Armed with a compact camera, and want to capture the beauty of the new season? There’s nothing to stop you! Here are three tips to get you thinking creatively about your picture-taking and help you make the most of the warmer weather on the way…


 Seek out the special modes

Although you might just use your camera for point-and-shoot style photography (and there’s nothing wrong with that), chances are that your camera also has several special modes designed to help you take better pictures of specific subjects. They’ll be indicated by little icons which look like the subject in question: a tiny hilly scene for the landscape mode, a face for portrait mode, a flower for a close-up mode – and so on.


Switching to these modes when you’re trying to capture the relevant subject will instruct your camera to automatically use the best possible settings. For close-ups or Macro pictures – which comes in very handy in spring, when you’re faced with fields of beautiful flowers – this adjusts the camera’s focus settings so it’ll be able to focus on subjects that are much closer to the lens. The opposite occurs when you select landscape mode for distant scenes, and so on.


Choosing these special modes means you’re more likely to get pictures you’re proud of. Experiment between the modes your camera offers, and see if you can spot the difference – this’ll help you to learn about your camera’s settings and improve your picture taking.


If you’re already confident with your camera, perhaps you could try using them in the wrong situations to see what happens – such as portrait mode for a landscape scene, and so on – and use your knowledge to work out how the settings are changing the result. Let us know if you have any questions – we’re always around to help!


 Make the most of your camera

When you picked your camera, we’re guessing you chose it for a specific reason. Maybe it’s got a super long zoom lens, like the Sony HX350 and its 50x optical zoom lens or the Sony HX90V with built-in Wifi for speedy sharing – whatever it was that first drew you to your camera, why not set yourself the challenge of making the most of it during this new season?


Let’s say you do have that Sony HX350 with the long zoom – try using it to its fullest extent! Perhaps you could set up a bird feeder in your back garden to see what wildlife you attract, and lurk indoors – using your long lens – to capture any feathery visitors to your garden. Alternatively you could head to the city, and use the lens to pick out architectural abstracts atop high buildings while staying at ground level – or capture candid portraits from the other side of a street.


To make the most of the HX90V’s Wifi-based image sharing, perhaps you could set up a brand new Instagram account for a project on a certain subject, such as springtime sunrises – or signs of the new season in an urban environment?


Whichever camera you own, we bet there’s a stand-out feature which you could make the most of. Tell us what you’ve picked, and show us the photos you create using it!


 Give your home a new look

The arrival of the warmer weather is a great opportunity to throw open your home’s windows and take a good hard look at your living space – could your walls do with a little brightening up?


Set yourself the challenge of taking some art for your home’s bare walls, then turning the pictures into canvas prints or actual prints to be framed in your new home gallery.


Abstract close-ups of new plants and flowers work well, and springtime means there are plenty around to choose from: select a colour you like and hunt out some plants which match that scheme, then get close using Macro or close-up mode and enjoy framing your subject in a creative way. Try your hand at contre-jour lighting, where you place the flower or plant between your camera and the sun – this makes petals and leaves glow vibrantly and can look fantastic in bright prints or posters.


A camera with a large sensor (such as the Sony HX350’s, which has 20MP) will mean that you can crop into your images after you’ve taken them without losing quality, so you can still enjoy sharp images on your walls throughout your home.


If you’re not sure how to edit your pictures after you’ve taken them – or if you feel like you could do with a refresher on the basics of photography, then why not sign up for one of our Academy Courses or Workshops? They take place throughout the UK on a range of subjects and topics: check here to see what’s on offer.


Most importantly, be sure to enjoy your camera’s full potential – you could start planning trips to locations where you know there’s photography to be had! And if you’re not sure your camera’s right for you or that you might have outgrown your current model, head into your local Jessops store where our staff will whittle down the options to pick out the one best suited to your interests.

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