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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, April 15, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Spring Photography Classes at BetterPhoto
* BETTERPHOTO: It's Not Too Late to Join An Online PhotoCourse™
* BETTERPHOTO: March Photo Contest Winners Have Been Selected
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part I / Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part II
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Wanna Have Some Fun?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Quartz or Tungsten ?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Interior Room Shots for Builders/Real Estate
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Night Filming on Bulb Settings
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Circles in Digital Pix ?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to Shoot a Pug Pup in Natural Light
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Pentax 645 Manual
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Nikon Manual
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Taking Pictures of Baby


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Spring Photography Classes at BetterPhoto
To immediately and dramatically improve your picture-taking abilities, take a Spring photo course - it is not too late to join. Each class is focused on teaching you how to improve your skills and understanding of photography through inspiring weekly assignments and helpful individual critiques. Learn more about our various course offerings at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 112nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Yahoo! We have posted the March contest finalists and winners. And they are amazing! The images entered at BetterPhoto are so incredibly good - it is a real treat for us to see the quality and talent of the BetterPhoto members.

Also, it is not too late to join a BetterPhoto course. Although we sent out the initial lesson this past Wednesday, the first assignment is not due until Sunday. So you still have time... if you have been considering it, by all means, sign up today. These courses are by far the best way to hone your photographic skills - you'll love the direct interaction with master photographers, personal feedback, and flexible method of instruction.

This coming Sunday is Easter - for those of you who celebrate this holiday, have fun getting wonderful images of Easter eggs in the grass, children hunting for eggs or eating chocolate treats, and parents/grandparents looking on with fond memories.

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


*****
It's Not Too Late to Join An Online PhotoCourse™
Enroll today if you would still like to join the fun. With a BetterPhoto course, you enjoy benefits such as direct interaction with the instructor/author, weekly lessons and assignments, as well as insightful, constructive critiques. Here are a few excellent choices if you are still trying to decide:

"Beginning Photography" with instructor Jim Miotke
If you are new to photography, you can learn all the basics of digital and film photography:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JCM01.asp

"Understanding Exposure" with Bryan F. Peterson
Master the ins and outs of aperture and shutter speed:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BFP02.asp

"Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography" with Jim Zuckerman
Learn eight easy steps you can do to immediately improve your photography:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK01.asp

"Field Techniques: Dynamic Outdoor Photography" with Kerry Drager
Learn how to shoot striking silhouettes, add a human touch to your scenics, and master depth of field:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD02.asp

Or select your favorite from all of the courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


*****
March Photo Contest Winners Have Been Selected
A big round of applause to master photographer Bob Garas for his Grand Prize winning portrait of a fiddle player. Also big congratulations to Gordon McGregor, Mike Hollman, Kathleen Clemons, Annika Lund, and Dolores Neilson for their beautiful First Place prize winning images.

Enjoy browsing through all of the stunning contest winners at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0303.asp

Or view all 301 contest finalists at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=889


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
This is the first of a three-part trivia question, courtesy of John Lind:

On June 6th, 1944, Robert Capa landed with the D-Day invasion at Normandy. After photographing the invasion landing, he "pulled out all the stops" getting his film back to England so the images could be the first published of the invasion.

During developing, his rolls of 35mm film were very nearly destroyed, and a "tea boy" was the scapegoat for the fiasco. A few that could be partially salvaged were published with the excuse they were "slightly out of focus."

1. Who was the "tea boy" that took the blame for the ruined film (even though he was not the one responsible)?

The first, best answer - entered by BettterPhoto member James K. is:
Larry Burrows took the fall

But... Dennis Banks was to blame. Because he put the film in the drying cabinet and did not open the vent so the film got very hot and melted the emulsion.

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 - Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part II - entered by BettterPhoto member John L.

Last week, we learned how Robert Capa's D-Day invasion were ruined during developing, and how a "tea boy" was the scapegoat for the fiasco.

