Spring is the time of the year when flowers and cameras should come out of hibernation. Unfortunately, the weather may not always be as ready as you are, and the picture-game may be called on account of rain. In such an event, don't despair; just wait a while until it stops and go.
A rainwashed landscape with its frequent changes of light offers a variety of picture possibilities.
First, watch the sky, Changing cloud patterns can add design; and shafts of heavenly light sometime transform the landscape. If you're driving, look ahead at the passing scene as well as the passing clouds, and plan stops where there is a scenic overlook or an interesting view. The same is true if you're on a walk: Pick a composition and then wait for the light.
Overcast days are excellent for portraiture. Just the time to take your favorite model out into the yard by the new spring blossoms or to stay dry under the roof overhang for a closeup.
If you're advanced in lenses and techniques, go bird-watching and try for long-lens closeups of songbirds that are out performing in the trees. With a little patience, you can get them to perform for the camera as well.
For that sudden shower, carry an umbrella. With the aid of its overhang you can even catch the raindrops at a fast shutter speed when the sun backlights the scene.
Whatever the view you choose, it will look different in the spring. The newly washed trees, grass and flowers will not appear as bright and colorful again until next year. Q: I read your column as often as possible and I was most interested in the answer to the question about taking pictures from a color TV screen.
I take pictures from my TV and have been doing so since 1967. I use a Petri 35-mm camera with an f/1.8 lens. (Previously, I used a Kodak Instamatic.) Your answer was completely different from the way I shoot.
First, I don't brighten the screen, in fact, I do just the opposite. I darken the image contrast so that the facial details show up. Some of this adjustment, of course, depends on the show. When shooting "Battle Star Galactica" I had to really darken the screen to retain color in the uniforms as well as the flesh tones.
I was surprised at your suggestion of using a tripod. I have never used one and have always hand-held the camera. I also do not fill the camera viewfinder with the TV screen but frame it so that the edge of the screen is just outside the viewfinder.
For focusing, I draw a bead on the brand name that is right beside the screen, which is about the right distance (between 2 and 2 1/2 feet) from the lens.
As for setting my shutter, I almost always use 1/15th of a second except when the action on the screen moves fast -- then I use 1/30th of a second.
The film I use has an ASA rating of 100, which I find better than the faster ASA 400 film. As for stop, I use f/2.8, or on automatic I just let the camera set itself . A: You're well within the possibilities for shooting TV images, and if you're happy with the results that's all that matters. I did mention that the set should be adjusted for maximum detail -- but each viewer has different standards. I am glad that you don't try to stop TV action by speeding the shutter faster than 1/30th, because above this speed you'll still miss screen action -- and part of the image as well. Q: My late husband's hobby was photography, and he never did anything that he didn't take very seriously. I have inherited hundreds of 35-mm pictures and 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 slides that he has taken.
The pictures are very beautiful (he received two medals from the Photography Society of America). I would like to sell these pictures. Do you know of a good market? A: I have no doubt that the photographs you mention are beautiful -- but, as with all works of art, beauty along does not indicate the market value. The subject and style of photography can greatly affect the marketability. For example: If the photographs are of a passing or historic scene or are a series of the same kind of subject, they would have added value. The same is true if the photographic technique used is distinctive and different in style. A random collection of views is more difficult to market.
The first thing to do in assessing the collection is to look for these subject of stylistic similarities. Then look at publications that use this type of photography. Write to the editors describing the pictures that you have and inquire if they would be interested. Other possible markets are greeting-card companies and picture agencies.
Your local library is a good reference source for photo markets. Look for Literary Market Place by R.R. Bowker; the 1981 Photographer's Market and the Audio-Visual Market Place , also by R.R. Bowker. These publications, and others, will list possible markets.
Selling photographs is not easy. Many pro photographers spend a great deal of time and effort marketing their wares, and when they place a collection with a reputable picture agency it's usually in the thousands of top images with continued additions as they shoot.
Before investing a great deal of your time in this endeavor it may be best to seek the judgment of an expert. You mention that your husband had received medals from the Photographic Society of America. Write the society at 2005 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, and see if one of its members can help give you an evaluation the photographs.