Dec. 13, 2010 -- It's the holidays, a time when families gather to eat, enjoy each other's company and capture their time together with photos.
But what if you're the one whose photo subjects always have red eyes or their heads cut off?
Relax. You can change that.
Holiday Photography 101
Capture spontaneous moments. Clark said the best photos are the ones in which subjects appear relaxed and the moment is spontaneous.
Know your camera. Clark said cameras are much more complicated today than they used to be and he never used to read manuals. But now he finds that it helps to read up on your equipment. And shoot lots of pictures. Practice makes perfect.
Timing is everything. If you're using a 35 mm camera, digital camera or your cell phone camera, the viewing screen may be on the back of the device, so you may not be viewing your subject through the viewfinder. On many cell phone cameras, it's the release of the button that shoots the photo, and not the actual pressing of the button, he said. So timing is important. You need to understand when the picture you're shooting will actually be taken and how the release button works.
Can red-eye be prevented? Clarke said many cameras today come with built-in red eye-reduction features. Red-eye tends to happen more on people with lighter-colored eyes because their eyes tend to open more in dark rooms to compensate and therefore reflect more light, he said.
Control your flash. Many cameras today have built-in flash that will judge the amount of light present and compensate accordingly so a picture doesn't appear overexposed, he said. This is really important. You don't want a picture that is so overexposed that you'll only see the subject and nothing else.