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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 - Monday, June 02, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Summer School - Online PhotoCourses™ at BetterPhoto
* BETTERPHOTO: Last Chance to Take Bryan F. Peterson's 8-Week Photo Marketing Course
* BETTERPHOTO: Digital Camera Comparison Charts - New And Improved!
* BETTERPHOTO: Tony Sweet's On-Location Photo Workshop in Acadia National Park
* PHOTO LINK: 7 Hot Summer Tips in Peterson's Photographic
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Does Whatever A Spider Can / Twilight Zones
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Ask Questions First, Shoot Later
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Sepia Tone photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Can Development Lab Effect Quality of Negative?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Large Wedding Party
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: What Printer Settings to Use?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: My Picture is Cut in Half
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Studio Lights
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Hollywood Style Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Take Good Quality Group Photos of Children
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Problems with Photoshop Elements 2.0 and Epson 320
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Scanning Error Resubmitted
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: PC Terminal Adapter for Minolta Maxxum 5
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Backdrops for Portraits
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: How to Accentuate the Blue Sky Over Mountains?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Summer School - Online PhotoCourses™ at BetterPhoto
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. Learn more about our excellent courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 116th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

This week, we have a new tool for potential digital camera buyers. After years of neglect, our digital camera comparison charts have been totally overhauled and are now ready to help you find the perfect camera.

Also, Bryan Peterson told us recently that he plans to close his 8-week "Photo Marketing" course this summer. So July 9th is your last chance to take this class.

And tomorrow we will be relaunching our long awaited monthly newsletters... if you are subscribed to both SnapShot and the Digital Picture, you are in for a treat.

Have another fun-filled photographic week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Last Chance to Take Bryan F. Peterson's 8-Week Photo Marketing Course
This summer will be the last time Bryan is offering his eight week marketing course. That's right, things are changing for the fall line-up and this class has got to go. The summer session begins July 9th so, if you want to learn how to make a living with your camera, sign up today! You'll learn how to price assignment and stock photography, how to get jobs, how to shoot images that sell. In this course, Bryan shares all - he doesn't hold anything back. Sign up soon to take advantage of Bryan's excellent course... before it's too late:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BFP03.asp

Select from all of our online courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp


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Digital Camera Comparison Charts - New And Improved!
Looking to buy a digital camera? Take a look at our new and improved digital camera comparison charts. After many years, we have completely revamped this chart which allows you to examine the specs of various digital cameras side-by-side. There are now 7 different charts, all organized for easy review and easy printing. With over 400 cameras listed, you can find everything from the latest and the greatest - for those of you who are considering buying a NEW digital camera - to discontinued models - for those of you looking to buy a USED camera:
http://www.betterphoto.com/buyers/equip/cpu/charts/DCChart.asp


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Tony Sweet's On-Location Photo Workshop in Acadia National Park
BetterPhoto instructor Tony Sweet will be leading an on-location photography workshop June 26-29, 2003. Enjoy early summer in the beautiful Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. This scenic National Park offers rugged, although accessible, coastline, pink granite rock formations, majestic cliffs, hidden ponds and lakes and a variety of wildflowers... incredible photography opportunities enhanced by the in-depth instruction of Tony Sweet.

Sign up for this workshop by June 5th. Tony keeps his workshops small (no more than 12 participants) and the deadline is fast approaching:
http://www.betterphoto.com/on-location-photo-workshops/TNSworkshops2003.asp

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PHOTO LINKS
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7 Hot Summer Tips in Peterson's Photographic
Ready for some fun photography this summer? Check out this article - BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman in one of the contributing writer/photographers for these 7 best tips for great summer shooting. In addition to writing several excellent books and numerous articles on photography, Jim Zuckerman teaches excellent online classes here at BetterPhoto. Read his tip (#7 - it is my favorite of the bunch) and then sign up for a summer class... before it's too late:
http://www.photographic.com/showarchives.cgi?121

"Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography"
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK01.asp

"Mastering Light"
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK02.asp

Select from all of our online courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/workshops.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
In the recent movie version of Stan Lee's classic superhero, how much does Peter Parker get for his first freelance photography sale? Who buys his pictures and what are they of? Lastly, given the conditions in which they were shot, could anyone have ever produced such photographic results? Why not?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Aaron Vogelis:
Peter Parker gets $300 for his first shots from J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle. The pictures are of Spiderman in action, essentially. Given the situations in which they were taken, similar results most likely would not be able to be reproduced. Some of the reasons as to why this is, is that some of the shots are of Spiderman on the exterior of tall buildings, and those types of windows do not open, thus taking those pictures would prove difficult. As the pictures are inherrently candid (more or less) a photographer tailing Spiderman would not have ample time to set up.

[Editor: excellent answer, Aaron. Those are the correct details. As far as why these images look unrealistic, I also like Anthony Vaccaro's subsequent answer, where he mentions that the photos looked like they were shot in "broad day light" whereas the images were really shot "at night with a flash". The lighting is what really gives it away.]

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 - Twilight Zones - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Who invented the Zone system? In a nutshell, what is it?

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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Ask Questions First, Shoot Later
When trying to figure out which digital camera to buy, ask yourself a few questions: What are you looking to accomplish? Do you want to print or publish your images on the Web? (Then look closely at resolution). If you are going to print, what kind of output device will you be working with and what are its resolution requirements and how big do you want to print your images? (Again, resolution). Do you want to simply document something or do you fancy yourself become a digital artist? (Then be sure to get a camera with exposure controls and a tripod mount). Will you be taking the camera to Europe? Will you be taking a laptop? (If not, you had better look closely at your storage options). Will you be taking pictures of items smaller than business card? (Then be sure to get a camera with a good macro mode). And lastly, of course... How much money do you have to spend?

Once you have at least a few answers to these questions, compare cameras at our new and improved digital camera comparison charts: http://www.betterphoto.com/buyers/equip/cpu/charts/DCChart.asp

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

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

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

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

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

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You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Sepia Tone photos
Hi,

I was wondering what type of 35mm negative or slide film can you use to be able to print sepia tone prints?
I do not have my own dark room, so I would need to rely on a professional photo shop to do the developing and printing.

Thanks.
- Paula Vergara

ANSWER 1:
Sepia toning is performed when making the print. It does not matter what film you use. With traditional b&w printing it is a custom chemical process that you'll have to pay extra for.

With C-41 b&w films (that are developed using the color print process rather than traditional b&w developing chemicals), printing on color paper and adjusting the color balance on the printer can give the sepia tone effect. Some shops may (or may not) do this for no extra charge.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5881

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5881

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NEW QUESTION 2: Can Development Lab Effect Quality of Negative?
I understand that the lab that you choose for developing your film can make all the difference in the quality of your finished print, i.e. cheap lab, marginal print quality. But as I scan my negatives into the computer for archival purposes, I'm not as concerned with the prints from the lab.

My question is does the lab affect the quality of the negative as well, or can the lab only affect the finished print?

Thanks!
- Rick Gagnon

ANSWER 1:
So long as the techs operating the it are concientious about keeping the chemical solutions fresh and the machines calibrated and clean there will be no difference between film developed at a custom lab and a quicky 1-hour kiosk.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the quick response, Jon.
- Rick Gagnon

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5880

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5880

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NEW QUESTION 3: Large Wedding Party
I use a Metz 60ct-4 flash for all my weddings. I keep the setting in TTL mode. My question to you is I am never happy with my results when taking large wedding group photos. The center comes great but the left or right of the group don't come as bright. I do bounce off white card but it dosn't seem to help. Can you give me some suggestions? Thanks for you help.
- Maryann Ianniello

