Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Tips for getting the shot

Sep. 12, 2009 - 02:59PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 12, 2009 - 02:59PM  |  
  • Filed Under

Coming back from deployment with decent shots can be easy if you follow a few basic principles, courtesy of some professional shooters. Find which category you fit into and work on these skills:

Amateur

Your instinct when you bring the camera might be to take a step back, but make it a habit to step forward. As Robert Capa, the legendary war photographer, said, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

Be conscious of what's appearing in the shot, especially in the background. "Fill the frame. Put anything into it that you want the viewer to see," Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock said. "Control the background as much as possible either a plain background so your subject pops out, or something that adds to the photo."

Don't be afraid of snapping multiple shots of an event and then deleting some later, said Military Times photographer and former sailor Sheila Vemmer. That way you'll have a better chance of capturing the perfect moment.

Intermediate

The key to a good photo is the right exposure. In daylight, try to take a shot with the sun directly behind you, Vemmer said. This will light up the subjects with minimal shadow. If it's midday, use your flash to fill in shadows.

Instead of relying on a digital point-and-shoot's monitor, "actually looking through the view-finder can help you compose the photo," Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey said.

"You gotta get out there and show what you're doing in a different way," Lock said. "The human eye shows a 50mm angle and we're all standing straight up. Show me something that I wouldn't normally see just sitting there."

Professional

Know how to use your white balance, said Military Times photographer rcurtis@militarytimes.com?subject=Question from ArmyTimes.com reader">Rob Curtis, who's deployed to the war zone a dozen times and has snapped cover shots for USA Today. The key is to shoot a white object and make sure it appears white on the LCD screen, he said. If it doesn't, adjust the white-balance setting until it does. He also suggests learning a post-processing program such as Photoshop so your shots are consistent and true to life.

Don't rely on your flash in low-level light, Curtis said. Especially in the deserts of Iraq, ubiquitous dust will appear as hazy white specks. To get rid of the "ghosts," use a tripod a real or improvised one and set your camera to a longer exposure.

It's better to have several smaller memory cards than one big one, Curtis said. If you shoot your entire deployment on an 8-gigabyte card and something happens to that card, you're up a creek. Instead, buy four 2-gig cards.

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In OFFduty

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook