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 - Tuesday, June 15, 2004
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Summer School Begins July 7th!
* BETTERPHOTO: Peter Burian Joins BetterPhoto's Team of Instructors
* BETTERPHOTO: New Course Extension with Jim Zuckerman
* BETTERPHOTO: Showcase - And Sell - Your Photography Online!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Putting the Focus on Dad
* FEATURED PLACE: The Tetons: What A Grand Spot for Photography!
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Photographer First Lady / Canada's Prime Photographer
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: No Cable Release? Try This Solution by Brenda Tharp
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Film SLR Lenses Vs. Digital SLR Lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Shooting a Portrait at Sunset
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Tips on Shooting Lightning
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Choosing an SLR Lens
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Shooting Pictures Indoors
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Camera Shake and Shutter Speed
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Printing Papers
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: People Shots for Exhibition: Model Release?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: White Balance for Indoor Shooting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Shooting Outdoor Portraits with Sun Overhead
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Selling Photos for Calendars
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Lens Hood: When to Use?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Best Way to Print from Velvia Slides
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: How to Shoot Architecture in a City
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: More on Teleconverters (Tele-Extenders)
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Lighting for Indoor Portraits
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Stop the Puck in Hockey Shots


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

BetterPhoto's Summer School Begins July 7th!
Would you like to learn more about exposure, composition, digital photography, photographic field techniques, or even Photoshop? Join us for an inspiring - and enjoyable - online photo course at BetterPhoto.com.

Short on funds? Don't worry: We have an excellent payment plan option! To take advantage of this offer, simply write "Payment Plan" in the Additional Comments field of the online order form. Note: Be sure you write the specific words "payment plan"; if you do not do this, you will be charged the full amount.

Our course lineup, by the way, has never been better, but if you need help in the selection process, see our updated list of reviews at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/reviews/reviewItemsAll.asp?catID=102

Or check out our course categories page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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

Welcome to the 164th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Lots of exciting news this week! First, the May contest finalists are now posted for your viewing enjoyment. As usual, these images are incredible. Review all the finalists at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=3720

We are thrilled to announce the addition of a new instructor: acclaimed photographer and author Peter K. Burian, whose latest book is "Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging." For more information on Peter and the specifics of his course, see the item below.

In addition, all of you Jim Zuckerman fans will be happy to note that we have launched his Course Extension, thus allowing you to continue working with Jim. For all the details, see below.

Now for this week's "regular" features. In her Photo Tip, BetterPhoto instructor Brenda Tharp tells what to do if you don't have a cable release and you still want crisp-and-clear shots. In Featured Gallery, you'll find some great photographic inspiration for Father's Day photography. For a picture tour of the Tetons, Featured Place is a grand place to start. In Photo Trivia, find out which U.S. First Lady was a photographer and guess which Canadian prime minister's wife became a professional photographer!

That's it for now. Enjoy this SnapShot ... and happy shooting!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Peter Burian Joins BetterPhoto's Team of Instructors
BetterPhoto would like to extend a warm welcome to Peter K. Burian to our extraordinary team of online instructors. Peter, who will guest-instruct the Digital Photography online course, is author of a new book, "Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging," and co-author of the "National Geographic Photography Field Guide." For the Digital Photography class, BetterPhoto founder Jim Miotke has written and illustrated each lesson, and Peter will answer your questions and critique your photos. For more information, please visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/PBN01.asp


*****
New Course Extension with Jim Zuckerman
Terrific news for fans of Jim Zuckerman's online courses! Now you can continue working with Jim - having him critique your assignments on a by-weekly basis - in his new Course Extension. Jim will send you assignment options every other week and review your photographic work with you ... for 12 weeks! This course includes much more, too: interesting and informative discussions, questions and answers, the exchange of photo tips and ideas, the sharing of additional photos, and more. Check out this new BetterPhoto offering at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK07.asp


