Camera Basics

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 21, 1998

By Tommy Williams / L’Observateur / September 21, 1998

Although I have only recently joined the staff of L’Observateur, it doesn’t take long to realize that photographing events in and around the parish is an important function of the newspaper. It’s not just news; photographs allow us toemotionally and visually experience what others are experiencing without actually being there. Through my camera lens I want others to see what I seeand feel emotionally, what I feel when photographing a particular situation or event.

Because some of life’s unexpected situations and events are too important to chance, using expired film is a risky business.

It’s Saturday morning (9:30 a.m.), and it has been raining for what seems like asolid 12 hours. As I walk out the front door of my home to inspect the risingwater, I know that other residents in our parish may already have water in their homes.

This was quickly becoming one of those unexpected situations in life that needed to be photographically documented. But due to the expired film I wasusing, you, the reader, will never get the opportunity see my pictorial version of last weekend’s flooding. Fresh film would have been a better choice.When using fresh film, if properly exposed, your photos should have bright, realistic colors with very little visible grain. On the other hand, expired filmnormally produces photos with highly visible grain which have either a reddish or greenish tint to them. You can determine whether your film is fresh or in dateby checking the expiration date stamped on the outside of the film package. Poorpicture quality is generally not as noticeable when using film that is only slightly out of date.

Using expired film is a risky business because some of life’s unexpected situations and events are too important to chance. The loss of important photomemories can be costly. Last weekend it was the flood; this weekend it could bemy son’s first steps; or next weekend it might be my daughter’s first dance. Butnonetheless, I think you see the picture now.

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