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 - Monday, May 10, 2004
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: Better Books at BetterPhoto
* BETTERPHOTO: Article: Fences Definitely Not a Barrier to Creativity
* FEATURED GALLERY: Getting A Line on Graphic Design
* FEATURED PLACE: Taking a Photographic Bite Out of the Big Apple
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Che Guevara Photo / It's a Living
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: More on Avoiding Vignetting ... By Bill Lewis
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Slight Scratches on Negative
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: What's A Good Camera for a Home Studio?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Photos Depicting Star Trails
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Of Gray Cards and Spot Metering
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: A Narrow Depth of Field ... At f/22?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Flash Attachments for 35mm
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Where Do I Get My Pictures Developed?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Capturing Candle Light
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: How to Shoot Waterfalls
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Which Brand of Lenses Is Better?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Best Lens for Shooting Soccer
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: What Does the DOF Preview Button do?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: Shelf Life of Smart-Media, Compact Flash Cards


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

Better Books at BetterPhoto
Some terrific resources on photography are available at the BetterPhoto Store! Authored by BetterPhoto instructors, these books make perfect companions to our online photography courses. Each book is also autographed by the author. For instance, check out titles by Jim Zuckerman, Brenda Tharp, Kathleen T. Carr, Bryan F. Peterson, Vik Orenstein, Tony Sweet, George Schaub, Jim Miotke, and Kerry Drager. Check it all out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/store.asp


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

Welcome to the 159th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Lots of things of interest in this week's SnapShot! Once again, BetterPhoto members have jumped in with some great questions - and enlightening answers - on subjects ranging from waterfalls to star trails. Also, instructor Kerry Drager shares his tips on working with fences as graphic design elements.

Of course, you won't want to miss our regular "features." Featured Gallery, for instance, spotlights lines and how they can be used to artistic advantage. Featured Place focuses on a few of the ways in which BetterPhoto shooters have brought New York to life. In Photo Trivia, read the story behind the famous photograph of a revolutionary leader. And This Week's Tip shares yet another way to avoid those "dreaded dark corners"!

The spring session of online courses is rolling right along, but the summer session is not far behind. Already, some classes are either full or filling up fast. BetterPhoto's course schedule is an extensive - and exciting - one, but if you'd like help in the selection process, be sure to review our Course Categories page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

That's it for now. Enjoy this week of photo fun!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Article: Fences Definitely Not a Barrier to Creativity
Wooden fences offer a surprising array of visual possibilities. Black and white or in full color, says instructor Kerry Drager, a fence can serve as a photo's star attraction - or it can make an important member of a picture's supporting "cast" of elements. Besides a variety of compositional and lighting options, fences also make great year-round subjects. For all the details, check out Kerry's how-to article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=15

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FEATURED GALLERY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Getting A Line on Graphic Design
A strong graphic design element used by many BetterPhoto photographers involves lines. These come in the form of diagonals, curves, and angles, and can be found in all sorts of scenes. Sometimes lines lead the eye to the photo's main subject. Other times they combine for a striking pattern. In still other situations, they form an abstract. For ideas and inspiration, check out the "Line Photographs" gallery to see how BetterPhoto members and instructors have put them to creative use:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=361

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FEATURED PLACE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Taking a Photographic Bite Out of the Big Apple
In one of the world's most picturesque cities, BetterPhoto shooters have proved that New York City's photo potential extends far beyond its spectacular skyline. They have focused on everything from Brooklyn Bridge to fireworks displays. BetterPhoto members also have caught the more intimate side of the Big Apple through neighborhood storefronts, people shots, and street scenes. Beyond NYC, the state of New York offers even more picture possibilities. For ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "New York Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=432

back to top


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

Last week, we asked:
There's an ultra-famous photo of Che Guevara, where he's looking at the horizon wearing his famous beret with a star, reproduced in cards, T-shirts, and what-not. Who took the shot?