*****
Showcase - And Sell - Your Photography Online!
With a Deluxe BetterPholio™ by BetterPhoto.com, you can display up to 1000 of your favorite images in a portfolio gallery. Also, with the optional add-on Image Sales module, you can even take credit card payments for your pictures! BetterPhoto makes getting your own site hassle-free by taking care of all the technical issues and offering a single, comprehensive package. For all the specifics on Deluxe BetterPholios™, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

back to top


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


Putting the Focus on Dad
The great bond between father and child can produce such a wide array of stunning shots. In fact, BetterPhoto members and instructors have captured some wonderful portraits that show the loving relationship between father and son, father and daughter. In several striking photographs, only the hands are shown. For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Father and Child Photos" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=1261

back to top


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


The Tetons: What A Grand Spot for Photography!
Few mountain ranges in the United States hold the mesmerizing appeal of the Tetons, whose cliffs rise 7,000 feet above the valley floor. In fact, at Wyoming's mountain showplace - Grand Teton National Park - many BetterPhoto shooters have focused on catching these high peaks in mirrored water reflections. But there are more intimate scenes to be captured, too - such as wildflowers, wildlife, and weathered barns. Be sure to stop by the "Grand Teton Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=434

back to top


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

Last week, we asked:
Which U.S. First Lady was a professional photographer before becoming the First Lady?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Lorriann Hartwick is:
Jackie O - specifically, Jacqueline Bouvier ... later, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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 - Canada's Prime Photographer - entered by BetterPhoto member Marilyn Crosbie

Which prime minister of Canada had a wife who became a professional photographer? (Please give his name and her name.)

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

back to top


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

No Cable Release? Try This Solution by Brenda Tharp
If you have mounted your camera on the tripod for a steady shot, and then discover you left your cable release behind, use your self-timer to trigger the shutter release. If you have mirror lock-up capability, use it to help dampen the vibration of the mirror - especially useful on long lenses, as Kerry Drager's helpful tip pointed out. But even without mirror lock-up, the self-timer will aid you in getting that sharper image!

Check out Brenda Tharp's online courses:
"Creating Visual Impact"
"Beyond the Postcard: Creating Memorable Travel Images"

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: Film SLR Lenses Vs. Digital SLR Lenses
Are film SLR lenses compatible with digital SLR's? If yes, how can you tell which ones??
- Amit S. Gujrathi

ANSWER 1:
Some Nikon and Pentax digital SLR's can use the company's older manual-focus lenses, as well as autofocus lenses. Canon digital SLR's use EOS lenses. Any lens can be used that fits the camera, but there is a digital factor of about 1.4 that must be considered. For example, a 50mm Canon, Nikon or Pentax lens will be about a 70mm when used on a digital camera.

Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Tamron and probably others make lenses especially for digital SLR's. If you haven't yet decided on a digital SLR, consider a make that has its own digital-specific lenses.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9981

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9981

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Shooting a Portrait at Sunset
I will be shooting some senior pictures next week at sunset. Can anyone offer advice on how to photograph a sunset/lake with a subject properly lit in the foreground? In my last attempt, the subject was rather dark, but the lab was able to adjust it for me. I also had a couple of pics where it looked like a red reflection showed. I'm guessing this is "flare"? How do I avoid that? Thank you.
- Diane T. Phillips

ANSWER 1:
Meter for the background sky (without the sun in the frame). Then use flash to illuminate the people in the foreground. To eliminate lens flare, avoid shooting directly into the sun, and use a lens hood.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9970

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9970

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Tips on Shooting Lightning
Thank you for all of your great input. I have always wanted to shoot lightning. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get good results. What film speed? When to click the shutter? That sort of thing. Thanks again.
- Sam

ANSWER 1:
The easiest way to do this is at night. You should scout out a suitable area ahead of time that has an un-obstructed view of the north-west sky, (since most storms track from that direction). Watch the weather radar reports, and whenever a potential thunderstorm is tracking in your direction after dark, high-tail it out to the spot you've selected and get everything set up BEFORE the storm arrives. (I've tried getting lightning shots during daylight hours, without much success.)

