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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 - Tuesday, March 04, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Showcase Your Best Photos on Your Own Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: A Special Thanks!
* BETTERPHOTO: The Time is Approaching to Sign up for a Photo Course
* BETTERPHOTO: Ideas for Better Deluxe BetterPholios™
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Notes / Simpsons Self Defense
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: On Contest Winning
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Deluxe BetterPholio™ with Sales
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: New Contest Rules
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Is There a Best All Around Film?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Contest Categories
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Ebay Store
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Resize a Digital Photo for Lab Printing
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Slide Scanning for Printing
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Recommendation on Digital with Optical Zoom
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Resolution vs dpi
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Starting Business
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot in School Auditorium - Flourescent


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Showcase Your Best Photos on Your Own Deluxe BetterPholio™
Did you know... with a Deluxe BetterPholio™, you now get your own email address. Imagine printing sales@yourdomainname.com on your business cards. And this is in addition to being able to showcase up to 1000 of your best images! Our Deluxe BetterPholios™ give you a ONE STOP SHOP for getting your portfolio on the Web. Sign up for your own easy Web site at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 107th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

We are very pleased to announce the finalists for the February 2003 photo contest. This month we again had an amazing number of entries (5200) - that is a lot of photos, especially for a short month. We hope to have the winners selected within the next few days. All winners will be notified by email. To view the stunning finalists, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=884

Thanks to everyone who emailed us with positive feedback about the contest changes. Of course, we are very happy to be able to select more winners! But we are also enjoying the greater ease in browsing the various new categories. We continue to be very impressed by the beautiful quality of work - as always, it was extremely difficult to narrow down the choices because of the high number of excellent entries.

Keep up the great work!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoContact.asp?memberID=124


*****
A Special Thanks!
Thanks to all you BetterPhoto members who help promote BetterPhoto! Word of mouth is the best advertising available, so we really appreciate when you tell your family, friends, co-workers, and camera clubs about us. We are working on ways to help get the word out even more and, in the coming months, we will be sharing a few of the most exciting ideas in the newsletter. If you have suggestions for promoting BetterPhoto to places like your camera clubs, please let us know.



*****
The Time is Approaching to Sign up for a Photo Course
With over a dozen excellent courses to choose from, there is something for every photographer. Whether you are just starting out, want to improve your understanding, or are looking to be a pro, the BetterPhoto online courses offer helpful information and insightful critiques. The course instructors are: Jim Zuckerman, Bryan Peterson, Vik Orenstein, Kerry Drager, Tony Sweet, and yours truly, Jim Miotke. You'll learn from your instructors as well as your fellow students in the exciting online format!

Subjects We Offer:

Beginning Photography (great for digital or film camera users!)
Photoshop for Photographers
Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography
Field Techniques
Understanding Exposure
Studio Lighting
Beyond Snapshots
Image Design
Learning to See Creatively
Mastering Light
Fine Art Flower Photography
Photographing Children
Photo Marketing

For more info, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


*****
Ideas for Better Deluxe BetterPholios™
Last week, we asked what Deluxe BetterPholio™ owners were doing to promote their sites and make them more unique and effective. Thanks to all who responded for sharing your ideas and suggestions! We especially liked what Kerry Drager had to offer - here's what he shared with us:

"I've added small thumbnail images to my Gallery Blurb, Articles index page and Bio. Keep in mind: The coding DOES take up character space, so you may have to cut down on your text in order to conform with a particular section's character limits. Also, NOT EVERY image will look good at a VERY SMALL size. I had to do a lot of experimenting. Also, I've made the text throughout my site bolder. In the Deluxe BetterPholio™ Update Center, type in <b> (the HTML for bolding) at the beginning of the section you want bold. The </b> is used at the end of the section you want bold."

