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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, January 05, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Online PhotoCourses™ - The Most Effective Way to Master the Art
* BETTERPHOTO: Not Too Late - Courses Launch This Wednesday Morning
* BETTERPHOTO: Feedback on BetterPhoto Courses From Previous Students
* BETTERPHOTO: Featured Photographer Galleries for the Fall Photo Courses
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Motivational Photo / All DOFs Created Equal?
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: What's The BuZZ All About - A Tip By Murry Grigsby
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Critiquing?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: BP New Look and Feel
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Deluxe BetterPholios™ and Sizing Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Starting Out in Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Shutter Speeds and Apertures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Nikon Lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Suggestions for Professional Photo Labs
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: CF cards for Nikon D100
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Polarizing Filters Circular
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Going Digital
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Printing Digital Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Teleconverters and Aperture
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: From the Digital Darkroom to the Developer
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Critique of Composition For Two Pictures?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Glare on Eyeglasses


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Online PhotoCourses™ - The Most Effective Way to Master the Art
Make this year a great adventure by joining one of BetterPhoto's fantastic photography courses! Improve your picture-taking skills while having a great time. 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. Classes start this week but it's not too late. Learn more about our excellent courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 142nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

This is an exciting week at BetterPhoto. We are having a very happy New Year and hope you are too.

We have a new look and feel at BetterPhoto.com. We have improvements in the Reviews section (that we discuss below) as well as enhancements for the Q&A section coming very soon.

Most exciting of all, however, is our line-up of fantastic courses, starting this Wednesday. With classes on everything from digital photography to beginning photography to photographic creativity and design... there is something for everyone.

Enjoy your first week of 2004. May this year be filled with prosperity, growth, and success for you and yours.
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Not Too Late - Courses Launch This Wednesday Morning
A selection of our photo courses are already filled to the brim. All the same, there is still room in several courses. The first lesson goes out January 7th - this coming Wednesday. That means you still have time to join the excitement! But act quick...
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


*****
Feedback on BetterPhoto Courses From Previous Students
Would you like to hear what previous students have said about our photo courses? Take a look at our most recent addition to the BetterPhoto.com Reviews section - feedback on BetterPhoto services and products.

We have customer comments on everything from Deluxe BetterPholios™ to Premium BetterPholios™ to the BetterPhoto.com site in general. The category with the most reviews, however, focuses on our online photography courses.

If you are considering a photo class, but perhaps have been less than 100% sure, read what other students have had to say at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/reviews/reviewItemsAll.asp?catID=102&rows=50


*****
Featured Photographer Galleries for the Fall Photo Courses
At the end of each class, all the students are invited to vote on who they feel is the Best in Class. We have calculated the results for the fall session and posted the excellent photos from these winning students. We hope you enjoy browsing these awe-inspiring galleries:
http://www.betterphoto.com/galleryTOCDynoSub.asp?cat=734

Here are a few that you might find especially stunning:

In Brenda Tharp's "Creating Visual Impact", Dan Fleming was voted top-dog - and for good reason - his images are incredible:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=2579

Betty Sartori and Barbara Breitsameter did beautiful work in Kerry Drager's "Beyond Snapshots" and "Field Techniques" classes, respectively:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=2598
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=2545

If you would like to sign up for the classes mentioned above, it is not too late. Enroll in either of Kerry Drager's wonderful courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD01.asp
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD02.asp

Or Brenda Tharp's "Creating Visual Impact" course at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRN01.asp

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

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
In Romancing the Stone, Micheal Douglas's character is primarily motivated by a photograph of what?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Ashby B. is:
He is motivated by the sail boat he later purchases at the end of the movie! GREAT movie!

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 - All DOFs Created Equal? - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Name one easy way to create photos with more depth of field. Bonus Question: would DOF centered in the foreground of a photo be as deep as DOF centered closer to the background, all other things being equal? Why?

