Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sat, March 23

Be prepared, unobtrusive to capture candid photos

Question: Any tips for better holiday photos?

Answer: The best part of the holidays is getting together with family and friends, especially those we only see on special occasions. There will probably be many photo opportunities. Take several group shots just to be sure nobody moved or frowned during the exposure, of course. But some of the most fun photos can be candid shots of interactions between people such as Grandma making funny faces at the baby. This is where pocket cameras really shine because they can always be with you and ready to go. The best way to be prepared for these photos is to make sure your camera is always within reach. Plan ahead and make sure that your camera's battery and spares are freshly charged. Try turning off the flash and increasing your ISO instead. Natural lighting is usually much nicer than flash and also you won't disturb your guests or your subjects with disturbing flashing lights. The idea is to record those moments, not to disturb them. To make up for not using flash, you will want to bump up the ISO rating of your camera which will give you a better chance of stopping the action nearly unnoticed. The downside of this is that as the ISO speed goes up, the quality drops, but this should be no problem if you are making regular-sized prints like 4x6s or if you wish to e-mail them or share them on a photo website. Enjoy the holidays.

Question: My five-year-old house does not appear on Google's satellite image of my street, and they put a marker for my address half a block away. What's wrong?

Answer: The mapping services like Google refer to satellite images, but they usually show aerial photographs taken by companies or government agencies. They wait for agencies like the USDA Farm Service to make high-resolution photos available for free. Google's aerial picture of Prescott was taken in 2002, while the pictures of several areas outside the city were taken in 2007. Mapquest's aerial photo of Prescott is about three years old while Yahoo uses a six-year-old photo. The age of each photo varies for different areas. The maps superimpose streets and points of interest. This layer is developed by a mapping service like NAVTEQ and is much newer. When you insert an address, a marker appears on the map at a spot on the street estimated from the pattern of street numbers. If the marker is at the wrong spot, you can move the marker on Google maps by logging into a Google account, clicking on the marker, clicking "edit" and dragging the marker to the right spot. Your change is saved, and the marker now shows that the location was changed and who changed it. For other mapping sites, use www.mapreporter.com, select "Find and Report," enter the address, and move the marker to the correct location on the map that appears. Then click "Submit and Confirm."

The Prescott Computer Society (PCS) is a PC-based users group located in Prescott. We hold several entertaining and educational meetings each month to show you how to get the most out of your computer. For further information, please visit us at www.PCS4me.com. Email questions for future columns to PCSquestions@gmail.com.

Be prepared, unobtrusive to capture candid photos

Question: Any tips for better holiday photos?

Answer: The best part of the holidays is getting together with family and friends, especially those we only see on special occasions. There will probably be many photo opportunities. Take several group shots just to be sure nobody moved or frowned during the exposure, of course. But some of the most fun photos can be candid shots of interactions between people such as Grandma making funny faces at the baby. This is where pocket cameras really shine because they can always be with you and ready to go. The best way to be prepared for these photos is to make sure your camera is always within reach. Plan ahead and make sure that your camera's battery and spares are freshly charged. Try turning off the flash and increasing your ISO instead. Natural lighting is usually much nicer than flash and also you won't disturb your guests or your subjects with disturbing flashing lights. The idea is to record those moments, not to disturb them. To make up for not using flash, you will want to bump up the ISO rating of your camera which will give you a better chance of stopping the action nearly unnoticed. The downside of this is that as the ISO speed goes up, the quality drops, but this should be no problem if you are making regular-sized prints like 4x6s or if you wish to e-mail them or share them on a photo website. Enjoy the holidays.

Question: My five-year-old house does not appear on Google's satellite image of my street, and they put a marker for my address half a block away. What's wrong?

Answer: The mapping services like Google refer to satellite images, but they usually show aerial photographs taken by companies or government agencies. They wait for agencies like the USDA Farm Service to make high-resolution photos available for free. Google's aerial picture of Prescott was taken in 2002, while the pictures of several areas outside the city were taken in 2007. Mapquest's aerial photo of Prescott is about three years old while Yahoo uses a six-year-old photo. The age of each photo varies for different areas. The maps superimpose streets and points of interest. This layer is developed by a mapping service like NAVTEQ and is much newer. When you insert an address, a marker appears on the map at a spot on the street estimated from the pattern of street numbers. If the marker is at the wrong spot, you can move the marker on Google maps by logging into a Google account, clicking on the marker, clicking "edit" and dragging the marker to the right spot. Your change is saved, and the marker now shows that the location was changed and who changed it. For other mapping sites, use www.mapreporter.com, select "Find and Report," enter the address, and move the marker to the correct location on the map that appears. Then click "Submit and Confirm."

The Prescott Computer Society (PCS) is a PC-based users group located in Prescott. We hold several entertaining and educational meetings each month to show you how to get the most out of your computer. For further information, please visit us at www.PCS4me.com. Email questions for future columns to PCSquestions@gmail.com.

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