BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THIS ISSUE - Sunday, April 11, 2004
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: Showcase Your Photography With a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* BETTERPHOTO: Curves, Chrome, and Colors: Photographing Car Shows
* BETTERPHOTO: It's Not Too Late to Sign Up for a Photo Course!
* BETTERPHOTO: Tony Sweet on Designing Superior Images
* PHOTO LINK: Featured Gallery: Shots of Tulips
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Using His Little Grey Cells / Poetic Ode
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Cleaning Slides Before Scanning - A Tip by Bob Cammarata
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Starting My Own Business
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: How to Overexpose or Underexpose
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Making the Move to Medium Format
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Digital Depth of Field Problem
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to View Slides Properly
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Slave Flash Problem Maybe Solved?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Take Portraits with Fill Flash
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: 35mm SLR Vs. Other 35mm Cameras
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Blur the Background
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: My Lens Moves Around in the Mount
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: Slide Film in the Studio
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 4: Digital Cameras and Low Light


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

Showcase Your Photography With a Deluxe BetterPholio™
With a Deluxe BetterPholio™ by BetterPhoto.com, you choose the look and feel of your own site from a selection of unique, high-quality designs. Each design includes a portfolio gallery of up to 1000 of your favorite images. BetterPhoto takes care of the technical hassles for you, but we don't stop there. In addition, all Web hosting fees are included. In fact, at BetterPhoto, you get the complete package - Web site design, Web hosting, and domain name registration - for one bargain price. Learn the details at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to the 155th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Spring is such a wonderful time for photography! I have been photographing wildlife in the California's Sierra foothills. With green rolling hills, fields of yellow, purple, and white wildflowers, live oak trees, rushing streams, and lichen-covered boulders... can you imagine a more beautiful backdrop?

It's been quite an experience photographing mountain lion kittens, a grizzly bear cub, howling wolves, and other Triple "D" Game Farm animals amid these awe-inspiring settings. Not to mention the colorful horses and cowboys we photographed on our "Day on the Ranch". After I return from this Combo Workshop, I will share some of my adventures - and photos, of course - with the BetterPhoto community!

In the meantime, good news for contest-goers! The finalists in the March contest have been posted for everyone’s viewing enjoyment at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=3263

I also want to encourage any stragglers ... the latest session of photo courses is off to a great start but it is not too late to enroll. If you haven't joined in yet, however, there's still time to sign up - see the details below.

Lastly, I wanted to bring BetterPhoto's great photo galleries to your attention. To this end, SnapShot begins a new feature this week spotlighting one of our galleries. The first Featured Gallery, below, highlights one of the most colorful subjects around: Tulips.

Enjoy this week of photo fun!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Curves, Chrome, and Colors: Photographing Car Shows
Although BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager says he isn't a die-hard car show buff, he certainly enjoys photographing the wonderful array of glistening custom vehicles and shimmering restored classics. For his ongoing project, Kerry avoids the big views; instead, he works on a smaller canvas ... by zeroing in on sensual curves, cool lines, gleaming chrome, bold colors, and mirrored reflections. For shooting tips and thoughts, check out Kerry's "Photographing Car Shows" article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=8


*****
It's Not Too Late to Sign Up for a Photo Course!
Still kicking yourself for waiting too long? Don't fret, because there is still time to join an online photography course. Although the first lessons have already been sent out, the assignments from them are not due until April 18. If you sign up today, we can send you the first lesson pronto, and you will have plenty of time to do the first assignment. Choose from the available photo courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


*****
Tony Sweet on Designing Superior Images
In his online courses, photographer-author Tony Sweet will get you to think outside of the box, expand your artistic side, extend your vision, and put you on the path to creating more striking imagery. Tony's eight-week "Image Design - Revealing Your Personal Vision" course will take you from the basic building blocks of image design to "photo impressionism." To enroll, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS01.asp

Also check out Tony's 12-week Course Extension at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS03.asp

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTO LINKS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Featured Gallery: Shots of Tulips
BetterPhoto features an impressive array of galleries, made up of images from BetterPhoto members and instructors. One of them, "Pictures of Tulips," covers everything from colorful landscapes to captivating close-ups. In some tulip shots, "props" - such as hands and bicycles - were put to creative use. In a few cases, photographers even proved that these wonderful subjects look great in black and white too. For inspiration and shooting ideas, find the gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=502

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last week, we asked:
Which famous British actor enjoys photography and shoots with a Nikon? What was the first camera he owned, bought for him by his grandfather, himself a famous "Fleet Street photographer"?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Karen is:
David Suchet, otherwise known as Hercule Poirot in the Agatha Christie mystery series. His grandfather James Jarché gave him a Brownie Box camera.

