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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Wednesday, September 03, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Got Great Photos? Show Them Off with a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Course Extension with Kerry Drager
* BETTERPHOTO: Digital Photography Online PhotoCourse™
* BETTERPHOTO: Bryan Peterson's Revised Learning to See Creatively
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Most Expensive Throw-Away / Name that Film
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: A Simply Excellent Tip by David and Judi Grey
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Metering
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Slide Film Basics
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Upgrading to Photoshop 7.0
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Advice on Buying Macro Lens Needed
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Shooting Caves
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to choose the right lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: What is Barrel Distortion?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: D.O.F and Shutter Speed
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Compatibility of Lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Shooting TIFor JPEG
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Steps for Best Photo Printing with a Canon 10D
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Buying a Lens


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Got Great Photos? Show Them Off with a Deluxe BetterPholio™
With a Deluxe BetterPholio™, you can show off up to 1000 of your best images, set up slide shows, and create the look and feel you want! Our Deluxe BetterPholio™ solutions give you a ONE STOP SHOP for getting your portfolio on the Web. What's more, people can search for your photos via a search engine! And if you opt for the Image Sales option, you can sell your images via the Internet! Learn more at:
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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 128th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

First the bad news: costs have been increasing so much that we are forced to raise our prices on the online photography courses. Almost all of our classes will soon be priced at $237.

Now for the good news: we will not be doing this until the January 2004 session. So now's your chance to get in on the old price. Sign up today for the fall session to take advantage of this last offering of courses at $195.

Deluxe BetterPholio™ owners: if you did not catch the announcement last week, you can now delete your own extra images. And this week, we have even more good news for you! You now have a search engine on your Deluxe BetterPholios™, allowing your visitors to quickly and easily find your photos.

And all you Kerry Drager fans will be happy to note that we have launched the first official Course Extension, allowing you to continue working with Kerry and your fellow students long after the course has ended. Have fun with this exciting new adventure!

Enjoy your week of photography,
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Course Extension with Kerry Drager
This unique photographic adventure is designed to expand your artistic vision... and to give you the opportunity to meet new friends and re-unite with old ones! Unlike regular BetterPhoto courses, this Course Extension runs for 12 weeks instead of eight, with assignments going out EVERY TWO WEEKS instead of weekly. Although the extension will not include photo lessons, Kerry will guide you to new photographic heights with bi-weekly photo assignments and, as always, his excellent and helpful review of your assignment photos:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD03.asp


*****
Digital Photography Online PhotoCourse™
Are you frustrated with how hard it is to get truly stunning photos from your digital camera? Are you overwhelmed by all the choices - JPEG vs. RAW, flash cards, software options, etc? Do you want to know how to use features such as white balance options, ISO equivalents, and exposure controls? Then join BetterPhoto founder Jim Miotke for his upcoming online photography course on digital camera usage and technique. In this course, you will learn Digital Photography in the best way imaginable. You will walk away empowered and knowing exactly how to make the best photos with your digital camera:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JCM03.asp


*****
Bryan Peterson's Revised Learning to See Creatively
As some of you may already know, Bryan's excellent book LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY has sold more then 100,000 copies in the USA since its release in 1988 and has been published in French, Japanese and Chinese. For the past 16 months, Bryan has been vigorously writing and shooting new material for the REVISED edition of LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY. Illustrated with more then 160 new images and featuring new additions on color theory, digital imaging and marketing, this new softcover edition will be available in bookstores and camera stores by October 15th.

But wait... there's more! Bryan has arranged with his publisher to produce 250 special edition hardcover copies of this revised version of LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY and is offering them here first to the shooters at BetterPhoto.Com. This is an exclusive offer, not available anywhere else. For $75.00 each, Bryan will send you a signed and numbered HARDCOVER edition of the new and improved LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY and that price does include shipping/handling.

To order, email Bryan at bfpphotography@aol.com and send a check or money order for $75.00, made payable to Bryan F. Peterson, to the following address: 503 SW 106th, Seattle, WA 98146. Bryan will then immediately assign a number to your email which will be the same number assigned to your signed and numbered edition. Also, feel free to include any personalized comments you would like Bryan to write in your book. These special limited editions have already been selling like hot cakes - to get your signed, numbered, hardcover copy or LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY, order today!


