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.

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Genealogy: Field research is required # 1

Genealogy Field research is required # 1By Barry J. Ewell

This is where the computer screen ends and shoes hit the street.

It doesn’t take long to realize there comes a point when computers reach the limits of their capabilities in genealogy research. If someone hasn’t digitized, abstracted, or electronically captured an image and put it on the Internet, put it on a CD, or sent it to you in an email, you are going to have to conduct field research, and you will need to leave the house. Continue reading

Genealogy: Photographing family gatherings

Genealogy: Photographing family gatheringsBy 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.

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

Genealogy: Making a photograph look good—Rule 2: Photographic composition

Photographic compositionBy Barry J. Ewell

If you’re like me, photographs decorate my home and office. Photographs are part of every medium we consume from books and magazines to newspapers and calendars.  Pictures communicate our thoughts and feelings.  Within genealogy, the photo is used to document our sources and provide depth to our family history as we record and tell our history.  The only boundaries are within one’s own mind. Continue reading

Genealogy: Making a photograph look good—Rule 1: Get close, real close

Rule 1: Get close, real closeBy Barry J. Ewell

If you’re like me, photographs decorate my home and office. Photographs are part of every medium we consume from books and magazines to newspapers and calendars.  Pictures communicate our thoughts and feelings.  Within genealogy, the photo is used to document our sources and provide depth to our family history as we record and tell our history.  The only boundaries are within one’s own mind.

Have you ever thought about why you like certain photographs?  The answers are relatively simple and you can improve your images by following a few basic rules which you will use a majority of the time. Continue reading

Genealogy: Field research is required # 5— Barry’s experience, Nebraska and Kansas trip number two

10-17-2014 10-17-29 AMBy Barry J. Ewell

On an earlier field research trip, I had come to Kansas in search of a record that had been prepared by my stepfather’s aunt. This trip was scheduled for Nebraska and Kansas to expand on the information and research I had done during my previous trip. I had spent two months setting up appointments and learning about where I could expand my research. Continue reading