Q - My camera has no light meter but does have shutter speeds and openings. How can I tell what speed and opening to use in different light?
A - The best information is on the little slip of paper enclosed with the film. Follow the directions for the settings. If you have thrown away this information or bought film that did not include it, a rough guide for slow films of ASA 25 to 64 - both color and black-and-white - is to set your shutter at 1/125th of a second at f/8 to f/11 in bright sunlight when the sun is shining on your subject. On cloudy days use f/4 to f/11 at 1/125th. For the fast ASA 400 films use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second at f/22 for bright sun and f/8 to f/11 when it's cloudy.
Q - Please suggest a small listing of reading material for the beginner .
A - Here are two to start with: "Understanding Photography" by Carl Shipman (printed by HP Books) and the "Encyclopedia of Practical Photography" published by Amphoto for Eastman Kodak. Both books are available at photo stores. The encyclopedia comes in a set. Eastman Kodak also has a list of publications (L-5) that they will send you on request. For these write to Eastman Kodak Co., 343 State Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14650.
Q - I'm planning on a camping trip to Minnesota soon and would like some expert advice on how to protect my camera and lenses from the elements. My camera bag has a plastic lining, but is that enough waterproofing for my equipment?
A - On your trip you will need to protect your equipment from moisture and dirt as well as heat and cold. The best kind of camera bag has a metal rim around the top flap and/or metal band around the top of the bag. This will help keep dust and dirt out from the inside where you store the camera and lenses.
The easiest way to keep your bag dry when it's raining is to use a sheet of plastic as a cover. You can fold and place this plastic inside your camera bag and take it out and cover the bag when needed to protect against moisture.
To prevent the nighttime dew from condensing on your gear be sure to place the camera equipment inside your tent and not leave it outdoors.
If you are using color film be especially careful that you don't leave a closed camera bag in the hot sun, because temperatures can rise to emulsion-affecting heat.
Don't get too uptight about what extra protection you will need for your camping trip. Just be extra careful about dirt, moisture and heat.
Q - Both my husband and son have deep-set blue eyes. Yet in a color photo flash for inside pictures their eyes appear bright red. What are we doing wrong?
A - The red eyes are a result of retinal reflection from the flash when it is too close to the lens. You can buy an extension for your Instamatic that will elevate the flash about two inches above the lens.
Another cause of red-eye is dilation of the puils which consequently reflect more light from the flash. Since the pupils are kilated to adjust for dim interior light, by turning on more room lights you can contract them and help eliminate the red-eye in flash pictures.
Q - Why are my Instamatic pictures always cut off on one side?Usually there is more space on the left than on the right .
A - You are probably not holding the camera parallel to your scene. This frequently happens with the Instamatic because you normally hold it up to your eye, resting the camera's center against the bridge of your nose while the left-hand side is held only with your hand. The tendency then is to pull back with your left hand, thereby tilting the camera.You can correct this condition by consciously holding the camera straight. Until you get the hang of it, ask a friend to tell you when you're holding your camera correctly.