August 24, 2014
At previous reunions, professional
photographers were hired to take and sell us photos from the reunion. The result at
the 50th reunion was unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. People were not
happy that they didn’t get their photo taken at the reunion by the photographer
and those who did could not see the proofs before ordering from his web site. We
were expected to order without seeing what we were buying. Few people ordered as
Fortunately there were quite a few classmates
and their spouses/guests who attended the 50th reunion and took photos. We were
able to gather as many of those photos as we could after the reunion. Most of
those photos were quite good. We were able to use them to produce a nice
portrait of every classmate and many of the couples. Here is a list of those who
took photos and sent them in to be used for making the portraits and posting
here on the web site.
Fran Tegarden and Harry
Lorna Castor and Fred
Steve and Sharon Lew
Natalie Clark and her Daughters
At a meeting held in Tucson after the 50th
reunion, we discussed the photography issue and decided that we would handle the
photography at the next reunion ourselves and not hire a photographer.
The plan is to recruit as many classmates
as we can to take photos and send them in to Paul Deutsch and Patricia Delfs
(who made the portraits after the 50th reunion). Those of you who volunteer to
take photos will be assigned to cover certain areas and functions during the
reunion. The more volunteers, the less work for any individual.
This page is designed to give all of the
volunteer photographers some guidance in advance so that they will be ready and
prepared to take good photos. Yes, we know that we are not professional
photographers but the results we got at the 50th reunion were pretty darn good
and in many cases, superior to what a professional photographer would provide.
would like you to volunteer to be one of the photographers at the next reunion.
The plan is to
recruit as many of you and your spouse or guest so we have someone covering each
area of the facility. That
way each would have an area to be responsible for photographing those in that
area. Don't worry, you can have fun and take photos too. If you and/or your
spouse or guest would like to be one of the photographers at the next reunion,
please send me an e-mail.
WHAT IS OUR GOAL?
To get crisp, clear photos of people
having a good time at the reunion. We want photos that can be posted on the
THS1960 web site and photos that can be used to make portraits to send to those
who were there. Our intent is to get at least one good photo of everyone who
attends the reunion so we can send them a nice portrait as a souvenir.
This is a collection of all the portraits
we made from the photos sent in after the 50th reunion.
Here are some examples of the portraits we
made after the 50th reunion.
Many of them were given the OOB treatment.
OOB stands for Out Of Boundaries and is a way of giving the photo a pseudo-3D
look. If you look at the photo of Bill Bravo playing the guitar where his elbow
extends out of the photo and casts a shadow on the mat and the photo of Diane
and Chuck dancing, you can see what an OOB photo looks like. It gives the photo
a little something extra. We would like to do that to as many of the photos that
we can from the next reunion.
Here you can see the original photo and
then the OOB photo after processing in Adobe Photoshop.
Not all of them were given the OOB
treatment. Some photos just don't need the OOB treatment like this one below.
We will want group photos too. Here Lorna
Castor’s husband Fred with his back to us is taking photos of the group while
waiting for the professional photographer to show up.
We can and did produce a good group photo
by ourselves. So we will hope to have the spouses and guests of classmates
volunteer to take photos of the group while the classmates are posing.
HOW TO TAKE GOOD PHOTOS
Taking photos like these samples is easier to say than to do. The photos we used
after the 50th reunion were taken by those who attended and sent them in. They
were snap shots but many of them were surprisingly good. The hope is that with
the help on this page and a little practice we can do even better next time.
Reunions have some brightly lit areas
where you can almost always get good shots but there also some dimly lit areas
where it is difficult to get good, non-blurry photos. The SECRET to sharp photos
is dim light is, ta da, use flash and hold the camera so it isn’t moving. Again,
easier to say than to do. Practice, practice, practice before you go to the
reunion, especially if you have a new camera.
We want to get close-ups of people’s
faces. Take the photo from 3 to 6 feet. Too close and the flash will wash out
the features of the faces. Too far and it won't light them up enough.
Example of a good photo because it was
taken in a dim room using flash. The people are close enough to be able to crop
them. They are smiling. The photo is sharp, in focus, not blurry.
Below is an example of a bad photo. It is
bad because you can’t really see anything interesting.
Here is another example of a bad photo.
Why? Because the people are facing away from the camera. We want to see their faces not their
Example of a good photo because it was
taken with flash, it is in focus, Pauline and Lorna are smiling and close enough
to read their name tags but not so close that the flash would wash out the
picture. Notice, the names tags are showing and we can read their names easily.
This is important so we can identify the person later when we go to make the
individual portraits to mail to them.
Example of a bad photo because although
the picture is in focus and properly exposed, the people are not smiling, not
looking like they are having fun.
AFTER THE REUNION
Send your photos to me.