1. Events years later tied the "tea boy" back to Robert Capa. What was this event (hint: the "tea boy" won three times)?

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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Wanna Have Some Fun?
Be a big kid! Even if you are an grown-up, that doesn't mean you can't have fun with Easter eggs. These can be the perfect prop for some great Springtime photos. Go out and get some eggs and a dye-coloring kit. Spend the evening preparing these props. When the creative artwork is done and the dyes have dried, you will have infinite options for photographing them. You can create still life compositions either in the studio or out in the yard. You can combine them with chicks or bunnies for fun animal photos. Or get creative - other great animals to use include kittens, puppies and - if you take Bob Garas as an example - frogs and mice. If animals are not your forte, employ the neighborhood kids as models and you could get some excellent photographs of people.

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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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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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: Quartz or Tungsten ?
I am considering setting up a studio and am looking at continuous lighting. Most of my business will be portraiture. Can someone tell me, what are the pros and cons of quartz and halogen? I shoot both film and digital. Is one type of lighting preferred over the other? Your comments are very welcome!

- Keith P.

ANSWER 1:
First of all, may I ask why you have decided on continuous light as opposed to strobe?

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
I am as courious as Jeff, why continuous?

Continuous light sources are slightly cheaper but for shooting protraiture there not as practical. They blind the subject (much more than modelling lamps in flash units) and dont let them relaxe. They also produce alot of heat which again can be uncomfotable.

Also tungsten lights need tungsten film or a filter to balance this depend on the colour temp. But I assume your awear of that so I wont go on.

When using continuous I've only ever used halogen globes (which are 3400k) I've never really used quartz but the cons for halogen are as above - Heat, Blinding light and either tungsten film (which is expensive) or a filter.

I've never used quartz so I won't say much about it.

Hope that helps.

- Ricky L.

ANSWER 3:
I had considered continuous lighting over strobe because it seems easier to "model" a subject, seeing where the light/shadows fall, and the effects of such. Being able to see this effect is important and I am not certain that strobes will allow me this. Their modeling lights are capable of providing this feature, but isn't this more of a compromise? I won't rule out strobes, but the jury is out on this one. Your help is invaluable. Thanks.

- Keith P.

ANSWER 4:
If you get strobe with strong enough modeling lights (my Photogenics use 250w modeling lights) you will have no problem seeing the shadows. It also helps to turn down/off the ambient light (room lights) whether you're using tungsten or strobe.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 5:
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Excellent food for thought. Jeff, you use Photogenics strobes. Why Photogenics, and do they do the job for you? BTW what type of photography are you doing?

thanks.

- Keith P.

ANSWER 6:
I have a couple of Photogenics and an Alien Bee. I like the Photogenics because they are heavy duty, powerful, infinitely adjustable, and have powerful modeling lights. I like the Alien Bee because it's light, infinitely adjustable, and very portable. The only thing I don't care for in the Alien Bee is the weak modeling light. It works ok in the studio but if I use it on location and there is a lot of ambient light it can be difficult to see. That being said, the next light I buy will probably be another Alien Bee. They're inexpensive, full featured (except for the modeling lamp), and I really love how light they are.

I do portrait and wedding photography. You can check out my work at www.imagesbyjeffkennedy.com. If you ever have any questions feel free to email me. :-)))

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 7:
Jeff,
Interesting to see your comments about the Alien Bees and Photogenic lights. Been considering a pair of 1600's. Read the very positive review on them by Bob Shell in Photo Techniques magazine some time last year.

I've got a pair of low power monolights and have used a friend's pair of Photogenic lights.

Curious about which Alien Bees light you have and what wattage modeling lamp you are using in it (Alien Bees recommends using no more than 150W quartz halogen in them).

-- John

- John L.

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

ANSWER 8:
The A/B I have is a B800. I find the 800 to be plenty powerful for most situations. When I need more I use the Photogenic.

