A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy held steady during the 16-day partial government shutdown, growing moderately in most regions from October through late November.More >>
A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found that the U.S. economy held steady during the 16-day partial government shutdown, growing moderately in most regions from October through late November.More >>
Thursday, October 17 2013 4:40 PM EDT2013-10-17 20:40:19 GMT
(RNN) - By passing a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling, and a 16 days-late deal on the government shutdown, Congress finally got back to doing its job. So, what now? Some people may see it as the timeMore >>
With a budget passed only until January, a debt ceiling deal through February and a bunch of days off for Congress until then, the country may be back in the same situation soon.More >>
Thursday, October 17 2013 5:27 AM EDT2013-10-17 09:27:22 GMT
A last-minute deal has been struck, allowing the federal government to avoid a shutdown. A shutdown would have suspended all federal government services deemed non-essential. All federally-funded museums,More >>
Congress has passed a bill to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling, avoiding default. More >>
Sunday, October 13 2013 6:52 PM EDT2013-10-13 22:52:24 GMT
WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) - Despite the WWII Memorial being closed, members of the Million Vet March have gathered in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown – according to media reports. "We do notMore >>
Veterans gathered at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown.More >>
Saturday, October 12 2013 10:44 PM EDT2013-10-13 02:44:59 GMT
People nationwide have been unable to access welfare benefits through their EBT cards Saturday. Reports on the matter indicated the issue has no connection to the government shutdown.More >>
Xerox, which handles EBT systems in several states, said Saturday night the problem that prevented people from using their cards to shop has now been corrected. More >>
(RNN) - Family and friends will be gathering together during the holiday season for dinners, parties, and gift exchanges and many will document the festive season.
To get that perfect memento of the season, here are few things to keep in mind before clicking away.
Read the manual
No matter how complicated or simple your camera is, the best way to learn all the bells and whistles is to sit down and give yourself time with the manual. If you can't find it, go online.
Most major camera retailers offer tutorials and help on their web pages. Canon, Nikon, Kodak offer online tutorials and sell manuals for various camera models in case you've misplaced yours.
Reading the manual also will tell you how best to use the flash, the time/date stamp, and how to turn on red-eye reduction. If you have a basic knowledge of how the camera functions, taking creative photographs will be much easier, and your relatives' cheeks won't get tired from holding the smile while you fiddle with the camera settings.
Make a list and check it twice
If you're traveling, Digital Photography School suggests packing extra memory cards, extra batteries or a battery charger and take into consideration the conditions of the room where you will be shooting.
"Is there enough light? Will you need a flash? Are the backgrounds too cluttered and distracting?" writes Darren Rowse, the author of the article 16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas on the Digital Photography School website.
Also, make a check list of whom and what you want to photograph during the event.
Check your camera settings
Some point-and-shoot cameras have settings for different types of light sources. Don't use the daylight setting if you're photographing Christmas lights or candle light. Florescent lights can leave a green cast on the image if the camera is set on daylight, so be sure to use automatic light/white balance settings or the proper lighting settings.
Go early, stay late
Don't just photograph the event, take pictures of the preparation. Rowse suggests photographing food preparation, decorating, gift wrapping, setting the table and even kids throwing a tantrum.
Get closer to your subjects, fill the frame
According to Kodak.com, "If your subject is smaller than a car, take a step or two closer before taking the picture and zoom in on your subject. Your goal is to fill the picture area with the subject you are photographing. Up close you can reveal telling details, like a sprinkle of freckles or an arched eyebrow."
But be careful in getting too close to the subject of the photograph, depending on your camera, the photo may be out of focus.
If your camera has it, try the macro setting if you want to take photographs of something up close. "Ornaments on the tree, table decorations, sweets in the bowl on the table, a nativity scene on the mantel piece, holly above the doorway – sometimes it's these small things around your party that are the real ‘money shots,'" Rowse writes.
Take your time with the composition
This can be tricky because holiday gatherings can be chaotic, so take a deep breath.
Watch your background. Aunt Marge may be smiling pretty as you photograph her, but if she's standing in front of a shelf with lots of knick knacks, it may seem as if an elf is growing out of her head. Also, watch out for that mischievous cousin who likes to make bunny ears behind the photo. If the photo is a portrait, move the person you are photographing to where you want them in the frame.
Use a plain background
Yes, the giant "Merry Christmas" sign is neat, but if you're only getting "err" and "istma" behind your mom in the photo, it's distracting. The eye automatically tries to read whatever letter or number is in the picture.
Don't put the subject smack in the middle of the frame
"Bring your picture to life by simply moving your subject away from the middle of your picture," according to Kodak.com. Photographers call it the "Rule of Thirds." Kodak.com explains it this way: "Start by playing tic-tac-toe with subject position. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in your viewfinder. Now place your important subject at one of the intersections of lines."
Try a different perspective
Get down low, especially when photographing children. Young kids tend to play on the floor, so get down there with them. "Expressions will look more natural, your flash photos will be more evenly lit from nose to toe, and the background will probably look a lot better, too." writes Kodak.com in Top 10 Tips for Photographing Children.
Go for the candid photos, avoid the cheese
"Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to always pose staring at the camera," reads the Kodak.com article on Photographing Children. Sure, it's nice to have the setup photographs where everyone is smiling at the camera, but don't discount the candid photos. The joyful expression on the children's face when they open up a gift is 20 times better than having them smile and hold up the gift. It might take a little more patience to photograph children, because they do not sit still for very long, so be prepared to move.
Use your phone
Many of today's phones have the ability to take photographs. The same principles in using a camera apply to cell phones cameras. With the rise in popularity of smartphones, camera accessories are now being sold – including phone cases that offer lenses for the phone's camera.
Most smartphone owners use "apps" to create a special effect on their photos. A good place to start is www.iphoneography.com or droidphotography.blogspot.com, depending on what type of smartphone you own. Each website writes about the apps and accessories for the iPhone and Droids.
Copyright 2011 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:49 AM EST2013-12-05 14:49:56 GMT
NEW YORK (CNN) - The Christmas season has officially begun in New York City. The famous Rockefeller Center tree was lit Wednesday night during the annual lighting ceremony. Mayor Michael Bloomberg flippedMore >>
The Christmas season has officially begun in New York City. The famous Rockefeller Center tree was lit Wednesday night during the annual lighting ceremony.More >>
Michelle Obama is giving military families a first look at the White House Christmas decorations.More >>
The familiar black dog with the white chest and white front paws starred in past Christmases in President Barack Obama's White House, but America's first pooch had to let someone else in the picture this holiday...More >>
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