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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
In the movie, The Spanish Prisoner, how much does Steve Martin's character offer to pay for the protagonist's single-use camera? Why does he want it and why doesn't the sale go through? Bonus Question: What kind of camera is it?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Joseph Nicoloffis:
Steve Martin's character offered $1000 to Campbell Scott's character for the camera because one of the shots included his friend's wife, who wasn't supposed to be on the island at the time. Instead he handed over the camera as a gift.

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 - Name that Film - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

In which movie does an older man misrepresent himself by sending his potential bride a self-portrait taken when he was 20 years younger?

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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A Simply Excellent Tip by David and Judi Grey
From an autoparts supplier, purchase a car window reflector; they can be found with dimpled silver (or gold) on one side and white on the other, either large (for front and rear windows) or small(the side windows ones). They fold up easily or if you can get the ones on a spring frame, they're just like the "professional" reflectors!

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
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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
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  • 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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Metering
Everytime I use a hand held light meter to set my exposures. My camera indicates that I'm either overexposed or underexposed. Do I ignore the camera indicator and follow what my what my light meter suggested?
- Ray

ANSWER 1:
If your handheld is an incident meter then it's not surprising that you may get different readings. The reflective meter in your camera will vary depending upon the tone of what it's pointing at. The incident meter couldn't care less what tones are in your scene. All it knows is how much light is falling on the scene. That's what makes incident meters so nice to use. It takes all the guesswork out. So yes, if you're metering with an incident meter you can ignore the camera. To a point anyway. If your readings are way off it can tell you a couple of things. First, you should check to make sure you have the meter set to the right ISO. Next, make sure you are metering the same intensity of light that is falling on your scene. IOW don't stand in the shade to meter a sunlit scene.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6630

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6630

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NEW QUESTION 2: Slide Film Basics
I just purchased my first roll of slide today, 200 speed, and I was wondering from what I've heard about it being completely different from negative film, can you still get the same results when your light meter is saying correctly exposed as you would with negative film? Or would you have to adjust at all?
- Steve

ANSWER 1:
Hi Steve: This is an excellent question! Slide film is indeed different. Negative film, for example, has much more room for error than slide film ... meaning that you can "miss" the exposure somewhat when shooting negative film and still come up with a good print. That's because many exposure "problems" can be fixed in the printing process. With slide film, the slide itself is generally the "finished" product, so good metering technique and lighting analysis are important.

Because slide film isn't as forgiving as print/negative film, it takes a little practice. Here is my suggestion: Set aside one roll and plan to shoot several completely different scenes. In each case, however, "bracket" your exposures. Here's how to do it:

Shoot one exposure using your usual exposure technique or metering mode ... in other words, when your light meter is saying the settings are correct. Then, with the exact same scene and the exact same composition and lighting, make "insurance" shots both over AND under that exposure reading. Do this in either 2 one-half-stop or 2 one-third-stop increments (depending on how your camera's metering system) in each direction ... for a total of FOUR extra exposures. Repeat this "bracketing" process with other scenes, and be sure to take notes on exactly what settings and metering mode you used.

After you get your film back, compare your slides on, say, a light box. With this practice roll, you'll learn a lot about potential exposure problems and your camera's metering capabilities - and whether a particular scene required an exposure adjustment or compensation. Plus, you'll become more familiar with the colorful world of slide photography!

Good luck, Steve!
Kerry
PS: Incidentally, many slide-film shooters use bracketing in difficult exposure situations (i.e., when shooting sunsets or silhouettes) as "insurance" ... to prevent losing the shot altogether.
- Kerry A. Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - KerryDrager.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Beyond Snapshots
Field Techniques

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6621

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6621

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NEW QUESTION 3: Upgrading to Photoshop 7.0
Am I supposed to delete 6.0 when I install the upgrade to 7.0?
- John Foutch

ANSWER 1:
If it's an upgrade you bought (it didn't cost $600) simply install it. Don't mess with 6.0 at all. Your upgrade will add the 7.0 features.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6614

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6614

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Advice on Buying Macro Lens Needed
I have a Canon EOS Rebel 2000, a 35-80mm lens and a 75-300mm lens. The longer lens is very "tight" and the AF doesn't work so I always have to use manual focus. I love close up floral and bug/butterfly photography along with birds and other wildlife. I usually use my longer lens for close up photography unless I can get really close to a subject (aka one that won't fly away.) I was looking at macro lenses yesterday and found one that is 50mm macro and one that is a 75-300mm with a macro switch. I was considering getting the 75-300 so that I could have the long focal length and the macro capability. Can anybody offer advice on the best kind of macro lens to get?

