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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 08, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Back to School with a Photo Course - Only 1 Day Left to Sign Up
* BETTERPHOTO: Last Call! Online PhotoCourses™ Start This Wednesday
* BETTERPHOTO: Contest Finalists Coming Soon
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Birth of Kodak / Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part I
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Add The Human Element
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Photo Image Files
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Shutter Problem
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: What Lens is Best for Outdoor Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Shoot Photos of Books for Layout
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Sepia Photographs
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Black and White Photography for Self-Expression
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: Taking Pictures of Baby
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 4: Wedding Photography and Developing
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 5: What Type of Lens to Buy?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Back to School with a Photo Course - Only 1 Day Left to Sign Up
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 at:
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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 111st issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Our online photo courses are beginning this Wednesday. So, if you have been thinking about taking a course, now's your chance. Read below for details.

Also, we are working hard to select the March contest finalists. These should be posted on the site within a couple of days and the winners should be posted sometime this weekend. So stay tuned to see which photos make the final cut.

On a personal note, I wanted to let you all know that my wife and I are now a mommy and daddy! We have recently adopted a beautiful 15-month old boy and are, needless to say, having the time of our lives. Among other things, Julian is going to be the most photographed baby in the world ;)

Have a great week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoContact.asp?memberID=124


*****
Last Call! Online PhotoCourses™ Start This Wednesday
The time to sign up for a Spring classes is here! Enroll today to 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:

"Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography" with Jim Zuckerman
Learn eight easy steps you can do to immediately improve your photography:
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"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:
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"Mastering Light" with Jim Zuckerman
Become fully confident in controlling both natural light and flash:
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Or select your favorite from all of the courses at:
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*****
Contest Finalists Coming Soon
The judging is underway and we should have finalists selected within the next couple of days. Our judges have 6400 images to go through this time - that's right... 6400! But they are working hard and should have two or three hundred finalists soon. Keep checking the BetterPhoto Home page to see when the contest finalists are posted:
http://www.betterphoto.com


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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What year was Kodak formed?

The first, best answer - entered by BettterPhoto member Roman J. is:
Well...the question is a bit ambigous and as such I am not sure exactly which date your asking for......so I'll give you three answers.

The base company was started as "Eastman Dry Plate Company" around September of 1881.

The first time the commercial name of "Kodak" was used was in 1888 when the first snapshot camera came into mass marketing.

In 1892 the company became the "Eastman Kodak Company" for the first time identifying itself with the word Kodak in its title.

So...in light of not really knowing if your asking when the genisis of kodak happend....or when the firt time the name was used...or the first time the name was used in the companys name.....hope one is what your looking for...

Thanks!! : )


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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 I - entered by BettterPhoto member John L.

This is the first of a three-part trivia question, courtety 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)?

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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Add The Human Element
Here is a tip to keep in mind when photographing nature scenes and landscapes: try adding the human element. By including a person in your composition - or even something man-made - you can often add a great deal of visual interest to your photo. The added element could be a human being or it could be something like an old car, a road, or a run-down barn. For example, say you are shooting the tulips in Holland or Skagit Valley, Washington. You could fill many frames with rows upon rows of colorful flowers. And these will likely be stunningly beautiful. But you can add a totally different kind of image to your collection by also shooting the fields with a farmer's hands holding a bundle of freshly picked tulips. This kind of image takes on a whole new dynamic interest, just by including the human element.

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: Photo Image Files
Would it be a good idea to convert all my original images into "jpg" files to save space and compress them somewhat? I'm afraid when I have to many photos on my computer I will run low on megabites.

- Kevin N.

ANSWER 1:
The problem with saving them as jpegs is that everytime you save the file it compresses again. It's much better to save the file as a TIFF (or PSD if you have Photoshop). If you are concerned about space save them to a CD (or DVD if you have a DVD burner).

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
I couldn't agree more. In the beginning, I used to save all images as small JPEGs. Over time, I realized they were almost unusable. Now I save as TIFFs and burn these archives to CD. I have never been happier.

- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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*****
NEW QUESTION 2: Shutter Problem
I have a Canon EOS Rebel 35mm camera with a Canon 35-80mm lens. I recently began having trouble with the camera. In manual focus it seems to work well. When I put it on auto focus the lens will move in and out and the camera will focus. The problem is that when I push the button the rest of the way down to take the picture the shutter or mirror does not operate. If I go back to manual focus it works fine. Any ideas?

- Ralph

ANSWER 1:
With autofocus switched on, the Rebel's shutter release has focus-priority. It will not fire unless the camera's autofocus system determines that focus has been acheived. When you switch to manual focus then the shutter will release on demand.

In low light or with a low contrast subject the af may have trouble confirming focus and balk at releasing the shutter. This is normal. If it happens in bright light or all the time then there is a problem with the af (bad circuit, misaligned sensor, ...) requiring professional repair or replacment.

- Jon C.

ANSWER 2:
I have the same problem with my Nikon, Jon is right just try turning on a few lights, or use your manual focus, open the shades, anything to get more light in the room.

- Judith C.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5514

Answer this question:
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*****
NEW QUESTION 3: What Lens is Best for Outdoor Portraits
What kind of lens is best to use for outdoor portrait of person? My camera is a Minolta STsi 35mm. Thanks.

- Cindy

ANSWER 1:
Cindy,
The focal length decision depends on what type of portraiture and how you compose it. The significant criteria for traditional portraiture are how many people, how much of the subject(s) you are capturing in the image (head, head/shoulders, 1/3, 2/3, full, etc.) and the distance at which a specific focal length would be used for it. Most portraitists have a "style" and settle on favored lengths for them.

Traditional focal lengths range from 50mm to 135mm, but I've seen as short as 35mm used (huge groups or whimsical perspective) and as long as 200mm (flattens perception of depth; very tight head shots at a distance; more difficult to hold steady). The "rule of thumb" is twice the "standard" focal length . . . plus or minus. My preference for traditional work with one or two subjects is an 85mm lens for 35mm small format work and a nearly equivalent 150mm lens for 645 medium format. They're smaller and lighter than longer lenses which makes them easier to hand hold, an important aspect for me, but still a bit longer than "standard" lengths. Other portraitists will have different preferences depending on what's available for their camera systems.

-- John

- John L.

See John's Premium BetterPholio™:
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ANSWER 2:
I'll second John's recommendation for a an 85mm. I use my 85mm f1.8 all the time (probably too much sometimes). Not only is it sharp and light but it's the fastest lens I have. Which makes it easy to use in natural light.

As John states, though, any focal length can work. I've made portraits using all my lenses which range from 17mm to 300mm. There is no one lens for everything but if I had to choose one it would be the 85mm.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 3:
John and Jeff,

I'm a beginner and I'll be practicing on a friend's daughter (in her prom dress). I will want to do some head and shoulder shots as well as full length. I don't have a 85mm lens. I have a telephoto lens though and thought that would be ok. Maybe not? Thanks for your suggestions.

- Cindy

ANSWER 4:
What length telephoto lens do you have?

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 5:
It's a Sigma 70-300mm. Dimensions (dia x length) 74.5 x 119.5mm / 2.9 x 4.7in (fully extended length 208.3mm / 8.2in).

- Cindy

ANSWER 6:
Cindy,
The "70-300mm" is its focal length range. As you extend its focal length there should be some markings on the lens barrel showing an estimated focal length. Start by working with it in the 70-100mm range. Go out slightly farther if you want to. Experimentation is encouraged with the type of portrait you are making, various focal length settings, and the working distances these create. You'll eventually settle on settings that work for you and what you want to do for the portraiture.

-- John

- John L.

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*****
NEW QUESTION 4: How to Shoot Photos of Books for Layout
We are shooting photos of books for a newsprint catalog. The resolution is a problem. The pictures are not as clear as management would like. So far, all directions don't make sense. They all have to be taken at the same distance for relative size and least adjustment at layout time. I think we should set the camera close, experiment with best results and then figure the adjustment. The pix are all b&w so we will have some comtrast problems, i.e. green and red on some book jackets, which can create problems as you know. Any screen suggestions? I think by this time you might have an idea of what we need. Our camera is a Kodak DC4800. It's a nice camera, works well for color. Is this the right camera for our needs?

- Lea O.

