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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Thursday, December 12, 2002
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* SPOTLIGHT: Give the Gift of a Photography Course or Gallery
* BETTERPHOTO: Winter Classes Filling Up Fast
* BETTERPHOTO: New Grand Prize Option for the Photo Contest
* BETTERPHOTO: Great News for BetterPhoto Instructor Kerry Drager!
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Back in My Day / Christmas Break
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Shooting Indoor Family Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Picture Sizing
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Christmas Gift for a Canon User...
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Print Images on Canvas
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Uploading Images
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to Deal with 'Shutter Lag Time'
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Purpose for Wide Angle Lens
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Make the Main Subject Prominent
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Shoot a Black Dog
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Inexpensive Scanner
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: What is Wrong With This Photo?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Give the Gift of a Photography Course or Gallery
Many BetterPhoto members have been requesting a gift option this year - and why not? BetterPhoto courses, Premium BetterPholios™, and Deluxe BetterPholios™ are all FANTASTIC gift ideas! We have now made an easy way for you to give a gift certificate to that special photographer in your life. A beautiful certificate will be mailed to you in a very special presentation. And we can even keep it a secret! To learn more, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gifts.asp

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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 101st issue of SnapShot!

Hi

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here at the BetterPhoto headquarters, the air is dropping to snow temperatures. As we try to keep warm, we are, as always, thrilled to see the continuously excellent photos being submitted to the photo contest, the Premium BetterPholios™, and the Deluxe BetterPholios™.

This week, we have good news to tell you regarding a new prize option, Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™, and the Winter courses. And, as you see from the questions below, the QnA section has extremely active with great questions and helpful answers. Thanks to all of you who support BetterPhoto and work hard to make this site as informational and positive as possible!

Happy shooting!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoContact.asp?memberID=124


*****
Winter Classes Filling Up Fast
Bryan Peterson has totally revamped his Photo Marketing course - join us this January 8th for a new and improved introduction on how to make money as a photographer. Tony Sweet's and Kerry Drager's courses are shaping up to be an exciting and interactive explorations on how to add drama and inspiration to your photos. And Jim Miotke's Beginning Photography will teach you everything you need to know to get the ball rolling. All of these exciting and fun courses are filling up fast, so sign up today!

"Beginning Photography" with Jim Miotke (with Bonus on Digital Imaging)
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JCM02.asp

"Beyond Snapshots: Making the Most of Your Equipment" by Kerry Drager
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD01.asp

"Image Design: Revealing Your Personal Vision" by Tony Sweet (with Bonus Filter Workshop)
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS01.asp

"Advanced Photo Marketing" with Bryan Peterson
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BFP03.asp

Learn about all eight classes or sign up today at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


*****
New Grand Prize Option for the Photo Contest
The judges are currently working hard to select the winning photos for the November contest. They should be up online any day now. In the meantime, we wanted to tell you that you about an exciting addition to our prize lineup.

You now have a choice when you win the Grand Prize! For the December contest, Grand Prize can be either a Deluxe BetterPholio™ or five (5!) custom photo calendars from DigiLabs ($150+ value). These large (12x18) calendars will let you show off your photography to friends, family, and even potential clients. Printed on Indigo digital press machines, the quality of the print work is as good as it gets. In addition to using your own photos, you can customize your calendars with text, special dates and events.

Furthermore, all BetterPhoto.com photo contest participants get a 20% discount on DigiLabs print work. Enter the contest today to receive your 20% discount coupon code and to possibly win this exciting Grand Prize:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest.asp


*****
Great News for BetterPhoto Instructor Kerry Drager!
Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - kerrydrager.com - is featured in Shutterbug magazine's "Web Profiles" column (January 2003 issue). His site includes a wide array of photo galleries, plus illustrated articles such as "how to shoot wide-angle scenics" and "how to develop your shooting eye."

Kerry is the author of "Scenic Photography 101" and teaches an exciting online course designed to take students beyond the snapshot stage and into the world of creative photography:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD01.asp


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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
How much did the first issue of Life - dated November 23, 1936, and featuring the work of Margaret Bourke-White and others - sell for?

The first, best answer - entered by BettterPhoto member Rick G. is:
When the first copy of LIFE hit the market it was sold on the stands for a dime and a subscription was
$3.50. After February 1st of 1937 the subscription price went up to $4.50 a year. (LIFE 1/4/37)

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - Christmas Break - entered by BettterPhoto member Jim M.

