Point and click

Point and click
September 29, 2009
Flux, The College View
By Cian Ginty

So, you want to take the perfect photograph so you can be reminded of that great college night for years to come?

On photos from nights out, one of the main things that repeatedly goes wrong is what could be called ‘There’s nobody-taking-the-bloody-photo’ effect – in layman’s terms: the person in the photograph with their arm stretched out with their finger on the button but no clue of where exactly the camera is aiming.

Don’t get me wrong here, some women seem to be turning it into an art form, and there are some great shots produced by this unconventional method. The phenomenon has even created some experts. However cameras are not designed for it – most are designed to be used at a distance of about a metre from the subjects.

However, if you’re disinclined to annoy random passers-by by asking them to take your photos, there are some things you can do to take these shots better:

1. Try to keep everyone in the photo the same distance away from the camera.

2. Aim by pointing the camera lens at the person in the centre of the photograph, or if it’s just two people the middle of the two of you.

3. Try taking the photo on the automatic setting and on portrait setting, depending on your camera, one may be better then the other.

4. Remember it’s better to try to take the photo twice or three times, rather than having one friend blinking or with their eyes closed (because of the flash rather than drink consumption).

Generally, if you’re taking photographs with a compact point-and-click camera, just put it on the automatic or default setting, point and then click. These cameras are designed to take exactly what you see in the display screen. Just remember, everything on the screen will be on the photo, so zoom in or out where needed. But that’s about it for messing with setting.

If you’re taking photos with a SLR and don’t know how to use it fully, lessons can be well worth it.

As for your subjects, get everybody to look at the camera lens. Saying ‘cheese’ seems to have gone out of fashion, something more active sometimes works to get smiles out of people, but not too shocking or you’ll just get strange looks.

If you’re experiencing problems with everybody’s faces being too bright, it likely is related to the flash. You could be just holding the camera too close to the subjects, try moving back if you can. Or if you’re able to mess around with the settings, try lowering the brightness of the flash, just a slight bit.

When you see what looks like light specks on a photo it could mean there’s dirt or small bit of dust on your lens.

For a large lens you should go to a camera shop and buy lens cleaning, it’s inexpensive. But for most compact cameras you’ll have a small lens – lightly cleaning it with a cotton bud swab can work. You risk scraping your lens by using your jumper.

One thing you should always remember is some of your best photos won’t be technically great, but will be great because what they remind you of.

Have fun snapping.

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