ANSWER 1:
The problem is you are not getting the light even. You either need a more powerful light source placed farther away or multiple flashes positioned to even out the light. Better yet, shoot them outside and forget the flash entirely (unless you just want to add a nice catchlight to their eyes).
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 2:
You can buy slave flash really cheap that fire when you fire you flash, they attach to a tripod and would give you the extra lights you need, Jeff makes a good point, shoot them outside when you can. Natural light is unpredictable, but much more beautiful then flash.
- Judith A. Clark

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5878

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5878

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NEW QUESTION 4: What Printer Settings to Use?
I just got a response from Canon regarding which printer settings should be used when using the Canon S800 and Kodak Ultima Phot Paper (either glossy or satin finish.) Canon indicated that Kodak recommended the "plain paper" setting and the slider adjustment to "fine."

This makes little sense to me - although I'm willing to try it. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 1:
I'm no expert and have not used that printer or paper. The makers arrive at these recommendations, I'm told, by taking into consideration the ink droplet size and properties of different papers. You might want to try other combinations. Also, try to find a Shutterbug magazine review of your printer for some papers the reviewer liked.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanx, Doug.

I just started a subscription to Shutterbug - but, I'll check the web site. Also, got an e-mail from Kodak confirming use of the plain paper setting.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 3:
I hope you haven't purchase the Kodak paper yet. Beside the Canon Photo Paper Pro, that's the only paper I tried. I have a Canon S9000 and the ink and this Kodak Ultima paper DO NOT go well together. I just stick with the Canon paper and the prints are so good. Also the Canon paper is a little bit cheaper than the Kodak paper. If someone has a different result, I would like to know.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 4:
I've used a lot of different papers in addition to Canon's. For Christmas Cards, I had success with HP Cards [half fold]. These are glossy on one side and flat [matte] on the other. Good to great results.

This prompted me to try HP one side good, one side matte for 2003 calendars. Again - good to great results relative to the purpose. That is, being able to write notes or appointments, etc.

Then, I went to HP "top of the line" paper and had horrible results. That's what prompted me to Kodak papers. Until I heard from Kodak, I had mixed results - couldn't control anything. Kodak recommended the plain paper setting at fine. In the first attempt with Ultima Satin, I was pleased but not totally ecstatic. Obviously, some fine tuning will be required. I also tried the glossy/fine setting - this was terrible.

Since I still have several HP sheets, I think I'll play with the plain paper/fine setting here also.

It's interesting that you suggest that Canon paper is cheaper. I can get 75 sheets of Kodak Ultima glossy or satin for about $25.00. [J's, Price Club.] Canon PhotoPro - 15 sheets for about $14.00 [Staples, Canon e-Store.]

I agree that the results with PhotoPro are great. I'm less enthralled with Canon glossy. But, my interest remains in the different effects possible if we can utilize different papers. I'd like to think that we might be able to approach the variations possible when one goes into the wet darkroom to work with the various papers that are available.

Andy, thanks for your response.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 5:
When I got the pritner, I thought the Canon paper will be expensive and Kodak advertised their paper is the best. I thought all photo papers are the same. So I bought 2 twenty-sheet packs of 4x6" from J&R for about $9 each. The result was terrible. Then I got the 4x6" Canon Photo Pro twenty-sheet pack from B&H for $6.95 each (the Kodak Ultima from B&H is $7.95 each). I also got the 13x19" from Best Buy for $25 (10 sheets) but B&H listed for $19.50. I wonder if any one try the Ultima paper on other printer with great result!
- Andy Szeto

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5872

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5872

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NEW QUESTION 5: My Picture is Cut in Half
When I take pictures with my 35 mm a Yashica tl electro (old camera) and I get my prints back only half the picture is there & the other half is black. I used a flash.
- Joe

ANSWER 1:
While it's possible you had a shutter malfunction, the most probable cause is setting the shutter speed faster than the flash sync speed of that camera. The FP x-sync speed of this camera is 1/90 second. That is the fastest shutter speed that opens the shutter fully on the whole frame of film. Flash photos must be taken at 1/90 or slower shutter speeds. At faster shutter speeds (1/125 to 1/1000) the first and second curtain of the focal plane shutter form a narrow slit that moves across the film. When the flash fires, its light falls only on the section of film not covered by the shutter curtains at that moment. The rest of the frame ends up being severly underexposed ("black").

