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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 24, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Got Great Photos? Show Them Off with a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Jim Miotke of BetterPhoto.com on Shutterbug Magazine Radio
* BETTERPHOTO: Digital B&W With Shutterbug Editor George Schaub
* BETTERPHOTO: Lewis Kemper's Large Format Class... We Need Your Help
* PHOTO LINK: Tony Sweet's Book "Fine Art Nature Photography" in OP
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Qu'est-ce que c'est... un collage? / Photo Libs
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Breaking the Ice with Models - Tip by Jim Zuckerman
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Digital Art
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Difference Between Film Types
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How Much Vibrations Affects Blurred
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: TOTAL Beginner
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Property Release Forms
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Shoot Lightning
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Taking Photographs of Art
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Shoot Landscapes and Seascapes
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Zoom Lenses and Aperture
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Shooting in Glacier Region
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Online Courses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: How to Eliminate Shadows
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Troubles with Shooting a Concert


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

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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 131st issue of SnapShot!

Hi

As the leaves are beginning to turn (and you are likely getting ready to capture beautiful fall colors), we have gathered a wonderful harvest of helpful Q&A for you this week. With answers about everything from film types to aperture to our online courses, we have something for everyone this week.

Speaking of online courses, the fall session is just around the corner! With only two weeks left before the courses start, many of our classes are quickly approaching full capacity. It is only a matter of time before we start posted the big red "FULL" notices on our most popular courses. If you have been considering going back to school this fall with one of our incredible online photography courses, now's your chance!

Also, note that the prices on most of our online photo courses will be increasing in January 2004. Sign up quick to take advantage of the lower price.

Have a great week and have fun getting set to capture the fall colors,
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Jim Miotke of BetterPhoto.com on Shutterbug Magazine Radio
Want to learn more about the great BP Web site? Jim Miotke, founder of BetterPhoto.com, will be joining the Foto Guys Jack and Howard of Shutterbug Magazine Radio this Friday morning to discuss some of the cool things BetterPhoto has to offer to photographers. With everything from Web site hosting to online photography classes taught by some of most respected names in the photographic community today, BetterPhoto.com has quickly become the premiere Web site for photographers on the Web.

Join us this Friday at 8AM Pacific / 11AM Eastern time for Shutterbug Magazine Radio with The Foto Guys Jack & Howard, "The Voice of Photography", powered by wsRadio.com, The WorldWide Leader In Internet Talk. You can call in talk with us at 888-327-0061 (US and Canada) or 001-858-623-0102 (International). Or listen to the show online at:
http://www.fotoguysradio.com


*****
Digital B&W With Shutterbug Editor George Schaub
Are you interested in getting great black and white prints with your digital printer? George Schaub shows you how to print expressive black and white images using digital printing techniques. Join George for his excellent online photography course - beginning in two weeks - to learn how to print your own beautiful black and white images in the digital darkroom:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/GEO01.asp


*****
Lewis Kemper's Large Format Class... We Need Your Help
Are you involved in large format 4 x 5 photography (or associated with any large format photographers)? Then we need your help. As the current BetterPhoto membership tends to shoot 35mm and digital, your outreaching help would be of great value to us. Please help us get the word out about Lewis Kemper's upcoming class. This large format course promises to be an exciting class - but we need a few more students in order to make the course truly interactive and dynamic. If you can post information about the course on a bulletin board or forum, email a friend, or link to the class, we would be very grateful. See the details about this fun class here:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/LEW01.asp

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PHOTO LINKS
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Tony Sweet's Book "Fine Art Nature Photography" in OP
We just wanted to congratulate Tony Sweet... his beautiful and inspiring book, "Fine Art Nature Photography: Advanced Techniques and the Creative Process", was featured in the recent September issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine. Way to go, Tony! In his imagery, his writing, and his instructing, Tony does a superb job showing you how to consistently create amazing photographs.