Thanks!
- Kelly Andrews

Visit thrukellyseyes.com - Kelly's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Look to see what the minimum focusing distance is for the lens you buy. The 75-300 likely has a much longer distance than the 50. This will affect what you are able to shoot with that particular lens. If you like to get up close, the 50 will probably best suit you. Another alternative is a macro extension. I have a 2x doubler with macro and it will work with any of my lenses from 28mm to 300mm. Try them before you buy them.
- Wayne Attridge

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6595

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6595

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NEW QUESTION 5: Shooting Caves
Does any one have advice (film speed / exposure settings) for shooting in caves? I am on my way to Carlsbad Caverns and hope to get some decent pics. I use a Rebel 2000 with the Elchepo 28-90 and a Tamron 100-300 lens.
- Richard

ANSWER 1:
Exposure settings will depend on available light. You will have to meter or use the camera's meter for that. As far as film speed goes, your elchepo zoom is probably not very fast, I'm guessing maybe 3.5 or 4.0 to 5.6. If this is the case, I would maybe use Fuji Pro 800 or something in that range. I don't generally use Kodak Max, which is rated at 800 - 1000 but this may be a good alternative (check the Kodak website)
- Wayne Attridge

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http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6593

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6593

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NEW QUESTION 6: How to choose the right lenses
Hello,
I need advice on lens selection and hope to find the answers here. In Sept. I begin my first photography course (the first of many!)and from reading the answers on this site I have determined that I need to purchase either the Olympus OM-1n, PentaxK-1000, or Nikon FM2 (to ensure that I learn from the very beginning, instead of letting autofocus take over!)
My question is, as I realize that lenses are hugely important in determining quality, which lenses should I be looking for?
Also, does anyone have an opinion on which of the three cameras I mentioned would be best for a novice who plans to be studying professional photography for the next few years?
Any advice / answers would be appreciated!
Thank you,
Misty Ross
misty@coralsales.com
- Misty D. Ross

ANSWER 1:
Olympus OM-1n is a fabulous body, but was never sold in the numbers of Pentax, Canon, Minolta, or Nikon, so OM lenses are going to be far less available than the other makes (but worth the effort to find/acquire). Pentax and Nikon lenses are plentiful, because they were popular sellers, but also because they built their current line of autofocus lenses off the old manual focus/mechanical aperture mount (though with occasional incompatibilities), where Minolta and Canon abandoned their manual lens mounts 20 years ago for new all-electronic mounts for their af cameras. Both the FM2 and K1000 are classics and functional even if the battery or meter dies. The classic first lens for a class would be a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 (or f/1.7 or f/2). The FM2 is higher performance than the K1000 (higher flash sync speed, higher top shutter speed, changeable focus screens,...).

While you are leaning toward these manual cameras, know that virtually all autofocus SLRs can be used in full manual modes (manual focus, manual exposure) and a few (such as Canon's Rebel 2000, Rebel Ti, and higher models) have useful learning features like depth of field preview.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thank you for your answer! You know, originally I was leaning toward a Canon Rebel 2000. In your opinion, can a student learn the manual basics as well on an autofocus with full manual options as on a full mechanical manual? Also, do you advise beginning with set lenses or a zoom lens? Again, any opinions / answers appreciated.
Misty
- Misty D. Ross

ANSWER 3:
Consider an all manual first. The total outlay is cheaper, if you decide photography is not your thing. The viewfinder of any of the cameras you mention is likely to be brighter and the focusing microprism or split image focusing aid better than in a bottom end autofocus SLR. With a manual, you will be able to focus even in dim conditions with less contrasty subjects.
Go with a 50 prime lens first. In the Olympus, go for the 50-mm f1.4. The 50 f2 Nikkor and f2 Pentax are good performing bargains. 28 wide angles are plentiful. 135-mm teles are out of vogue, so plentiful and inexpensive. See how sharp prime Nikkor, Pentax or Olympus lenses are, before you settle for one of the many affordable but mediocre zooms.
Since the manual cameras you mention are 20 years old or more, spend $85 on a CLA (clean, lube, adjust) and new foam film door seals. Have an honest camera shop check it over for you to be sure the cLA is necessary. This is more important than the extra lenses.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6588

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6588

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NEW QUESTION 7: What is Barrel Distortion?
Hello!

