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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, May 13, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Promote Your Portfolio of Photos in a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Summer Session Photo Courses Are Now Posted
* BETTERPHOTO: A Call to BetterPhoto Members - We Need Your Help
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part II / Robert Capa, D-Day, and the Tea Boy - Part III
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Point of View
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Lighting for Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: What is Metering?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Zooming Special Effects Technique
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Canon EOS 10D vs Nikon D100
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Headstone Photography Etiquette
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Image Size and Pixels
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: What Cable To Get For Long Exposure
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Which lense to buy? What to look for?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Fundamental Camera Bag Set Up - Lenses, Etc.
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Wanted: Professional Photo Lab????
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Circles in Digital Pix ?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Selling Image Files


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

Promote Your Portfolio of Photos in a Deluxe BetterPholio™
With a Deluxe BetterPholio™, you can display up to 1000 of your best images! In as little as 24-48 hours, you can have a Web site that displays all of your favorite photos. No worries about bandwidth, no need to learn Frontpage... our Deluxe BetterPholio™ solutions give you a ONE STOP SHOP for getting your portfolio on the Web. Learn more about getting a Deluxe BetterPholio™ at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 113rd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

We are excited to say that we have a lot of great things going on here at BetterPhoto. First, we are happy to announce the summer session of online courses. Additional, the staff here at BetterPhoto is developing great enhancements on our Deluxe BetterPholios™, improving our Equipment Reviews and Buyer's Guide sections, and preparing to post the finalists and winners of the April photo contest. Stay tuned!

I am also happy to announce that Kerry Drager will be guest instructing my Beginning Photography course for the summer session. Kerry's friendly, super-helpful, and comprehensive style is a perfect match for the beginning class. While the class will be using my lessons, Kerry will be critiquing photos and answering questions. This will give me a chance to catch up on several exciting Web site improvement projects.

May flowers have been wonderful here in the Pacific Northwest. We have been enjoying some excellent photographic outings this May - hope you have too!

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


*****
Summer Session Photo Courses Are Now Posted
Make this summer a special adventure by joining a photography course! Improve your picture-taking skills while having a great time enjoying the summer months. Each class is focused on teaching you how to improve your understanding of photography through exciting weekly assignments and helpful critiques direct from the instructor.

Here are a few of our most popular classes:

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

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

Or learn more about all of our photo course offerings at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


*****
A Call to BetterPhoto Members - We Need Your Help
In a recent survey that we conducted, we heard many BetterPhoto members saying again and again that they would like to help get the word out about BetterPhoto. Some said, "Ask us to place posters in our local camera stores". Others said, "Ask us to get our camera club to mention BetterPhoto.com in its newsletter". And still others said "Ask us to refer five friends to BetterPhoto.com."

Quite honestly, we were blown away by the generous response.

So we are doing just that - we are asking for your help. Over the next several weeks, we will be presenting new ways that you can help get the word out about BetterPhoto. Your word of mouth advertising is extremely important to the success of BetterPhoto.com.

Phase One:
Here is our first request: If you have a Web site, please link to BetterPhoto.

If you are unsure of what to say, here is some information about our site:

BetterPhoto.com: Honest Answers for Budding Photographers
BetterPhoto teaches photographers how to improve their photography. The site features online photography courses, Web sites for photographers, a free monthly photo contest, and great tips on photographic technique. A useful Q&A, photo discussions, and free email newsletters also provide expert help with all areas of photography.
http://www.betterphoto.com

If you would like to post a graphic with your link, here are a few choices:
http://www.betterphoto.com/images/_ani/BannerAdCamEverywhere2Step.gif
http://www.betterphoto.com/images/_ani/BannerAdCamerasSmaller.gif
http://www.betterphoto.com/images/_headers/MainGuide.jpg
http://www.betterphoto.com/images/_decor/snappyQ.jpg
http://www.betterphoto.com/images/_ani/CornerBlur.gif

When you have posted your link to BetterPhoto, we would be more than happy to reciprocate. Simply fill out the "Add a Link" form at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/linkAdder.asp

If you do not have a Web site, you can still help out. You can mention BetterPhoto in another online forum in which you participate. Or ask the webmaster of another photo site that you enjoy to link to BetterPhoto. This kind of cross-referencing helps get the word out more than you can imagine. Thank you for your help.



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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Last time, 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)?

