Cousin Jack wrote:
Dusty, your photos are absolutely stunning: how do you get them so sharp, so saturated with color? Do you use a tripod? What's your secret, buddy? Teach me! Teach me! Please?
I just point my little Point N Shoot camera at what interests me and shoot the picture, CJ.
Seriously, we've talked before about what camera I use while touring(you have almost the identical one) and the secret is ..... lighting
.... and luck.
My little camera has IS
(Image Stabilization) built into it. I don't use a tripod, as it's a bear to use that set-up while riding!
Believe me when I tell you that even with that feature,(IS
) I have lots of out of focus/blurry shots. I take many shots and am lucky to have a few that come out pretty good. Although I do have a tripod, I very seldom use it and don't bother taking it with me while riding. I will use a tripod for night shots of say, the moon during an eclipse, where any kind of movement is magnified at that extreme zoom and low exposure conditions. You'll notice a lot of my shots are taken from the saddle, while I'm riding, using one hand to get the 'shot', but other times, I let go of the bars with both hands(cruise control set)completely, to properly 'frame the shot' I want. Dave(Winger77) will attest to that fact.
Don't get hung up about how many megapixels it has. Anything over 4-5 megapixels is plenty enough. The more megapixels your camera is, the greater room on your media card it consumes for each shot, meaning you get less pictures on a 2 gig card with a 12 megapixel camera, than a camera with 6. Although my camera is 10 megapixel, I typically shoot with it set at 7. As you can see, at that size, the shots are clear, so anything more that that is really not needed by the average photographer. It's just 'marketing hype'.
Like I say, lighting is KEY!
It is so important
to convey mood and highlights. Morning and later afternoon are best to get a 'softer' image. When the sun is high, your landscape shots end up with harsh lighting. No 'shadows' to give the shot depth, the colours look 'bleached'
Another important feature I look for in a camera, is it's optical zoom(not to be confused with digital zoom) capabilities, for 'cropping' a scene/shot. Getting a camera with a high optical zoom, really requires IS to help keep the image blur free/focused
Also, play around with some of the settings on the camera and check out the subtle and not so subtledifferences it makes.
Different exposure levels. Use lower(-) exposure settings on a bright/midday shot. Under lower light conditions, use more(+) exposure. Take multiple shots of the same subject, using different exposure settings and you'll soon learn what setting is right for the kind of shot you want to achieve. I guess in short what I'm trying to say about your camera, what ever type/level it is ... is get to 'know' your camera. Read the manual and experiment with it. The digitals are not like the old film cameras, where it was expensive and time consuming to do this with. With today's cameras, it's almost instant gratification and the 'learning cure' is not quite as steep in the old days.
When shopping for a new camera, read up about the camera that you think you'd like. There are online digital camera review sites and they describe the potential camera's strengths and weaknesses. Do your research and learn it's settings once you purchase it and that will pay off with better shots. I had a Nikon Coolpix Point N Shoot once that did great macro shots, but it's low power optical zoom left much to be desired, As soon as you hit the zoom, it's focus was terrible,
so I ended up selling it to someone that understood it's weakness and wanted it mainly for it's macro capabilities and depth of field.
I ended up buying a nice Canon, but alas it was too big/bulky to extract it easily
from it's case and my tank bag while riding. One thing I learned about cameras while backpacking is,if it is not easy to get out, it won't be coming out often
and therefore not many pictures will be taken. Ease of access/use isa high priority
, which is why I ended up with my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10. It's not an expensive camera by any means, but it does a pretty good job.
If you are interested in seeing some more of my shots, look up my profile and check out my Flickr link. I have put a few
of myshots in there