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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, May 17, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: A Summer of Photography, Education ... And Fun!
* BETTERPHOTO: Article: How to Create Dynamic Shadow Shots
* FEATURED GALLERY: Capturing Country Cool: Barns
* FEATURED PLACE: Focusing on Island Magic: Hawaii
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: It's a Living / Cameras and Pens
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Shooting Things That Crawl ... By Bob Cammarata
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: What Causes Grainy Pics?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Night Photography Challenge
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Can I View Images to be Photographed?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Enlarging a Photograph ... DOF?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: More on Graduated ND Filters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Use Infrared Film
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Ask Strangers If I Can Take a Photo of Them
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Cokin Filter Holders
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Keeping Film in the Refrigerator
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: The Scoop on Gray Cards
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: How to Shoot Rainbows
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Black and White with a Digital Camera
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: How to Shoot Reflective Surfaces
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Shooting Verrrry Fast Flying Birds/Swallows
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 15: How to Stop Colour Cast?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 16: How to Tell How Close I Can Get to Subject
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot Waterfalls


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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A Summer of Photography, Education ... And Fun!
Would you like to learn more about photography? Are you struggling to gain a better understanding of the principles of exposure, composition, digital photography, photographic field techniques, or even Photoshop? BetterPhoto's lineup of online courses includes something for just about everyone. But although we're still in the middle of the spring session, some classes for summer are already full or filling up fast. See BetterPhoto's course lineup at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 160th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

The big news this week is that the April contest finalists have been posted for your viewing enjoyment! As always, BetterPhoto's contest entries were outstanding. Review all the finalists at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=3533

In this issue's Featured Gallery, be sure to read about - and then see - those icons of country living: barns. In addition, instructor and author Kerry Drager shares his tips on creating dynamic shadow pictures. In Featured Place, we put the focus on Hawaii - the islands' surf, sand, sun, and so much more. And, once again, BetterPhoto members have come up with all sorts of interesting questions and enlightening answers - with member Bob Cammarata also adding some great advice in This Week's Photo Tip.

That's it for now. Have a successful week of photography!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


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Article: How to Create Dynamic Shadow Shots
In the world of natural light, high contrast can mean high drama. With the right scene and the right approach, the striking interplay of brights and darks creates some of outdoor photography’s most dynamic showstoppers: shadow pictures. Best yet, chasing shadows is a creative pursuit for shooters of either color or black and white. BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager offers tips and tricks in his article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=17

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Capturing Country Cool: Barns
When it comes to very cool and classic structures, it's hard to top those wooden symbols of rural life. View the eye-catching images of BetterPhoto members and instructors, and you'll quickly discover that barns come in more styles than simply "rustic red"! Check out their pictures, and see all shapes and colors - from new and freshly painted to old and beautifully weathered. Shooting tips? Unless you have wonderful light, then skip the straightforward "this is a barn" approach. Instead, look for interesting angles, zoom in on a close-up detail, or include the surrounding countryside for an "environmental" portrait. Also, give every lens a workout. For example, zero in on lines or angles with a tele-zoom, or, with a wide-angle, use a foreground object to frame your subject. For ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Barn Pictures, Mills, and Pictures of Windmills" galleries at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=237

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FEATURED PLACE
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Focusing on Island Magic: Hawaii
Hawaii's famed specialties - surf, sand, and sun - have long caught the imagination, and the cameras, of photographers. And while BetterPhoto members have recorded some fantastic beach and surfer shots, they also have zeroed in on many other terrific subjects, too. For example: flowing lava, colorful flowers, amazing sunsets, eye-catching architecture - in short, everything from sweeping seascapes to intimate scenics. For ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Hawaii Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=197

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What magazine does Clint Eastwood's character work for in The Bridges of Madison County?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Janet D. is:
Robert Kincaid is on assignment from National Geographic magazine to photograph the bridges of Madison County.

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 - Cameras and Pens - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Which author said the following? "The camera need not be a cold mechanical device. Like a pen, it is as good as the [person] who uses it. It can be the expression of mind and heart."

