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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 - Wednesday, January 21, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Promote Your Great Photos with a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Warm up With Inspiring Images - The December Contest Winners!
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Moon Photo / Other Albums
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Scanning - Not So Tight
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Beginners Class
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: How to Shoot...
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Mount Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Using 160 Speed Film for Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Scanning Color Slides - Resolution
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Learn About Photo Transfer to Fabric
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Why Does My Black Dog Looks Blue
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Keep Horizons Straight
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Teleconverters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Travelling in Europe with Digital
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Buying Lenses
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Colors In My Photos Look Dull and Muddy
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Strange Phenomena Photographing Sunrise


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 144th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

If you have not yet seen them, the December contest winners are once again stunning! I am blown away each month by the ever-rising caliber of the BetterPhoto member photos.

This week, we have a selection of excellent questions and answers (from our new and improved Q&A section). Other that that, we will be keeping this newsletter short and sweet today.

We have a lot of fun things in the works at BetterPhoto. On the top of our list, we are preparing for the spring photo courses. You can expect to see the new listings up on the site within a week. In addition, we have major improvements in the articles and contest at BetterPhoto... stay tuned for more...

Rain or shine, have a wonderful, photographically productive week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Warm up With Inspiring Images - The December Contest Winners!
These award-winning photographs are so inspiring that they will knock your lens caps off! They will send you running for the door with camera in hand... fully charged to get award-winning images of your own. Take a break from your gray winter day, check out the 56 winning photos and the 390 contest finalists today:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0312.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
When and on which craft was the first photo of the moon taken from space?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Al Brisendine is:
Luna 1 captured the first photograph of the moon from space. Launched on January 2, 1959, It was intended that the craft would impact the moon, but without directional thrusters, it missed by approximately 6000 km. It later became the first space vehicle to orbit the sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars.

[Editor: Yes, that's right, Al. Even though most people answered that is was the Ranger in 1964, that was the first US photo. Long before the USA did it, the USSR's Luna 3 returned the first photos of the far side of the moon on October 7, 1959 from a distance of 63,500 km from the moon.]

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 - Other Albums - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

In "The Others", Nicole Kidman discovers an old album of photos when trying to learn the history of her haunted house. What kind of album does she find?

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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Scanning - Not So Tight
When scanning, it is better to err on the side of getting less picture area than to get every single bit of the picture. Do not try to get so close to the edge that you include additional, area outside the photo. You don't want any black lines around your photo as this can throw off the color of your scan.

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

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

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

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

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Beginners Class
I've been trying to catch classes in the local cummunity colleges. The problem is that I move every 13 weeks with my type of employment (travel nurse). These courses are always filled with a waiting list to boot. I've never taken a computer course. I see the course currently running is until March 8th. When will sign up for the next session begin? And is this type of course for the person who needs much direction?
- Toni Tarala

ANSWER 1:
Hi Toni,

These courses are perfect for someone in your situation. They provide a great degree of direction and interaction, straight from the photographer/instructor. The system is not difficult to learn and we have an excellent staff to help you out if you need technical support.

The next session (which begins April 7th) will be posted up on the site within a week. Stay tuned!
- 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=7930

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7930

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: How to Shoot...
I am getting ready for NY state trout fishing season to open in April. This time I am not fishing but taking my camera instead. I am going to Trout Town, USA, Roscoe, NY. Can you help me on some good camera f/stops and aperature settings. and what is a good lens to take along?Thanks again.
- Andrew G. Sich

ANSWER 1:
Andrew, Lens choice will depend upon your camera type,and what you hope to achieve. A moderate wide-angle in the 28-35 mm range will allow you to record one or more anglers with a lot of background, as well as all of your scenics. Use an aperature of f-11 to f-22 to maximize depth of field. A medium telephoto of 105-210 mm with close-focusing capabilities will handle full-frame shots of the anglers with their catches, as well as allowing you to get in close, for tight head shots of the fish.

While I prefer prime lenses, there are zooms available to cover this entire range if you are limited to only one lens. Keep in mind that moving water makes a great background for shots of rods and tackle. If you have a cloudy day and a tripod, you might want to give this a try. You will need a small aperature of f16-f22 and a slow shutter speed to blur the water. Meter off a neutral colored object which receives the same amount of light as the scene you are shooting. (see attached)

You can check out my web site, under "Fishing Around" if you want to get any more ideas.