The first, best answer - entered by BettterPhoto member James Knowles IIIis:
Larry Burrows was a three-time winner of the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Gold Medal award.

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 III - entered by BettterPhoto member John Lind

In previous weeks, we learned how Robert Capa's D-Day invasion were ruined during developing, how a "tea boy" was the scapegoat for the fiasco, and how events later tied the "tea boy" back to Robert Capa.

Here is our third trivia question, thanks to John Lind:

What three things did Robert Capa and the "tea boy" have in common throughout their lives?

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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Point of View
One of the easiest and most immediate ways to make your images more unique and interesting involves simply changing your point of view. When you find yourself about to photograph your pet, for instance, as you are standing above him, simply get down on his level (or even lower). This unusual point of view will completely transform your picture from a typical snapshot to an artistic and fun photo. To see an example of what I mean, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/pointOfView.asp

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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To order online, visit:
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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Lighting for Portraits
I would like info. on the lighting equipment I would need to take portraits with a film camera. I am barely beginning and would like some advice and info. on what type of inexpensive equipment and lighting I would need to begin taking portraits. Please advise. Thanks.

- Rachael Arellano

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5699

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5699

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*****
NEW QUESTION 2: What is Metering?
Hello Everyone

I am a beginner in photography and recently bought Nikon F80. I would be grateful if anyone could explain to me what this metering is all about and where this feature is used.

Regards,

- Kuldeep Singh

ANSWER 1:
All cameras have a metering system. Metering reads the amount of light in the scene and either tells you how to set the shutter and aperture, or sets it automatically for you.

You can have the camera set the light (exposure) for you, but you would do well to read your manual and learn how your camera does this. You can then make your own adjustments in special situations. See the Courses on this web page, and consider taking Bryan Peterson's on-line course on exposure.

- Kuldeep Singh

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5618

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5618

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*****
NEW QUESTION 3: Zooming Special Effects Technique
I have messed around with zooming when my shutter is open with mixed results.

Is it necessary to use a tripod? Is a shutter speed of 1/60th sec about right? Is it best to zoom in or out during the exposure? How should I position the subject in the viewfinder before I release the shutter? Does this technique work well for neon lighting signs? What is a good range to zoom through i.e. 35-70mm?

Thanks.

- Douglas Robertson

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5602

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5602

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*****
NEW QUESTION 4: Canon EOS 10D vs Nikon D100
I want to switch to a digital SLR, but am unsure of the distinction between the EOS 10D and the D100. I am currently using a Nikon F80.

- Angelica

ANSWER 1:
I use the Canon EOS system but I use the Elan II instead of a digital camera. If my funds permitted, I would buy the EOS 10D instead of the Nikon camera because I do not want to go to the expense of replacing my Canon lens and flashes. I am very happy with the Canon system.

Nikon and Canon make top of the line systems. The key point here is how much do you have invested uin Nikon equipment and, if you are happy with the Nikon lens and flashes, do you want to switch?

The rule of thumb is Canon lens are better suited than Nikon for action photography but Nikon tends to have better metering if you shoot in difficult lighting situations. I have never used Nikon but I have been told this assessment enough times to believe it is true. Of course, Canon is improving their metering system while Nikon is improving the ability of their lens to capture action in the auto-focus mode.

- Angelica

ANSWER 2:
If I was starting from scratch I would go with the 10D. I would do that mainly because it is more well constructed than the D100. The knock I've heard from pros regarding the D100 is that it's just not heavy duty enough for professional use. That being said, if I already had a system of Nikon lenses I'd probably just stick with the D100.

- Angelica S.

ANSWER 3:
I love my D100, but I don't bang it around much at this point. You have to consider the cost of all new lenses and flashes, if you go with the Canon.

- Angelica A.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5600

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5600

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*****
NEW QUESTION 5: Headstone Photography Etiquette
I am interested in doing b/w photography of old headstones in graveyards but I am not sure if there is an 'etiquette' when doing this. I am worried about offending someone. There are so many beautiful old, old, old headstones out there and I really want to experiment with them on film. Can anyone help me with, is this offensive or not? Do I need permission from family?
Thanks for your comments!

