Most folks these days own a digital camera, be it an expensive digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses, or the more common, less expensive point and shoot variety. One thing that most of these cameras all have in common is a menu.
Not all menus are created equal, and not all menus look the same, but you get the idea. I am sure some of you reading this blog have never even looked at your camera’s menu, or maybe you didn’t even know it had a menu. A lot of folks just set the top dial to AUTO and just click away. Some of you have never even looked at the manual that came with your camera, except to see how to load up the batteries and the memory card. Sure….pretend it wasn’t you!
If you take the time to actually read your camera’s manual, or to stop by a book store and purchase a book written exclusively all about your camera (I highly recommend this), you will find that you can customize your camera to your shooting preferences, and optimize your camera’s performance to shoot incredible, inspirational images, no matter how small and inexpensive your camera is. The image of Sorrento, Italy below was shot on an inexpensive 8 MP point and shoot camera.
In most cases, you can choose which size images you want your camera to shoot. You can choose between fine quality images or normal quality images. The size and quality of the image your camera is set for will determine how many images you can fit on a memory card. You can set the camera’s ISO sensitivity, which can determine how low of a lighting situation you can handle. Changing the camera’s white balance will change the overall color cast of your images. This can help you create some pretty dramatic and creative images.
Most digital camera menus allow you to adjust the settings for flash, metering, focus, color saturation, sharpening, contrast, a panorama mode, and so much more. With a little bit of skill, you can even take great images out of a tour bus window, such as this image of Tuscany below.
So next time you have a free moment, take a look at your camera’s manual with camera in hand, and start navigating your camera’s menu, and perhaps you can start improving on your photography just by adjusting some camera settings that are a good fit for you and your style of shooting.