My intention is that this page be more than my Photo Album. I want to share my tips on taking pictures and collect tips from other who enjoy taking pictures.
Many take pictures to capture a moment in time such as with photos of their family. I see taking pictures as much more than this. A well planned photo is like a work of art that will stand the test of time and be enjoyed by many. I'm not a teacher by any means, but I've learned a number of things I can share with other photographers who enjoy this so much.
My first lesson is that the photos are most often only as good as the camera you have to take those pictures. Many don't realize how much more of a picture can be taken with a really good camera. There are many good cameras on the market, but you should look for a camera that offers the flexibility to take good pictures under many types of situations. For example, not just any camera can take a good picture at night or low light conditions. The camera needs to be able to have an open shutter for a number of seconds. Another way to look at it is consider that you want to buy a computer. You are only limited by the quality and capability of the hardware and software that you purchase.
I'm just starting this page so I expect to add much more background information.
Another hobby of mine is to take old pictures and work them with scans and reproductions to improve their quality. One thing I learned years ago is that many of the older black and white pictures had a resolution that is just unheard of today in photography. It has to do with the chemicals used on the film. You can take an spot the size of a nail head on an old photograph and magnify it by up to ten times and still have a quality image. To illustrate what I mean I've taken a picture of my great grandfather taken in front of his house and enlarged it many time for small portrait photos. You can see how a portrait can be made from just a simple photograph and many miss that opportunity to have a portrait of their great grandparents to enjoy just because no one thought to have it taken. Many photographs were taken by family who just showed others in everyday life standing for a pose or working. Often there is no professional portrait to enjoy. Well guess what? You can make them yourself.
This photo below was enlarged by photographic methods from a much smaller photo. I estimate the picture was taken in the 1930's. This is my great grandfather Frank D. Schroll and his wife Katherine Kauffman. This was taken in from of their home in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The picture was then zoomed in by photographic means and an enlargement taken of the the couple.
Katherine Kauffman and Frank D. Schroll
You can see that the images are getting fuzzy and this is about the limit that this old type photograph can be enlarged. However imagine the joy of having their portraits as opposed to that picture as it was to begin with. You can verily see their faces in the original photograph.
Another thing to work on is the composition of the subject. I not only work hard with composition when taking pictures, but this can be done with older photographs as well. Below you see an older photo of my parents taken in 1970 at my college graduation. Now the second picture shows the same photograph cropped and enlarged a bit. Enlargement is only limited by the resolution of the photograph. In this case I scanned the photograph with a 600x720 dpi resolution scanner. This very much limits the enlargement to about 125 percent before the image is fuzzy or blurry. Another thing I did with software was to soften the image a little to make it warmer and more pleasant. You can get more resolution from another higher resolution scanner or use photographic techniques to improve enlarging that special area of the photograph.
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