Hints: sundry

This section contains a small variety of ideas and tips that do not fit easily into our other pages.

Poor weather conditions

If it's very rainy, dusty, sandy or you're within sea salt spray, etc., try and protect the camera whilst shooting, with a plastic polythene bag, with a hole in it just large enough for the camera lens to poke through (and maybe an elastic band around the lens). Your hands can go through the normal bag opening. Be careful when next cleaning the lens that all dirt is blown off with a good puffer/brush. (On the other hand, cameras are built to be used, so don't feel too paranoid if conditions are not too bad.)


It is better to take batteries out of your camera if you're not using it for a few days.


A camera's built-in flash is likely to be too bright for very near objects so test how far away the camera needs to be when taking flash before it becomes overexposed/burnt-out as this can't be remedied. Built-in flash will also not be very powerful, so make sure you know from the instruction book the maximum distance at which it can be used.

Some flash units can give quite harsh results, particularly of faces. If you find this so, stick a cigarette paper [just lick the paper and stick on] over the flash and see if the results are softer and better. Or fix a piece of tissue paper over a flash head with an elastic band. Or use one of the many types of diffusers/reflectors now available.

Learning about colour theory

This page about the theory of colour was suggested to us by Marylyn Brooks' summer 2012 young people's arts program in Athens, Maine and whilst it is angled more at artists than photographers, the theory should hold good.