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Contact: revlmh@btconnect.com
Tel: 07525 762538

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FAITH IN GOD....FAITH IN PEOPLE.... FAITH IN ACTION.... FAITH IN PARTNERSHIP.... FAITH IN BUSINESS.

(Our thinking was that the flowers will help calm you down before the camera goes out of the window!)

We would welcome any donations towards Shine's costs. (See donation box below).
We leave the amount you wish to donate up to you. Even though we offer a professional service, we still accept tips!

1. Making Good Images
2. Audio Visual projection
3. Using Powerpoint
4. Useful Links (Photographic & Methodist Church, UK and the Lincoln and Grimsby District).

URGENT - STOP PRESS: We commend to you the work of Clare Laflin CPAGB and Keith Laflin LRPS.
Keith and Clare's have recently moved to Lincolnshire. ATheir work is of the highest quality.
In addition to regular exhibitions and sales of prints and cards etc, Keith and Clare are also committed Christians.
They are expereinced in offering courses on photography and giving advice on how images can be used in worship.
Please look at their site. It can be viewed on: http://www.imageslaflin.co.uk/


We would welcome any donations towards Shine's costs. (We still accept tips!).

10 hints on taking good photograph. (Assumes a digital compact camera or prosumer SLR)

  1. Read the manual. (Especially if you are a bloke! Sorry about that one. I am a bloke, but it is so true!)
  2. Work through the manual using the camera at different settings and watch out for the following problems:
  3. Blur due to handshake. As a general rule most people can handhold successfully up to 1/60th second. Use a tripod if you have one, or failing that, lean on a wall, or increase the ISO sensitivity until you get a decent shutter speed. Do be aware that in increasing the sensitivity you will increase the digital noise in the shot.
  4. Lack of focus - take your time. Ensure the camera is focused where you want it. You may have to manually focus the camera (if possible) for low-light shots. Note that differential focus can be a very effective way of saying what is important to you: not all of the photo has to be in focus.
  5. Poor composition - it is not what you rule into a picture that gives it impact - it is what you rule out. The photo you produce is not necessarily the finished article as it may benefit from creative cropping. Explore the web for guidelines on composition - especially the rule of thirds.
  6. Overexposure (too light) or Underexposure (too dark) - Understand that if there are a wide range of tones from light to dark, not all of them will be captured. The term 'blowout' is used when for example the sky turns white in the final image.
  7. Midday at the height of summer can be the worst time for taking outdoor photos with direct, harsh light producing glare, reflections and deep shadows. For good landscape photography try from the 'golden hour' onwards - after sunrise and before sunset. Winter produces better images as the sun is lower in the sky. Some more advanced photographers may benefit from the use of polarisers, gradual filters and warm up filters.
  8. Backlit or highly reflective subjects - Backlit subjects can fool a camera's meter and lead it to expose a scene incorrectly. Either use a spot meter facility if you have it, metering for a neutral gray (ie grass) or use 'fill in flash'. Some models of camera will calculate the exact amount of flash to light the foreground correctly and balance with the background.This is why wedding photographers will use flash outside.
  9. Use an off-camera flash. Forget the puny flash built into your camera. Use an off camera flash with a bracket. This will eliminate red eye, and with a diffuser (eg Stoffen) will produce a gentler light. A tilt and swivel model will give you further potential to remove unwanted shadows from behind your subject by bouncing the flash of a ceiling or a wall.
  10. Learn how to edit your images using a good quality package such as Photoshop Elements (if you are a beginner.) At the very least learn to adjust levels and saturation, repair small areas and apply a crop.
  11. Learn how to sharpen a photo for web use and print use: they are different. Remember you need 72dpi for screen use and 300dpi for print use. The image will need resizing. As a final step use 'unsharp mask' rather than 'sharpen'. Try amount=150, radius =0.4 and threshold =2 to start with, varying the radius. For web use, reduce the amount to 80, and reduce the radius for the desired effect. Remember to preview the results at 100% and avoid the halo effect - you will see what I mean.
  12. We just can't help but give advice. When you transfer JPEGS from your digital camera and open them in your graphic package, save and resave them in stages during your edit as TIFFS. Whilst these are larger files, TIFF is a lossless format. For your final versions you can save as JPEGS - but do not open, work on them and resave them as JPEGS because this will degrade the image quality. The greater the compression, the more damage is done. Hence, always save final versions at maximum quality.
 