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 - Poetic Ode - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

An English poem describes the process of making a photograph as "mystic, awful" - who is the poet?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cleaning Slides Before Scanning - A Tip by Bob Cammarata
Before scanning 35mm transparencies, dirt and other foreign objects can be easily removed by gently brushing both sides of the slide with a dry Q-Tip. Wipe the slide in one direction (toward the darkest part of the image), then give each side a blast with a can of compressed air. Avoid using a lens brush to clean slides. The bristles will hold contaminants, and the brushing action magnetizes the film, causing the particles to jump and adhere to the slide.

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

back to top


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


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEW QUESTION 1: Starting My Own Business
Hi. I live in Dubai. It is a glamourous city, and there is a lot of opportunity here in the field of product/glamour photography. I have little calibre in this regard, and wish to get help from someone else to guide me. How can I find the market - and, for clients, whom should I approach to show my work? Furthermore, I can arrange models of all age, as well as a studio.
- aftab hussein

ANSWER 1:
You can build up a portfolio of product shots just by buying things from a store and shooting them as if you were doing an ad. Then you can solicit clients with the photos you have.
- 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=9047

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9047

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: How to Overexpose or Underexpose
Can you tell me if I'm on the right track with this exposure? If I meter a scene at, say, 125 at f8 ... to overexpose would I then change manually to 60 at f8? Or do I have to change the f-stop instead? I'm really confused. Please help, thanks.
- Frank Goodin

ANSWER 1:
Actually, there are several answers: The way you describe it in your message is completely accurate. If you meter a 1/125 at f8 and then change your shutter speed to 1/60, you will let one more stop worth of light in (1/60 is longer than 1/125 - so more light). This would result in an overexposure. If you wanted to underexpose, you could change your shutter speed to 1/250, which is faster than 1/125 and would let one stop less worth of light in. Saying all that, you could do the same thing with your f-stop. Keeping your shutter speed at 1/125 and changing your f-stop to f11, you would let one stop less light into the lens (underexposing), or taking it to f5.6, you would let one stop more light in (overexposing). I hope that helps.
- John Wright

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9040

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9040

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Making the Move to Medium Format
I want to move to medium format. I like the idea of 6x4.5 and 6x7 aspect ratios for composition and reproduction. Because of the ratios, these cameras are in higher demand and thus more expensive than the 6x6 by respective brands. Is it wise to go ahead and get the 6x6 and compose by imagining the ratios through the viewfinder? Are there 6x6 ones with imprinted ratio lines? Or should I go with the 6x4.5/6x7 types?
- Robert M. Dutton

ANSWER 1:
It depends on WHY you're taking the photograph. If you plan on getting published with full page or cover spreads, magazine art directors prefer the 6x4.5 because there'd be less cropping. The 6x6 and 6x7 formats are more square and would have to be cropped quite a bit.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 2:
The main reason I want to move to MF is for portraiture. Both studio and weddings inside and out. I am really leaning towards the ETRSi because of its value per $. If I had indispensable funds I would run out and get a Mamiya AFD - I have held one before ... sexy! I'm really not concerned with the bulkiness.
- Robert M. Dutton

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9034

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9034

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Digital Depth of Field Problem
I recently purchased a Canon G5. I love the camera but have a question concerning depth of field. With film, when shooting at a wide open setting like F1.8, the focused area is sharp but blurred behind and in front of the object. With the G5 set a F2.0, I'm getting clarity behind and in front with little difference between F2.0 or F5.6. What am I doing wrong? Should I use the macro setting even in a more general setting where I want a blurred background?
- Bob McCook