Good luck!
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Flyrod and Net w/ Rapids:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=267643

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7911

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7911

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NEW QUESTION 3: How to Mount Photos
I am currently working with my local library on a showing of old photos. They would like me to restore and repair the photos, print them, mount and matt them. There will be a total of 25. They are primarily 8 x 10's and 5 x 7's. They will be black and white when completed. I have an Epson Stylus photo2200 printer, and Epson Perfection 2400 photo scanner.

Questions: 1. What's the best dpi to use for scanning with the end result being a finished print? 2. What's the best paper for print that achieves the most professinal look? 3. Does anyone have a great supplier for mounting and matting supplies? 4. Does anyone have great ideas as to how to mount the photo? Thanks!
- RoxAnne Franklin

ANSWER 1:
From my "black and white" prints done on my Epson 2200 I have only used epsons papers but prefer the velvet fine art paper using the Matte Black ink. However I was really impressed when I used the premium lustre paper with the photo black ink. Realy excelent quality.

The scan dpi is a little iffy for me. Try luminous-landscapes.com. Lots of info. For printing I have gone down to 190 dpi for a 10x14 print and you can not see any dpi with a magnafine glass. Because you are using 7 inks. Try printing out of photo shop in duotone / Tritone / and Quadtone mode, or rgb mode (not grayscale). (luminous-landscapes.com has a lot of info on this an the 2200).

I have a wonderful supplier for Matting and framing supplies: Tradewind Products III in Green Bay, WI (where I live) they are ditributors of Nielson frames and Bainbridge mat boards. I am not sure if they ship far but you could call and ask (920)432-0270 if you do make sure you mention my name, it could help. Otherwise try finding a Nielson disributor near you.

How you mount and display them depends on the prints, but I would try to keep them uniform. I generally mat with Museum mount 100% cotton white mat board framed in a nielson florentine black or puterish gray color. An 8x10 will mat niceley up to 13x15. You could add weight to the matting at the bottom, try experimenting with hand made papers in different ways.

I worked in a frame shop for a while. If I knew what the photos were of or what type of look you are shooting for I might have better ideas. Hope I could help. www.mdkphoto.com
- Matthew Koller

ANSWER 2:
-For cost, The Enhanced Matte Epson Paper does a nice job as well.
- Matthew Koller

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7895

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7895

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NEW QUESTION 4: Using 160 Speed Film for Portraits
Hi, I would like some advice for using 160 speed film for portraits. I will be taking the portraits indoors with bounce flash against a black or dark brown backdrop. In the past I have used either Fuji NPH 400 or Kokak Supra 400 for these. Will 160 speed films work as well under these conditions? Should I rate them at 160 or a different ISO speed? My thoughts are for trying Portra NC 160, but I would be glad to hear any suggestions.
- Alana H. Shores

ANSWER 1:
I have been using 160 speed film for a number of years, I tend to use Agfa 160, I like the skin tones. A thing to try is buy a roll from each film company, Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, and Konica. Shoot a roll on the same subject and get them to hold a Macbeth color chart on a shot or two. Get your films proccesed at the same lab ask for no corrections. I always rate my films as the packet states 160 ASA means 160. Have a look at your results and choose the film you like. This is what a pro photograher will do if he/she evaluates a new film. I hope this helps.
- John Papandreou

ANSWER 2:
I have used Kodak Portra 160 and Agfa portra 160 for weddings. Kodak seems to be a standard. Both are excellent for skin tones. I always set my ISO @ 100 for a little extra saturation, the colors stay pretty much the same. I tend to like the Agfa a little more. Not sure how the films compare in latitude, but I know the Agfa is less expensive.

Do not have experience with Fuji's Portrait film.

If you are using a good dedicated flash for a camera with TTL, you shouldn't have any problems. Open your lens aperature all the way for selective focus. You still might want to back light your backdrop, maybe with another flash via slave. www.mdkphoto.com.
- Matthew Koller

ANSWER 3:
Thank you both for your advice. Since you both mentioned the Agfa, I think I will give it a try along with the Porta 160NC. By the way, Matt, I looked at your website and you have some very beautiful work. Thanks!
- Alana H. Shores

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7893

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7893

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NEW QUESTION 5: Scanning Color Slides - Resolution
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I have between 600 and 700 color slides from 1959 - 1985 (the family slides) that I want to scan and turn into a dvd. Most are 126, a few are 110, a few 35mm. I have a scanner capable of 2400dpi resolution, but scanning them at that level (in .tif) creates HUGE files. What resolution do I need to scan at if my only purpose is to put them on a cd and eventually create a dvd? Should I stay with .tif for this, or do .bmp or .jpeg? I'm kind of overwhelmed right now and would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks!
- Mark D. Duea

ANSWER 1:
I am also into this process. As long as you are going to the trouble of scanning them, why not scan at 2400 and archive them? The files are huge; let 'em be huge. CD's are cheap. The reason is that some day, someone may want to print some of them. In my own case, my 75 year old mom refuses to touch a computer, so everything has to be in print form.

