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Tips for recording holiday reunions

By GWENDA ANTHONY | The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun

Julie Powell, a consultant for the Creative Memories scrapbook company, recommends doing holiday albums that ``go back a number of years.’’

More tips

— Assemble pictures under the heading ``Thanksgiving 2000’’ or ``Christmas Day 2002.’’ Get as many relatives as possible involved in contributing.

— Make sure you get a family group picture using either a camera with a timer or asking a friend or professional photographer to do it.

— Get a theme going. Snapping pictures of children opening presents is fine, but look for other angles, Powell suggests.

— Consider filming Mom and Dad or other family ``chefs’’ preparing the great feast in the kitchen or setting the dining room table, ``sofa spuds’’ watching the football games, people decorating the Christmas tree, special moments when the ``girls’’ — moms, daughters, sisters and aunts — are laughing and swapping stories.

— There is no reason the person videotaping can't enjoy the family gathering. Look through your viewfinder at the first past of the shot and then look away.

— Figure out how much videotape and batteries you will need, and take one extra of each.

— Respect the rights of anyone who doesn't want to be filmed.

— Transfer your camcorder video onto a regular videotape. This way you can edit and rearrange the movie.

— Keep your camcorder from getting wet or very cold. If family members are coming inside, wait until they get in the door.

— Film the special moments. It isn't necessary to have your camera running every minute. Think about what the elements are of a family group that make it special.

— Know which control on your camera turns off the date/time feature. Before the day starts, turn on the date-time feature and shoot for 10 seconds, then turn it off for the rest of the day. That way it won't be on every frame, but months later, you'll know what day the tape was shot.

— Use your camera's zoom feature sparingly. Use it too much and your video will look like you're on a roller coaster.

— Read the manual before using your camera. It really helps.

On the Web:

— www.scrapbooking.com: Offers a list of cities where stores offer their products. Articles include how to create your own embellishments for your pages and how to create textures on the pages. Creating texture can be as simple as tearing the edges of the paper and shading with pastel chalks, or using raffia, dried leaves and sticks for pages.

— www.computerscrapbooking.com: Offers tips for computer scrapbookers such as — the inks from all of the major inkjet printer manufacturers are acid free. The site also offers free clip art. You also can link to the Computer Scrapbooking list at Yahoo Groups, share ideas, learn tips and tricks for computer scrapbooking.

— www.shortcourses.com: Offers a complete guide to digital cameras and photography, including how to choose a digital camera, how to use it, what other equipment will be needed, how to display digital photos.

— www.dpreview.com: Offers information for the more experienced digital camera owner. All about the latest in digital photography and imaging news, reviews of the latest digital cameras and accessories, discussion forums, sample images, a digital camera buyers' guide, side-by-side comparisons and a comprehensive database of digital camera features and specifications.