See these added touches yourself at:
http://www.kerrydrager.com

Deluxe BetterPholio™ owner Michaelle has found a way to partner with another site, and for a fee, has them fulfil orders for her prints. She wrote:

"I just wanted to let you know about how I have integrated my online store with my Deluxe BetterPholio™. I have directly linked to my store at CafePress... also, on individual images, I have linked to the product image page by using html in the "Descriptions" area of the "Update Photo Titles and Descriptions" section. The stores are fairly flexible... my only regret is not being able to just send a print (everything is framed)."
http://www.mlwphoto.com

Thanks for your helpful suggestions, Deluxe BetterPholio™ owners! We'd love to hear more!

Join the fun! Sign up for your own Deluxe BetterPholio™ at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

Or view all of our current Deluxe BetterPholios™ at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/allDeluxesList.asp


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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Which great composer did Arnold Newman photograph in 1946 in an image that features a piano lid resembling a musical note?

The first, best answer - entered by BettterPhoto member Dick B. is:
Igor Stravinsky

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 - Simpsons Self Defense - entered by BettterPhoto member Jim M.

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer and his family are about to be killed by robots gone berserk. How does photography save the day?

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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On Contest Winning
There are a few basic things that the judges pay attention to when viewing contest entries:
* Is the photo clear? If the photo is out of focus or has dirt on the scanned image, the photo will often be eliminated in the early rounds.
* Is the horizon level? If the horizon line is off, the photo suffers.
* What about the subject? Does the photo express a central idea or subject? Whether it is a close up view of a flower, or if the image is telling a story (like January's Grand Prize winner), the photo must have a clear expression of it's subject.

For more guidelines, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/guidelines.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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

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

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Deluxe BetterPholio™ with Sales
I am interested in getting one of your Deluxe BetterPholios™ and would like to sell my work on line. Is it possible to add a pay pal link so that I can sell my work? Looking at the pay pal site they say I can add their service to my site. Is this possible? Thank you.

- Lisa P.

See Lisa's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=29266

ANSWER 1:
Hi Lisa,

We recently conducted a survey of all of the current Deluxe BetterPholio™ owners about this very topic. We had such a huge response and so many good answers that we are still processing the results. As soon as we can, we will be implementing a couple of enhancements that will faciliate images sales. Whether these will utilize PayPal or not... we are not yet sure. All I can say for sure now is that we have some really exciting developments just around the corner.

- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5289

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5289

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*****
NEW QUESTION 2: New Contest Rules
Hi, just checking on contest rules. Say I enter a landscape with cows in it... I know I can enter it in Animals category and Landscape category, but can I enter it in both categories on same day, and still have both in the contest or do I wait till next day to enter second category? Thank You.

- Shirley C.

See Shirley's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=33625

ANSWER 1:
Good questions, Shirley! Here are the rules:

No duplicates, so pick the one best category that your photo fits into.

Only one photo per day. Even though there are five new categories, you can only enter one photo each day.

The judges at BetterPhoto have categorized all the winning contest photos for January and February so everyone can see the types of photos we've put in each category. If you have a question about where your photo will fit best, take a look at how the judges have categorized similar photos.

http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0301.asp

- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5288

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5288

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*****
NEW QUESTION 3: Is There a Best All Around Film?
I recently discovered (thanks to this site) that the Kodak Gold (aka Bright Sun) 100 is actually quite a grainy film for it's speed. I was thinking of changing film anyway and would like some advice on the subject. I have done a little bit of research into this on the internet but I cannot make my mind up due to so many conflicting opinions -one review on one particular film will say it very grainy and the other will say the opposite - I understand this is partly a matter of personal choice.

The films I was thinking of trying were Kodak Royal Gold 100, Fuji Reala 100 or Kodak Supra 160 (is this 160 actaully iso 100 btw?). Any other recommendations for all round shots would be helpful.

My aim is to get some nice shots and enlarge then 8x10 (is this too big for these types of film?) I shoot everything really, people, landscapes snapshots etc and I know there is no perfect all round film but I was hoping someone might be able to tell me one that was pretty close to it. There is a fair chance that the enlargements I made would be of landscapes.

