How to take picture of TV screen

Tons of images are created every day on print and TV media, blind can re-create them with their own imagination by clicking pictures of the TV screen. These can be our favorite show on television, a cartoon character or much liked hero or most hated villain. There is always a synergy (relationship) between the dialogues spoken and visual on the screen, by following the dialogues or music you can take pictures of the TV screen and make your own storyboard.  

First feel the position of the TV, place the camera on a tripod (tripod has three legs to hold the camera), position the camera so that the lens is aligned bang in the centre of the screen.  SLR camera is ideal as the focus and shutter speed can be adjusted manually. You may take help of a sighted friend to setup the camera based on your instruction. 

Taking pictures of TV screen has few challenges both for sighted and blind photographers. One has to use alternative techniques to aviod get grey, blurred, double exposures with a horrible diagonal line splitting the picture –      

1. Pictures on the TV screen are created by projected colors from the back of the cathode ray tube to the screen. These are fired individually in lines across the screen and the beam moves from top to bottom in quick succession, with between 480 and 625 lines to complete a screen picture. It works so fast that our brain cannot distinguish the individual elements and creates a full colour image that looks fine. If you use a 1/30sec shutter speed or faster you will record the scanning effect, resulting in a band of phosphors that are not glowing with their respective colours. To ensure a complete picture you need a shutter speed of 1/25sec or slower. 


2. On the TV screen moving image is made up of around 16- 25 different pictures per second.  Since pictures are moving you stand the chance of catching two or more of the moving frames in your exposure. This increases when you start to use slower shutter speeds, so the key is to get as close to 1/25sec as you can and with most cameras the ideal speed is 1/15sec, but with some TVs this can still cause a pattern. 


3.  When using an automatic camera at these low light levels is it will trigger the flash and cause a reflectionoff the screen. Flash cannot be used, so you must use a camera with a flash off mode.


 4.  You have a zoom lens step back and use the telephoto setting to avoid curved screen caused by the wide-angle lens distortionand if you have a TV with wide screen makes sure its set to 4:3 ratio to suit the film or CCD format. Also ensure that you are capturing the only pictures of the screen and not the edges of the TV set. 

5. If you’re trying to take pictures in daylight, you’ll get reflections of the windows and room so turn off room lights in the evening to avoid unnecessary distractions.

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