I have read lots of reviews related to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 complaining about the "Barrel Distortion". What does it mean? And are there any precautions against it?

Thanks a lot for answering my previous question, it did help clear up lots of issues.
- Shridhar Upadhyaya

ANSWER 1:
Some lenses show a bowed outward effect at the edges of the frame. It is unusual to me that a 50 would show this noticeably. Many excellent lenses probably have a touch of it. Wide-angles or the wide end of zooms are usually worse in this regard. As a long term Canon fan, it bothers me that a $300 lens would have this problem. If I used this lens for weddings, I would not worry too much about this, but I would be careful posing people too close to the edge of the frame. Strangely, 20 year old Minolta 50-mm f1.7s costing 1/6 as much have tested as having NO distortion, as well as exemplary resolution and contrast characteristics. I would trust a Leica 50-mm lens to have no or nearly no barrel distortion. As for Canon, try to find out if the 50-mm macro shows any significant distortion. I would think that you could use a 50 macro exactly as you would your other 50's. Look also at the f1.8 50.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
On a related note, "pincushion" distortion is the opposite, straight lines at the edges of the frame bending inwards, like ) (. Barrel distortion = ( ).

Virtually all 35mm lenses will exhibit some amount of barrel or pincushion distortion. It is very well controlled in most prime lenses and more noticable in wide angle zooms.

Re - EF 50 f/1.4 USM, I've never seen a review of this lens that rated it as anything less than excellent on all counts. If you're referring to the mention of barrel distortion in the 50 f/1.4 from this source - http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/ then it should be noted that (a) the "test" was not scientific. The brick wall pic was taken at full aperture, where the distortion would be most apparent, the conditions are a little sloppy in that the camera does not appear to have been perfectly level and (more importantly in this test) perpendicular to the wall, and there is no normalization (ie, no comparison as to whether it's better or worse than 50 f/1.4 lenses by Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, etc.).
- Jon Close

ANSWER 3:
Sample of the same lens from the same manufacturer can show differing characteristics. See http://medfmt.8k.com/third/variations.html for information on this. Your lens may not have the degree of distortion shown by other samples. Shoot through a doorway, placing the edges of the frame close to the door edges. Then scan the image, and go into photoshop or some imaging program. Grab lines from the ruler side of the screen and place them over the door edges in the image. You'll likely see some degree of barrel distortion. Alternatively, use a straightedge on the print.
Don't despair if you see some distortion. My Canon FD 85 1.8 has noticeable pincusion distortion in certain architectural shots. It's still my favorite lens.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6586

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6586

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: D.O.F and Shutter Speed
Hi, I finally bought the Canon Rebel Ti and it is amazing -it can be operated manually to any extent and I am very happy with it. But I do have a few questions.

a) If I want to use a slow shutter speed to take a picture of a waterfall, how do I know what speed to set if I want to get a nice picture of flowing water and not the drop by drop type look?
b) Same question but for aperture and depth of field
c) People say to use a slow shutter speed to catch fireworks, but I don't understand why, since they disappear very quickly - wouldn't they be gone before the exposure is finished?
d)What exactly is bulb mode?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!
- Josh

ANSWER 1:
(a) Try several and take notes. It'll vary depending on the speed of the water, and your distance from it. The farther away (or wider angle lens used) the longer the shutter speed for blurring motion. The opposite is true for stopping motion - faster shutter speeds are required as you move closer and/or as focal length increases. Very generally, 1/125 and faster will freeze the motion, 1/60-1/8 will give you streaking motion, 1/4 to several seconds (or even minutes) will give milky blur.

