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PostSubject: ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY   Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 pm

Basic Photography Tip #1... DON'T TOUCH THAT CAMERA!

Your pulse has risen... the adrenalin is coursing through your body... you can almost taste the excitement! It's time to grab that electronic wonder and take some photos! Just remember one of the most basic photography tips there is--DON'T TOUCH THAT CAMERA. At least not yet. Make sure you first...

Get the camera bag
If the camera's not in it, put it in (Imagine how you'd feel if you dropped your camera not in it's protective camera bag)
Verify that the batteries in your camera as well as the spare batteries are FULLY CHARGED. (You do have spare batteries, don't you?!)

If you're going to be shooting indoors, also take the battery charger (I don't know if this should be considered a "basic photography tip" as much as basic planning, but in any case... be prepared.)

Determine if you could possibly need any accessories like a tripod,extra lens, filters, etc., and then pack them up.

Open the camera and check if the memory is loaded (There's basic photography tips, and then there's BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS. This one is even "pre-basic.")

Estimate how much shooting you'll be doing, and take with at least twice that amount o
f memory. (Nothing is more depressing than an incredible photo opportunity but... no more memory!) If you're off to a major family event such as an anniversary party or a family reunion, don't forget to take the list of portrait posing ideas.You'll be so sorry if you forget!
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PostSubject: Re: ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY   Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:40 pm

Photography Tip #2... LIMIT THE CAFFEINE

The biggest cause of blurred photographs is what's known as "camera shake." My personal favorite of all the basic photography tips there are, isdon't do that!

Although you are not consciously aware of any movement, the slower the shutter speed, the greater the chances for camera shake. To avoid ruining shots this way (don't worry-there are plenty of other ways to ruin shots), do your best on the following photography tips:
Plant both feet firmly on the ground.

Establish a natural and comfortable photography stance in which your elbows are tucked firmly against your body while the camera is pressed firmly against your face.
Just before you snap the picture, take (and hold) your breath andgently squeeze the shutter. (If you jerk the shutter down too quickly, because of the excitement felt in taking the "shot of the century," you'll get it alright... but it will be blurred).

If you've had caffeine (seriously!) or have slight hand shaking, do everyone a favor and use a tripod.

It won't be embarrassing because you don't have to tell anyone why you're doing it. And, you'll even look more professional!

If you don't have a tripod handy when you need one, brace yourself against a solid object such as a wall, a tree, or Uncle Bruno.

Remember the "Inverse Ratio Rule," where your shutter speed should not be slower than 1 divided by the focal length of the lens you are using? You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?

OK, quick review; here's an example: if you are using a 100mm lens, you want your shutter setting to be faster than 1/100 of a second. If for whatever reason, you are using a slower shutter speed, please use a tripod or steady yourself against an object.

The waterfall photograph above was taken at F-11 with a shutter speed of1.5 seconds.

If a tripod had not been used, the picture would have been so blurred that you could not even tell what it was supposed to be.

P.S. - the only way to achieve the "angel hair" look to the water is by using a very slow shutter speed.
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PostSubject: Re: ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY   Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:41 pm

Basic Photography Tip #3... IT'S OK TO INVADE PERSONAL SPACE

As "Commander-In-Chief-of-the-Camera" ("CICOTC" for short), you are afforded certain privileges that mere mortals can never hope to attain.

One of the prime rules of etiquette tells us not to invade the personal space of others. However, when it comes to basic photography tips, you are encouraged to ignore this rule.
Depending upon how much of a telephoto lens you have (how much you can "zoom" your camera lens), you want to be close enough to your subject so that they fill at least 85% of the frame, while the background contributes no more than 15%.

The key assumption here is that the background in question is irrelevant. If, for example, you were posing your family for a multi-generational portrait, and it was taking place in front of a giant waterfall, you would probably want to bend the above rule.

The main challenge you will run into when following these particular basic photography tips is when you are taking flash photographs of subjects less than 6 feet away.

Moving from basic to intermediate photography tips for a second, controlling the intensity and type of light can make a huge difference in the final photograph. Some flashes create an unnatural-looking bright appearance. In that case, experiment with the following solutions:
Use an external flash, attached to the hot shoe, and create a bounce flash off the ceiling or a wall

Attach a diffuser over the flash head to create a softer, less intense light

Bounce the flash off a white surface (a piece of white cardboard will do) rather than have it aimed directly at your subjects

Use a "flash deflector" such as Lumiquest's Pocket Bouncer

If you can increase the ISO setting without creating too much digital "noise," you may be able to avoid having to use a flash entirely

If you don't have an external flash, it gets a little more difficult. If you have a Point And Shoot, you can experiment with different translucent materials and hold them over the flash; however, unless you can compensate the F-stop or shutter speed appropriately, your subject will likely be under-exposed

The last option for Point And Shoots is to move the subject next to a window where there is enough external light coming into the room, in order to avoid having to use a flash. In this case, avoid the glare of the glass by shooting at an angle (that's a bonus basic photography tip)
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PostSubject: Re: ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY   Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:43 pm


There are many photo opportunities where it is not only acceptable, but actually preferred, to place the subject in the middle of the frame (examples being group shots of 5 to 15 people).

However, there are other times when doing so will only generate a very boring picture (no, this is NOT a basic photography tip on how to produce boring photos).

One of the most basic photography tips that exists is called "The Rule of Thirds." When composing a shot, divide up the picture frame into a vertical and horizontal grid of thirds (similar to a tic-tac-toe board).

Rather than placing your subject in the middle of the frame, place them at one of the four intersecting points on your imaginary grid. This will usually produce a more compositionally pleasing result. Just remember, like most rules, don't use it for every photograph.

