Photo Tips & Tricks --- from

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FULL FRAMING (taking a walk around your view-finder) Scan the top, sides and bottom of your view-finder Your main subject should nearly touch these boundaries. If it doesn't, move closer to the subject.

TAKING PICTURES INTO THE SUN - When back-lighting is apparent, open the aperture an extra one and a half stops.

SETTING YOUR RATES - Free-Lance artists should determine their hourly rate by dividing their annual income requirements by one thousand (Mike Rider, art director).

BETTER EXPOURES - If you are using negative film and can't take several exposures, overexpose the metered value by one stop. You will have a better chance of recording your information.

DOUBT - When in doubt open your aperture one stop. When in serious doubt open two stops.

SUNNY f16- On a bright sunny day, set your aperture on 16 and your shutter speed as close as
possible to your films ISO rating This will produce properly exposed pictures with all films and all film speed ratings.

FULL MOON f11- For proper exposure of a full moon, set your aperture on 11 and your shutter speed as close to your films ISO rating as possible

HALF MOON f8- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of 8 for pictures of a half moon.

QUARTER MOON f5.6- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of 5.6 for pictures of a quarter moon.

SUNSETS - Meter the area of sky directly above sun and use this setting as the basis for exposure. Using one f-stop less light will produce the effect of a picture taken one half hour later.

PHOTOGRAPHIC GRAY CARD- When the camera meters a mid-tone the scene will he properly exposed.

FILM SPEED- Use the lowest film speed (ISO) you can to preserve sharpness, color saturation and reduce grain.

BRACKETING - Expose for a mid-tone then adjust exposure to +1 and -1. For extreme lighting go one exposure step more each way.

"RULE" OF THIRDS - Place your center of interest, vertically or horizontally, at the 1/3 and 2/3 points in your viewfinder for a stronger composition.

COMPOSITION - When the word rule is used, substitute un-rule, for there are no rules, only considerations.

CLEANING FILTERS AND LENSES- A well washed 100% cotton T-shirt is softer and more scratch resistant than photographic lens tissue. To clean filters and lenses simply "HUFF" (breathe on the lens until it fogs) and wipe clean.

PROTECTIVE FILTER- Always leave this filter on for lens protection.

FILM- Establish the amount of film that you think you will use, then multiply by a factor of two. When working for a client multiply by a factor of three. (or digital film)

PALM READING - To select an average tone exposure reading, "read" the palm of your hand with your thumb extended. Then, using your thumb up reminder, open up your aperture (smaller number) one stop.

FOCUS- Focus 1/3 of the way into the picture and use f-16 for the greatest depth of field.

FILTERS- When using an 80A blue (outdoor to indoor) filter, open 2 stops when using a hand-held exposure meter.

PHOTOGRAPHING A CAR - A three-quarter front view makes the most effective photograph for selling a car (Paul Douglas, photographer).

PHOTOGRAPHING LANDSCAPES - Assume that a dramatic "photogenic" effect will rarely last more than one hour.

FREE-LANCE RULE OF TWO - If you want a merely adequite return on an untried free-lance photography project, decide what you think you can get away with charging, and then double it. The final expense and aggravation will exceed your original estimate by a factor of two.

FREE-LANCING - Free-lance photographers should expect to put in one un-billable hour for
every billable hour.

SHOOTING FILM - One good shot per roll of film is a good take. or a flash card

GOOD COMPOSITION - Mentally divide vour view-finder into four areas. Look into each area and eliminate anything that isn't necessary.

HEADS - Look at the top of vour view-finder and ask yourself if heads are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time heads will be partially or totally missing.

FEET - Look at the bottom of your view-finder and ask yourself if feet are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time feet will be missing.

HORIZON LINE - A picture taken at a slight angle to the horizon will look out of balance somewhat like a painting which isn't hung straight on a wall. Look in your view-finder and ask vourseif if the horizon line is parallel to the top and bottom of your view-finder. If you don't do this, the horizon line in your pictures will be tilted 90% of the time.

