Want to learn how to take AMAZING Portraits?

Portraits: Making the Shot is bursting at the seams with practical and down to earth portrait photography advice, tips and imagery. It has been created to do one thing, transform your dull and lifeless pictures of people into beautiful works of art.
  Learn more here:
  Digital Photography School's Quick Guide to Mastering Portraits.

Using Camera Scene Settings

We have already talked about those scene settings to some extent, but let’s take a moment to go back and revisit them a little more. After all, digital scene settings can be extremely useful. One thing to remember is that digital scene settings can be versatile too. Sometimes, you will find them useful in situations other than the ones suggested by your camera manual. Let’s break down the most commonly seen digital scene settings on a camera. I will give you an overview of how to use them and then some alternative scenarios when they could come in handy as well.

  • Portrait – usually indicated on the dial by a photo frame or an outline of a person. Portrait will help you take nice posed pictures in a couple of ways. First, it will have the camera make use of face recognition software if equipped to focus on the person in the frame. Additionally, it will automatically set the depth of field in order to make the background soft and blurred for the best portrait. Alternative uses: You can also use this setting to take pictures of pets or certain scenery like individual flowers.
  • Landscape – Usually indicated by an outline of mountains. This digital scene setting is designed to provide vibrant colors and full focus images to allow all of the landscape to be in crisp clear focus. The camera will automatically change the light metering and the focus direction to get the whole image. Alternative uses: If you want to take pictures of your home décor or your garden, this setting is good for getting the whole frame instead of focusing on one thing.
  • Sports/Action – Usually indicated by a running figure. Many digital cameras have very specific digital scene settings for action. They will use a system that actually track the moving subject and continue to focus on it so that the subject is always in focus when you snap the picture. Alternative uses: this setting can be perfect for taking pictures of children and pets. After all, when is the last time you saw a two year old or a month old puppy sit still for a picture?
  • Close Up/Macro – Generally indicated by a small flower or tulip. This setting is good when you want the camera to focus on something fairly close up. Many people use this setting to take pictures of pretty flowers or other bits of nature. The camera will automatically change depth of field and focus to handle a close up image. Alternative uses: if you want to get really artsy with your pictures, try taking macro photos of random objects in your house like salt and pepper shakers or clocks or almost anything.
  • Nighttime Images – Generally indicated by a sky with moon and stars. These digital scene settings can be the hardest to learn because the camera changes drastically. In order to capture enough light, the camera will slow down the shutter speed and widen the aperture. This means you will have to hold it very still to get in focus shots. Alternative uses: this setting can be a fun way to get pictures of Christmas lights or fireworks.

Remember that you may have different digital scene settings on your own camera, but you should be able to find them quite useful in all different situations.

Macro Shot of Dragonfly

Latest News

Credits: George Lawrence/Library of Congress

The Earliest Collection of Aerial Photographs

A full collection of aerial photographs from more than a hundred years ago has been recently displayed at the Library of Congress.  A late photographer named George R. Lawrence inherited a camera studio in 1893 and opened his new company with a catchy motto saying, “The Hitherto Impossible in Photography is Our Specialty.”  The Library [...]

Credits: David Emitt Adams

Tintype Portraits by Photographer

David Emitt Adams, a photographer experiments with the discarded film canister. This unconventional photographer has made a series of tintype photographs that were created using 35 mm film canisters. Now Adams is teaching “Introduction to Photography course” using his bright idea of developing his students photos on abandon tin cans. This project which is his own idea was [...]

Bondi Pavilion Head On Photography Festival

Ocean Photography: A World Beneath the Surface

Darren Jew a Brisbane native award-winning nature photographer has dedicated almost all his life on photography. He has this vision to transport the viewers to the depths of the ocean that amazed and fascinated him.  This award-winning photographer not only has to submerged himself under the cold shivering water for hours and hours, but he [...]


Want to know HOW to use your NEW Camera?

  • We will Show You How to use you camera!
  • Just enter your email on the right and click, "Show Me How"