In his first starring role, a certain actor plays a college student who is motivated to travel across America during his Christmas break, all because of a photograph of a beautiful girl. Who is the actor and what was the movie?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

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THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
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Shooting Indoor Family Portraits
If you are looking to capture beautiful pictures of your family this holiday season, here is a trick that can help you get a natural, softly lit look. Simply diffuse or bounce the light from your flash. This is much easier if you have an external flash that lets you angle the direction of light. If you do, you can point the flash up to the ceiling. This bounced light will often be much more complimentary. But even if your camera does not allow you to do this technique, you can still diffuse your flash. All you have to do is partially block the light with any semi-transparent object. Use a piece of paper, cloth, Kleenex, plastic... you can even use your hand - you will be surprised by how much light can bounce through and around even such a solid object your hand.

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:

  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW QUESTION 1: Picture Sizing
I just purchased a sony P9 digital camera, my first digital. I shoot 1600x1200(fine). When I developed the pictures (4x6) they were all cropped.

QUESTION; is there a program - or how do I size the pictures to the proper size for 4x6 and 5x7, so there is no cropping.
Thank you

- William Y.

ANSWER 1:
Dear William Y,
I've recently, like so many others, bought a digital camera after 20 years continuing film use.

The problem you have is that your camera takes pictures in a 4X3 ratio, the paper sizes are closer to 3X2. This means to fill the paper one way you either get a big white border on two edges or you lose a portion of your picture. Labs normally give you the white borders, as this way you get the entire scene that you shot.

The way I get different sizes is to crop and resize in Adobe Elements and then write the adjusted file/photo to CD, and then get that printed.

The easiest way to get around the border problem is to get a good quality trimmer and take the excess and distracting borders off. Not very high tec I know but still the best way. You cannot, to my knowledge, change the ratio of your CCD and if you could, you could only do so by not using as many pixels. This would defeat the point of getting the camera, and pixel count that you did.

Hope this helps, regards Scott.

- Scott

ANSWER 2:
Thank you Scott, for responding so quickly. It obviously wasn't the answer I hoped to hear, in our high technology times. I hoped a program would fix all.
thanks again.

- William Y.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4676

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4676

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*****
NEW QUESTION 2: Christmas Gift for a Canon User...
Hello all. My sister-in-law shoots with a Canon Rebel G and two zoom lenses. She wants to be a portrait photographer, so last year I gave her some nice books on the portrait photo business. This year I'd like to get her something more "hands on" to use. Any suggestions? I think she already has a flash. She definitely has a tripod and a couple of filters, a camera bag, and most of the essentials for general shooting. I wanted to find something specific to portrait shooting without spending over US$100. Any ideas?

- Piper L.

See Piper's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=14808

See Piper's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.pipershots.com

ANSWER 1:
Check out Photoflex reflectors.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
You might also try a background stand. I got one yesterday for my stepdaughter. $99.99 for a savage port-a-stand. This is the first piece of equipment I bought for myself after the camera. She can start out with king size flat sheets as backgrounds, and then add later.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 3:
Thanks guys. Great ideas. I was thinking about something in the background department. The question is, will she know what it is when she opens it?! :)

- Piper L.

See Piper's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=14808

See Piper's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.pipershots.com

ANSWER 4:
Okay, here's another question. What color seamless background paper should I get her? She wants to do B&W childrens' portraits, so should I get black or white? On the one hand, she could always use a white bedsheet like you said, Judith, so I should get black paper since it's hard to find anything around the house that's black and big enough (that is, unless you're Elvis and have black velvet hanging everywhere...)LOL

Would a studio portrait photog ever set up the background and stand outdoors to make use of daylight? Or should I concentrate on totally different outdoor portrait equipment such as Jeff K suggested (reflectors)? I don't think she'd use a reflector unless it was one of those California 'Sun-something, mongo expensive' self-standing jobs. She doesn't have studio lighting either, and even if she did, she wouldn't know how to use it right off. Anymore suggestions for my ADHD sister-in-law who wants to BE a portrait photographer, but doesn't really want to take advice and learn HOW to do it right? I want to give her something she will want to play with right out of the box.

- Piper L.