Right now I've got a 100w quartz holgen in it. I can't seem to find a 150w that will allow me to put the plastic bulb protector on when not in use. The 150w's are all larger profile than the 100w.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 9:
Jeff,
Outside the scope of this thread a bit. Visited the Osram site. They make two series of their 120V "Halolux" lamps with E27 bases, the "BT" and the "Ceram." The "BT" have a slight bulge; all are the same size, 117mm x 48mm, from 40 Watt through 150 Watt. The "Ceram" is slightly shorter and smaller diameter with straight sides; all are the same size, 105mm x 32mm, from 60 Watt through 250 Watt.

Philips also makes the "Halogena" in a BT shape; according to their catalog the 100 and 150 Watt bulbs in this series are the same dimensions. Philips catalog also lists their life at 3000 hours (longer than the Osram).

The "BT" shape bulbs from Philips and Osram, or perhaps Osram's Ceram size may or may not help. I believe you may have encountered the A19 and slightly larger A21 styles . . . which look more like standard incandescent bulbs.

-- John

- John L.

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

ANSWER 10:
Thanks John, I'll look into it and see if they have something that might work. You are a whiz at info! ;-)))

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 11:
Jeff,
I should thank you for your impression of the A/B lights. Other than not being "built like a tank" compared to [much] more expensive ones (i.e. Photogenic), they seem to get good reviews in everything I've been able to find.

-- John

- John L.

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

ANSWER 12:
Ironically, I think the fact that they aren't built like a tank is one of their virtues. I don't think you have to build things out of steel these days for them to be durable. Since their housings are plastic they are much lighter than the more "heavy duty" lights. I would be comfortable using one on boom like a pack & head style light whereas doing so with the Photogenic would make me nervous.

- Jeff K.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5546

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5546

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*****
NEW QUESTION 2: Interior Room Shots for Builders/Real Estate
I love photography especially outdoors, kids, animals, landscapes, etc., but my boss has bought me a Nikon D-100 and told me my job is now photographing his work (buildings). I need help! I am working mostly with low light situations and my flash is showing up in the worst places. I have also been told to photograph the doors in the house in particular because he makes his own doors, and the flash really bounces back. I tried one of those inflatable soft boxes on the flash but you still see the flash on the door. Any suggestions?

- Linda R.

ANSWER 1:
One of the best ways I've found to light interiors on a budget is to get a translucent umbrella. I place the umbrella in a corner of the room aimed up at the corner. Fortunately you are shooting with digital so you can reposition the light as needed to eliminate reflections. You will need an umbrella ($15-30), a Photoflex multiclamp (to connect the flash, umbrella, and attach it to a tripod), a separate tripod for the light setup, and a long PC cord for the flash (or some kind of slave trigger).

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
Thank you so much I will give that a try!

- Linda R.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5543

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5543

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*****
NEW QUESTION 3: Night Filming on Bulb Settings
I am using a F80/N80 Nikon, but I am sure the same factors or response relate to other cameras. When I am trying to photograph lightning in the black of night using the bulb setting, can you advise what is a good time frame to use to adequately expose Sensia slide film and what aperture setting should be used? I realize the degree of lightning strikes will expose easier, but is there a general rule of thumb to use? Most of the slides just processed were I guess underexposed, as they were dark. I was using F8. Most pics I tried were also done with Cokin filters attached. I look forward to your response.

- russell h.

ANSWER 1:
Hi Russell

I also have an F80 which I love and an older pentax which I prefer for bulb photographs. This is because the pentax has mechanical shutters for B which dont use the batteries. The F80 however uses battery power to keep the shutters open so if your batteries die in a photo they close (which has happened to me in a 2 hour exposure so I lost it) anyway thats just a consideration.

I think you should use negative film when experimenting until you can judge exposure better. It is much more lenient than slide film and you can bracket with various settings so it will be cheaper in buying film and developing. Once you know the results then move to slide.

If you don't have one get a mechanical cable release with a lock is great for the F80 on B, just press and wait till you want.

Ok to the point. Use a light meter to determine exposure in the dark and go 1/2 to 2 stops underexposure to what it says (which will account for the extra light). Take a couple shots on different settings and write down settings then see which works best.

Fortunately with night photography over exposure does not matter it just looks more like daylight.

