Q. This year I'd like to get some decent pictures of the fall colors. My stuff usually turns out dull and never seems to have the brilliance of real life. Got any tips?
A. No doubt about it, fall is a great time for pictures. But there are a couple of things to remember. First of all, when photographing any wide- angle scenic shot, work slowly. You're dealing with a stationary scene; it's not going anywhere, so take your time and do things right.
One of the biggest problems with general views of the changing trees is that people tend to point their cameras too high. This is especially true of automatic exposure cameras. Pointing the camera at the sky gives you a false reading: Too much light and the aperture closes. The result is, at best, a dull picture.
Point your camera slightly downward, toward the foreground to take your meter reading. Never try to shoot with a "pointing up" reading.
Another thing about general views. They can be loaded with color but very uninteresting pictures. Try to get something in the foreground. It will make your shot seem more connected.
Shooting closeups, you still have to exercise the same care. If you find yourself shooting toward the sky, open up a stop more than the setting indicates. If you're shooting with a fully automatic camera, drop the ASA setting one notch for the same results.
For film, use the slowest speed you can. For slides, I like ASA 64, and for prints, nothing faster than ASA 100.
There's one other thing. You might want to try an 81A lens filter, which gives a warming effect to your pictures. It reduces exposure about two-thirds of a stop, but when you're metering through the lens it's all automatic anyway. It helps add the depth and sparkle that warm exposure makes. GIFT IDEAS
Q. Isn't it time to start thinking about Christmas? Have you seen anything new in cameras that I should be looking at for a gift?
A. Yes, indeed. I've been testing the new Kodak Tele Disk camera and have been very satisfied with the results.
It's exactly what the name says, a disk camera with a built-in telephoto lens. This is the evolution of the disk that was expected, but frankly, I didn't expect it to be so successful.
It's simple enough to work. You press the built-in electronic flash, it moves outward and sets the telephoto lens in place and also adjusts the viewfinder to match.
The camera has an automatic, motorized film advance and its flash fires every time. The flash is effective from three to 20 feet with the normal lens (12.5mm, f/4.0) and from six to 16 feet with the telephoto (22mm, f/5.6). If you don't want the flash, there is a switch on the back to keep it from firing. The lenses are fixed-focus.
The exposure is set for 1/300th of a second based on the VR disks rated at 200 ASA.
The entire machine is powered by two AA alkaline batteries that Kodak says will last for about 25 film disks. I shot 8 disks and the recycling time never exceeded 10 seconds.
The suggested list price will be about $60, but I look for that to come down rapidly. CLUB NOTES
* The North Bethesda Camera Club is having a Mushroom and Nature Walk field trip on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 9:30 a.m. Ruth Allen, the club's resident mycologist (mushroom expert) will lead the walk through Cabin John Park. For more information call Judy Burr, 949-9840, or Betty Ford, 384-4683.
* The Silver Spring Camera Club holds its slide meetings and competitions on the first Thursday of each month. Print meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. For more information, call Joyce Bayley, 384-9328, or Norm Bernache, 935 5617.