Disposable Underwater Cameras

Many people often fear the risk of damaging their regular cameras. This is where disposable underwater cameras step in. It is fun and easy to take great pictures with them. The cameras can be used to capture the action underwater, in bright as well as dim light.

There are many types of disposable cameras. The purchase of disposable cameras is always affordable. An underwater disposable camera is also called an all-weather camera, since it is ready for a rough use. It is ideal for shooting outdoors in wet and even snowy conditions. It is waterproof, besides being weatherproof, enabling people to get great shots. It can be used in the rain, on slopes, in a boat or in the ocean. People like to use them while snorkeling, skiing, fishing, boarding and surfing.

The disposable underwater cameras are designed to be durable. They provide a good grip and enable people to take pictures, even with their gloves on. There are some cameras that fit into the pocket, beach bag and purse. Most of the cameras are pre-loaded with speed films. They include a shock resistant, heavy-duty housing that floats. Many retailers provide them at cheap rates when purchased in bulk.

Photo Editing Software

Manage and Edit Pictures

Our friends at Google have a handy free software program called Picasa(TM) that makes photo management a snap. It will quickly find, organize and label every picture on your computer. Basic edit tools clean up and enhance photos. Share photos, create movies and slideshows and more with this easy to use editing program.

Another popular photo editor is Preclick. It has many of the same features as Picasa with free and $20 upgrade versions. For photo file management and basic editing tools, these two software programs deserve a close look.

The Best Image Editing Software

The standard and industry leader in editing software is Adobe PhotoShop CS. It will do just about anything you could want or imagine. But for the average user there are two problems. The first is cost. At around $600 it ain’t cheap. The second is its complexity. Quite simply, learning how to use PhotoShop isn’t easy.

Many experts feel Jasc Paint Shop Pro has nearly the same functionality as PhotoShop and is easier to use. For about $130 they throw in Corel Photo Album to manage and share photos. For those who like the Windows look and feel, Microsoft Digital Image is a close runner up for under $100.

Free Photo Editing Software

GIMP is open-source software with features similar to PhotoShop. Free and shareware software programs that feature painting as well as photo edit functions include Ultimate Paint, VicMan and Pixia.

Digital cameras information from A to Z: camera types & features, how they work, accessories, photo printers, comparisons and more – plus digital photo processing tips and info at A-Z Digital Cameras.com [http://www.a-z-digital-cameras.com], Your Complete A-Z Resource for Digital Cameras, Accessories and Information.

Baby Portrait Photography

Newborns

Babies at this age are not active (other than being a little squirmy), so it is a good idea to focus on close ups. Don’t limit yourself to just the face, but make sure to get shots of the feet, hands, ears, etc. These make a great collage and are beautiful as stand-alone pictures, too. Also, use the baby’s mom and/or dad as a prop! A newborn resting in the arms of a parent makes for a beautiful portrait, even if the face of the parent isn’t showing.

Older babies

Once babies get more active, you have the opportunity to capture some great expressions and smiles. Usually, mom or dad knows exactly what will make the baby smile. Let them stand behind you to make that special funny face or noise. Another idea is to let mom or dad be close enough to tickle baby, then quickly move their hand out of the frame for you to take the shot. You will have to be quick and ready at all times! For this reason I never use a tripod when photographing children. I get down on the floor with them and hand-hold my camera.

Toddlers

Toddlers can be the trickiest of all to photograph, but also the most photogenic! Toddlers have the most angelic faces and beautiful, genuine expressions. Have some child-sized furniture on hand. Toddlers love little tables and chairs that are “just their size.” Other props such as rocking horses are good (just make sure they are safe and sturdy) because they allow the child to play while staying in one spot. Using games such as peek-a-boo or telling the child to blow a feather off of your head are good ways to get smiles (just be ready to quickly press the shutter!). If possible, get the toddler outside and capture some natural shots of them at play. After all, that’s what they do best!

Make sure to be patient and allow enough time when photographing babies and toddlers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • The room should be comfortably on the warm side, especially if you are doing any shots of the baby without clothes or just a diaper.
  • Allow for frequent breaks for the baby to rest, eat, or just play
  • Clothing changes are okay, but limit them to just 2 or 3… most babies get fussy if their clothes are changed
  • Don’t force it. If the baby is crying, just let mom or dad cuddle them and take a break from shooting
  • Leave the baby on the floor. Tables are dangerous…don’t take any chances on the baby falling. If the floor is too hard, place some padding underneath your background (such as a carpet pad or soft blanket)
  • An infant car seat makes a great place for baby to sit/lay for their portrait. Purchase some nice fabric (I like the silky, gauzy or tulle type fabric for a dreamy effect – a fuzzy blanket is good, too) to cover the car seat so that it won’t show
  • Keep toys on hand for babies of all ages. Things that light up and make noise are best (and don’t forget the power of bubbles!)
  • Don’t pick up any baby or child without the consent of the parents!!! It is better to instruct the parents on how you want the baby placed and let them do it
  • Always get a model release. You never know when you’ll want to use one of the images in your advertising!
  • Don’t be afraid to engage the baby by playing and being silly!

