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If you've visited YouTube, you know of the hordes of snapshooters using digital compacts to make videos. While these cameras offer good image quality, and can be super-compact, their audio pickup leaves something to be desired, especially when shooting in windy conditions. To control wind noise, I made a windscreen for my compact's microphone from the gauze-like padding of an adhesive bandage. Taped over the mic's tiny port, the "screen1 does an admirable job of muffling, even eliminating, the sound of wind from my videos. Stephen Uber

Manchester; CT

DIY white balance

When shooting under lights for which my DSLR has no white-balance presets, I dial in a custom white balance. The problem? Shooting in the field, I rarely have access to a clean sheet of white paper to use as a target. So I bought a piece of opaque white nylon from a fabric store and cut it into a disk. It takes up virtually no room in my bag, and I keep it clean in a resealable sandwich bag. To calibrate my camera. I rubber-band the nylon over the lens, aim the lens at the light source, and perform the custom white balance procedure as outlined in my DSLR's manual. Using different nylons with slightly different whites can give you wanner or cooler effects.

Roni Ncmirovsky Haifa, Israel

Low-buck IS

Extending and planting a tripod isn't the only way your 'pod can pay off. For steadier handholding, attach a contracted tripod to your camera, and aim all three legs forward so they run parallel to and below the lens. While shooting, use one hand to support the legs rather than the lens. The technique is awkward, but the results are immediately visible in a less-jitter)' finder image. PctrNcstratov

Via e-mail

A gram of prevention...

Like most SLR cairying cases, mine hits a small zippcred pouch for a filter or memory card. What I keep there is a resealable plastic bag that is just big enough to hold my camera. Whenever a downpour catches me by surprise. I quickly slip my camera into the bag and zip it shut. I might be soaked to the skin by the time I make it back to my car, but at least my camera is dry. Stephen Payne

Grants Puss. OR

Got a tip, trick, or technique? E-mail tt to us at Pop TlPlSMilwimi. Readers whose tips we publish will receive a special-edition Popuiai Photoouwy & Iimci* Tamrac Photo-Video 1 Model 5201 camera bag. See thte SlR-sized bag at 0

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