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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 - Tuesday, July 06, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Summer Online Courses Launch on Wednesday!
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Contest Is Now Better Than Ever
* BETTERPHOTO: Learn from Lewis Kemper - In Articles and Courses
* BETTERPHOTO: Listen to Peter Burian, Then Join Him Online
* FEATURED GALLERY: Everything Is Coming Up Roses!
* FEATURED PLACE: New England's Maine Getaway
* PHOTO LINK: Join the Silvermans in the Field and on the Web
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: An Artistic Duo / Unbearable
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Keeping Film in Sequence ... By Brenda Tharp
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Which Digital Camera Is More Suitable?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Digital Print Protection
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Create a 'Flaming Soccer Ball'
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Is film Going Away?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Which UV Filter?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Compact Flash Memory Cards
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Shoot Photos with Blurry Backgrounds
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Studio Lighting and Canon Equipment
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Question About Backgrounds
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Effective vs. Recorded Pixels
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Blurry Photos with Canon AE-1
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: How to Shoot Antique Books
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Should I Use a Copyright Sign?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Digital Apertures


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Summer Online Courses Launch on Wednesday!
This is the season for a burst of photographic excitement and creativity, but time is getting short. Several of BetterPhoto's online photo classes are already filled to the brim, and still others are nearing capacity. All the same, there are spots left in many of the courses. Although the first lesson goes out this Wednesday, you still have time to sign up! With so many great teachers, we have the perfect course for you. To aid in the decision-making process, take a look at our course categories page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 167th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Some fantastic goings-on are happening at BetterPhoto.com this week! First, our next session of online courses begins on Wednesday, and with the addition of Charlie Borland's exciting new "Stock Photography" course, our already incredible class schedule just got better. For a rundown of all BetterPhoto courses, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

Second, the long-awaited enhancements to the BetterPhoto contest are in place for July, including a total remake of the contest categories. See all of the exciting details in the update item below.

Third, this issue of SnapShot is filled with even more news and information. For instance, don't miss the Featured Gallery, which spotlights one of the most colorful flowers around, and the Featured Place, which focuses on one of New England's most photogenic states. In her Photo Tip, author and instructor Brenda Tharp tells how to keep track of film in the field. And wrapping things up is yet another excellent collection of questions and answers.

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


*****
BetterPhoto's Contest Is Now Better Than Ever
We are thrilled with the changes in the BetterPhoto contest, which have just taken effect for the July contest! But some things involving the contest have NOT changed: The contest remains free and open to all, and it is still the best, most fun and friendliest photo contest on the Web.

Headlining the changes are the categories, which now total 10 and include: Nature and Landscapes; Animals; People; Elements of Design; Digital Darkroom; Travel and Place; Flowers; Details and Macro; and Special Effects. The 10th new category is the Monthly Theme (for July, it's "Independence"). Read all about the new contest at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/categories.asp


*****
Learn from Lewis Kemper - In Articles and Courses
BetterPhoto instructor Lewis Kemper writes an excellent column, "Outside/Inside," for PCPhoto magazine, and you can see some of his favorite past columns at his Web site. One article, for example, focuses on converting color images to black and white. Check out Lewis's "Helpful Articles and Info" page at:
http://www.lewiskemper.com/generic135.html

Lewis also teaches two outstanding online courses at BetterPhoto. One is "Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop: Toolbox #1"; check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/LEW02.asp

For details on Lewis's other excellent course, "Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop: Toolbox #2," go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/LEW03.asp


*****
Listen to Peter Burian, Then Join Him Online
Listen to BetterPhoto instructor Peter K. Burian on Shutterbug Radio as he discusses digital shooting! Peter, the author of a new book, "Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging," appeared June 25 with host Jack Warren and offered lots of tips and techniques. You can hear a tape of this interview by visiting:
http://www.shutterbugradio.com/

Peter, a new addition to our terrific team of BetterPhoto teachers, is guest-instructing the Digital Photography online course. For more information, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/PBN01.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Everything Is Coming Up Roses!
It's hard to top roses as a picture subject. They are so colorful, of course, but for many people, there's the memory factor as well: Images of these classic symbolic flowers will remind you of special romantic times or family occasions. As for the shooting options, they are surprisingly varied. With macro or extreme close-ups, try filling the frame with colors, textures, curves, and swirls, or back up or zoom out for another angle on the flower's beauty. In fact, the only limiting factor is a creative one, not an equipment one. And as colorful as roses are, they can even look verrrry nice in black-and-white! For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Pictures of Roses" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=511

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FEATURED PLACE
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New England's Maine Getaway
From its rugged coast to its beautiful villages, Maine offers an array of photogenic subjects that would appeal to almost any outdoor shooter. BetterPhoto's gallery, for example, spotlights images of marinas, harbors, crashing surf, fishing boats, outstanding sunsets and sunrises, lake reflections, country landscapes, tidal scenes, Acadia National Park, and seasonal scenes ranging from fall colors to spring wildflowers. Then there are the lighthouses of this northeastern U.S. state: great architecture in striking settings ... and, when captured at twilight, downright spectacular. For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Maine Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=420

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Join the Silvermans in the Field and on the Web
BetterPhoto instructors Susan and Neil Silverman are leading a workshop and photo tour of the beautiful Palouse region of Wasnington state. Taking place Aug. 4-8, 2004, the workshop is timed to take advantage of the season's harvest, wonderful landscapes, colorful barns, and, quite likely, spectacular sunsets and dramatic clouds. The Silvermans will provide hands-on help and critiques. More good news: a 10-percent discount for BetterPhoto members! For workshop details, go to:
http://www.gapweb.com/eventinfo/2004/workshops/palouse.htm

Susan and Neil also teach an outstanding online course at BetterPhoto: "Digital Workout #1: Beginning Digital Photography." Check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/SIL01.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Famed painter Georgia O'Keeffe was married to an influential photographer and art impresario. Who was he?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Denise Prichett is:
Alfred Stieglitz

See Denise 's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=23439

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 - Unbearable - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Who played the photographer in the film The Unbearable Lightness of Being?