ANSWER 1:
It's not you. It's because of the shorter focal-length lenses and the smaller image size of the digital cameras. While the G5's zoom lens gives the view of a 35mm-140mm in a 35mm camera, its actual focal length is only 7.2mm-28.8mm, so it is going to have the deep depth of field one would expect from extreme wide-angle lenses. With a 35mm film camera and a 50mm lens at f/2 focused at 6 feet, the depth of field is about 5 inches. With the equivalent view using the G5, the lens would be at about 12mm f/2 and depth of field will be about 2 feet. The most you can do to get shallow DOF is to get closer to your subject and put more distance between your subject and the background.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9028

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9028

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: How to View Slides Properly
I have just started using slide film. But when I saw the result after shooting two rolls, the slides look dark if I hold them normally (I mean without any background light). And they look very beautiful and represent original colour that I had seen while shooting, if I look at them with a background light source. I am not understanding whether I have made any mistake in shooting - if the photos are underexposed etc. Please help, and guide me for slide shooting.
- Swapnali Mathkar

ANSWER 1:
Slides are meant to be viewed with a light source behind them - either on a light table, with a small hand-held viewer, or projected.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9026

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9026

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Slave Flash Problem Maybe Solved?
So, I went to the camera store today and I described my issue: shadow outside on the face of subjects. He said to just use flash. I told him I did. Then he said that I don't know the secret then. He said that if I use Fuji NPH 400, I should shoot at 250 and then set my flash about 2/3 of a stop down. That will completely eliminate the shadow. Then, if I want a little shadow, increase the stop maybe 1/3 or so. Does this make any sense to anyone?
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
I'm not sure I understand your problem, so I'm not sure if what you were told will solve it, but it does make sense. If you originally used ISO 100 or 200 film, then changing to 400 will give +2 or +1 stop greater exposure to the ambient light background, and the flash output will be less. That would lessen the shadow from the flash. If you rate that 400 speed film at ISO 250 (+2/3 stop), you'll get an additional +2/3 stop exposure to the ambient background if the camera slows the shutter speed and/or opens the aperture by 2/3 stop (say from f/5.6 to f/4.5). If you do this and your flash is TTL then you have to set -2/3 flash exposure compensation on the flash to keep the flash from overexposing. If you have a non-dedicated flash then just leave it set for ISO 400.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
No. The shadow on the face was caused by the sun. I was using fill flash to try to get rid of that. The guy at the camera store said that the reason was I was using ISO 400 at ISO 400. He said you can virtually eliminate shadows by rating the 400 at 250. Then shooting the fill flash 2/3 stop less than that. I was wondering why I don't just increase the flash burst instead of going through all that. I'm not sure that what he said is correct. I am going to perform some controlled experiments. After this, I have a book that talks a little about this too. The book talks about doing experiments to find your true exposure rating. So, I guess the ratings on film are just a guideline. My question relating to that is if I shoot ISO 400 film at 250, do I tell the lab to process it at 250, or do I just let them process normally?
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
If it is print film, then just process normally. Print film has a wide exposure latitude; rating 400 film at 250 is the same as +2/3 exposure compensation. This will add detail to shadows, but it's not enough to worry about blowing out highlights. It doesn't hurt to experiment, but I'd be inclined to simply do as you suggested - add flash exposure compensation ("increase the flash burst").
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9023

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9023

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: How to Take Portraits with Fill Flash
Why am I having a problem with inconsistent background exposure when using fill flash? Sometimes when I do portraits in the evening the background comes out much darker than it really is. How can I correct the problem? I am using program mode.
- Tammy L. Odell

See Tammy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Is this with the sun behind the subject? It might be because sometimes you're closer to the subject so it takes up more of the frame, so what the camera reads as how much it needs to fill with flash is different than when you have more area of the frame filled with the background. Or it could be because you have the sun in the frame sometimes. If your subject is a backlit person, you could try aperture priority or shutter priority, just as long as the shutter speed ends up being the same as the sync speed. Then use exposure compensation at +1 with flash compensation at -1 and see how that works. There's a more precise way with using a flash on manual and a flash meter, but you may not have one or want to go out and buy one.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for your response Gregory! It is not a backlit subject, it is an overcast sky, but also late afternoon. I can't remember exactly how close I was to my subject, but pretty close to the same range as all the other pictures, and some had great background exposure.
- Tammy L. Odell

See Tammy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Also, should I buy a diffuser of some kind like the ones that fit like a box over my flash, or just use the exposure compensation? Thanks so much for the advice, it helps me a great deal.
- Tammy L. Odell