One of the most frustrating things about photography is having a picture you took, turn out a lot worse than expected and not know why! Of course you can delete the image, but if you don't know what went wrong, you can't correct it.
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PostSubject: Re: ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY   Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:45 pm

The Top Photography Tips

Basic Photography Tip #1: Read The Owner’s Manual
(a.k.a. "What am I supposed to do with this?!")

Although your camera’s manual may not suggest this, the very first thing to do is to locate the battery and the re-charger. Check your manual for how to properly charge your battery, and then immediately start charging it!

Most owners manuals don't discuss rechargeable AA or AAA batteries for external flashes; which are perfectly safe for just about all cameras and photographic accessories (always check your product's specs, to be sure).

Are rechargeable AA batteries right for everybody? No. Most people will benefit from them. However, if you take less than a 100 flash pictures per year, you're probably better off sticking with non-rechargeable batteries.

On the other hand, if you do have an external flash unit and take more than 100 flash pictures/year, you will find that rechargeable batteries will easily pay for themselves in money and convenience.

I've been using and reusing rechargeable batteries for the last three years on a continual basis, and have found them reliable and extremely cost effective.

Back to the owner’s manual, which most people rarely open.
Most of us want to immediately begin playing with our new camera and take some pictures.
Unfortunately, most digital cameras won't allow this because new cameras have no power.
Never knowing how long cameras remain on the shelf before being purchased, manufacturers don't charge them.

That's a good thing, because the battery would be drained by the time it reaches you anyway.

Although not technically a photography tip, the very first thing you should do with a new camera is to charge it up.

This forces us to wait, so we might as well use this time to go over the basics of how the camera operates (as well as the other photography tips noted here).

If your camera has an AC adapter, although impractical for taking pictures on the go, you can at least get familiar with your camera while its battery is charging. As you go through the manual, make sure you understandwhere each control is and how to use it.

One huge advantage a digital camera has over its film equivalent is the ability to merrily take as many photographs as you want while learning how to use the camera. At the end of the process, you can simply delete the unwanted images without costing a cent.

Filed under "lesser known photography tips," the two items you will probably want to quickly purchase are more memory (digital "film") and at least one spare battery.

It pays to go through the entire manual, if only to familiarize yourself with where everything is. Until you are familiar with all the controls, you will be referring to the manual frequently. If you don’t know how to find anything, it’s going to get pretty frustrating very quickly.

Basic Photography Tip #2: Glossary - The Most Basic of Help

If you are new to photography, you will probably find some words that are unfamiliar. The "Glossary" or "Terms" page of your manual is full of photography tips in as much as it explains what things are.

Another good basic page is the one showing where everything is located on your camera. After all, it’s important to know what the shutter priority is, but it’s also critical to be able to find it!

For some more complicated cameras, it’s not uncommon for the manufacturer to include a short reference sheet including important camera details/features that you can carry with you. As an alternative, you may want to construct your own card with what you think are the most important details.

Basic Photography Tip #3: Know Your Controls

Let’s say you are watching a parade that contains several floats. On one of the floats is your child.

When that float is close, you want to get some shots of your child on it. If your camera is set to auto-focus, and there are many objects on the float, your camera doesn’t know which object to focus on.

You know that you want to photograph your child, but to the camera, the large fire engine seems like a more logical point of focus.

One quick solution is to switch from auto focus to manual focus and focus on your child to insure he/she is in perfect focus.

But, if you have to refer to the manual to figure out how to do this, your child and the float will be out of view by the time you figure it out.

Your goal is to be at least familiar enough with your camera that you can quickly change settings and still capture the photograph. Even with static subjects like architecture or
landscapes, you will sometimes have to work fast to catch a particular lighting effect.

Time spent getting to know your camera, and what all of the buttons and menus do will pay dividends when you need it for that once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

Basic Photography Tip #4:
How You Hold Your Camera DOES Make a Difference

I’ll wager that if you bought your camera at a camera store, nobody took the time to explain how to properly hold it. This is one of those things that professionals do unconsciously, and beginners may never do until somebody points it out to them (or they learn the hard way).
If you observe others taking photographs, this photography tip would not be necessary. Why? Because you would have already noticed that people often hold cameras with their fingers partially blocking the lens.

The second thing you would notice is fingers getting in the way of the flash or red-eye reduction light. Bottom line, you want to hold your camera so that it is comfortable, secure, and able to take unobstructedphotographs.

The other photography tip concerning how your camera is held involves movement.Your objective is ALWAYS to hold the camera as still as possible.

Although not obvious, holding your camera absolutely still does not come naturally.And the longer the exposure time, the more likely the photograph will lose sharpness… that is, unless you use a tripod.

Tests have shown that almost all pictures taken at normal shutter speeds are not as sharp as the picture would have been had the camera been on a tripod.

For example, the butterfly above is not very sharp because the shot was taken with a hand-held camera not mounted on a tripod. By the way, if you HAVE TO take this type of shot without a tripod, use the fastest shutter speed possible. The less time the shutter is open, the less opportunity for camera shake to impact the shot.

If the camera is large enough, grasp the camera firmly in both hands, the right one on the camera body with your first finger poised on the shutter button; and your left hand either under and around the lens, or on the bottom of the camera body.

With small cameras, the fingers of your left hand will probably go over those of your right. (Not too many cameras are built for lefties.)

Just as in shooting a rifle, remember to relax your breathing and to squeeze the shutter button (not jerk it) just before firing. I recommend NOT using the LCD screen, because you cannot steady the camera against your head.
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