Genealogy: Digital Camera Checklist for Research

Digital Camera Checklist for Research By Barry J. Ewell

I use my camera extensively when I conduct field research and through my personal experience built a checklist that I have found important to include with my camera. While I don’t use all of the list each time I am out, I have come prepared to handle most situations that I have that you will encounter.

  1. Digital camera with built-in flash
    1. Two extra sets of rechargeable batteries. Continue reading

Genealogy: Downloading images from digital camera

Downloading images from digital cameraBy Barry J. Ewell

Each time you download pictures from your digital camera, store them in a unique subfolder of the current year. For example, if I’ve been taking pictures at a cemetery, I would create a temporary folder that includes my name, photo shoot, and date (day, month, year) such as “Barry Ewell_Beaver_Cemetery-120407.”  It makes it really easy to find photos when I am ready to sort, delete, name, and file.

Deleting bad images is ok
As the years go by and your collection grows, it will be easier to retrieve photos if you’ve named and sorted them. Continue reading

Genealogy: Photographing people

Genealogy: Photographing peopleFor over 40 years I have used the camera to capture the lives of my family and friends.  The camera has been a very important tool in my professional career in public relations and advertising.  I first started with a film camera and spent hundreds of wonderful/fun hours in a dark room developing and printing my on prints.  Since the late 90’s I have used the digital camera extensively in to aid in my genealogical research.

I would like to share with you a few of the lessons I have learned when photographing people. Continue reading

Genealogy: Photographing children

Genealogy: Photographing childrenBy Barry J. Ewell

For over 40 years I have used the camera to capture the lives of my family and friends.  The camera has been a very important tool in my professional career in public relations and advertising.  I first started with a film camera and spent hundreds of wonderful/fun hours in a dark room developing and printing my on prints.  Since the late 90’s I have used the digital camera extensively in to aid in my genealogical research.

The following are some of the lessons I have learned when photographing children. Continue reading

Genealogy: Taking better digital photos overall tips

Taking better digital photos overall tipsBy Barry J. Ewell

The following are some basic tips to consider the next time you head out with your digital camera.  These tips are easy to implement and make the biggest difference in your use of the camera in you genealogy research.

Be prepared. Gather everything you’ll need, such as a tripod, extra batteries, and any props you’ll use. (A camera bag really comes in handy for transporting everything.) If you plan to take photos in wet weather, bring a plastic bag to protect your camera.

Hold your camera steady. Camera movement causes most of the blurry pictures you see. Prevent your camera from shaking by planting your feet firmly on the ground, and then steady your upper body by tucking your elbows in close to your sides. If you feel unstable, use a tripod or try leaning against a wall or a tree. Gently press the shutter release in one motion; if you press too hard, you could jerk the camera downward. Continue reading

Genealogy: Taking better digital travel photos

Taking better digital travel photosBy Barry J. Ewell

You don’t have to travel far to find fascinating nature and wildlife … just head into your backyard and look around. No matter where you live, outdoor photography will help you look at your world with new eyes—and improve your photo-taking skills, too.

Prepare for take-off. Before your trip, review travel guides and photos in books and magazines so you can make a list of potential shots ahead of time. When you reach a photo location, scout the area to plan your approach before shooting.

The right lighting is crucial to creating stunning photos. Consider the best time of day for your desired shot. For example, if you must have a photo of the Eiffel Tower while in Paris, shoot just before sunset or shortly after sunrise. The light during this time can lend everything a beautiful golden hue. Continue reading

Genealogy: Taking better digital outdoor photos

Taking better digital outdoor photosBy Barry J. Ewell

Using light to your advantage is what separates good photos from great ones. The best times to take pictures are usually early morning and early evening; the worst time is generally midday, when light is most harsh.

Let your camera be your guide. Many digital cameras have technology that allows you to create pictures that look more like what you see with your own eyes. It balances brightness, preserves contrasts, and ensures details aren’t lost.

Digital camera’s white balance can help make photos look more realistic no matter what type of light you’re in. Sun, shadow, dawn, dusk—Digital cameras with this breakthrough technology will automatically find the right setting for each shot.

Continue reading