Also, is it worth the extra money for the pro/more expensive film? It is not that expensive if orderd in bulk off the internet.

- Douglas R.

ANSWER 1:
Douglas:
Kodak's Supra line comes in ISO 100, 400 and 800. I'm uncertain about the continued availability of Royal Gold 100, but have yet to see a formal discontinuation notice from Kodak. The Supra line was created for general purpose use: stock, commercial and fashion work. The Portra line was created primarily for portrait and wedding photographers, the largest market for pro color negative. It has wider latitude and more restrained saturation. You will find greater selection among pro films because their market is more selective about film characteristics. The professional market doesn't want a "one size fits all" film. There isn't much professional general purpose color negative made except for Kodak's Supra line. Much of that is still being done by pros using transparency (slide) film, especially stock, fine art, and editorial work for magazines such as National Geographic.

What these films are actually used for depends on what the photographer desires in terms of saturation, latitude, overall color accuracy, and emphasis on skin tone gradation/accuracy . . . in addition to grain characteristics. Supra 100 is much closer to Royal Gold 100 than Portra NC/VC 160 in latitude and saturation.

For 8x10 enlargement from 35mm negatives, and if keeping graininess to a minimum is desired, I encourage using the lower speed films. Kodak has been using a "print grain index" (PGI) for a number of years now to define graininess of their color negative films. B&W negative and transparency (slide) films are still defined by "diffuse rms granularity," a more "clinical" and less subjective method used by the other manufacturers for all their films. There's no direct mathematical translation between PGI, which is measured using subjective evaluations of prints made from the negative, and diffuse rms granularity which is measured directly from the developed film. Kodak has made it nearly impossible to directly compare the grain of its color negative films with the other manufacturer's.

Among Kodak's consumer and pro films, here are the PGI numbers for 35mm size enlarged to a 4x6 print. Lower number is less apparent grain. A difference of a few points is within the range of error of human judgement used to create them:

Supra 100: 27
Royal Gold 100: 28
Profoto/Pro Image 100: 43
Gold 100/Bright Sun: 45

Portra 160 NC: 36
Portra 160 VC: 40

Royal Gold 200: 41
Gold 200/Bright Sun and Flash: 47

Supra 400: 36
Royal Gold 400/High Definition: 39
Portra 400 UC: 40
Profoto 400: 42
Portra 400 NC: 44
Portra 400 VC: 48
Gold 400/Max Versatility: 48

Max Versatility Plus/Zoom (800): 48
Supra 800: 50
Portra 800: 50

Royal Gold 100/200/400 are without doubt noticeably finer grained than the Gold 100/200/400 films. If you want to try a "general purpose" professional film, or if you cannot find Royal Gold 100, try Supra 100. Shoot and compare Fuji's Reala (100) with it, probably the closest thing Fuji makes to Supra 100. Shoot a roll or two of Portra 160 NC or VC to compare a "portrait" film having wider latitude and less saturation with general purpose ones. Do the same with Agfa Ultra 100, perhaps the highest saturation color negative made, and compare that with the others. Skin tones generally do not fare well with super saturation and I'm not a fan of highly punched up color, but some love it for things that do not have a lot of prominent skin tone.

-- John

- John L.

See John's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=322

ANSWER 2:
Douglas:
I dumped out a lot of information about "graininess" and will now add a "kicker" to it all. Usually the concern about graininess relates to apparent sharpness of detail in a print (or projected image with slides) as viewed by a human. Although a major one, grain isn't the only factor that affects this. Apparent sharpness, sometimes called acuity, is a human perception not only affected by graininess, but contrast and emulsion thickness too. A more accurate correlation to what a human will perceive as sharpness is found in a film's "modulation transfer function" (MTF) curve which takes all this into account.

