Article by Harika Manjit Chanana
Handheld Shots — When hand holding a shot that normally requires a tripod, try shooting several frames in the continuous shooting drive mode. The first picture is often blurry – like a single shot would have been – but subsequent shots are more likely to produce a satisfactory result.
Monopod — A monopod can be a great solution for many photographers. A “walking stick” monopod with a reasonable quality ball head on top can be a great tool unless you: (a) use slow film, (b) need slow shutter speeds for low light or blurring motion.
Dirty Sensor – To check your camera sensor for dust, here are a few simple steps to take. Set the ISO at 100. Set the aperture to F/22 or higher. Turn off the anti-shake or any other image stabilizing feature. Take a picture of a grey card, a light colored even surface, or blue sky. Move the lens around during the exposure. Be careful not to over-expose the shot or you won’t be able to see the dust. Take a few different shots just to be sure. View the images on your computer. Increasing the contrast shows any dust spots.
Ice Chest Camera Bag — Use an ice chest as a camera bag for your equipment and film when you’re at the pool or beach and want protection from the water and sun. It offers heat pro-tection in the car on hot days too. Security may also be enhanced – most thieves wouldn’t think of stealing an ice chest!
Carry a Compass – Keep a compass in your camera bag. When exploring new areas you can determine the direction of sunrise and sunset to help visualize the direction of lighting at different times of the day. Our Sun Bearings CheatSheets can help too.
Step up, or take a seat – A lightweight folding step stool is handy for gettng above the crowd and keeping heads in the near forground out of the shot. Conversely, a simple 3-leg fold up camping stool lets you sit while shooting from a lower vantage point.
Use your lens hood — Most photographers only use lens hoods when they’re shooting into the sun to prevent flare. But the hood also improves contrast, even when the sun is behind you. Objects anywhere in front of you reflect sunlight that can enter your lens, reducing the contrast of your images. A lens hood is the most effective way to minimize this stray light.
Stuck Filter — Having a filter on your lens that won’t come off is a common problem. The solution? Stretch a rubber band over the rim of the filter to improve your grip. Usually, the filter will come off easily.
Day Becomes Night — To make a picture taken during the day look like one taken at night under moonlight, try using the following filters, and expose for the highlights in the scene:
– light blue filter (82C)
– light red filter (10R)
Use Reflections at Night — To achieve a sense of depth in night shots and avoid “flat” looking pictures, try to include reflections of lights on water or other reflective surfaces.