ANSWER 1:
See http://www.scantips.com/basics03.html for an authoritative answer. If the print company's lines-per-inch is 150, give him 1.5 to 2 times that. 300 pixels-per-inch is safe.

The camera is fine for your needs. Shoot in the TIF mode. JPEG compressing could be hurting your image quality.

Try shooting in color, but don't go straight to Grayscale for B/W conversion. Go to Image/Image Mode and choose Lab Color. To to Window/Channels and pick the Lightness channel. To to image /Image Mode and pick Grayscale. When photoshop asks you if you want to throw out the other channels, tell it yes. You will get a better grayscale this way.

Alternatively, stay in RGB and look at Channels. Pick either the red or green channel, and throw out the other two before you switch to Grayscale. For red/green problems, one of these will work.

- Doug N.

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Sepia Photographs
How do you take Sepia photographs? I love the look and don't know much about it! Thanks.

- Tracey

ANSWER 1:
I know of two ways. I don't know what kind of camera you use, but you can buy sepia filters for most 35mm slr lenses. You can also take your pictures and change them to sepia digitally. This can be done with many photo programs. To be more specific, I need to know what kind of equipment, and software you have.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
I have a 35mm Canon, not a digital camera. I'll have to keep my eye out for a filter and experiment!

- Tracey

ANSWER 3:
Actually, sepia is achieved through toning b&w prints. Toning is done to b&w prints to make them more archival. There are various toners out there that produce various effects from blue tints to the more familiar brownish tint. So strictly speaking sepia toned photos are b&w prints that are toned.

Now, you can duplicate this effect in numerous ways. As Judith points out you can do it with a filter. But note that this only works with color film so it will not be a true sepia toned b&w print. You can do it digitally. To do this have your negative scanned and then work on it in an editing program if you have one. Another method is to shoot on C41 b&w film and have it printed on color paper. Make sure you let the lab tech know you are after sepia or browntone images. Or you could simply shoot b&w film and have them printed and sepia toned.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 4:
Some full-service pro labs will also offer selenium toning of B&W prints. This is a brownish toning slightly different in tint from sepia. You might ask to see an example of that if it's offered by the lab.

I'm having some trouble trying to imagine how color film would look with a "sepia" filter. As Jeff mentions, toning is used to make B&W prints more archival and dates back to the 19th Century. Various methods also included using precious metals such as gold and platinum . . . each one producing a distinctive tint. In looking at the example on Tiffen's site, they used a photograph that had very muted colors amenable to a color filter like this: grays, pale yellows and light browns.

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 5:
While the other answers are teachnically better, I've done some experimenting with tea in the past. I took my finished b&w print and soaked it in tea. What tea you choose depends upon what color tone you want the print to have. It may not be the easiest or best method, but it is fun!

- Jerusha

ANSWER 6:
Jerusha,
An interesting concept. I know this has been done with material . . . as in cloth used to make clothing. The question that comes to my mind: how it affects archival life of a silver print, both fiber and resin types. I don't know whether it does or not. It's something to watch for as the prints you've done this with age under various lighting and display conditions.

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 7:
To make matters simple, you can also buy sepia film. It usually has a softer tone than what I have seen taken with the sepia filters. I have personally used sepia film and have had wonderful results.

- Crystal A.

ANSWER 8:
Ilford XP-2 Super printed on color photographic paper will give a Sepia tone. It gives you a fairly high ISO, 400 speed, with very little grain. You may also ask a lab to print it and use selenium tone to get the aged, brown look that John mentioned. The Ilford film's biggest advantage is any photo lab that processes color film can also process this film. I tried other C-41 black and white films and, so far, this film is the only one I feel is a true black and white film. I have not yet tried Kodak Portra Black and white film but have seen reviews that usually prefer the Ilford brand over Kodak Portra.
If you have access to a lab where you can print your own black and white film, I would suggest Ilford Delta or any brand of Kodak black and white film except for their C-41 film.

- Bill M.

ANSWER 9:
"To make matters simple, you can also buy sepia film. It usually has a softer tone than what I have seen taken with the sepia filters. I have personally used sepia film and have had wonderful results.

- Crystal A. 4/4/2003 5:06:50 AM"

That's a new one on me. Can you give us a specific brand and name to this "sepia" film Crystal?