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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What's The BuZZ All About - A Tip By Murry Grigsby
What most everyone refers to as BuZZ is the simplifier filter and was originally part of the BuZZ-Lite plug-in filter set. It is now available as a stand alone product. The filter gives a photograph a painterly image. The most noticeable changes are on foliage, raw wood, rocks, hair, fur, etc. that is in sharp focus. Objects that are out of focus donít seem to be changed very much at all.

You can download a free demo version at www.fo2pix.com. Click on Downloads and select Buzz-Lite or the Simplifier for PC or MAC. The demo allows you to try the filter 30 times before it shuts off. Since it has a window that shows the effect and you can click and drag your photo around in the window you can click OK to apply the filter if you like it or you can cancel and not be charged a try if you donít like it. The filter must be in the plug-ins folder under your photo-editing software folder to work. It then shows up under the filters.

Be aware that this filter requires a fair amount of computer memory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Critiquing?
The courses look very impressive. I feel though that I need one on one critiquing of my photos, is this offered in the courses? Also are the assignments hand on training or question and answer test?
- Amanda S. Baker

ANSWER 1:
Amanda,

Yes, the courses are impressive. You will get one on one attention from BOTH the instructor and other students on each picture you submit. The assignments are hands on. You submit only pictures to complete your assignment. There are no tests.

I highly recommend signing up! They are a lot of fun and you learn a lot.
- Chris L. Hurtt

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7704

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7704

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: BP New Look and Feel
I just want to let you know that the site looks great. Great job in "facial and lifting"
Looks very professional, clean and neat. Great update in design and friendly use.
- Paulina Michaud

See Paulina's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit socwellphotography.com - Paulina's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Thank you Paula and all the BetterPhoto Members who have emailed us with your positive feedback about the new look! We really appreciate it and continue to work at making BP the best photography site!
- 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 Classes

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7697

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7697

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Deluxe BetterPholios™ and Sizing Photos
I'm thinking about getting a website. I haven't got the slightest idea though how to prepare some of my stuff for it.

Pardon my ignorance about this, but... first
I would like to know how to change the jpeg options. If I took a photo and then saved it in jpeg it asks me whether I want to save it as low quality, med., high or maximum. I don't know what to save it as, medium? And then the other question is, what if I saved it as maximum and then want to go back and change it for the purposes of uploading it onto a website? Can someone tell me what to save it as and how to go back into jpeg options and change it whenever I need to for different purposes.

Thanks,
- Ellen

ANSWER 1:
Best to save them as highest quality for your own keeping. And then when you want to upload one, make that into a picture that's no more than 500pixels on the short end (that's what the web people say).
This is how I do mine. I take mine off the card, then save them as the max quality in a file on my computer. Then I put them on a cd. Then I go back to the file and use photoshop to open them, and use the image size thing and change whichever is the shortest side of the picture to 400 pixels (I do mine 400 so that it uploads and comes up on the site a little faster).
Then once I change the size, I save it again. If I keep the title of the picture the same I just have to clik save. If I change the title and have to use "save as", then I save it again on the highest quality setting.
Doing this changes a 3 megabyte image to a 200 kilobyte image. But for some reason, looking at it on a website, it comes out right.
But you need something that will allow you to change the image size when you want to upload it.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Okay great. Got it!
- Ellen

ANSWER 3:
Gregory

I'm not sure what you mean "on the short end" Do you mean the width of your photo should be no more than 500 pixels? I don't think you mean that but I'm just asking?
- Ellen

ANSWER 4:
Like a 4x6 the short end is the 4 inch side. If I open up something in photoshop and it's vertical, under image size it has pixel dimensions and it can be something like vertical-2000 horizontal-3000. You change the 2000 to 500, clik "okay" and then save it.
If it was horizontal the horizontal side would be 2000, and you change that number to 500.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7691

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7691

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Starting Out in Photography
Hi, I'm very interested in photography and just got my first camera. I'd like to start my way to becoming a pro - could someone tell me where do I start?
I want to mainly photograph horses but I don't want to stick to just one area.
If someone could help that would be great.

