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Old 04-02-2002, 11:57 PM   #1
Joseph Brzycki Joseph Brzycki is offline
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Someone Please Help!!!!




Hi, I will be going to an art musuem this next week. I have a Nikon CoolPix 990. From what I have read from the other posts you all have cameras similar (995, etc.). My complaint is this: everytime before when shooting pictures in an art musuem where flashes are not allowed I get blurry images 100% of the time. If anyone could help me figure out a good setting for the nikon CoolPix in this situation I would be very thankful. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:24 PM   #2
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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I have no experience with the cool pix camera. If I remember right it is a digital? With regular film camera's, it's a function of available light. I'm sure it's the same with the cool pix. If it were a film camera I would load a faster speed film (800 asa) and try to find something (a tripod, a friends shoulder) to stablize yourself when you snap. Your pictures are blurry because you are moving the camera (even slightly) while the camera selects a very slow shutter speed to compensate for low light. You can't control the light so you will have to 1)stabilize the camera 2) or use a faster speed film, or both. If you can translate that to a digital camera you'll have a better chance. I bet the camera manual goes into this.
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:39 PM   #3
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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Blurry images

The reason you are getting blurry images is your hand is moving during a long shutter opening. The best solution is a sturdy tripod. The problem is though will the museum allow you to use the tripod?

Probably not since it takes up allot of space and is rather intrusive. Also They actually know that any image you get with a a hand held no flash shoot will be to poor to use for repros but with a tripod you could get very good images that you could then reproduce and sell. And this is something that they definitely do not want.

Another solution but not as good is a monopod this is like it sounds a single pole or staff with a tripod like mount on the top. These are used a lot by nature photographers to help support and steady long telephoto lenses. It is not ideal but it can be carried along as you go and it does not take up the space of setting up a tripod.

You can buy one of these or make one from a staff and a tripod head that you can get from a photo supply (or a old cheap tripod if you have one you no longer use). I did the later since I had a cheap tripod that was really to light and flimsy to be of any real use as a tripod but it's head worked great once I attached it to a walking staff for a monopod.

Also you can just get a wooden staff with a length to bring your camera about eye level or about as high as the center of most of the paintings as they hang on the wall. Then get a threaded rod the kind that has a machine thread on one end and a wood thread on the other. The thread should match the size of your tripod mount thread (I can't remember the size but it will be a course thread bring you camera to a hardware store and just try them out until you find the one that fits.

Now drill a hole in the center of the top of the staff and with some epoxy glue (the 5min kind will do) the threaded rod into the staff so only about 2 to three threads show. That way when it is screwed on to your camera the top of the staff will tighten to the bottom of the camera's mount.

There you have a monopod for about $12 US dollars (that's if you buy the wooden staff if you have a old broom handle or cut down a tree it will be even cheaper.

Also you can put a rubber end like you see on canes on the bottom (you can find those at the hardware store also) then it will not slip on the floor.

The monopod only helps steady your hand so you want to open your lens aperture as wide as you can and use the fastest shutter speed you can and still get a good exposure. Then take a breath the hold it keep very steady through the exposure and hope for the best.

Also you can set the ISO setting of your camera to 400 (I think the coolpic 900 has that setting) you will not get as clean a image as when it is set to 100 ISO but you can shoot in low light with faster shutter speeds and that will help in getting blur free images.

Well, good luck.
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:21 PM   #4
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Joseph,

I'm not familiar with CoolPix, but digital cameras typically have a two-stage shutter button. With the button half-way down, the image is captured and exposure and focus are adjusted. Fully depressing the button activates the recording of the image. Be sure that you're not driving the shutter button down too quickly and missing that capture and adjustment stage (and, invariably, causing camera movement). Sometimes in the excitement of trying to catch action and spontaneity it's hard not to hurry the shot, but to shoot museum pieces, there's no need to rush. Also, take at least two and even three shots of each piece you're interested in -- two from the same vantage and a third from perhaps a foot closer or farther away. One of those shots will surely be better than the other two. (You can do a more sophisticated "bracketing" by fooling around with the aperture and other settings, but I suspect that you don't want to get into that additional complication right now.)

The good news is that if you can't solve the "blurring" problem, then at least when you take photographs of your own work and post them on SOG, no one will tell you your edges are too hard.

Steven
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