WILDLIFE - Final image size and sharpness will decrease proportionately as the desirability for the picture increases. To reverse this effect, look through the view-finder and ask yourself how manv times you could stack your subject on top of itself, moving from the the bottom of the frame to the top. If the number is greater than four your picture will lack impact. Move closer to your subject or use a stronger lens.


CENTER - There is a natural tendency to place all subjects in the center of the picture, known as the "bulls-eye syndrome." Place the main subject or center of interest anywhere but the center of the picture. The center is a very important place in a picture, however, when the subject is placed in the center it becomes so powerful that nothing else can compete with it (Roger Baker, art teacher, Clark College).

GOOD COMPOSITION - When cropping a print, use four sheets of ty ping paper, one for each side of the print. Move the paper to eliminate unwanted parts of the picture. The result will be good Composition.

BLUE SKY - A clear north blue sky is a middle tone. An exposure reading using the blue sky as a source will produce a proper daylight exposure.

WATERFALLS - Use an average exposure reading as a base then reduce the exposure by one f-stop for detail in bright sunlit water.

FOCIS - If your subject has eyes, focus on them.

GOOD PICTURES - Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop (Ansel Adams, photographer).
PHOTOGRAPHIC SEEING- Seeing simply is seeing significantly (.Jack Wilkinson, artist).

PORTRAITS- When taking portraits, squint, look at your subject and ask yourself if you still see detail in the shadows around the eyes. If you do, shoot. If not change the lighting or have the subject change position.

CHRONIOGENIC FILMS- Chromogenic films contradict most rules of black and white photographv. This film is a dye based film which is processed as a color negative film (C-41 process) and produces black and white images. ISO settings may be varied between 50 and 800 for different lighting conditions. Exposure at high ISO ratings produce very fine grain results
SOLAR/LUNAR- The size of the sun/moon will cover one half of your little finger nail when your hand is held at arms length.

IMAGE SIZE - When using a 50 mm lens, the image height of a subject, as seen in vour view-finder, will increase one height of the original image for each additional 50 mm that is added to the lens. Thus a 100 mm lens will double the image height
MORE LIGHT - When you want to add light to make your final print or slide look lighter, use the following rule: WHEN YOU WANT MORE SUN MOVE TOWARDS ONE. This rule applies to the camera numbers that affect the aperture. shutter speed, and film speed. If you have willing subjects you can try taking rnore formal pictures. Pose your subjects in a well planned group, rather than having them all standing in a line. Seat two or three people and have the others stand around them with their hands on the seated subjects shoulders. Keep your subjects close to avoid large open areas. If you have a large group you can fill in spots with people kneeling in front. Avoid posing very tall people behind seated or kneeling subjects because this will create an unbalanced looking photo. A good rule is to arrange the group like a pyramid filling in the center with faces. This is effective for groups of three up to much larger groups.

When photographing a small family group, have the parents sit on the ground with their legs bent and facing towards the outside of the frame. Pose one child behind and between the parents while the other child sits in front of one parents legs. If you have more children to get into the photo, try to keep the pyramid rule in mind.

Some of the best photos can be taken using the self-timer feature and you'll have lots of fun taking them. Pose your group and make sure you leave a spot for yourself. Mount your camera on a table-top tripod and set it on a sturdy surface. (A full size tripod is even better.) You can also use a large bean bag or a rolled up sweat shirt to prop-up your camera. Set your camera to the self-timer mode, frame the picture, press the shutter and run to your spot. Do something crazy when you get into the picture. Jump up and down, make a silly face or engage in a group hug.

Self-timers are also great for family gatherings like Christmas or birthday parties. Arrange your family in a semi-formal pose, set the self-timer and take your position in the shot. Using the self timer will guarantee that you get into at least some of your own pictures And these memories will become very valuable to you and your family in the years to come.

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