England, Autumn 2018: I’m definitely no pro when it comes to photography that’s for sure but thanks technological advances over recent years just about anyone can take a half decent picture, yes, even me!
While the pro’s will run around dragging bags of heavy and expensive kit behind them, amateurs like me will find that a simple point and shoot compact will do a pretty decent job – even ones mobile phone will take a nice neat wide angle photo with crisp, clear results.
Over recent years I’ve been drawn to brands such as Panasonic, Fuji and more recently Canon. Canon compacts are slightly more expensive but have the edge when it comes to quality. Their feature packed cameras will make any amateur pass as a decent photographer.
The photo’s presented throughout this blog are the product of a Canon compact, the SX710 HS. Light weight, small enough to carry around in ones pocket and with around 300 clicks on a single battery charge, its the ideal companion to record those unique travel adventures.
Here’s a look at the Canon SX710 HS…
How to make those amateur photos look professional
While the base image from the Canon compact is pretty good in itself more often than not there’s room for some improvements. A little lighter, more colour and perhaps a bit sharper too, especially if the photo was taken on a dull day, as it often was in Hong Kong! Here’s how I achieve the images you see throughout this blog.
Take the photo…
- I’ll keep things simple by using the cameras AUTO function – good for landscapes and still or very slow moving objects. Good for close ups of bugs and flowers to.
- For fast moving subjects such as aircraft, birds or snakes I’ll turn the dial to the SPORTS function and just click once the image is focused.
Edit the photo…
- To post edit images I use a program called IFRAN VIEW. A powerful and free image editing tool to enhance original photos.
- first, zoom in to fill the laptop screen and SAVE AS. Next, AUTO ADJUST COLOURS and finally SHARPEN. Now the resulting image should be something half decent!
In low light conditions or if I’ve been a little to enthusiastic with the digital zoom, images may show some graininess, also referred to as noise, especially in close-ups. To fix this I use another free editing program called Photoscape which has a function to smooth out grainy photos.
Here’s a few before and after images to illustrate the above.
So, with a cheap camera and some free software one can attain some professional looking images even if one lacks the technical knowledge and know how! Ideal for web pages and blogs where images can be small in size, where a high resolution is not a necessity.