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 10:
Jeff,
The one "sepia" film I'm aware of is made by Polaroid. Following is Polaroid's description of the film:

----------------------------------------
Polapan Sepia Type 56 4" x 5" Black and White Sheet Film

Polapan Sepia Type 56 4 x 5 Black and White Sheet Film is a panchromatic, medium-contrast film producing 4 x 5 inch sepia-tone prints with excellent gradation and tonal range. The chemical process used in many nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs produced shades of brown and white (i.e., sepia), not black and white. With this film you can recreate the sepia tone of these early photographs for novelty portraits, special effects, and fine art applications.
Key Applications:
* Old time photography
* Fine art
* Professional photography

Features:
* Panchromatic, medium-contrast film producing sepia-tone prints with excellent gradation and tonal range

Works with the following Polaroid cameras and imaging systems:
* Any 4 x 5 camera or instrument equipped with Model 545i/545Pro Film Holder or 4 x 5 Camera Back
* MP4+ Multipurpose Camera Systems
----------------------------------------

My assessment:
Suitable if one has a large format technical camera that can use 4x5 inch sheet film. The expense of a decent 4x5 camera, and especially an excellent lens to mount on its lens board, is not cost effective for an occasional sepia print. Feasible if one already uses, or will use, a 4x5 large format routinely to justify the capital investment.

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 11:
Thanks John, I have heard of that. Leave it to you to dig that up though ;-))). Somehow I suspect that's not what Crystal was referring to, however.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 12:
Oops! Forgot . . .
You can do it "on the cheap" with this film using a pinhole camera made for 4x5 sheet film. This obviously requires desiring a pinhole camera photograph and being willing to work with very long exposure times too.

-- John

- John L.

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*****
CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Black and White Photography for Self-Expression
I am returning to photgraphy as a medium of self-expression. What is available these days in terms of black and white filmstock? Yes, it has been a while. The last stock I used was tri-x pushed to 1200 and processed with microdol. I've never tried Ilford and don't know if it is still available.

- David A.

ANSWER 1:
David,
Definitely!
You may not find it with consumer films and may have to look for it at a camera store that sells pro equipment and film . . . or order it from someplace like B&H Photo Video in NYC. To see Ilford's current line of B&W film:
http://www.ilford.com/

-- John

- John L.

See John's Premium BetterPholio™:
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ANSWER 2:
There's a lot of great B&W film out there. I heard a rumor that Kodak has just recently discontinued Tri-X, but don't know if this is true. It's still fairly easy to get. Then there's also a newer film like TMAX, which has finer grain. In any case, Ilford and Kodak are still the biggies, and generally the easiest to find. To learn more about Kodak's B&W films, visit:
http://www.kodak.com/cgi-bin/webCatalog.pl?category=Professional+Black-And-White+Films

- Jerusha

ANSWER 3:
Let's kill this rumor, PLEASE!!!

I took the trouble of checking Kodak's web site about six months ago when I read the same rumors. Found the REAL story in less than five minutes.

Kodak still makes Tri-X Pan (TX), Tri-X Pan Professional (TXP), Plus-X Pan (PX) and Plus-X Pan Professional (PXP). Kodak moved production of all nine of their B&W films to a new manufacturing line (TP, TMX, TMY, TMZ, PX, PXP, TX, TXP and HIE). Because the new manufacturing processes changed how the film base is coated with emulsion, there is a slight change in some of the recommended film developing times. Because of this, Kodak rearranged the names of their films slightly so users and labs could tell the difference when developing the film.

Other than that, Tri-X and Plus-X, consumer and professional, made on the new manufacturing lines look and act like Tri-X and Plus-X always have. Kodak's announcement about this was a bit confusing to those that only read the "headline" titles on the announcements and didn't bother to read the text.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/films/bw/changesToBW.jhtml?id=0.3.8.20.22.5&lc=en

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 4:
Ilford Film can also be found on: filmtools.com

- Melissa

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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*****
CONTINUING QUESTION 3: 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.

