PETER FOSTER’S PHOTO TIPS: Putting home security in the picture

Peter Foster's Photography tips
Peter Foster's Photography tips

After a surfeit of Christmas photos, what can you do with your camera in January?

It used to be much worse in the days of film because you did not want to waste any film left in the camera but did want to get them printed.

When we were processing films we were amazed how many Christmas pictures were on films brought in at the beginning of Summer.

Here is the advice we would give for people to use up their odd frames without wasting them and do a valuable service for themselves.

Take your home security photos.

These are the sort of photos you should have tucked safely away somewhere for the sorry day that you might need them for insurance purposes. Remember this could be for items just lost, stolen or strayed or even a fire.

How to set about this.

At it’s simplest just shoot some frames around the rooms in your house to record how much is in them. Would you really remember everything if you had a fire?

Don’t get too far away from the walls as you want to identify what items you have not just a record of where they were. If in doubt take more of each wall as digital doesn’t cost you anything. Try with and without flash and compare the difference, but keep very still for the ones without flash.

Now if you have any special treasures you need to treat them to a close up.

This can be easier than you think with most modern digital cameras, provided you follow these tips.

If your camera has close up setting (usually a flower symbol) use it and make sure you do not zoom in at all, this just confuses the camera.

If you are using a low cost simple compact camera try taking a few photos from about two feet away and then going closer up to about a foot away and check the results.

These cameras can do close ups but are only designed to take general areas and not specific items. Also the brighter the light the closer you can go and good quality daylight is preferable but not direct sunlight.

Some of the more recent bridge compact cameras can now go as close as half an inch but it is always better to start further away and work closer.

The latest cameras have auto close up on them without setting the close up symbol, so try both ways.

This article is not long enough for me to show you how to take really accurate close ups in your own home but you can email me for help and we run special courses to show you easy ways to do this at home for your precious items or even how to take quality E bay advertising photos.

Finally back up the images elsewhere and for those special items, write down any extra information about them such as conspicuous marks, signatures or serial numbers as this can help enormously in tracking them down.

Good shooting,

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