The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Enrique Gonzalez is:
Alberto Korda was the Cuban photographer who took the famous photograph of Che Guevara. The Maryland Institute of Art called Korda's photo "the most famous photograph in the world and a symbol of the 20th century." Korda snapped the picture of the revolutionary leader in March 1960 at a funeral service for 136 Cubans killed during a counterrevolutionary terrorist attack. Guevara briefly stepped forward onto the memorial service podium ... and in that split second, Korda captured this historic image. The photograph remained unpublished until some 7 years later, when the artist gave a print to an Italian journalist. Upon Che's death, the print was published as a poster in Italy ... and from then on the image quickly made its way around the world, appearing on murals, flags, buttons, and album covers. Despite the countless ways in which Korda's image was marketed he never received a single penny in royalties. Despite the countless ways in which Korda's image was marketed, he never received a single penny in royalties.

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 - It's a Living - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

What magazine does Clint Eastwood's character work for in The Bridges of Madison County?

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

back to top


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

More on Avoiding Vignetting ... By Bill Lewis
Last week's tip had a lot of great information (see SnapShot #158), but there is another method that will avoid the dreaded dark corners. Use a step-up ring to move up in filter size. The step-up ring is inexpensive. You can use the same size on all of your lenses in order to have only one filter size, and the larger filter will not vignette even with stacked filters.

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: Slight Scratches on Negative
Hello. I just got back a roll of 35mm C-41 black and white Kodak film, and there are some faint scratches on the negatives. There was one picture I really liked and wanted to get enlarged to around 11x14. Do you think the scratches will show on the print? Thanks in advance.
- Jordan

ANSWER 1:
The scratch probably will show on a print. It may have been caused by a piece of grit in your camera or by sloppy film handling at the lab. There's a solution for you. Find a store or an individual with a film scanner. The scanning softwares usually have a dust and scratch fix algorithm (Digital ICE being a common one). It clones pixels over the areas it detects as not belonging. Scanned at about 4000 pixels per inch, you can get an 11 by 14.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9437

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9437

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: What's A Good Camera for a Home Studio?
What camera would work to start a home-based studio? I'm considering a good 35mm or maybe a medium format ... don't know which direction to go! I've looked at the Nikon FM3A, Nikon F100, Nikon F-5, and the Bronica ETRSi. Which would be the best choice cost-wise and quality-wise? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
- Gina

ANSWER 1:
It depends on what you want to do. 35mm is good. Medium format is better. But, again, it depends. If your work will strictly be studio work, then I'd probably go MF. If you will be hand-holding your camera mostly, I'd go 35mm. I mostly do weddings and some portrait work (actually, I do anything that pays)! For weddings, I use 35mm exclusively due to my style of shooting and the speed at which I feel I need to be able to react. I shoot very few posed shots, mostly photojournalistic style, which is lucky because that happens to be "in" right now. For most of my portrait work, I use MF. The only exception to that is kid portraits. MF is not very good for kids. 35mm is the only way I can be quick enough and flexible enough to capture moments as they occur. Kids rarely do what you or their parents ask them to do.

Don't forget to also research digital. It can replace MF, as far as the size of prints you can achieve, but it handles like a 35mm SLR. All the major camera manufacturers make them. They are worth consideration.

I can tell you that in Southern California, 99% of the clients who call me want film. So, that really tells me something - which is one reason I have not yet invested a lot in digital technology. That isn't to say that I'm not always looking and thinking about it though.
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thank you for responding. What I'm looking to do is mostly family and children's portraits in the studio. Can I get a quality print from the Canon EOS-1v 35mm? How about the Olympus E-1 digital? I don't know which way to turn. Thanks for any help.
- Gina

ANSWER 3:
For family shots, you can use medium format, 35mm, or digital. For children shots, my preference is 35mm or digital. MF is just too clunky for children, IMHO.

Digital is great for children for a few reasons. One is, if you have a difficult kid, you can just shoot your finger off until you get a few good ones, without having to burn through film. That's something to think about. I have two EOS 1V's and love them. I get superb results. In fact, the meter in those cameras is amazingly accurate. But you still have to use a hand-held meter for studio work. I can talk about the Olympus E-1. But, I like digital for certain things.
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
For family shots, you can use MF, 35mm, or digital. For children shots, my preference is 35mm or digital. MF is just to clunky for children, IMHO.

