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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, March 22, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Jim Zuckerman Joins Combo Wildlife Photography Workshop
* BETTERPHOTO: February Contest Winners Have Been Posted!
* BETTERPHOTO: Don't Miss Polaroid Image and Emulsion Transfer with Kathleen T. Carr
* BETTERPHOTO: Learn From Tony Sweet - Either in the Field or on the Web
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Jean Coquin / Photosensitive Kids
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Getting A Read On Street Signs - A Tip by Kerry Drager
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot a Portrait of a 2-year-old
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: What Is That Square-ish Thing on Back of Camera?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Make a Frame Around a Photo
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: What Is a Gray Market Camera?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to Store Negatives and Slides
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: What Lens to Use When Shooting Buildings?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: I Have a Wedding Assignment: What Now?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Take Pictures of Horses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Macro Lens for Canon Digital Rebel
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Should I Buy a Nikon FM3a?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: I Need Advice for Trip to Europe!
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Airport X-Rays: Problems for Film or Digital?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Which Backdrop Should I Use?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Jim Zuckerman Joins Combo Wildlife Photography Workshop
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take fantastic animal photos just got better! The highly acclaimed author and BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman will be teaming up with Jim Miotke for the 2004 wildlife photography road show in central California.

This unique opportunity offers photographers the chance to photograph wildlife models in an array of natural settings, providing you with beautiful, convincing, and visually interesting backgrounds for your animal pictures. In addition, Triple "D" is offering a rare and exciting "Day On The Ranch" photo opportunity, where you can photograph colorful horses, roping activities, cowboys, as well as a cattle drive.

NOTE: it appears that this may be the last time Triple D will be going to this location in California. So this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Learn more about Triple D's California road show at:
On-Location Wildlife Photography

Learn more about the Combo Workshop with Jim Miotke and Jim Zuckerman:
http://www.betterphoto.com/wildlife-photography/JCM-CA.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 152nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

We have the exciting results you've been waiting for... the February contest winners and finalists have been selected. Once again, the contest images are incredibly inspiring and beautiful.

Also, I wanted to tell you about an exciting course by Kathleen T. Carr and two learning opportunities by Tony Sweet. All three of these options come highly recommended. See below for details...

Lastly, I wrote a brief article on recent experiences photographing animals at a local wildlife park. Although going to zoos and wildlife parks can be fun, they don't even hold a candle to my experiences photographing with game farms like Triple D. If you are interested in getting great animal pictures, you will enjoy my thoughts comparing the two venues. Learn more by reading the Thoughts on Zoos Vs. Game Farms for Photographing Wildlife article.

One last point: if you are seeing daffodils, cherry blossoms, and tulips blooming, don't hesitate to get out there with camera in hand. Shoot while you have a chance... then upload your best results to BetterPhoto.com :)

Have another great week making better and better images! Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


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February Contest Winners Have Been Posted!
For a giant burst of inspiration, check out the February BetterPhoto contest winners. Congratulations go to Ron Goldman for his Grand Prize winning photo, "Orange Fizz," which rose all the way to the top in our Graphics and Details category. Congratulations, too, are in order for Monique Bogaerts, Garvin Snell, Ronald Balthazor, Gianfranco Rindone, and David April for their incredible First Place prize winning images. Every month, this contest shows off the talent among the BetterPhoto membership - and February was no exception. All winners and finalists should feel particularly proud!

View all of the incredible winning shots at: February 2004 Contest Winners

You can also view all 571 contest finalists at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=3097


*****
Don't Miss Polaroid Image and Emulsion Transfer with Kathleen T. Carr
Explore two alternative photographic processes that produce unique results using Polaroid film. In Kathleen T. Carr's online course, you'll find out how to create Polaroid image and emulsion transfers! You'll learn to apply them to different surfaces, as well as to manipulate and handwork your transfers, and then handcolor them. Each image is unique due to the physical properties of the transfer processes. Sign up for Kathleen's exciting class at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KAT01.asp


*****
Learn From Tony Sweet - Either in the Field or on the Web
Join photographer Tony Sweet for an exciting, and enlightening, field workshop this summer! This event, "Image Design in Nature," event will take place on beautiful Whidbey Island in Washington state, August 23-27, 2004.

This five-day workshop will focus on image design, with the group working as much as possible at dawn and dusk. Tony will share compositional and image design techniques that will be demonstrated in the field and illustrated during slide presentations. Find out all the details at Coupeville Arts Center

Tony also teaches three online courses at BetterPhoto, including "Image Design - Revealing Your Personal Vision." Learn more about this class at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS01.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What is professional photographer Jean Coquin most known for?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Steve Solomon is:
Cokin Filters! The system was invented by Coquin.

