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Archive for January, 2011

Top 10 Picture Taking Techniques

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

According to Kodak, these are the top ten tips that can help you take better photographs.

1.  Get Down On Your Subjects Level: When you are photographing children or pets, hold the camera at the subjects eye level. The subject does not have to look into the camera because the angle creates an inviting feeling.

2. Use A Plain Background: A busy background will distract from your subject. If you can, use a plain background and make sure there are no trees or other items coming out of your subject’s head.

3. Always Use A Flash: Use a flash even outdoors. The flash will lighten dark shadows under eyes and other facial features in bright sunlight.

4. Move In Close: When your taking a picture try to get as close as physically possible. Instead of shooting the whole bush, get a close-up of one flower. This makes the subject stand out without distractions from the background.

5. Take Some Vertical Pictures: Some subjects require a vertical shot. Things like buildings and some portraits require a vertical picture.

6. Lock the Focus: For off-center subjects, center the subject. Then press the shutter button half way, reframe the shot and then finish pressing the shutter button.

7. Move It From The Middle: Place the subject off center. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid and place your subject at one of the intersecting lines. Since most cameras focus in the middle, remember to lock your focus.

8. Know Your Flash’s Range: Most camera’s flashes only work about 10 feet or four steps away. If the subject is farther than 10 feet, it might be too dark.

9. Watch The Light: Don’t shoot directly in the sun. For pictures of people, choose soft lighting of cloudy days. Try to avoid overhead sunlight because it casts harsh shadows. At the end of the day or early morning, use the long shadows for scenic pictures.

10. Be A Director: Instead of just taking pictures take an extra minute and become a director. Use props, rearrange subject or try a different viewpoint. Get your subject to be themselves and let their personalities shine.

After you take your great pictures, let CC Video Duplication make a photo montage DVD with music. For more information, click on the Photos/Slides to DVD link.

How do you tell the difference between 8mm film and Super 8mm film?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Eastman Kodak company created the standard 8mm film (also known as regular 8mm) during the Great Depression.  In 1932 , it was released on the market to create a home movie format that was less expensive than 16 mm.

Standard 8mm film is in actually 25 feet of 16mm picture film which is run through once and then back again.  On each reel, the frames are exposed down one edge of the unexposed film and then down the other.  The film is split down the middle when the film is processed.  It is then joined at the ends to form 50 feet of 8mm film.

Super 8mm film was released In 1965 and was quickly adopted by amateur film-makers.   It was much easier to use because of the cartridge-loading system.  Unlike regular 8mm, Super 8mm was one continuous roll of film and not split in two.

While 16mm film is easy to spot because it is twice the size of 8mm film, Super 8mm film and Regular 8mm film are exactly the same width.  If you want to tell the difference, there are two easy ways.

1.  The Sprocket Size:  Regular 8mm film has bigger sprockets and are aligned in between the frames.  Super 8mm film has much smaller sprockets and they are aligned in the middle of the frame.

2.  Size Of Movie Frame:  Super 8mm film has a 50% larger frame than that of regular 8mm film.  Because it has a larger frame, Super 8mm produces a sharper image.  Super 8mm was introduced later as an improvement to regular 8mm, so a lot of people started with regular 8mm and then upgraded to Super 8mm.

If you are looking to convert your 8mm or Super 8mm film to DVD, let CC Video Duplication help you.  We transfer your film into a computer which allows us to enhance the picture quality of the image..  Click on the Film to DVD link for more information.

Archiving Video To Digital Formats

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Even if you keep your video tapes in a plastic case, vertically stored, in a climate controlled room, your tapes are eventually going to degrade. Let‘s face it, even though you will definitely slow down the degradation process, your tapes will fade away with exposure to time and the elements.  If you are going to take the leap and convert your old video tapes to a Digital Format you may want to consider a few things.

1. Convert All Your Footage:  Whatever you don’t convert you will probably lose forever. Things that you might not think you need now, you will kick yourself later for not saving. So, a good rule of thumb is, if you are not shooting the floor and your lens cap is off, convert it.

2. Know What Format You Want Your Footage To Become:  If you have a Windows PC computer, you will probably want the AVI format. If you have a Mac, then the format of choice is a Quicktime Movie. If you are archiving, stay away from formats like Windows Media and Flash. They are highly compressed and great for websites, but not for archiving. Once your file is converted to an AVI or a Quicktime Movie, it is easy to make a Windows Media or Flash file from your original digital file.

After your file is converted to a digital format, if you have editing software, you can edit out any footage you don‘t want in your videos. If you don‘t have editing software, we offer that service here at CC Video Duplication. All you have to do is watch your clips and write down the times of what you want to keep. After we are done editing, we can give you a finished video clip, a DVD or both. Click on the Video To Hard Drive link for more information.

Converting Foreign Videos to the American Format

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

In the past people have called us and said that they bought a video camera during their vacation in Europe and now they cannot watch their video memories once they came home or that they bought a DVD in Europe or Ebay and cannot play it.   The reason is video format. America, Canada, Mexico and Japan use a system called NTSC. Europe uses a system called PAL.   The French developed and use SECAM.  Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East use MESCAM.  Each system is incompatible with each other due to the frame rate at which they were recorded.

When DVDs were developed Hollywood requested that DVD’s make a Region Code so they could control the distribution of DVDs. If you look on the back of a DVD case you will see in the fine print the words “region” followed by a number between 1 and 6. The six regions are:

1. The United States, Canada, US territories and Bermuda

2. Europe (except Russia, Ukraine & Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, French Overseas Territories, Japan, and Greenland

3. Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau

4. Mexico, Central and South America, The Caribbean Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

5. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Africa, Central and South Asia, Mongolia, and North Korea

6. China and Hong Kong

There is a Region 0 and it is used for worldwide playability. If you do not have a multi-region DVD player or have a VHS tape from another country you will not be able to watch the video. The DVD or VHS must be converted to the American format.

The staff at CC Video Duplication converts european videos quickly and at low prices.  Click on European Videos to DVD link to find out how