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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, November 26, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Promote Your Portfolio of Photos in a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Online Courses - Winter Session Features Several New Classes
* BETTERPHOTO: Jay Forman Teaches Parents How to Take Great Pictures of Their Kids
* BETTERPHOTO: Jim Miotke's Classes Filling Up Much Faster Than Usual
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Dungeons & Dragons / Pixar Picture-Taking
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Law of Numbers
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How To Fix Leaning Horizon
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Wondering What Equipment To Buy To Go Professional
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How To Shoot Fire At Night With Digital
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Extension Tubes and Teleconverters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Buying Film
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Setting Up a Studio/Digital Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Okay Everyone, Get This!
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Camera Settings for Waterfall *and* People Shot?


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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 137th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays - I greatly enjoy celebrating such values as family and gratitude.

And what a great opportunity for picture-taking! Don't be shy this week... keep your camera at hand and ask friends and family to help you get great images. Use your tripod and the self-timer to have fun shooting group or family portraits. Or try moving in close, photographing symbols of the holiday such as harvest bounty, dried fall leaves, or the bird itself.

I hope you get to enjoy a great extended weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this wonderful holiday,
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Online Courses - Winter Session Features Several New Classes
We have once again added several new courses to the BetterPhoto line-up. You can learn about turning snapshots of your kids into great photos, using principles of psychology for more creative photographs, and making totally new and unique images via Polaroid transfer techniques, just to name a few. We also hope to soon add further courses on digital photography and beginning photography. To learn more about the latest courses offered, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


*****
Jay Forman Teaches Parents How to Take Great Pictures of Their Kids
We welcome Jay Forman - author of the upcoming book, "Capture Your Kids in Pictures", to our team of amazing and talented instructors at BetterPhoto.com. This coming winter session, Jay will introduce his online photography course designed to help parents take great pics of the kids. If you might say that you are primarily interested in your children and mostly want to learn photography to get better pictures of them, this is the class for you. For more information or to sign up, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY01.asp


*****
Jim Miotke's Classes Filling Up Much Faster Than Usual
Due to limited enrollment, Jim Miotke's Beginning Photography class is already full and his Digital Photography class is filling up fast. We are currently working on adding a couple of additional courses to help in these two popular arenas - digital photography and beginning photography. But if you were planning on taking the Digital Photography course with Jim, we estimate that it will be full within a week or two. Act fast or stay tuned for our upcoming alternate classes on these two popular subjects - beginning and digital photography. Visit the following link for more info on Jim's digital class:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JCM03.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Kodak's early advertising often featured what kind of creature from folklore?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Rose Passantino is:
I do believe it was a Brownie (elf).

See Rose's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=15322

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 - Pixar Picture-Taking - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

What is the brand name on the camera that temporarily blinds Marlin when he is trying to save his son Nemo? Extra credit: can you think of another Pixar movie where a camera comes into play at a pivotal point in the story?

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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Law of Numbers
When shooting a group portrait, the general rule is to take a many pictures as there are people in the group (or as many as they will allow!). Even if you only get a few shots off, this will give you options to choose from. The main point is never, never settle for shooting just one frame. No matter how much people may protest at the time, they will thank you later.

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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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: How To Fix Leaning Horizon
I have taken this great shot over a lake at sunrise, but the horizon is leaning. I saw some bloke do it once but have forgotten. It was done on Photoshop 7, which I use.
- Trevor Taylor

ANSWER 1:
Trevor,

I don't have PS 7, but on the software I use (Image Expert), there is a way to fix this:
Click on "Image"
Click "Rotate-Exact"
This will give you the option of rotating the entire image as little or as much as you want in degrees. Positive numbers rotate clockwise, negative will rotate counter clockwise.
When the horizon looks strait...crop to square it back to the original format.
I'm sure that PS has this capability, though the terminology may be different.

Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
In PS 7, don't crop the image at all before doing this. Use the move tool to drop a line down from the ruler at the top to use as a reference. Place that line where you want to horizon to be. Then to to image/Rotate and click the choice of a non-specific amount (not 90 degrees CW or CCW). Enter a degree or two either clockwise or counterclockwise. Undo it if it's too much. Keep fooling with it until you get it right. Then crop to make the edges straight. You will lose some picture area.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I find the easiest way is to use the Crop tool (in Photoshop or Elements) and draw a long thin crop box near the horizon.

