Hopefully you have been out and about taking some great pictures with your new camera, and the ideas shown in the first guide on Composition have helped you to take some interesting and engaging photos.
In this guide we are going to look a little closer at the camera itself and check out a few features and settings that you can use to improve your pictures even more.
Once you have read though this guide we hope you will be inspired to take some even more creative pictures. Don’t forget to share your results on the Canon Facebook page using #MyNewCanon #CanonSceneModes.
In the last guide on composition we suggested AUTO Lozenge on the Shooting Mode dial as a good starting point to using your camera. This mode sets your camera to fully automatic; all the decisions on what settings to use are made for you.
Your camera does a great job on Auto. But there will be occasions that the camera doesn’t capture the scene exactly how you intended. For these instances it is useful to know how to switch away from Auto and to take more control of your EOS.
Scene Modes are a great way to start telling your camera what subject you are trying to capture. They can be found by rotating the Shooting Mode dial to the SCN setting, then pressing the "FUNC.SET" button on the back of your camera to select the Scene.
For example, if you want to take a picture of a friend or family member, select Portrait Scene Mode. This instructs the camera to adjust settings to be more pleasing for portrait photography; such as blurring the background to make the subject standout and adjusting the colour and tone of the image for natural skin and hair.
Switching the camera to the Portrait Scene Mode produces an attractive skin tone and blurs the background, which concentrates the focus on the subject.
As well Scene Modes you can turn the Mode dial to Creative Filters: Again, using the "FUNC.SET" button to access the menu you can choose a number of extra scene settings that could be suitable for your shooting subject. One of the most useful is Background Defocus. This blurs the background of your photo to make your subject stand out.
Increasing the background blur in the second image focuses the attention on the main subject in this case the statue.
Another Creative Filter which is very popular is HDR (High Dynamic Range). When set, the camera automatically takes a series of photos at different exposures and then merges them into a single image. The result is a photograph that has reduced wash-out in the hightlights and more detail in the shadows (Right hand image has HDR on).
Details in the darker and lighter areas of the photo become apparent
There is a whole range of other Creative Filters; Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Poster Effect, To get a better idea of how each function affects your image, scroll through each and see the changes made on the screen.
Your camera can also operate in partial or fully manual modes, known as the “Creative Shooting Modes”. In these modes you will have access to all your cameras functions and settings. Moving away from Auto will introduce you to the more technical aspects of your camera such as Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. If you choose to use these modes it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these terms and what they do. We will cover more on this in later guides.
A great way to see how each mode and function affects your picture is to take a series of images varying the settings for each shot. Put your camera on a tripod or in steady place so that the images are easier to compare. Download the images and compare them on a computer screen where the differences will be more visible.
Find somewhere interesting for a photo and take a couple of shots, the first on the Auto setting and a second using one of the Mode settings. Which do you prefer? Then share that with us with #MyNewCanon #CanonSceneModes telling us the setting it was taken on. You can also look back at the Composition pages to see how your photos compare with your previous ones and see how you’re improving as a photographer.