- Pamela A. lammersen

ANSWER 1:
I wouldn't consider it offensive, but, I'd check the the caretakers of the place first. Some places don't what any photography, some don't mind.... Also, during the week is probably better then the weekends...

hth

- Pamela lammersen

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

ANSWER 2:
Thanks damian, I should of thought of contacting the caretaker but it didn't even enter my mind... I will do that and hope my wee experiments in headstones work out (kind of morbid, huh). Thanks again.

- Pamela lammersen

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5588

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5588

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*****
NEW QUESTION 6: Image Size and Pixels
I am baffeled - I was reading the Q&A section on Image size and removing the check mark from Resample Image, so I did this the next time I started to size an image, that's when the problem started. When I removed the check mark I could no longer use the pixel dimension box. I can only use the print size box - but when I changed the size of the image to fit the requirement of 750x500 so I can send a photo in to the contest, the resolution goes too high. And if I change the resolution back to the 72 pixil then the size of the photo is way too big to upload - over 5M. I hope some one can help me with this. Thank You.

- Gail Ranney

ANSWER 1:
I've been telling folks NOT to check Resample in situations in which you want the full digital capture the camera can deliver. You want the full image if you'll want to print it, or if you want to archive all the digital information for later.
Typically, a digital camera set to its best or near best quality will give you a 72 ppi image, but with impractically large image dimensions, like 14- by 21 inches.
If either of the conditions in the first paragraph applies, what you want to do is to scrunch the pixels into a smaller space without throwing any away. You do that by unchecking Resample, checking Contrain Proportions, and set one dimension to the size you would print. Set either the length to, for example 7, or the width to 5. It doesn't matter which one, because the other will be scaled proportionally for you.
At this point, save your full image into an archive file of your choice, your hard drive or a CD.
Then, check Resample. You are going to be throwing out pixels considered to be non-essential to the structural and color integrity of the image.
Does this scare you? Good, it should. No problem if you archived the whole file earlier.
In the resolution block, change it to 72, or 75, somewhere close. This reduction is a two step process. You just changed the density of the pixels. Now change the lengh of the image to 750 pixels. The width will fall into place.
SAVE AS a JPEG. When the program asks you what compression level, I'd tell it 10. This web site probably compresses them further, but 10 seems to work for me.
If you have problems, come back at me. We will get you through this.

- Gail Ranney

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

ANSWER 2:
Thank You So Much, Doug, I'll try that and let you know how I do.

- Gail Ranney

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5586

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5586

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*****
NEW QUESTION 7: What Cable To Get For Long Exposure
Okay, so I have a 35mm Minolta Dynax 404si. I want to be able to take long exposures (more than the 30 second option that it has, for the bulb) for star trail pictures and other stuff. I have been looking for a shutter release cable for my camera and I can't find one. I am looking for a cable that you press to open and then press again to close, not having to keep my finger on it for the whole hour or so.

Do you guys know what I am talking about, and do you know where I can find this cable that I am looking for?

If you have any questions please ask, Thank You.

- Eduardo G

ANSWER 1:
The Dynax 404si (aka Maxxum STsi) uses an electronic remote shutter cord, RC-1000S (20 inches or ~50cm long) or RC-1000L (16.5 feet or 5m long).

- Eduardo G

ANSWER 2:
I have an older manual focus Minolta, and it does accept a shutter release cable, as I would assume yours should also. I have a couple release cables, one I purchased recently, and an older one I got used with a flash bracket. Both have a 'lock', a knurled ring at the base of the 'button'. When you depress the button to open the shutter, you can set the knurled ring to lock the shutter open for extended periods without babysitting the camera. Press the knurled ring, and the shutter releases. Cables are cheap - less than $10 at most camera stores.

- Eduardo G

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5585

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5585

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*****
NEW QUESTION 8: Which lense to buy? What to look for?
I'm looking for a wide angle lense for my Nikon FM2. I had bought a cheap lens (polar 28mm - $50). I want to take the best quality pictures I can. And I don't know how to tell what the best lens is? How can I tell if a lens is good or not (name, price)? What should a buyer look for when purchasing a lens? I would relly like to take professional grade photos so I am willing to drop some money if it needs to be done.

As a side note, I am in Korea right now; I heard that photo equipment was cheaper in China... should I want to buy over there? How much cheaper is it?

- Brett

ANSWER 1:
Find out from Nikon if your camera can use non-AI lenses, or if you are limited to newer AIS lenses. See http://www.cameraquest.com/aidaiais.htm for an explanation of this maze.