Digital is great for children for a few reasons. One is, if you have a difficult kid, you can just shoot your finger off until you get a few good ones, without having to burn through film. That's something to think about.

I have two EOS 1V's and love them. I get superb results. In fact, the meter in those cameras is amazingly accurate. But, you still have to use a hand-held meter for studio work.

I cannot talk about the Olympus E-1. But, I like digital for certain things.

Here are some EOS 1V examples. The internet doesn't do them justice, but here they are.

Just go with what you know and start from there. If you are familiar with 35mm, but not digital or MF, then go with 35mm. Don't worry about what others are doing. You are always best to do YOUR thing!

Jerry
- Jerry Frazier

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Untitled:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=387583

See Sample Photo - Untitled:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=387582

See Sample Photo - Untitled:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=387581

See Sample Photo - Thergie:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=387580

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9434

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9434

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Photos Depicting Star Trails
For those of you - Peter and others - who have made the infamous star streak photos, what was your set-up like? Exposure time? Set-up? As for your location, how dark was it? How did you see in total darkness? Did you use any flash? At what time in your exposure?
- James Boone

ANSWER 1:
James: You mean long exposures at night (e.g. 20 minutes) of the sky, including stars? The stars are not pinpoints of light in such images, but rendered as streaks of light. The longer the exposure, the longer the streaks ("star trails"). Stars may not move but Earth does, during your long exposure. You cannot use flash in such photography. Exposure times are a guesstimate based on experience, or suggestions found in articles such as:
http://www.danheller.com/star-trails.html

Search for other articles using www.google.ca and the keywords Night photography star trails. Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9420

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9420

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Of Gray Cards and Spot Metering
When using a grey card - provided I have a built-in spot meter - do I spot meter the grey card then recompose? All the while keeping the spot meter button held down? Should you bracket any time with a grey card? It's just not easy holding these buttons down while you're composing, focusing, etc. Also, if I were to select from my honeycomb pattern a different area of focus, would this not eliminate the need for a grey card? Thanks for your help.
- James Boone

ANSWER 1:
I'm not sure what camera you've got, and I'm a little confused by what you mean by "keeping the spot meter button held down." I'll give it try, though. With my 35mm system, I use my spot meter 99% of the time. Also, if possible, I use my 18% grey card. Here's what I do: Using a tripod (99.999...% of the time), I compose my scene. If I'm standing in the same lighting as my scene I'll hold my card in front of the lens and meter the card. I then set my meter to read correctly. At this point, I'm finished metering and I've already got the scene composed, so I take the shot. Also, since I use transparency film, I'll bracket in 1/3 stops in either direction. With my digital camera, which doesn't have a spot meter, I do the same steps as above - but I hold the card close enough to fill the entire frame. So, it doesn't matter what type of metering is set on the camera, it'll just read the card and act as if I'm using a spot meter. I follow the same steps after that point. I have a "kicker" for you, though: My card isn't grey ... it's 18% green (or medium green). The reason I use green is because I mainly shoot scenics, which usually have green in them. So, if I'm not standing in the same lighting as the scene (shadows), then I look for some green in the scene that pretty well matches the green card. Then I spot meter that area and set my meter accordingly.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 2:
By "keeping to spot metering button held down", while re-composing, it appears that you are attempting to use the auto-exposure capabilities of your camera ... along with the gray card. I can see how this would be a bit cumbersome. Try setting the exposure system to full manual (if your camera has this function), and follow the advice Terry offered to meter the card and set the exposure. The benefit of using a gray card is that it allows you to get an average of all the reflected light values within the scene. As mentioned earlier, the light hitting the card MUST be the same as the scene you are shooting.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
James: My two cents worth. Yes, you can spot meter the card - in the same light as your most important subject. Then, hold the AE Lock button while you recompose so the exposure settings do not change. Or use the camera's Manual mode. Spot meter and adjust aperture/shutter speed until the metering indicator shows that you will get a correct exposure for the gray card. The only advantage is, you can then keep shooting at those same settings without holding a button.

Note: Ignore any warning of incorrect exposure when you recompose. The exposure will be correct for the card and that is what you want.

