Q. A recent column of yours, in which you answered a reader's question about how to cut down on photography expenses, stated that by loading your camera carefully you can frequently get an extra frame or two out of your roll. Would you elaborate?

A. First of all, the system will not work on any cartridge-loading camera such as disks or Instamatics. It can work with a 35mm camera, and calls for you to understand what your own equipment will do. It's not new, and many professional photographers do this routinely.

When loading your camera, pull the loading leader out only as far as necessary. Try not to jam the film into the take-up spool. Use only as much as is necessary to grab. Just make sure sprockets fit into the holes on the sides of the film.

Then close the back, and crank off only two exposures. Even if your counter doesn't reach "Start," start shooting anyway. The first few times you try this be sure to duplicate your first couple of shots. Also, be sure to watch the rewind knob as you advance the film and make sure it's turning. If not, go into a dark closet, open the camera and make sure the film is engaged.

I don't guarantee this will work with every camera. It works on three out of four of mine. But it will help you to know your own equipment better.


Q. During a trip to Skyline Drive, I had some weird results on my photos. I was taking pictures of the mist around the mountains. The ones from high up on the drive were pretty good, but the ones down lower in the valley were dark and not very clear. What did I do wrong?

A. Taking pictures in mist or fog can get a little tricky, since both conditions block light, sometimes more light than you would think.

Use a fast film, and once you have determined the correct exposure, open up the lens one stop and shoot. This will take care of that lower- than-expected light level.

If you have an automatic camera, reduce the ASA setting by one notch. This will serve the same function as opening the lens by one stop.

Try to do some bracketing of exposure -- it's the safest way.

Don't be discouraged if all your shots aren't perfect; mist and fog pictures are hard to take, but the successful ones are worth the effort.


Q. I'm new to the area and want to become involved with a camera club. Do you know of any?

A. Lots and lots of mail on this. The answer depends on help from members of camera clubs.

If they'll send me the name, address, telephone number and a contact's name, I'll try to get a file going. I'm also interested in clubs' special activities -- contests, field trips, guests and the like.

While space limitations often make itdifficult to print such information, I hope there'll be room to slip some in from time to time.