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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Shooting Things That Crawl ... By Bob Cammarata
When photographing reptiles, amphibians, and insects in spring and fall, the morning sun can be your greatest asset. These creatures, being cold blooded, rely on the rays of the sun to warm their bodies after a cool night, and they can usually be found lying dormant in bright, sunlit areas. During these early hours of the day, their metabolism is at its lowest, and they can often be approached to within inches for some great close-ups. The autumn months are better than spring for shooting insects, since most species have reached adulthood, and are quite large. When possible, get low and shoot the subject at eye level.

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
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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: What Causes Grainy Pics?
A very basic question: I took several pictures of a fountain on a cloudy day with a 70-300 zoom and Kodak 400 film. The shorter my shutter speed was, the grainier the picture. Is that because there was too little light? Should I have used a much larger F value to compensate? In general, what causes grain, and how can I try to avoid grain? Thanks.
- Munzoor E. Shaikh

ANSWER 1:
When using a longer lens, and higher ISO film, it will create grain. When shooting on cloudy days with moisture in the air, you multiply the problem. I would try using a 100 ISO film, and try moving closer to the subject so as not to use the 300mm. You should notice a big improvement.
- Kevin M. Krawczuk

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9547

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9547

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NEW QUESTION 2: Night Photography Challenge
Last night, I wanted to take some photos. I was using my Nikon N80 with a 28-200mm zoom and cable release ... on a tripod. My problem was when I went to snap the photo after I got it all set up. I plunged down on the cable release, and all that happened was that my zoom was going back and forth. The picture would not snap. I changed the distance on the zoom and it worked. How come? Was I using the wrong zoom setting? My camera setting was f22/15". Thank you.
- Andrew G. Sich

ANSWER 1:
Sounds to me like it was having trouble getting an auto-focus lock. When you backed the zoom off, it had enough info to make the lock. I've seen this happen many times. Switching to manual focus usually corrects the problem. :-) Hope that helps!
- John Wright

ANSWER 2:
John is correct. The F80/N80 has an issue with the autofocus in low light, especially if the "helper" light cannot see the subject. I would go manual focus in this case. You could also light up the subject with a flashlight, lock the focus, then turn off the light, and shoot.
- Kevin M. Krawczuk

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9533

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9533

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NEW QUESTION 3: Can I View Images to be Photographed?
Hi friends. I have Nikon D70 SLR camera. I want to know: Can I see the image on the monitor of the camera which is to be taken? That is, without using viewfinder, can I use camera monitor before taking the picture? Thanks in advance.
- Venkata

ANSWER 1:
Hi Venkata. The D-70 is a "real" SLR - with a mirror and a physical shutter in front of the sensor (just like a film SLR). This means that the sensor is covered until the shutter opens to take the picture, so you can't use the LCD as a viewfinder like you can with the point-and-shoot cameras. If you want to take pictures without looking through the viewfinder, you have to learn how to point the camera at your subject, a lot of guesswork and practice :-)Of course, the trade-off is that the sensor of the D70 is far bigger and therefore much less noisy than the smaller fixed-lens cameras. In other words, it takes better pictures.
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9530

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9530

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NEW QUESTION 4: Enlarging a Photograph ... DOF?
I want to know what happens if we will enlarge our photo: Will it increase the depth of field or decrease it?
- Vikas Shivanker

ANSWER 1:
As the image is enlarged, depth of field decreases - all other things being equal. One of those "other things" is the viewing distance, and it's not necessarily equal with big enlargements. Assuming the same arm's length viewing distance, there will be more apparent DoF in a 4x6 inch print than in an 8x10, and more in an 8x10 than in a 24x36. But, if the viewing distance for the 4x6 is, say, 8 inches, and the 8x10 is viewed from 18 inches, and the 24x36 is on a wall and viewed from 4 ft away, then the DoF will be roughly the same for each.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9509

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9509

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NEW QUESTION 5: More on Graduated ND Filters
I was wondering if anyone uses a graduated neutral density filter for black and white landscape shots?
- Sue Ann Rudisill

Visit sueannrudisill.com - Sue Ann's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
They come in handy for the same situations for color - when it's early morning and the shape of the land causes the ground to be in shadow but the sky is lit.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Graduated ND filters work the same for black and white and color, when exposure variances within the scene exceed the limitations of the film's exposure latitude. The thing to remember is that you meter off the shadows (usually the foreground), BEFORE installing the filter.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9500