The most effective way is this - using Manual mode. Set the card up in the scene at the distance that you want to focus. Take the meter reading, make the correct aperture and shutter speed settings. Put the camera down, remove the gray card from the scene. Shoot all the images that you want - as long as the light does not change.

You can do the same with Honeycomb pattern metering. But if you fill the frame with the gray card, the exposure should be the same as with spot metering.

Also, your question: "If I were to select from my Honeycomb pattern a different area of focus, would this not eliminate the need for a grey card?" My answer: No. If you are absolutely insistent on the most accurate exposure, use the gray card instead. And yes, when using the card, bracket in 0.5 step increments to be absolutely sure of a perfect exposure. Personally, I would just use Honeycomb metering, and set AE Bracketing and forget about the gray card. This meter is quite reliable. Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9419

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9419

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: A Narrow Depth of Field ... At f/22?
Peter or others: I think I know this answer but want to double-check. Why is it that f/22 - which normally gives a large DOF - results in a blurred background when used on macro for smaller objects? Does this make any sense?
- James Boone

ANSWER 1:
Depth of field is determined by a mathematical function of lens focal length, aperture, focused distance, and diameter of acceptable circle of confusion (which itself is dependent on the image size on film/sensor and final viewing size). Generally, DoF shrinks as the focused distance decreases. So, at very close macro focus, the DoF is very shallow, even if the aperture is very small.

The formula is
DoF = D(far) - D(near)
D(far) = d*f^2/[f^2 - A*C*(d-f)]
D(near) = d*f^2/[f^2 + A*C*(d-f)]
where
d = focused distance
f = focal length
A = aperture (eg. 5.6 for f/5.6)
C = diameter of the maximum circle of confusion, typically 0.025mm for 35mm film use.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Jon is one of the most knowledgeable people on this Q&A forum and his reply is perfect!!

But the simple answer is: Any small aperture (such as f/16 or f/22) provides more depth of field - a greater range of apparent sharp focus, in front of your subject, and behind it. (Of course, even at f/22, the depth of field may be a few centimeters in extreme close focusing: not much.)

Note: Most lenses do not provide optimal sharpness at f/22. (Due to diffraction, bending of light rays as they enter a miniscule opening/aperture.) Personally, I would use f/16 instead, and often do in macro nature photography.

P.S. At any small aperture, shutter speeds will be long - increasing the odds of unsharp images from camera shake or subject motion. Use a tripod and shoot when the breeze is not moving your subject. Or load an ISO 800 film to be sure of fast shutter speeds.
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9418

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9418

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Flash Attachments for 35mm
I hope someone can tell me the difference between dedicated and non-dedicated flash attachments. Also, what is a "hot shoe"? Thanks.
- Melissa J. Miller

See Melissa's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
The "shoe" for the flash is where the flash (aka speedlight) attaches to the camera, usually on top of the viewfinder pentaprism. A "hot shoe" is one with electronic contacts built in so that a separate electronic sync-cord is not needed. A non-dedicated flash can be used on most any camera. It needs only a simple shorting of the circuit to fire in sync with the camera's shutter. The flash exposure is controlled either manually (by selecting the flash power output and an aperture based on subject to flash distance) or automatically by a light sensor built into the flash. A dedicated speedlight is one that electronically communicates with the camera, and together they automate the flash exposure by setting the camera's shutter speed and aperture, and control the flash output based on through-the-lens (TTL) metering using an in-camera light sensor. These speedlights are designed and "dedicated" to a specific brand or line of camera because the function and communication differs by camera maker. A Canon speedlight cannot be used in automatic modes on a Minolta/Nikon/Pentax camera. Third party makers like Sunpak, Sigma, and Vivitar will make several versions of the same speedlight - one dedicated to Canon, one for Nikon, one for Minolta, and one for Pentax.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Concerning flashes, make sure the flash is compatible with the camera you choose. Some of the new model cameras are only compatible with their own brand of flash. When I bought my new Maxxum 5, I tried the entire Sunpak line, none worked. The Minolta 3600HS and 5600HS models are the only ones compatible with the Maxxum 5.
- Steve McCroskey