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*****
CONTINUING QUESTION 4: Wedding Photography and Developing
I'm an amateur trying to learn the ropes by reading and lots of trial and error. A friend is on a tight budget and has asked me to shoot her wedding (this will be my first - yikes!) She would like a lot of the pictures to be B&W photojournalistic style. I haven't done much of that. Any words of wisdom or tips I should know?? Also are there any professional developing labs that you recommend? Is there a big difference between developing through one of them as opposed to my local photo shop? I'm sure there is, I just want to hear your comments. Thank you!

- Tracey

ANSWER 1:
Give us more info. What kind of equipment (specifically lenses) do you have? Is the wedding indoors or out? What part of the coutry are you in (someone may know a good lab close to you)? Feel free to email me privately if you like @ imagesbyjk@aol.com and check out my website at www.imagesbyjeffkennedy.com .

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 2:
Sorry, I should have given more detail (remember, I'm an amateur!). I currently have a Canon EOS 2000. I have a 50mm lense, 80-200mm and the 35-80mm that came with the camera. The wedding will be indoors and I just found out I won't be the only one taking their pictures - whew. But I do want to do the best job I can. Any tips would be greatly appreciated or any recommendations for lenses or filters I should get would be great. I live in NJ so if anyone can recommend a good lab, please let me know. Thank you for your time!

- Tracey

ANSWER 3:
http://www.zuga.net/freelessons/portrait.shtml

Look under Monte Zucker, one of the famous portrait and wedding photographers, and you will find lots of articles about lighting, posing and other techniques about general portrait and weddings.

Try to use some profession films like Kodak Portra 400 NC or Portra 400 VC and develop using Kodak's Premium Processing (stores advertised they use Kodak paper do not necessarily use Kodak processing). I live in NJ too and I go to ShopRite to drop off my film because I have a choice for Kodak processing or ShopRite processing. I always choose Kodak Processing (they actually send the film to Kodak for processing) and it's about double the price. But it's worth it. I still haven't found any 'lab' close to where I live yet.

Hope this helps.

- Andy S.

ANSWER 4:
If they're looking for photojournalistic style shots you should probably be thinking black & white. If you have a flash get a bounce attachment for it and practice with it so you know what you're doing. If you want (and can) to shoot with natural light I suggest high speed films like Kodak P3200 or Ilford Delta 3200. Ideally I like to rate them at ISO1600. If you are going for the natural light approach I would stick with the 50mm lens as it is probably your fastest (not to mention sharpest). I wouldn't worry about filters. Keep it as simple as possible.

Zuga.net may or may not be valuable to you. Monte is more of a traditional shooter as opposed to photojournalistic. Check out websites of photographers for ideas. Check out mine and feel free to email me if you have any questions or if you want suggestions for other sites.

As far as labs there must be an A&I lab somewhere back there. The only thing to consider with a pro lab is they may require that you set up an account or do a certain amount of business with them a year. Of course if this is the only time you use them they don't need to know that. A good way to find a lab is to contact studios in your area and ask who they use.

- Jeff K.

ANSWER 5:
Tracey,
See my "wedding survival guide" written with your situation in mind:
http://johnlind.tripod.com/wedding/

Even with weddings that include formal portraiture, the photojournalistic aspect is normally the majority of frames shot at a wedding. If formal portraits (also called "altar returns") are not desired I try to shoot more frames during the ceremony.

You may or may not be able to use a flash during most of the ceremony. If not, you will need to plan for using very fast film to cover that portion using existing light. I've used Fuji Press 1600 quite successfully. A pro lab can make B&W prints from color negatives. Alternatives for true B&W negatives are TMax P3200 and Ilford Delta 3200. I've also used these at EI 1600. Both of them multi-speed films must be push processed if used at film speeds higher than their nominal ISO 800 rating. This can only be done by a pro lab and there is a nominal surcharge for doing the push processing.

For shots with flash, Kodak's ISO 125 Plus-X Pan and ISO 400 Tri-X Pan are both "classic" B&W films which may fit the type of B&W look your friend wants. Both have been used for photojournalism and editorial work for decades.

I recommend against using a consumer lab for wedding photographs if you are *the* photographer. Aside from more consistent developing and especially printing, a decent full-service pro lab is also much more reliable at not losing film or screwing up the developing. Wedding photos are not something you can go back and shoot over again if something happens to the film (prints can be reprinted as long as the negatives are OK).