Mount your camera onto a sturdy tripod, and point the lens in the direction the activity is most likely to occur. Lens choice will depend upon how big you want the lightning bolt to appear. A medium telephoto will record a larger bolt, but the area of sky coverage will be more limited than with a standard lens or a medium wide-angle.

ISO 100 and a aperture of f-5.6 will record the sharpest images. With the camera set to "bulb", use a locking cable release to lock the shutter open. At night, the shutter can remain open indefinitely and the only exposure will be from the lightning. If you're real lucky, a bolt will flash within your compositional frame. You can then advance to the next frame and repeat the process, or leave the shutter open to try for multiple strikes on the same frame.

This technique requires perfect timing and a lot of luck, so plan on quite a few dead frames. If you have several cameras, you can increase your chances for success. Oh yeah ... and try not to get zapped!
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Electric Sky:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=425006

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9967

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9967

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Choosing an SLR Lens
I'm shopping around for a new lens, preferably a 70-300mm zoom for my Nikon N80. Several have been recommended, including the Nikon lens and the Quantaray lens. The big difference other than Nikon being twice the price is that the Nikon lens is claimed to have a higher quality of "glass." Anyone have any suggestions as to what constitutes "higher quality of glass" in a lens? Opinions greatly appreciated.
- Cheri Delage

ANSWER 1:
Conventional glass lens elements cannot focus all wavelengths/colors to the same point. This is called chromatic aberration. It is similar to the way a glass prism separates white light into a rainbow because the different colors refract at different angles. It is especially problematic in long focal length lenses. The design of conventional glass zooms like the Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6G and Quantaray (made by Sigma) 70-300 f/4-5.6 DL do a good, but not great job of correcting chromatic aberration.

Lens makers have developed more "exotic" glass formulae that are less susceptible to chromatic aberration. Nikon calls theirs ED (Extra Low Dispersion) and Super ED, and lenses such as the 70-300 f/4-5.6D ED use one or more these elements. Similarly, the Sigma/Quantaray 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO (Apochromatic) incorporates 2 "SLD" (Super Low Dispersion) elements, and Tamron's 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD uses an element of LD (Low Dispersion).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9963

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9963

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Shooting Pictures Indoors
Is there any way to take indoor pictures with the absence of a tripod and a flash besides a higher speed film?
- Julie

ANSWER 1:
Hi Julie. You have four variables when you take a photograph: 1) shutter speed; 2) lens aperture; 3) film speed. 4) light level.

To avoid camera shake, you should not use a shutter speed lower than 1/your lens focal length if you are hand-holding (1/50 sec if you have a 50mm lens). If your lens opens wide enough to give you a satisfactory exposure, great. If not (since you don't want to increase the film speed), your only other solution is more light. If you don't want to use flash, you need to get as many ordinary lights on as you can, try putting larger bulbs in the fittings. If you have multiple light sources, watch out for horrible shadows. Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9947

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9947

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Camera Shake and Shutter Speed
I have been taught that, as a general rule of thumb, I should never shoot at a shutter speed that is lower than the focal length of my lens. I am now shooting with a digital SLR and the camera has a lens factor or 1.6. Should I take this into consideration when following the rule mentioned above?
- Richard Kiroy

ANSWER 1:
Hi Richard. Use the equivalent focal length when deciding whether you can hand-hold. Don't forget, the "1/focal length" rule is a guideline. Many photographers can hand-hold at much slower speeds than suggested by this rule. Practice bracing yourself, and you will be amazed how slow you can go. Of course, with digital, practice shots are free. Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9944

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9944

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Printing Papers
I just bought the Rebel 300D. LOVE the camera (little confusing but I'm learning ... slowly). My question is when I want to print the picture what type of paper works best for regular 4x6 pictures? I have an Epson photo printer, which works good. But when I go to get glossy paper there seems to be 4 or 5 "glossy" types to choose from. Will the plain "glossy photo" paper work fine, or can someone recommend a better type? I'm just looking to put my pictures in a photo album for now. Thanks for all the help!
P.S.: This site ROCKS!
- Adam Krusz

