Today we are going to talk about the camera’s dials. Whether you shoot a Point and Shoot camera or a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera you probably have a dial that looks a little something like this Canon dial shown here. Most of you probably never take your camera off the Green Rectangle or P function. Am I right? Would you like to know a little more about the other picture dials?
The Head – The Head dial provides a limited depth of field. Have you ever seen a photo where the person in the photo is tack sharp and the background is really blurry so that it isolates the person and makes them look really good? That’s what this button is for.
The Mountains – The Mountains dial is letting you know there is going to be an almost limitless depth of field. Perfect for when you are taking beach photos or driving through Colorado Springs and want a great photo of Red Rocks. Also, if you’ve never photographed the endless Flint Hills in Kansas you’ve not lived. This setting would often times be perfect.
The Flower – The Flower is really a close-up setting. Say you want to get real close to that beautiful flower at the Overland Park Arboretum to bring in the pollen. This is a great setting. Another use could be a super close-up of someone’s eyes. The possibilities are endless.
The Running Man – The Running Man is a setting that speeds up the shutter speed to capture action. Junior’s soccer game? Use The Running Man. Perfect for outdoor action. A real nightmare for indoor action unless you compensate with external light.
The Man & Star – The Man & Star is a setting for night portraits. Take the photo to the right. My family and I (plus a girl friend of my 17 year old) were wandering around Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza last December. I didn’t have a tri-pod and no one wanted to take the time for me to really set up the shot. So I leaned my camera on a mailbox, set the camera to The Man & Star setting and used the pop-up flash on my DSLR and this is the image we got. Instead of just a shot of the lights or, worse, the kids with blackness behind them, we get the best of both worlds. But you will have slow shutter speeds so use some kind of camera support.
Crossed Out Lightning Bolt – This disables the camera’s flash. Say you were in a museum in Washington, DC or something. Then you’d use this.
In upcoming posts we will discuss these setting more in depth. It’s our hope here at Populist Photography that you can use these tips to take better and more memorable photos of your vacations, special events and kids’ soccer games. Until then…