MQC Photo Costa Rica
Header image alt text

Yosemite with a Point-n-Shoot – Photography Tips

Tenaya Lake, where the hike started. In post-production I had to work with the contrast of the image, but that is not the camera's fault, it was around noon when I took the photo.

I am not the fittest person in the world of photography… actually, I exercise very little and I have gain some weight so I am not proud to say it, but I am not prepared to walk a 14.4 mile (24Km) “strenuous” hike with all of my camera gear in my back. Well, I should be fair to myself and say that I am not prepared to do it AND enjoy it… because I have done it.

So, last weekend, when my husband and I decided to hike to Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park, I was very clear that all the camera gear I was taking with me had to be very light.

Nonetheless, my little backpack had three cameras: Holga, Diana and PowerShot G11, but all together weighted less than the trail mix bars we packed!

I have told this to many people before: the good camera gear definitely helps to get great photographs – I definitely LOVE my Canon 5D MarkII – but the real good photography lies on knowing your gear and use it to your advantage.

We had a great clear day and therefore lots of light, therefore I know my PowerShot G11 was going to do the trick! I just had to use my exposure compensation wisely, I had to use my flash a couple of times and I had to make sure that the focus was exactly where I wanted it.

Here are my favorite photos of the trip.

A -1 1/3 exposure compensation got me this great blue sky and a beautiful moon.
We run into a couple of marmots. This is the only time I wish I had a longer lens. I crop this photo by 15% and worked the contrast to make it look better.
At the top of Clouds Rest we had a spectacular view of the famous Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley. The hard mid-day light made it difficult to determin the right white balance, as you can see the shadows are still very blue. Like the other photos taken at noon, I had to work to reduce the contrast on the photo to make it better.
When we got to the top of the mountain we realized we were not alone. A very confident coyote was scouting the area for food, maybe even leftovers from hikers... I could not focus on him properly because I used the famous "focus and recompose" and ended up having a not so sharp coyote and a very sharp coyote... that is why I do not trust that technique...
This one is a better photo of the coyote, and it is very sharp and nicely composed too... But no Half Dome on the back...
We also did a very short hike to Talf Point, and had a closer look to the pine trees with moss. In this case I did not make my exposure compensation so negative (EV-2/3) because I wanted to have some information on the shadows.
Once again, a little bit of wildlife that let me get a bit close... A lizard at the bottom of Talf Point. My exposure compensation was 0, since the frame had a balance of bright and dark areas.
A view of Talf Point, Yosemite Valley and El Capitan. Again, mid-day light needed some work in post-production to make the photo better.

I have to say that all of the photos I took in Raw format, which allowed me to better work the contrast and color of the images. Also, my point-n-shoot camera is an advance point-n-shoot, but I did not use more than what regular point and shoot have: exposure compensation, adjustable focus point and flash (mostly for the portraits).

So, my final photography tips when using your point-n-shoot:

  • Understand light and use your exposure compensation wisely. Unless your camera is really old, I am pretty sure you have this option.
  • If you camera allows it, use Raw format and work your images in post-production a little bit. Usually you have to bring information out of the high lights.
  • Do not let the camera decide where to focus, be in charge!
  • Be careful with your white balance, specially if you are not shooting raw files. The little icons make sense! match them up to your lighting situation.
  • The camera is light and small, have it handy!
  • and have fun!
Thank you to Vincent D'Angelo for sharing this photo of me at Clouds Rest taking photos of the coyote. You can see that I am in point-n-shoot mode!
Tags: , ,

Leave a Response

Previous & Next posts