Do not be afraid of the flash. Did you know that even on the brightest, sunniest day, you can still use your flash as a tool to fill in harsh shadows? It is true, and professional photographers refer to this technique as fill flash. This technique can be especially useful when natural shadowing blocks and/or interferes with the clarity of the subject of the photograph. Digital photo restoration services see this type of photo problem often, particularly when scanning an old negative, taken before flash photography was available. You, on the other hand, have no excuse not to make use of the fill flash technique, and doing so will greatly improve the quality and clarity of your photos.
Bounce the light. This can serve as a caveat for the above tip, because while it is important to fully utilize your cameras flash, it is just as important not to overuse it. Just as photo restoration and slide scanning pros see many instances of under use of the flash, they see just as many instances of on camera flashes pointed directly at the subject, instead of the shadows around the subject, and this causes glare and hot spots that can easily ruin your picture. It is also important to make sure that the flash is not overexposed in the background, since this can lead to overly bright spots. Whenever possible, the experts recommend pointing the flash towards the ceiling, since the burst of light will bounce off and fall down on the subject, and this technique is what is known to the pros as bounced light.
Clear the background. It is important to make sure that nothing in the background is distracting, although this can create unintentional humor; professionals always make sure that that their backgrounds are calm and that they complement the subject, for best results.
Avoid direct sunlight and seek out open shade. Bright sun causes people to squint, resulting in closed eyes and harsh shadows. If shooting your photos under these conditions is unavoidable, turn your subject(s) in such a sway that the sunlight comes from a 45 or even 90 degree angle, and use a fill flash for the shadows. If you can, take photos involving people in bright, shady spots, since the colors will be brighter and the glare will be lessened.
Remember sometimes the perfect photograph only comes along once in a lifetime, so make sure that you take your photos, old and new, to a company that provides photo CD services, in addition to slide scanning and digital photo restoration options.
If you are a beginning photographer, or even if you have been in the business for years, there are undoubtedly some photo restoration and photography terms that you have heard before, but are not sure what they mean. This basic, but by no means exhaustive glossary of photo restoration and photography related terms will help you to improve your knowledge, and become more skilled at your craft as a result.
When it comes to aberration there are many types of aberrations, but an aberration in photographical terms relates to something that prevents light from being brought into sharp focus, and thus disenabling the formation of a clear image. Aberrations can be related to a lens flaw, i.e. the inability of a lens to reproduce an accurate, sharp, and focused image. These types of aberrations are categorized into seven types.
Chromatin aberration is different wavelengths of light coming into focus both in front and in back of the film plane, resulting in a rainbow halo and a reduction in image sharpness.
Curvilinear distortion is a distortion consisting of curved lines.
Lateral chromatic aberration is a variation in the magnification at the sides of a lens.
Accessory shoe is a fitting that is generally located at the top of a camera and is where accessories are generally attached.
Acutance is a measure of the sharpness with which a film can produce the edge of an object.
Agitation is a term that describes the gentle movement of liquid photo processing chemicals designed to achieve uniform results.
B and W is the abbreviation of the term black and white, and is also written as B and W and B slash W.
Backscatter are particles in water that are illuminated and captured on film when using a flash underwater near the lens of the camera.
Color reversal is a term that refers to film that is designed to make a positive image when exposed in the camera and is usually used to refer to slide film or transparency film. For this process to work, light must be transmitted through this film in order to view it, either when it is lit from behind or projected through the films image onto a viewing screen.
Color negative refers to film designed to produce a reverse color image that requires subsequent printing onto photo-sensitive material, generally paper used in making photographic prints, in order to view the true colors as a positive image.
Daguerreotype is an obsolete photographic process in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapor. It can also be a picture made by this process.
Emulsion side is the side of the film or photographic paper that has the emulsion coating on it. The emulsion side of film is recognized by being dull, whereas the emulsion side of paper is shiny.
Field camera is a type of camera that is essentially identical to a portable view camera, because it functions in a similar way and makes use of similar control features. A view camera is the large format, studio camera most commonly used by photographers.
Taking better photographs is a combination of proper technique, talent, and experience. Once you have shot your best work, you should consider sending your pics to a company that specializes in digital photo printing services, digital photo restoration, and 35 mm negative slide scanning, in order to obtain digital quality prints, even if a digital camera is not your preferred medium. Photo printing, restoration, and scanning services also give you the option of purchasing a CD of your photographs, which can be an invaluable backup resource in the event that your original files, film, or prints are lost or damaged.
Go in for the close up. One thing that photo restoration and 35 mm slide scanning services notice is that most people stand too far away from their subject, and since most photos are taken with digital cameras nowadays, this problem is becoming more prevalent. Before digital cameras, professional camera men used the term shoe leather zooms, when describing their photography techniques, meaning that if they wanted to zoom in on the subject, they just walked closer. Even if you are utilizing an antique camera, or a drug store disposable, you can improve your photographs, just by getting a little closer to your subject before taking the picture.
Use all of the space. It is important to focus on your subject, and less important to focus on the really pretty flower or interesting tree next to it. It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised if you knew that amount of crowded shots that the average digital photo printing service company sees in a week, let alone a day. In other words, going along with the first tip, do not be afraid to get closer and make the subject, not the background, the focus of the picture. Take a look through the photo archives, particularly those of family portraits, and you will see that more often than not, the subject, or subjects was always the focal point of the shot, regardless of what was in the background.
Remember the rule of thirds. You should think of the viewfinder of your camera as being divided into three columns and three rows, and position your subject in a way that will cover as many of these blocks as possible. Often, the only real distinction between a professional photograph and an amateur one, according to digital photo restoration and slide scanning pros, is the placement and size of the photographs subject. At the risk of sounding redundant: do not be afraid to move in for that close up.