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9500

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NEW QUESTION 6: How to Use Infrared Film
I have heard that IR film must be loaded in total darkness-however, I have a disability which prevents me from handling something that requires a certain amount of dexterity. Is there any way to load the film like other film and just give up one or two exposures (like accidentally exposed film, for example)?
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
I think that may be a precautionary thing rather than mandatory. Is it that you have to see what you're doing? Or is it that you usually end up having some of the film pulled out of the canister because of your disability? You wouldn't need to be in a totally dark room; you could cover up the camera with a dark cloth, or T-shirt, with it in your lap. It's recommended that you load regular film in subdued light, but you don't have problems loading a roll outside in broad daylight.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Gregory, thanks for the info. I load film without any problem. I just didn't know how the IR film loaded!! I always use the first roll of any film for experimenting -just finished a 36 exp. roll of 200 slide film, of which I guess 50% will not turn out. But I will see!! Thanks again.
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
The thing about loading IR film is that the felt at the cartridge opening does not effectively stop IR rays the way it does visible light rays. Also, at least for Kodak's IR film, there is no anti-halation layer to block stray light from the backside of the film from reflecting back onto the emulsion. With respect to loading the film, that also means that the film leader sticking out of the cartridge has a tendency to draw light/IR rays into the cartridge, a la fiber optic.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9498

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NEW QUESTION 7: How to Ask Strangers If I Can Take a Photo of Them
I love watching strangers, passersby, and believe there are so many opportunities missed - in taking photos I mean. How do I best approach a stranger to ask if I can take a/some photos of them without making it a big fuss or deal (i.e., signing release papers, etc.), and then be allowed to publish the photos???
- Nicole S. McGrade

See Nicole's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Nicole, I love to watch people as well. I am not shy and have never had much trouble walking up to people. I must say it was a little odd at first, even to a chatty gal like myself. What is a shock is how pleased most are to have their picture taken. Just the other day I was driving with my family out in the country and saw an elderly man sitting on the porch of an old cypress wood house. I could not resist. I pulled over and introduced myself, said that I would be honored to photograph him, if I may. He was so cute, he got all excited. Next I thing I knew, a little lady in pink sponge rollers came out, and they were just so sweet. I always ask for their address and mail them a copy. The one I am speaking of I have just listed in the "People" category of the contest for this month titled "The South". It is my understanding that once you gain permission and you take the photo, the copyright is yours.
- Tonya Autry

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9492

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9492

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NEW QUESTION 8: Cokin Filter Holders
Is it possible to use Cokin filters size A with a wide-angle lens? Thanks.
- Anita

ANSWER 1:
It depends on the diameter of the lens. With my 4x5 camera, the Cokin size "A" will work just fine. The filter thread size of my largest lens is 49mm - therefore, the size "A" will work just fine. However, my 19mm lens for my 35mm system has a 77mm filter size - so a size "A" will not work without vignetting. The best "all-around" size is the "P" system (that's my opinion only). It'll work on every one of my 35mm, MF, and LF system lenses. Also, the cost is within reach of most photographers, and there are a wide variety of filters for that size made by other manufacturers.
- Terry L. Long

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9489

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9489

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NEW QUESTION 9: Keeping Film in the Refrigerator
I have been advised by a friend to keep my unused film - both colour and black and white - in my fridge at home. Is this true? Or is he making fun of a beginner? Also, any comments on a Nikon lens 70-300mm AF f4/5.6 G type for use with a Nikon F75?
- Ronnie Black

ANSWER 1:
Your friend is correct, though this is usually overkill for consumer film unless you don't expect to use it until past its use-by date. Click on this link for Kodak's cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9487

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9487

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NEW QUESTION 10: The Scoop on Gray Cards
What are 18% grey cards? Thanks.
- Anita

ANSWER 1:
They are exactly what it says. It's a card (usually stiff cardboard) that is colored 18% grey. Why are they 18% grey? They are 18% grey because that is the value that all light meters see and meter for.
- John Wright

