Get Pro Results with a Compact Camera

Hi All,

To celebrate the publication of my new book, Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter (which is also great for entry-level SLR shooters), I will be posting some tips from the book over the next few weeks.

Here's tip #1: When shooting indoors in low light, you actually can get pro results with your compact camera . . . but you have to make pictures rather than simply take pictures.

Check out the images in the top row (from left to right):
- Boring flash shot with harsh shadows;
- Flash shot with flash bounced off the ceiling . . . an improvement;
- Fill flash shot. Ahhh, that's much better! Here's the technique:

• Mount your camera on a tripod;
• Set your camera on manual;
• Set the correct manual exposure;
• Attach an accessory flash and bounce the light from the flash off the ceiling.
• Oops: In my original post, I forgot to mention to turn on all the room lights. As you can see (by looking at the lights behind the model and by looking at the reflection in one of the pictures on the wall), the rooms lights are on.

In the bottom row of pictures, you can see that I actually used a Canon G10 and Canon 580 EX for the photos. I confess. :-)

I have since upgraded to the Canon G11, which offers improved image quality.

These pictures were taken at the Alexander Hamilton Hose in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, which is one of the sites we use for my Hudson River Photographic Workshops.

Hey, if you have a compact camera question, please post a comment here on my blog. I'll get to it ASAP.

Explore the Light,
P.S. For my professional work, I am currently using my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D. For my gear recommendations, click here.

Save $ This Holiday Season

Happy Holidays and ho ho ho and all that good stuff!

Like you, I am always looking for money-saving ideas - more so lately with a son in college.

Here are a few ideas from the Web:

Nations Photo Lab is offering a big sale on 11x14-inch prints (on all types of paper) staring Monday, Dec 28th. Check their site for info.

Nik Software is having a Holiday Special: $170 off the Complete Collection Ultimate Edition and $100 off the Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture as well as 20% off new Nik Software products if you use this code - RSAMMON - upon checkout. Offer good until 12/31/09.

• If you want to expand your creative horizons with plug-ins, you can also get discounts on plugs-in from onOneSoftware , Photomatix, Lucis and Alien Skin at the Plug-in experience.

For $ saving tips on travel, check out my pal Peter Greenberg's site. Look for "Today's top deals."

Happy New Year! It will be here before we know it!


Kid's Cool Christmas E-Card Idea

We received many holiday cards around the office. This one brought a big smile to my face . . . as just last night I watched National Lampoon's Holiday Vacation.

It's from Kelly Mondora at FJWestcott. Here is the behind-the-scenes story:

* Kids came up with concept for A Christmas Vacation movie poster;
* Shot against Green Screen Kit;
* Created the background in Photoshop;
* Save as a JPEG and imported into Photo Key Lite software;
* added kids in one by one.

It was a blast!
* 20 minutes shooting;
* 25 minutes post.

Hey, sorry I can share all the fun cards.