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9409

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9409

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Where Do I Get My Pictures Developed?
Just curious where the best place to take pictures to get developed. Thanks!
- Olivia A. Hurtado

See Olivia's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
In short ... a photo lab. Better yet, a lab where you can have face-to-face contact with the lab tech. If you can get to know the tech, then you'll have a more personalized service. I live in rural Nevada - 4 hrs. north of Vegas, 4 hrs. west of Salt Lake City, and 5 hrs east of Reno. There's no place around here that can do E-6 processing, so I have to mail my film out. But I've gotten to know the lab tech's via email and telephone (Hollywood, CA). I do enough business with them that they've taken the time out to get to know me and what I expect of their service. In a nutshell, get to know a lab in your area (if there is one), so they'll give you a "personalized" service. It'll take some time, but it's worth it. I have no idea where you live so I can't make any recommendations.
- Terry L. Long

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9401

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9401

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Capturing Candle Light
I have a Fuji S5000 Digital camera and would like to experiment shooting candle flames. I have them set up with some flowers, and at night with the lights off they are a pretty view. I'm a beginner (taking my first course now), so just a few simple things to get me off on the right track would be appreciated. Thanks.
- Gary M. Berger

See Gary's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Gary. I know the "look" you are seeking :-) A few pointers:
1. You are shooting digital, shots are FREE, so experiment, experiment, experiment!!!!
2. You WILL need a tripod (or at least some solid support for the camera).
3. FORGET auto anything, full manual.
4. Choose your lowest ISO for minimum noise (your flowers are not going anywhere).
5. Don't be scared of L-O-N-G exposure times (several seconds). [See 4 above.]
6. Use a remote shutter release (or the self-timer of the camera) to avoid movement.
7. Play with white-balance settings. If your camera has a RAW mode you can fiddle white balance in your PC later.
8. If you have a separate flash unit, try using it on minimum power (or behind several layers of tissue) to give some fill and catch lights on the vases.
9. Go back and read No. 1 again :-)

And finally.... post your results here. We all like to see experimental photographs, and we don't bite (usually). Enjoy.
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9382

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9382

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 9: How to Shoot Waterfalls
Last weekend, we went to a lovely park with waterfalls and photographed them. We tried different shutter speeds to try to get that awesome foamy look that great waterfall photos have. We were disappointed as we did not achieve that look. The waterfall was overexposed, and we were not able to get that nice foamy look. What can we do to achieve that look? We used a tripod and went down as far as 1/160 of second for the shutter speed. Do we need to go slower for shutter speed and adjust the aperture? Does this only work for a certain type of waterfall? If so, what kind? Fast, slow, tall, etc. ... How about the time of day, does that have an effect on it also?
- MaryAnn L. Oakland

ANSWER 1:
Go down to around 1/15. You need turbulence to get the effect. It usually looks better if it's an overcast day or if the water is in the shade.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
The thing to keep in mind when selecting a shutter speed is that the human eye (and brain) sees motion at 1/60 second. A waterfall shot at that speed will look much it does to the naked eye. Any setting longer than that will cause the water to blur. Obviously, the longer the exposure time, the more pronounced the effect will be. What Gregory said about cloudy days or shade is very important, as it allows for the longer exposure times without blowing out the highlights. A slow film or ASA setting will help also. At ASA 100, speeds of 1 full second or more are possible on cloudy days or in deep shade.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Better add that when I say go down to 1/15 of a second I mean correctly exposed at 1/15. Don't just put the shutter speed at that. You need an aperture that will give you 1/15, because I just noticed you said you overexposed at 160th. So you're about to really overexpose by just changing the shutter speed.
- 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=9377

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9377

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Which Brand of Lenses Is Better?
I'm wanting to buy a lens to shoot Little League baseball games. I'm thinking about a lens in the 100-300mm range. I've read mixed reviews about Sigma, Tamron, and Minolta. I have a Maxxum 5 and am wondering if I should stay with the Minolta brand or not. Which one of these three brands would be the best quality for the money?
- Candice Hughes