(b) Smaller apertures increase depth of field. DoF also varies depending on the lens focal length and distance from your focused subject. When you focus the lens is at its widest aperture. When the shutter is tripped, the mirror flips up and the aperture instantaneously stops down to the chosen aperture, then opens wide again. Using the Rebel Ti's DoF preview the aperture closes down to the selected value so you can see the depth of field. The viewfinder will darken because the smaller aperture lets in less light. Allow your eyes to get accomstomed, and the difference in DoF will be apparent. You can also use the camera's DEP program mode to set the aperture for appropriately shallow or deep depth of focus. Or you can use a DoF calculator to determine the aperture you want. A couple I like are f/Calc from http://www.tangentsoft.net/ for doing calculations on the computer, another is DOFMaster from http://dfleming.ameranet.com/custom.html which allows you to construct a DoF scale for your lens that can be used in the field.

(c) Like lightning, fireworks explosions usually happen too fast to hope to catch by pressing the shutter at that moment. A fast shutter speed would freeze the small sparks of the explosion. So you use a long shutter speed to catch the full effect and the long tails of the cascading sparks. Opening the shutter for a longer period (using a smaller aperture like f/8) on a black sky will expose only the brief bright light of the firework. See the section "Fireworks" under Kodak's "Taking Great Pictures" at http://www.kodak.com

(d) BULB holds the shutter open for as long as the shutter button is held down. You would use this to get exposures longer than the camera's timer limit (30 seconds) or for example, lightning, where you have the shutter open in anticipation of a lightning strike, then close it immediately after. It is best to use BULB with a remote release and a tripod.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6581

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6581

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Compatibility of Lenses
I bought a Nikon N60 from Ritz that came with a Quantaray 28-90mm lens. I was wondering where I could go to find out if it was compatible with the Canon EOS cameras.
- Thomas

ANSWER 1:
Nikon and Canon (and Pentax and Minolta) use entirely different lens mount designs. A lens made with Nikon mount can only be used on Nikon cameras.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6579

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6579

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Shooting TIFor JPEG
If I shoot in JPEG, then take my images right out of my camera & save them as TIFs, will the quality be the same as shooting in TIF? Thanks
- Lydia Ivy

ANSWER 1:
If you shoot in JPEG format with your camera in order to get more pix on the memory card, the camera compresses the image. A JPEG image has much information discarded in order to make the file size smaller. This information cannot be retrieved afterwards by any current means. There is actually no purpose to saving these JPEGs as TIF files. If you want TIF files with all the data for the picture, you must shoot them as TIF and save them as TIF. You should burn a CD with the TIF files on it for archiving and then convert to JPEG for emailing, etc. So, the answer to your question in a word: NO.
- Wayne Attridge

ANSWER 2:
Wayne, thank you for your response. I am no longer confused and will be shooting in TIF. The number of images I can shoot goes down dramatically. Do I just get a larger memory card/s?
- Lydia Ivy

ANSWER 3:
You can buy a larger capacity memory card or more cards, whichever suits you. The larger cards are more economical than the smaller ones. Buy only what you need right now as the price is constantly dropping.
- Wayne Attridge

ANSWER 4:
Hi Wayne, thanks again. Good to know.
- Lydia Ivy

ANSWER 5:
It's true that there's no need to convert your JPEG's to TIFs out of the camera, except in this instance. If you plan to do edits in a lot of steps with SAVES, each save recompresses the image. You can protect it from overcompression by working it as a TIF. Having said that, some images will tolerate a few edits and saves. Some, however, won't.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Steps for Best Photo Printing with a Canon 10D
I just got a 10D (and I am totally green to digital photography), so I am sure I am about to ask a question that has been asked before, but...

When I load my photos from my camera to my computer what steps should I take to ensure a good photo quality in the developed print? I am shooting in the large/fine mode so I should have a pretty good captured resolution. Is it common to have to make adjustments to ALL your photos prior to burning them to a CD for printing (such as unsharp/mask, or color adjustments)?

I know there are vast possibilities for alterations in Photoshop... I just need the basic steps that one might follow prior to burning their photos on a disc that they are going to take to a local chain type place for developing, and what instructions you might give the retailer for printing.

