Q. When I received my last roll of film back from the drug store, some of the shots had weird circles and streaks. One picture looked very much like a special-effect TV shot. What did I do and how can I do it again? These were some of the most interesting scenic shots I have taken.

A. No, No! Try not to do it again. The circles and streaks were from the camera pointing almost directly at the sun.

This can cause real problems. In the first place, "shooting" the sun without the proper filters can damage your camera. It can actually burn holes in some shutters. It's like focusing the sun through a magnifying glass onto a piece of paper. In a very short time it will cause fire.

Further, if you look directly at the sun through a camera finder you are in danger of injuring your eye.

Talk to an expert before you point your camera at the sun.


Q. I only use my camera a couple of times a year. In fact, it's been more than a year since I last used it. The last time I had pictures developed, the prints came out faded. What do you advise?

A. By faded, I assume that you mean that they weren't properly exposed. This may well have been caused by a bad battery in your camera. Modern cameras need modern batteries -- often! I change mine at least once a year. This is a good place for you to start. Your camera store people will be glad to help and show you how to clean out the battery carrier before putting in the new.


Q.I took some shots at a party with my new electronic flash. They came back with only half of the slide showing. Suddenly my camera is taking half-pictures. What's causing this?

A.Hope for another party soon. You'll have no trouble next time. You had your camera incorrectly set. Most cameras are synchronized to electronic flash at a 60th of a second. (Some display a lightning bolt on the shutter-speed device at the correct setting.) If you don't have the correct speed with electronic flash, you will get half-frame pictures. Check the manual that came with your camera or ask someone in the camera store.


Q.What a mess. Halfway through my last roll of film I realized that I had the ASA set for the wrong film. I re- adjusted the ASA and shot the rest of the roll. When the film came back, the first stuff was too light and the last stuff was too dark. I guess I should have thrown the roll away and started afresh. Right?

A.Wrong. What you should have done is kept on shooting without changing the ASA setting. Then, when you had finished the roll, you should have taken it to your camera store and explained what you did. In many cases, processors can compensate for that wrong setting and exposure and save the film.