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General hints and tips for photographers, how to get a better picture.


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PHOTOGRAPHY

GENERAL
TIPS

 

camera

The doors on the
battery compartment on a digital cameras are very fragile and often
come off.  As long as the connections are intact you can cut a
piece of adhesive duck tape to size, put the batteries in the camera,
then lightly tape the base back on.  It holds very well and can
be peeled off when you need to replace the battery.

Thanks
to Keith Knight for this one.

 
To protect your camera, take a length of bubble
wrap, fold over one third of the length and seal up the sides with either tape or staples
to make a bag. This will protect your camera from sun, sand and knocks.
To improve an image, especially in a photo
booth, hold a piece of white paper or card below the chin.  Make sure it is out of
shot though.
 
 To reduce camera shake when using a telephoto
lens:-

Tie a long piece of string around the lens.
  Make a loop at the other end of the piece of string and place this around your
foot. 
Create tension on the string with your foot and this will stop a lot of the movement.

When taking a shot using a timer it is often
difficult to find a suitable site on which to place the camera.

Fill a plastic bag with paper, cardigan or something similar, place
the camera on top and make sure the shot is lined up correctly.

 
 Wrap your film in tin foil to protect it when
passing through X-Ray machines at airports. etc.
An easy way to achieve a soft focus on photos is
to stretch some old tights (panty hose) over the lens before taking the picture.
 
 When taking beach scenes, landscapes or
shimmering water In very bright sunlight, polaroid sunglasses over the lens can improve
the finished photo.
Lens hoods can be expensive, however, the same
results can be achieved by using a margarine tub.  Paint the tub black and cut a hole
in the bottom large enough to fit snugly over your lens.

Use the lid of the margarine tub to create unusual frames for your
shots.  Cut an interesting shape in the lid, fit onto the margarine tub lens hood and
take the shot as usual.

 
 When using flash guns of any description, soften
the light by placing a cigarette paper over the flash bulb.  This will also reduce
“red eye”.
To make a cheap and easy
reflector, scrunch up
some tin foil then place over a stiff piece of cardboard.
 
 When taking photos of children, place a piece of
sticky tape on the palm of their hand.  This will keep them occupied and give some
very thoughtful shots.
If your subject is “thinning” on top,
save his blushes by placing your camera below eye level.
 
 When your subjects are seated on a settee, to
avoid unladylike postures either seat the ladies forward, slightly sideways on the front
edge of the settee with their ankles crossed or place something under the settee cushions
to raise the seating height.
For a more relaxed group shot, get the subjects
to blow “raspberries” then take the photograph immediately after or take two
shots in immediate succession which takes them unawares.
 
 For a more natural shot practice taking photos
with the camera at hip level, which is less obvious to your subjects.
A simple vignette can be made by cutting the top
and bottom off a washing up liquid bottle which can then be slid over the lens and moved
to different lengths.
 
 Place your subjects out of bright sunlight,
perhaps under some trees.  Light is more complimentary and the trees can be used to
frame the shot.
To relax everybody at the same time when taking
group photos, produce the unexpected – a glove puppet or stuffed toy etc.
 
 If your favourite photo has been ruined by
ballpoint and/or permanent marker, don’t panic.

Take
some metal polish wadding and gently  rub over the marks.  Wipe over the area
with clean, dry cotton wool and, hey presto, the photo is as good as new.

To avoid films being lost whilst being
developed.  Write your name and address on a large piece of card and take a photo of
the card.  This will then be on the film and should avoid disappointment.