An online user manual for the Yashica TL Electro can be found at
http://www.butkus.org/chinon/yashica_tl_electro-x/yashica_tl_electro-x.htm

- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5870

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5870

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Studio Lights
I'm thinking of acquiring studio lights, but I'm not sure what type or what kit to buy. Fortunately, I do have about three grand to spend, so I can get a very nice piece of equipment, just not sure what to buy.
- Ben Martinez

ANSWER 1:
What are you planning on shooting with them? How big is your studio? Do you plan on using them on location? More info please.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 2:
I'm going to assume you want these for portrait type work. It would be helpful to know what you shoot with and the space you have, but for the basic beginner in studio lighting here is what I can do to help. You should start with a three light setup with lights stands and umbrellas. Add on barn doors, a snoot, a jel set, and a softbox, and maybe a boom stand for your background lights. I suggest that you spend some of your money on a lighting course. Vik's has taught me a lot, on this website under Photo courses. This is a great start and probably won't take your whole budget, but save that money, you may want to add more stuff as you learn. I suggest Photogenic lights, you can the StudioMax 300Plus for about 800.00. If you have more room you may need more powerful lights like the PL1250DR but your talking closer to 1800.00 for three lights. Lights are almost like cameras and lenses, everyone has there favorite. I do suggest you go with strobes if you are going to shoot people, they are not hot, only a little more difficult to learn.
- Judith A. Clark

ANSWER 3:
As far as space, it's an abandoned warehouse, a bit dilapidated, but cheap and serviceable. It has two rooms, I would say 30ft by 30ft, but there is a second room at about twice the size. I was planning to use the lights primarily for portraiture, with occasional use on-location, since I do my job requires me to work at some beach resorts in tourist spots.

One key question about lighting, if I used more than one model, will that require additional lights, as they might cast shadow on each other?
- Ben Martinez

ANSWER 4:
You can light small groups with just a main light and a fill light set pretty even so that you light an even area. This is one of the hardest things I have tried to learn, but I'm finally getting it. You might also need a few reflectors, these help reflect light into the shadow areas, without needing another light. Lighting is not easy to learn on your own, I highly recommend taking some classes. If the lighting is even slightly off it can ruin the whole mood of the photo. I have learned so much from the lighting course on this web site. It helps just to have someone else critique your work.
- Judith A. Clark

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5869

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5869

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NEW QUESTION 7: Hollywood Style Portraits
I want to get a computer and photo software to do Hollywood Style Portraits; the kind with dark blacks, great shadows, and near silver toned whites. This may be the only thing I use this PC for.
Is anyone doing this out there? If so, what kind of software is working for you, do you have a scanner, and what kind of printer?
- Lee

ANSWER 1:
Why do you need a computer to do these portraits? The portraits are not done with a computer they are done with lighting.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 2:
Hi Jeff,
My thought is that although the lighting is essential, to get the traditional tones and the silvery whites you need to either do it in the darkroom by doing some minor trickery in the developing tray, plus the use of fibre based paper... or use a computer.

I had a darkroom and it's sort of been there, done that. To have a commercial lab do it, I believe, would be extremely expensive.
So that's how I got to "I need a computer."
- Lee

ANSWER 3:
I think you need to maybe find the right film. I've done these shots and used T400CN (C41 b&w) film oddly enough and got beautiful silvery tones. I used a red or orange filter and they came out beautiful. If this is the only use you would have for a computer I'm not sure it would be worth the expense unless you are planning on doing a high volume of work and/or you are just filthy rich with money to burn. But since you are worried about the expense of a commercial lab I doubt that is the case.

