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HAPPENINGS: Camera types for capturing those summer photos

CRESTVIEW — Looking at photographs of one's family and the places they have visited is a fun past time. Most people use their cell phones for their pictures, but a camera is still one's best choice for great photos.

A point and shoot camera, which are easy to use, start at around $50 and can run to well over $1,000.

To purchase a really good SLR camera can cost upwards of $6,000, plus lenses and other needed accessories.

SLR stands for "single lens reflex" and means that you can view the subject through a mirror system in the camera when looking through the view finder. This helps a photographer frame their subject.

Another advantage to an SLR camera versus a point and shoot is that the lenses are interchangeable. Generally, advanced and professional photographers use SLR cameras, and a point and shoot camera works well for the rest of us.

Another advantage that a point and shoot camera has over an SLR is weight. A small point and shoot camera is lightweight and can easily be in one's purse, backpack or even pocket.

To capture special moments, have your camera charged and available. There is nothing more frustrating that to have a dead battery pack when you are ready to photograph.

For years I kept a small point and shoot camera in my purse and always had it available when we went someplace and could take nice pictures with it.

We have gotten some beautiful beach and sunset photographs because I had a camera with me. I realize that many people think their cell phones take as nice pictures as a camera, but there is a difference.

Tips for photos

When one is going to take a photo, clean up the area and focus on the person, landscape or pet you want in the picture.

Get extraneous things out of the picture — don't photograph your mother holding her purse, set it to the side.

Focus on the subject of the photograph and center your subject, whether it is a person, landscape or an object.

My family takes lots of pictures at Walt Disney World and we make sure we set backpacks, packages and other items out of the picture. We want a memory of our day, not the junk we were carrying around.

Learn how to efficiently use your camera, know what the buttons, dials and settings do and how to use them properly.

Learn how to use the portrait, landscape and zoom settings. It doesn't help to have a great camera if you don't know how to use it to its fullest potential.

Read the manual and then look on YouTube and see if there are any videos that show insider tips for your specific camera.

One of the nice things with today's cameras is that you know instantly if your picture turned out or if you need to take a second one. Take lots of pictures. You can delete any that you don't want from your memory card.

Enjoy your summer and take pictures of the memories you and your family are making.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: HAPPENINGS: Camera types for capturing those summer photos