ANSWER 1:
With some brands, a regular glossy isn't as thick as a premium glossy. And a premium may have a shinier gloss and may absorb ink and dry faster. You'll find some bigger differences between brands of paper. Try the Olympus Pictorico, Canon, or Epson.
- 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=9937

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9937

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: People Shots for Exhibition: Model Release?
I am from Brazil and currently living in Dallas. I am interested in doing an exhibition with the photos I took of children in the shanty towns of Brazil. Do I need any kind of permission? And If someone wants to buy them? Thanks.
- Marta Azevedo

ANSWER 1:
An exhibition, no. Technically, you would need permission to sell them. But when it comes to individual photos bought at an exhibition, it's something that's commonly done and the need for permission is overlooked.
A stock company would never use photos without a release. Even something from the most remote places, they would require you to do something like get an interpreter to explain that you want their permission to show the photo in the U.S. And then it would be necessary to have that person make a mark like an X with a witness.
This may sound strange to do that way out in New Guinea, but that's how it was explained. But for what you want to do, that's done all over.
- 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=9930

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9930

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 9: White Balance for Indoor Shooting
Hello! I recently purchased a Canon Digital Rebel, and I'm still learning all the bells and whistles. I will be taking pictures tonight of a Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony at the community college. My question is, should I use a gray card to set the white balance, or should I choose the tungsten WB setting and put in portrait mode? I've always used a point-and-shoot before, and I'm trying to learn all the manual settings. My white balance has been screwing up a lot in my pictures with the Rebel .. .but I need to make sure I do it right for the Pinning Ceremony tonight. Any help and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!
- Colette M. LaCasse

ANSWER 1:
A gray card is used for setting exposure. You need a white card or subject for setting the white balance. See pp. 51-54 of your manual for setting white balance.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Hi Colette. Set your manual WB as Jon says. Shoot RAW; then if it does all go wrong you can fix it with the RAW converter. Enjoy. let us know how you got on. Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 3:
White balance is explained in the manual, but the use of a gray card is not. Your camera meter does not see colors or even shades of gray. It just measures the intensity of the light reflected to it. The meter is calibrated to give proper exposure for light reflected from something 18-percent gray - which is what a typical scene would be give averaging each of its elements. A problem arises in non-typical scenes where very dark (eg., black tuxedos, dark wall, etc.) or very light colored elements (white wedding dress, white sand beach, snow) predominate. Left to its own devices, the in-camera meter will tend to overexpose dark subjects because it interprets the dark color as a lack of light. Similarly it will tend to underexpose light-colored subjects.

To use the gray card to set exposure, place it in the same light as your subject. Take your meter reading, and set the proper exposure by filling the viewfinder with the gray card (or spot meter on it).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9917

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9917

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Shooting Outdoor Portraits with Sun Overhead
Does anyone have any suggestions for shooting portraits (family or singles) with the sun directly over the subjects (pretty much 1 pm). The people want photos taken in that exact spot, so I can't move them into the shade and they don't want shadows on their faces. I appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance for your help!
- Jen Lopes

ANSWER 1:
A couple of suggestions: 1) Pray for clouds; 2) Use a large diffusion panel (rip-stop nylon - will need an assistant); 3) Fill flash. 4) A reflector to help remove the shadows. I hope that helps.
- John Wright

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9913

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9913

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Selling Photos for Calendars
How can I sell my photos to calendar companies? I like to take country scenes, old barns, etc. What other way can I sell photos without a big expense to myself? Thanks.
- Carol A.