How is an MTF created?
Test targets containing different sets of accurately spaced black lines with accurate widths are photographed. Their "pitch" is measured in line pairs per millimeter (lpmm) and the "target" has many different pitches on it from coarse to extremely fine. The percentage of contrast difference between black lines and white spaces separating them is then measured. As the number of lpmm increases, contrast between them eventually decreases. The percentage contrast in the middle range from about 10 lpmm to about 50 lpmm determines what a human will perceive as "sharpness" in a photograph. The higher the percentage contrast across this range, particularly if there is a slight rise above 100% around 30 lpmm, the higher the perceived sharpness. OTOH, sheer resolution is shown by how many lpmm the curve extends to before contrast falls below about 10% or so. This is the reason some films, such as Kodachrome 64 and Velvia have reputations for exceptional sharpness, in spite of having diffuse rms granularity numbers that are slightly higher than that of Fuji's Provia 100F.

Emulsion thickness:
Much of the light traveling through the lens to the film does not strike the film at a right angle. The shorter the lens, and the wider the lens aperture, the more the ray paths that depart from perpendicular, in quantity and in angle. If light strikes the film at an angle other than perpendicular, it also travels laterally as it goes through the emulsion.

\
-\----------
--\---------
---\--------
----\-------

The thicker the emulsion, the greater the lateral distance across it a non-perpendicular ray path follows. This means that edge definition becomes "fuzzier" with thicker emulsions than with thinner ones. Although not the only factor involved, those films with thin emulsions tend to have have higher apparent sharpness compared to those with thick emulsions, and the effect is captured by the MTF curve. Compared to E-6 slide films (Ektachrome process), Kodachrome has a thinner emulsion, and this is part of the reason for its reputation for "sharpness." Fast films have thicker emulsions compared to similar slow ones because they must have greater quantities of larger silver halide grains. In addition to graininess affecting sharpness, the thicker emulsion does also.

The Bad News:
Unfortunately, along with ceasing to publish the diffuse rms granularity numbers for their color negative films, Kodak does not publish the MTF curves for them either. Some other manufacturers do not either, but at least they cite a couple of data points for lpmm at specific contrast ratios that would go into an MTF curve.

OK, why did I post all this?
If you're looking for highest apperent "sharpness" in your prints, you may find that one film produces what you see as greater sharpness than another, all other things being equal, even though the graininess numbers are slightly reversed. You won't see this "upside down" situation if there's a great difference in graininess between them, but it can occur if they're fairly close. In the three slide films I mentioned, the granularity numbers for Kodachrome 64, Velvia and Provia 100F aren't that far apart.

-- John

- John L.

See John's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=322

ANSWER 3:
John - Thanks!!

- Douglas R.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5277

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5277

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*****
NEW QUESTION 4: Contest Categories
It's not a question, it's just an applause for the new contest categories :)

The new way is a lot more fun and readable, it's more easy to get wonderful ideas for our own future pictures!

Thanks for the change, and congratulations to everyone who submit pictures here, they are all of a fantastic quality!

JF

- Jean-François S.

See Jean-François's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=27898

ANSWER 1:
Thanks Jean-François - glad you like it!


- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5276

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5276

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*****
NEW QUESTION 5: Ebay Store
Has anyone set up an Ebay store to sell their work, and if so, how did you go about it and are you happy with the results?

DPG

- Damian G.

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

ANSWER 1:
Damian, I'm not sure how you would go about "selling" your work on eBay unless you are willing to sell prints outright of your images or sell CDs of royalty free images or clip art. And, you don't need ebay to do this. You can do this cheaper off your own web site.

My advice: don't SELL your images to anyone. Find a stock agency to sell USAGE of your work. This way, your work will 'sell' again and again, and it will always be yours. Never give away copyright, and never give anyone your negatives or original digital files! It is the kind of 'selling' you describe that brings the price down for those of us trying to sell stock usage of our work.

