Take a Great Selfie! A Few Simple Tips

How to Take a Selfie— A Few Tips to Make it Great and Worthy of Posting! Everyone’s doing it; that is taking selfies!  A selfie is an informal or impromptu shot snapped with a digital camera or smart phone held at arm’s length. It’s usually a spontaneous shot that more often than not ends up on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. A selfie can be just a headshot of yourself, a shot with friends all grouped together, or yourself in a great location like in front of a fabulous location like the Eiffel Tower, Zermatt, or the Taj Mahal. When traveling selfies can be a quick and playful way to say “ I’m having fun!” And to create a real-time travel photo journal on-line. 3 Quick Tips to Look Your Best Light:  Good lighting is key. Your source of light, including the sun should be in front of you and a bit, if possible, above eye level never behind you. Light from behind will cast a shadow in your face and ruin the selfie. Filters:  Try something new to add interest to your photo. Many phones have an app that can add interesting dimension through the use of color and light filters. Try playing with the simplest ones such as black and white and sepia for a little variety, often more is not need. Don’t let the special effects over shadow the subject matter being photographed. Extend your arm beyond arm’s length:  Often you just can’t get all what you want to snap in the photo! Since you can’t lengthen your arm to capture more in the frame. Use a portable extended selfie arm!  It has an auto shutter button on the pole, so you don’t have to use a timer and it fits both iPhones and Android phones. It collapse down so you can slide it into your day bag and it’s light weight too. A phone/camera extender is the perfect travel companion or bon-voyage...

Safeguarding Your Camera Gear in Vehicles

Camera Security – Safeguarding Your Camera Gear In Vehicles Whether you are a professional or casual photographer, your camera gear is valuable – be it a physical value – or a personal value of the photographs or videos contained within the equipment. For whatever purpose you carry photographic gear you will eventually end up leaving it in your vehicle unattended. You know you should not do it, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. The worst time to do it is when you’re in a rental vehicle. Thieves often target the rental vehicles of tourists. You do the best you can, you place your camera under the seat of your car, in a bag on the back seat, or you may even have had the time to put it in the trunk. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to smash a window or pop a door lock , grab your camera and flee. After a few frantic seconds of tearing apart the inside of your car, and hoping your camera is still there you realize, you lost – they won. You call the police, make a report, and become a statistic – Report Number 07-123441. As a police detective, I’ve investigated a countless number of similar cases. The locations are usually the same, a beach parking lot, side street, airport or hotel parking lot.  Those locations usually yield the higher valuables tourist leave in vehicles. Why Do Thieves Target Parked Cars? The car burglars I’ve interviewed  said it’s a numbers game. They will break into three cars and find nothing of value, but on the fourth car – bingo! – they hit the jack pot and often it is that of a tourist. Unfortunately, that jack pot may be the time they hit your car. So What’s The Solution? Surely the first rule is not to leave items of value in parked cars. Rule number is two park in a safe, well lit, and well traveled location. The...

How to Find a Stolen Camera – Stolen Camera Finder...

It’s probably a good guess that if you Google the term “how to find a stolen camera” you are not having a good day, as this is not something anyone wants to experience – especially if you are a professional photographer. Losing or having your camera stolen can really upset your travels, especially when it comes to the irreplaceable images that were still on the memory card.  Ideally you want to safeguard against theft of the camera and gear in the first place, and there are a variety of anti-theft camera gear products on the market today that you can use to prevent this type of event from occurring, but again, that’s not probably why you ended up on this page – its because your camera is already gone.  Here are a few ideas for you to consider: Stolen Camera Finder – Photo Tracking Websites and Apps The website called stolencamerafinder is an open source project that was specifically made to help locate a missing camera by searching for photos on the web that have been taken by that camera. This can happen because every photo you take with your digital camera contains hidden information about both the image and the camera such as the make, model and date. This information, called exif data, can also include a unique serial number which identifies your camera.  The website stolencamerafinder crawls the internet searching for photos, collecting the serial numbers of the cameras that took them. Take into consideration that only certain cameras can support this, and on the above website, they have a listing of supported cameras that you can check to see if yours has this unique camera security and recovery feature. Another idea might be to consider entering your camera’s digital information into certain online databases that may help find it after being stolen. Recently a professional photographer recovered his stolen Nikon D3 camera using a new Stolen Camera Serial Search online database. The stolen camera was tracked down through images posted...

Photography Restrictions in Foreign Countries

What you video or photograph in some foreign countries could land you in trouble. Some countries other than the U.S. have stricter rules about what you may photograph or film than we do. This is especially true when it comes to taking photographs of certain government buildings.  It appears that most of the problems arise when the destination you are visiting is having an internal security issue. If you are caught taking photographs / video of certain locations you could be detained, fined, and have your camera equipment and film confiscated. Some of the locations travelers have run into trouble taking photos and/or video include: Border areasScene of a civil disorder or other public disturbancePolice and or military personnel or installationsIndustrial structures including harbor, rail, airport facilities  Advice to Consideration Before You Go Equipment transportation – What do you need to do to protect your camera and equipment? Customs consideration – It may be helpful to register your equipment with U.S. Customs before leaving the country. You will receive a receipt verifying that you owned the equipment before departing. Ask at the check-in counter at the airport. Batteries – Do you have spare batteries? Will you need a power converter for your battery charger? Do you have the correct type of plug for the electrical supply? Videotapes – Do you have plenty of tape? Will you need to protect your tapes in transit with a lead-shielding bag? Security – What special consideration must you give regarding the security of your equipment? Cultural Differences – How will the people in the country react to being videotaped? Will you need to ask permission or “pay” to shoot video? Are certain items restricted from being videotaped? Language – Do you know the basic language to communicate with people when you want to videotape? IMPORTANT POST 9/11 FILM INFORMATION One thing you definitely need to take into consideration is the inspection process of at airports post September 11.  Hand-inspection — which averts the...

Why You Need a Security Camera Strap

Safe Guarding Your Camera with an Anti-Theft Camera Strap “Camera snatches,” or “cut and run” camera thefts usually occur in tourist hot spots. Here are some suggestion for what you can do to make sure you return home with your valuable gear and memories. Camera Snatchers and Cut and Run Thefts Many travelers are aware that crowded tourists destinations are popular with pickpockets and other thieves that prey on tourists. Typically, camera snatchers are thieves who lurk in crowded areas, looking for people to set down cameras or camera gear bags on the ground, park bench, or street café. They often work as a team. The thieves are usually young – ranging from 10 to 30 years of age.  They look for the magical moment when you set your camera down because you are arranging something, taking a break, or simply having lunch. At that magical moment (as thieves call it) when you are relaxed and less engaged with your equipment, one of the thieves will distract you – getting you to turn your attention away from your camera or gear bag for even just a few seconds. As you converse with the distractor regarding directions or something similar, his or her accomplice takes and walks away with your camera or bag. The distractor leaves only after your camera is clearly gone. These thefts can occur anywhere. I recall a case that I investigated in which a professional photographer was shooting a band in a night club. While she was shooting towards the end of the event, she had set her camera bag down on a chair next to her while she was trying to get some final shots. The bag carried several of her camera lenses and memory cards containing over 300 photos she had shot during the event. While she was preoccupied with the shoot, someone simply lifted the bag and walked away with over $4,000 worth of camera gear. It was not just the value of the...