Thanks
- Rachel E. Youngs

ANSWER 1:
Hi Rachel: First of all, congrats on getting your first camera! As for where to start, you've certainly come to the perfect place - BetterPhoto! Ideally, your photographic development should involve the following:

- Get out and shoot WHENEVER you can. Along the way, try to slow down and really think about your subject and about the best way to photograph it (i.e., horizontal or vertical format, moving in closer or to the side, zooming in or zooming out, etc.). This process is the first step in proceeding beyond the snapshot stage!

- Read absolutely EVERYTHING you can about photography - from BetterPhoto's how-to articles/discussions to print magazines to how-to books.

- Look at photographs at EVERY opportunity. This includes magazines and books, of course, but also the wonderful photography displayed right here at BetterPhoto ... including the winners and finalists of current and past contests, AND the work of individual photographers at their Premium BetterPholios™ or Deluxe BetterPholios™.

- When you see a photo you like, try to figure out what you like it - i.e., the light, the composition, the angle of view, etc. If you're not sure how a particular technique was used in a BP discussion or contest photo, then be sure and ask the photographer!

- An important tip about looking at great photography: Do NOT get discouraged ... after all, absolutely every experienced photographer started out as a beginner, too!

- Also, be sure to check out BP's excellent lineup of online courses - and consider signing up for a class ... if not for the Winter session, then perhaps the Spring session. Online education can be a relatively easy - and enjoyable - way to quickly boost your skills!

- As your own photography develops, you'll want to start paying attention to how and where photos are sold - i.e., cards or prints at a local gallery or shop; magazines, calendars and other print publications; online outlets; portrait or studio work; stock photo agencies, etc.

Hope this helps, Rachel ... good luck!
- Kerry A. Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - KerryDrager.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Beyond Snapshots
Field Techniques
Course Extension

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7689

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7689

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Shutter Speeds and Apertures
I am a young keen person who wants to learn more about photography and taking good photos. My question is, can I get a general idea on what kind of aperture settings I need for what kind of photos and what shutter speeds I need to use with it?

I know aperture lets in a certain amount of light but I'm really not sure how to set one in a certain situation.
- Jeff

ANSWER 1:
Jeff,
In addition to letting in light, your aperture setting determines your depth of field,... or how much of what you are shooting will be in focus. The higher the f-stop number... the more depth of field you will have.

As a rule, the lower the aperature number (f-stop), the less light is needed for exposure. Hence, the wider f-stops (lower numbers) require a faster shutter speed than when the lens is stopped down (higher numbers).

As an example, let's say that your in-camera meter calls for an exposure of f-8 at 1/60 second. Each change in aperature setting must be met with a corosponding change in the shutter speed to maintain proper exposure. F-11 becomes 1/30 second, f-16 becomes 1/15... etc.
With that knowledge in mind, you should choose your aperture and/or shutter speed to suit the situation you are are faced with. A faster shutter speed might be needed to freeze action, so you would require a wide aperature (low f-stop number). Conversely, when shooting a landscape, you want as much in focus as possible from the foreground to infinity, so you would choose a higher aperture number (f-22 for example), and a slower shutter speed.
Once you've determined what f-stop the scene requires, you can usually trust your in-camera meter to guide you toward the corresponding shutter speed, (and vice-versa).

You should also try shooting the same scene using different settings and compare the results.

Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7686

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7686

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Nikon Lenses
Where can I learn about the various lenses that Nikon offers? It seems that every description makes that particular lens sound better than anything else.

Are the non-name brand lenses as good?
- Iera

ANSWER 1:
Check out www.nikonusa.com and click on "Lenses". You can see the specs on the entire Nikon/Nikkor line.

