I need an education in photography! On our last cruise,
I took pictures under various settings and conditions (day,
night, sunny, cloudy, rainy, and on the move), and came
home to find myself stuck with some very poor quality
photos to remember our cruise by. This novice
photographer would appreciate and suggestions (film speed,
little tricks of the trade, photography in th elements,
and any other suggestions) that you might have to offer
for our upcoming cruise.
I would recomend using 200 speed film, and no faster than 400 speed film. Film at higher speeds can be damaged by the x-ray equipment used at airports and on cruise ships, and also if you are in the Caribbean, the sun would be too intense for faster films. 400 speed film is a good multi-purpose film if you plan on doing action photos or indoor pictures while still suitable for outdoor use. 200 speed film is ideal for outdoor scenery or portraits. Always keep your back to the sun (preferabilly over your right shoulder) and this will cut down on shadows.
The most important part of your camera is you. Look carefully before you depress the shutter button. Are you seeing what you want? Is your subject the largest part of your photo? I have taken vacations with disposable cameras and with my Canon SLR, and both were fine with minor adjustments. These are my tips:
When you decide on the subject of your photo, move or zoom until that is the largest part of your photo. Really close in on your subject. i.e.: If Suzy at the Captains Table in her formal dress is your subject, take two photos. One to include the entire table, but only that much. The second a close-up of Suzy in her finery.
Simplify your subject matter. Move yourself until the only things in your picture are what you want. That annoying telephone pole or trash can will ruin a photo. Was Suzy really wearing a feather hat or was that the decoration on the wall behind her? Mount Olympus looks great, but I wish that tour bus wasnít in front of it.
Be sure the flash on your camera is fully charged for each photo requiring a flash. If you take 2 quick pictures, the second picture may not have enough power in the flash, and will look dark & fuzzy. Give your camera enough time to recharge.
Unless you have a BIG flash unit, most good on-camera flashes are only good for about 12-14 feet. The rest of the photo will be very dark. So, don't put Suzy two feet from the flash, where it is brightest, but also don't back her across a room, where she'll be shadowy and lost.
For outdoor color photos, Fuji film is a good choice. The color saturation on Fuji is higher than on Kodak. Kodak film is better for flash photography.
Take lots of pictures. To get a great shot, a professional photographer may shoot a full roll of a single landscape, from different angles and lighting. You may not get the chance to study your subject that fully, but you can sure take more than one shot of important events and occasions. You may never pass this way again, and it would be nice to have a picture.
Donít cook your film. Heat and Xray are tough on your films. Baby them a little and you will get the results you need.
I forgot a very important tip. If you are shooting a face in full sunlight, use your flash. The sun is a very harsh light and leaves unattractive shadows. Using your flash as a fill light will illuminate the shadows, and bring life to the face, even under a hat.