If you'd like to learn more about stock photography, take a look at some of the agencies on-line. Some have price lists for each image according to usage.

- Piper L.

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

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

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the response Piper - I've been looking into that and it does seem like the way to go!

- Damian G.

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5274

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5274

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*****
NEW QUESTION 6: How to Resize a Digital Photo for Lab Printing
We are so very brand new at this! We've just bought a Canon S30, and are snapping away like maniacs. When we submit the shots we want printed to our local photo shop, our dog's ears and/or tail are cut off on a 4x6 print when they seem to be all there when viewed on the computer! We have Zoom Browser, which came with the camera, and also Adobe Photo Deluxe.

- Liz W.

ANSWER 1:
The Canon S30 creates images in 1:1.333 aspect ratio (example 1600 pixels wide x 1200 pixels tall). The width is 1.333 times the height. A 4x6 inch print is 1:1.5 aspect ratio. To fill a 4x6 inch print, your image has to be enlarged to 4.5x6 inches, and then the extra 0.5 inch of height is cropped off.

- Jon C.

ANSWER 2:
P.S.
The 1:1.3333 aspect ratio was chosen as it is a perfect match to most computer monitors. The thinking was to match the digital camera's images to its most likely use: Web pages and emailed photos. Unfortunately, it is not a commonly used print size.

- Jon C.

ANSWER 3:
P.S.S. ;-)
To get a "full frame" print you need to request that the printer not fill the long side. Have them enlarge to 4x5.3333 and leave the extra 2/3 inch of the print blank.

- Jon C.

ANSWER 4:
Jon has described your problem well. Here are a couple more ideas. Don't know how much resolution your images have. If they can withstand enlargement to 5x7, try that size. If not, then try asking for 4x5 or 3-1/2 x 5 prints. All three of these standard print sizes are closer to the 3:4 aspect ratio of your camera than a 4x6 is. If you're using a consumer lab, they may not be able to do 4x5's, but it's worth asking. It's one of the two sizes pro labs use for medium format proofs (the other is a 5x5 square).

BTW, the 4x6 print size was created because it exactly matches the 2:3 aspect ratio of 35mm film, but it doesn't match much of anything else very well.

-- John

- John L.

See John's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=322

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5263

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5263

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*****
NEW QUESTION 7: Slide Scanning for Printing
I have a basic question. I have a new Epson 2400 scanner and have a lot of slides I want to scan and put on CDs. The question is - what dpi should I scan in the slides so I can get sharp 5X7 prints? Also what is the best format to save them in. I am using jpg at the moment with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Thanks!

- Candy

ANSWER 1:
If you scan your slides at the maximum resolution, you will have the most information you can get from the slide. If you do the math, a 35mm slide is approx. 1" x 1.5", so a 5x7 photo is about 5 times the length and width. So, 2400 dpi on the slide turns out about 480 dpi on a 5x7 print. If you print at 240 dpi you will end up with a reasonably good quality product. If you later decide to print at 8 x 10 you will still have a resolution of about 300 dpi. Format: scan and save as TIFF files. They are not compressed and contain all the data from the picture. Once you manipulate your photos in Photoshop you can always convert them to JPEG to save file space if you need to. If space is not a problem, then keep them as TIFF. Once you create a JPEG file, the compression deletes some of the colour data. Each time you open a JPEG and then resave it, more of the data is lost. You can never recover that data, unlike the TIFF files where all of the data is retained. Hope this helps.

- wayne a.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5254

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5254

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*****
NEW QUESTION 8: Recommendation on Digital with Optical Zoom
I am an amateur photographer who wants to purchase a digital camera for the first time. I have been reluctant to give up my SLR, particularly because I love composing shot with my 28-200 telephoto lens. I travel a lot, particularly to undeveloped counties and take a lot of photos. I also give academic presentations and a digital would have many advantages for this. I would like a digital with a large optical zoom (at least 6X and higher if feasible) and also macro capability. I know the digital zooms aren't worth much, but I don't understand the difference in the optical zooms that are built into some digital cameras versus the optical zooms that I would use with the new SLR digital cameras. Does one have a great advantage over the other? I am hesitant to spend the money for one of the SLR digitals.