DON’T do anything to the files before you
send them. Don’t make the files smaller. Don't try to “fix” them.
We want them just as
they came out of the camera.
We will run them all through Photoshop to
make them look as good as possible. You can make a copy for me of each photo and
put them on a CD and mail it. Or you can e-mail them to me. Of course, you can
make your own copies too and do what you want to them such as changing the size
and cropping them but please don’t do any of that to the files you send me.
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO I NEED?
You don’t need to buy a new camera to take
reunion photos. If you have a camera that is at least 5 megapixels, it will do
just fine. However, if you want to buy a new camera to take to the reunion,
several months before the reunion and spend time taking photos of people inside
where the light is dim and using flash.
Cell phone cameras are OK for home
snapshots but we are looking for better quality than a cell phone can provide.
You can buy cameras from $3.00 and up. You
don't need to buy an expensive camera to take good photos at a reunion. But IF
you want to buy a new camera, you should plan to spend at least $200 for a
decent camera. Anything less will give results that are less than optimal.
Which brand? Any of the "name" brands
should be OK. Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung, etc.
What size memory card should you get? The
prices of these cards have come down so an 8 gigabyte or 16 gigabyte card would
be fine and cost less than $30.
If you would
like some suggestions on which camera would be best for you, send an e-mail to
and I will try to help.
HOW TO SET YOUR CAMERA SETTINGS
If you usually set your camera to Auto
mode, try P mode for a change (if your camera has one). Or try S mode (shutter
priority). Set your shutter speed to about 125th of a second. Again, the
goal is to get sharp, crisp, in focus photos. Auto setting doesn't always work
well in low light.
HOW TO FOCUS PROPERLY
Most cameras work like this. You press the
shutter button half-way down and then wait a second until the camera indicates
that it has locked focus. It does this by making a sound and/or a light coming
on. Some have a square on the screen that turns green when focus is locked.
Don’t take the photo unless the camera
indicates that focus is locked. If it is not locked and you take the photo
anyway, it will probably be blurry. If you can’t get focus lock, take your
finger off the button. Move the lens so you have a nearby area of contrast (some
light and some dark). Then try to lock focus again. Before pressing the shutter
button the rest of the way, recompose the picture while holding the shutter
button half-way down. Then squeeze (not jerk) the shutter button the rest of the
way to take the photo.
Yes, squeeze the shutter button when you
press it. Squeeze slowly and gently so that you don’t jerk the camera. When the
picture is finally taken, it should come as a surprise to you.
Keep the camera steady. Moving the camera
makes the pictures blurry. Many cameras today have an anti-vibration or image
stabilization system. Make sure your camera has this feature turned on.
One last hint. After you press the shutter
button, hold the camera in place for another second to make sure the shutter has
closed. Then you can move the camera.
Why is this not a good photo? The
photographer wasn't close enough. The answer, get a little closer. Flash
is only going to light up the people if you are within about 6 feet. Any
further, and this is what you get.
This is a good photo because? It is sharp,
in focus, well lit, and the people look like they are having a good time.
This photo is not very good because? It is
blurry and out of focus. When people are moving, the camera has to use a faster
shutter speed to capture the photo without blur. When the shutter speed is too
slow, this is what happens. If your camera has any manual settings, use the S
setting and set it to 125th or 160th of a second. Use flash. Look at the picture you just
took. If it is blurry like this one, the shutter speed was too low. Increase the
speed and try again.
Here is a better one.
Here is a good photo. It was taken
outside. There was good light. Flash was not needed.
Here is an excellent photo. It is in
focus, properly exposed and showing people having fun.
What’s wrong with this photo? Of course,
the top of John's head is missing.
How about this one? The photo is grainy.
That happens because the camera decided to increase the iso (sensitivity) setting because it
was in a dim room. If you set the camera to Auto iso, the camera makes all of
the decisions. Normally, it is better to set the camera on the lowest iso
setting and not on auto iso. If you are going to use flash, make sure the ISO is
set to the lowest setting.
Here, two out of three are smiling. I
suggest you ask them all to smile and then take the picture. (Don’t ask them to
say “cheese.” Ask them to say something that will make them smile. “Say pizza.”
Great photo. Both John and Carol are
smiling and looking happy. Flash was used and just right, not too close, not too
What happened here? The photo is orange. Some cameras have a setting called White
Balance. The camera needs to sense what type of light is out there. Is it
incandescent? Is it fluorescent? Is it sunshine? Each has a different color
most situations, leaving white balance set to auto works fine. The camera can sense
sunlight, incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent lights, etc. Occasionally it
will guess wrong. In this case the photographer changed the white balance
setting from auto to one of the other settings and that caused the camera make
all of the photos come out redish-orange. I suggest you leave the white balance set to auto
unless you really know what you are doing.