See Tammy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
See if you are on center-weighted metering, and try evaluative. Look at the negative and see if your subject is overexposed; that will give you a clue as to whether the flash got messed up by the background. Instead of depending on program, try to use aperture or shutter priority modes more. Or at least pay more attention to what the settings are that the camera is choosing. Cameras still get fooled by the same things. ... A diffuser can make the light more appealing, but you won't be able to have the camera or flash sensor determine what settings for you. You have to become more familiar with power settings according to distance, as well as ambient light levels through some experimentations. But diffused light as a fill looks better than a straight light, given the same exposure values. You don't have to have a soft box, but they can be useful.
- 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=9022

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9022

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: 35mm SLR Vs. Other 35mm Cameras
What are the differences between a 35mm SLR and the rest of the 35mm family?
- Marti Tyrrell

ANSWER 1:
SLR is an acronym for Single Lens Reflex. This means the image is viewed through a single lens, bounced around a pentaprism and then out the eyepiece/viewfinder. When the shutter button is pressed, a mirror in the pentaprism lifts upward and out of the way, which allows the image to be projected onto the film after the shutter opens. After the correct amount of time has expired, the shutter closes and the mirror returns to its down position, thus allowing you to view through the lens again. Another way of saying this is TTL ...Through The Lens. Most modern 35mm SLR cameras offer TTL metering, which is convenient.

A "rangefinder" is a camera in which the viewfinder does not allow viewing through the lens but rather off to one side of the lens. Rangefinders do not offer TTL metering but are quieter, less bulky, and have less camera shake. This is because a pentaprism isn't needed, and there isn't a mirror to "slap" the camera every time the shutter button is pressed.

A good portion (but not all) of medium format cameras are SLR's. It's just that they're a larger format than 35mm. They also come as TLR (twin lens reflex) cameras in which there are actually two lenses mounted to the camera ... one for viewing the subject and the other where the subject is projected through and onto the film when the shutter is released. Most of the smaller and pocketable point and shoot (PnS) cameras are rangefinders ... that's for both film and digital cameras.

The information I provided is very basic. There are other differences specific to the camera that I didn't bother to cover. If you're in the market for a camera, you should determine what kind of photography you're going to get into before you decide which camera you get.
- Terry L. Long

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9003

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9003

back to top

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: How to Blur the Background
I am really wanting to shoot something with a blurred background. I've seen others do it, and it looks really neat. I thought I read my manual on "how to," but whatever it was I did was not right - go figure. So ultimately my question is: How do I focus on my subject, but blur the background???
- Lee Anne Pentz

ANSWER 1:
The wider the aperture, the more blur to the background. And the longer the focal length, the more blur to the background. Thus, f/2.8 has more blur than f/8. And a 200mm has more blur than a 28mm.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
In addition Gregory's suggestions, you also get less depth of field (more background blur) the closer you get to your subject.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 3:
Building up on Jon's response: The wider the distance between your subject and the background (which you intend to blur), the more it will be blurred. So, the three variables are: a) longer focal length; b) wider aperture; c) greater distance between the subject and background.
- Dev Mukherjee

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8971

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8971

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: My Lens Moves Around in the Mount
Is it common for a lens to "move around" in the lens mount a small amount? This only seems to happen with my 28-80 Sigma lens in my Canon EOS Rebel GII and doesn't with my Sigma 70-300 lens.
- Jordan

ANSWER 1:
I noticed this once with one of my Nikons, and found out that the lens mount on the camera body was loose. I tightened the screws that attach it, and fixed the problem. Maybe the mount on your 28-80 has a few loose screws.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I have a Canon Elan 7e. My Sigma 135-400 does have a slight amount of wiggle if I twist it, while my Canon 28-135 does not. I'm guessing it's simply a tolerance issue with a third party making the lens. I'm sure they could tighten it up, but for the money saved over a similar Canon lens, I'm extremely happy with the performance.
- Steve

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8964

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8964

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 3: Slide Film in the Studio
I am going to shoot a model for my project. I have planned to shoot her with Fuji Provia reversal film. This is the first time I am taking photos with reversal film. So what are the techiniqes I can use with reversal film in the studio? What are the limitations? And another question: I want to do cross-processing ... What are the steps I have to do for that?
- Vamshi P. Haran