I have looked at the Olympus Camedia C-700 and like its 10X capability, but there may be better models for my needs. Any advice? Thanks.

- Sandra

ANSWER 1:
Sandra, I know it's a lot of money, but my suggestion would be go with the Nikon D100 or Canon D60. In my opionion the advantage is overwhelming. You get high MGP and interchangeable lens. My D100 works much the same way as my film SLR did, so not much time getting used to it was needed. I just think you will be much happier and more comfortable if you spend more, and you won't feel the need to upgrade in the real near future. Both of these cameras run around $2000.00, but mine was well worth the money.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
You could buy a film scanner and keep shooting with the SLR you are comfortable with. Just pick the best shots and scan them when you get home.

If you really want a digital camera, Judith is right. If your present SLR is a Canon EOS, or a Nikon, you can use the same lenses, although they'll all give you more magnification (about 1.4 worth). Your uses of photography are professional in that you use your images in your work. You need the higher level of engineering you're likely to get with a Canon or Nikon digital SLR. Out there in the sticks is no place for the camera to shut down because the air is a little humid.

With digital, budget a few hundred for the high-capacity storage cards you'll need. Also, budget some time to get over the camera-to-computer and imaging program learning curves.

- Doug N.

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

ANSWER 3:
Just wanted to agree with Judith and Doug. If you love what your 35mm SLR gives you, anything less than a digital SLR will be going backwards as far as the quality of the camera itself and the creative aspects it offers you in your photography.

That said, going digital means learning a new type of photography altogether--no matter which digicam you choose. I just bought a D100, and though I haven't had it but a day, it is miles ahead of any point-&-shoot digicam. I've owned and made good use out of 3 compact digitals in the past--two Olympus's and one Fuji compact. Yes, there are ways to shoot creatively with these cameras, but you have to "trick" most of them in order to get what you need as far as DOF and creative shutter speed shots. You also won't be able to shoot more than 1 frame every 1-4 seconds with any of the smaller digitals (not even with the C700). Interestingly enough, my Oly D460zoom has a faster write speed than my Oly C3000 had (I sold that one last month), so it's a good idea to test a few of your favorite cameras before you buy. The only reason I still have the D460 is that I can't sell it for even half what I paid for it 4 years ago. (It was a $450 camera when new!) This should tell you something about the compacts retaining their value. They just don't--not unless you sell it within a year and that model isn't discontinued.

If the digital SLRs are just too much for your budget right now, think hard about waiting and saving for one instead of buying a lesser camera for less money. I'm pretty sure you will be glad you waited.

Now, will somebody teach me how to use my D100, please! :)

- Piper L.

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ANSWER 4:
Hey Piper I adapted pretty quick to the D100 and love it so far, I have only shot portraits and a wedding, there's too much of this nasty snow to do anything outside. I did shot my 6 year old's basketball game the other day. Every thing I have expected so far has turned out better. If you have any specific questions I'll try to help you out. The manual is pretty helpful. I think once you have had some time to play, you'll find it quite easy to adapt.

- Judith C.

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*****
NEW QUESTION 9: Resolution vs dpi
Which is the equivalence between the CCD resolution of a digital camera and the dpi of a printer when you print the photo?
In other words, how many dpi`s do I can get from a 4 Mpix digital camera?
Thank you

- Juan N.

ANSWER 1:
The resolution of the digital image has to be sufficient to give the printer the information it needs. The good news here is that you can ignore the inflated dpi figures the printer makers give us, as they are meaningless.
The resolution of the image that you feed into the printer needs to be only between about 240 and 300 pixels per inch (ppi) to print a true photo quality print in the typical injet printer.