Thanks in advance for your help. I am at the beginning of what appears to be a long learning curve!
- Angela Majerus

ANSWER 1:
All digital pictures need some USM before printing to get the best quality out of it unless the picture looks better not sharpened like a portrait where you may want it a bit soft. I personally use CP Pro action from Fred Miranda but you can use USM in photoshop. I also do if needed a bit of curves and/or levels, color, whatever depending on the picture. I then crop if needed, resize and print. I do my own printing but it would be the same for sending to a lab. Check which them what the best parameters are and file format and then do the upsizing yourself if needed.
- Michael Kaplan

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the input. I guess I didn't realize that I would have to do anything to the prints prior to burning them to a CD for printing. Like I said, I am totally green to the digital thing. But, I have been reading all the great posts here and going through my software tutorials.

Thanks for the help!
- Angela Majerus

ANSWER 3:
I should have said BTW that you don't HAVE to do anything and many people don't do anything and are perfectly happy with their prints. I would suggest you do a trial and error thing. Maybe take 1 print you like and send in 1 image untouched and play around with another and see which you like printed the best. It has been said that you need greater sharpening for prints than for screen so you can try a few variations. Also 4x6 might not show the differences the way an 8x10 or larger shot will. For the cost of prints now a days, experiment a little and see what YOU like best.

Also I said I use Cp Pro. It should have read CSPro by Fred Miranda.
- Michael Kaplan

ANSWER 4:
If you really want to burn photos straight from your 10D, you can also set sharpening and color intensity in the camera (use the custom functions). The result is not quite as good as doing it in photoshop, but OTOH you then don't need to post process your images.

Another point, photo quality inkjet printers from epson, Canon and HP are so cheap, you will probably recover their initial cost over your first hundred retail prints.
- Frank Gilbert

ANSWER 5:
This is not an answer but an inquiry to Michael K. or anyone who can tell me what "USM" refers to in regard to enhancing digital images, since I'm new to digital terminology.
- JEFF GROVE

ANSWER 6:
USM (UnSharp Mask) is actually a sharpening tool, not an unsharpening tool like the name signifies. Some different photo programs like Photoshop and others have this (under filters) as a way to add some line sharpening. This acts differently than the Sharpen tool.

Applying sharpness can be done at various stages of the scanning or image reproduction process and is usually necessary
after capturing an image with a scanner or a digital camera. This adds back sharpness lost during the original capture
process. It is best to apply USM to the image at its final size it is going to be reproduced at.

A digital camera has a Descreening filter to remove moire. That filter causes some lack od sharpness that needs to be put back thru USM or similar method for the best quality pictures.
- Michael Kaplan

ANSWER 7:
First thing you should do is copy your images to your computer then before doing any adjustments make a CD-Rom copy of them. That way you always have a raw form.

Just curious why arent you using the RAW format on the camera. This allows for the most editing of the image.

Next step would be to convert images using the program that came with the camera or something like Breeze Browser (Cost about $40 approx.). In the conversion stage you can adjust color, saturation, highlights etc.

After conversion and color fixtures make another copy of your images before you resize them. That way in the future you dont have to go and redo the above steps and the only you would have to do is resize and sharpen them. I would not recommend USM or sharpening then saving reason being is that an 5x7 and 16x20 need different levels of sharpening etc.

Check with your local lab about what format they need computer files most are in 8-Bit Tiff RGB format at around 300dpi.
- Jody Grigg

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*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Buying a Lens
I received with 28-80G lens bundled with Nikon N80. Though results are OK but it does not operate smoothly and makes noise while zooming or focusing. As enthu photographer, should I go for 28-105D Nikon lens in its place, which I presume not very expensive? Or else 24-85D will be better.
- Sunil Mishra

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See Sample Photo - Rising Sun :
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See Sample Photo - Dusk at beach:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=86739

See Sample Photo - Rising Sun :
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=86738

ANSWER 1:
Hi Sunil: Some verrrry beautiful pictures! As for the 28-105 and 24-85 choice of zooms, they're very similar in that both go from wide to short telephoto. The choice, I think, involves what type of photography you do. Landscapes? Then you might like that 24-85, since it's a little wider. People? Then you may prefer a little extra in the telephoto range. Can't decide? Then go with the least-expensive lens!
Good luck! Kerry
PS: There may be an easy-to-fix problem with your 28-80 lens (or N80). You might want to have a repair shop look at it.
- Kerry A. Drager

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