ANSWER 1:
Get a copy of the "2004 Photographer's Market". You can research the many calendar and greeting card companies listed to find several that match your particular style of photography and send them some samples of your work.
Calendar companies are usually more interested in a series of photos within a given theme to comprise an entire calendar year. The more original the theme ... the better chance of it getting accepted. If you have access to formats larger than 35 mm, you will increase your chances even more.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9891

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9891

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 12: Lens Hood: When to Use?
I have read all the theory about what a lens hood is for, but what I am looking for are real examples of when it is good to use a lens hood and when not to use a lens hood. Also, if some situations require a lens hood and others don't, do you keep taking the lens hood on and off - not very practical for sports photography. Any help/guidance would be appreciated.
- John Owens

ANSWER 1:
The only time I remove the lens hoods from my lenses is when I'm using direct flash, where the additional width and length of the hood would block the flash light and cause a shadow, or block an in-flash light sensor. For bounce flash and all other situations, the hoods stay on. I can't really think of a situation where the hood would not be beneficial. Each of my zooms have non-rotating fronts and bayonet mounted petal-shaped hood. This design allows me to conveniently manipulate a polarizing filter by reaching a finger into the side cuts. If the hood were a simple bowl shape without the side cuts I'd probably have to do without the hood when using the polarizer, or get a hood that screwed into the polarizer's front threads (using a larger diameter hood and step-up ring to avoid stacked-filter vignetting).
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
A real example is when shooting towards the sun, and the sun is just outside the frame. Hoods can block or at least cut down on the glare just like a visor on a hat. For sports, if you have one of the big 300 2.8 or bigger lenses, along with the same reason of shooting towards the sun, if it's raining, the big hood that comes with it can keep some rain off the front element. It can also keep some dust, dirt, grass of the lens if you have to set it down. And it makes it easier to put a trash bag or cover over the lens/camera if it's raining. Makes a good anchoring point. And because 2.8 telephotos have such a large front element and they are shallow, it helps things from making contact with it. Other than shooting towards the sun, or bad weather, they really don't affect anything except for possibly minor protection of the lens.
- 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=9887

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9887

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 13: Best Way to Print from Velvia Slides
I live in Singapore and am really getting into photography but am very much in the learning process! We went to Bali last week and have just got back 2 rolls of slides shot with Fuji Velvia ISO100. This is the first time I have used this film and love the beautiful colours. I would like to print a few of my images but I am nervous, since in the past I have been disappointed when they were printed as they never look as good as the original slide.

Can anyone advise between printing straight from a slide and what process I should be seeking for best result (I want to enlarge some) or alternatively getting them scanned at high resolution on to a disk and then printed? The advantage for me of scanning and printing is that I can do my own cropping at home using Photoshop elements, but am unsure as to whether printing from a scanned image will give poorer results than printing from the slide direct.

I am very confused - all help will be MOST appreciated!
- Jane Crosthwaite

ANSWER 1:
Jane - if you want to make great prints from your slides, the Ilfochrome print process, as a traditional printing method, is great. It is a positive-to-positive process, so you don't lose sharpness like you would if you made internegatives. If you take the slides to a reputable lab, and tell them that you want the print to look like the slide, they should be able to do that for you. If you need some minor corrections here and there, it's up to you to make that clear to them, too. I used to have my slides printed this way all the time with great results.

If you go the scanning/digital printing route, there are a few things to consider:
1) Do you have a top-quality scanner (such as the Nikon 4000 or similar)? The size you want to print is a factor here - you can get good results from the Nikon 4000 scanner for up to 11x14. Drum scans are the best, but might be more than you really need at this point. The resolution is wonderful from a 100mb drum scan from a 35mm slide!
2) Do you have the Photoshop skills to make the corrections you'll need to make for contrast, color balance, sharpening, saturation, etc.? (All scans need some adjustment; it's the nature of the process.)
3) Are you using good quality papers to print on digitally - ones that match your printer specs, and have good brightness and color.

