Tuesday, August 30, 2016

tuesday tip

If any of my younger family members ever gather round my creaking rocker and ask, "Ancient Auntie Quinn, what words of wisdom can you give us, from the blurred vista of your long years?" I will be ready for them. I have my Words of Wisdom all figured out.

And since none of my blog readers is a member of my family (as far as I know, anyway...and if so, you're getting the jump on the rest of those slackers!) I will share my WoW right here and now. Ready?

Spread to the edge.

That's right. I'm talking butter. I'm talking mayo. Peanut butter. Jam.

Take the extra 15 seconds - the rest of your life will wait - and spread to the edge of your bread, toast, or muffin. No dull, bland, unadorned bites. Every bite: good.


Having shared this valuable tip for living an enriched and satisfying life, it occurs to me: perhaps I should include more useful information on this blog? I probably can't do it frequently, as I don't know very much universally useful stuff. And unfortunately I cannot promise to consistently deliver the same depth and value as "Spread to the edge." Which is good enough for an epitaph, I think.

But let's see. How about a tip for photography? I know a lot of us carry our cameras everywhere, and are always trying to get clear images under less-than-ideal conditions. Well, here's a simple tip you can try when you want to increase your chances of getting a sharp image under low light conditions, when your camera needs a longer exposure time. Or even if you are just tired. Ready?

Spread to th

Hah! Just kidding. Here's the tip:

Set your camera's timer to it's shortest delay, compose your shot and hold your camera steady (wrapping your camera-arm around a tree or fence, or pressing your back against something solid so that your legs and the Solid Thing function as a tripod, can help a lot - hey, there's another tip!) then press the shutter release. And keep breathing. While the timer is counting down (2 or 3 seconds is plenty) the camera will stop moving from the pressure of your finger on the shutter release. So when the shutter trips, you'll have a much better chance of a sharp image.

I mention breathing because even though we think of holding our breath as part of being "still," holding your breath can create tension in your body that may actually cause the camera to move a tiny bit, even on a short exposure. (Crikey, is that a third tip? I hope you were all sitting down when you began reading this post.)

So: stabilize your body, use a very short timer delay, and keep breathing.

It's not the same as using a tripod and a cable release, but heck, if you're carrying a tripod around, you don't need to worry about wobbling on long exposures.

Try it, fellow photographers! I hope this is a helpful tip for some of you.

And anyway, there's always the other one: