Compact camera tutorial

Tips and techniques with your compact camera

February can be a dreary time. It may be the shortest month, but the weather is still wintery and the delights of frosty mornings and seasonal snow give way to drizzle and rain. The days drag on and summer feels a very long way off.

What better reason to use your photography to cheer yourself up. Capturing beautiful and evocative images can be a great way to brighten up dull days and bring a little excitement to your daily routine. Use your photography to mark each day with something meaningful and memorable. And why not challenge yourself to take more photos this month too - you’ll be a better photographer for it.

  • Colour accent
  • Your journey to work
  • How to photograph food
  • Exposure compensation

Creative Filters

One way to find the special in every day is to use filters. These are available as a feature in many recent IXUS and PowerShot models. Creative Shot mode intelligently captures five additional images of your original subject in artistic and surprising ways.

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Vince Alongi – Colour Accent mode
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Observe more closely

Maybe you take the same route to work each day but what new things can you find if you look? With the small, pocketable PowerShot and IXUS cameras it is easy to keep your camera with you. Observe the places you pass – the view from the train or bus – the buildings that you never look up at, or the people waiting to cross the street on the other side of the pedestrian crossing.

Tip: Turning the automatic flash off will help you to avoid stark pictures with flat lighting.

Photographing food

Food photography provides lots of interesting things to capture with your camera. As with many kinds of photos, the key is lighting the food appropriately. You can make great pictures if you use a diffuser as a background between a window in daylight and the plate of food. This lighting creates soft-looking light that will show the natural colours of the food.

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Michael Behrens
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Exposure compensation

If your food pictures look too dark it helps to increase the exposure by 1-stop or more using exposure compensation. This can be found in your camera’s Menu function under the ‘Change Shooting Settings’ tab. Increased exposure is needed because the white diffuser changes the scene to be brighter than average. This means that the camera has to be set to increase the exposure in the captured picture. 

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Michael Behrens – Food II
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Tip: Bouncing light back to the subject with a simple white sheet of paper will lift the shadows that using a diffuse light behind the food can create.

Submit your shot to our Gallery

If you've felt inspired to try something different with your photography, why not send your photos to our Gallery? It's where we showcase and share our favourite images sent in by the Canon community. Then, upload your images.