Image by David Clapp
Your Nikon Coolpix compact camera may be small, but it can still take some pretty good holiday snaps. Compacts are often easier to carry around than DSLRs as they are lighter and smaller which means it's easy to pop one in your bag and that way, you'll always have it on you, so that you never miss a shot if an opportunity arises. With this in-mind, here are our top 5 tips for compact camera holiday photos.
Coolpix compacts have a beach setting that'll stop your shots looking underexposed when taking photos in bright sunlight at the coast. This will most likely be under the scene mode or equivalent on your camera. The Beach scene mode will increase the exposure slightly to compensate but also adjusts the white balance to make the sand look more natural.
When shooting portraits, if you find that the sun is causing harsh shadows, particularly under the nose and chin, use your camera's built-in flash to put detail back into shadow areas and as an added bonus, it can add catch-lights to eyes too. Some cameras let you reduce the output of the flash so it isn't as harsh. Check your camera's manual if you're unsure if you can do this with yours.
2. Fun Effects
Most compacts have some quirky effects (digital filters) that will work well with holiday photos. The new Nikon Coolpix S9900 camera for example has digital filters including soft focus, super vivid and pop, which will all be great for a different slant on beach photography. Be creative, and you can produce some fun holiday shots that show your skills off too.
3. Be Unique
Try going off the beaten track to get some good vista and panorama shots of your destination that will be completely original. For example. If you're in a coach party and the coach stops, walk up the road and see if there's a better viewpoint rather than standing with the crowd. Go for something that you can't find on a post card – perhaps a macro or close up shot, something a little different that'll make your shots stand out from the rest.
By using your camera's self-timer you'll be able to be in group shots rather than always hiding behind your camera lens. After all, it's your holiday too! You should be able to set your timer to various intervals, usually 10, 20 and 30 seconds as well as minute intervals.
Using a tripod will help ensure the horizons straight but if you aren't planning on taking one with you, a quick check of the viewfinder or screen just before you take the shot will help prevent wonky horizons spoiling your shot. Look for other distracting objects such as rubbish as well as lamp posts and trees growing out of people's heads. Make sure your fingers aren't sitting over the lens, or flash if you're using it, too.