ANSWER 2:
Think of a scale that's black and white. At one end, you have totally black, and at the other end, you have totally white. In between, you have shades that gradually go to increasing lighter shades of gray til they go from black to white. Somewhere in there, there's a shade of grey that's 18%. It's kinda like room temperature - in that's it's considered normal. So to expose that shade of grey correctly would be correct exposure for anything that is under the same lighting.
- 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=9484

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9484

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NEW QUESTION 11: How to Shoot Rainbows
I am having problems shooting scenes with optical effects -rainbows, for example. Any tips on this??
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Rainbows are hard to get to show up if the sky behind them doesn't have some dark clouds to make them stand out. Slightly underexposing may help - like half a stop.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Also, I've heard that a circular polarizing filter may help bring it out, if you're using an SLR.

Nancy
nance.c@poboxes.com
nacespace.com/photos
- Nancy Grace Chen

ANSWER 3:
Yes, a polarizer will help out immensely - but it doesn't have to be a "circular" polarizer. A linear polarizer will work just as well (for those of you who have a manual focus lens).
- Terry L. Long

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9483

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9483

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NEW QUESTION 12: Black and White with a Digital Camera
I am currently planning on upgrading my camera from a Canon APS SLR to the Canon Digital Rebel SLR (fits in my price range around $1000). I love taking black and white pictures as a hobby, and I wanted to know what the quality of black and white photography with digital would be once they are processed. I have had numerous problems with the camera that I have now because APS makes black and white film but is developed on color paper.
- Lucinda A. Smithhart

ANSWER 1:
Are you having somebody else do the prints or are you doing them yourself? I've done black and white digital, and they looked fine with adjustments with contrast. Somebody else has tried it and said they kept getting a blue tint. So if you do it yourself, you may have to make some adjustments. If you get a tint, you may be able to fix it by going to gray scale, then going back to rgb mode, then take out whatever color is coming through, and then print gray scale. It may take some experimenting to get it exactly how you want it.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Lucinda. There are a number of issues involved when you want to produce black and white prints from digital, which is essentially a colour medium. I assume that you want to replicate the effect of black and white film rather than just having a monochrome image. B/W film responds to different colours of light in different ways and simply greyscaling or de-saturating your colour image just won't look right. This differing colour response of mono film is why using strongly coloured filters has such a profound effect on the appearance of mono photographs.

Have a look at this Photoshop bolt-on, it works well for me.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/BW

Once you have your mono image, you will want to print it ... nightmare ... modern photo labs and inkjet printers are simply not designed to produce real "black." They always have some colour cast (as you've noticed getting your B/W prints done). When you find a way of getting a really good black on a digital print, let us know :-) I cheat by adding a deliberate colour cast (like sepia) giving the "antique" look, It's not perfect, but at least it looks like you intended. Have a look at my shot of Bruges (in Belgium), it actually looks better printed on my cheap-and-cheerful inkjet, but you get the idea. Let us all know how you get on. Cheers.
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9482

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9482

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NEW QUESTION 13: How to Shoot Reflective Surfaces
Can someone help me with shooting books? I am having trouble with the glare. To avoid the glare, I am turning off the main lighting and adjusting the exposure setting on my Kodak EasyShare CX6230. Are they any other techniques or methods I can do?
- Ziyaad Khoja

ANSWER 1:
Have your lighting come from more of an angle - closer to 90 degrees.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
1) I'm using regular ceiling lighting. I'm doing low-budget photography. 2) Would 90 degrees be from the object? Wouldn't that be directly on top?
- Ziyaad Khoja

ANSWER 3:
I meant the angle with camera and the light should be closer to 90 degrees. But since you're using ceiling light, use something to prop the book up at an angle so you don't get glare.
- 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=9480

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9480

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NEW QUESTION 14: Shooting Verrrry Fast Flying Birds/Swallows
Masses of swallows and swifts congregate around a large lake in our local park. They skim, swirl, swoop, dive at devastatingly fast speeds. What shutter speed should I set? For now, my setup is as follows ... and the few birds I have captured in frame are a blur!

