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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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25 May 2020 11:04AM   Views : 203 Unique : 130


For good or ill, weíve all got much more used to seeing ourselves in images over the last couple of months: just about everyone is now used to using FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp video calls.
Weíve seen how professional broadcasters have learned to be camera technicians as well, moving (at least in most cases) from the up-the-nostril view against the light from a laptop on a desk to the more refined view from a decent camera or a high-end tablet on a tripod.

So I want to run over three things that have been frustrating me a lot in my family communicationsÖ

Light: when youíre on a video call, itís easy to think about your view of the other person (over which you have no direct control) and forget about making sure that they can see you properly. Pre-lockdown, Iíd been having weekly conversations with a friend in California on FaceTime Ė Iíd found a good position for an old iPhone, on top of my desktop computer, with my twin screens illuminating me. But finding where to put Mrs Dís iPad for family callsÖ Thatís harder!


Framing: Itís a problem, again because youíre looking at the other personÖ If there are two of you, often the camera is pointing straight between you, with two half-faces on either side of the image. This isnít a time to be coy: rather, it seems to me to be a bit disrespectful not to be getting the subject in the frame, and looking the person youíre talking to (more or less) in the eye.

Viewing angle: those nostrils. I find that when I put a tablet or mobile on my lap, my chin multiplies, and my eyes recede. Fortunately, my mobile doesnít have a great camera, so that nostril hairs arenít terribly apparent. But itís still not a flattering view!

Our standard arrangement has been to hang an iPad by the case from a bookshelf, or clamp the case to a lighting stand Ė as Iíve just given in to the pressure of video calls and got an iPad (both my mobile and laptop have, apparently, got very poor microphones), itís likely that Iíll be experimenting further over the next few days. Best suggestion so far is a music stand Ė but being tone-deaf, Iím told, I donít have oneÖ

So my plea for today is to regard every social call as a chance to be seen as a competent photographer. Itís not about rejecting selfie culture: itís about not looking like a fool on camera. If that doesn't seem like a great idea, maybe I should send the bloke below round to discuss things?



25 May 2020 11:39AM
Skype FaceTime and Zoom, hate them all I always look like a Nurd, so I avoid then like the plague. Watching fairly bright people seemingly making an idiot of them selves on video calls on TV as you say the camera is looking up their nose. I must say iPads do have some good points, I tend to down load quickly either by WiFi or using a lightening to SD card reader just to get an idea of what I have taken, and if I need to then go and try and retake what ever I was taking. As I have said before keep the Blogs coming. Paul.

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chase Plus
14 1.6k 394 England
25 May 2020 11:42AM
Not doing live anything atm, not with my hairstyle just now !!
dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1672 England
25 May 2020 11:42AM
Actually, Paul, I think that's the problem most people have: they don't like how they look, so don't make any effort to present themselves well.

The point, though, of a video call is that you can see someone you love - and, importantly, THEY can see someone they love...

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