ANSWER 1:
Hello Candice. You're asking for the impossible. You've given three choices of "brands" and you'll probably get at least three different opinions on "which is the best". It's like asking, "Which is the best brand of car to buy?" or "Which is the best brand of clothes to buy?" I happen to own Canon 35mm equipment, but I've only got one Canon lens. I've got both Tokina and Sigma lenses, which are just fine. The reason I went with "off brand" lenses is affordability. I'd rather have the Canon lenses though. You'd probably have less compatibility problems with the Minolta lenses though. My Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens didn't work right with my Canon EOS 1N ... at first ... so I sent it back. The replacement I got works just fine. I don't think I would've had that problem if the lens was a Canon. Good luck with your choice.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 2:
It's like asking, "Which is the best brand of car to buy?" or "Which is the best brand of clothes to buy?" Amen.

My only comment is this: Some Sigma lenses are superb and very rugged, but avoid the low-end Sigma zooms. My Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM (a pro lens) has been working perfectly for five years now, but some friends had the cheap 70-300mm zooms and had some autofocus problems. I now use the smaller Canon 70-200mm f/4 most often, but usually because it's more portable.) Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9374

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9374

back to top

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Best Lens for Shooting Soccer
For sports photography, which lens would suit me best? I'm talking soccer, and forget price ... just tell me the best for my Canon EOS digital. I want clear, close shots for printing. If Sigma or Tamron makes such a lens, great, but I would prefer Canon.
- Nick Milton

ANSWER 1:
For soccer, your action could be across the field or close-in. Canon's digital SLR's, except for the 1DS, have a multiplication factor, so an 80-200 zoom becomes about a 125-305. This might just be your lens for this. The "L" lenses have the best optical characteristics and will have "IS" (Image Stabilization). I'd still use a monopod, if it were me.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I would say the 100-400 is lens from Canon, because the player is mostly far away from you and your equipment. I think the 80-200 is not enough for soccer. It's just a 300mm digital, and when the player is about 30 meters away you can't photograph close-ups.
- Wim Wilmers

ANSWER 3:
I do not use Canon, but I do use Nikon's 80-400 zoom for shooting both my daughter and granddaughter playing, and it depends on what league they are in and the size of the field. For my 11-year-old, they play a full field, and often I need the reach of the 400 and the ability to pull back and zoom when the action hits the sidelines.
- John L. Webb

ANSWER 4:
Sitting in the stands hand-held, or even from the sidelines with a monopod, your best option will be an image-stabilized lens. Sigma has an 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 EX OS (Optical Stabilized); otherwise your choices will be from Canon. Sharpest, fastest, heaviest and most expensive would be the EF 300 f/2.8L IS USM. This would also be the least convenient because of the weight and lack of zoom.

The EF 300 f/4L IS USM is much smaller, lighter, and less expensive, but still not as convenient as a zoom. The best zoom choices with IS then are the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, and the new EF 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM. The 70-200 is the most versatile of these with a big f/2.8 aperture for highest shutter speeds, but also very very good with the EF 1.4x and EF 2x extenders for longer telephoto at f/4 and f/5.6. While the 70-300 DO has a not-so-fast aperture, it has L lens sharpness at a fraction of the size and weight of the other options. Because of its small size and weigh,t the DO is probably the best option if you are shooting from crowded stands.

The economy option would be the EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM, but I personally would forego the IS feature at that point for the faster/silent ring-USM focusing and non-rotating front element of either the EF 70-200 f/4L USM or the EF 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM. Without IS, the Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD are also well-regarded consumer zooms (though each have rotating front elements).
- Jon Close

ANSWER 5:
Thanks guys. Great response as always. I'm using the 90-300 USM Canon at the moment,f4.5. But I'll probably see about the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. Or maybe just a 2x extender?? What are your thoughts on those? Thanks again.
- Nick Milton

ANSWER 6:
Nick: That Canon lens is very expensive. But yes, a 100-400mm or similar lens would be the best bet, even with a digital camera. (I would not recommend a teleconverter for your zoom lens: low quality and too much loss of light.) Why not check the prices of other brands too? For prices in Australia, check magazines such as Australian Photography for ads for mail order stores. Or check this Web site and you should be able to find some.
http://www.acecam.com/oceania1.html