Once this crop box is created, position your cursor just outside one of the corners of this box - you should see it turn into a curved arrow. Click this curved arrow and move the cursor until your long thin crop box is aligned with the horizon.

Then grab the tiny boxes in the middle of each edge to stretch out the crop box to the size you want, making sure you don't accidentally include any non-image area in the corners.
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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Jim Miotke's Online Photography Classes

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7362

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Wondering What Equipment To Buy To Go Professional
I have recently stepped over into the "semi professional" realm and am looking to buy new equipment. Currently have the Canon EOS Elan II and am looking into the Canon Elan 7 or 7E. Is this a good choice? (My camera has the eye controlled focus function and I never use it, so don't really need it in my next camera.) I'm just doing freelance work, mostly portraits... nothing too fancy. And what about the Canon EOS 1V or EOS 3? Such a huge jump in price... but is it worth it? By the way, I really don't want to go digital yet! Am just really confused at this point and wanting to make a quality purchase! Thanks for your help!
- Stacy

ANSWER 1:
I'm doing the same thing and just invested in Canon EOS 1V's. I have been using the Canon EOS system for 12 years and used to drool over the EOS 1. So, my dream is coming true :)
You should get a varied response.

I used to be a muscian (well, technically, I still am). When I taught guitar, my students used to ask me questions like what kind of guitar they should get. I used to say Pete Twonsend uses one kind, Jimmy Page another, Jimi Hendrix used a Strat, and many other great musicians use other brands too.

It always depended on what you were trying to accomplish; and the sound you wanted, as well as what you can afford. My students also use to look at my guitar and say, "boy, if I could only have one like yours". So, I used to ask them if I could play theirs for a minute. They would always oblige, and I would play what they were unable to play on their own instrument; and it would sound like it did when I was playing it on my guitar.

The point is, it ain't the equipment. And, as far as anyone telling you what to get, you'll get opinions until you are so confused you don't know what to do.

The best advice I hear is to just shoot and let the art lead you. When you get to a point where your photos are not up to par with your ability, then maybe your equipment is lacking. So, you start looking for something new. Eventually though, I do believe, you will find that new equipment will not make your pictures any better.

One really spectaular shot I took once was from a little plastic camera I bought in Mexico. I would show it here, but I'd have to scan it and it's framed and all and haging on our wall. I'd have to contend with my wife about why I'm taking the picture apart, and I'd rather not.

In my search for why I wanted to upgrade my equipment I had to screen out all the noise.

In something like what you are going through, there is a period of noise. That's where you learn about everything that is available to you. Then, you should have a period of quiet reflection, where you cut out the noise and deeply evaluate your needs. It is unnecessary to spend money if it will not make a difference for you.

I agonized this way about Medium format equipment. But, once I cut the noise, I realized that I didn't need it. The reason is that I am not familiar with it, and right now is not the time to learn a new format. I need to perfect my current 35mm shooting. That's where I want to concentrate.

My wife gave me a great idea, and that is to rent medium format equipment every once in a while just to get my feet wet and learn how to use it! Great idea. It saves me money and time. And I will get to use many different cameras (Hasselblad, Contax, Pentax, Mamyia) and decide which I like better; which feels better.

Anyway, I hope I've helped a little. I do not think there is a straight forward answer to your question, but I do understand the torment.
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
There isn't enough functional difference between the Elan II and 7 to justify a replacing one for the other. But it's a good choice if you are adding a 2nd body as the controls are the same.

The extra cost of the 3 and 1v is as much due to the more rugged/weather-proofed build as to the extended feature set.

For your stated use (freelance/portrait) I think you'd get more return from $1000+ spent on lighting/stands/umbrellas/reflectors/backdrops and/or pro-level lenses than on another body.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7361

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7361

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: How To Shoot Fire At Night With Digital
I am a firefighter and an amateur photographer. Occasionaly I travel to other towns when they have building fires etc. I own the Sony DSC-F717 it takes great photos during the day and great indoor shots at night but I am having no luck when I go to take action shots at structure fires. I do not have an external lense will that help? Also I have nightshot but then I loose quality of the picture. Should I use a tripod? Any help from people who have any experience or advice would be appreciated Thanks.
- Kevin Soucie

ANSWER 1:
Shooting at night when the sky is black is a challenge, to say the least, even with film which has greater contrast latitude. You will get good results shooting at dusk when there is some color in the sky. For example, photographing the moon at night will result in a white hole in a black space. Photographing the moon at dusk will result in an accurate, detailed image of the moon. You will also need to set your ISO, if possible, to at least ISO800 and use a tripod. You will also need to set your lens to it's widest aperture.