ANSWER 1:
Hello, Vamshi. If you want to cross-process, you have to cross-process the entire roll. Here's how I do it: Let's say I have Provia 100. I will manually set my camera's ISO at 50. I will shoot as I would normally. When I take the film to the lab, I tell them the settings I used (shot at 50), and then I ask them to process in C-41 chemistry. You will get great results. The colors turn out very saturated. It's a great way get a different look. I have some stuff like that, and people really like it a lot.
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
You might also want to use a blue filter over the lens. Provia, I believe, is balanced for daylight, and the studio hot lights need tungsten-balanced film. If you're using strobes, this doesn't matter. Cross-processing, of course, messes a bit with color, but that's obviously the look you're going for ... you just don't want to have to deal with the orange hues on top of it.
- Sreedevi Kashi

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8927

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8927

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 4: Digital Cameras and Low Light
I have used only film. I tend to shoot a lot of shots with minimal light (i.e., a quarter of an hour before actual sunrise and also past sunset) - big-scene shots so I don't use flash. How do digital cameras perform in the twilight zone? What should I look out for, as I am thinking of buying a digital camera, but am not throwing out the old camera just yet. Of course, I take many other shots with normal light, but I do enjoy the subtle colours of pre-dawn and post-sunset. Thanks.
- Joe Terni

ANSWER 1:
How long of an exposure do you want to have? Some digital cameras, notably the Canon 10D, have very low noise, even at a fairly high ISO speed (you can go up to 800 if you process the image with some tool like NeatImage or Noise Ninja later). Even 1600 is usable, although noticeably noisy. However, for very long exposures (several minutes and more) you have to deal with another problem, the heat glow: the amplifier circuit will heat the sensor from one side and result in a reddish glow that creeps from the edge of the frame as you increase the exposure. It's less of a problem in cold weather, for obvious reasons.
- Fedor G. Pikus

See Fedor's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Fedor. I should have been more specific. I am not really looking at the long exposure shots (but the info you gave will be beneficial for me as well as I will be doing some longer exposure shots in the future). What I am trying to ask is how do the digitals perform say at the limit of hand-held film cameras - say, at 1/60th sec with ASA film of 200 or 400? I tend to take a lot of just pre- dawn shots at that setting or until the sun is above the horizon where I have more light. I try and avoid a tripod and wait till I have enough light, albeit minimal. Please forgive me if I am asking a seemingly basic question, but I really know nothing at all about digitals. Thanks for that info on the longer exposures with digitals.
- Joe Terni

ANSWER 3:
As far as hand-holding, it's the same as for film cameras, as long as the body is comfortable for you. So what you are really asking is, how usable is ISO 400 on a digital camera? That depends on the camera very much, since noise levels vary greatly. When you read reviews of cameras, noise is what you should be looking for to evaluate camera's fitness for your needs. The Canon 10D and Digital Rebel both have low noise, as well as the new Nikon D70, which competes with the Digital Rebel.
- Fedor G. Pikus

See Fedor's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
The general rule for hand holding is 1 over the 35mm equivalence of the focal length of the lens. "Film" speed is not a factor. For example: Typically the slowest shutter speed acceptable for hand-held use for a 60mm lens would be 1/60. However, depending on the camera and person, you can go to much slower shutter speeds. I have taken 2-plus-second hand-held exposures with a 135mm lens on my SLR, but for my lightweight digital, I am almost limited to the rule. You will need to do some experimentation too to figure out the best way to hold and brace the camera, as well as the maximum time for each part of the zoom range.
- Joe

ANSWER 5:
Joe, I think you will discover that quality digital cameras excel in capturing low light images. As stated above, hand holding for low light shots is just as much a problem for digital as for film cameras. My advice is to use a tripod and shoot at lower ISO's to get cleaner, sharper images. I shoot with a tripod most of the time - regardless of the light - because I don't want to enlarge a good image only to find that it is slightly blurred due to camera movement. As far as low-light image quality, I have a couple of midnight thunderstorm images posted to my gallery (captured with my Olympus E-20) that were 30-sec exposures - my camera actually recorded colors that I don't believe film would have. If you enjoy low light photography, you'll love digital.
- Greg McCroskery

