Sunday, August 05, 2007


So as scrapbookers we are all passionate about our photographs. Some of us are just point and shoot for the moment with small digital cameras, some of us take time to set the moment and have expensive digital SLR cameras. Whichever photographer you are the end result is the same, you are inevitably going to scrap that photograph.
Tips for better photos Take LOTS of pictures. The best way to achieve great pictures is to take lots and lots of them. Your chance of taking a great photo increases by taking more photos. Also, if the subjects like to perform for the camera, after a while, they will get tired of performing and you can get some real life action shots.

Avoid distracting backgrounds. How many times have you had a photo of someone that you really love, but there is a pile of dirty dishes on the sink behind them or a tree branch sticking right out of the side of their head? There are some things that cannot be avoided, but if you carefully consider the entire frame of your picture, you will have more successful results.

Use natural light. The flash and sunlight can both cause harsh shadows on your subjects, so try to shoot pictures near a sunny window. When it is cloudy outside, that is a perfect time to encourage your subject to come outside for a quick photo shoot. Without the harsh sun shining down on them, they will not be squinting or have bright spots on their faces.

Here are a few tips for taking better photos of the important people in your life.

Get close to your subject and focus on their face. Most people want to take full head to toe body shots. Avoid taking full body shots unless the clothes are your subject. For example the person is wearing a costume or uniform take a full body shot otherwise stay focused on the face. Make the person the centre of your photo by getting up close and personal.

Use the right lenses for taking photos of people. A high powered zoom will allow you to get up close features without getting into your subjects personal space. Avoid wide-angle lenses they will distort facial features. When kids are your subject get down to their level to take the photo. Focus the camera on the eyes of your subject.

Photograph your subjects while they are engaged in other activities. For example do you have a self proclaimed chef in the family? Photograph them making their world famous lasagne. Have a little one in the family that is learning to read? Photograph them with their nose tucked into a book.

Capturing the personality of the person in a still photo is truly an art form. The more photos you take you will become more confident and increase your chances of taking that amazing photograph. Here are ten more of the top ten most common photo mistakes that scrapbookers make, and how they can be avoided.

Forgetting the camera - Alright, we have all done it. Either carry a disposable camera, or purchase one that can fit into your purse. Try to be sure you always have your camera handy.

Red Eye/Pet Eye - While sometimes, there is just no way to keep it from happening, red eye and pet eye can be controlled somewhat. If you are able, turn on lights or adjust your subjects. If you wind up with photos that are full of red eye, either use a red eye pen or a computer software program that can help remove it.

Sloppiness - How many times have you gotten a roll of film developed or now in the digital age, uploaded a photo to your computer, only to find out that you have a photograph with a head cut off, or something growing out of someones head. The best way to avoid this problem, is just to pay attention. Try to centre your subject until you become better.

Parallax - What's that? It is when you are too close to the subject you are photographing which is common with a point and shoot camera. Just back up and keep your hand as steady as possible.

Out of Focus - This usually occurs when the subject is moving. Or perhaps the photographer moved slightly. Try to stay as still as you can, and work with the focus until you get it right.

Camera Shake - This is actually more common than we would like to admit. Usually occurs when the wind is blowing, or the photographer moves or shakes slightly. The only way to help is to keep the camera as steady as possible or use a faster film. Since using a faster film is not an answer for a digital camera, keeping your hands steady is the only option. Keep elbows close to your side, and take a deep breath and hold it right before you press the button.

Back lighting - Usually this means shadows on the subject or a darkened face. Try moving into the shade and position the subject so the light is on them. You can also zoom in on the subject or use the fill flash to help combat back lighting problems.

Poor exposure - This isn't as much of a problem with modern technology what it is. Digital camera's don't usually have this problem. With a film camera, the reason for poor exposure is typically because the film is too slow for the type of photo you were aiming for or you did not use a flash.

Partial Obstruction - The finger over the lens or the lens strap in the picture! Or maybe just dirt or dust on your lens. Be sure and check your lens each time you are going to use your camera. Also carry a soft camera cloth with you to wipe the lens frequently while you are using it.

No picture at all - Haven't you ever had that happen? You know you took the photo, you might even remember setting it up. But there was no picture there. Sometimes this happens because the film was not loaded properly, the shutter wasn't pressed firmly, or maybe you forgot to load film if it was a film camera. With a digital camera it is more commonly the issue of not having the shutter released completely. Just be sure to press firmly.

Holiday Snaps Before You Go A point-and-shoot camera will do for most trips. Bring extra memory cards and lithium batteries or your rechargeable battery and charging thingie. If using film, budget two rolls per day (400-speed is the best all-purpose). If it is a big deal trip--read travel books before you go (so you’ll know not to miss sunrise over the Serengeti) and by all means, bring a notebook, everyone tends to forget the details. Some cameras will record voice notes, but it uses a bunch of memory card space. Let There be Light Midday light is the very harshest. Try to take pictures in the morning and late afternoon when light is soft, the darks and lights are more balanced and all looks peaceful. Overcast days are great, too. Stand at least three feet from your subject so it will be in focus — but not too far or all you’ll get is background. The best composition keeps things a little off-centre. In general, flash works best within 15 feet of your subject. Is the sun behind you? It should be. Add drama to your composition, try shooting through natural frames like doorways and windows. Sun, Sand, and Sea Sand + cameras = disaster. Wind + sand is even worse. Pack a disposable underwater camera, these can be really inexpensive. Place the horizon in the top or bottom third of your picture to avoid bisecting a lovely scene. And it might seem strange to select “fill flash” in brilliant sunlight, but it will do wonders for dark shadows in the shade from the bright sun. By the way, the sunset rarely looks as good on film as it does in person, so don’t miss it fussing too much with the camera. Subjects Do Matter There’s nothing more mind-numbing than clich├ęd vacation photos. When documenting your trip, try to think in terms of a narrative. One idea: Take snapshots of great meals before you eat them, cool reflections on the water, or your best friend or kids passed out in the passenger seat. Shooting pixs of road signs help you remember where you’ve been. Take out your camera when everyone puts theirs away. Fun memories can include candid pictures of you travelling companions as they are packing, waiting in the airport lounge, or haggling with cab drivers. These may end up being favorite keepsakes. Family Fun When photographing the folks, keep it simple. If you photograph groups, arrange them against plain backgrounds and don’t waste time or energy trying to pose kids or pets. Get in fairly close, shoot at your subject’s eye level (that means squat down if they’re little). Try for action shots whenever possible. Some cameras have a 3 shot burst mode--check your manual before you leave town. Put your travelling companions in your 'postcard' scenes. A silhouette against a vast seascape is more interesting and meaningful than just another postcard picture. Bummed Out ? The worse the travel conditions and circumstances, the more important it is to take pictures. Record the moment when everyone discovers the Polynesian “villa” is really a “shack.” Or when you get lost in the rain forest, the photos of the wrong paths and your dirty, exhausted feet will make funny commentary at a later date ! I hope you've enjoyed this little Photography slot. It will be the first of many i hope Cath x
Credits to - ScrapbookScrapbook & Scrapbookingfamilies


Paula said...

Great article girls!

charlotte said...

Great article!!
I'm a returning visitor and I love this creative world blog. You have so many neat ideas.

Recently I created a mini album inspired by your "an easy peacy mini album" posted on July 30. Thanks for great inspiration!

If you want to see the album you can watch here:

~Charlotte in Denmark~

Anonymous said...

So much great stuff in this post!!!