave flash out of the picture. Have you ever noticed the amazing contrast difference between photos you’ve taken on a hike versus photos you take indoors at night. Usually in low light settings, your camera doesn’t want to take the chance of blurring your image so it defaults to the awful backup plan, the flash. That being said, enjoy those moments that can only be remembered 20 years later because you took the time to click, flash or not.
If you’re frustrated with the automatic settings on your DSLR or point-and-shoot, I highly recommend the book that made a world of a difference to me, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It is great for beginners and intermediate levels.
If you have any photography tips you’d like to add, please share! I’d love to hear them.
-Kyle | KM3 Media