As a Nikon user, I highly recommend using their lenses on Nikon camera bodies. If cost is an issue, I've talked with Tamron lens owners who were satisfied with their quality and performance.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7681

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7681

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Suggestions for Professional Photo Labs
I am needing suggestions for a photo lab that has the ability to print from a digital file onto quality papers (i.e. specialty papers, texturing, mounting on art board etc). Currently I don't do my own printing and until I puchase my own high quality printer and figure out what papers to use, I need something to tide me over. WalMart does a good job but just doesn't cut it for wanting to do more professional sales. Thank you for you suggestions!
- Julie L. Curiel

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Julie: An excellent question! Here are some general guidelines for finding a good lab:

- Check the Yellow Pages or an Internet listing for photo labs in your area. Look for words like "custom" or "professional" ... I'll bet WalMart won't pop up!

- If possible, ask local professional photographers - or serious amateurs - for recommendations.

- Is there a full-fledged camera store nearby (but NOT the camera department of a drug store or WalMart)? Ask for suggestions.

- Camera clubs or photo galleries are also good sources of information.

- In a good custom or professional lab, by the way, the work is done on-site ... as opposed to being sent off to another location. That way - if necessary - you can talk to the actual person who will be doing the developing, printing, scanning, etc.

- Most (all?) pro or custom labs nowadays work with digital ... of course, you might want to verify ahead of time that the lab can perform the tasks you want.

Another resource is an excellent BetterPhoto article: "Working with Mail-Order Photo Labs." Here's the direct link:

http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/workingwithmolabs.asp

Hope this helps, Julie, and good luck!
Kerry

PS: If you (or anyone else who might be interested) live in Northern California, check out Cali-Color in Sacramento, or the New Lab in San Francisco, which also handles mail-order - www.newlab.com.
- Kerry A. Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - KerryDrager.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Beyond Snapshots
Field Techniques
Course Extension

ANSWER 2:
Thanks so much for your suggestions Kerry! I'll check into some of those options. My problem is I live in the middle of no-where KS where there is no local camera store, camera club, well, you get the idea. I'll definately check into some mail order photolabs to do my work.
- Julie L. Curiel

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7669

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7669

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: CF cards for Nikon D100
I just bought a new Nikon D100 from a local dealer. I need to get a CompactFlash card and wanted to make sure what is supported. I know the manual says up to 256MB CF or the 512/1G IBM MicroDrives. I suspect that is because that was all that was out at the time the camera was first produced. Do the 512MB and 1GB CF cards work in the D100? Also, the dealer says the D100 write speed is 22X so anything faster than that in a CF won't get you faster writing speeds. Can somone verify that also? I hope these weren't already covered somewhere but I couldn't find them if so. Thanks in advance for helping the "newbie".
- Glenn Wood

ANSWER 1:
After doing some additional searching on the web, I found this webpage, which appears to answer both questions. http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-6020
It shows various CF cards tested in the D100 up to 1GB in size. It also shows that the speed appears to max out at about 12x to 14x no matter the speed of the CF card used.
- Glenn Wood

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7667

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7667

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Polarizing Filters Circular
Can anyone recommend a brand of good polarizing filter for my digital SLR? Checking the prices the filters seem to vary in price greatly... what are the differences?
- Richard Kowalski

ANSWER 1:
The differences between one brand of filter and another are mainly in the construction - how the filters are made.

A lot of filters that are relatively inexpensive are made of plastic, which I think has poorer optics than glass.
Other filters made of glass are made of window glass rather than optical glass - apparently a poorer quality of glass.

Also significant is the way the housing of the filter is made. Some are made better than others. For example, some manufacturers makes the housings entirely of brass (doesn't rust, and is very solid).

The better filters also have really good coatings (usually multiple coatings on each side) on the glass itself to prevent reflections.

I wouldn't recommend the cheaper filter brands on the rack at the camera stores like Tiffen or Cokin. I've seen mixed reviews on the internet of Hoya filters. Some people have said they had trouble with them falling apart or cleaning them and having the coating come off.