Good luck!
- Tony Sweet

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Visit Tony Sweet's Web Site - TonySweet.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
Image Design
Fine Art Flower Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7353

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7353

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Extension Tubes and Teleconverters
I have a canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM. At 300mm it gets me close but not quite close enough. I would really like to buy a bigger lens but I'm a strugeling college student and my student loans have top priority to my future income. I understand the pros and cons about teleconverters but I am wondering about the compatability with my lens. (My camera is an Elan 7) Also I've heard about extension tubes but don't know much about them. Can they get me closer to the wildlife I like to shoot? What are the downsides to using them? Either simple answers or technical explanations, any info would be very useful. Thanks!
- Brad Lambert

ANSWER 1:
Hi Brad,
My suggestion, is that you check into teleconverters for your zoom rather than extension tubes.
Canon makes 1.4 and 2X multipliers which should work well with your equipment.
Keep in mind that...with the extra reach, comes the loss of a stop or more of light and a reduced depth of field. This may require the use of a faster film or camera support to maintain image quality.
Extension tubes are only beneficial for macro work. They will only reduce the close-focusing distance of your lens.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Brad, I would avoid the 2x teleconverter with your 4-5.6 lens. Aside from being pretty expensive, it probably won't be sharp. But, I would definitely invest in the 1.4x. Please note that teleconverters darken your image in your finder. Therefore, if you're finder is a little dark at times now, it will be 1 stop darker and 2 stops darker with your teleconverters, making it very difficult to focus. And Bob is right about extension tubes being for close up photography. If you're REALLY into photographing wildlife, start saving your $$$ for a 300 f/2.8 or f/4. Both are brighter to see through, sharper, and will be bright even with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. I only recommend using the 2x teleconverter on
f/2.8 lenses.

Good luck!
- Tony Sweet

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ANSWER 3:
Thanks Bob and Tony. You gave me the info I needed and more. As a beginning photographer this site is a great resource to me. Thanks to all you pros out there willing to help!
- Brad Lambert

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7352

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7352

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Buying Film
Where do the pros buy their film?

I have things lining up for me to do some shoots, and I want to buy film at the best price possible.

Can you buy film wholesale somewhere?

Any suggestions?
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Buy film at http://bhphoto.com
- Tony Sweet

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Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
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Fine Art Flower Photography

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Tony.

They were one place I was looking at.

Obviously, care of film is very important. Therefore, purchasing from a reputable establishment is probably wise.
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
One more thing, Jerry. You'll probably see two prices, one for US and one for gray market. The price difference can be substantial. Inquire further with your salesperson as to the nature of gray market film, because it can be classified as grey market for several reasons. I have used grey market film with no problems.

You can also check with Hunt's photo in Melrose, MA for film, also.

Good luck!
- Tony Sweet

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Visit Tony Sweet's Web Site - TonySweet.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
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Fine Art Flower Photography

ANSWER 4:
Thanks Jerry, for posting this question re: wholesale film. I too, am looking for an alternative to retail.

Thank you, Tony for the info.... Have you ever used "grey market" Fuji Provia 100? If so, how was it, and what is the approximate shelf life?
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Hi Bob:

I've used grey market Provia100, although not for a while. Not sure about the shelf live, but I put it in the freezer immediately and, being a professional, I shoot it up pretty quick anyway.
- Tony Sweet

See Tony Sweet's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Tony Sweet's Web Site - TonySweet.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
Image Design
Fine Art Flower Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7350

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7350

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Setting Up a Studio/Digital Photography
what are the basics in setting up a studio for digital photography? Ligiting fixtures, backdrops, size sq. ft., etc?
- karen ramlagan

ANSWER 1:
I'm presuming you're interested in a "portrait" studio so here's the "basics" - 15x15 feet is good, at least 2 studio lights on stands (either strobe or hotlights), a big reflector, at least 3 mp camera (although I've done great portraits with under 1 megapixel with a lot of editing/enhancing, bar stool or modeling seat, paper or cloth material for bacgdrops, head and shoulder portraits are best in a small studio. I hope this helps you.
- Dan Spencer

See Sample Photo - Reality Studio:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=231820

See Sample Photo - Dream Studio:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=231819

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7345

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Okay Everyone, Get This!
Okay everyone I have a great question. Why do we photographers enjoy taking pictures so much? What makes photography so enjoyable?