All of these factors are important to getting great results. I hope this at least clarifies the options for you. Let me know if I can be of more help, and good luck!
- Brenda Tharp

See Brenda Tharp's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Brenda Tharp:
Creating Visual Impact
Beyond the Postcard: Travel Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9882

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9882

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 14: How to Shoot Architecture in a City
I live in New York City, and love photographing architecture - especially churches. How do I create a composition of a church without coming in close with a wide-angle lens, thus creating linear distortion, or using a longer focal-length lens while trying to maintain the entire church, steeples, and all in the composition. Also, the adjacent buildings are distracting. I use conventional film. I do have Photoshop - however, I wish to create an unedited gem. How about photographing parts of the church -i.e., steeple, windows, doorway - that will adequately fill the frame? What are your thoughts on PC lenses?
- Frank P. Luongo

See Frank's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Wide-angle prime lenses (like a 24mm f/2.8) will have less barrel distortion than a wide angle zoom. To minimize keystoning, you need to get the camera up off street level - for example, shooting your subject/building from several stories up in a nearby building. The clutter of passing cars and pedestrians can be eliminated by setting a very long shutter speed (measured in minutes, using very slow film) so that they are never in the scene long enough to register on film. PC (perspective control, aka tilt/shift) lenses are perfect for eliminating linear distortion and controlling depth of field, but they are very expensive (~$1100 for Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9876

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9876

back to top

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: More on Teleconverters (Tele-Extenders)
I have a Nikon D-70 with the 18-70 zoom. Does anyone have any experience or comments about using a 1.4 or 2.0 tele-extender? Am I better off with the Nikon unit or one manufactured by Tokina, Tamron or Sigma, for example? Is my money better spent elsewhere? Thanks for your input!
- Jerry Cocuzza

ANSWER 1:
Hi Jerry. The use of teleconverters (that fit between the lens and body of an SLR) is a "swings and roundabouts" situation.

Roundabouts (gains): 1. Cheaper than an additional tele-lens. 2. Light and small (about the size of a 50mm prime).

Swings (losses): 1. Not so sharp as a "proper" tele. 2. Not recommended at the wide end of your current lens (distortion and vignetting possible).

Personally, I use a x2 with my 28-80 f2.8 when I want to go "light" (without the 70-200 f2.8). It's nice to have that extra length available for use if an unforeseen opportunity arises. I suspect that you will see a significant price advantage if you go for a unit from Tokina, Tamron, or Sigma over the genuine Nikon unit. Watch out for really cheap units with poor optics - they really are not worth the savings.

As with all these things, these are my opinions - your mileage may vary. Cheers.
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 2:
In addition to what Dave wrote, teleconverters (TCs) increase the lens focal length, but not the size of the diaphram opening, so the effective aperture is reduced. So attaching a 1.4x TC to your 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 makes it effectively 25-98 f/4.9-6.3, or 36-140 f/7-9 with 2x. With maximum aperture of less than f/5.6, autofocus becomes iffy, and you may not get hand-holdable shutter speeds without upping the ISO to the noisier 800-1600 level.

TCs are most effective when used with prime lenses or large/constant aperture zooms like the f/2.8s. A good 2x TC like Kenko's Pro-300 is about $200. For about $50 more, you could get the Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6D ED. For $200 or less, you could get Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO Macro, Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD Macro, or Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6G
- Jon Close

ANSWER 3:
I highly recommend any Kiron 1.5X five element or 2X seven element converters. They are outstanding and reasonably priced in the used market!!!!
- Michael McCullough

ANSWER 4:
A full-frame TC is not advised with DX series lenses - remember that the DX has a smaller image circle to optimize it's performance with APS-C sized CCD sensors on Digital SLRs - you'd probably get significant vignetting. There's also the possibility of damaging the lens and/or TC because the two are not meant to be mechanically linked.
- Armando

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9839

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9839

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Lighting for Indoor Portraits
I have no professional lighting and usually work outside - thus, I have no idea how to control lighting. I've been asked to take pics for a local church formal (of the couples). Can anyone tell me how to use the light that's available in the church to take good portraits?
- Tiffiany L. COWART

ANSWER 1:
Does the church have windows? Assuming that it doesn't, you'll need some type of additional lighting (hot lights or flash). If you must use only what's available, you'll need to use a film in the 800 or higher range. The problem will be lower quality (IMHO). Of course, if you use lower speed film, the shots will require more time, and blur will become a problem.