To get the best resolution (measured in ppi) out of your 4 megapixel digital camera, be sure that you are setting the camera to shoot at the best possible image quality. Open this image in Photoshop (or Elements) and go to Image/Image Size. Do not check Resample, but check Constrain Proportions. Enter 240 in the resolution block. Click OK. The resulting readout will tell you the print size you will get.

- Doug N.

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NEW QUESTION 10: Starting Business
Hello,
I have been doing photography about 3 years, 2 seriously. I just registered my business name, so I am official. My question is, how do I get my name out there and how do I run a successful business? I have small studio in my home. Any suggestions are appreciated.

- lynette

ANSWER 1:
Get thee to the bookstore and look for a copy of Guerilla Marketing. It has lots of ideas to "get your name out there".

Beyond that a listing in the yellow pages is a good way but I don't believe you need a huge expensive ad. My ad has my name, phone number, and web site address. Which brings me to another option. Get a web site. They are relatively cheap and you can use your other advertising to direct people to your web site. After that there are flier, posters, mailings, and networking.

- Jeff K.

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: How to Shoot in School Auditorium - Flourescent
I have a slr Canon Rebel 2000 and want to take some pictures in my child's school auditorium with flourescent lights. What is the best speed film and exposure I should use to get the best photos with the camera doing the majority of the work. I also have a tripod I can bring.

- Danita B.

ANSWER 1:
Danita,
First, and this is intended seriously, shift your thinking. The "best photos" (depends on how you define "best") are made with the photographer doing the work. Even though a camera body do some things for you automatically, keep your brain engaged. Work toward understanding what your camera's "auto" modes do under different conditions (mostly lighting levels). I hope you'll understand why I mention this up front as you read the rest.

You didn't mention lens speed (maximum aperture opening), the subject material and activity level (the need to reasonably stop motion), or whether you are allowed to and intend to use flash. The following is based on a presumption you are using the lens commonly bundled with a Rebel 2000, a 28-80mm f/3.5~5.6 zoom lens, and intend to do this using available light (no flash):

a. Camera shake:
Hand held work should not let shutter speed fall below 1/60th second unless you can firmly brace the camera (chair back, pillar, door jamb, etc.). If you can brace the camera, a shutter speed down to about 1/30th can be used and will still stop some motion. At these shutter speeds, you can't stop extremely fast motion, but it will handle things like people walking easily.

b. Average Lighting Level:
My Kodak Master Photoguide (current title is "Pocket Photoguide") has a section for planning existing light work. It shows lighting levels in the average school auditorium requiring ISO 6400 film for exposures using 1/60th shutter speed and f/5.6 lens aperture. I know of *no* true ISO 6400 film, B&W or color, consumer or professional. The fastest film I'm aware of is Fuji's Superia 1600, also sold as "Press 1600" to professionals. This is a color negative film with a *true* speed of ISO 1600, and it's not that grainy considering its super speed (better than consumer ISO 800 films).

Some films can be "pushed" to higher speeds, but this requires special processing by a full-service pro lab, you have to know how to override your camera's film speed sensors to manually set film speed, and the results would have high contrast with extreme graininess very visible in even 4x6 prints. There are two professional B&W films labeled as "3200" (TMax P3200 and Ilford Delta 3200) but their true speed is about ISO 800, they're designed to be pushed to 3200 (by two stops), and as such must be push processed by a pro lab.

Conclusion:
You're not going to be able to do this based on the assumptions I've made unless:

1. You use a fairly powerful external flash unit to cover much longer working distances in much larger spaces than encountered in the average home. The built-in flash is too weak, even with ISO 800 film. You would need a flash with a GN rating of no less than 120 (in feet @ ISO 100).