See Piper's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=14808

See Piper's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.pipershots.com

ANSWER 5:
I don't know if she is going to know what a background stand is looking at the box. I have never used mine outside, but I suppose you could. Black and whites of children look better against a white background in my oppion, but black is very versitile. I use sheets for both of these. Paper just dosn't stand up to children well and with sheets you can buy two and put one on the floor. She may very well get a lot of use out of a reflecter if she has no studio lights, but it takes a while to learn how to use. I'm pretty much a self taught portrait photographer, you might be suprised by how much she figures out on her own. You could also go with props, like a children white wicker table and chairs (just in case any one who knows me was wondering about my christmas list).

- Judith C.

ANSWER 6:
I'm wanting to buy an inexpensive backdrop stand too. I want one that will hold my own homemade muslin and fabric backdrops. Does anyone have any good links for backdrop stands?
Thanks in advance!

- Victoria

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4665

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4665

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*****
NEW QUESTION 3: Print Images on Canvas
Has anyone heard of a way to print images on canvas or canvas like material?

It seems like there should be some kind of service available to do this...

TIA for and responses.

DPG

- Damian G.

See Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.gadal-imagery.com

ANSWER 1:
I don't know of any place that does it for you, but you can buy printable canvas in 8 1/2 x 11 and 11 x 14 if you have a photo printer of your own. I do mine, black and whites come out amazing. The texture of the canvas adds to the grain of the black and white. Hand tinted black and whites with a watercolor effect, look just like paintings. If you could put in some brush marks, they would be even more realistic. Avery makes canvas in smaller size and I can't remember where I found the 11 x 14, but I did a search on-line.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
Damian, I forgot to say that most places that offer printing on canvas, mount the photo to the canvas, they don't print on it. And then they apply brush marks to make it look like an "old world painting" . I like my way better.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 3:
Huh... Thanks for the tip, I really appreciate it. I was hoping there was some place or product that did this. I'll have to see if they have this at Staples. Thanks again!

- Damian G.

See Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.gadal-imagery.com

ANSWER 4:
Staples is where I buy my Avery canvas, I think they have two or three brands. It's in the section with photo paper and greeting cards. If your Staples dosn't have it, I'm pretty sure they have it on-line under specialty ink-jet paper

- Judith C.

ANSWER 5:
Thanks again!

- Damian G.

See Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.gadal-imagery.com

ANSWER 6:
Professional photo labs will also give you canvas prints. What they do is to remove the image from the photo paper backing and adhere it to a piece of canvas.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 7:
Thanks Jeff!

I would think that would get around the 8 1/2 X 11 printer restriction and one would be able to give the lab a digital file to work from.

That helps.

- Damian G.

See Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.gadal-imagery.com

ANSWER 8:
Dear Damian G,
If you want your images printed on canvas it's not difficult, but it can get expensive.

First, you need your image to be digitized.
Second, you need to find somebody with a true Giclee capable printer, (this is just a big fancy and expensive industial style inkjet printer - try www.lightroom.com)
Third, you need to tell them exactly what you want printed, and what you want it printed on, canvas is no problem.
Fourth, you need to pay them.

I hope this is of help as it is the best and fastest way to print photos or any other digitised image on real canvas, and it will also be long lasting if cared for.

Regards, Scott.

- Scott

ANSWER 9:
Thank you Scott!

That information is very helpful...

- Damian G.

See Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.gadal-imagery.com

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4642

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4642

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*****
NEW QUESTION 4: Uploading Images
Hello I tried to upload an image onto the photo contest you have each month. By the way, I am using Adobe Photoshop 5.0. It uploaded okay but it was a lot smaller than the frame that it was being uploaded into. How do I get the image to fit comfortably into the frame the is provided during upload. Thanks for your help! Bye!
P.S can you delete Wilson Pond on the Photo Contest please? It is the image that is way too small for the frame provided. Thank You!

- Erik W.

ANSWER 1:
Hi Erik,

To the best of my knowledge, this happens when you are scanning a photo (as opposed to scanning the negative or slide) on a flatbed scanner. Is this the case? If so, then you are scanning more than the photo - so your digital imgae is a photo with a lot of white space around it.

I will be happy to remove this one for you.

Let me know if this does not solve the problem.

- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=124

Take a photo course with Jim:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4641

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4641

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*****
NEW QUESTION 5: How to Deal with 'Shutter Lag Time'
My Sony DSC-S50 has what I consider an unacceptable 'shutter lag time.' I miss at least 50% of the photos I want. I can't always anticipate when a person is going to turn their head, etc. How do I cope? Are all digital cameras like this or just my model?

Help.

- Bonnie W.

ANSWER 1:
Not all digital cameras have a lag time. The more advanced and expensive they get, the faster they shoot. If you buy a new camera, try it first in the store. As for dealing with the lag time, I really don't think there is a way, other to anticipate the shot way in advance, or pose everything. I had the same problem with a less expensive digital I bought. I went back to using my 35mm until I could afford the digital I really wanted - a Nikon D100 $2000.00, but no lag time. Of course their are other less expensive models that don't have this problem.

- Judith C.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4636

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4636

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*****
NEW QUESTION 6: Purpose for Wide Angle Lens
I have a Nikon F100 35mm camera. I have a 28-70mm Lens which I am very happy with. What I am not happy with is group shots with this lens. What lens (wide angle) do you suggest for large family group shots.

Thanks

- MARYANN I.

ANSWER 1:
I too have asked this question. The answer I got was, you don't use wide angle because of the distortion at the edges of the shot. Try it at like 35 or 50 mm, and try standing on a step latter or box for sharper images. I too thought that wide angel meant for wider shots. No one ever explained why the name doesn't fit what it does, or what I'm supposed to use my wide angel for.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
Wide angle lenses are better suited to shots where you want to include more environment and create depth in an image. They don't work for group shots because those people near the edges of the shot will look distorted. A standard 50mm lens is probably as wide as you want to go (35 does ok). You just need to back up so you can fit everyone in.

- Jeff K.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4634

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4634

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*****
NEW QUESTION 7: How to Make the Main Subject Prominent
I am a novice in photography and I recently purchased a Minolta X 370 camera. But whenever I take a photo of a person in a beautiful landscape, when I want to get the scenery also, the main person looks very small. How can I take a good photo which gives a good view of the background scenery and the person prominent also? Please help!

- Swapna T.

ANSWER 1:
The higher your f stop is set, the more of the background will be in focus. Try f-stop 11 or higher, then you can get closer to subject and keep the scenery in focus. Bracket, try shoting the same shot at f11, f16, f22 ect., and see what looks best. If your camera has an aperture mode, that's probably the easiest way, or shoot manual.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
Thanks a lot Judith, for responding. I'll try it :)

- Swapna T.

ANSWER 3:
This is a good time to use that wide angle lens (Judith ;-))) ). Place your person near the camera so that they appear the size that you want them. The wide angle will help you include all the scenery you are looking for. Place the person to one side or the other and not dead center.

- Jeff K.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4633

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4633

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*****
NEW QUESTION 8: How to Shoot a Black Dog
I have noticed during my portrait sessions that if there is a black dog in the shot, I can't seem to get any detail. I have a black dog and have gotten great shots of him alone, but when I try to shoot him with the children I lose him in the shot. Yesterday I had a session with a teenage girl, she brought three puppies, the two carmel color puppies came out great, but all you see of the black one is his shape (no real detail). We put him between the other two on her lap. Any advice on lighting or focus? I use a Nikon D100 and a photogenic 3 light set.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 1:
You may need to light the dog separately. Aim one light with an extra stop of power at the black dog to bring out detail.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Jeff. I think your right, when I light my dog alone, he comes out beautiful. I had decided to try lighting him seperate, but I can't get any of the kids to cooperate. I wouldn't have thought to set the light higher though. Thanks for the advice.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 3:
Ok, I tackled the 6 year old, got the dog to sit (this is an accomplishment in itself) and shot one with an umbrella facing the dogs eyes. It turned out beautiful. The problem was, his eyes are brown and unless you get a catch light they disappear. He has very little to no white in his eyes depending on how he's looking at the camera. Thanks so much for your help on this and the wide angle lens thing. At least now I know where to use it.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 4:
I've got a big black (Newfoundland) dog too so I feel for you. I'm glad it worked out.

- Jeff K.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=4632

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=4632

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Inexpensive Scanner
I am looking at Pacific Image primefilm 1800u scanner for scanning negatives and slides to upload my images here. The specifications are:
1800 x1800dpi
36bit color
12 bit gray image depth
I'm getting it in $100. I found just one review which was good. But I want some guidance in this regard. If anybody has experinced with this one, please tell me.