I would suggest trying some of the C41 b&w films first to see if they give you the results you want. You may need to find the right lab as well. If they don't work out then experiment with traditional b&w films until you find the right one. To save money and give you more control over the outcome you could develop your own too.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 4:
Hi Jeff,
Filthy minded at times, but never filthy rich.
I will try the filter, red or orange, and see what results I get. I have used the Tiffen filters, Pro-mist and Warmsoft FX, with the C-41 process B&W, both Kodak and the other guy's. The portrait results were exciting and pleasing, although not what we are talking about here.

Although the Hollywood thing would be the most enjoyable for me, I also want to be able to print negatives. I have perhaps 1000 frames from film which came from various auctions and estate sales, from the 1920-1950 era, which I want to print, and control the outcome. I had a commercial lab do 14 custom prints of them, as 8 x 10's, and it was $179. Ouch. Any way, I have that end of it too, not wanting to set up the chemicals again, but not happy with labs I've tried, and the cost of custom prints.

Thank you for the tip as far as the red and orange filters. I really appreciate it.
I take 95% people pictures, and if you have any other hints, I would be happy to hear back from you.
- Lee

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5868

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5868

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: How to Take Good Quality Group Photos of Children
The available light in the sanctuary of the church where I am taking group photos is f1.8. I typically will take a group photo 5 rows deep (~ 5 feet). I have been using aperture priority with my D60 coupled with a 550 EX flash, but the shutter remains open for about 1.5 seconds. The children squirm, and at least 1 to 3 children come out blurred. I also tried using a couple of 550 EX flashes as slaves, and that didn't speed up the shutter.

What am I doing wrong?
- Larry J. Peterson

ANSWER 1:
If you're using flash you don't need to have the shutter set so slow. It sounds like your camera is basing the exposure strictly on the ambient light and then you're throwing a flash in there. You can set your shutter to something more like 1/30 or 1/15 which will help pick up some ambient light for fill but be fast enough so that the squirming kids probably won't blur.

If you are shooting groups 5 deep you need more DOF than f1.8 will give you. If they're that deep you need something more like f11 or f16 probably. Using multiple flashes should help you get to those f-stops. If not then try a faster film too.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5861

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5861

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Problems with Photoshop Elements 2.0 and Epson 320
Hi, I need help! I'm having problems with Elements 2.0 and my Epson 3200 scanner. It worked fine until recently when Elements started freezing up and the problems began. When using the Import command for Epson scanner the scanner starts to open but immediately closes and Elements closes too. Sometimes I get application errors or acquisition module interface errors. Adobe support seems non-existent. I have downloaded a new driver for the scanner. Also I have uninstalled and reinstalled the scanner and Elements several times. Can anyone help or tell me a good place to get help? I am in the middle of the flower photography class so I'm alittle desparate! Thank you!
- Emily Godlewski

ANSWER 1:
Adobe owes its customers better support. Corporate arrogance is boundless. Fortunately, Epson will, I think, help you, even if it's a hardware-operating system (or Elements) problem. Chances are they've heard of this problem before.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Doug thank you for responding to my question. As of late yesterday I finally did contact Adobe support and the person was very good, although I do think Adobe makes it difficult to get answers. Anyway the problem is with my Windows xp, a damaged user profile, and my Adobe and scanner had to be opened in a new user account. Which means I have no access to my files of photos. VERY luckily I had just this weekend copied all my photos onto CD's. My computer problems still have big issues to be resolved but I wanted to pass the warning and reminder to everyone "Put all your photos on CD's!" you can't imagine the relief to know all is not lost. Also HP and Adobe both said that this problem can happen to anyone at any time and its just one of those things. My computer is only 9 months old so even relatively new ones can let you down.
- Emily Godlewski

ANSWER 3:
Emily
Thank you for your follow-up. It helps all of us. Thanks for the heads-up on copying to CD.
My apologies to Adobe, since they DID help you. With Photoshop, you get ONE free assistance call; you pay for any others. I had to join a $100 a year Photoshop users club to have any support. I still recommend Elements for most peoples uses. It's an amazingly good product for the money.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5860

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5860

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NEW QUESTION 10: Scanning Error Resubmitted
I submitted a hummingbird photo called "Catch me if you can". However, the scanning was not right, so I scanned it again and it was better. Now there is one bad photo and the successful one. How do I erase the bad copy?