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 - Photosensitive Kids - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

In "The Others," the mother believes her children are "photosensitive." What does she mean by this?

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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Getting A Read On Street Signs - A Tip by Kerry Drager
Roadside signs offer all kinds of opportunities for capturing interesting, intriguing, and often funny subjects. In some cases, you'll want to zero in tight and fill your viewfinder with an eye-catching sign along a street, beside a highway, on a billboard, or in front of a store. More often than not, however, a sign shown within the context of a bigger scene makes for the most compelling or humorous photo.

Shooting Strategies: The usual compositional "guidelines" also apply to street-sign shots. For example, experiment with different camera angles, beware of a "busy" picture in which too many objects compete for the viewer's attention, and avoid a dead-center placement of your subject (although there are exceptions). Also, keep your eyes open for potential subjects, have your camera handy, and, for inspiration, check out BetterPhoto’s “Street Sign Pictures” gallery.

Check out Kerry's online courses:
"Beginning Photography II: Beyond Snapshots"
"Field Techniques: Dynamic Outdoor Photography"

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: How to Shoot a Portrait of a 2-year-old
I have just started receiving requests to take portrait shots and would very much appreciate any insight about the following:
- What type and speed of 35mm film is recommended to shoot portraits indoors (without a lot of natural light) vs. outdoors. I'd like the end result to produce really soft shots.
- Any soft focus filters recommended?
- Would you recommend setting a camera to bracket while shooting portraits?
Thank you for your time. I so look forward to hearing back. I'm new to the field, but so very passionate about it.
- Angela

ANSWER 1:
In my amateurish opinion, taking pictures of children always seem to go better when the child is preoccupied with something besides you taking pictures. Have the mom bring several outfits, including their pj's, and also the child's favorite toy. Then just sit the child down to play, back away as far as you can, and start shooting.

The child doesn't have to be looking at the camera, and if you want him to in some of the shots, don't call his name. Instead, have someone behind you make a noise - but nothing loud - just something to make the child look your way in curiosity. Outside would be better; then the child wouldn't be distracted by the flash.

Go to a playground and just let him play. Even let him get dirty, since those sometimes make the best pictures - where they are captured in their natural state! Good luck!
- Rhonda L. Tolar

ANSWER 2:
In my amateurish opinion, I totally agree as well. Photographs with children acting in a natural setting tend to work better. Try to use as much natural light as possible. For a film, I'd recommend Kodak Portra 160NC. I just got a roll of it developed and was very surprised at how realistic the colors were - very good for skin tones.
- Jordan

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8777

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8777

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NEW QUESTION 2: What Is That Square-ish Thing on Back of Camera?
What is the square-ish thing on the back of some older cameras? It looks to me like it would hold a slip of paper or something. Just curious, thanks.
- John Kratz

ANSWER 1:
It holds the end of a film box so that you know what's in the camera. Newer cameras automatically set film speed, so the manufacturers did away with this feature.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8773

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8773

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NEW QUESTION 3: How to Make a Frame Around a Photo
Can I make a frame around a pic in PS? How? Thanks.
- Leonid Strizhevskiy

ANSWER 1:
What type of frame? You can make the canvas size bigger, thus providing some framing, if this is what you're after ...
- Damian Gadal

Visit gadal-imagery.com - Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks. Let us say a simple black rectangular around the print.
- Leonid Strizhevskiy

ANSWER 3:
Simple enough: Image, Canvas Size (fill out the boxes for width and height and say okay). And then fill the new border with whatever colour (in your case black) and save.

Also, you should save the file with a new name and keep the original. That way you can go back to it if there's any bleeding around the fill and until you get the hang of creating borders (always a good idea to keep the original file).
- Damian Gadal

Visit gadal-imagery.com - Damian's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8766

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8766

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NEW QUESTION 4: What Is a Gray Market Camera?
I don't understand the difference between a gray market camera and a regular camera. Could you explain?
- Lisa Martindale

See Lisa 's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
A gray market camera is a camera that is imported and not originally made for the USA. Essentially the cameras are identical - it's the warranty that needs some investigation. If you have a gray market camera and have a problem, getting it serviced may be tricky or cost more.
- John Wright

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8765

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8765

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NEW QUESTION 5: How to Store Negatives and Slides
Could someone please advise me on the best possible way to store negatives and transparencies so that they don't get damaged by sitting in one place for years and yearsHow do professional photographers keep their clients' negs?
- Jenny Walter

ANSWER 1:
There are many ways to store negatives/transparencies. I shoot slides, so I'll discuss that portion.

