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SWON News: The Low Down

Take Photos You'll Want to Show

Thursday, December 18, 2014  
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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Photography sure is different now that $10 can buy you a 16GB memory card that can easily hold 2,400 photos. So here are a few photo tips you might find useful at library events and with family.

Be trigger-happy

There's no obligation to keep all the photos you take, so take lots more than you need. Try to take more pictures as things are happening and fewer where people are posed. Interact with people as you take pictures; try holding your camera at chest-height instead of eye-level to make this easier, and get close!

Find the light

Low lighting makes for poor pictures. They're grainier, and motion easily blurs. Just because you can see fine doesn't mean your camera can. So use lots of light; natural light is best. Make sure the light is coming from behind you as you take the pictures, not from behind the subject of your photo.

Get steady

Even when it seems like there's plenty of light, steady your camera on something stable when you can. Lean on a wall, or put your elbow on the back of a chair. A tripod works very well, of course, but it's better to improvise one than discover later that movement knocked a good picture out of focus.

Aim for pictures you can use

It's great when pictures communicate an experience, show some energy, and don't just take attendance. That's what I see in the sample pictures at photo printing sites. Before the event, think about the pictures you want: excited faces, concentration, hands on tools, etc. Be open to surprises, but try to get the photo you think will show the spirit of an occasion.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

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