Tag Archives: point-and-click

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Candid Photography

by Christopher B. Derrick

People love candid photography, because it truly captures slice of life moments that will never be repeated and it invokes a sense of the “now.” Only, most people go around taking staged photos and asking people to say “cheese”

1. Lose the Flash

One of the first things you need to do is turn off your flash. Whether you’re using a P&S or a dSLR, the use of a flash shouts that you’re taking pictures. Whereas, if your flash is off — you can subtly snap away and catch those great moments. Also, flashes blind people, so those expressions of joy, grief, surprise, excitement – can get wiped away by the flash.

2. Take A Lot of Photos

Don’t be afraid to take tons and tons of photos (fill up that memory card!), and if you’re not using the flash, the camera doesn’t need to cycle the flash to take advantage of the camera’s shooting speed. Most digital cameras today – P&S and dSLR have a burst mode, use that to your advantage (practice with it in non-important settings to get the hang on of it, because it’s useful and fun in the right hands in the right circumstances).

3. Use Your Zoom and Strategic Positioning

You’ll want to use the longer end of your zoom lens and find the most advantageous places to get shots that don’t intrude on what’s happening around you. This strategic positioning is a skill that you’ll develop the more you seriously think about positioning and placement for effective photographs — before the events happen.

4. Catch People in the Moment

And one of the best ways to improve your candid photos is to photograph people actually doing things… nothing drains the life out of a photo than having it staged; asking people to move closer and smile and change positions so so-and-so can be seen takes the energy out of any moment. The stilted nature of those types of photos (and we ALL know what I’m talking about) is what you’re fight against. Part of the fight requires you just taking pictures when your subject(s) isn’t aware; when they’re caught up in something else (listening to someone tell a story, waiting for the surprise guest to show up, etc.) is an ideal time to snap away.

5. Become Invisible

When your composing your candid shots, try to do a few things to prevent your subjects from knowing that you’re taking a picture. Try keeping the camera down by your belt/waist and fire away (no need to keep your eye at the viewfinder, as you had to with some film cameras) and/or position people and objects directly between you and the subject(s) to act as a framing device. In addition, by finding unorthodox perspectives and camera positions you’ll also increase the power of your candid — especially, if they’re slightly out of focus, tilted and otherwise “messy” — as that mess can be the brilliance.

Chris Derrick is a writer, photographer, screenwriter and director living and working in Los Angeles. He studied film production and screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and continued to expand his photographic knowledge through classes at the Art Center College of Design.


via The Photo Argus.



Top image by moriza

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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Featured, General, Worth a Look


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Why Should I Bother?

Why Should I Bother?

When first considering leaving that nice safe Auto Mode, start by thinking about why you want to do this. No doubt, it’s because there are just some times that you can’t take the type of photo you want to take. You line it up, and press the button and the result pretty much sucks. 

The reason for this is simple. The camera simply has no idea what you’re trying to take a photo of, and whenever it’s set to auto, it will just try to guess and give you the best shot it can. Now this is often good enough for quick family snaps, but there are times when it just won’t cut the mustard and you need to really work with the camera to achieve the shot you are looking for.

There are two major things to look for in a camera: the ability to go from Auto Mode to other, more manual, Modes and an eye viewfinder. You need to be able to put that camera right up to your eye and look through to see how you’re framing the image. This isn’t just some blurb, but some really good advice, but we’ll go into that more a little later. But right now, if you have a point and click camera with just a big screen on the back and no opportunity to improve your skills, the time has come… Time right now, to invest in your photographic future, and purchase something with a little more bang for its buck.

So why bother going off auto mode? Well, firstly anything in auto mode gives all the control to the camera… you have no actual input as to what type of image you want to take. So you’re basically saying that you don’t really care what the image is like, and if the lens is pointed in the general direction it will have to do. Secondly, you don’t allow yourself any creativity with a photo when you are asking the camera to choose what settings are best suited to your situation. I don’t think I fully understood that, until I found some amazing images I really wanted to emulate and couldn’t!

So don’t just accept a gadget determining how your images turn out – especially when it isn’t nearly as scary to turn off that Auto Mode as you might expect!




Graduation Image by Harry Keely via SXC
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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Featured, General


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You can be Anti Auto too!

Are you frustrated by forever using the Auto Button on your camera and want to break out but don’t know where to start? Do you want to start experimenting but everytime you begin, it all goes terribly wrong? Sunday Photographer is all about showing you the tips and tricks that will help to get you started. Consider this the Photographers Cheat Sheet.

One of the hardest things when you are a point and click photographer, is turning off that Auto button and trying to manually adjust the settings yourself! Not only can it be daunting, but often the results leave a lot to be desired. When I first began attempting photography without Auto Mode, I had no idea where to start. I searched the Internet for some magic chart that would show me what settings to use but to no avail.

The point of this blog is to inspire, create, inform and engage you to finally have the courage to turn that Auto Button off. Learn more about composition, what all those settings mean, and more importantly, what setting should you have them on! But this site isn’t just about what I think, but about the things I’ve learned and will share with you. Sites to explore, creative images to try and to aid your creativity with suggestions and inspirations.

Enjoy. Because I know I will.





Camera Back Image by smitty1770 via SXC
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Featured, Inspiration


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