Uing a really long exposure will capture lots of lightening (I like form 5 to 20 mins) I usually use a slow film such as 100 or 50 and a fairly small aperture from 11 down. But it all depends on the severity of the storm and distance so a light meter is the only way to get started or simply experimenting and keeping records then seeing what works and the different results.

Hope all that helps.

- Ricky L.

ANSWER 2:
With night lighting photographs against "dark sky" exposure is set by lens aperture and shutter speed has little or no effect a long as it doesn't exceed about 8 seconds Ater that, depend on film speed, the sky can begin to lighten too much (depends some on how dark the dark sky is).

Aperture used depends on film speed. Recommended aperture settings (for lightning against dark sky):
ISO 25: f/2.8
ISO 32-50: f/4
ISO 64-100: f/5.6
ISO 125-200: f/8
ISO 250-400: f/11
ISO 500-800: f/16

Slower films have worked better for me in doing this. IMHO ISO 64-100 is optimal.

Hold shutter open until you get one or more lightning strikes, but no more than 8 seconds. Be patient and be prepared to shoot quite a few frames. Whether you close after one strike or wait for more than one is up to you and what you want.

Safety:
DON'T do this type of photography outdoors if the lighting is near you; only if it is well distant (at least several miles away)! Think about it . . . metal tripod, etc. You don't want to be a lighting rod. Have respect for the immense power of lightning and its lethality. I've been outdoors in t-storms with multiple strikes close enough to smell the ozone from them. I've also seen it vaporize portions of communications equipment. Wasn't out in it by choice and "not fun" is an understatement. Taking a direct strike can ruin your day.

-- 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=5540

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5540

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*****
NEW QUESTION 4: Circles in Digital Pix ?
Every time I take a digital picture at my child gym...these circles/bubbles appear in the image.

What gives?

- Danny W.

See Sample Photo - Gymshow:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=99332

ANSWER 1:
When was the last time you cleaned your lens?

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
These "circles" are classic symptoms of "aperture flare" from the bright lights in the gymnasium . . . from the bright overhead lights shining on the surface of the lens . . . some of which may be just outside of the photograph itself but still enough in front of the camera to strike the lens objective.

With a film camera these often appear as polygons picking up the shape of the aperture diaphragm. With a digital that doesn't have an aperture diaphragm it would take on the circular shape of the lens barrel. Aperture flare is a product of both the bright lights shining on the front of the lens (the objective element) and the lens design. It is so bright compared to the rest of the image that they become prominent.

About the best you can do is use a lens hood and watch your image composition to keep bright light sources from directly illuminating the lens objective. Jeff is correct about keeping the lens clean. This may also help.

The culprit is usually the lens design: lack of proper light baffling and/or "flocking" on the inside the lens barrel to prevent/reduce internal reflections of light bouncing around inside the lens. If it's an inexepnsive lens, it may also lack anti-reflective coatings on some of its internal glass elements (these circles appear to be white which makes me suspicious of this too). The real solution is a lens with a better design that isn't prone to this.

-- John

- John L.

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

ANSWER 3:
The Lens was cleaned prior to taking picture.

Thank you John for your detailed explanation.

- Danny W.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5537

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5537

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*****
NEW QUESTION 5: How to Shoot a Pug Pup in Natural Light
Ok, here goes, I need a response on this quickly if someone is willing to jump in and help.

I have a photo shoot that will mean more business if it all goes well. I have to shoot my vet's 15 year old pug. She wants something artsy and black and white.

I shoot a Canon Elan 7e, and I have an 85mm portrait lens 1.8 that I'll probably use. I have some TRIX 135 speed, and TMAX 400 in the fridge. My question is, any pose suggestions out there? I am free to do whatever I wish, just so it's artsy. I've never seen an artsy pug, but I guess I have to create one. Help, someone!

- RoxAnne F.

