Point and Shoot Cameras: Follow up to the Depth of Field Post on Etsy

In a recent guest blog post on Etsy (Mastering Depth of Field: Techniques for Dynamic Photos)
I wrote about working with your camera's manual aperture settings (aka: f-stop). Controlling this setting in both point and shoot and DSLR cameras helps you create really dramatic photos of your small objects:

Depth of field refers to the area in which an object is in focus
(a "shallow" depth of field is depicted here)
Visit the Etsy blog post to learn more about controlling Depth of Field

But what if your point and shoot camera doesn't have the ability to manually adjust its aperture settings? Does this mean you have to buy a new camera? (click through to find out the answer)

Maybe...but not necessarily. 

Before you scramble to try to find a new camera, try these tips and let me know how they work for you in the comments below:

  • Read your camera manual and make sure you don't have a manual aperture adjustment setting. This may be listed under the Program or Manual mode section referring to "aperture" or "f-stop" or maybe even "exposure". 
  • If you are certain this adjustment isn't available, look for another setting called "spot focus". (Not spot metering - this is different and will not help your depth of field.) Spot focus will allow you to create a narrower depth of field by focusing on a smaller area in the center of your frame. Then you'll focus lock by holding your shutter button halfway down and recompose your shot according to the rule of thirds.
    If spot focus is not available on your camera then you'll need to rely on other means of taking better photos.

    • Make sure your "macro" setting is on (look for the little flower)

    • Practice obtaining the clearest focus possible - hold still, lean your body against something solid, hold your breath when taking the shot - all of these things can help a great deal.
    • If you're still getting blurry shots, try using a tripod - especially if you normally hand hold your camera
    • Use different angles and compositions to create more interesting photos
    • Diagonal lines and off-centered subjects are much more interesting.
    • Try lowering your camera to the same level as your item
    Get up close and personal with your subject by moving in as close as possible

    • Change your background to find a texture (or remove texture) to compliment your item
    • Color plays a huge role in the viewer's response to a photo
    Even without the ability to manually set your camera's aperture, you can still take interesting small object product photos if you use your creativity and ingenuity during your photo sessions!

    Do you have some before and after photos to share with me?
    Contact me with links to your photos for a chance 
    to be featured right here on Small Object Photography!

    6 Response to "Point and Shoot Cameras: Follow up to the Depth of Field Post on Etsy"

    Kimberly said...

    Wonderful post Marlo and THANK YOU for the additional tips. I don't have an aperture f-stop setting on my camera but DO have the spot focus. I'm going to play with it tomorrow, err, later today, and see what I can do. You're Etsy blog feature really has me motivated!

    IMakeCuteStuff (aka Marlo M.) said...

    Yay that's awesome Kimberly! Can't wait to hear how it goes! :)

    Aelios Design said...

    Awesome post! I've been playing with macro for a while now, but hadn't discovered f stops until reading this. Thanks so much for the great tips!

    Megan said...

    Excellent post. I have my "macro" feature on my point & shoot camera and its greatly helpful. Your owl photo is really impressive. :)

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    FeathandKee said...

    Thank you for the tips! I look forward to trying this!

    Pawan Thapa said...

    Thank you Mario for sharing your knowledge on small object photography. I loved the way you presented tips and tricks and the concept to imply the techniques measured for depth of field. As I am a learner to small object photography it was prior to me to learn about the camera’s depth of field and capabilities by using the macro setting and adjusting the aperture (f-stop). With the help of this article I did a experiment with camera’s depth of field using both point-and-shoot and DSLR camera and observed the difference between aperture settings and how they affect the depth of field. I’m pretty much clear on the understandings of depth of field range and with the macro settings which enables to take interesting small object product photos even without the ability to manually set the camera’s aperture. Also I enjoyed your Etsy blog feature, it was an inspirational to start a new session.

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