I would suggest B+W brand filters; Heliopan is also a good brand. B+W is made by Schneider, who makes the very best lenses for large format cameras (and some smaller format cameras as well). You can read Schneider's write-up on filter comparisons at http://www.schneideroptics.com/filters/filters_for_still_photography/the_b%2Bw_difference.

I bought a circular polarizer for my Oly E-20 from B+W and have been happy with it. I guess it depends on how particular you are. If you're not very particular, any brand will do. If you're really concerned about image quality and worried about the possibility that filters could degrade your image, I'd suggest going with B+W or Heliopan.
- Tim Devick

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7664

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7664

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Going Digital
I am seriously thinking about going digital for obvious reasons of convenience and the overall money saving aspects. I currently own a Canon Rebel 2000, and I am very happy with it. I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has the new Canon digital SLR, and if so, how is it? Is it worth it? Are the pictures comperable to film SLRs? Maybe a few different suggestions in the same price range(under $1000),and with at least 5 megapixels. Thanks!
- Cassandra L. Griffith

ANSWER 1:
I just got a digital rebel for myself for Xmas... Not sure yet about the quality of photos, but I love the feels of the camera and the way it takes the pictures. I had other digital cameras before, but this one tops them all in the ease of operation.
- Richard Kowalski

ANSWER 2:
On "going digital", plan for a bit more of a financial layout, if you want to use that very capable camera for something other than a digital point'n shoot. You will see imagine quality equal to or surpassing film, if you use the Rebel digital to its full potential. You will need high capacity memory cards to store image files of any size, especially if you shoot in the raw mode (highly recommended). Don't forget the imaging program you will need to "work" these images. Raw mode gives you high bit color, a highly desirable feature, but one not addressed with Elements 2. You'll need the current version of Photoshop, a $600 expenditure. Also, budget the the time and effort to learn Photoshop. The courses and help you need are right here at betterphoto.

Of course, you can always shoot low-res JPEGs and enjoy the camera as it is, kinda like driving a Porsche to the grocery store. I love the idea of having a real viewfinder and seeing my image through the lens, unlike holding the camera at arm's length to sight through a silly screen.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7663

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7663

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Printing Digital Pictures
I took some pictures with my Sony DSC-V1 camera, with the setting set to 4.5 megapixels. This produces pictures that are 3:2 in ratio, width and height. The pictures are 2592 x 1728 pixels (3:2), 72 dpi. This was exactly the size (ratio) I wanted, because printing them on 6x4 prints would print out the pictures without any cropping -- at least this is what I understood to be.
When I took the pictures to Costco to have them developed on 6x4 inch prints, I noticed all my pictures were cropped around the borders. I ask the person working at Costco, why the images were cropped. I explained my pictures were 2592 pixels x 1728 pixels, so they should have printed on 6 inch x 4 inch paper without any cropping, since the ratios were the same. The person working at Costco explained that the computer needed to adjust the picture because it was too big to be printed on 6x4 inch prints.
This does not make sense too me. Can someone explain this? Why was my 3:2 ratio pictures cropped when printed on 6x4 (3:2) prints? Is the computer Costco uses to develop pictures misconfigured?

Thanks,
- Ken Im

ANSWER 1:
The industry is going through some growing pains here. I don't see any reason your images should not have printed out right, since the aspect ratio was correct. Would it have made a difference if you had gone into Photoshop/Elements/whatever imaging software and done the Image Size drill and actually sized them to 4 x 6's? Maybe. For me, Fuji's Frontier kiosk machine works better than Kodak's in several respects. Try a store that has the Fuji and see if that helps.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7662

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7662

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*****


NEW QUESTION 12: Teleconverters and Aperture
When using a teleconverter what is the calculation to find aperture?
i.e. using a 1.7 teleconverter with a 300mm at 5.6?