Also, Please tell me how to put my pictures into my gallery.

Also, I noticed that my site says I have been a member since 1/2001? I am new and I think this is being confused with another Marie Duffy. Some time ago, I mailed in the picture of the hummingbird and yet I never heard back or did I see my pic on the site. Any idea what might have happened to it?
- Marie Arlene Duffy

See Marie Arlene's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Marie,
All you have to do to have a photo permanently deleted is email BetterPhoto Support (using the Contact Us link at the bottom of any BP page) with the PhotoID# and title of the image that you would like to be removed.

Getting your images to display in your Premium BetterPholio™ is a two step process. First you upload them and then, using your Premium BetterPholio™ Admin pages, you indicate which ones you want to display. Click on Your Selected Premium BetterPholio™ Photos, then you click yes or no next the photos you've uploaded.

We don't accept any mailed contest entries. However, I double checked and we have not received your photo.
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim Miotke's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Jim Miotke's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - Miotke.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jim Miotke:
Jim Miotke's Online Photography Courses

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5859

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5859

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: PC Terminal Adapter for Minolta Maxxum 5
Dear all,
I own the Minolta Maxxum 5. I want to know if there's a PC terminal adapter for it so I can use the studio lighting equipment. Thank you for the great help \(^Q^)/
- Ken Pan

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5858

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5858

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Backdrops for Portraits
I'm very much an amateur photographer, and am wondering how exactly to use backdrops when photographing people. I know you can buy and even make wonderful backdrops, but how exactly do you suspend them? So far my pics have been mostly of babies, so my backdrops are thrown over the back of a large chair, and that works fine if I get down to their level. Gets a little harder when trying to photograph adults though... Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
- Dominique

ANSWER 1:
You can purchase backdrop stands. Or, make your own. I went to the local home improvement store and bought PVC pipe and fittings (white plastic pipe that'll be located in the plumbing aisle). I use 1" diameter. For around $20 you should be able to rig something that stands 6 feet high and 5 feet wide.
The nice thing is, you can take it apart for storage when your finished.
- Stan

ANSWER 2:
The PVC way is what I have done for the last 2 years, and it has worked wonderfully for me... I guess once I go full time, then I will think about spending the money on a "real" support system, but for now, PVC works great. You can even screw the connecting pieces for a stronger hold. Have fun!
- Albert Guevara

ANSWER 3:
When I got started my husband built me a background holder out of very large PVC so it would be stable. It worked very well especially to get me started. However, even though it was attached to the wall it still popped apart several times when the weight of the background combined with a wrong step backwards. It scared me for the safety of the children so I finally bought a real background stand by Photek and it is so easy and very stable. I haul it around every where and use it in my house.
If you have a chance you might want to check out www.artisticbackgrounds.com for backdrops. Gail Degnans work is beautiful and she has hand dyed high quality muslin backgrounds as well as her hand painted scenics! She helped me get started and I think alot of my school work and re-orders is because I have a reputation for using really unique backgrounds instead of the generic gels or paper that school photographers typically use.
Best of luck!!
- Georgia Agrait

Visit photographybygeorgia.com - Georgia's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
I built a PVC stand but it took up too much room; it had "feet" like an upside down "T", which kept it about 3 feet from the wall, eating up more scarce space.

Now I use two aluminum poles that were meant to be used as brush handles. These came from a building center. They expand easily from abut 6 feet to 10. They run vertically into a one inch copper tubing elbow that can be slipped inside the tube of seamless backdrop.

