Firstly I use only SanDisk or Lexar cards. SanDisk was the company that first introduced compact flash cards and is still an industry leader. Lexar has a reputation of being very high quality because of it’s professional line which has a lifetime warranty. I use both brands interchangeably, and both have been very reliable for me. I choose their faster cards which read and write faster and cost a bit more.
When choosing a card, buy the fastest one you can afford. Sandisk’s cards get faster with every ‘series’ they put out: Ultra II, Ultra III, Ultra IV. Lexar lists their speed as 80x, 133x, 300x, that is how fast they write compared to the original compact flash card specifications. Most cameras can’t use all of the speed the card can handle, but what if you upgrade your camera? Also cards that write faster usually can read faster, meaning that downloading your photos to your computer are faster as well.
Many people say that you should not delete photos from your card one at a time. I have never had any trouble, and I do it all the time. At baseball tournament I have to shoot the batter every time the ball is thrown, but he only swings every now and then, so I delete the others. This adds up to many many photos that I have deleted one at a time with ever having a problem with the card. So I would say not to worry about it.
The biggest thing you can do to keep your cards in good health is to always format your compact flash cards IN THE CAMERA, not in the computer, and to do it often. I format the card after each download of images to my computer. Formatting erases all the data on the card, and gives you a fresh start, so make sure all of your images are on your computer before you start. At some sporting events I will format my cards a dozen times a day, a bit of a pain, but worth the trouble if you don’t loose any images to card failures.
One last word of note: Be very careful to make sure you push the cards STRAIGHT into the slot. Although I have never had this problem, I have heard of many people that have bent the pins inside the camera.
Candles can be used in a few ways: they can be a light source that lights an object in the photo but not appear in the photo themselves. They can be used as a light source and also participate as an object in the final photo or they can participate as the solo object in the photo (or in other words simply a candles photo).
Remember to eliminate other light sources: The goal of candlelight photos is to achieve an effect that is based on the unique characteristics that candlelight provides such as its warmth. In order to maximize this effect you should make sure that there are no other light sources that contaminate the scene. A simple test for that is to blow off all the candles and make sure that the scene is completely dark. It goes without saying that you should make sure that your digital camera’s flash is set to the off position. In some cases a small amount of additional light source can be used. After experimenting and gaining experience with candlelight photography you will get a sense of when allowing some other light to penetrate the scene makes sense and in which angles and intensities.
Candlelight is not as strong as other light sources. It is much weaker than your digital camera’s flash. For that reason candlelight photography will almost always result in low light slow shutter speed photography. Although it is recommended that you use a setup in which you maximize the aperture width and minimize the shutter speed it is likely that you will end up having to use slow shutter speeds. There are a few things you need to consider: Camera shakings – these can be eliminated by using a tripod or by placing the camera on a stable surface and using timer photography. Objects movements: if objects move during the period in which the shutter is open the photo will appear smudged. Make sure that the objects you are photographing do not move and that people do not blink. Another movement source is the movement of the light source itself. Candles tend to flicker – although it is hard to completely eliminate this phenomenon and some flicker is actually welcome in order to get a good candlelight effect – it is recommended that you prevent extreme flicker. This can be done for example by making sure that there is no wind blowing in the scene, that the candles are on stable surfaces and that they were lit for a while and burn consistently. Determining the right shutter speed is also hard. Since the candles light is bright on one and but on the other hand is concentrated in a small area and weak once farther from the candle most cameras ambient light measurements and automatic shutter speed settings will be wrong. Using the camera automatic setting is a good start. Try to take a few photos with slower and faster shutter speeds and explore the results.
The amount of light in the scene depends on the number of candles that are used. Since candles are not a strong light source you would usually need to use a few candles. Sometimes you would only like to have a small number of candles appear in the photo itself but you would still need to have more candlelight in the scene. In such cases you can use extra candles to light up the scene but keep those candles out of the composed photo. When you do that – make sure that the additional candles are placed in a way that make sense – for example – that they do not create shades that do not appear not normal in relation to the candles in the photo.
Lighting is an art. Using candlelight as a light source is an art by itself and requires experience. There are some basic rules for candle positioning. For example it is clear that the candles should be closer to the camera than the objects. Otherwise the result will be a silhouette of the objects. Different lighting angles create different shades and different effects. For example if you are photographing a person and the candles are placed in a low position relative to the person’s face – you will get a more scary effect. On the other hand – if the candles are placed at the same height as the person’s face you will get a warmer and softer effect. It is hard to provide candle positioning rules and such positioning greatly depends on the effect that you are looking for. More than one candle can be used with each at a different position to create more complicated effects and to eliminate unwanted shades. The best advice is to take many photos and experiment with different candle positions and angles.
Last but not least is white balancing. Digital cameras can be set to compensate for the specific light source that is used. Although most cameras can automatically detect and set their white balancing offset – it is better to manually set the white balance – most cameras include a candlelight source as an white balance option. It is also worth experimenting with setting the white balance to the wrong source on purpose. Set the white balance to different temperatures to achieve different effects, more reddish photos for example.
Create pleasant backgrounds. Pictures are best taken when the background is clean and uncluttered. Neutral backgrounds are best, such as plain white walls, or various single-colored backgrounds. Furniture such as bookcases, tables, chairs and such will interfere with the quality of the picture and the beauty of the photograph might be lost.
Put your children in the pictures as well. Children are photogenic, and they do not have the awkwardness as adults do when asking them to pose in a photo. Therefore your children and your cat are able to look natural in photographs, and being able to capture moments of happiness as your child play with the kitten is most heartwarming. Let your children play or tease the kitten with some toy, and take pictures during these times, as candid photographs are the perfect ones.
Take pictures outdoors. Sunlight provides a better lighting for taking prettier pictures. The early morning sun would be the best time to take photographs. Taking pictures in natural light will prevent the annoying ‘red eye’ that occurs sometimes in photographs. With your pet cat being in the outdoors, the pictures will turn out to be more natural, as that is where a cat belongs. Before you open the door to let your cat out, please ensure that the neighborhood is safe and there are no harmful creatures that will pounce on your cat.
However when it comes to organizing the photographs we have taken with our digital camera we often let ourselves down by using a photo organization software program that is completely in adequate. Certainly for many people actually locating and then transferring their images from one folder to a digital photo album is not only confusing but can be very time consuming as well.
But there are now programs around such as RoboImport which allow you to organize all the images you have taken into an image databank. With this program it will help to locate each image that is held on your PC’s hard drive. Then once they have been located using it’s built in EXIF metadata program it collects them automatically and then places them into one central place on your PC.
Along with finding every single image on your PC’s hard drive and then putting them into a single folder this particular image data bank program carries out the following:-
- It will organize your photos into chronological order which makes it much easier for you to search through the hundreds or even thousands of images that you have stored on your PC. Plus each image has a description of what it is with them.
- As you download the images from the memory card or directly from your digital camera onto your PC it will automatically transfer them in to the required folder that has been set up previously. Then as it imports these images into the folder it provides them with a descriptive name and places them in to a designated folder. Which results in you being able to find your images much more easily when you need to.
- RoboImport as well as providing you with a well organized image data bank can carry out some of the more tedious tasks revolving around digital image editing without too much hassle. It is able to fill in the IPTC data that is used by professional photographers in a language which can be easily recognized by various archiving and editing programs. So really this is a program that you will be able to trust and know will help you in getting all your images into a central location easily.