• Mark Stevens

MASTER YOUR CAMERA

Updated: Oct 27

SET-UP YOUR CAMERA OR PHONE

for the best quality photos




You're finally going to check Singapore and Asia off your bucket list and you've bought a new camera to capture the memories of all the spatular sites you will discover. Trust me on this, the time to learn everything that new camera can do is not when you're in Singapore standing in the tropical sun. I recommend you master it at least two weeks before you travel, that way you're sure to create many stunning photos.


Its a good idea to configure your camera or smartphone for the best pictures possible before starting your trip. If you've purchased a new camera, a DSLR or point & shoot, do take the time to learn the Menu functions & buttons.

Camera users:

decide which format you want to shoot in, JPEG or RAW. If you choose JPEG remember to set your camera to the highest quality JPEG your camera offers "JPEG FINE" or equivalent, and select the largest photo size available.

JPEG: (The most popular and ready for sharing to the internet)

One advantage of JPEG is your photos will look better straight out of the camera, many point & shoot cameras will let you select "PRE-AUTO-EDIT" which will enhance your photos in camera.

Contrary to popular belief you can edit/enhance JPEG photos quite well, as todays cameras are much higher in megapixels than past camera's and Smartphones.

RAW: Mostly used by Pro's and serious hobbyists (Shutterbugs).

This format will give the photographer more data per photo, allowing for a higher degree of post processing (Editing). One thing to note when shooting RAW is you have to post-process/edit (and you need software that handles RAW files). Because RAW photos straight from the camera are dull and a bit colorless.

HDR MODE: High Dynamic Range This is when your camera or smartphone takes three or more photos at different exposures, then combines them into one great photo (one normal, one over, and one under exposure).

Set this mode to Auto or On in your Smartphone as it will give you much better photos when shooting on bright sunny days.

Most cameras & Smartphones today will allow you to select "AUTO HDR" and let you choose to keep only the HDR photo, saving space on your phone or SD card.


 

See our blog EASY EDITING-A guide for posting stunning photos for tips to make your photos look great.

 


TIP- FOCUS MODES: Always maintain control of your focus point, never allow your camera to choose the focus point, as it will usually let you down when you are counting on it the most.

 


MODES


Today all Pro level cameras and high end Point & Shoot cameras have a selector switch or menu for selecting different types of photos (senes), LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT, BEACH/SNOW, SPORTS, SUNRISE/SUNSET, AND MACRO MODES...

Using this option really comes in handy for the traveler who is a beginner with photography, you don't want to miss those once in a lifetime shots...

It pays to start learning & practicing manual shooting well in advance of your holiday trip or tour. Look in your community for someone providing lessons & instructions for mastering manual mode photography and sign up for Meetups. Getting together with others who are learning these skills is engaging and a fun way to learn.

AUTO MODE: Your camera will decide which settings to use, you only have to point & shoot.

(I recommend taking lots of photos)

SCENE MODE: Scene modes are pre-set exposure modes on beginner-level digital cameras that help inexperienced photographers achieve the proper automatic settings for a photo. The use of a scene mode doesn't allow the photographer to make any changes manually to the camera's settings. However they can help you achieve a much higher level of quality in your photos by understanding how they work and how you can use them. (See the link below for a more detailed explanation of camera modes)

https://digital-photography-school.com/camera-modes-explained-for-newbies/


TIP: Most of the modes can be used in more situations than what they are labeled for.

PORTRAIT MODE can be used anytime you want to throw the background out of focus and get a nice Bokah.

BEACH/SNOW MODE can be used on a bright sunny mid-day anywhere, doesn't have to be a beach.

SPORTS MODE basically stops motion, you can use it for great Panning shots, wildlife, birds, children....

 


SHOOTING MANUAL-AUTO OR SIMI-AUTO MODES


SPECIAL NOTE- If you're not skilled with shooting in manual mode, trying to learn while you are on your vacation or photo tour is not the time to do it. You don't want to spend the day visiting beautiful locations and get back to your hotel room, only to realize all your photos are blurry, dark or too bright and Not useable... Try to start improving your skills using Manual mode 2-4 months before your trip.