If the church does have windows, you can choose a window based on the following preference: 1. Always choose a north-facing window for window light portraits - if available. 2. A west-facing window for shots in the morning. 3. An east-facing window for shots in the evening. 4. Always avoid a south-facing window in the northern hemisphere. Good luck!
- John Wright

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the suggestion. The church has windows with very little light, so I can't really use them. I will use the high-speed film, and I guess prayer is always good ... LOL! (Newbie jitters!) Thanks again.
- Tiffiany L. COWART

ANSWER 3:
In most situations during a church service, you will be asked NOT to use flash. The pastors, fathers, etc., do not like the constant flash in their faces and find them to be quite annoying (as they are.) What I have done is use a high-speed high quality film, and a good lens. And if possible, use a monopod. That way you will have the stability of the camera and the quickness to be able to move around.

The other thing to consider: Go beforehand and check the available light. (If using digital, premeasure your white balance.) Do several meter readings, and ask what lights will be on during the function.

Ask if the lights will change at any point. I had an event where I premeasured the white balance, did my readings, did test shots, and everything was looking great. When the ceremony started, they changed the lighting in the church, and everything from there on turned out "not really good" until I grabbed my other camera. Oh yes, that's the other thing. Try to always have a backup camera (and batteries) at all times when on location. Good luck!
- Karen M. Kroll

See Karen's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Tiffany, get yourself a good powerful flash with a small soft box to put over it. I have taken a few group shots in churches and found that they turned out better when just using my on-camera flash than they did when I lugged my big strobe lights. If a 200-speed does not work, then they do have a newer high-definition 400 speed film out now.
- Margaret Z. Wolff

See Margaret's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Tiffany, I have found that Fuji NPZ 800 is a great high-speed film with wonderful color and superfine grain for such a high speed.
- todd gunderson

ANSWER 6:
Tiffany, you did not mention what equipment you would be working with, but faster lenses such as 1.4 and 2 will allow you, along with your choice of film, to work with available light. I personally use a rangefinder system that is almost totally vibration free, allowing me to shoot as low as 1/15th of a second handheld. Having said that and after hundreds of weddings shot, you will still run into the situation where you may have to add light to allow you to get the shots you want. A small flash unit has always sufficed for me, as long as you set it to NOT destroy the available light mood. I use anywhere between 200 and 400 on up Fuji Neopan for most of my work, with about a third of the shots being in color which are shot with Fuji 400 or 800. The directions you received above are all excellent and will help you learn to use and craft the light for your shots. You will do better than you think you will! Good Luck. If I can be of any personal assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.
- John L. Webb

ANSWER 7:
I shot a wedding in very very low light in a church using no flash. I've used lots of pro film, but the film I like the best for low light portraiture is Fuji film, NPZ 800 and NPH 400. If you have a great fast lens, say 2.8 or less, you may get away with using the 400. Remember, if using a zoom lens, the light is cut down even more. A good lens is always a 50mm fixed - they are sharp and faster than zooms. I prefer zooms, so I can crop. I'm zoom addicted, but everyone has their own preference on this.

Could you warm up to the minister or priest and ask to do a few practice shots? That way you'll know what you're going to get and it won't be so nerve-wracking. Go in a week before and shoot, shoot, shoot. Take a model with you, and tell the pastor that you'll give him all the good photos that you took. They always need photos for newsletters. Don't be nervous. With fast film or fast lens and film, you'll be fine. USE A TRIPOD!!! You won't be sorry you did - especially in low light. Yes, they are bulky to lug around, but the results in the photos will sell you on using one all the time.

