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How to stop blinking

Sam Ellis , Jan 09, 2007; 09:30 p.m.

A friend of mine approached me with a concern. She blinks every time her photo is taken and her daughter is getting married in June. I've taken pictures of this woman before and she really DOES blink in EVERY photo. I don't remember if I ever got one with her eyes open, it was for a faculty id badge and neither of us cared too much in the end.

Granted, this was using a flash (bounced off the ceiling of course) and I never tried it in natural light. Even in natural light, many photographers use flash for fill, then there's the reception.

I tried a search and found that the pre-flash will trigger blinks, so maybe shooting in manual mode will be better (remember, these were id cards I was shooting). I couldn't find anything on stopping oneself from blinking. Is there anything SHE can do to limit blinking?

Just trying to help this concerned woman and her daughter and I thought I would approach the all-knowing forum :)

Thanks, Sam


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Steve Dohring , Jan 09, 2007; 09:41 p.m.

Funny - make sure you don't have red eye a rear or front curtain sync setting that will not help. I say "Ok everyone smile and don't blink" click the shutter.

I got it - remember Johnny Depp in the Pirates movie had his eyes painted on his eyelids, When they were shut they looked open - yeah that is the way to go!!! lol.

Frank Skomial , Jan 09, 2007; 09:56 p.m.

For that very special lady you need to use camera that practically eliminates blinking.

Best choice would be Twin Lens Reflex, like Mamiya C330 or C220, or Rolleiflex/Rolleicord, or an Yashica Mat or whatever. Next choice would be a range finder camera.

The lady perhaps blinks on the sound of the SRL mirror clap noise and you cannot elimitate that using reflex moving mirror type cameras.

Anne Almasy , Jan 09, 2007; 10:01 p.m.

Ask the blinker to close her eyes. Ask her to open them on the count of three. Count, then fire. You'll have a better chance of catching her with her eyes open this way.

Jonathan Brizendine , Jan 09, 2007; 10:11 p.m.

I?ve used Anne?s trick on my kids, and it works most of the time.

Sam Ellis , Jan 09, 2007; 10:12 p.m.

I should have been more specific. I'm not shooting the wedding, she wants to know what she can do to avoid blinking or tricks she can tell the photographer. I like the painted eyelids comment! I also think having red eye reducion on would send her into convulsions! All that blinking! LOL!

She'll be in Atlanta, so look out :)

Karl Borowski , Jan 10, 2007; 01:05 a.m.

With the right camera, assuming there's time and you have the discipline to keep the camera positioned properly without any way of looking through the viewfinder, you could lock up the mirror first for the key shots with her.

I was actually planning on trying this for the last wedding I shot, but I didn't run into any "compulsive blinkers", so I just went without it on the RB67. With MF especially, I do have some trouble with some people blinking at the sound of the RB's mirror flapping up.

I've noticed something, though. I actually had my senior pictures taken with an RB, I believe, some time back, and I thought that I had blinked in all the shots because of the mirror slap, which prompted the photographer to take more. When he got the proofs back, though, I hadn't blinked in a single one :-)

Don't ask why, but tonight I had my picture taken with a camera wiht *flashbulbs* during which I was convinced I had blinked every time a picture was taken, but it may be that the blink comes just after the exposure has been made anyway.

Either chimp a picture or two of her to see if this is a problem with digital or shoot a few Polaroids with film. If you are shooting film without Polaroids, take some pictures of your friend, in similar (presumably dark) conditions before the wedding, and see if she has this problem with your setup.

Another thing you can do is say "Everyone blink now please" and THEN take the picture a few seconds later. If someone is holding off a blink, not only do the chances of them blinking increase the longer you hold off taking the picture, but it also tends to impart a "forced" or unnatural expression to that person. Help everyone out by giving them a moment to blink so they can relax for the picture.

Hope this helps,

~Karl Borowski

Darrin Ballman - Dayton/Cincinnati, Ohio , Jan 10, 2007; 01:20 a.m.

similar to Anne's....tell them to blink on two when you count to three. I don't think I would have her start with her eyes closed though. The blinking on two gives enough of a reflex to get the eyelid open when you snap the shutter. Makes it easier for the person to time their blink also....and I think I would take the shot on the early side of three.

Steve Levine , Jan 10, 2007; 06:00 a.m.

""""I should have been more specific. I'm not shooting the wedding, she wants to know what she can do to avoid blinking or tricks she can tell the photographer."""""

A competent photographer wouldn't need our advice. This is "wedding 101" stuff. Try the archives, this subject has been discussed before.

My favorite trick is to tell the subjects you are shooting on a count of 3, and fire at 2.

Bob Bernardo - LA area disabled , Jan 10, 2007; 06:46 a.m.

super glue the eye lids open. hehe

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