ANSWER 1:
RoxAnne,
Be ready to spend some time doing this. It is very difficult to deliberately pose a pet unless it is extremely well trained! Very few dogs are trained to "stay" sitting or laying down until "released" from the command by its owner. Try to do it in a location familiar to the dog and at a time of day that fits in with the dog's normal "schedule" when it is mildly active. If that's not possible, allow some time for the dog to become familiar with the surroundings. Either way, it will also need to become familiar with you and your equipment. Dogs are naturally curious (I've had nose prints on lenses before).

Observe natural behaviors and interaction for a while, where they occur, and what triggers them. Then develop a strategy for how you can position yourself for what you want when those behaviors occur and work at triggering them. Watch for unexpected "grab shots." These can sometimes be the best ones. Behaviors include when, how and why a pet sits and lays down.

Be prepared to occasionally give it a rest; all models need periodic breaks. Patience wins and if it's a "bad day" be prepared to return on a different one or at a different time.

-- 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=5534

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5534

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*****
NEW QUESTION 6: Pentax 645 Manual
I've just purchased a 2nd hand Pentax 645 and need an owners manual - so I found this sight in my search - any one have a contact for me? Thanks

- Shari B.

ANSWER 1:
I have the same camera.
The manual does not contain that much info.
What do you need to know?

- Dominick

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Dominick - I checked in with a fellow photographer in my area who is familiar with Pentax cameras and he helped me out - and as you expressed they're pretty simple. Attended a meeting of the local photographers association today and it was great to connect, since I am new to the area.

- Shari B.

ANSWER 3:
Hi Shari,
It sounds like you got your answer, but just so you know, you can download the entire Pentax manual from the Pentax web site. Here is a link to their Owner Manual page for all of their products.


- 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=5532

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5532

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*****
NEW QUESTION 7: Nikon Manual
Where can I purchase a manual for the Nikon-950 Coolpix Digital camera.
Thank you.

- Jerry

ANSWER 1:
Try the Nikonusa website. At one time you could download both the camera manual and the manual explaining how to connect it to your computer.

- Joan W.

ANSWER 2:
Thank you Jean W, your reply to my question is greatly appreciated.

- Jerry

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5531

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5531

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Taking Pictures of Baby
I enjoy taking pictures of my daughter in natural light. I turn off the flash and use 400 ISO, but sometimes the pictures are blurry or grainy and dark. I usually use the autofocus. Should I use a faster film and change aperture/shutter speed?

- Jan S.

ANSWER 1:
Are you using a tripod? What are you metering and how?

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
I am relatively new to photography, so I don't know much about metering. Could that be my problem? I try to use a tripod, but my daughter crawls and that makes it difficult.

- Jan S.

ANSWER 3:
If she's mobile then maybe you do need to consider a faster film or at least shooting her in brighter light. I would pick the fastest lens you have. Meter off of her face and open up one stop (if she's caucasian anyway).

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 4:
Jan, I suspect since you are new to photography you may be confusing the terms here. By "natural lighting" are you sure you don't mean "available lighting"?

400 iso film with an opened lens (f/stop) in good natural lighting should produce fast enough shutter speeds to stop motion.

At any rate, not knowing what type of camera you are using makes it difficult to narrow down the advice, however, if you are using an SLR with AF/AE with custom controls, I suggest you use shutter priority and use speeds applicable to the subjects movements, all other factors taken into consideration, of course.

If you are using a point-and-shoot, which has AF, then you are forced to either increase the lighting by getting nearer to its source (sunny window, etc) or increase film speeds.

The nice thing about black and white photos is its blindness to light temperatures. Therefore, adding halogen lamplight to the scene (or any electrcal light source)can help you a lot without changing the white balance. Something to consider.

- Michael H.

ANSWER 5:
Michael,
You are correct, I meant "available light" (doorway, window, etc.) I have an N65 SLR. I have been using the auto feature,that sets aperture and shutter speed automatically, but didn't know is maybe bumping up the film speed would help. I hear conflicting opinion about the graininess of 800 vs. 400. I just want to stop using the flash and obtain a softer more natural look. I may have to experiment with lighting at different times of day and in different locations. Thanks!

- Jan S.