If I am using fabric for a backdrop, I have a i/2 inch copper tubing piece that slides inside the elbows, and I use binder clips to hold it up.

I also have a two pieces of dense sponge backing material at the top, which I pierced onto the elbow. NOTE, by using the poles expandable feature, I can press the sponge into the ceiling, and it keeps everything standing. There are no "feet", the tension between the floor and ceiling keeps it in place.

This is light weight and portable.

When using fabric, I have denim which was on sale at Hobby Lobby; I had a local seamstress stitch it together to get a 10 foot wide piece. It is darker/lighter denim depending on the side facing the camera, and it folds up into a manageable size bundle.
- Lee

ANSWER 5:
These all sound like wonderful ideas if your handy, but you can get a decent background stand for less then $100. Go to a large camera store in your area, or try some online sites like B and H photo. They come with a bag so they are portable, they fold down to a small size for storage and they are completly worth the money. If you want this to go anywhere, you don't want to appear to thrown together. Also for backdrops, try www.backdropoutlet.com watch for specials and start with something basic.
- Judith A. Clark

ANSWER 6:
I started out with a low end $100 stand but with a roll of seamless paper backdrop at the top, or heavier canvas like material, a little bump or tug would cause it to fall down, right in the middle of a shoot. The subjects probably won't remember if you had a do it yourself background stand, but they sure will remember if the thing falls on their heads!
I use seamless from at terrific small company near the paper mills of Wisconsin's Fox River Valley. I had been ordering them from the places in New York and -with shipping- paying about $150 for a 9 ft wide roll. Now I go to Badger Graphics and pay less than $50 and carry it out under my arm. They have a tremendous selection. For anyone in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, Badger Graphics is 920 766-9332. No toll free number, no web site. They pass the savings on to you.
Lastly, Backdrop Outlet which Judith recommended, is a great source, just as she says, especially for unusual and unique soft cloth backgrounds. Occasionally they have free model shoots at their store, OK if you can handle a hideous drive into Chicago.
- Lee

ANSWER 7:
My backdrop stand is a Savage Port-A-Stand. I think I payed $109 for it and it has never fallen on anyones head. I have a two year old and a seven year old of my own, if it weren't sturdy, I won't have been able to use it for 2 years. I recommend this stand or one made by a good company so you don't have to worry about accidents. On background here is my tip, I forgot to mention this earlier. Go to a paint store, and buy a large canvas drop cloth. Use Rit dye, you can buy it in the laundry section at Wal-Mart. You have a great solid backdrop for less then $30. I dye mine in the washer. I have also copied some of the designes in catologs with king size sheets and fabric paint. If you get really creative, you can come up with great backgrounds to start with little money involved. I don't use paper, because I shoot kids and pets. I just can't see paying the money for something I can't throw in the washer.
- Judith A. Clark

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5832

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*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: How to Accentuate the Blue Sky Over Mountains?
I recently visited a popular hill station in India at an altitude of about 3500 meters. The sky was already deep blue and some of the peaks were snow capped. I had used an automatic SLR camera with circular polarizing and warm up filters screwed on the lens. I was worried that the polarizer would make the sky more deep than what it was, but the results have disappointed me. What I have got is dull and light blue sky instead. The clouds have well defined features though. Will anybody explain to me where I went wrong?
- Raman Chawla

ANSWER 1:
Look at your negatives. Do they look thin, somewhat washed out? If you were shooting slides, do they look very dense? If either applies, you allowed the white peaks and generally bright area of the sky to cause the automated exposure to close down too much, thereby underexposing. The clouds look great, because your exposure was close to correct for them. I've made this mistake (too) many times.

You could have taken your light meter reading from the dark blue part of the sky. In a situation like this, use the optional spot meter of your camera, and meter from a mid-tone area. Or, if your camera doesn't have a spot meter, choose a mid tone area, take your meter reading, use AE lock (usually by pressing the shutter button down slightly), then compose your picture while holding the shutter partly down.