2. You use a much faster lens than is normally bundled with a Rebel 2000 to allow much more light in (lens speed is its widest aperture opening). How much faster? For the average lighting conditions in the Kodak guide, ISO 1600 film would require an f/2.8 lens; for ISO 800, an f/2 lens.

Recommendation:
Kodak's guide is very good for planning, but lighting levels are not the same in every auditorium. Visit the auditorium *before* the event you want to photograph to find out what the lighting level is using your camera's built-in metering. Manually set the film speed on your camera and start with ISO 400. Then see what shutter speed it will give you with the lens wide open at both ends of the zoom range. Continue bumping up the film speed manually until you get a 1/60th shutter speed at the long end of the zoom range. Based on the guide and my own past experience, I predict you'll end up at ISO 3200 or ISO 6400 with a lens that can only open up to f/5.6 at the long end.

Additional Issue:
Fluorescent lighting is not the same as daylight and produces a greenish cast with daylight films. Some are worse than others. If you are able to use Superia 1600 (if it's fast enough), it is more forgiving of being used under fluorescent lighting than many other daylight color negative films. Even so, the prints must be made by someone who can do color balancing well when printing the negatives. Tell the lab beforehand that the film was shot under fluorescent lights and ask that they take care with color balancing the prints. There are fluorescent-to-daylight filters, but these eat up about one f-stop of light, they're not perfect because there are too many types of fluorescent lights (warm, cool white, etc.). IMO you can't afford the loss of light trying to use one.

Wish I could give you something magically simple, but the basic problem is low light level. For all the reasons I've walked through, it's why I use lenses no slower than f/2.8 for shooting under similar lighting conditions, and prefer using some of my faster ones that can open up to f/2 if at all possible.

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 2:
Thanks for your response. I have a big lens for my camera, a Sigma 70-200mm 1:4-5.6. Would it be better to use that lens in this case or the 28-105mm lens that came with the camera? I have the ability to move up or back for the pictures. This is a dance dress rehearsal and they are going to have the lights on. Do you recommend me bringing my tripod since the movement will be more than walking speed at times and side to side not straight at me? Thanks for your response.

I just found this site and I absolutely love it! I love taking and learning about taking pictures and can't wait to sit down and read more of your stuff on your site1!!

- Danita B.

ANSWER 3:
Danita,
Your 70-200 is not really any "faster" than your 28-105 even though it's phyiscally bigger. In other words, it won't admit more light; it has approximately the same widest aperture.

I recommend using the shorter, 28-105 and try to keep the focal length you use between about 50mm and 75mm. I also recommend not using the tripod. I've used one in the past for trying to shoot similar events and found it cumbersome and awkward, plus it's very difficult to move to another position. You lose agility. You would also find using the longer lens hand held much more difficult. Longer focal lengths increase risk of camera shake that you cannot compensate for in this situation with a very fast shutter speed. At 180-200mm it can be difficult to accurately compose photographs in the viewfinder.

I encourage you to go there in advance, if at all possible, and use your camera to meter the light level. Your camera normally sets film speed autmatically by reading the DX coding (the bar code) on the side of the film cartridge. You should be able to override this and set a film speed manually. Set it to ISO 1600, open the lens to its widest aperture setting and see what shutter speeds you get with the zoom at about 50mm and about 80mm. Hopefully it will be no slower than 1/30th and if you're lucky it will be 1/60th. You can still do it hand held at 1/30th, but you will have to take very solid stances and time your shots when your subject(s) are not moving much. I've used 1/30th before with an 85mm lens and it poses a lot of risk with camera shake. Not impossible, but don't expect a 100% yield rate either. If you do this, be certain to set the film speed back to reading the film cartridge automatically when you're done!

Having shot some events using available light (no flash) similar to the lighting level you've described . . . wedding ceremonies and a reception in a well-lit art gallery . . . I believe you'll need ISO 1600 film (the Fuji Superia 1600 or Press 1600 mentioned before) and that even ISO 800 film will be too slow.

-- John

- John L.

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