The magic of the "+"!

If you carefully look at your digital camera, you will see, that at the center of a your LCD screen, there is a small “+” or crosshair. This cross-hair does many cool things.

Firstly, incase you do not see the crosshair at the center of your LCD screen, you need to look though your camera manual and find out how to make it appear. Once it appears, try this, move your camera around and look at different objects thought the LCD. When the “+” is on a very bright object the LCD goes almost completely black! When the “+” is on a dark object, the LCD is completely bright.

Put the “+” on a bulb…almost nothing but the bulb will be seen. Put the “+” on a dark shadow, everything will be seen. This is your camera, adjusting the exposure settings. If the camera feels that everything is dark, it will improve the exposure and let more light come in. This makes the whole image appear in the LCD screen when you put the “+” on dark shadows etc.

If the camera feels everything is bright, it decides that there is no need for more exposure. So, when you put your camera on a bulb, nothing is seen in the LCD screen.

Just in case you are confused, "exposure" is simply how well the camera records the image. If there is little light outside, not enough light will come into the camera and so the camera needs to be more sensitive to light. In these dark situations, the camera will also turn on it's automatic flash!

If there is lots of light available, enough light will get into the camera. There is no special need to improve exposure or anything. So, basically the camera measures the situation and appropriately increases or decreases the exposure. 

That is not all. Most cameras also allow you to “lock” these exposure settings with the “flash button half pressed” concept. Try this, take your camera, get the “+” to point on a bright object like the sun or a bulb etc. As the camera is on the bright object and everything has gone dark, press the flash button "HALF down". Then with the flash button half down, point the camera to some other objects. What do you see in the LCD screen? If your camera supports this “half pressed feature” the LCD should be black!

So basically, the half pressed flash button locks the “exposure settings”. So long as the button is still half pressed, the camera will still think that you are pointing to that bright object only.


So what? How do you use this?

There are many ways to use this. But one of the coolest things you can do take “silhouette photos” with this. Look at the photo blow to get an idea.

Silhouette photo! 

If you just shoot a photo of this, the lady and the sky would both come with all their colours intact. This would not make that great a photo. So, you use the magic “+” to take a spectacular photo instead. How?

Fist take the camera and turn the camera’s flash off. We do not want the flash to illuminate the lady. To figure out how to turn of the camera’s flash, you may have to use your camera manual.

Next, take your camera and point the “+” to the sky. Let the camera think that the whole image is as bright as the sky. Press the “flash button down half”. The camera will set it’s exposure assuming that the whole image is a bright as the sky. Then, move your camera’s “+” over the lady and take the photo with the exposure setting still locked for the sky.

You should have a brilliant, image of the silhouette of the lady against the sky! 

Next - Some final tips.. >>


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Table Of Contents

  1. How to take great photos? - Introduction
  2. Two major "funds" of photography!
  3. The concept of your photo...
  4. Depth of field (DOF)!!
  5. How to actually do all this? 
  6. But my camera does not have all these options!!
  7. Shutter speed, ISO and dim lighting...
  8. The magic of the "+"
  9. Some final tips...