Additionally, in a tough metering situation like this, shoot a stop over and a stop under, then shoot maybe 1/2 stop over and 1/2 under. Alternatively, try using exposure compensation and metering full frame as you did before. Then set it for + 2 stops, shoot one at + 1 1/2, another at +1.

Try it without the polarizer and filter, and again with them. A word of caution: stacking filters will sometimes cause vignetting or darkened corners of your negatives.

Go back and try it again, and show us this wonderful place.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
You left out too many variables. What kind of film were you using? What type of metering were you using? Why did you use a polarizer if the sky was already blue? Were you position at a 90 degree angle to sun as you should be when using a polarizer? Most times in the northern hemisphere if you shooting north, especially in the A.M., you do not need a polarizer because the sky is arealdy blue. Also, as the previous answer indicated, for important shots always bracket! Here is an example of a shot taken in the northern hemisphere with the camera pointed to north. I did not use a polarizer.
- George E. Givens Jr

See Sample Photo - Don Cesar Hotel, St. Petersburg, Fl.:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=120755

ANSWER 3:
Thank you Doug and George for your constructive comments. I used Fuji Pro 100 film and my camera used a kind of center-weighted metering. Doug is right. I should have exposed for the dark blue part of the sky because that is what attracted me in the first place. And George is also right because if the sky is already deep blue then why bother with a polarizer at all. his picture tells it so clearly. I am afraid I can not go back to such a lovely place so soon, but I am uploading two of the pictures which I have tried to improve in PS.
- Raman Chawla

ANSWER 4:
I am uploading two pics.
- Raman Chawla

See Sample Photo - Deep blue attracts, but disappoints..:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=121056

See Sample Photo - Deep blue attracts but disappoints:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=121055

ANSWER 5:
Dear Raman,
In both cases I am not able to see a "deep blue sky". Instead I can see a hazy condition that could have been helped a little by a skylight filter. As to my experience in such cases a polarizer doesn't help much.
The fuji pro 100 is said to be an extremely finely graduated material. Nothing of that quality turns out in your pictures.

My questions:
1. Are you sure of the quality of your lab? Was it a pro-lab?
2. How distinctive is the difference between your original slide and the image here? Which scanner do you use and can you check on the settings and try again?

Everything else about metering and bracketing has been said and should be normal routine for places and events one cannot repeat or cannot expect to go back to anytime.
- Charlie F. Kohn

ANSWER 6:
Raman,
Both your photos may be an accurate rendering of the scene. The sky in the second one is a bit hazy, anyway. In the first scene, the range of brightness is staggering, maybe more than the film can handle. We can expect to take a loss in the shadows or in the highlights. This is why bracketing is important; you can pick the exposure that you like best.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 7:
Thank you Charlie, thank you Doug. I think bracketing and UV filter would have helped. As regards the lab, I have my doubts. They say I have over-exposed the film.
- Raman Chawla

ANSWER 8:
Raman,
One more thing to try is a "split Neutral Density filter". These filters can bring either the top, bottom, left, or right half of the sceen into a range your film can handle so you won't have to make a decision about whether to lose highlights or shadow detail.

I personally like the Cokin filters because they are easy to use and and will fit all your lenses regardless of the diameter. That is because you purchase an adapter ring to fit your lenses and the filter holder goes on the adapter.
- George E. Givens Jr

ANSWER 9:
Thank you, George for suggestions. Since my camera has some kind of built in exposure compensation, I will have to either invest in some filters like UV and Nd or grads or else take pics in the manual mode. Thanks again.
- Raman Chawla

See Sample Photo - Auto exposure at f/22 takes in shadow region:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=123230

ANSWER 10:
Well Raman,
now I believe we have come to the point: no automatic exposure can cope with such extreme light situations. The trick will be to use manual mode, use bracketing and experiment with uv and/or nd filters. And, please don't forget to show us the result then. Promise?
Best regards
- Charlie F. Kohn

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=5823

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=5823

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