Cheers! Peter Burian, Contributing Editor, Australian Photography magazine (but I live in Canada)
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9332

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9332

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: What Does the DOF Preview Button do?
Hi, Can I ask what the depth of field preview button does in a Nikon F80? How does it exactly help you? Sorry, I am a beginner in photography :/ Thanks!
- Daniel Kasenda

ANSWER 1:
It makes the lens close down to what the aperture is set at, so you can see what the depth of field looks like before taking the picture. The aperture affects the size of the area that appears in focus of a photograph, so if you needed to check to see where and what was falling within that area, you use the DOF preview to see it.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
There is a simple answer, and then there is a more complex answer. The simple answer is exactly what Gregory gave you. The more complex answer, hopefully, follows.

DoF preview is an extremely handy feature to have - IF you are doing either macro work or needing to make sure that EVERYTHING is as sharp as it can be from foreground to infinity ... as in a landscape. Lastly, DoF preview has myriad creative AND can help immensely in your focusing.

First thing it "does" is it darkens your viewfinder but that's simply because less light is available to the view screen. What you have to do is train your eye to look THROUGH the darkened screen so that you can see the effect different F/stops are having on your image. This takes time and practice. It sometimes helps to open up the lens all the way and then with the DoF button pushed in SLOWLY stop down. You need to look that both what is immediately in front of and immediately behind your point of focus. Doing this will help you see what parts of your subject are MORE in focus at a given F/stop than a different F/stop. Generally speaking, you won't see much difference between 2.8 - 4.0 or 5.6. BUT you will see some major differences between 4.0 and 8 or 11 or 16 et al. Now for the tricky part. With the DoF button in, re-focus your image until you can get all or as much as possible of whatever it is (foreground, surround, and background) of the point where your focus is. When you can see those differences, then you can fine-tune your point of focus. Note that when you do this and you release the DoF button and look through the viewfinder it MAY appear as if nothing is in focus. Trust your camera at this point.
- Robert Bridges

Visit RBridgesphotography.com - Robert's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9323

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9323

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 3: Shelf Life of Smart-Media, Compact Flash Cards
Is there a shelf life of Compact Flash or Smart-Media cards? How many times can I use these cards before they lose "memory," or do they? I always re-format before using, but can they become degraded like VCR tapes? Thank you for your time.
- Brinn MacDougall

See Brinn's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
I don't know of any shelf life. They are not like tapes ... audio/video tapes and hard drives are all magnetic and require some type of movement (motor) to read/write. Flash memory involves chips with no moving parts.
- Chris L. Hurtt

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit CLHurttPhoto.com - Chris's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Brinn. Flash memory does not have a "shelf life" as such (actually it does, but it's reckoned to be 100 years plus). Flash DOES have a rewrite life, I think it's in the region of 5,000 cycles (depends on a lot of factors), but even when this is exceeded it doesn't just "stop working," and the error correction system will mask these failures for a long time. Quick answer: Don't worry, and yes, re-format every time you empty your card :-)
WARNING. These figures do NOT apply to the "Microdrive" technology; these are real mechanical drives with much shorter life. Cheers.
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 3:
No Brinn, there is no shelf life on a flash card or media card. However, don't use them as permanent storage. Over time they will lose their data. If you leave it for a couple of years maybe even less it will happen. These are made to write to/read on a regular basis. Burn what you want to keep to a CD. It's also a good plan to back up your card to your computer hard drive or a CDRW. Hope that helps.
- Scott

ANSWER 4:
Reading this thread has raised a question for me, since I didn't know about re-formatting the memory card. Can someone tell me how to do it, or is this something that should be in my user manual? (I have a Kodak EasyShare DX6490). Thanks!
- Gail Cimino

ANSWER 5:
Gail: Yes, you should frequently re-format any memory card ... using the camera NOT your computer while downloading images. Your owner's manual will tell you how to do that. I re-format whenever re-loading a memory card (after downloading images to my PC) to be absolutely safe. See:
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/tib/tib4386l.shtml

Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9196

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9196

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 29591 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.