Simple tips, taking time lead to great record of hunt

Your 12-year-old daughter has just become a camp heroine. The giant buck hanging in the skinning shed is the trophy every hunter was dreaming about the night before.

Now it is time for photos to memorialize this special day, and somehow lining up this shot has become more difficult than getting the shot on that 10-point. Somehow, taking photos of this trophy, or trying to record memories of a duck hunt, have become as difficult as the hunt itself.

That’s because these photo opportunities happen in all kinds of weather, in all kinds of light, and in as wide a variety of settings as there is for any photographer.

While The Advocate Outdoors would like to be able to share that memory with its readers, there are minimum requirements for photos.

The camera

With the advent of “point-and-shoot” cameras with automatic features like focus, flash setting and electronic reading, most of the problems have been eliminated.

But there’s only so much a camera can do. Other factors must be considered to have a first-rate photo for publication or to have enlarged for the wall.

Advocate photo chief John Ballance said photo quality is paramount, and he started with the technical aspects of the camera first.

“The camera should be a five-megapixel or larger capability, and the camera must be set at the highest resolution,” Ballance said. “For most cameras, that means setting it on the ‘fine’ setting in the JPG format.”

The Advocate accepts only JPG formatted images.

The image

Ballance’s tips include:

??On cameras with auto-focus, make sure to place the electric focusing eye on the subject and not on the background. This ensures a clean (not fuzzy) image.

??In low light or in darkness, try to put the subject against a light background. This will help separate the subject from the darkness.

??Use flash even in bright daylight. It helps eliminate shadows and makes for a better quality photograph.

??Keep the background simple and uncluttered.

??Have the subject remove sunglasses and tilt hats off the forehead, and get the subject to hold up his or her chin.

??It’s become customary to hold a fish away from the body, because most folks believe it makes the fish look larger. That’s not exactly true, especially when there’s a problem keeping both the fish and the fisherman in focus. It helps to keep the trophy catch or kill and the person in the same plane, especially when using an auto-focus camera.

To submit a photo

Go to website

Find “photos” just under The Advocate masthead. It is located fifth from the left in a line of “News, Sports, Features, Entertainment” then “Photos.”

Click on “Photos,” then find “Submit Photos.” Follow the prompts to fill in the pertinent information and follow the directions to submit your image electronically.

If you are not the parent nor guardian of a child in the image, please include contact names and telephone numbers of the parents or guardians. We need permission from them to run the photo.

On the technical side, Ballance said digital images must be at least 220 dots-per-inch (dpi) at a given size. “For example, a high-quality 5x7 photo should be 4.85 megabytes in size,” Ballance explained. “Digital images must be in a JPG format, and please do not insert the image in a ‘Word’ document because we cannot use those images.”

Ballance said subscribers can follow the prompts through the website: “When you hit ‘browse’ when submitting the photo, it will send you to your desktop. That’s when you find the photo, highlight it, put that image under ‘Photo 1,’ then choose to whom you want to send the photo. Readers can send two photos per sheet.

“This function was set up specifically to make it easier for subscribers to send photos to The Advocate,” he said.

Have questions? Call Photo Department Manager John Ballance at (225) 388-0680.

Other requirements

??Young hunters must be at least 10 years old for The Advocate Outdoors to run them after their hunt. This is the age when young hunters can take and retain a certificate for the successful completion of a state-certified Hunter Safety Course.

??Make sure to add some dignity to the hunt by making sure to remove traces of blood from a deer’s face, replace the tongue, and wash as much blood as possible from waterfowl feathers. We will not run photos of blood-splattered game or fish.