And try to use your flash off-camera with a sync cord. Or if you have a movable flash head, you can move it towards a white towel, sheet, or diffuser. Place the diffuser so it bounces fill flash into the shadow side of the couple. Or get an Omnibounce for your flash head; it will diffuse the light somewhat to produce a more natural effect. I've even used a white recipe card taped to the top of my flash in a pinch - for inexpensive diffusion - and it works wonders.

You can email me, and I'll help as much as I can. I know what it's like to be concerned about doing your best. We all had to start somewhere. Don't worry, everyone is here to help you. Upload your test shots, and I'm sure you'll get great critique and ideas. It's a great way to learn.
- RoxAnne Franklin

Visit roxannefranklinphotography.com - RoxAnne's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 8:
Fuji NPZ800 is the best film out there for low light. I've also used this film rated at either ISO 1600 or ISO 3200, and it had amazing results. If you do this, be sure to tell the lab so they can process it accordingly. Also, by pushing it one stop, you'll be able to capture more candids, and move around the room more.

If you prefer to use the flash, one thing that really works well and minimizes the shock for people is putting a white sock over the flash head. This diffuses not only the light hitting your target, but also the light coming out of the flash itself - no matter where that flash is pointed, it's still pretty shocking to people around. That's why for situations like this I prefer the sock over bouncing.

This will also help you keep the prettiness of the ambient light. One thing, if you're not using the flash, you should try to get an idea of what kind of colors are coming out of the indoor lighting. Most indoor lighting tends to look very red and yellow with normal film balanced for outdoors. You can get a filter for this though. But if there's a lot of fluorescent light, then your pictures will have a very green yellow look to them. I usually use an 81B filter - it filters out most of the cast while leaving in the look of the ambient lighting. When I've used the 81A, it corrects it too perfectly.
- Sreedevi Kashi

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9772

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9772

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 3: How to Stop the Puck in Hockey Shots
I'm having trouble "stopping the puck" in hockey photos. Occasionally, I get lucky, and the puck is clear, as well as the players. Usually, something is just a little blurred. How do I get the clean crisp shot seen in Sports Illustrated or in newspapers? I'm using 800 speed film for action (and the unreliable lighting in most rinks), usually a 70-210 lens, and a Canon AE-1 Program (it's old but reliable). I've tried different settings, but so far none seem any better than the "program" setting. Looking at the photos, it almost seems it's a lighting problem, but how do I fix that? You can't use flash in the arena, it reflects off the glass anyway, and sometimes the distance is too far for it to help.
- Pam S. DeGraaf

ANSWER 1:
The professionals for SI and newspapers are no doubt using f/2 and f/2.8 lenses, where your maximum aperture is probably f/4 or f/5.6. So where you might be getting only 1/60 shutter speed, they can get 1/125-1/500.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
SI use flashes mounted up in the ceiling. Some newspapers do too, depending on the paper. But in a pro game, the arena is bright enough to get 1/250 or 1/500 from a 2.8 lens, so a newspaper could get pictures if they aren't able to use strobes.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Fuji 800 has close to a two-stop range. Do some testing, and bump your shutter speed up to find out how fast you can go and still get a good image.
- Kai T. Eiselein

ANSWER 4:
Change your position to a tighter angle between you and the trajectory of the puck itself. Shooting perpendicular takes the fastest shutter speed to capture. If you "close the gap" between yourself and the puck, the speed decreases. It's all in the physics, brother ... gasp! And we thought we'd never use it...
- Piper Lehman

Visit pipershots.com - Piper's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
I may need to clarify the above. When I say to "close the gap" I don't mean to get physically closer to the action (this would make your problem worse). I meant that you should change your perspective/angle of view so that the puck is coming at you more directly. Moving farther away can help slow down the speed, so you could try this too. Panning with your action will also work, and is how most pros get the sharp action with a blurred background from a side view. Panning takes practice. Be sure to set your camera to focus properly when panning. Some cameras have settings that allow you to follow and continually focus on the closest object in the field of view. This can be really helpful.
- Piper Lehman

Visit pipershots.com - Piper's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=9627

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=9627

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 31371 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.