Back to Basics

The best camera is the one you always have with you. Whether you are a professional who just happened to leave your $2000+ camera equipment at home or a novice just starting out, these tips will help you get the most out of your point & shoot camera.

Darryl Riediger, Manager at Robinson’s Camera (1228 – 9th Avenue SE) in Inglewood provided some valuable information geared towards novice photographers who want to get the best out of their camera investment.

The first and most important tip would be to K.I.S.S” (Keep It Simple Stupid) Many Point & Shoot cameras (And even those cameras that come installed on your cellphones) come with so many different features that beginners can easily get overwhelmed. “The best way to avoid this is to keep your camera in full auto mode letting the camera do all the grunt work; Just focus on the shot”

Once users power up their cameras and keep it simple the next step for people to remember is ensure you have a straight horizon and always remember the Rule of Thirds



(The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. The main reason for observing the rule of thirds is to discourage placement of the subject at the center, or prevent a horizon from appearing to divide the picture in half) See picture below for an example.

“Following this general rule of thumb, beginners who take the time to develop this habit will dramtically improve their compositions.”

The next thing to remember is when starting out only use automatic (continious) focus. Many beginners feel that using manual focus will improve their photography skills, but in reality, the time it takes to adjust the camera (lens) your shot could get lost. Technology nowadays ensures quick focusing on their cameras. But for those who do insist on using manual focus, the only time this is really viable is in controlled environments. “Manual focus can be used in landscape photography where those beautiful snow capped mountains are not going to move anytime soon.”

Novice users should read their users manual thoroughly then start off in full auto mode. As their comfort level rises move onto semi-auto mode then manual mode as required. To start out take pictures of landscapes in controlled environments as the ability to take faced paced shots ie: sports photos, take time to develop. “I will usually advice people to concentrate on composition when taking photographs. The camera is only a tool a photographers use. If your eye can’t see a good photo the camera can’t capture it, because a camera is only as good as the user.”

Last bit of advice for beginners is they should not delve too deep into post-production photo editing software. “I’ve been using Photoshop for over 18 years and it’s still quite daunting. Beginners should focus on taking the best possible pictures in the moment.”

If you have any other questions feel free to speak with Darryl or any other staff member at Robinson’s Camera as they have a wealth of knowledge they would love to share.

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