MANUAL MODE

MANUAL MODE: This is of course your best option for creating stunning photos as you will have full control of your camera and artistic creativity. (You'll need to become skilled in Manual shooting well before your trip)


That said, SCENE or AUTO modes are always a great fall back mode so you don't miss getting great shots on your trip.


SIMI AUTO MODES

APERTURE PRIORITY MODE: This mode will give you control of the depth of field, which is what gives you that beautiful blurry background we call Bokeh.

You will control the Aperture size and the camera decides what Shutter speed and ISO to give you the best photograph... (It's a favorite mode for many Photographers)

SHUTTER PRIORITY MODE: This mode will give you control of the Shutter speed, allowing the camera to adjust the Aperture and ISO. It's a great mode for showing Motion or stopping Motion.



 

Closing Remarks

A nice photo of Ilonka & I with our cameras



I hope this Blog has been helpful and informative, and inspires you to make the most of your visit to the Singapore and Asia. Be sure and enjoy one of our Singapore Street Shots Photo walks .

Singapore is well known for it's incredible verity of delicious foods from every corner of Asia, so do stop at the Hawker centers for lunch and discover the local cuisine...

Also for night life, try hitting some of the Roof-top Bars and restaurants in Chinatown and the downtown area for drinks & dinner.

Please do not forget to post some of your best Shophouse photos along with a short story about your experience on our Singapore Street Shots Facebook Page.



Cheers,

Mark Stevens & Ilonka Guenther

Business Owners, Photographers & Travelers

Singapore Street Shots Pte. Ltd.



 

Want some help exploring Singapore

Book a Singapore Street Shots Photo walk and let us help you create stunning photos for your Singapore story.



 

SEE ALL OUR BLOGS

At Singapore Street Shots our Blogs are meant to give you tips & advice for exploring Singapore and creating stunning photos. You will discover and photograph more if you do some research and create a good plan.




Singapore in Pictures - Telling your Singapore story with photos.

(A Seven blog series)​

SINGAPORE SHOPHOUSES - Telling your Singapore story with photos.

Singapore Skyline Panorama's - Photograph Singapore's world class Skyline

Singapore's Chinatown - Kreta Ayer - Telok Ayer - Tanjong Pagar - Bukit Pasoh

Singapore's Little India - Culture & Colour

Kampong Glam - Singapore's Arab Quarter

Hawkers & Markets - Flavor the Moment

Singapore - Off the Beaten Path - Discover the Singapore most tourist never see



 


DRESSING FOR SECCESS -Look good and Feel good on your day-trip

Tips for Travelers: Capture your Memories with Pictures

Singapore's MRT & BUS System-Saving you Time and Money using : Utilizing Goggle Maps with the MRT

A Rainy Day Holiday in Singapore - Things to do in Singapore when it's rainy weather

MASTER YOUR CAMERA - Use your camera like a pro

EASY EDITING - Make all your photos pop

Great Singapore Shophouse locations - The best locations for photographing Singapore Shophouses

Temples-Mosques-Churches - Singapores Places of Worship



 

FUTURE BLOGS

(Coming soon)



A Five Blog series

"Discovering Singapores Parks"

Parks:

1st Series: East and West coast parks:

2nd Series: Singapore Botanical Gardens:

3rd Series: Kent Ridge & Hort parks:

4th Series: Fort Canning park:

5th Series: Lakeside Gardens


A Three Blog series

"Photographing Singapores Natural Beauty"

Nature Reserves:

1st Series: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

2nd Series: MacRitchie Nature Reserve

3rd Series: Singapore Zoo and Singapore Bird Park


 

A Six Blog series

"Photographing Singapores Islands"



Singapore’s islands:

1st Series: Pulau Ubin

2nd Series: Coney Island

3rd Series: Sentosa Island

4th Series: St. John Island

5th Series: Kusu Island

6th Series: Lazarus Island.


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