To learn how to make such inspiring images, join Tony in his two online courses here at BetterPhoto:

Image Design: Revealing Your Personal Vision:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS01.asp

Fine Art Flower Photography:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS02.asp

Or browse all of the courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

See Tony's book in the September issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine or see it online at:
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/content/2003/oct/infocus.html

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
The word "collage" - as in a photo that is a combination of multiple images - is taken from the which word, meaning what? Here's a hint: it's French.

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Gadi Eidelheitis:
Etymology: French, literally, gluing, from coller to glue, from colle glue, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin colla, from Greek kolla

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 - Photo Libs - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Fill in the blanks on this famous quote: "If your pictures aren't ____ enough, you're not ______ enough?" Who said it?

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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Breaking the Ice with Models - Tip by Jim Zuckerman
A digital camera can help break the ice when photographing people, especially when traveling in other countries. You can show them the digital capture in your LCD monitor, and when they see a photo of themselves they usually relax and begin to enjoy being photographed. Of course, they'll want copies of the images you take. In exchange for cooperation as models, you should promise to send them a few small prints. People in Third World countries rarely have enough disposable income to afford even inexpensive cameras. Therefore, they don't have pictures of themselves, their children, and their parents as they age. If you send photos you've taken, they will be cherished for generations.

To learn more, take Jim Zuckerman's "Making Money with Your Photography":
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK04.asp

Or check into one of Jim Zuckerman's other courses at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

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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To order online, visit:
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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Digital Art
Hi, I am new to this site and was wondering is Digital Art accepted and if so, which category would I submit in? I just submitted my first contest entry under Graphics, Detail and Flowers and now I am thinking that might be wrong. Thanks for any advice.
- Claudia Robinson

ANSWER 1:
The best category for digital art or photos that have been heavily treated in Photoshop is the General Category.
Best wishes with your contest entry!
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim Miotke's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Jim Miotke's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - Miotke.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jim Miotke:
Jim Miotke's Online Photography Classes

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6804

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6804

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Difference Between Film Types
I was wondering what the difference is between slide film and regular film. I am going to school for photography and have heard a lot of people talking about slide film. Can you help?
Thank you.
- MOLLY

ANSWER 1:
By "regular film"..I am asuming you are refering to print film. If that is the case there is, indeed, a big difference between the two.

Print film contains a negative image which must processed and printed onto photo paper to create a positive image..or photo.
With slide film...the image created on the film in the camera is the same one that will become the slide, or transparency. This "positive" film medium has advantages and dis-advantages.
The advantages are better color saturation and improved image clarity.
Most magazine editors prefer fine grain transparencies for their publications over any other medium.
Another advantage is that slide film gives the photographer more control over how his or her photo will look after processing. With print film, you are at the mercy of the printing lab to produce an image similar to how it appeared through your lens.
The disadvantages, are in the complexity of processing of some slide films, like Kodachrome. Only specific labs are equipped to handle them.
Slide film also has a much narrower margin of error regarding proper exposure, while many of these same over or under exposure mistakes can be easily corrected with print film during the printing process.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6799

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6799

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: How Much Vibrations Affects Blurred
The mirror of my Canon AE1 makes a sort of “clang” when the shutter is released, producing a slight, almost imperceptible vibration of the body. I’m a bit worried as that could produce a slightly, uncontrollable blurred effect in my photos (even thought I hardly have found it in practice, to be honest). My worry is: why should I use fixed focal length lenses of good quality if sharpness is lost by vibrations?
So the questions are: How much does mirror’s lifting really affects blurred? Is there any way to lock up the mirror with this camera?
Thankyou very much.
- Stefano

ANSWER 1:
In my own case, lack of sharpness is more often caused by a combination of using too slow a shutter and lack of proper camera support. I don't believe this stuff about the slowest hand-hold shutter speed being the reciprocal of the lens focal length. My attempts to hold a 28 at 1/30 were not consistently successful. If the photo were important to me, I should have done the geezer fuddy-duddy drill and set up a tripod. For me, that reciprocal factor should be reduced by a shutter speed faster, for example, a minimum of 125 sec for a 50-mm lens.