If you do architectural work at all, reject any wide angle that users say has noticeable barrel distortion. It's hard to go wrong with a Nikkor 28. Their f2.8's and old 28 f3.5's have great reputations. If 35-mm is wide enough for you, Nikkor 35's are great, too. For rough ideas on prices, see keh.com.

- Brett

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5570

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5570

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*****
NEW QUESTION 9: Fundamental Camera Bag Set Up - Lenses, Etc.
I am new to photography and I am trying to put together a good all around camera bag. I have a Canon Elan 7E. What basic lenses should be included for a good all around package. I will be shooting a little of everything, landscapes, portraits, etc. What other "must have / should have" items would you suggest?

- Mike

ANSWER 1:
I would suggest a good wide angle lens, for landscapes. If you like a versatile lens for portraits something like a 28 to 80mm or just a good 50mm fixed lens. It's nice to have a longer lens for wildlife and outdoor stuff like a 75 to 300mm.

Spend some money on a really good flash that you can bounce, and for portraits I suggest a Lumiquest softbox, to cut down on shadows and soften the flash. I have a Vivitar 283, but you have to be careful with flashes on a Canon. I have to shoot manual, because the program modes don't work with this flash, so you may want to check on Canon flash units.

You may want to get a few filters to play with - a circular polerizer for outside shots, to cut glare. I suggest if your going to get a lot of filters you go with Coken, because you can leave the adapter on and change them easily.

Experiment with different films for the best affects of what you are shooting. I like Kodak Portra 160NC for portraits.

Back to filters for a minute, it's easy to get carried away, because they are fun to play with, but after a while, you lose interest in most of them, so stick to the basics.

And on flashes, you may also want a bracket to get the flash off your camera. This also helps with that harsh look of flash photos. That would be a great start.

- Mike A.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5569

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5569

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*****
NEW QUESTION 10: Wanted: Professional Photo Lab????
Help! I have had it with my so called professional photo lab. I shoot 35mm black and white and color negative film. Every time I shoot b&w, the pics come back scratched. Then I wait over a month until the owner decides he has time to sit down and do a redo on his computer instead of sending them back to the lab. I've had it! I've never had great success with labs in the past 3 years. I dont care if I have to send the rolls across the country, I just want someone wonderful to work with! Does anyone know where I can send film for processing, that has the willingness to work with me on enlargements, dodging, burning, etc.?
I live in upstate NY, however, I dont mind mailing them anywhere just so I get the service that I pay for.
Thanks

- RoxAnne A. Franklin

ANSWER 1:
RoxAnne,

Give these guys a call...

Bay State Color Lab
76 Rockland St
Hanover, MA 02339
781-826-9528

I found them while I was living in Mass. Its a family operation, and they don't seem to want to hire outside help so they can keep their quality standards high. I usually had them process my negatives so I could make prints in my own darkroom, but the few times they did my prints, I was very satisfied.
I don't think they do traditional b&w, but of course they will do the chromegenic (C-41) b&w.
Give them a call and see if they can fill your needs. And tell them Stan sent you.

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 2:
Wow Stan,

Thanks so much for your referral. I will definitely try them. I used to live in MA too, but I sent my film to a place in CT and I was not happy with the b&w results at all, everything had a green color cast and they wouldnt make the prints over.

I will give these guys a call today.
Thanks again,

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 3:
Roxanne, please let me know how you make out.

PS - I just tried a lab here in New Jersey, and I received under and over exposed prints. (Negatives are all normally exposed) On top of that, all the prints are backwards!! And this by an 'experienced' tech.

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 4:
Stan,
I'd be furious!! I've so had it with labs lately. There is absolutely no excuse for your prints to be like that!!!!! Man, my temper would flare and I'd storm right in there and demand new prints. Of course, they may not be any better.
The photo lab here lost my portrait of my dog. They had it for 1month and 1/2 to do, again, a redo on the black and white. I went in this morning to pick it up and they lost it. I'm so furious! That was the last time they will ever see me in there. Thanks for the lab recomendation, I will definitely be trying them.

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 5:
Hello, I can totally relate to your irritation. I have tried several labs, and there are two that I have done business with, and their work is impecable. Moonlight lab in Reseda,CA and PCL West imaging in Gardena, CA... after trying lab after lab, these two are the only ones where, the only mistakes on the pictures are made by the photographer. These two have a website, look them up, these are two different entities. PCL (866) 725-9378, ask for Julian.