ANSWER 6:
Jan,
Take a peek at these photographs at this website: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=162805

Look at the jet airliner I shot as it passed overhead (300mm zoom lens), and the red coupe. I took them using Fuji's 800 iso. Do you see any objectionable grain? I think you will find grain increases more in dim light, regardless of ISO's.. Yes, it was brilliant sunlight, but still no grain worth worrying about. Use the enlargement feature on the website to blow up the shots and you'll see what I mean.

If you bought the N65 (a good camera)with a kit lens as Nikon markets it, then you have the 28-80mm G series zoom lens which does an admirable job for the bucks. It's a tad slow on the open end, but that is a zoom's weakpoint, usually.

At any rate, it never hurts to try these films. I find Fuji's films are less grainy than most all others.

PS I like to shoot 800 at 600, but you cannot do that with an N65. I know because I have that camera, too. I also shoot with several other Nikon's.

Try it, and see!

- Michael H.

ANSWER 7:
Hi Jan,

My name is Jennifer and I'm a beginner that got my SLR camera mainly to take really nice picture of my young children.

Like you, I wanted to use available light instead of my flash. The best thing I ever did was buy a "fast" prime lens. If you are like me, you may not quite understand all the aperture stuff. My other lenses have a max aperture of 4.0 or 3.5.

I chose an 85mm f/1.8 and I'm so happy with the photos it has let me capture. For portraits you might prefer a 100mm or 105 or even 135, but look for the max aperture to be at least 2.8 if you want to use available lighting. 2.0 or 1.8 would be even better. These will let you take the picture with less light.

I'm a total novice, but that's what I've managed to figure out. Hope that helps. Even my untrained eye can see that my prime lens yields better pictures than both of my zoom lenses, and one of those was over $600. My wonderful prime lens was only $350. I chose 85mm because I can more easily get both my kids in the frame. However, it takes very nice photos of just one child, too. I love filling the whole photo with a lovely little face!

- Jennifer K.

ANSWER 8:
Thank you Jennifer. All I am trying to do is take great pictures of my daughter and be able to do so using available light, as well as capture close-ups. Your idea sounds great, especially since you know it works. I am trying to educate myself regarding shutter speeds, apertures, etc., but I am still in the beginning stages. Thanks for letting me know about the "fast" prime lens!

- Jan S.

ANSWER 9:
Jan,
Rule of thumb when hand holding a camera is that the shutter speed should be equal to 1/focal length and never hand hold at a shutter speed below 125 (although many people swear they can hand hold down 1/30 second). That is, if you are shooting with a lens at 50mm your shutter speed should be at least 1/50 but I'd opt for at least 1/100. But there is another consideration and that is the speed at which you subject moves. I shot my grandson in natural light and most shots are very sharp but some show movement at the hands. It's not because of camera movement because the rest of the photo is sharp. It is because the subject is movement. For a slow moving baby (relatively speaking) I would not shoot below 1/125. Here is a pic of what I'm talking about.

- George G.

See Sample Photo - Little BBaller:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=99037


ANSWER 10:
Thanks George. I appreciate seeing what you have done with the picture of your grandson. He is darling. I will try your advice. I have never shot ISO 64 before. Maybe I will experiment with the film speed and take your advice on setting the aperture and shutter speeds.

- Jan S.

ANSWER 11:
Dear Jan and the rest...

Just a quick tip with any camera with a flash that is used in auto mode... Let the camera use the flash! As it will automatically set the correct speed for correct exposure (usually 1/60th of a second. safe hand held speed) but I donít want flash, you say. Solution is easy... cover the flash with your finger (if small point n shoot, or dark tape electrical tape, or use white paper for a diffused flash exposure) donít worry about fast lens (if you have the cash sure...), but if poverty is your bane in life (like me) just cover the flash... and let the films latitude cover your non flash using sins. Try it out. Also if you have some spare cash use a bounce card for the flash, it will defuse the light and get those lovely little eyes sparkling (catch light), for the pro look you have only dreamed about.

- Bob P.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5448

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5448

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