If those factors are controlled, mirror slap MAY make a difference between about 1/60 and 1/4 second. At those speeds, you'd use a monopod or tripod, I'd think. I doubt if the AE-1 suffers any more than any other SLR is this regard. If you want mirror lock-up, find an FTb on an auction site for less than $75.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I agree with Doug, that "mirror slap" is most prevalent between 1/60 and 1/4 second. Many experts conclude that at 1/15 second, the camera "moves" during the entire exposure....even when tri-pod mounted.
Whenever I shoot during this critical range, and even beyond, I engage the timer mechanism on my tripod mounted camera...which locks up the mirror before the shutter opens.
On exposure times of 1 second or more, this process is not necessary since the added time allows the image to be literally "painted" onto the film and makes whatever movement that did occur indescernable.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6790

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6790

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NEW QUESTION 4: TOTAL Beginner
I know NOTHING about cameras but I am interested in photography. What is a good camera for a total beginner? I hear that digital cameras are not as good as manual kinds - is that true? What is a great camera I could get or about $500 or less to practice on photography skills. I am really interested in going far with this, maybe becoming a photographer. I think I want a manual type arent they a little better than digital?
- Valerie N.

ANSWER 1:
I think that most people would recommend that a beginner start with completely manual camera. I recommend the Pentax K1000 manual SLR. The camera is no longer in production, but it can be found used at camera shops or at ebay with ease. Since this is a completely manual camera, there will be no autofocus, auto-film advancing, auto-rewind, etc. This camera allows the student to learn about photography from the ground up. For $500, you could by a K1000 and a couple of good lenses and still some cash left over.
- John Gatica

ANSWER 2:
I personally love my Canon Rebel 2000. It takes gorgeous pictures and I have never had problems with it. It is great for absolutly everything. Plus, it only cost and 200-300 dollars. I use it for sports, portraits, and landscape. And if you get the 300 zoom lens, your pictures will come out absolutly amazing for far away pictures. It has both automatic and manual. Its also very easy to use. To me, its a perfect 10
- Sarah R. Gipson

ANSWER 3:
As John said, the old manual camera is the best place to start. I bought a Canon FTb brand new and have shot with it trouble free for many years. My son now shoots with it. They are plentiful as well in the used market and I think the Canon FD series lenses which this camera uses are superior to the pentax counterparts. An opinion, but very good results from the equipment.
- Wayne Attridge

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6785

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6785

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NEW QUESTION 5: Property Release Forms
How can I obtain property release forms for photos that have been taken years ago either in other states or overseas? Some of the buildings are national landmarks or places of interest, so I wouldn't think it would be that difficult.
- Kelly A. Sullivan

ANSWER 1:
Kelly - Are you sure you need them? Property releases are only needed if you plan to sell the image, or license it, for commercial purposes, such as an ad or in a brochure. For books, exhibits, fine art prints, etc., you don't need one. Greeting cards fall into the middle of that somewhere, unfortunately, so depending upon you intent, you may or may not actually need a release. I'm not certain you need a release if it's a national landmark building. ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) may be able to help. check our their web site and see what you find. Also, there are two books by Michael Heron on stock photography that would probably discuss releases in depth. If you need them after all, it will be a challenge, since you'd be dealing with the government landmark office, I'd guess. Good luck!
- Brenda Tharp

See Brenda Tharp's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

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http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6779

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6779

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: How to Shoot Lightning
I am curious how to shoot lightning with low speed film (100 speed).
- John T. DiBiasi

ANSWER 1:
John - the best way to photograph lightning is use the slowest film speed you can, so you can open the shutter for several seconds and hope that lightning strikes during that exposure! You can do two things to help yourself: if the slower film is still not slow enough to give you a several second exposure, put on your polarizer and/or a solid neutral density filter to block even more light; or, try to do this type of photography at twilight, or nightfall, as it will be dark enough naturally to give you an exposure of several seconds. I usually stop the lens down to f16 or f22, use ISO 50 film, my polarizer if needed, and hopefully then I can open the shutter for 10-30 seconds. This improves your odds of having the bolt of lightning strike the ground while the shutter is open. Have fun - and remember that metal tripods conduct electricity, so don't be out there too close to the lightning, and wear rubber soled shoes (just to help...!)
- Brenda Tharp

