Digital Photography for Locksmiths

How many times have you been out on a job site and come across a device that you have never seen before? E-mail a few digital photographs to tech support or your fellow locksmiths, and you’ll quickly identify even rare or antique lock components


So you want to be in pictures? Of course you do. Before becoming famous, you will need to learn a few things. I will describe the basics of digital still photography and how it applies to locksmiths and safe technicians. As is standard practice in our trade, use what you know to figure out...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Locksmith Ledger. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Optional
Required
Required

So you want to be in pictures? Of course you do. Before becoming famous, you will need to learn a few things. I will describe the basics of digital still photography and how it applies to locksmiths and safe technicians.

As is standard practice in our trade, use what you know to figure out what you don't. A little practice, and a little patience, will serve you quite well in capturing the shots needed to document what you are working on, to create a portfolio and marketing materials and “for the archives.”

In part 1, I will address the gear one might use to accomplish the task at hand and techniques and applications of the gear. I will also include some tricks of the trade to aid in getting the right shot for your needs.

How many times have you been out on a job site and come across a device that you have never seen before? It could be anything from a deadbolt with no visible means of removal, a panic device that is in pieces, or a safe lock that is older than twice our age. If not with a photograph, how on earth would you verbally describe some of these situations?

I have personally been on both ends of that phone call, and I can't say as I have enjoyed it very much. I'm sure all of you have had the same experiences at some point. With a photo, or series of photos, the other person can see exactly what you are trying to describe and your predicament will be short-lived.

If you're archiving, you will want precise, crisp, and well-lit documentation for future reference. A few photos now, combined with a well-written paragraph or two regarding the device, can save you heartache further down the road. Not to mention it could possibly help a fellow Lockie or Cracker who would be forever indebted to you. What comes around, goes around… The day will come when it's YOU calling for help.

There are many other reasons to take photographs, such as insurance purposes, a job well done, proof of a job completed, vandalism cases, or sporadic cases where we feel it may be in our best interests to cover our posterior by documenting the various stages of the job up through completion.

 

THE GEAR

Ok, now that I've got your attention, let's get onto the fun stuff! The first order of business is obviously, a camera. There are as many cameras on the market as there are doorknobs.

“Will the camera I now own work for this application?” Yes! A camera is no different from your drill motor, your hammer, or your favorite screwdriver. It is a tool, nothing more than a simple little box that captures light.

Now, as there are great differences between a high-end wrench from your favorite mobile tool truck and a bargain bin wrench sold at your local drugstore. The same generally applies to cameras, lenses, and tripods. But as I said, what you own now will work for what we are doing here. It's all how you apply the tool you own, and understand the limitations of it.

Even the very high end of photography equipment has limitations. It is up to you to understand the limitations of the equipment that you own, and to utilize them to their full potential. My purpose in writing this article is to aid you in becoming more familiar with how that little light-catching tool goes about its business. I am sure the great majority of you own a point and shoot camera.

Let's discuss those weird little symbols on the camera and how to best utilize them for your needs. I'll also pass along a few things I have learned along the way that I hope will help you capture what you need.

All cameras look a bit different, but they function just the same. When you depress the button, the shutter opens and closes. While it's open, light streams in and lands on the sensor. This light is turned into different electrical charges and interpreted by the camera's computer. What you see on your LCD screen is the camera's interpretation of the light that came in through the lens.

This content continues onto the next page...

We Recommend