First thing I do is label them. I've got a program from Ellenco out of Tijeras, NM, that allows me to format the labels and then print them out. I break my slides down to categories such as National Parks, Scenics, Landscapes, Transportation, etc. I then form a database for each category and number each slide in the database with the number starting with the category initials - i.e., NP123.000 (a photo of Zion NP). Then a brief description is added to a different location on the label. The time of year and other information are added too. Note: Not all of the information in the database is printed on the slide.

After labeling the slide, I place the slide in an archival page (numerically). I put the archival page (containing the slides) in a file folder. Each folder can hold somewhere around four pages. I label the folder(s) with the numbers of the beginning slide numbber to the last slide number in that folder. Using my database I can find almost any slide in just a matter of seconds. The database is set up for cross-referencing too. Each archival page can be viewed on a light box without having to remove any slides for quick viewing.

Hope this helps and good luck.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 2:
I too categorize my 35mm transparencies and store them in archival plastic sleeves, which hold 20 slides each. The sleeves can also be kept in large 3-ring binders. These hold a lot of pages, and can be useful if you have a large number of images in a similar category.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8763

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8763

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NEW QUESTION 6: What Lens to Use When Shooting Buildings?
I am trying to get into architectural photography. I have a job coming up in which the client would like me to shoot high-rise buildings. Their number one complaint is most photographers distort the building. What lens and would one suggest shooting medium format? Thank you, I appreciate any info.
- Sasha Brownfeld

ANSWER 1:
If you use a normal lens and you have to tilt the camera upward to encompass the entire building/structure, you'll distort the building. It'll look like it's falling backwards. Also, the parallel vertical lines will seem to converge towards the top. In order to prevent this, you have to keep the "film plane" parallel to the building. If you're too close, the structure won't fit in/on the film so you have to back away from the subject. Another way is to get pretty far away and use a telephoto lens, but then you run into the problem with compression.

Most architectural photographers use a large format camera, usually 4x5 or 8x10, to photograph structures. The tilts and shifts of the lens or film standards will prevent converging lines (distortion, as you mentioned). You can get into a 4x5 system with lenses and film holders for somewhere around $1200.00. If you're adamant about medium format, you can purchase a "tilt/shift" lens. Their movements aren't as much as a large format system but they're better than nothing. A tilt/shift lens for MF costs quite a bit. It'd be cheaper to get into LF rather than buy a t/s lens for MF.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 2:
Sounds like the client may have asked you to do it without having to show them some samples of what you've done previously. So that makes me think that they've only had wide angle shots done in the past. Tilt-and-shift lenses will eliminate distortion, but you could probably satify this client if you minimize it. A 50mm for 35mm film is a normal perspective lens that shows close to how your eye sees things. So if you shoot a building with that perspective, it would be close to looking at the building itself, and the client may be happy with that.

In order to actually keep the film plane parallel with a subject as tall as a high rise, you'd have to shoot landscape style or somehow raise yourself off the ground so that the middle of the frame matches with the middle of the building - giving you equal coverage over the top half and bottom half so there's no tilting the camera to include the top of the building. A small telephoto won't give too much compression, like 75-100mm, and can help in isolate - if the client dosen't want other stuff in the photo. This will affect your choice of vantage point.

If you have medium format, or if you already have the money for medium format, then the bigger negatives will benefit for publication of any photos. But if 35mm suits the client's needs, you don't have to get medium format right away. Do the job, use that to try to get more jobs, and if you start to hear from people who need medium format, then you can buy one. If you can, let the people who buy your stuff pay for new equipment.

And by the way, regular 50mm lenses are comparable to, I think, 85mm lenses in medium format, as far as perspective goes. I'm sure exactly, but it's somewhere around there.
- 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=8761

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8761

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NEW QUESTION 7: I Have a Wedding Assignment: What Now?
OK, I just got my first job as a wedding photographer , WHAT DO I DO NOW?!? I do not what to ruin this special day, I want to make a good impression and make their day a very special one. It's going to be an outdoor event, and it will be a small family gathering only. Any ideas? Since it's going to be small, I was thinking on a very intimite style. Again, any ideas or tips will be greatly appreciated.
- Benjamin Baron

ANSWER 1:
Pay attention to the subject ... Think ahead to what's going to happen next, and adjust accordingly.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Just relax, and all will go fine. Sometimes at the small weddings, though, you kind of have to act as the wedding planner and move everyone in the direction they need to go to get the pictures. Everyone in the wedding party is nervous and can't think of what goes next.

