Photo Tips

1.17.17

This week’s photo tip courtesy of Tom Tussey, instructor at CCC!

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Bokeh Effect:

“How to achieve those great out-of-focus backgrounds”

You can create photos with blurry backgrounds if you apply these 3 rules to your compositions:

1.    Use a wide/large aperture or f-stop setting (f2.8 works better than f5.6).

2.    Use a long lens focal length like 100mm (better than 35mm).

3.    Move your subject as far away as possible from your background or what you want to blur.

 That’s it! Apply these rules and you can create some great dynamic images of your subjects.

12-29-16

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Posing family for the holidays:

This is one of the most difficult photography techniques to discuss, especially on the radio. But let’s take a stab at it.

Candid are great, but group shots require some work & cooperation.

Use a couch in the room and move it away from the wall. Have the tallest people standing behind it. Place the smallest children in front and have the rest of the people sitting on the arms and in the seats. Take a test shot and check to see if everyone is in focus. If not, try it again.

One of my suggestions is take a phone photo of an existing family group shot you love and model your group after that, using it as a guide.

Lastly, have each family wear a different color shirt…this will really help. It simplifies the photo and makes sense for non family members as they view it.

Any questions, stop by one of our 8 locations or visit www.cccamera.com.

Thanks for a great 2016, and to all our customers and friends, Happy New Year!

12-22-16

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Today’s subject: How do I get good indoor shots this holiday season?

Here are some very simple techniques:

1. Look at the top of your camera and make sure it’s set to “P” or “Auto”. This is a simple thing…but often mistakes happen because the camera dial was moved.
2. Raise the ISO in your camera (only possible if you are in P mode) to 800.
3. Make sure hold your camera steady.
4. Look at the information inside your camera settings or on the back screen, and make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/60 of a second.
5. Turn on all of your room lights and use an external flash/speedlight on your hot shoe and bounce light of of your ceiling (turn the flash compensation to -1.0 so the flash is not too bright). This will give your photos a very professional and natural look.
6. Check your filter or lens for dirt. Clean it if needed. Use a lens cloth. Anything else can scratch the lens coatings.
7. Have plenty of digital film. (SD cards/CF cards/etc.) Many people take lots of pictures this time of year and run out.
8. Charge your battery before your party.  A spare battery  is always a good idea.
9. If you use your phone as your camera, we want you to know we can help you get your pictures off your phone and we print ‘phone’ pictures.

Any questions…stop by one of our 8 locations, or visit www.cccamera.com.

12-15-16

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I get asked the same question each and every year. “What gadgets am I missing from my camera bag?”

Here is my favorite list:

How about a new camera strap. Today’s straps are really different and comfortable.

A portable reflector is great for bouncing the light or blocking the sun.

You can always use a new camera bag. We have lots of brands and styles that are great for everyday.

Motorized 360 pan head. It’s really cool and great for time lapse photography.

How about a photography class. Anything from basic camera classes through Photo Shop.

Or even just a CCC gift card. We offer $25 and up.

And last my personal favorite…the Stephen Weiss special.

A canon 7720 printer for only$49. originally $199…very limited supplies.

Everything on this list is under $99 and there’s a lot more in our store….

Any questions…stop by or visit cccamera.com

12-8-16

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We are a few weeks from the holiday and many of you are having family and friend over for a get together….hey how about me I want to be invited?

Oh, on to the segment!

Group and individual shots using a DSLR: First and foremost you need a good tripod…not a $39 one but a good solid one. This will really help you. Anytime you are taking inside shots, if possible use a tripod and use either the self timer or a remote so you can get into the shot. Please get a metal solid tripod…I can’t tell you how many times cameras fall off tripods that are plastic!

And next…there is a great foldable portable device call a rogue flash bender….it softens the light coming off the flash and also reduces red eye. It is only about 9×12 and is one of the best gadgets I have ever used. It only costs about $40. And these items make some of the best holiday gifts for your photographer.

Any questions… visit your nearest CCC store or visit. www.cccamera.com

12-1-16

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Good morning…today is probably one of the most important lessons you will ever learn about digital cameras.

We are discussing memory card errors or when your pictures can’t be found of your card.

Recently on a CCC photography trip to Alaska…our group was on a tour looking for whales….let me tell you ..we saw whales… and at least 100 breaches. Unbelievable!

So I got back to our ship and placed the card into the computer…the computer said no image found. Oh did I feel sick.

But I knew the solution…I placed my card in a case and waited till I returned home. And yes the CCC lab was able to recover all of the image.  Anytime you get a card error etc…immediately take your card out of the camera and bring it to us…most of the time we can recover your images.

This also applies to the oops I just deleted an image…stop and immediately bring you card to us.

11-24-16

Today’s segment is …Is it time to get a new camera?

Today’s digital camera is actually a computer with a lens. And as we all know, the older the computer the slower it is. Yes, this is true for a digital cameras too.

Here are some differences between a 5 year old camera and a new camera today:

Today: Newer sensors (or the digital film) are just better… they process light in a whole new way. The colors will be better…the skin tones will be more realistic and it handles low light much better.

My favorite… the computer is smarter. These new cameras just know how to get a better image. One manufacturer told me there are actually 15000 images stored inside and it looks at your subject and compares it…then makes your image great based on lots of history.

So is it time for you to upgrade? Creve Coeur Camera actually takes trade-ins. Bring in your old digital camera and let us give you an evaluation.

 

11-17-16

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So my wife tells me that many of you love this segment. However…I need to simplify what we are talking about.