If you are scanning in high-bit mode, do your brightness/contrast/color correction in high bit, THEN go to Image/Image Mode in Photoshop and click on 8-bit. Your file size will drop by half. I reduce mine to about a 750 pixel width, 600 pixel height, if a vertical. I SAVE AS JPEG's at a compression level of 10 (Photoshop's scale).

I am intrigued that you are scanning 126 and 110 film. Are you using a flatbed scanner with masks for those sizes? I have had to resort to scanning the prints for many of my old family shots.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I have a Microtek flatbed scanner, but it doesn't have a mask. I don't have Photoshop; I have Paint Shop Pro. This whole thing is kind of "learn as you go" for me. I understand that scanning at 2400 would be best, but what I've run into is when I have the scanned photo up in Paint Shop, it becomes difficult to manipulate because of my computers memory and processor speed. I could scan the slide at 2400 to archive and then scan it again at a lower resolution for my dvd project. I appreciate your feedback and welcome any other ideas you have! Thanks!
- Mark D. Duea

ANSWER 3:
My computer has been obsolete for a couple of years now. I find that more RAM is the cheapest way to upgrade performance. When you ever get to the point of scanning at 2400, you only need to do the scan once. Set the resolution to 300, save to CD. this will be your archive. Then set the resolution to 72, size as explained earlier, and SAVE AS in a file for putting onto a DVD or CD.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Doug - I really appreciate the information you're giving me, but I'm a little confused. Say I've scanned the slide at 2400 dpi and saved it. What is the "set the resolution to 300" instruction? You've said that I only scan once, but that would be the 2400 dpi. How do I turn that into a 300 dpi? I'm sorry for asking what is probably a foolish question, but I want to be sure I understand. Thanks again!
- Mark D. Duea

ANSWER 5:
I'm not familiar with PS Pro, but there has to be a way of dealing with the results of a scan. When I scan at 2400 ppi, I get an image 1-in by 1 1/2-in that's 2400 pixels per inch. That's not very useful. So, what I want Paint Shop pro to do is to put these pixels into a bigger frame, spreading them out more, and not throwing any away. There should be a way to enter 300 as the resolution, and let the software calculate the image dimensions for you. It should come out to about an 8 x 12 (for a 35mm negative or slide). If the total file size in megabytes drops, something's wrong.

There are excellent books out on PS Pro. Some folks prefer it to Photoshop.

OK, once you've got a 300 ppi image at 8 x 12, you can burn them to CD. You can then take the files on your hard drive and convert each one to a JPEG. This time, you WILL be throwing away some pixels. Just size it as explained above. See f the Articles on my web page are any help. In the meantime, I'll see what folks on the web have to say about PaintShop pro's way of sizing images.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 6:
OK, see http://www.scantips.com/basics2g.html and see if what Wayne Fulton says about scaling, resampling, and PS Pro makes sense. Get back with me if you have a problem.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7876

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7876

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: How to Learn About Photo Transfer to Fabric
I would like to learn how to transfer photos, whether from digital images or print photos to fabrics..such as canvas bags,shirts etc. I would like to be able to provide quality transfer..so that the ink is actually tranfered to the item instead of simply an iron-on technique.
- E. Joyce

ANSWER 1:
I have not yet done this but plan to do so in the near future. The quilt shops in my area offer inexpensive classes in this technique. I've also checked out books from the library on this subject so you may want to contact your local library or order a book from a bookseller. I understand it's a rather simple process and that it's lots of fun.
- Caryl

ANSWER 2:
Olympus makes a fabric transfer that you use like their paper. They say it feels like silk. I haven't tried it. But I really like their Pictorico Photo Gallery paper, you can go to www.pictorico.com.
- 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=7873

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7873

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NEW QUESTION 7: Why Does My Black Dog Looks Blue
Hi
My question is why did the very black dog turn out blue when printed? I use an Olympus C 4000 camera and a Canon i950 printer with every type of glossy I have. These photos are important its my first job! I'm so dissapointed.
- Carol Dryden

See Sample Photo - show stance!!:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=263814

ANSWER 1:
First, the photo is a bit underexposed, with loss of detail in the black dog, and the (presumably) white sheet behind it isn't quite white. The dog's feet are lost in the dark floor.