See Brenda Tharp's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6777

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6777

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Taking Photographs of Art
I am 100% amatuer, but I have an assignment to take pictures of another artist's work. This artist does work with copper and aluminum that is matted and framed. He wants a portfolio of his work so he needs pictures to be taken of his art. The problem is controlling the light because light reflects copper and aluminum. It's either too much light or too little light. Any suggestions of the best way to capture his art with the most efficient light possible? Oh and once again I am truly a beginner so I need baby talk :)
- Brooke

ANSWER 1:
The simplest way is to place a gray card (you can purchase it in a camera store) on the art piece and take the exposure off the card. Make sure your own shadow does not fall on the card and the card fill your camera's viewfinder. Lock the exposure (if you have a manual camera or use "manual" function of your automatic camera) and you are fine.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 2:
Brooke - You might also try using a polarizing filter, to cut the reflection to a degree that you will see through the lens. If you can photograph under diffuse lighting conditions (overcast day outdoors, or by placing a silk fabric between you and the light you are using inside, that can help, too.
- Brenda Tharp

See Brenda Tharp's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6775

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6775

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: How to Shoot Landscapes and Seascapes
I live in Goa - a land of beaches. I need to know how to use my equipment to get best pictures of landsacpes and seascapes. I do not have any filters for my equipment - Nikon F3 & F90x.

Can you suggest which type of filters I need to keep?
- Nikhil K. Burde

ANSWER 1:
I believe that composing is the key to every single photo, a professional photographer has to know and apply always!...

I think the rule of the thirds have to be considered when taking landscapes of any type!

For filters at the beach I could say a circular polarizer to darken the skies; perhaps a type of a blue, orange or a sepia filter, like the ones from Cokin, that the shade of color gradually goes from top to bottom!
- Leo Enriquez

ANSWER 2:
I agree with Leo... filters are not the first priority in getting great images. But... one more filter that may be useful for beach scenes would be a graduated neutral density filter. Look up some links on this type of filter on the net for how to use it.

But in a nutshell, it has a ND filter on half of the filter allowing you to place it over the sky or brighter portion of the image. Sometimes it is tough to exposure correctly for both the sky/water and shoreline at once and you could get blown out clouds or a too bright sky. A graduated ND will keep the brightness in the sky down allowing a more even exposure.

I probably didn't explain that very well, but you can find tons of info on graduated ND filters on the net.
- Heather K. McFarland

See Heather's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Heather did a good job of explaining ND filters 'in a nutshell'! They balance the ratio of light from sky to land/water and help slide film record more detail in both the hightlights and shadows. A 2-stop and a 3-stop filter would be good to have, along with a polarizing filter as was mentioned. Remember to not overpolarize some of the newest saturated films! It may look good to the eye, but these films will record a very deep blue sky that often doesn't look natural. I agree with the composition guidelines you received from other members, too - keep that horizon out of the middle of the frame unless you want exact symmetry.

Good luck, and send us up some pictures of Goa!
- Brenda Tharp

See Brenda Tharp's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6766

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6766

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Zoom Lenses and Aperture
Okay, can someone explain to me in English, what the f-stops on a zoom lens mean? For example, a 28-300 f/3.5-6.3. I understand the 28-300 but I'm not sure what the two numbers mean. I think it means the maximum aperture at 28mm is 3.5, and the maximum aperture at 300mm is 6.3? Is this close? Then how about a zoom with one f-stop number: 28-105/2.8?
thanks;)
- J. L. White

ANSWER 1:
You've got it. For 28-300 f/3.6-6.3, the maximum aperture at 28mm is f/3.5 and at 300mm it is just f/6.3. There will be intermediate focal lengths where the maximum aperture is f/4 and f/5.6.

