Steven Broome's Photo Tips
Your UCM team doesn’t want to leave you feeling abandoned with your point-and-shoot cameras. After all, we are depending on you to send us your best pictures. Steven Broome, assistant director and photographer, shares a few photo tips as you venture out.
Last issue I mentioned avoiding the use of the camera's built-in flash.
In many instances you won't be able to do turn off the flash and still get a decent exposure without adjusting the camera's ISO settings.
ISO numbers are exactly like film speeds in the "old days." The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor is to light.
In low-light situations, usually indoors, you may need to increase the ISO number to get a good shot. Increasing the ISO also increases the possibility of digital "noise" in the photo. We used to refer to this as "grain."
Don't be afraid to experiment with the higher numbers. As a matter of fact, most camera manufacturers are making great strides in reducing the amount of noise in the higher ISO settings.
Be aware of your white balance. Using a camera without the built-in flash also presents another potential headache: strange color-casts.
Even though it's difficult for our eyes to detect it, different types of light sources have different colors. Daylight is usually the baseline from which all other types of light are measured.
Incandescent/tungsten light is very warm – leaning towards orange and yellow. Standard fluorescent light is on the cool side – greens and blues.
Many cameras have automatic white balance settings that attempt to measure the light color and adjust appropriately.
But that doesn't always work. Most cameras have presets that allow the user to choose the correct WB setting for the correct type of light. If you're shooting under incandescent or tungsten lights (theater and stage shows are a good example) you may want to set the camera's WB to that preset.
If you're shooting in a classroom where fluorescent bulbs are the main source, you may want to set the WB to that preset. If the presets don't give you neutral color, you may be required to set a custom WB. It's usually not difficult and will likely give you the best results.
Image File Sizes
Don't worry about your image file sizes being too large. Ten years ago, a 1GB memory card might have cost you over $400. Today, you can get a 4GB card for less than $20. Flash media is relatively cheap these days. So there's really no reason not to shoot your photos at the highest quality setting. This will make it easier to manipulate in editing applications. It will also give you the most latitude for different uses.
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