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The Right Way to Travel
October 29, 2009 – “Better Holiday Photos” Tip #3
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It’s no wonder we spend a lot of time indoors during the holiday season. Who wants to be out in the cold when the good stuff… the lingering aromas of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie… are inside?

But indoor photo shots can be tricky to get right. Here are a few tips, from our Holiday Photo Guide, on taking better shots indoors…

** 1. Use a faster ISO setting.
Indoor lighting is usually a little dim, so you’ll want to set your camera on a faster ISO. [ISO is your camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive it is… so you’ll get lighter and clearer shots (with reduced blur) in dark rooms with a higher ISO.] ISO 400 usually works in a well-lit room. Using a tripod will also help keep images sharp by cutting out camera shake.

** 2. Adjust the white balance on digital cameras.
Indoor incandescent lights (i.e., ordinary light bulbs) have a yellow or orange cast, and auto white balance doesn’t always correct these warmer tones. To fix this problem, check your camera manual and change the white balance setting to incandescent or indoor lighting. Your family’s skin tones will come out truer to life, and you’ll have more choices when selecting next year’s holiday card photo.

** 3. Experiment with your flash off.
Try taking photographs both ways — with and without flash. While flash can fill in important details, it can also create harsh glares and shadows. Taking advantage of natural light will make photos of Grandpa carving the turkey appear more… well, natural.

BONUS TIP: In some cases, you may still have to use your flash. Professional photographer Shelly Perry says that one way to soften harsh shadows created by on-camera flash is to diffuse the light by placing a tissue or thin white paper over the flash. Try wrapping it around once and securing it with a piece of tape or a rubber band.

— Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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