Direct flash from the camera is not going to be the most flattering in this portrait. It creates shiny hot spots on the dog's silky coat, and a distracting shadow to the left and below the dog's head and legs.

My (wild) guess on the blue cast is that you set white balance for the ambient indoor lighting (using Auto or the Tungsten Preset), while the main light for the photo is coming from the flash (which is akin to daylight). Thus the lighting in the photo is bluer than the camera was set for.

Otherwise it could be due to light reflected off other blue sources out of the scene? (other people, furniture, drapes?)
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Oh thanks for that. It makes perfect sense now! :)
I love digital but I missed my old Canon 600 so today I bought a Canon 300 D. Now I will have more control. I can't wait for battery to charge up.
Thanks for your help!
- Carol Dryden

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7864

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7864

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: How to Keep Horizons Straight
I recently got a Nikon Coolpix for Xmas. I love it, but all my horizons have taken a dive to the left. I think it is just a matter of getting used to the smaller camera size, but try as I might I just can't keep it even. Short of getting out the tripod, have you any ideas on how to help.
- Lindall White

ANSWER 1:
I had this problem as well when I got my camera. It's just a matter of your hand moving while you're pressing the shutter. Try exhaling as you're taking the picture to keep steady, but as always, a tripod is really the best route!
- Mariah Milan Dagupion

ANSWER 2:
Lindall, I agree with Mariah a tripod will be your best bet. You could also carry around a small level (the kind with the floating bubble) and hold it on the base or top of your camera while shooting to make sure your getting straight shots. Best of luck.
- Sean R. O'Connor

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7856

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7856

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Teleconverters
Gonna ask a silly question... is there a formula in figuring f-stops when TC's are used? For example, you've a lens with f 4.5 and you decide to add a 1.4X TC? How's it figured? Thanks for your help.
- Morris Turner

See Morris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Multiply the lens's indicated aperture by the multiplication factor of the teleconverter. In your example, the effective aperture is f/4.5 x 1.4 = f/6.3. In terms of "stops," 1.4x is one stop, 2x is 2 stops.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thank you so much for your expertise, Jon.
- Morris Turner

See Morris's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7844

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7844

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Travelling in Europe with Digital
I'm going to be travelling for the first time with my Finepix 2600 Digital camera. We will be in Europe for 2 weeks - and I love taking lots of shots. I usually set my camera on Fine (which gives me only about 80 shots on a memory card). I was wondering if I should take my pictures at a lower setting (how much will it affect the quality?) or should I buy more cards? I will not have access to a computer to download the pictures. Any advice you may have is greatly appreciated!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

ANSWER 1:
Diane,

I don't recommend taking your pictures at a lower setting - the high resolution is part of the reason you bought your camera, right? You may want to consider buying another memory card, though. I just came back from 2 weeks in Europe with a Sony Cybershot F-707 and about 512 MB of memory. I had my camera set on Fine and the highest resolution (which is 5 mega-pixels), and took pictures of EVERYTHING. Many places will be able to burn your images to disk. It's about 5-8 Euro and some places it's 1 Euro cheaper if you already have your own disk. I had them burn my images to disk about every other day, and it worked out fine.
- Giao N.

ANSWER 2:
Thanks so much Giao! I would appreciate any tips on travelling with my digital camera!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

ANSWER 3:
I would make sure to have an extra fully charged battery along, as well as plenty of memory space in case you can't get to a photo place before your next excursion. Most cities that I went to had at least one or two places that could burn your pictures to CD for you. Some photo places (photo developing places, digital camera stores, some internet cafes) do it immediately and some take 1 hour or so. I had no trouble finding places in cities like Rome and London, but it was a little more difficult to find a place in a smaller city like Zurich, so you want to have enough memory to tide you over until you can find a place that will do it. Also, make sure to familiarize yourself with all the controls on your camera before you go. Have a great trip!
- Giao N.

