Camera Basics

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 12, 1998

By TOMMY WILLIAMS / L’Observateur / October 12, 1998

Common to many households, where one specific individual has been appointed the family photographer, your going to notice how rare it is to see yourself in any of the family photos. Much like the “Invisible Man,” you’ve been there, donethat, but there’s no photographic record of your existence to speak of.

In my home, we average about four to six rolls of 24-exposure film per month, yet I can count on one hand how many times I make my visible appearance in our family photos.

By using a tripod and the camera’s selftimer you can avoid this problem and keep all family members, including the photographer (meaning Dad), present and accounted for.

When I mention the use of a tripod (a three-legged camera stand), I am also referring to the use of any object that can serve as a camera support; something that can hold the camera in an uptight position. If you have a tripod, fine; but ifnot objects such as a table, stool, books or the kitchen counter-top will serve our purpose. Books tend to be especially helpful because you can stack them oneat a time to refine the camera’s height in small increments.

Next is the camera’s selftimer, which is an electrical timing device that releases the camera’s shutter to take a picture. The selftimer normally firesthe shutter after 10 seconds, plenty enough time to make your way into the photographic area. If you have not noticed a selftimer button on your camera,review the camera manual to see if it is equipped with one.

First place your camera at a level (camera height) in which you can see the general area to be photographed in the viewfinder. Remember to allow for alittle extra room for yourself in the photo. Use a tripod or books stacked on topof a table to support the camera in an upright position. Then, press theselftimer button and make haste to your desired position amongst the rest of the family and smile for the camera.

Using a tripod and the camera’s selftimer is a simple solution to correct a common problem, lost or invisible family members.

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