Kind of a fun question to get you thinking.
- Ryan Chai

ANSWER 1:
My Wife asks me the same question when I spend hours out taking pictures or when I get up early in the morning (Pre-Pre-dawn) to get to the right spot to get that perfect picture, or when she sees me packing my camera every where I go. My answer to her and you is that When I am out in the moutains, early in the morning or late in the evening, I see some of the most beautiful sights. Some times it's a breathtaking sunset, other times it's a bull elk bugeling near by. whatever the case may be, I have a burning desire to capture that moment on film, either still or video. Not so much to say "look at me, I'm so cool this is what I saw." but to share it with others that otherwise couldn't be there to witness it in person. Very rarely to the pictures do the moment justice, but at least it gives them an idea of what is out there for them to enjoy. That is the main reason I enjoy photography. The second is a little more scientific. I seem to have a facination with the concept of the physical/chemical changes that occur when film is exposed to light. Ever since I was in high school this concept had captured my attention and still does today. I guess that is why I can't trade in my film camera for a digital one yet. I guess there is a third reason I enjoy photography so much, and that has to do with my kids. I love to capture their moments as well. Their smiles, their happieness, their beauty (i've got two of the cutest little girls in the world, I really mean it. They're knockouts!)They grow up so fast if you don't capture a few moments on film, those moments are left to your memory alone. Why not get it on film to help remind you and others of those moments? Any way I hope that wasn't to deep of an answer, but that's how I feel.
- Brad Lambert

ANSWER 2:
Well Ryan, you've given me (and others, I'm sure), an opportunity to certify my sanity.... (or lack of it).

Photography, for me, is more than recording an event for posterity. It's a kind of high... like that once-in-a-lifetime hole in one on a tough course, or that 300 game at the lanes. There are times when everything seems to come together... that perfect light, the sunset that seems to go on forever, and get more spectacular by the minute, or that dragonfly, or other difficult subject, which refuses to fly off no matter how close I am able to get. I often find myself muttering nonsensically while clicking away.
Then, comes the anticipation of viewing the final images, and the sense of fulfillment, or dismay, that ensues:
"What did I do wrong?"
"What did I do right?"
"How could I have made it better?"
"Can I re-shoot this, or did I blow it?"

Photography is the only art form in which one must master a machine before the art can materialize. I think this is part of its allure.

A major part of my photography is conceptual. Quite often, I will envision a particular image, then try to work out the details and pitfalls to realize the vision and record it on film. When the final result is as I pictured it in my mind's eye... well, that's what photography is all about.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
This is an interesting question. What drives us? Is this the only way we can truly communicate? Are we just killing time? Ryan's question brings up many others.

I know that when I am standing up on a cliff shooting a picture like the one I attached there are many things going through my mind. Am I doing this justice? Aperture? Shutter speed? Do I need a filter? Where is my lens hood?

The other thing going on is a lot of emotion. When you see something that truly captures your attention you feel emotion. You try and recreate that scene in the camera... emotion and all. Is that something that will ever happen? The answer is no, but I am happy to spend the rest of my life trying.
- Chris L. Hurtt

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Camera Settings for Waterfall *and* People Shot?
I decided I would like to try to use a local waterfall as the backdrop for my Christmas photo cards this year. Besides the waterfall, I intend to pose my 2 children (ages 5 and 9) on a grouping of rocks that are in front of falls (there's approximately 20-25 feet of space between the rocks and the waterfall).

What shutter speed and aperatures would you recommend? I want to try both views of the falls: the "bridal veil" look and "stop action" look. At the same time, I want the kids to be in good clear/crisp focus. Am I asking/expecting too much?

I intend to go out to the falls alone with a big teddy bear prop (don't laugh!) ahead of time to get the camera set up without the kids. That way, I'll keep my kids' time being bored with me taking their picture to a minimum.