A zoom lens spec'd with just a single maximum aperture like the 28-105 f/2.8 or 100-300 f/4 means that maximum aperture is available at all focal lengths.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thank you so much for the info, I'm trying to learn this stuff and sometimes I get myself thoroughly confused;)
- J. L. White

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6765

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6765

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Shooting in Glacier Region
Hi,

I am going for a vacation in New Zealand. I have a Canon EOS30 SLAR and planning to take Kodak Elite chrome 100 slide films for the trip .
Among other place in New Zealand I am planning to take a one day Glacier walk trip in the Franz Joseph Glacier region. I was told that this walk provides breathtaking landscapes and great photography opportunities.
I know taking perfect exposure in region where there is only snow around is going to be difficult. Any help/suggestions on techniques that I should employ in taking photos in that area will be greatly appreciated. For example considering that I'll be using slide film (100) and there will be more than sufficient sunlight in that high altitude glacier region with snow all around what exposure that I should use to take almost perfects shots.
Will it be a better idea to use a different grade (other than 100) of slide film or any Negative film for this particular trip to Glacier region?

thanks.
- Ujjwal Mukherjee

ANSWER 1:
I'm glad you asked this question, because I think I can help you avoid some mistakes I have made in similar situations. Since you are using slide film, you must be very careful about exposure.
Try not to let bright sun or light relected off snow influence your light meter reading. What can happen is that the light meter will overreact to the extreme brightness and fool us into using too fast a shutter or too small an aperture. Read off of deep blue sky, or off a middle gray tone, and all the other tones will fall into place. Your EOS' partial metering option will be helpful here.
If you know you really want a shot, bracket your exposures, ie a half stop, then a whole stop over and under what your meter reads.
Avoid sunglasses while shooting. Your view of the scene and your expectations of the shot will be affected. If you're in harsh midday light, your slides will, quite rightly, show exactly that. Try to do your shooting in the morning or late afternoon/evening.
Try some Fuji Provia 100 film, too. This films records exactly what you saw. Try some Kodachrome 64, too.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Doug,

Thanks for the suggestions. I am sure it will help me to avoid many mistakes.
Thanks again.
- Ujjwal Mukherjee

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6764

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6764

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Online Courses
Will I be able to download each weekly lesson information and store it on my hard drive to refer to in the future for review?

Is it in PDF or what format?
- James

ANSWER 1:
The weekly lesson assignments will be sent to you via email, so you can save or print them from there. Each lesson will also be archived in the "Campus Square" online, so if you are away from your email you can still access the lessons and course information.
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim Miotke's Premium BetterPholio™
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Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jim Miotke:
Jim Miotke's Online Photography Classes

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6759

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6759

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*****


NEW QUESTION 12: How to Eliminate Shadows
I have taken a few photos with the camera vertical, as I have a dedicated flash unit. The shadows on that are harsh. How can I minimize these showdows or make them look like they don't appear?
I have attached a photo I have taken like this.

I have an EOS 300v and a dedicated Ex 420Ex Flash unit.

Any idea let us know, and make it simple - I know I should go out and buy studio lights but I don't have that sort of money right now. So a cheap and alternative way to minimise shadows.
- Aravinda Subasinghe

See Sample Photo - Shadow Photo:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=183922

ANSWER 1:
Without spending any money for a flash bracket/connecting cord, or studio lights and stands:
(a) don't pose your subjects so close to a wall or backdrop.
(b) use the bounce flash feature of the 420EX.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Aravinda - The suggestions Jon gave you are good ones, but in addition to them, I would suggest purchasing a small translucent plastic box that goes over the flash head - made by STO-FEN. (www.stofen.com). This inexpensive device creates wonderfully softened flash light. I use it on my flash just about all the time and love it. You can also create your own, if you can get a translucent material that is bendable to make a 'box' to fit over your flash head - but Sto-fen's is perfect and is made to fit your particular flash.
- Brenda Tharp

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Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6758

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Troubles with Shooting a Concert
I have recently shot a concert using a Canon EOS 3000 N camera and a Kodak ultra film. The result was terrible. Because the singer and his band were constantly moving and I wasn't allowed to use a flash, the photos came out to be very blurry! Someone suggested that I buy a digital camera because it will provide great shots even if I don't use a flash. Please advise. Also, I am not very familiar with professional terms so could anyone please explain to me what I can do using the simplest terms and words?