See Greg's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 6:
Thanks, Greg, I have and still do take a fair amount of low-light pictures. I have tripods, but many times do not have one along when a good opportunity arises. The mass of my film SLR was such that it allowed for 2-or-more-second hand-held exposures. I have found that point and shoot cameras need to follow the rule I mentioned above because they tend to be lightweight. In fact, the pressure of pushing the button is enough to jiggle the camera. I have an 11X14 photo on my wall that was taken at night without a tripod. It is very clear. Camera mass has its benefits. :-) One reason the digital will work better is the white balance feature. I have been able to get much more accurate colors in low light using digital. In low light I usually like using the appropriate settings instead of auto.
- Joe

ANSWER 7:
Joe, I'm impressed by your ability to hand-hold to 2 seconds! I have never been comfortable with long exposures without support. Care to share any secrets?
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 8:
Wow, the only lens I can hand-hold over 1 second is the Canon 70-200 L IS, and that's only because the IS on this lens is amazing.
- Fedor G. Pikus

See Fedor's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 9:
I have been able to do it with my K1000, but that is because it is heavy. Just hold your breath, relax and slowly squeeze the shutter. Do not move until you can see through the lens again. Leaning against something helps too. I have not been able to be anywhere near as steady with my digital camera.
- Joe

ANSWER 10:
Many thanks to Fedor, Joe, Greg and Bob for giving me the info on my question. So I should get just as good or even better results with a low-noise digital. And the digital still has the same constraints as a film camera when hand-held at less than 1/60th sec. (I seem to remember taking about a sec exposure, but leaning up against the car for support with the old Canon FTB). Yes, I should get myself a tripod and use a lower setting. I know which way to head now in finding an appropriate digital for my early-morning twilight shots, and post-sunset shots. Thanks again to you all, and in a couple of months I hope to be posting photos on BP, taken with my first digital.
- Joe Terni

ANSWER 11:
Joe - I just saw this thread in the newsletter and wanted to add my 2 cents. Digital is fine for night and low light shots - my D60 performs very well, and I do lots of reasonably long night exposures with it. It is also great at twilight, and because you can process RAW images with varying exposures in PS, you don't always have to have a graduated ND filter if you have big contrast between sky and foreground. I am not as happy with the digital for some sunrises/sunsets, however. I have some incredible sunrises/sunsets I did with film - Kodak Ektachrome 100VS and Fuji Velvia 50. My digital ones can be disappointing when the sun is in the image - the sun tends to become a big white ball rather than what the scene shows.
- Sharon E. Lowe

See Sharon's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit photosbysharon.com - Sharon's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 12:
Hi Sharon. Film does have a greater range than digital, and I do believe film will work better for sunsets. I have a lot of good sunset photos with film but have yet to get it down with digital. One thing that my Kodak DX6490 does that makes it better than my K1000 for most low light shots is that the EVF and LCD are not only brighter than my K1000 screen, but also brighter than what can be seen with the naked eye!
- Joe

ANSWER 13:
Thanks for your reply, Sharon. I have just looked at your Premium BetterPholio™ and have little doubt now about the ability of digitals in low light or night shots (you have some wonderful shots there). So with the comments of the other members and yourself, I now feel confident to move over to digital for my early morning shots.
- Joe Terni

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=8863

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=8863

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ask a question or answer a few from your fellow photographers:
http://www.betterphoto.com/qnaTOC.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
READ PAST ISSUES OF THE SNAPSHOT NEWSLETTER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read previous issues of SnapShot in the BetterPhoto archives:
http://www.betterphoto.com/snapshots.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SIGN UP TO PHOTOFLASH AND THE DIGITAL PICTURE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join the fun and master the arts of traditional or digital photography! Participate or follow along as we discuss topics & lessons, practice assignments, and offer feedback on each others' work. Subscribe to our other two free newsletters - PhotoFlash and the Digital Darkroom - at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Get word of your product or service out to our rapidly growing list of 28438 subscribers.

Learn more about advertising in SnapShot at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/g/advertise.asp

Until next week, happy shooting!

Thank you,
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto.com

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

If you would rather not receive SnapShot, you may unsubscribe at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeun.asp?e=

To change your email address, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeCOA.asp?e=

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 2005 BetterPhoto.com - All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.

Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.