Thank you
- William R. Turcotte

ANSWER 1:
The amount of conversion is how many f-stops you loose. 2x converter is 2 f-stops. A 1.5 converter is 1&1/2 f-stops. So your 1.7 is around 1&2/3 f-stops. But you may not have f-stops in thirds on your camera so make it 2 f-stops.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thank you very much,
Bill
- William R. Turcotte

ANSWER 3:
Almost, but picking nits... whole f-stops are factors of 1.4x (actually 1.4141214, the square root of 2), so a 1.7x teleconverter will effect a 1 1/2 stop aperture change (f/5.6 becomes f/9.5). 1.4x is one stop (f/5.6 ==> f/8) and 2x is two stops (f/5.6 ==> f/11).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7653

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7653

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NEW QUESTION 13: From the Digital Darkroom to the Developer
I am new to digital and have a Nikon CoolPix 4300 4Mp digital camera and I have simply fallen in love with it. I have the camera set to store my photographs at 2272x1704 with an image quality of "Fine". I then transfer the images to software to sharpen and enhance them even further before taking them for development. Here is where I need your help...

I will, at times, crop the image to remove unwanted material from the end result. This, of course, changes the original image size of 2272x1704 to varying sizes. Let's say, 1611x1104 just for kicks. I take the images for development and find them not fitting the standard 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 layouts. The portraits have the tops and bottoms missing and the landscapes are missing image from the left and right. Gads!

Any help you can lend me on where I need to concentrate my efforts so that the image I am looking at on the monitor in the software comes out the same on the printed media would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Regards,
- Dennis S. Brewer

ANSWER 1:
I've experienced the same disappointment with printed versions of cropped digital image files. I think that with cropping we confront aspect ratio limitations ( image height in relation to image width). When we change the height-to-width ratio by cropping, oftentimes the resultant image cannot be resized to a standard print size (4x6, 5x7, etc.)without grossly distorting the geometry of the image. In such cases, custom printing and framing are necessary. The alternative is to minimize the need for cropping by being more calculating and precise about the composition and framing of a shot before its taken.
- Uriah H. Carr

ANSWER 2:
Dennis
If you have Photoshop, you can set up your rectangular marquee tool or your crop tool, to be a specified size (in the top options bar when the tool is selected). If you are doing customized crops, always do this on a duplicated file (to preserve your original). Go to Image>Duplicate. In Photoshop CS there are even preset sizes for both marquee and crop tools which you can select from the top Options tool preview window (4x6, 5x7, 8x10 etc). The crop tool can be dangerous if you don't know alot about pixel interpolation--it can "make up" pixels to fill in the spaces for the sake of upping the resolution (ppi). The Rectangular Marquee is a safer option. But first go to Image>Size and UNCHECK the resample box. Set the Resolution to 300ppi (the W&H inches will adjust showing you the max size without interpolating your file, the Megabyte size will stay the same). 300 ppi is what most digital output print labs prefer. Once this is done Just select the fixed size marqee you need for your image and click in the image window; the marching ants will appear at the size you specified; you can reposition by keeping your mouse inside the borders while leftpress down on the mouse and move. When the borders are where you want them then go to Image>Crop. Even as careful as one can be at the time of the shoot, will not change the fact that a 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 all are of "different" aspect ratios. So make sure that your focal point(s) have some room around them at the time of the shoot, to play it safe...cause the various aspect ratios will bring you closer into the shot. With your given resolution the largest print you'll get at 300ppi without interpolating is about a 5x7, since those pixels add up to around a 5.5 x7.6. The other alternative if you wanted to print the "full" digital frame would be to create an 8x10@300ppi or 10x8@300ppi file with a white or black background (for borders) and drag your uncropped file into this doc, position, save as a 10-12 hiqh quality jpeg (srgb profile; the generic and usable profile for most digtal photo printers to handle without major color shifts) and send that to the printer. You could also use the Canvas command on a duplicate file to achieve the same border effect. Just some food for thought!
- Ms. Shan Canfield

ANSWER 3:
Thank you for your responses. I did have a feeling that this was my fault all along by custom cropping my photos. You are very correct Uriah, I do need to learn to "Frame" my subject better. I read some information on pixel interpolation from cropping, Shan, and wondered if that had anything to do with it as well.

