Focus... fohhhhh-cusss...

That Ricë... she just got me to post an impromptu tutorial on how to avoid glare when you're taking a photo.

In the comments section of the last post, she demanded that Evil Greg spill with the anti-glare information. Basically, you use a tripod/timer combo.

Here's Evil Greg:

In most cases, the glare is caused by the flash. If you turn off the flash, though, the exposure time has to be a lot longer to compensate for less light and 99.999% of people will get a blurry picture if they hold the camera in their hands, because they can't hold it perfectly still for long enough.

So you put the camera on a tripod, focus it on the item, turn off the flash, and set it to a 5-second timer. That way any shaking you caused when you clicked the button is gone by the time the camera shoots the photo, and the tripod holds it perfectly still.

I tried to do a little meta-photography to illustrate. (Don't laugh -- I have a shaky hand and only one tripod.)
You're looking at our "new" camera, a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital Elph. (I used our "old" camera, a Canon PowerShot S200 Digital Elph, to shoot the "new" camera.) It's attached to a cheapie Samsonite tripod. For simplicity, I'll pretend you have the same.
Go to the big circular control to the right of the screen, the one above the "Disp." and "Menu" buttons. First, press the "flower" on the left side, to tell the camera you're zooming in. Then press the bottom of the big button, the part that has the multiple rectangles:The camera displays "Single Shot" in addition to a 10-second timer, a 2-second timer, and a custom timer (you set your preferred lag time).

Press the rectangles again to get to the 2-second timer.
Then quickly press your shutter button (you know, the one you normally press to take the picture). Your camera will probably show a blinking light and/or chirp at you; this is the camera saying, "Ready... set..." and then two seconds later, the camera takes the picture!

Like I said, your camera will likely be different, but that's about how I managed it. Here's a zoom shot without the tripod/timer combo:And then with the combo:
Much better.
Posted on January 18, 2008 .