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Traveling and Navigating the Light with a Point & Shoot Camera

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© Jana Perez

Using a point-and-shoot camera can have its advantages – especially when traveling – because they are small and lightweight. But, with this concession, there is often a loss of control in tricky lighting and other unexpected shooting situations. One way to offset this is by paying close attention to the light. Typically while traveling, days will be spent sightseeing, and the light changes as the day progresses into night.

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© Jana Perez

If the sun is high in the sky, try shooting with the flash as fill in harsh daylight and in the shade. I caught this horse-drawn carriage driver resting between fares and reading the paper. The sun was very high, so the light was very bright in the open, and much darker in the shade. By using the flash, the difference between the shadow and bright light was minimized. If there is absolutely no shade and the flash is ineffective, try using a dramatic crop, up close/macro shot, or unique angle. Compose the existing light to balance out the composition. If using the flash at night, take a few steps back and zoom in – the method used to capture this image in an Irish pub with a sing along piano player. Another technique involves forcing the flash off, using the natural light and propping the camera on something. This can add drama and feeling to a seemingly simple setting. Lastly, if you are unsure of the light, try several mode settings that seem to address a similar kind of lighting.


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