Albert G.

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 6:
Thanks for the suggestions! Maybe we should tell Jim to include a segment in the next betterphoto.com newsletter dedicated to labs that people have found that they would never stop using. After all, we can do all the hard work, but the lab sure does make or break us.
What do you all think about a segment on labs?

- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 7:
Great idea, RoxAnne.

We are working on a page where BetterPhoto members can go to recommend a lab, but until we have it ready, please feel free to email Heather with info about the place you like to do business. Include the state, city, address and phone number, and the lab's name. If you have someone in particular you like to work with, that's great to include too. A short sentence about what services you like that they offer, or any other information that you feel other photographers would like to know, would be helpful.

Send an an email by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of any BetterPhoto page.

- 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=5568

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5568

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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 Wouralis

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


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

- Danny S. Wouralis

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

- Danny A. Wouralis

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 Wouralis

ANSWER 4:
With all respect for John's answer, I think there might be another reason, or did you notice this phenomenon only in photos that include bright overhead lights?

I can see from your photo that you were shooting with a flash. When flash bounces back off the dust in the air you get spots like that.

Regards,

- Danny Wouralis

ANSWER 5:
When I was looking to purchase a digital camera I was warned against certain manufacturers. Some cameras incorperate the use of plastic lens (as opposed to glass). I was told the plastic ones are more prone to lens flare or glare spots.

- Danny Wouralis

See Ray's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=36941

ANSWER 6:
The reason I asked if your lens was clean is because flare doesn't usually show up this randomly. It looks more like you have dust or scratches on your lens.

- Danny S. Wouralis

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

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Selling Image Files
I am interested in selling my images as digital image files only. I really don't want to get into having prints made and shipping them. I would rather sell image files by e-mail, so that customers could run off their own prints or have them printed by a photo lab. Many photo labs now produce quality prints from digital files (even via e-mail.)

So I guess my questions are: Is this being done? Can it be done? And if it can, what would be the best way to start?

Any and all feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

- Jeff S. Galbraith

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ANSWER 1:
Hi Jeff,

There are plenty of sites out there that licence the use of their photographs through the web. But it is rare to find a place that offers a resolution better than 1024*768, due to size constraints. It is more common to see also, that they sell batches of photos, rather than individual photos. For example, you might get a pack of twenty "extreme sports" photos for about $5.

If you consider that to print it to near photo quality, you need at least 300dpi well, you're going to get a photo just over 3" by 2". It's not really printable quality. Remember that most people who buy prints want to hang them on the wall, so 8*10 is probably minimum, so 3 megapixel is probably minimum. That's about 256Kb compressed, or about 6MB uncompressed.

I'd say the best way to start is to put up a web page with your work, and then see if you can advertise it on places like this (BetterPhoto.com). Also, go to as many search engines as possible, and make sure you enter your page into their search engine.

Finally, ensure that the ones you post are only viewable quality, and preferably make some sort of arrangement to send the high quality file to them. Perhaps either password protected area, ftp, or if your files are small enough, email them. Remember that free email services rarely allow more than 2MB emails, and even paid services in Australia, more than 5MB.

I'd be interested in looking at your work, if you get it on the web! Good luck with your enterprise!




- Jeff Galbraith

ANSWER 2:
Hi Jeff and Ken,

There are lots of good options to explore when thinking about selling your work. In addition to the fine art, "hang on your wall" kind of sales, you should seriously explore some of the stock photography agencies. Some of them sell digital files exclusively. They take a cut, of course, and I would seriously examine any contracts before signing them. One in particular - the biggest - has a contract that I would not sign as an artist.

If you can find one that treats photographers well, it can be a very easy and convenient way to make a little extra money from your work.

Also, Ken, I just wanted to let you know that Jeff does have a Premium BetterPholio™ with some of his favorite images posted. That is why his name, whenever you see it under a post or photo, is now a link.

Jeff is also beginning to built his own Web site with more images.

Enjoy!

- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

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ANSWER 3:
Thanks guys this helps a lot--it at least gives me an idea of where to start. And thanks for the free plug Jim.

- Jeff Galbraith

See Jeff's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=15748

ANSWER 4:
I've been looking into getting involved with Corbis.com, and was wondering if anyone has any experience in working with them?

- Jeff Galbraith

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