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Photo Tips

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    Here are some Hints & Tips on taking photos for personalized products.
    1. Taking Photos for Personalized Products.
    2. What resolution should I use to scan my photos
    3. Red Eye
    4. Posing
    5. Improving your photography
    6. What makes a good photograph

    1. Taking Photos for Personalized Products.

    We all love to take photos of our family and friends. Who can pass up that perfect photo OP!! And as tempted as we are to get that perfect close up, we need to take care to make sure that we leave enough background in the photo so it can be sized for different products, cropped to fit and still shows the subject centered nicely. Having a photo where the top of the subjects head is right at the edge of the photo doesn't leave much room for re-sizing or fitting on to some products. Try to make sure to get some background in so that it can go over the edges of the product you desire.

    2. What resolution should I scan my photos for personalized products?

    Well the most desirable resolution is 600dpi, however, that makes a huge file which is often too big for some e-mail providers, so we request that you scan your images at 300dpi, but at least 6" in width or height. A regular photo size of 6 x 4 is usually perfect for blowing up, cropping or most anything we would need to do to it to show it nicely on your desired personalized product. When scanning turn off your sharpening filter as your photo will appear grainy. 
     Saving in .tif or .psd if you have photo shop is normally better than .jpg. Also, if you are going to do any enhancements to the photo, remember to always save the original first then enhance a copy of it and save it as a different name. Try not to save a .jpg to many times because each time you save it, it looses quality.

    3. Ever wonder why some photos end up with people with red eyes?

     We've all seen it happen and usually on a really great shot too. What causes this?. Let's go back to Biology class where we learned about how light effects the eye. Your pupils expand and contract in direct response to light exposure. When in bright light your pupils are small, but in darkened or dimly lit areas they can get really big. (Exception to the rule would be when someone sees something that they like or are interested in, dim or bright surroundings, their pupils will still be large.) When your in a room that's dimly lit and you need to use a flash is usually when you will experience red eye the most.
    When your flash goes off, it travels through the dilated pupil and reflects light off the blood vessels behind the retina inside the eye. It is reflected back at the camera in the form of a distracting red spot. And there you have it Red Eye.

    There are some techniques that reduce the red eye effect. Some work better than others but it's worth it to try and see which works best for you.

    The easiest technique is built into most digital cameras today. It's called Red Eye Reduction. This sends a series of short light bursts or a stream of light prior to the main flash that accompanies the snapping of the photo. This makes the pupil close down therefore when the picture is taken, it reduces the pupil, thus the amount of reflection back to the camera lens. Keep in mind though, this is a reduction technique, not a removal! However, these pre-flashes can delay the actual shutter by as much as one or two seconds, so if you're trying to capture a once in a life time moment, better to deal with the red eye then to miss capturing the photo altogether.

    Turn the lights on - or move to a brighter location. This will cause the pupils to reduce also reducing the red eye effect.

    Look away from the lens. Some cameras are more susceptible to the red-eye effect than others. A flash that is located close to the lens, versus one that pops up or away from the camera, produces more of a reaction because the light directly hits the pupil. Have the subject look away from the lens, either above the camera or to the side opposite the flash, to reduce the reflection.

    The best way is to get a removable flash, however that can be quite costly depending on your camera. So suggestions are to try the above techniques first. And remember, if you get a really great shot... send it to us to put on a wonderful Personalized Photo Gift

    4. Posing 

    Your subject should not look directly at the lens but slightly off from it for a more pleasing natural photograph. Remember, expression makes for better photographs. 

    When a subject has glasses, turn them more toward you. Try lifting up the back of the glasses slightly to change the angle of the lens and help avoid light reflections in them. Raise the lights higher to avoid reflections. 

    Watch the background behind people to make sure nothing is “growing” out of their head. Also, watch the background because complex background detract from the actual subject. Keep it simple unless you are doing an environmental photograph. 

    When photographing people in rooms, place them away from the walls. This will help eliminate harsh shadows behind them when using flash. 

    We will be featuring tips from other photographers from time to time to give you a more professional view of taking photos. 

    This Tip comes from Reece Photography - Kent Ohio. 

    Improve your Photographs

    The easiest way to ruin a photograph is to move the camera while taking the picture. We have all done this at one time or another, creating a blurry, not at all pleasant, photograph. But you don't have to move the camera much to disturb the clarity of the final image. The camera will record even the slightest hint of movement while the shutter is open.

    Here are a few quick tips that will help you improve the clarity of your photographs, whether your are shooting pictures for the family album or creating photographic art. These tips will apply whether you are shooting with a digital camera or traditional film. 

    1. Use a tripod - A sturdy tripod will hold the camera still while the shutter is open and the image is being recorded. 

    2. Don't have a tripod? Improvise! Use the back of a chair, a table top, the hood or top of a car, a tree branch. Almost any surface that can help you hold the camera steady while the picture is being taken will help to improve the clarity of the photograph.

    3. Use a higher speed film - The higher the ISO rating of the film the faster the film. So, 400 speed film is twice as fast as 200 speed film and 4 times faster than 100 speed film. The faster the film, the shorter the time the shutter is open and the less influence camera shake will have on the finished photograph.

    4. Finally, you can use your flash to speed up the exposure. If you are shooting in the shade or other dim light situations, adding flash will increase the shutter speed and reduce the influence of camera shake.

    So, the next time you are taking photographs, think about how you might use some of these ways to improve the clarity of your pictures. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results. 

    This tip is Compliments of  Dave Collins
    D. C. Photographic Images


    What makes a goodphotograph?

    A good photograph, from all I have read, studied, and learned from my own picture taking experience, has three things:
    1. A subject or a theme.
    2. The composition of the photograph emphasizes the subject.
    3. The photograph is simple and uncluttered.

    Subject - A photograph is a picture of something. There is a subject or theme to a good photograph. The photographer is communicating message or an emotion in the photograph. Here is an example:
    des16.jpg (11639 bytes)

    This is not just a picture of a dog. It is a picture of a happy dog. The dog is smiling and the emotion of the photograph comes through. You would never look at this photograph and think this was a mean dog. So, a good photograph has a subject that conveys an idea or an emotion to the viewer.

    Emphasize the subject - Okay, we have chosen our subject. How can we make sure that the viewer also sees the subject and understands the message of the photograph. We need to draw the attention of the viewer to the subject of the photograph. There are several techniques to accomplish this which will be presented in several future issues of this newsletter. But, as a couple of examples, the photograph of the dog uses two techniques:
    1. the subject is large in the picture
    2. The background has been slightly blurred out using selective focus.

    Simplify - Before you click the shutter on any scene, look at the foreground and background and make sure that there are no items that detract from the photograph. A peice of trash laying on the ground in the background of the dog photograph would have been very distracting. My basic rule of composition is that if something in the photograph doesn't add to the composition, then it detracts.

    In summary, then, when you go out to take photographs, whether they are of a family picnic, your vacation pictures, photographs of your child, or a sunset ask yourself these three questions:
    1. What is my subject/theme?
    2. How can I add emphasis so the viewer will respond to the subject?
    3. Is there anything in the photograph that will distract the viewer from my subject?
    Relevant Links

    This tip is Compliments of  Dave Collins
    D. C. Photographic Images

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