My budget is $100-150 which I know is very low to get a decent film scanner. Does flatbed with film adapters works well if I don't print the images? Which one would you recommend in my budget?

- Sobia C.

ANSWER 1:
I have read a good review or two on this scanner, but I have not used it. Given your budget, you're doing about as well as you can. I would, however, buy it new with a warranty. Check out the company's web page and see what they offer for product support. Use a good imaging program with this, maybe Adobe Elements.
Some flatbeds do 35-mm, but it's a makeshift solution, because 35-mm is so small. Yet, people on this site have been satisfied with the Epson 2450's 35-mm scans. This scanner is $300-400.
Anyone use a Pacific Image 1800?

- Doug N.

See Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.DougNelsonPhoto.com

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Doug Nelson for your guidence. I'm getting it new with I think one year warranty. Well, I'll wait for a few days to get any more reviews before I make the final decision. By the way, I've checked out your website and tips long before on various matters including scanners. In fact, after reading your article on scanners, I had better understanding about them. Thanks again.

- Sobia C.

ANSWER 3:
A friend of mine who lives in a rural part of the UK ordered one of these from the city where I live. I was visiting her a few days later so I collected it from the shop. While I had it at home I did a comparison test against my Nikon Coolscan 2 and I have to say I was very impressed indeed with the results. To curb her impatience, I put them on a 'private' web page for her to have a look at and they are still out there on the web, so feel free to have a look....

http://www.vlec.freeserve.co.uk/scanner/index.html

I would have no hesitation in recommending this scanner - you will get far better results than any but the most expensive of flatbeds.

- Vincent L.

See Vincent's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13745

ANSWER 4:
Oops - sorry folks, forget that previous message, it's a different scanner!! The one I had was a PrimeFilm 1800u.

- Vincent L.

See Vincent's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13745

ANSWER 5:
....Vince sticks his head back below the parapet and hopes nobody noticed how senile he's getting lately....

- Vincent L.

See Vincent's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13745

ANSWER 6:
Oh dear.. this is all very confusing. After my first message I did a search for the scanner and the first site I looked at threw up a picture which was nothing like the model I reviewed. I've just had a look at some other sites and now realise that I was correct the first time - what confused me was the first site took me to the PrimeFilm 1800 AFL. I should have looked at the suffix more closly. So, correction to the correction - it WAS the correct scanner. Sorry for the confusion.

I'm going for a lie down now...

- Vincent L.

See Vincent's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13745

ANSWER 7:
Hi.

I picked up a Minolta Dimage Elite digital film/slide scanner off of UBID for like $ 175.00 shipped. Brand new w/ 1-year warranty. Although its a SCSI scanner and will require you to purchase a SCSI card...its a good quality scanner at a very affordable price. These were normally about $800.00. The only stickler is that I had a little bit of an issue with the scanner on my XP Pro Dell. However, a couple of calls to Minolta technical support cleared up the issue.

I scanned some very old slides for my neighbor and they came out AWESOME. The digital ICE feature is great for removing blemishes, dust specs, etc.

Have a good one!

- Ali S.

ANSWER 8:
Thanks Ali.
Thanks Vincent. I visited your provided link and the comparision between both scanners helped me to finalize my desicion in the favor of pacificimage Primefilm 1800u. Your photographs shows your love of landscapes.

- Sobia C.

ANSWER 9:
Glad to be of service, Sobia. As it happens I've just been to get some inkjet paper and picked up the new Jessops catalogue (largest UK photo store group) and they are marketing it under their own brand - it looks the same anyway, and the same spec. They say it was rated highly by Macuser magazine (4 out of 5). Selling for 120 pounds sterling here, so $100 looks like a bargain from this side of the pond!

- Vincent L.

See Vincent's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13745

ANSWER 10:
Until now I had not heard of the Primefilm product... is this available in the USA? It only costs $100... and it does a good job?!?!! WOW!! (perhaps I should check the net). I purchased a CANOSCAN D660U flat bed, which isn't too bad at scanning negatives and slides. However, I find myself still shooting enough film to warrant a better scanner so I opted to get the Minolta scanner.

- Ali S.