The biggest pitfalls for non-professionals roped into shooting a wedding:
a. Not having enough batteries or film.
b. Not having enough flash power for longer distances in larger spaces.
c. Inadequate planning for the types of photographs and significant events before, during and after the ceremony that need to be covered.
d. Trying to be a "guest" as well as the official photographer; the two do not mix well.

You *can* have fun doing it if you coordinate with your friend, adequately plan what you will do, and practice some as needed for the types of photographs you will be shooting.

-- John

- John L.

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ANSWER 6:
Thanks for all your time and input! Wish me luck! ;-)

- Tracey

ANSWER 7:
Words of advice from someone who has done this 27 years. Get a list from the mothers on must get shots. Usually the bride, groom, together, bridal party, families, etc.. Pose them and shhot in color and take at least 6 shots of each pose to make sure the eyes are open. Once your basis are covered, you can switch to B&W. Get your film at Target. 400 ASA as the Bride want budget quality and she won't know any difference. Photojounalism means take a million shot not having the subject looking the camera. Of 700 frames, she might like 100. Shoot your Color must get shots with Portra 160NC. A good one hour lab that has a image monitor will develop your film well. For the best flesh tones on color use a pro lab. Have the one hour lab develop your BW using c41 film on color paper. It will save alot of $ vs custom BW developing. Be prepare for a nightmare as friends will beat you to death as they don't recognize you as a pro and will give you no respect. A lesson learned but we have all done it this way to get our feet wet.

Good Luck!

- Gregg

ANSWER 8:
Just for inspiration:
check out Bambi Cantrells book called, The Art of wedding photography. It's new and full of black and white photos. She does the weddings of many stars. She even gives the info about how she set her camera for each photo. She also uses Canon as well. Buy it if you want but just skimming through it will give you a great understanding of what type of pictures she is looking for. Check her website also, cantrellportrait.com.

Also, one of my favorite sites in the world is profotos.com. These are masters of photograpy. Check out the wedding section of the photo galleries. It is inspiring.

- Tyrone W.

ANSWER 9:
I shoot weddings for a living (about 45 per year) with some Bar/bat Mitzvah's and portraits added in too. I suggest that you read Bambi Cantrell's book inside and out. I think she is incredible! Also, check out www.hansonfong.com he's also very incredible and shoots the photojournalistic style too.

I try to shoot like they do, but NEVER forget that every bridal couple is different and they are above all unique individuals. My biggest advise to you is to TALK TO THE COUPLE!!! Ask them what they want, ask them what's MOST important to them about their wedding day, ask them to SHOW you pictures from their millions of bridal magazines that really knock their socks off. Those things are what will make 100% difference in your shooting and ability to make the couple happy with your pictures. It will also be what sets you apart from A LOT of other photographers, most of whom couldn't care less what the couple really wants, they just are going to go in "shoot it their way".

Technically, I use Kodaks Porta 160VC for both indoor and outdoor situations, and shoot with Portra 400BW for all of the black & white shots. I have a Canon EOS 3, and a Canon 24-70mm, 2.8, L-series lens, which allows me to focus in darker situations without problems. I don't use the 400 speed color film because it does produce grain in low light situations and grain is not acceptable for me. The 160 speed film does an absolutely beautiful job!

Please feel free to email me if you have questions, I'd be more than happy to help you out and walk you through anything you're uncomfortable with.

My website is www.weisheitphotography.com and if you take the like to "online ordering" at the bottom of the pages, you can go to my storefront and look through hundreds of my wedding photos.

Practice, remain confident, and above all, HAVE FUN! Wedding photography can be terrific and extremely rewarding!

- Debra W.

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ANSWER 10:
Hi Tracey, I am in New Jersey (northwest) and feel free to contact me. As to the developing and printing of the film you can probably find a good camera shop to work with - and I find that a matte finish is more desirable. For B&W you can use a CN film - black and white photos processed the same as color prints. You will spend an arm and a leg getting black and white processing and printing. The CN film is the same price as color processing. Also for flash - you should get and use a bracket - you will have much better results. You can look at my website - www.kathysgallery.com for ideas and feel free to contact me. Good luck

- Kathy H.