Make yourself a list of the standard poses - bride and groom, families, etc. You will be surprised at how you get there and forget what poses you will need. Also, talk with the bride, before the wedding date, since she will need to let you know if she has anything in particular that she would like to see.

Another biggie: If you are not close friends with this family, you will need to get someone to point out the important family members to you as they arrive at the wedding. You would hate to miss a photo of great aunt Suzie, just because you didn't know which one she was. Have fun!
- Rhonda L. Tolar

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8757

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8757

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NEW QUESTION 8: How to Take Pictures of Horses
I love horses and photography, and this summer I want to take pictures of horses and people riding. I am about to get my first good camera, and I was wondering if anyone knew about special ways to take pictures of horses in action. I find it extremely difficult to catch the movement. Thanks.
- Sarah

ANSWER 1:
Sarah, animals are absolutely a joy to photograph. You can simply take photos (with autofocus cameras) by putting the shutter speed on a high number (1/250, 1/500, etc.) or shutter speed priority to FREEZE the action when you see the steed galloping. Or if you feel you want a simple portrait, adjust the mode to its "portrait" mode while in AF setting and take a relaxed shot.

A fast film (ISO 400) with a low aperture on your AF camera - switched to "manual" override - can do wonders to your action pics. Most AF cameras have a "sports" mode that also have multi-exposure functions that can shoot 3 frames or MORE per second when using AF. So ENJOY and have a good time!
- Buddy Purugganan

ANSWER 2:
If these are jumpers, then if you can, try and shoot in the arena to fill most of the frame with the horse and rider. A simple way is to shoot with the horse coming at you and you on the opposite side of the jump.

You can prefocus or follow-focus and time the picture when the front legs come up and clear the jump. If you prefocus, focus a couple of feet away from the jump (the side the horse lands on), because at the point the horse has its legs up and clears the jump, the horse's face and the rider's face will be a couple of feet ahead of the rails of the jump.

With pictures of people riding, you can try different shutter speeds and practice panning with slow shutter speeds.
- 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=8742

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8742

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Macro Lens for Canon Digital Rebel
I love to do macro/close-up shots when shooting photos (mostly nature). I recently purchased a Canon Digital Rebel and am wondering what to look for in a macro lens for it. I see the Canon web site has a few different macro lenses. Seeing as how I'm quite new to the more technical aspects of photography (anything past point-and-shoot), I don't understand a lot of the terminology so I am not sure what it is I'm looking at when viewing the lenses. So if someone out there could break it down in layman's terms it would be wonderful. Thanks.
- Marcie Fowler

ANSWER 1:
A true macro lens will be able to focus close enough to achieve 1:1 life-size reproduction without any lens attachments. What this means (in layman's terms) is that you could photograph an object, such as a dime, at the lens's closest focusing distance. Then, after developing, place the dime over the image on the film and it would cover it completely. (Note: The same size ratio would apply to digital.)

Many so-called "macros" are actually close-focusing lenses that achieve 1/2 life-size or less. These are fine for most applications, but may not work for getting eyeball-to-eyeball with insects or other tiny subjects unless you attach an extension tube or tele-converter. A few things to keep in mind when shooting close:

- Light and depth of field are minimized the closer you get to your subject.

- A longer focal length lens will let you get farther away without spooking skittish subjects. Most macros and close-focusing lenses come in lengths of 50-100mm. You should probably choose one based on its intended use.

- Camera and subject movement will be amplified.

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=8733

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8733

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NEW QUESTION 10: Should I Buy a Nikon FM3a?
I currently have a digital camera (Canon G2), but I want to get a film camera also. I don't like all the buttons on most cameras and having to always refer to the manual. I was looking at the Nikon FM3A. Does anyone have one? If so, do you like it and is it easy to use/learn? Also, would you recommend getting it new or are used cameras worth it? Thanks.
- Erin

ANSWER 1:
If you want to "learn" manual operation, I recommend that you choose a Nikon FM2 camera instead of the Nikon FM3A. The only difference in the two models is that the FM3 has an aperture-priority automatic feature, in addition to all of its manual functions. Unless you plan to use this feature, you can save $$ by getting a used FM2 for less, and transferring the savings into better lenses and accessories.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
The FM3a is the latest Nikon model that has basic manual operation as well as some auto exposure option. It is manual focus. It will not take the latest "G" lenses, but that's probably not an issue, as there are vast supplies of excellent lenses available. It has a simple, non-electronic control layout. If you want to use it manually, you will have to learn how to meter manually with the camera; otherwise, you can set it to auto-exposure.