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7842

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=7842

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Buying Lenses
I have the Canon Digital r=Rebel w/ the EF-S 18-55mm lens. I'm looking to get another lens to do mostly headshots. After christmas however, I'm a little low on cash so I'm not looking to spend a whole lot. I would like a lens that is a little bit flexible so I wont have to get a billion different lenses to do different shots. I came across the Sigma - 28-105mm F2.8-4 Aspherical lens for Canon AF on ritzcamera.com I know that Sigma lenses aren't high on quality but its price ($199) is tempting. Does anyone have any opinions on this lens? Or a suggestion of a different lens? I'm not looking to spend over $300. Thanks.
- Thomas

ANSWER 1:
I bought a Canon in 1997 with Sigma lenses (much like the one you mentioned) and used it until last year. At the time I couldn't even afford to buy that, but I did anyway. These lenses were good (and affordable) for learning. If you look at my gallery at the pictures towards the bottom they were all taken with the Canon/Sigma setup.

Having said that I would add something I wish I had done. Since you do have a good camera and lens (and you don't have to buy film), I would put away the $300 you have saved and add as much as you can while you shoot like crazy with what you already have. After a couple of months you will have a better idea of what it is you really want. Canon makes a 28-135 zoom with IS that is $400 at B&H and things go up from there.

As everybody here will tell you...you will NEVER have everything you need as far as photography equipment! It is an addiction. Good luck.
- Chris L. Hurtt

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thomas, wait until you have the another 100 bucks and get the 28-135 Image Stabilizer. You won't be sorry.
- Reid S. Mason

ANSWER 3:
Hello all, My advice: I have done this on the occassion myself - and find it quiet helpful. Go to a camera shop that sells both lenses, take your camera with you. Inform the staff that you wish to try both lenses on your camera - shoot a few shots of the same subjects with both lenses - inside and try shooting outside via a door or window. Go home and study the results. Make your own decision based on your own experience. Once you have made up your mind - shop around for the best price you can for the lens you want. If you are not happy with the results first time around - go back to the same camera shop or a different one and take some more test shots (ideally take shots that you want to use the lens for).
www.davin-photography.com
- Davin Edridge

ANSWER 4:
I have the Canon Rebel also and the 28-55mm lense,I was in same dillema, but I'm happy with the set up I went with. I just purchased a Canon ef90-300mm usm. Absolutely superb for the money, $399.00 Australian. These 2 lenses cover most everything,from sports to portraits. Add a 420 ex flash too(worth every cent).
- Nick Milton

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=7837

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Colors In My Photos Look Dull and Muddy
I got a Canon Rebel TI with Canon 28-105mm F4.0-5.6 USM AF Lens. I took a lot of photos but the colors in my photos look dull and muddy. Is there anyone in here knows what is wrong with my equipments or any advise? PLEASE HELP!!!. Thanks a lot.
- Mike Ho

ANSWER 1:
Dull:
Poor lighting/underexposed?
Lens flare? Use a lens hood and be careful of bright stray light hitting the front of the lens.
Poor printing?

muddy:
Bad focus? Do not zoom in to focus and then zoom back wide to take the photo. That lens (like many/most af zooms) is varifocal and changes focus when zoomed.

Dirty lens/filter?

Wide open aperture? stopped down to ~f/8 will sharpen things.
Subject or camera movement with too slow shutter speed?
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thanks a lot for your reply. I really don't know what is going on with my photos. Sometimes the flash didn't come out even though I shoot it in the night. Do you think that my equipment is defected? Do I have to return my equipment back to the store? I uploaded some of my prints developed at Costo. It happened to all my prints. PLEASE HELP. Thank You very much for your help.
- Mike Ho

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ANSWER 3:
Hi, Mike. For the flash not coming on for night shots, the flash will pop up automatically when it's dark if shooting in "green box" and most of the PIC modes. In the "creative modes" (P, Av, Tv, M), if you want flash you have to turn it on manually. I'll take a stab at the pictures you posted:

Picture 1 is a typical result of auto-flash at night. The problem I see is the lab printed the print too light, causing the subject's shirt to be too bright losing detail, and the background sky is mottled instead of black. But the printer (or the automated machine) chose this because so much of the scene is dark, it was printed lighter to show detail in the tree. It looks like this was taken in either "green box" or P mode. These modes choose a higher shutter speed of 1/60-1/125, which limits the exposure given to the background (lit Christmas tree). The flash can only illuminate near subjects. To give more exposure to the background tree & lights, you'd need to select a longer shutter speed in either the Night Portrait PIC mode, or choosing the M, Tv, or Av modes.