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*****
CONTINUING QUESTION 5: What Type of Lens to Buy?
Hello all, my name is Mike and I am relatively new to the world of SLR photography. After a bit of research, I recently purchased my first SLR camera, the Canon EOS Rebel G. The camera came with a 35-80mm lens, but I have been told this is not the best lens. Iím looking for some advice on a better lens to buy thatís not overly expensive but will still help me get the most out of my purchase. Any thoughts will really help and be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,

- Mike

ANSWER 1:
Mike, what are you planing to shoot? If you are new and just shoot family snap shots, this lens will be fine. I have a 70-300mm lens that I have only used twice. I shoot portraits mostly and use my 50mm lens more then anything. If you plan on shooting landscapes you may need a wide angle lens. Need more info to fully answer this question.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 2:
Judith,
Thanks for your response. In answer to your inquiries, Iím not really sure what I will shoot. I think Iím leaving that open to what ever strikes me as interesting, but I feel that I am leaning more towards photographing nature. I plan on taking a local photography workshop this summer. I guess I am just looking for advice on a good all-around second lens to purchase that will accompany the one I already have. Thanks again.

- Mike

ANSWER 3:
This is just a suggestion from a fellow amature. I would go with a wide angle for landscapes, and a good long lens for wildlife. The few times I have used my 70-300mm lens has been for a shot of a butterfly for a class ( looks like I'm sitting on top of it) a few deer, and some shots of sail boats on the near by lake. I love the shots I've taken with it I just don't have much time alone to shoot these kind of shots. I will however by a long zoom lens to fit my digital soon. I also would love a fish-eye lens to play with, but its not in my budget right now.

- Judith C.

ANSWER 4:
Mike, I was in the same boat as you. I bought the same camera and had no specific subject to shoot. However I have always gone toward the nature shots simply because it is always available. I did buy an 80-200 Canon lens recently but I am wishing I bought the wide angle first. As Judith said, they are great for landscape shots and I could have used the wide angle on a recent trip. I started shooting with a Canon AE-1 that was givien to me so the Rebel is a Godsend.

- Ray

ANSWER 5:
Thanks guys. I really appreciate your advice. I think I will look into purchasing a wide angle lens.

- Mike

ANSWER 6:
For about $270 I would recommend the Tamron 28-200/3.5-5.6 Asph. XR IF Macro. It is of moderate wide angle and zoom but much more lighter and shorter than its older version. I had it on my Rebel 1000Fn. Just make sure you get the one for Canon EOS system.

- Andy S.

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ANSWER 7:
Originally, one purchased a "normal" lens with a 35mm SLR body. Normal, in this case, means close to what the human eye perceives. Typically, the focal length of such lenses ranged from 45-55mm dependent on manufacturer. Then came wide angel and telephoto lenses - then ZOOMs.

Since zoom lenses offer a little more to a lot of versatility, some manufacturers and, certainly, camera dealers began offering "kits." The 35-80 tele may be representative. However, I've always felt that this range and even the 28-70 mm range frequently offered is too limiting. I'd rather stick to the normal lens.

But, years ago I bought a Vivitar Series 1, 70-210mm, F/3.5 zoom and complemented it with the Series 1, 28-90mm vari-f/2/8. Now that was a companion set for my Minolta SRT 201.

Now I'm using Canon EOS camera; I've got the Canon 35-105mm and Canon 70-210 mm. I also have the first Tamron 28-200mm and the Tamron 200-400mm. So, what should you buy?

First, buy the best you can afford!! But, don't believe necessarily that camera makers make the best lenses. There's a lot of debate here but, in fact, many reviewers panned Canon's 28-200mm zoom.

Then, think about what kind of shots you're interested in. People - go for something that will allow you a 90 mm focal length [for portraits]. Landscapes - go for a wider angle. If you're into nature, a longer focal length [200 mm].

The answer above dewcribes the current Tamron lens. It didn't get the same "good" reviews as my older version, but, it was reviewed as poorly as the Canon. Tamron's 28-300 mm did much better.

The 28-200 mm range, however, gives you the best of all worlds. It just forces you to more frequently used higher speed films unless you use a tripod.

I hope this provides a little better insight.



- John S.

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