Sunday, December 21, 2008

10 Holiday Photo Tips

"Advice is judged by results, not by intentions.” (Cicero)

1. Edit later – not while the wrapping paper is flying. Don’t hold back on how many photos you take. But when life settles down again, be sure to do a thorough delete (too blurry, too dark, etc.) and don’t give in to the temptation to keep everything.

'Peace' (c) 2009 John Ashley2. Avoid taking pictures from a standing position – especially photos of pets and children! Get down on the floor so that your camera is at their eye level. For a wide view of the scene, try standing on a chair and photographing downward. Because we spend most of our days looking at the world from a standing position, changing the camera angle up or down will almost always make the photo more interesting.

3. Try to include at least one medium-range and one close-up portrait of every person present on Christmas morning. If you can make a habit of this, after a few years you’ll have a wonderful collection of year-to-year photos of the people who mean the most to you. And if you really stick to it, you’ll eventually end up with great collage material.

4. It can be hard indoors, but try to keep the clutter out of your backgrounds. When positioning yourself to take a photo, be aware of how the background might change if you moved just a skosh left or right.

5. Or go the other way – use the background to make funny photos. Catch Aunt Tracy standing in front of the wreath and she'll look angelic. Just don’t tell Uncle John that you’re lining him up in front of the deer antlers.

6. Look for variety. Think of your holiday as a movie. It starts with a wide scene, then a medium, and eventually a close-up. Most people are stuck in medium when it comes to photographs. Look for details in a plate of cookies, wide scenes full of wrapping paper shreds, etc.

7. If you live in snow country, try taking a photo from outside looking in through a window. Set your color balance to "daylight" and you'll get a warm orange interior surrounded by a cool blue exterior. Wait until the blue dusk light is one or two f-stops less than the light inside. Be sure to bracket -- and make sure it’s a window to your house.

8. If venturing outside for very long, try keeping your camera and flash batteries in a warm pocket until you reach your destination and are ready to start taking pictures. (Storing batteries in the freezer is a myth. Cold kills batteries.)

9. Make sure you have more cards/film and batteries on hand than you expect to use.

10. Remember to put the camera down from time to time and enjoy the moments!

No comments:

Post a Comment