So here are some really simple techniques for taking better photos:

Look at the front of the lens. If it’s dirty, get a cleaning cloth and remove the dirt. Don’t use anything other than a photo cleaning cloth or you could damage the lens.

Next, when taking pictures…hold the camera very steady and push the shutter button very carefully and not too fast. In fact pressing it too hard in low light makes the camera shake.

After taking a picture, use the magnifier on the back of the camera to zoom in and see if the image is not sharp. If needed take another picture…that way you will always know that you ‘got the shot’.

Last, and most important, know your settings on your camera…they can really make a difference. There is a huge difference between “Auto”, “P” and the other settings and having it on the wrong setting can make a difference. And by the way, we can help with that.

Creve Coeur Camera says “Take more pictures.” If you need help, come and take a camera class with us…

11-09-16

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Today’s simple topic is…My Top Six “must haves” if you own a digital camera.

1…Lenses are expensive. Please make sure you have a clear or UV filter on every lens. This will stop scratching of the first (front) lens element.

2…Make sure you have a good cleaning cloth. Dirt on the front of the lens actually makes your images unfocused.

3…Put your camera in a protective camera bag when traveling or storing it. Dust is the enemy of your camera.

4… Always have an extra battery charged for that special moment.

5…Get a good tripod for taking family shots. That way you can use the self-timer and be in the shot!

And most important…if your photos are not everything you want them to be, come ask us about a class at Creve Coeur Camera. We know photography and we have lots of classes and photo walks for you to choose from.

Visit www.cccamera.com/schedule for our current class schedule.

10-27-16

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All digital cameras today take pictures and process those pictures into a file called a jpeg. This is a simple, smaller file that averages everything in your image. It helps process color, how light and dark the image is, and determines the resolution…it’s pretty good for a properly lit image. However, it’s really missing lots of information that could make your image spectacular.

Did you know you camera can make both a jpeg file and a RAW file? RAW files give you substantially more information that will allow you to really make the image much better. With a raw file…you can take a horribly dark image and make it look perfect.

Here is the catch, you need software to process this type of file. Many cameras come with the software, but lots of people need help with the RAW program.

CCC is here to help you…just stop by any one of our 8 locations and get some help or join us in one of our RAW classes.

Creve Coeur Camera: We want YOU to go out and shoot.

 

10-20-16

Apr 7, 2009; St. Louis, MO, USA; Connecticut celebrates their victory over Louisville in the finals in the 2009 NCAA womens basketball tournament at Scottrade Center. Connecticut defeated Louisville 76-54 and 39-0 on the season. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

It’s back to school time & you are probably trying to take photos in a dark gym. Well…here is some help.

First off, it’s all about shutter speed. Many of you have a long lens to get close. Regardless of the length of the lens, you need a fast shutter speed. Generally over 1/500 to 1/1000 of a second depending on how fast your child is moving.

How do you get there? It’s all about your ISO.  It’s the sensitivity of the “digital film”. You will probably need to raise your ISO to 1600 or even higher.

Be warned: Cameras are really computers, and the older they are, the less processing power they have, the more grain or noise you will see. Yes, this can be fixed, but you will need a computer program like Photoshop or LightRoom to fix it.

Newer cameras can do a much better job of processing low light shots….so you might get a great 5×7 or larger. If you don’t under stand this and its “all Greek to you”…stop by any CCC location, and we will personally help you with the settings.

I hope this photography in a flash from Creve Coeur Camera makes you want to go out and shoot.

 

10-13-16

Hi it’s Stephen Weiss from CCC.
Here are 10 basic simple photography tips to always remember…

 

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Great image of people, but background is too busy.

1. Get in closer to the subject – many people leave too much sky in the image…
2. Focus on a single subject – for people focus on their eyes. Make sure at least the center subject is in focus.
3. Look at the light – the time of day really matters – 2 hours before sunset and 2 hours after sunrise are the best times to shoot. There are many phone applications that are available…they will help you with this. Sun Seeker is my favorite!
4. Watch what’s in the background – look at it closely – Make sure that there are not any “ugly” items in the picture. Many times we see trash cans and other miscellaneous object that really distract from the photo.
5. Have plenty of freshly charged batteries – Always have a spare – especially when you travel!
6. Make sure you lens is clean- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cleaner people lenses – it just makes a huge difference. Finger prints on a lens can make the image out of focus.
7. You can’t have too many clouds…when I see a bright blue sky with clouds…I want to grab my camera!
8. Shoot Landscapes with the sun to your back – this really helps
9. Make sure you understand the different camera settings. If you don’t know your camera…stop by and see us for some help.
10. Back up your images on a CD or DVD so they last forever…don’t leave them on the memory card. Memory cards can fail and become unstable.

I hope this photography in a flash from Creve Coeur Camera makes you want to go out and shoot.

 

10-8-16

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As we approach the fall…colors in the trees will start to change. They make a wonderful background…here are two ways to get the best images.

When you’re taking portraits of a small group…turn your flash on…put the subjects about 20 feet from the background and get close to them….that way the background will be blurred out. On most cameras…using the Portrait mode will do this. Also if you have a zoom lens or longer lens, zoom in and get close in on the subjects…
Two … for fun kids shots…lay your kids on their backs with their heads touching on top of a colorful pile of leaves. Coordinate their outfits. You can also place some leaves on their bodies for that added touch. This will make for a vibrant image.

By the way…Creve Coeur Camera has a school of imaging…we teach everything from basic camera operation to portraiture and sports photography…give your nearest Creve Coeur camera a call .

I hope this photography in a flash from Creve Coeur Camera makes you want to go out and shoot.

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