Archive for February 2, 2009

WSIU Public Television Channels Off-The-Air Tonight at 11pm

All of the WSIU Public Television channels, WSIU DT, WUSI DT and WUSI TV 16 Olney will be off the air tonight, February 2nd at 11pm in order to perform maintenance to our transmitter at Carbondale. Broadcasting is tentatively scheduled to resume at 8am tomorrow, February 3rd.

Viewers who watch WSIU DT via an antenna will need to rescan or retune (see your instruction manual for further details) their digital television and/or digital set-top converter boxes to receive WSIU DT due to our new channel assignment on digital channel 8.

Outside of the off-air time, viewers watching WUSI TV 16 and WUSI DT should be unaffected by this change.

Our analog transmitter, WUSI TV 16 Olney will cease broadcasting February 17th.

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Tips: How to use your digital camera’s flash to get better photos

Taking-pictureIf you're like many people, you never change the settings on your digital camera. You simply leave it in auto mode. That's a shame, because you can improve your photos noticeably simply by making a few minor adjustments.

Adjusting the flash is a good example. Here are four ways that straying from the conventional pointing and shooting can produce better photos. (You should experiment with these techniques before trying them in real-world situations.)

  • When shooting a portrait at high noon on a sunny day, turn on the flash. (Be sure it's in forced-flash mode.) That helps lighten shadows on the face caused by harsh sunlight.
  • Sometimes, especially when shooting subjects up close, a point-and-shoot's flash is simply too strong. Your camera's flash exposure-compensation control can help by lowering the flash's power. If yours doesn't have one, you can get a similar effect by cutting a small piece of tissue or tracing paper and holding it over the flash before you shoot. That will diffuse the flash in much the way clouds scatter sunlight.

  • If you're using an SLR and external flash, you can create some interesting lighting effects by rotating the flash head to "bounce" its light off a wall or ceiling. (To see if your strobe has this capability, check the user manual.)
  • If you're shooting a subject with a background that keeps coming out very dark or even black because it's not a well-lit as the foreground, use your camera's slow-sync flash setting. (It's found on many point-and-shoots and all SLRs.) This setting lets the camera expose for some of the ambient light in the environment surrounding your subject, and will do a better job of recording more details in the background. Here's how it works: It fires off a flash at the beginning of an exposure and then keeps the shutter open for a moment after the flash fires, instead of immediately closing it. (The amount of time the shutter remains open varies with the available light.) If you use this feature, you may also get some interesting motion-blur effects, too.

Our Digital Camera Ratings (available to subscribers) includes information on each model's flash capabilities. For help choosing the right type of camera, see our Digital Camera Buying Guide.

—Terry Sullivan

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