2. Hints on AV projection (Click here to return to menu)

  1. So you have a laptop, a projector, a screen (or a wall) and a bunch of leads: this is a start.
  2. When setting up the projector in front of the screen, try not to tilt the projector to far upwards. As you do this, the verticals of the image will converge. Similarly, try to ensure that the projector is square (and not at an angle) to the screen. Sometimes it is more practical to alter the position of the screen than the projector!.
  3. Turn on the projector. It will have a standby state and a lamp-on state. Switch the lamp on. A good sign is if you can hear the whirring of the fan as it cools the light source. (Note, take the lens cap off!)
  4. Focus the image on to the screen - the projector lens will often have both a zoom function and a focus. Focus the sides of the image. The reason for turning on the projector first is that it is easier to see errors with a plain colour background.
  5. Some projectors have an auto function to remove the keystone effect (sides of an image sloping inwards). Work your way through the options on the projector menu. You may also be able to make adjustments for wall colour (if you are not using a screen but a wall), image dimensions (widescreen or standard) or if things are going really wrong, 'reset all!'
  6. Find the lead that plugs into the back of your laptop and locate the socket on the back of the projector. If you have more than one option use the first - eg 'Computer 1). Make sure you screw the connections in place. This lessens the risk of damage to the pins.
  7. Turn on the laptop. Some projectors will find the source signal from your laptop. On other projectors you may have to define it. Check that the projector expects to receive a signal (ie input, computer 1 rather than RGB or sVideo) and that the laptop is sending it. On many laptops there is a symbol (in brown/white/grey font) below/on the function keys that looks like a monitor. Usually you have to press 'alt' and tap the function key to get the laptop to cycle between three options; display on laptop only, display on screen only, display on laptop and screen.(Sorry to be vague but when you find the symbol, the colour coding makes it clear what combination of keys are required).
  8. On your laptop you can also set this by going to the settings and display panel (Start, settings, control panel, display, 'settings' on Windows XP). In this dialogue box you can also define the colour settings. Go for maximum colour.
  9. Once you have an image you can breath a sigh of relief!
  10. If you are wanting to project an image from other sources, it is a case of finding the right leads to travel from the input source into the projector. Sounds obvious! Whilst there is no official colour coding, in general, RGB leads are coloured Red, Green and Blue and attach to one wire. Video is coloured yellow. Sound (left and right) can be colour coded red and white/black. Again the general principal applies - ensure that the projector is expecting a signal from a different source, and that the source is delivering it. If for example, you are playing a DVD in a player, leave it running so that you will immediately see an image.
  11. In terms of sound, beware of duplicating wiring. There is no need to feed a sound signal out from a laptop or DVD player and into a projector, then out again into a pair of speakers. Run the sound directly from the source. It is possible to buy speakers that will take the sound from a laptop and fill a room. When checking the sound check all points at which the source can be interrupted - ie check the sound on the DVD player laptop, then the volume on the speakers, then the leads.
  12. The golden rule is to allow plenty of time to trial a new set up - perhaps earlier in the week so that in the event of a problem, you have time to sort it.

Hints on using powerpoint (Click here to return to menu)