1) I use 200 ISO because I hate noise! 2) I focus on a portion of the lake (depress shutter halfway). 3) I then depress the shutter fully each time ,I think (-: I've got a bird in frame ... this part I accept as being tricky ... but I don't care how many I take as long as I can EVENTUALLY get something.
- liz read

ANSWER 1:
These guys are very quick! Your shutter speed should be 1/500 sec. if they are flying toward you, and even faster to freeze them going sideways. You can also try panning with them, which will permit the use of slower shutter speeds.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Bob, thanks. I will gear up the shutter speed - I do most from the side so will experiment. Panning with these speed freaks would be like trying to "pan" a jet fighter at a fly-by :-) Thanks again.
- liz read

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9475

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*****


NEW QUESTION 15: How to Stop Colour Cast?
Hi, everyone. I use a D100 (I'm new to digital photography) in a home studio, and I'm having problems with a pink colour cast. I am using multi blitz strobes, and the walls of the studio are white. I've tried altering the exposure levels, the white balance, and flash modes - all to no avail. I can correct this overall pink cast using Photoshop, but I would really like to get it right without having to alter everything! Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
- Deonne

ANSWER 1:
Try changing your white balance. Your manual should explain it. You may have a feature to set a custom white balance, by taking a picture of something white with the lights you're using, and then using that picture to set the white balance - so that under that lighting, the whites will come out white.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi, Gregory, thanks very much for your help. I played around with the white balance more after getting your tip, and managed to get the whites looking the way they should. The skin tones are still a bit pink - any ideas on why that would be occurring? Thanks again for your help - I really appreciate it.
- Deonne

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9474

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9474

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*****


NEW QUESTION 16: How to Tell How Close I Can Get to Subject
This may sound dumb, but here goes: How do I tell the lens-to-subject minimum focusing distance? Say I am working with a 100mm 2.8, for example ... how close can I get?? Thanks from a beginner.
- Richard

ANSWER 1:
The minimum focusing distance is usually indicated on the lens barrel in feet (and meters), and can vary by manufacturer and lens design. If it is a lens you are considering but don't have yet, you can check the specs on the lens by going to the manufacturer's Web site.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9471

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9471

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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

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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

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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

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ANSWER 4:
In order to get the right shutter speed/aperture combination, you will need to use a slower film like 100 or maybe 200, and you will have to visit it in the evening or early morning. In the middle of the day you have too much light to get the right combination. Actually, early morning is the time to do it as there is usually no one else around to get into your photo.
- Scott

ANSWER 5:
You have all been so helpful, thanks so much. I am going to print this out and follow this next chance I get.
- MaryAnn L. Oakland

ANSWER 6:
When I am out shooting water, it is always done on an overcast day. This helps make the scene darker, along with using a polarizer, which darkens the scene more and helps take glare off of rocks. Another thing this does is gives you more realistic colors - on a normal day, your water will have blue tints and most likely hot spots. I normally use the settings of f/16 and anywhere from 1 sec or higher - the longer your exposure the more blurred your water will be. Another tip for you is to use a cable release or your timer on the camera. Hope this helps.
- Darren K. Fisher

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ANSWER 7:
I love to shoot water. Pick an overcast day with flat light. Meter on the greens or mid-tones in the scene. Check the speed of the water. Find something that is floating by. Time how long it takes the leaf to flow through the area you want to shoot. Set your shutter speed to 1/2 that speed or slower. Use you aperture to get the shutter speed that you need to blur the water. Bracket your exposures if you are using slide film. Keep field notes so you can learn from the results. I shoot 50 and 100 speed film at 2 to 6 seconds depending on water speed. If you use too slow a shutter speed on slow-moving water you will blow out the whites of the veil. Have some fun, and experiment. Keep notes to review your results.
- Bill Lewis

See Sample Photo - Hocking Hills Fast Water:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=390075

See Sample Photo - Bushkill Falls:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=390074

ANSWER 8:
Thanks, Bill, for that great tip about timing something floating by. I spend a lot of time shooting moving water, and I'll definitely remember that when I go again.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 9:
If you're shooting 400 or 800 speed film, you'll never obtain a shutter speed slow enough even at very small apertures. If you routinely use fast film, you might want to use a neutral density filter, which reduces the amount of light entering the lens and thus necessitating longer exposure times.
- Ken Brown

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9377

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

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