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Helpful hints for great pictures
Photo Check: capturing the moment (from October 2002 Leader Link)

Pictures say a thousand words, or so that's what the saying says, but we have all seen pictures that say only two or three, and others for which there are no words. So, what makes a good picture good?

Several factors go into taking a good picture: light, shape, proportion, and color. Here are some ways to keep these in check for great pictures.

  1. Decide what the picture is of... have a focal point: people, equipment, a sign. Before you take the shot, think of what it says about the event or what you are trying to capture.
  2. Fill at least 50% of the picture with the person or object. Use as little background as possible so that your picture will capture the viewer's attention.
  3. Don't be afraid to turn your camera on its side to get more of the object, or for a different look.
  4. Put people or objects in the shade when taking pictures outside so people won't squint and objects won't have a glare.
  5. Use natural light when inside, but be careful not to put people in front of a window. Otherwise you'll have a great picture of light from the window with some barely visible people or things in the way.
  6. Keep the camera still, especially when taking pictures inside or in darker places. The film is exposed for a longer time, and so any bump will blur the image.

Pictures of people

  1. One person is usually more interesting than several. This seems to focus the viewer's attention, whereas pictures of three or more people starts to spread the attention from one person to the other. There are many times, however, in which multiple people doing something or a group shot is important and interesting. Use your own judgment.
  2. Faces are more interesting than a whole person. When taking a picture of one or more people, you don't need to necessarily get all of them in the shot. Allow the shot to have as much face in it as possible. If they are getting an award, cut the picture off just below the handshake. If they are speaking, cut it off below the microphone rather than trying to fit in the whole podium.
  3. Relax the people in the picture. The more natural the people feel, the less their smiles will look computer-generated.
  4. If you are outside, make sure that the person isn't half in the shade and half outside the shade. The picture will only capture half of them well.

For the E-Bulletin
To post pictures online, they have to meet some basic technical specifications including:

  • They should either be in .jpg or .gif format.
  • They should not be part of a word document, but should be submitted as separate files.
  • You should stick to a size of no less than 400 pixels. Any smaller, and the image will become obscured when it is blown-up on the web.

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