  1. The Methodist Church offers some excellent assistance on powerpoint, with free tutorials plus some templates. These can be found on http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/ICTshare/worship.htm Remember, if you are downloading the PDF's, right click and save them to your PC rather than trying to view them online.
  2. In general, use Arial or Sens Serif font, size 26. Note that upper case is not always easy to read. Use strong contrast colours eg black on white, yellow on blue. Avoid poor colour combinations. Use a fade to black transition. Try to provide a paper alternative to the words on the screen for those who may be struggling.
  3. Don't forget that you can set a presentation to sequence automatically by eiter setting an interval or pre-recording it. See 'Slideshow' then 'Rehearse Timings.'
  4. Powerpoint is a wonderful invention but it is intended to illustrate what you are saying, not to disrupt what you are saying with zooming graphics displays and whizzing letters.
  5. Be careful when incorporating graphics files into powerpoint. This is the number one killer. Firstly, images straight out of camera contain, on average, three to four times more information than you need for a full-screen display. This will put strain on your laptop and may cause the presentation to run slowly. This, in turn, may unsettle you mid way through a talk and lead to a 'double tap error', where you move the presentation forward, think nothing has happened, try again, and again, then to find that the machine catches up and leaves you three slides ahead!
  6. The solution is to resize your images for full screen use before importing them. Open the image in Photoshop. Go to 'image' (top row) and click on 'image size'. A box opens with the pixel dimensions. The maximum you are ever likely to need is 1024x768. If it is a landscape image, type 1024 in the horizontal column - and the vertical will adjust automatically. If it is a vertical image, type 768 in the vertical box and the opposite will happen. You will see your filesize decrease dramatically.
  7. To sharpen your image go to 'view', then 'actual pixels'. This is how the image will appear when projected. Then go to Filters, sharpen, unsharp mask. The amount of sharpening is a matter of taste, but start with 'Amount', 100, 'Radius', 0.5, 'Threshold' 2. Note, this will not sharpen an out of focus image! This principle applies whatever graphics package you use, although the route may be different.
  8. Save your image under a different filename and incorporate this into your presentation.
  9. You can also incorporate video clips into powerpoint presentations but beware (i) the filesize slowing the presentation again and (ii) copyright issues.
  10. The print dialogue box will allow you to print handouts (9 slides to a page). It is helpful to print this out and label it.
  11. There are some useful shortcuts to powerpoint. F5 starts the presentation. Once you have labeled the slides you can cue them out of order by typing the number (eg '12') and pressing enter. This simple move revolutionises the flexibility of powerpoint, because it allows you to shorten/alter the scope of a presentation without having to let everyone see the slides that you are skipping. You run the powerpoint, don't let it run you!
  12. Another major issue is in trying to run DVD's and powerpoint at the same time. Some software combinations do not run well together leaving a DVD showing on the laptop screen (with the powerpoint presentation minimised) but the latter, or a black screen being projected. There are three solutions. Firstly, if you need to run a DVD, use a DVD player and switch the sources on the projector. (This often results in the DVD running more smoothly anyway.) Secondly, shut down microsoft powerpoint completely, open the DVD sofware and locate the relevant chapter. Present it and then close the DVD software before firing up powerpoint again. Thirdly, there is software available on the web to extract segments of DVD clips and convert them to windows media files. These can be imported into powerpoint but again, the size of the file may cause the rest of the presentation to run slowly. The golden rule is to try using the DVD software and powerpoint for yourself and see it if works, then exploring the other options if you are unsuccessful. Unfortunately, this is not helpful when you arrive at a venue and place your presentation (and DVD) in someone elses hands.

4. Adverts and useful Links (Click here to return to menu)
Google
 
Methodist Church
http://www.methodist.org.uk/ (UK Methodist Church)
http://www.lgmethodistdistrict.org.uk/district/default.asp (Lincoln and Grimsby District)

Reviews:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/
http://www.fredmiranda.com/

Technique:
http://photo.net/ (Forums are especially helpful)
http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/
http://www.vividlight.com/articles/412a.htm (use of flash)

Digital Imaging
http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/index.cfm?subject=13 (Photoshop Advice)

Digital Sensor Cleaning
http://photo.net/equipment/digital/sensorcleaning/

Colour Callibration (Is what you see on your monitor 'true' and does your screen image match the final print!)http://www.manifest-tech.com/ce_photo/calib_colorvision.htm

Printing issues:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/
(An excellent guide under 'techniques')
http://www.wilhelm-research.com/

General:
http://www.professionalphotographer.co.uk/
http://www.bjp-online.com/
http://www.lehmannsdirect.co.uk/ (Repairs)

Purchases: I have found the following sites useful:
http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/
http://www.onestop-digital.com/catalog/