Pinhole Photography

At its simplest, a pinhole camera is just a light tight cardboard box with a piece of aluminium pie dish containing a pinhole to expose the film or photographic paper.

Of course you need to design a shutter, (your thumb will do), some way to hold the film in place and a system to seal up the opening where you put the film in the pinhole camera.

There is no viewfinder; you just point the pinhole camera in the right direction. You can draw some lines on top of the camera to indicate the field of view.

Exposure times for pinhole photography are usually measured in minutes.

Work out your exposure by the hit and miss method, also known as exposure determination by experimentation. This is where you say “Ooooh. I reckon about two minutes.” Then if it turns out ok, well and good. But if it’s not right, you either double it or halve it for the next exposure, depending on your assessment. Nothing wrong with that method for pinhole photography.

Let’s say you’re using 4″x5″ photographic paper. The diagonal of your paper is about 160mm. If you make the distance from the pinhole to the paper about 50mm to 80mm this will be ok. Length of about half the diagonal of the film. You could make the length 20mm to 50mm giving quite a wide angle. There’s nothing to stop you building your pinhole camera around a four foot length of drainpipe giving you a 1200mm telephoto pinhole camera, except that the exposure time might be in the order of several hours or all day.

My best pinhole cameras have used 8″x10″ film and have a length of 50mm to 70mm. Everything is in focus from 250mm to infinity. Angle of view is around 135 degrees.The light runs off at the edges of the image.

Note: 100mm = about 4″

There is much more technical stuff that can be studied but that’s all you really need to know to get started. So empty the breakfast cerial packet and build a pinhole camera.

You can use pretty much anything light tight to make a pinhole camera: biscuit tin, breakfast cerial packet, 20 litre oil drum, golden syrup tin, jam tin, match box, black ice cream container etc. etc. Would you believe you can even use your mouth?

Yes, in the darkroom put a short piece of 35mm film in your mouth and close it. Go outside and press the aluminium with the pinhole firmly against your lips, then open your lips for about 10 seconds keeping your head still. Reverse the procedure. You can work out the rest for yourself.

Consider whether it will be better/easier to use the end or side of your tin/box.

If you use a jam tin you can use alfoil and a rubber band for a lid.

Use black paint inside a shiny tin if you have some handy.

Invent a shutter. Black plastic and masking tape will do.

If you decide on a jam tin or golden syrup tin with the pinhole in the side, consider using a baffle that springs tight against the sides of the tin to fasten your film too. A piece of plastic milk bottle will do.

Handy items to have around are: breakfast cerial packet, masking tape, blue tack, plastic milk bottles, rubber bands, alfoil, scissors, knife, glue.

Your pinhole camera will give a negative image on your photographic paper. In this modern, computer age it will be possible to scan, change to a positive and computer print.

An SLR camera can be used for a pinhole camera simply by removing the lens and attaching a pinhole with black sticky tape.

If you are making a pinhole, look for the smallest needle in the set.

It’s important to have a smooth, burr free pinhole for the sharpest possible image. Ideally, push the tapered section of the needle through in several stages, gently removing the burr with fine wet and dry paper between actions. Rest the foil on cardboard as you push the needle through so you don’t stretch the foil.

Retake Photo

You could retake the photo. Find the same location and similar subject and add something more to it – the particulars of what you add is up to your own inspirational abilities, of course. But, you might want to add a variation on the viewpoint. Or perhaps, compose the subject a bit differently. Or even use warm up filters, different lenses or different lighting.

You could change the background to reduce clutter or unsightly objects. Or maybe add something that wasn’t there previously – like another person or part of the landscape. The choices are endless.

Having taken the first photo, it can sometimes give you inspiration. When you look at your final image, you may feel disappointed that it didn’t turn out as you had intended. Returning to retake the image can pay dividends. And it’s a great learning experience as well. There is hardly nothing more satisfying in photography than producing the perfect image.

And this is where keeping all those poor images can reap rewards. If you don’t trash anything then you can return to the subject at a later date for an even better image.

So, if you are a bit disappointed with some of your images – don’t despair. Plan to retake.