Best in show

Published 10:55 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

By Staff
Summer fun filled with family reunions, vacations and weekend activities bring out the shutterbug in many people. Digital cameras are showing up in most beach bags, overnight cases and purses for people everywhere. Disposal cameras come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges and are easy to use. These cameras make it easy to take pictures at all the events in life.
However, taking a good picture can be difficult if all you do is point and shoot. Easy doesn't always mean good.
Sarah Hines, owner and operator of Fotostop in Brewton has offered some tips that can help even the worst photographer make better pictures.
Hines has a top ten list of tips that can help even the &#8220point and shoot” photographer feel like a pro and turn wasted film and disc space into great memories.
1.Move in close.
Get as close to the subject as possible for a clear picture.
2.Get down on their level.
Consider the subject and get down to eye level. Don't shoot down on the subject.
3.Move subject from center of frame.
Imagine the frame of the camera is a tic-tac-toe grid. Place the subject in one of the intersecting lines. That would be the ideal placement of your subject. Just remember the rule of thirds.
4.Lock the focus.
Once you have the subject center in the frame, press the shutter button halfway down. Hold the button there and reposition the camera so that your subject is in one-third of the frame. It's the rule of thirds again.
5.Be a picture director.
Take some time to compose a photograph. Take a look at the background and any other matter that will be in the photograph. Rearrange or reposition your subject so they are the focus of the photograph.
6.Use flash outdoors.
Most people think if it is sunny outside that using a flash is not necessary. When it is sunny, a lot of shadows are created and using a flash helps to eliminate those. Flash outside will take away shadows and brighten the subject.
7.Watch the light.
A cloudy day is great light for taking photographs. It eliminates a lot of the shadows that sunny days create. There is also something called the &#8220Golden Hour” which is the time just before sunset. The lighting at that time of day gives plenty of light for the photo but gives the subject warm tones in the photograph.
8.Know the range of your flash.
Most flashes are only powerful enough to put light on a subject that is less than 10 feet away. A good rule of thumb is four steps away from the subject. For example, if someone were taking a picture of a child's play on stage from the back of a room, the flash will only light up the heads of the people within that 10 foot range leaving the stage dark and their subject unidentifiable.
9.Use a plain background.
It's not good to a pole coming out of someone's head. Check for clutter that could take the attention away from the subject.
10.Take some photographs vertically.
Turn the camera sideways and you'll find that often times, the subject looks better.
Summer snapshots
Enter The Brewton Standard's first summer photo contest with photos of your friends' and family's summer activities. Submit photos via e-mail to or by mail to Summer Snapshots, P.O. Box 887, Brewton, AL 36427.
First prize is $100; second prize is $50; third prize is $25.
Deadline is
July 27.

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