It is built the old-fashioned, high-quality way, which means expensive for its features. If you are considering a used model, an earlier, similar model is the FE2, but that camera could be 20-25 years old [but still my favorite]. The Nikon FM2N is a manual exposure-only version, a good choice if you do not need auto-exposure. I would avoid the FM and FM2 manual models because of their age [20+ years]. Avoid the Nikon FA model, which has a lot of early electronics that proved not to be durable.
- Randall Stewart

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8727

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8727

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NEW QUESTION 11: I Need Advice for Trip to Europe!
I'm going to Germany, Paris, Budapest, Gyor, and Bratislava in May and June as a musician on tour. I'm short on free time and short on space for carry camera equipment.

I'm looking for advice on places I shouldn't miss in the little time I've got, and what people think is the essential equipment to bring. I own an Nikon F65 and 50mm/1.8 lens. What do you think about tripods and what do you use as alternatives?

My time in Germany is more flexible and I have about a week to travel, so do you have any favourite towns or places?

Thanks!
- Jean-Hee Lee

ANSWER 1:
Old European street scenes, while beautiful, can be frustrating to photograph, UNLESS you use a wide-angle. Get a 28mm or 24mm and you won't be sorry. Hold onto your 50mm for close-ups and low-light interiors. If you can't take but one lens, take the 28mm. I use a monopod for travel, and sometimes combine it with leaning into a lamppost, for support.

Consider Heidelburg, Bonn, and Rothenburg.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8719

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8719

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Airport X-Rays: Problems for Film or Digital?
Will the x-rays at the airport damage processed film and prints?
- Jordan

ANSWER 1:
After developement, no.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
How about undeveloped film? Or digital cameras?
- Jessy Aspery

ANSWER 3:
X-rays can harm undeveloped film. Never put film in checked baggage, since the high power x-rays will fog all speeds. The scanner for carry-on luggage is generally safe (in the U.S.) for speeds up to 400 and maybe one pass for 800. You are generally allowed to request hand inspection of higher speed films.

Digital cameras are immune to x-rays, but the digital storage media can be affected by the magnetic fields of the wand and the walk-through metal-detector. Put your digital and all storage cards through the carry-on x-ray machine.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
I have written an extensive article on x-ray damage to undeveloped film, including some photo examples. It's not usually the first x-ray pass that damages the film. But it's the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, if you've been to multiple airports - or if they run it back and forth to get another look. See my web site at dannolansphotography.com for samples and details. It's under articles - X-ray. Get a lead film bag to be safer.
- Daniel J. Nolan

Visit dannolansphotography.com - Daniel's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
You may even try putting your undeveloped film in a clear plastic bag and have it passed over the counter.
- Douglas Hanlon

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8641

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8641

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Which Backdrop Should I Use?
I need to know what to buy for a backdrop when shooting products. Right now I am using black and white bristol boards. Is that good enough? And when is it proper to use black instead of white (or vice-versa)?
- Ziyaad Khoja

ANSWER 1:
For small product photography, poster boards, sold at any craft shop or art supply store, make great backgrounds. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. (I like to use color backgrounds as an "attention grabber" for products I'm selling.)

Either black or white can also be good choices, because they focus the attention on the products themselves, especially if they have color of their own. When using black boards, try shining extra light on them. They will be rendered as a muted gray, which is a desirable effect for many subjects.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Does it depend on what I will be doing with these photos? I would either be doing some black-and-white prints or full colour on the net. Does white or black work better when removing it as the background in Photoshop?
- Ziyaad Khoja

ANSWER 3:
I bought my first backdrop as a neutral gray with splashes of other colors that looks quite good with many different subjects.
- Ryan Chai

ANSWER 4:
Take the time to check Denny Manufacturing Co.'s official web site (www.dennymfg.com) or call 1-800-844-5616. (You can request a FREE 2004 catalog.) Or try Backdrop Outlet ( www.backdropoutlet.com) at 1-800-466-1755. (Request a 2004 free catalog too.)
- Buddy Purugganan

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