You hit the nail on the head. ..."you need to crop the images to the aspect ratio of the intended print".... I need to do that in the cases where I screw up framing my subject matter. For now, I am using ArcSoft PhotoImpression v4.0. However I think I do need to step up to Adobe as it has better tools. I do not think that my software has the ability crop at desired aspect ratios.

One of the things I was looking for was a table for these cropping aspect ratios for 4x6, 5x7, etc., and I cannot seem to find it just yet. There has to be one out there somewhere.

Thank you again for you personal time to help.

Regards,
- Dennis S. Brewer

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NEW QUESTION 14: Critique of Composition For Two Pictures?
Hello!

I just discovered this site today and must say it's already been very informative, although I'm a newbie so pretty much *anything* is news to me =) I bought a digital camera about a year and a half ago so I could take loads of pictures during graduation season (I and thirty of my friends were all graduating). For the most part I was content taking pictures of funny events and gatherings, and also having a sort of 'pictorial diary' of events, which I really enjoy as I look back through the past year's pictures month by month. Lately though I've gotten more and more interested in shooting landscapes and also some interesting forms and shapes, and these are two of my early forays into this. I was wondering if I might get some feedback on style, framing, I-don't-even-know-the-right-terminology-for-it-yet other parameters? Thanks very much in advance =)
- Maurice Chung

See Sample Photo - Jackson backstreet view:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=251404

See Sample Photo - Lake Michigan & Chicago:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=251403

ANSWER 1:
The Lake Michigan shot. Love the mood, the colors and the composition but I think the horizon line needs to be 180 degrees. It appears to be going downward on the right. May be an illusion. If the shore and beach were not angled, I'd chid you for putting the horizon line at center, but because of the triangular sectioning of the elements, it works for me.
The city shot. This is almost a perfect Golden Section Rectangle (an ancient template of design). Pretty cool!
- Ms. Shan Canfield

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the reply! I usually shun horizons in the center of the picture too, it just looks too hokey, and the sky ends up looking cramped, but yeah for some reason it looked like it would work for this one.

Regarding the Golden Rectangle...I vaguely remember learning about it in elementary school, but I forgot the mathematical parameters of it =) Which part of the picture here were you referring to (traces the Golden Rectangle)?

Thanks again!
- Maurice Chung

ANSWER 3:
Here's my link to the rotating golden section rectangle -
Golden Section Rectangle
- Ms. Shan Canfield

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7648

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7648

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Glare on Eyeglasses
I have a son and husband who wear glasses and I am constantly getting a glare on their glasses when I take a photo of them. How do I prevent this? Right now I have an Olympus E 10 and just use the built in flash. Hopefully some day I will be able to get and external flash for this camera. Would that help?
- Lisa Deaton

See Sample Photo - Kids at Christmas:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=249965

ANSWER 1:
Very simply, Lisa, have glass wearers lower their head slightly, or turn their heads ever so slightly until the glare is gone.
- Tony Sweet

See Tony Sweet's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Tony Sweet's Web Site - TonySweet.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
Image Design
Fine Art Flower Photography

ANSWER 2:
Lisa, I agree with what Tony said as one method of preventing glass glare. The idea is to change the angle of reflection from your flash. An external flash may help depending on the prescription and will also prevent "red eye" However, I have found that Tonys trick works more often. Another option for shots that are going to be strait on to the face is to have your subject tilt the glasses forward. If you are still not happy the results you may look into glare resistant lenses. I hope some of this helps. I know that certain prescriptions can be more troublesome than others.
- Jef Franklin

ANSWER 3:
You may also try just tipping the glasses stems up where they fit over the ears, causing the glasses to tip down ever so slightly without having to make your subject lower his head.
- Vik Orenstein

See Vik Orenstein's Premium BetterPholio™

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Vik Orenstein:
Photographing Children
Studio Lighting Technique

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7613

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7613

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