I plan to use my Canon G3 to do this, so my hightest aperature setting is 8.0 and the lowest is 2.0 (I think...don't have it here in front of me). I have a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000.

Can't wait to hear what some of you have to recommend.
- Joy Fender

ANSWER 1:
Hi Joy,

Your proposed cards sound like a great idea. What you are hoping to achieve is quite possible if you have manual control capabilities on your camera. Since I am unfamiliar with the Canon G3, I cannot advise you on specific settings. I can, however, provide you with some of the technical data you will need to understand.

The human eye sees motion at around 1/60 second. Any speed slower than that will cause the water to blur. Obviously,...the longer you expose the scene, the more pronounced the effect. Your shutter speed setting should be based upon the available light, and your desired effect. I've used speeds from 1/8 second to 1 second most frequently for large falls on cloudy days. (It is important to shoot the motion shots on overcast days to allow for the longer exposure times and to avoid over-exposing the bright areas of the falls....And, don't forget the tripod!)

To freeze the action of the falls, 1/125 or higher is recommended.

It's a good idea to take the test shots first, and examine the effects before you include your kids in the foreground.

Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Bob! Yes, that's exactly the type of information I was looking for. My G3 does have manual controls. I will probably set the TV mode to various shutter speeds and let camera choose the aperature until I get the effect I'm looking for.

Now that I've seen your explanation, I feel the "bridal veil" effect may not be a reasonable thing to try to achieve as my children may not cooperate and sit still long enough for those extended length shutter speeds. That's precisely what I was wondering about.

The area where these falls are located is very wooded and even on a sunny day is quite shaded (even now in the late fall). Thanks for the info regarding how a cloudy day will work to my advantage.
- Joy Fender

ANSWER 3:
I suggest that you see if you can get the effect that you want with 1/4 or 1/2 second shutter speed. With this slow shutter speed, your camera may give you an overexposure error. If I am not mistaken, your G3 has neutral density filter feature that will cut down the amount of light entering the lens. Try to use that and see if you can achieve at least 1/4 or 1/2 second exposure.

Of course, if you can get the children to sit still longer than 1/4 or 1/2 second each shot, the better. The problem is how to get them to cooperate. I have been taken posed Christmas photos for my nieces and nephews (age 1 to 8) for the past years. A trick I used to get them to cooperate is to let them in for the action. I set up the camera so that they can see through the viewfinder, take pictures of each other (sometimes I don't put the film in the camera) or even me (I got a few good self portrait this way). After letting them to have some fun, they will most likely to cooperate. Works for me every time. Since you have a digital camera, you can delete those unwanted picture afterward.

Hope this helps.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 4:
I have another suggestion you may not have thought about. If you are fairly proficient with a photo-editing program which uses layers (like Photoshop) you can mount your camera on a tripod and make various exposures of the falls for the effect you want, with and without the children. Then layer and blend the images to get just the look you want.

Try making seperate exposures for the highlights and then the shadows and also shots of the children. With a little digital magic you can get the effect you want and perfect exposure for the entire image. Just remember in order for this to work, you must not move the camera position once you've started a series.
- Michael S. McCook

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Michael,

You've giving something interesting to try! I'm just getting the hang of Photoshop. I'm post-poning this particular shoot until next spring. In the mean time I hope get much more proficient with PS and will attempt what you describe here!

Thanks!
- Joy Fender

ANSWER 6:
My pleasure. Good luck.
- Michael S. McCook

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ANSWER 7:
Hi Joy, try to use camera night portrait mode on overcast day.
It will set slow shutter speed to blur your background waterfall and fire a flash that will freeze the kids.
Or in manual mode set camera to TV time priority to 1/15 or 1/8 of a second and force flash. You may also adjust +-EV on flash to balance picture or just vary the distance from kids. You must use a tripod.
- Artur

ANSWER 8:
Joy,
You have the same name as my daughter! The Canon G3 is a great camera and is capable of doing what you want. My suggestion is not to worry about the 'bridal veil' effect of the waterfall. Your childern are the subject of your portrait, not the waterfall. Use a wide aperture like f2.8 or f4 and let the waterfall go out of focus. This will maximize your shutter speed, focus attention on your children, and soften the waterfall by creating a 'soft focus' effect on the background. I believe that this technique will result in the most appealing portrait of your chilren. Good luck!
God Bless,
- Greg McCroskery

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