This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for April 14th, 2010

Three Things You Can Do with a Point-and-Shoot

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 14, 2010

I’m midway into the second week without my Canon Rebel XSi. I was able to borrow a camera body and cards from coworkers so that I can shoot the bat mitzvah next week, which is good news. The other good news is that I got a call from the place where I bought my camera and they think it might be ready in a couple weeks. That would be great because I want to photograph one of my son’s performances on Jerusalem Day.

I thought of three things you can do with a point-and-shoot that are not as easy with a DSLR. All these photos were taken with point-and-shoot cameras.

1. Get close, VERY close.

Of course, if you have a macro lens on your DSLR, then you have it made. And if you don’t have a macro lens, you can use extension tubes (Extension Tubes, the Poor Man’s Macro Lens). But in the time that it takes to fit a tube between the camera and lens and focus on the object, you can whip out your little pocket camera, put it into macro mode, take a few shots, and be on your way.

I particularly like this shot of a small yellow thistle because those orange streaks on the petals are the glow of the setting sun.



2. Take photos in places where you wouldn’t or couldn’t take a DSLR.

I will lie on the ground to get a good shot but I draw the line at crawling on my belly in a patch of thistles. I held the camera under the thistle heads so that I could use the sky as the background.


To photograph this unusual plant, I stuck my hand through the bars of a fence. That would have been difficult to pull off with a big camera.

Unidentified plant

3. Go for a walk or run with your camera

It is possible to carry a heavy camera while walking or jogging but it’s far from comfortable. A point-and-shoot slips very nicely into a pocket or pouch. I always take one with me because you never know what you might see, like a gazelle and a hyrax (looks like a groundhog) …

Hyrax and Deer

… or a local tarantula!

Local tarantula (Chaetopelma olivaceum)

The camera has not yet been invented that can take great photos while sitting on a shelf in the closet. So these little point-and-shoot cameras are a valuable tool. If that’s all you have, then make the most of it. Carry it everywhere, learn how to use it, and you won’t find yourself moaning, “Oh, darn, why didn’t I bring my camera?!”


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