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Digital Photography

Capture Images on a Television Screen

SUMMARY: A quick tip if you are having problems taking digital photos involving television screens.

Want to photograph an image on a television screen but the result always comes out black or with stripes through the image? This is because analog television screens only refresh their full image every 1/30th of a second.

To accurately capture a television screen image you must match the television's refresh rate with your digital camera by using a shutter speed of at least 1/30th of a second. You might want to also try longer shutter speeds of 1/15th or 1/8th of a second, though these could cause motion blur with fast-moving TV action.

To prevent camera shake, use a standard or mini-tripod, or place your digital camera on a safe, flat surface such as a dry coffee table.

Since you'll most likely be taking these images indoors, make sure there is plenty of light, else your camera may require a longer shutter speed that will blur the television image. And forget flash - it will reflect off the screen.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.