Picture 2 is just a difficult exposure, even for all auto camera. There is a bright white wall in sunshine dominating 1/2 the scene, and a medium dark-skinned subject's face is shaded by the bill of the hat. The camera chose an average exposure, and appears to be somewhat under-exposed at that. A scene with bright background and subject in shadow (or their forehead creating dark shadows over the eyes) calls for fill flash (manually turn the flash on) which will give a pop from the flash to light the near subject's face, but not affect the background.

Picture 3 is just seriously underexposed. The camera might be defective or need professional adjustment (Picture 2 looked underexposed a bit as well), but first make sure you haven't accidentally set the camera's ISO higher than the film loaded, or accidentally set Exposure Compensation to a negative value. Exposure Compensation only affects shooting in the Creative Modes (P, Av, Tv) but will remain in effect until it is set back to 0, even if you load new film or turn the camera off. Ordinarily the camera will automatically set the ISO for the film loaded (DX coded on the film can). But if the ISO has been set manually it will be in effect for all picture taking modes, but will cancel when you load new film.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
I really recommend a good lab and not only that you might try a high quality film such as Kodak portra 400 UC(ultra colour),better light might help as well,or maybe better still a course on beginner photography!!!!
- Michael McCullough

ANSWER 5:
Sometimes dull photos are caused by too much xray exposure on the film both before and after you have taken photos on it, at airports, etc. Try a different roll of another brand or emulsion Nr. It's worth a try. Also see my web site:
dannolansphotography.com
under articles then xray exposure.
- Daniel J. Nolan

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ANSWER 6:
Mike - now that I've looked at your work, I don't think it's an xray problem. I think Jon's response has hit the nail on the head. Good luck.
- Daniel J. Nolan

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ANSWER 7:
Mike, before you go running off to some camera fix it shop do a simple test. Buy yourself an 18% grey card for about 3 bucks. Take it out in your back yard at noon on a sunny day. Put it on the ground. Get close with your camera and take a meter reading right off the gray card (NOTHING ELSE) make a note of what information your camera says. If you are shooting 100 speed film your camera should read on or close to SS 90 f 16 or SS125 F16. If not manually change your ASA/ISO settings on the camera until it does OR dial in the appropriate exposure compensation till it reads correctly. You may have to do this for every differen film speed you shoot till you know your camera. Second thing I'd do is find a good lab and ask them to make contact sheets of your print film (assuming its print film). Labs like Costco etc
automatically adjust your poorly exposed (and mine too) prints to make them look as good as possible......Problem is you never know if its you or them that is the great photographer.
- Robert Bridges

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ANSWER 8:
Mike I have only looked at the photo of the shepherd and as I am not familiar with your model of camera and whether it has a built in exposure meter or if you are using a hand held exposure meter. I would guess that the camera has a built in exposure meter and it is under exposing because there is a lot of sky in the picture. Go back and take the pic again but this time take a reading off what I presume is the large area of grass in the foreground and then compare it with the reading you get with the camera in the taking position. I would bet $100 to a pinch of snuff there is about 1 -1.5 stop difference in the reading. Your pic is under exposed.
- David Robinson

ANSWER 9:
Hi, I just got this same Rebel Ti for Christmas. I have wanted a SLR body camera since borrowing one from work 20 years ago, but kids and finances didn't allow it. Until my hubby gave it to me for Christmas this year, it was a dream come true. As you can tell I am very excited about getting this camera. So, the first thing I did was to sit down with the tripod, several different ISO films, my cats, and the book that came with the camera. I took test shots in all modes, in each speed, and logged each pic. So, that when I got the film back, I could sit down and figure out what I did, right or wrong. The cats made perfect subjects, ranging from immovable objects, to active sports type photos. It took a while especially with the log, but it was worth it when I took my first professional pics at my daughter's wedding.

Thanks and Good Luck!
- ReBecca Hill

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*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Strange Phenomena Photographing Sunrise
I recently took a picture of a sunrise and got a reflection of some kind in the picture. Would like an explanation of how this happens. I actually like the picture--would like comments. I have a Nikon Coolpix 5300. I took the picture while leaving the beach (back from the ocean).

Thanks.
- Dot T. Jones

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ANSWER 1:
This is called lens flare, Dot, and is caused by very bright light affecting the lens elements. The best way to avoid lens flare is to avoid photographing directly into the bright fireball. Consider photographing off to the side with the sun not in the frame and that should fix the problem.
- Tony Sweet

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ANSWER 2:
Get a lens hood.
- Sreedevi Kashi

ANSWER 3:
Unfortunately, a lens hood has no effect when shooting directly into the sun.
- Tony Sweet

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