Thought this was kind of neat- frugal help if you have regular 35mm film


Picture Perfect: How to Make Blink-Free Holiday Photos

By Corey Binns

Special to LiveScience

posted: 18 December 2006

09:22 am ET

The group holiday photo shoot is anything but a snap, especially if you want

to catch everyone with their eyes open.

To help photographers get the perfect shot , an Australian scientist has

calculated the number of photos that need to be taken to ensure at least one

blink-free photo.

"At any given moment for a typical person, their eyes are likely to be

blinking about 4 to 5 percent of the time," said physicist Piers Barnes of

the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. "This is

fine if you only want to take a photo of one person, but once you start

adding extra people, then your chances of getting an unspoiled photo start


To get the right calculation, Barnes's equation takes into account the

average number of times a person blinks (10 per minute), how long a blink

lasts (250 milliseconds), camera shutter speed (8 milliseconds in a typical

setting), and the number of people in the group.

"For groups of less than 20 people, divide the number of people in the group

by 3 if the light is good or by 2 if the light is bad," Barnes told

LiveScience. "Take that number of shots and you will have a better than 95

percent chance of getting at least one good one."

Barnes offered a few other tips:

Pose in the light. In poor lighting, the camera's shutter speed stays open

longer, giving more time for someone blink.

Keep it small. Getting a flawless photo of groups of 100 or more people is

nearly impossible, according to Barnes's calculations.

Ask your models not to blink and accept the bug-eyed consequences. After

giving the command, you've got about 12 seconds during which the odds are

better you'll get an untainted shot.