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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Vacation Photos

TAKE LOTS AND LOTS OF PICTURES.

With a digital camera you can always erase the photos you don’t want. Take pictures of anything you find interesting and try to focus on some of the details such as an attractive doorway or a colorful market, not just panoramic scenes or major landmarks. Let your pictures tell a story by creating a visual diary of your trip. Include street scenes, interesting signs, people you see along the way. For variety take both vertical and horizontal pictures.

READY FOR YOUR CLOSE-UP?

When taking people shots, don’t make the mistake of standing too far away. You want to be able to recognize the people in your photos. Get close enough so you can see the expressions on your subjects faces. Zoom in on individuals or capture them from the waist up. Pictures are often more interesting when you can catch people at candid, un-posed moments. In posed photos, try to incorporate some of the background into your shot. Try snapping from interesting angles rather than simply head-on.

USE YOUR FLASH

When photographing in bright sunlight, setting your camera’s “fill” or “forced” flash is very helpful, particularly when photographing people. Brilliant sunlight often makes people’s faces look harsh, casting dark shadows under the eyes and accentuating wrinkles. The daytime fill-in flash will soften the lighting and make the images more flattering. Your family and friends in the photos will thank you!

EDIT AND ENHANCE YOUR FAVORITE SHOTS

When you get home you can edit, crop and enhance your favorites using photo editing software such as Foto Finish, Ulead or Photoshop Elements. Consider adding drama to your images by turning some of your color photos into black and white or sepia tones and then upload all your images to an online photo printing service like Ofoto or Shutterfly for fast and convenient prints. You can take your best snaps and use your photo editing software to create a photo calendar or make photo cards for personal notes, or to email your favorites to family and friends.

Most of all have fun with your camera!

Nice Shot of Baby

First, let me advise you never to use a wide angle lens for a baby picture. The foreshortening of a 28mm focal length lens will be sure to (1) make the baby’s nose appear larger, (2) reduce the size of their ears to looking smaller and out of shape, and (3) probably cause an overexposure of the image due to the closeness of the flash to the subject. One the other hand, a short telephoto lens (100mm) will reproduce our angel’s features to a normal proportion, all of his (or her) different parts presented in the proper ratio. Even a small distortion of proportion has a definite (and detrimental) effect on the features.

While I’m not excluding taking pictures at night with a flash, I am recommending that you wait for daytime for that wonderful light coming from your window. Turn off the flash or cover it with two layers of white handkerchief. A setting of 200 ISO should be sufficient for a good exposure. The bottom pane is the one with the most photogenic light, so if you can, close off the upper part. Try raising the mattress in the crib so that you can see the baby without looking down. Soft light from the sky or light reflected off clouds produces a three dimensional rounded effect especially flattering to a baby’s face. If the room is furnished in dark colors, place a reflecting surface near the baby to fill in the shadow. Use a tripod or other support and shoot away.

Try different angles: a high angle looking down, a position on the opposite side of the crib (turn it around), or even through the bars. Avoid using the macro setting on a zoom lens, since this setting most often incorporates a wide angle focal length. Find the closest distance possible on your short telephoto lens (85mm – 120mm) and stand at that distance. A two diopter close-up attachment lens could halve this distance for super close-ups.

For twins, try to have one sit and one stand. The diagonals produced in the composition introduce a dynamic note to the picture. Important is to have all eyes pointing in the same direction. A squeeze toy helps.

Get Closer to Subject

Alternatively, instead of moving closer, use the Optical Zoom of your camera to get a close up shot. Don’t use your Digital Zoom as it will degrade your image quality.

When taking shots of family and friends, most people place the subject’s full body in the frame, or place head and arms in the shot. Instead, fill the frame with your subject’s FACE only – particularly if they are smiling or are in a moment of reflection.

Why does this work? With less clutter in the image, there’s less to draw the eye away from the main subject of your photo. Also, human faces (particularly children’s faces) are something we all feel pleasure looking at.

If you can’t get close enough when you’re taking the shot, you can zoom in later using photo editing software – crop out everything except the subject’s face and see what a difference it makes.

When using the viewfinder for close shots, be careful of Parallax. Because the viewfinder is not at the same position as the camera’s lens, centering the subject in the viewfinder may mean it is not centered for the lens resulting in an off-center final picture. Most digital cameras now come with an inbuilt LCD screen. You can eliminate this problem by using the LCD – which shows you what the lens sees – rather than the viewfinder.

Choose The Digital Camera

If you really want to learn photography, you will need a good reliable digital camera. The camera must be able to shoot in both fully manual and fully auto modes. Shutter speed, aperture, focus and white balance are just a few of the manual settings you will need to adjust on higher end digital or SLR cameras. If you buy a cheap camera with only auto features, don’t expect to be able to create high quality photos. In terms of digital photography, you pay for what you get.

There are great lower end digital cameras on the market. All major manufactures such as Sony, Canon and Olympus all provide digital cameras for the average photographer. Fuji for example, Fuji released the FinePix 3.2MP Digital Camera this year. At less than $200, this camera provides great quality at a fraction of the cost of a higher end unit.

Of course if you are a more advanced photographer and need something a bit more high end, there are some great digital and SLR cameras available. Perhaps the greatest surprise of 2004, was the Digital Rebel from Canon. Equipped dozens of EF lenses, fully manual settings and boasting a 6 mega pixel resolution, the Rebel is a great starter camera for the photography enthusiast.

So before you go out and buy your new digital camera, ask yourself what you will be using it for. If you’re just going to use it for “point and shoot,” you likely have no need for a high end unit that has 8 mega pixels and a slew of manual functions. There is a wide range of cameras out there that meet every ones needs. With a bit of research and patience, you will find the perfect digital camera.