Writing a column on a stormy day leaves columnist Norman Silverstone dreaming of calmer

Tips and photo tricks for a rainy day’s read

Ace photographer Norman Silverstone imparts tips and tricks he's picked up over the years in the trade.

It’s raining outside, the tree branches are swaying in time with the wind, and it is just starting to get dark outside. ”Hmm …I know what to do I’ll write the column”. This time I am not going to talk about myself (maybe a wee bit) instead the column will be about photography tips and whatever else passes through my mind.

What about the new mirrorless cameras, touted as being the future, replacing the DSLR (digital single lens reflex)? Looking on the plus side the mirrorless cameras  have interchangeable lenses, most have a larger sensor than “point and shoot” cameras, sturdy bodies, no mirror, are smaller and lighter, and have some accessories.

On the negative side the majority have no viewfinder, which means it is going to be very hard to shoot outside in full sunlight. They struggle to focus in low light, have a problem focusing when the subject is moving towards you and battery life is not as long as a DSLR.

Digital cameras have a shutter life. Nikon D4’s shutter has a life of 400,000 actuations, Nikon D800 has 200,000 actuations, Nikon D700 and D7100 have 150,000, Nikon D3000 and D5000 have 100,000 actuations. After that the shutter is kaput (to replace an electronic shutter is about $250–$300).

To find out how many actuations have been used on a Nikon camera, go to www.nikonshuttercount.com and follow the instructions.

The following are a  few things that you should know.

1) When you are taking a photo, press the shutter button halfway to pre-focus and  set the exposure, then gently press the shutter button all the way down.

2) Get in close to the subject to make a photographic impact.

3) Turn the camera vertically to shoot a single person.

4) Look out for glare and reflection from windows and photo frames.

5) Before you squeeze that shutter button, look around and behind the subject. Are there trees growing out of Uncle Bob’s head? Kleenex on the ground in front of the bride?

6) In the viewfinder or on the screen, check to see if the horizon is straight or that the lines in the image straight. Some cameras have a grid that can be an overlay on the screen/viewfinder.

7) If you are shooting in JPEG, make sure that you are shooting in FINE JPEG or whatever is your highest choice.

Did you hear? Apple’s Macs can get malware. Previously there was a back door application that took screen shots and uploaded the info to remote servers. That malware was called OSX/KitM.A. A Trojan was found making the Mac rounds, called ‘Flashback S”. What it did was it made your computer open to data theft—stealing your info, bank passwords etc.

A Man-in-the-Middle attack was very recent: if you used Wi-Fi at a public spot you would think that you are communicating with another computer, but everything is filtered through the man in the middle malware.

The fix? Download the latest OSX or IOS, that will prevent it from happening.

Any questions?  E-mail me at nsilverstone@telus.net or see me online at www.silverstonephotos.com.

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