I just really enjoyed the standard of cricket we were playing in, but particularly the camaraderie of the team Chris Despres - Blaina CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Photographs - Some Tips

Photographs are a fantastic record that can tell so much about your club's history. Here are some tips about taking, scanning and editing photos around your club.

Firstly - and most importantly - when taking or cropping photos, remember the rule of three. If you imagine a grid over your photograph that divides the image into 9 smaller boxes, your eyes are instinctively drawn to the point where those lines meet. So anything exciting in the photograph should hit those lines and not be in the dead centre of the photgraph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this example, you'll see that the photographer has just missed it - the batsman and wickie are either side of the crossing point. This can be easily fixed however.

 

 

 

 

 

  

This photo has been cut so that you focus on the action itself - both the wicket keeper and the batsman. This basic rule can improve your photographs really quickly, and many digital cameras show this grid on their display to help you.

A few more pointers:

  • Watch out for the background - no-one likes a lampshade to emerge from their head!
  • Keep an idea where the sun is, you don't want either your subjects completely in shadow or a bright glare coming from the sun or a reflection.
  • Make sure that all your photographs are at least 720x576 in size - this is the size they need to be to go on dvds and not pixelate (look blurry). Many cameras save them larger than this anyway. If you are thinking of taking photos to blow them up, then take them as large as possible in the first place.
  • Most of all - take lots of shots, to have a great range - it's easy to do now with digital cameras!

For some more helpful hints on taking better photographs, visit the kodak tip centre. There are also loads of other great websites to help you out.

Scanning photos

Scanning photos is really easy, and a great way to make sure that your photos are kept for posterity. Spondon CC's Kath Green has done a great job by scanning and photographing Spondon CC's entire archive - a great fire-proof measure!

All you need to do this is a scanner. Most now come with software to scan straight into your computer so very few tips needed from us. Just a few points:

  • Make sure that the glass on the scanner, and your photograph, is clean
  • Scanners work in 'dpi' resolution settings - the higher the dpi, the better quality the scan will be and the more you can do with it. However, the files will also be bigger. Most people suggest a dpi of at least 300.
  • Scan each photo by iteself and to its original size. Doing many at once can be tempting but the size of the final image will be smaller and it may not be large enough for you to use it as you would like.
  • Save the file as a jpeg image - the most recognised file type - and, as always, make sure that you label it clearly.

Editing photos

Editing photos can get very technical, but the basics are very easy. These are just a few tips to help you out.

Here at TTF we use a slim-down version of PhotoShop (PhotoShop Elements). There are a number of free editors available however. The two we recommend are:

'GimpShop' - with similar capabilities to PhotoShop and laid out in the same way

GimpShop download

'Photoscape' - a simple, powerful photo-editing tool with easy-to-use features

Photoscape download

These programs have lots of tools to 'guide' you through editing your photographs and these tools can get you results very quickly. As you get more confident, they also have the capability for you to do some sophisticated editing.

To start:

  • Always keep a copy of the original photo
  • Before cropping, rotate or straighten the photo (this is an especially good tool for photos that have been scanned at an angle)
  • Remember when cropping your photographs to work to the rule of three
  • Adjusting the brightness and contrast of the photograph work wonders. The brightness will make the photo lighter or darker, whereas the contrast will make the photo feel flatter or punchier. Here's the result of simply pressing the 'auto brightness and contrast' button in PhotoShop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Black and white photos can be similarly brightened up by 'lightening or darkening' the photo. Again, the 'auto' button is the place to start.
  • For both these effects you also have the option of using a sliding scale to change them yourself, so have a play about and see what looks best
  • Any 'touching up' of the photographs do with great caution. Use the brush to fix very small areas of the photograph rather than making sweeping changes - you can quickly make a photo look smudged if you are too liberal with this tool. There's no harm in leaving scratches or  blemishes on old photographs anyway - it adds character. Again, if you are blowing up these images then any corrections will be much more noticeable so do so with care.

For any more information see the user guides, tutorials and 'help' sections of your photo editing software. Try different things and have fun with the programs!