ANSWER 11:
I haven't got the scanner yet. Yes this is available in USA. The actual price is arround $150 but these days it is available with a $50 manufactures rebate. Don't know what is the deadline. You can go to the Pacific Image website and check the stores listed on their site. Also check out the link Vincent L. has provided with the images.

- Sobia C.

ANSWER 12:
I found a Shutterbug magazine on this very scanner (Pacific Image 1800) this weekend. It may be the April 2002 issue, if not try September. It is reviewed by Bob Shell, a straight-up, honest reviewer. He says to get it with the Silverfast scanning software. If you don't, get Silverfast later.

- Doug N.

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*****
CONTINUING QUESTION 2: What is Wrong With This Photo?
Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this photo? I know thre is something, but I think I am just too new at this to figure it out. Thanks!

- Sandra L.

See Sample Photo - Vacancy:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=54917


ANSWER 1:
2 things that jump out at me.

1. The light is very flat. It looks like you used an on camera or built in flash. My first recommendation would be to use the existing light when possible. If you must use flash then get the flash off the camera and off to one side. Beyond that, it usually helps to increase the size of your flash relative to the subject by bouncing it somehow.

2. Your main subject is very centered. Try not to center your subjects so much.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
Ok. I can see that now, and yes I did use a built-in flash. The whole thing looks flat! Thanks Jeff. You mentioned 'bouncing' flash... How is that done? Do you mean by bouncing it off mirrors or something? Since I took this in the evening, albeit early, extra light was needed. Does it need to be 'flash', or can I just use extra man made light?

Incidently, I am a night person. Anyone with ANY info on how to take good night pictures would be greatly appreciated!

- Sandra L.

ANSWER 3:
If you use a tripod you won't need a flash when the light gets low. Food for thought.

To bounce the flash you need a flash other than your built in flash. There are many attachments to bounce the flash into. I suggest going to the bookstore and looking for books on artificial lighting and composition.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 4:
OK. Thanks a bunch. Will do!

- Sandra L.

ANSWER 5:
I agree with Jeff's suggestions and might have a couple also. First I would suggest purchasing a flash that swivels not only side to side but also up and down. Then with the flash turned slightly to the left and angled up and getting closer to your subject take the picture. You might also try reflecting the flash off of a piece of white poster board. This would reflect off of the poster board back onto your subject. As far as for taking night pictures you would definately need a tripod and cable release and use very slow shutter speeds. I am talking settings such as 1/15 or slower posssibly even bulb setting from one minute to thirty minutes or longer depending on what you are photographying. Hope this has helped and experiment with different settings and write them down so that you know which setting worked. I still do this and always will.
J Lucius Estes
Lou's Freelance Photography
Westport, WA

- lou e.

ANSWER 6:
Crop out some of the excess. Also, taking the photo from another angle will give you a new view, maybe more exciting.

- VAL R.

ANSWER 7:
Hi, Sandra -- There are a lot of books and info on the internet about night photography. One internet site that I absolutely love is Troy Paiva's "Lost America" - he shoots under the light of a full moon. Check out www.lostamerica.com for some inspirational photographs! He also tells you how to do it yourself. Have fun!

- Mary H.

ANSWER 8:
Hi Sandra. I think maybe it doesn't look right because the "birds" are missing... it is an awfully quiet feeder. Pretty though...

- Brenda

ANSWER 9:
Thanks a bunch guys! Sorry it took me so long to get back to your suggestions. I have been away from the computer for awhile. Mary, I am going to check out that site right now. Sounds like something right up my alley. Brenda, :-), I realized that about the "lack of birds" just a little too late. Birds would indeed have given a little more life to the photo. Thanks again everyone.

- Sandra L.

ANSWER 10:
I agree with most of the answers. I think giving life to the photo would definately be more interesting. Also, the idea of the white poster board works. I use that technique a lot as well. I also would like to suggest using black and white film and maybe handcoloring the piece, it seems to add more authenticity and as I like to say "spice" to the photo. Try to off center it or use a different lens, I believe it's the 64mm, that allows you to get in really close so you can capture detail and maybe a bird with grace. It's appearance during your shoot and you'll get a ghostly remnant of it's wings in the photo as well. Good Luck!

- Heather P.

ANSWER 11:
Thank you Heather for the advice. I have a lot of work to do! :-)

- Sandra L.

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