Hints and tips for your PowerShot and IXUS


Simple hints and tips that help you make the most of your Canon camera

Learn to take better pictures with these digital photography tips and techniques that will let you improve your photos and turn good images into great images. Subscribe to You Connect and you'll receive the latest direct to your inbox.


Switch your Grid Lines on 
If your camera supports it, you can use the Grid Lines display mode on the LCD screen of your camera can improve your photos. As well as making sure that your horizons are level, it also makes it easier to use the ‘Rule of Thirds’ which can help to balance your photo. 


Horizontal versus Vertical
Most of the pictures taken are horizontal (landscape), mainly because that is the most natural way to hold a camera. But you can turn your camera through 90° to create a vertical (Portrait) shot. And just because they are called portrait and landscape don’t think you can’t experiment. Try taking portraits in landscape format and vice versa.


The power of the line
Lines within photos lead viewers into the image. A classic example of a successful line is a road leading into the distance - the converging lines create a strong focus. Alternatively look for diagonals such as a mountain ridge or the curves of a river to create interest.


Fill the frame
When you are photographing a subject make sure that it fills the whole picture; then there is nothing to distract the viewer so their focus will go to the subject. Don’t just use the zoom, changing your position to be nearer your subject will also change the perspective and importance of the elements in your photo. 


Get up close and concentrate on the detail
Often it is the small things that make a scene special. So use the Macro setting on your camera to capture a close-up. And remember that you will actually get larger magnification with wide angle than zooming in – you get much closer to your subject.


Foreground interest to add scale and depth
When you are shooting a landscape, include an object of interest in the foreground. This could be a gate, wall, tree, person or building and helps lead the eye of the viewer into the picture as well as giving scale to your photo.


Great group shots
It’s obvious but do make sure everyone is in a group photo! Your camera needs to be far enough away; but not so far that you can’t recognise people. Encourage your group to talk amongst themselves until you’re ready so that they are relaxed (make sure you leave room for yourself). Then get their attention and everyone will appear engaged, looking at the camera at the same time. Set the self-timer, FaceSelf-Timer or WinkSelf-Timer and then go and join the action.


Capture the real person in a portrait
If you are shooting a head and shoulders portrait, ask your subject to stand at an angle to the camera, with their head turned towards it to creative a lively, more active shot. If they are standing, give them something relevant to hold or lean against as it will add a context to your photo. Then set your camera to Portrait mode which will set the camera up to produce natural skin tones and help to blur the background so the main focus is on your subject. 


Take away colours
Black & White and sepia photos are easy with a PowerShot or IXUS either by using the “My Colors” feature or the Monochrome setting in the “Creative Filters” in more recent models . Black & White shots let you discover interesting new perspectives on familiar views as they emphasise the forms and shapes within a photo whilst sepia immediately gives images an older look and feel.


Know your colours
Colours change the mood of a photo. Red is a warm colour and tends to dominate, so even a small amount will attract attention. Blue is cool so appears to recede in a photo and is soothing. As one of nature’s colours, green is typically fresh and relaxing. Being the colour of earth, brown is a good canvas for other colours but is rarely a suitable main tone. You can even try using the Colour Accent feature you can pick out one color within the scene and leave the rest black & white to emphasise just one colour.