Taking nice pictures is actually quite fun and easy. You don’t need to be a “camera expert” nor do you immediately need to know all those “confusing” settings on your camera. All that is required is a subject and an eye for what is nice. The rest will come, trust me… been there, done that.
Most of my pictures are taken with the auto setting (as oppose to manual).
My camera, which is 8 years old, is the Canon Powershot G5. I have no plans on upgrading since it still takes excellent pictures.
Step 1: 1. Pick Your Subject
Mine is flowers from my garden. And the pictures shown below are from my garden. Other pictures are either inside or around the city.
Step 2: 2. Evaluate the Light of Day... Sunny, Dawn, or Dusk?
Pictures are best taken either really early mornings when the sun is just coming up, or after 6-6:30 when the sun is going down (just before dusk). I personally prefer the evening. The colours are true to nature. And sometimes, the pictures talk to you :)
Step 3: 3. Close-Ups (macro) Vs Zoom Vs Far
I normally set my camera on “Macro” setting when I want to take a picture of that certain flower or plant, and even bees, and I zoom in for butterflies since I can't get close enough to them without them flying away. When on macro, the remainder of the background is blurry, which is really cool.
Macro setting is used at about 1’ or less from your subject. However, at times, if you are too close to the subject, the camera will have difficulty focusing. Also note that the macro and zoom feature do not always readily work well together. If that is the case, don’t use the macro, but do use the zoom.
Step 4: 4. Under Pictures
Meaning taking pictures by turning your camera/screen upward on your subject or by crouching down and turning the screen upward. Makes for really cool pictures, and the height of the subject also plays a role in the pictures too.
My camera has a screen that can be swivelled.
Step 5: 5. Playing With the Sun, Water, Candles, and More
I do love taking pictures with the sun slightly in the camera provided it’s after 6:30 PM or so. Also, when I’m watering the grass with the hand sprinkler. For example, I might get my husband to shoot the hand sprinkler high in the garden, and then I capture the right moment. I often need numerous tries to get the one shot right, but it’s all worth it.
Candles can be pretty cool too - they are the light.
Step 6: 6. Other Subjects
Don’t forget your pets in the garden, the sky, the snow, the mirrors, shadows, etc. Shoot, shoot, shoot. It’s loads of fun.
Step 7: 7. Manual Settings
As for the manual settings…all I have to say is… play with your settings until you think you’re getting it right. After all, everything is digital now, so it’s point, shoot, and delete if you don’t like.
Most of the time, I use the automatic because I'm always in a hurry for a certain shot.
I could certainly write more, but I think this is good for starters. Sorry about so many pictures, I get carried away.
Go out and enjoy the scene :).