MANY THANKS
- Hannah Y

ANSWER 1:
I'm not sure a digital camera will solve your problem. If you're using a relatively high speed film as it is, I don't see how switching to digital is going to work any better.

You need a faster shutter speed in order to capture the singer without blurring. When the subject is moving, you need for the shutter to stay open for a very short time. You have a couple of choices: go with a faster film still, like maybe an ISO 1600 film. The picture will be more grainy than if you had shot with a slower film, but that's the trade-off with faster film. Your Kodak Ultra is ASA 400 film, I think, and that's too slow for night club photography. Something like Fuji's ASA 1600 film might work better.

The way camera lenses work is you have a shutter speed (the shutter lets light into the lens when you press the button to take the picture) and you have an aperature. Aperature defines how wide the shutter opens to let in light. These two things control how might light gets to your film. Your camera has built-in light meter in it that helps decide how wide to open the aperature and how long to leave the shutter open in order to capture the picture. For pictures like what you're talking about, you want the shutter to stay open for a short period of time and you want the aperature of the lens to open as wide as possible. With a fast shutter speed, the singer won't move very far while the shutter is open and so won't be blurred in the picture, as long as the aperature can open wide enough to let in enough light.

If you're using a telephoto or zoom lens for your picture, you might want to switch to a "regular" (non-zoom, non-telephoto) lens. The "regular" lens will likely have the ability to let in more light at its widest aperature than the telephoto or zoom lens.

With your camera, you can also trick it into thinking that your ASA 1600 film is really ASA 3200 by loading your ASA 1600 film normally but setting the film speed manually to ASA 3200.

The faster film, the "wider" aperature lens, and "tricking" the camera into thinking its using ASA 3200 film should make a big difference.
- Tim Devick

ANSWER 2:
I agree with Tim - a digital camera will not necessarily solve your problem. It may give you an easy way to switch to a higher ISO equivalent - and that, as Tim points out, can be the best trick for you.

The biggest advantage that a digital camera will provide you, however, is the ability to see a thumbnail version of your image immediately after shooting. This will often tell you whether your technique is working or not.

This is how I got the feedback I needed when shooting a recent concert. To see the pics and read my thoughts on the subject, check out my article on concert photography - Getting Great Concert Photos.
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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ANSWER 3:
I've been shooting a lot of bands, and my favorite films for this are Fuji NPZ 800 which I push 2 stops (rate at 3200) and the Kodak PMZ Pro 1000 Which I rate normally. With the Fuji, the saturation is excellent, and the grain is so fine- I honestly made 11x14 prints off an enlarger from the 35mm negs. and didn't see any grain at all! It's very push friendly. The Kodak has only very slightly noticeable grain, and what's nice is that the colors come out beautifully, but with less saturation than the Fuji- of course, I also don't push it, but I still like how it records color in more subdued, club-type settings.

Just for clarification, when you push a film, you set the camera ASA so it's reading a faster speed than what your actual film's speed is. You meter through the lens just as usual. And when you get the film processed, you would have them develop it a little longer. Usually 30s. extra for each speed higher you set your camera at. So, with the 800 film, the next steps are 1600, 3200- two steps. So tell them to push it +2 and they'll know what to do.

You're still going to get a little blur without a flash, though, because you'll never be able to shoot 1/1000s. but as long as you're still, you get great detail in the movement of the band members. Also, I use a purely manual camera for this- I haven't completely learned digital, but I have been trying, and one thing that bothers me is that the shutter never starts opening the second I depress the release- there's usually a fraction of a second of lag, and it takes a while of getting into the rhythm of it before you stop inadvertently moving slightly- for me at least.

One of the bands I shoot often hate light, and love to play in low-lit, moody clubs and lounges, and really hate the flash, so I've learned how to deal with this situation regularly. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
- Sreedevi Swaminathan

ANSWER 4:
I wouldn't use a digital camera at a concert. We typically use a Nikon D100 in our news room, but at concerts we revert to film because the crazy lights tend to wig out digital cameras. Listen to the other guys... they've got good advice!!!
- Megan E. Elder

ANSWER 5:
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

I really appreciate your help!

Best wishes.
- Hannah Y

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