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)

Beautiful Product Photography: Obelisk

Obelisk's Etsy shop photos are smart and beautiful. By manipulating depth of field and taking advantage of natural light, they add incredible warmth to their concrete items.

Notice how the shallow depth of field in the Concrete Zen Tray photo creates a softness around the item? This technique is a very effective way to create an inviting photo that begs to be clicked.

Beautiful work and awesome photography, Obelisk!

Small Object Photography take-away:
  • Don't be afraid of shadows. They add depth to a photo when used correctly.
  • Learn how to manipulate your camera's depth of field to soften your photos and create intimacy
  • When shooting an object in the center of your frame, use the rule of thirds and place a horizon line in the lower 1/3 of your frame to create balance

Backlit Photography with Your Point and Shoot Camera

A bit outside of the "small object" realm, but definitely still "photography" so I'm going to share my tips on creating beautiful sun streaked photos like this one using your basic point and shoot camera:

the beautiful Caitlin Moore of Olympia Seed Exchange and Urban Food Warrior

I created this photo in-camera and posted it here with no other adjustment than reducing the file size. This being my first attempt at backlit photography, I was pleasantly pleased with the way the series of photos turned out!

Here are a few things I learned during this experiment:
  • Spot metering is your friend - it allows you to meter off of your subject's face and therefore create a well balanced photo
  • Setting the camera to shoot in a sepia tone creates instant vintage looking photos
  • The best sun flares look like big vertical streaks of over exposed light in the camera's view screen
  • Trees and other shrubbery help to break up the light and create a beautiful sun-glow effect around your subject
  • It's important to take a lot of not-so-great photos to make sure you capture a handful of great shots
I'm looking forward to experimenting with this technique with my DSLR and see how that differs from the fully automatic point and shoot. I'll post my results here when they're available.

Have you ever tried to shoot back lit photos? 
What tips for success do you have to share?