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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Keeping Film in Sequence ... By Brenda Tharp
When I'm photographing, I like to keep my exposed rolls of film numbered, so I have the sequence of what I photographed that day or session. I've tried just marking them "#1" or "#3", but then I'd forget what number it was supposed to be when pulling it out of the camera - especially if I was in a slight hurry. I came up with another idea while recently traveling in Italy, and it really worked for me. Here's what to do: Simply mark the roll with the date (06/29) and the time that you finished it (e.g., 05:15 pm). This way, every roll will always be sequential and unique; no more having to remember what number you're up to. Of course, you still have to make detailed notes somewhere if you want to remember which village or lake you photographed on that roll, but it really helps to keep things organized, and even when you forget to make detailed notes, the order of the rolls helps you recall what you did.

Check out Brenda'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

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ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:

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Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Which Digital Camera Is More Suitable?
I am a professional fashion photographer. Many of my images are used in big hoardings. Which digital camera - a compact with 8 megapixels or an SLR with 6.3 MP - is more suitable for my job?
- Bijay Agarwal

ANSWER 1:
Bijay: I have tested all of the 8MP cameras and 6MP SLRs. The 6MP SLR cameras produce cleaner images that can be enlarged to much larger sizes (in Photoshop) while maintaining excellent image quality. Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Digital Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10310

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10310

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Digital Print Protection
Hello, I am looking for some kind of a protective coating (spray?) that I can put on my digital photos after I have printed them. Does such a protective coating exist? If so, who makes it, and where can I get my hands on some? Thank you so much for your help!
- Nicole C. West

ANSWER 1:
Hi Nicole: Modern inkjet paper and ink are reasonably water-resistant in their normal untreated form, at least for home/office environments. For additional protection, try one of the acrylic varnishes sold for protecting water-colours. Visit your local art shop - there are literally dozens of different brands of the stuff. It's not expensive, so you can afford to experiment to find one that suits your ink/paper/environment combination. Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10309

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10309

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: How to Create a 'Flaming Soccer Ball'
I was wondering if you know how to create a "flaming soccer ball" for one of my daughter's friend's senior pictures. I photograph 99-percent newborns, but she talked me into taking a few of her friends' senior pictures. Thank you for your help.
- Donna R. Leicht

ANSWER 1:
Photograph a candle, and do a cut or copy with the lasso tool, and do multiple pastings. You can then use the size transform with the clone (rubber stamp) tool to shape the flames, and make them blend in. I'd use some feathering with the lasso tool, so that you can blend it with the part of the flame that's closest to the soccer ball.
For fake flames, you can use the paintbrush tools (paintbrush or spray paint) to paint a rough flame shape. Use red, yellow and blue to get the different color temperatures that flames have - i.e., red on the outer edges, the hotter blue in the middle. And with the smudge tool, set the pressure to about 50-60 percent. You can get the shape by smudging from the blue out towards the red, to blend the colors and also give the flames that gentle curve effect.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Donna! If you happen to have Jasc Paint Shop Pro, you can use the picture tubes tool and stamp them in that way - premade, sizeable, etc. I use layers with them so that I can change the transparency and such as well. I believe the picture tubes are also sold as $20 plug-ins on jasc.com. Hope that's of some help:-)
- Jan Stadelmyer

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10308

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10308

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Is film Going Away?
Is there a chance that film photography might become the "horse and buggy" of photography before too long because of digital?
- Amy

ANSWER 1:
Nope.
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10307

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Which UV Filter?
I'm a new owner of a Nikon D70 with an 18-70mm lens. It seams like Nikon is not providing a UV filter for this lens (for 67mm filters) to protect it! Any suggestions? What filter is recommended for this lens? Thank you for your input!
- Thomas Sterr

See Thomas's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Thomas. 67mm is a standard filter size. Your local photo outlet should be able to help.
There are many arguments about using a filter as a protective element, as adding any extra glass in the light path will always lead to image degradation and possible flare. Many (most?) professionals would not be seen dead with an unnecessary extra layer of glass in the light path.
If you do want to use a filter, don't skimp on it; spend some money ... $50 should get you a good UV filter. Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 2:
I agree with Dave ... although I do keep UV filters on most of the primes in daylight outdoors to cut down the UV that shows slightly with some of the films I use. Primes have much less glass than zoom lenses; more UV makes it through them to the film. I remove the UVs under various conditions that could create visible reflections from the two additional air-glass interfaces ... tacking a filter onto the front adds to the optical system (a.k.a. flare).

IMVHO, a good lens hood does more to protect the front of a lens from many hazards, and it provides at least some additional flare control from off-axis light sources (how well depends on hood design). Anything that gets past a lens hood is also very likely to punch through a filter into the lens.

The two best filter makers are B+W and Heliopan. Hoya is also good, but at the next tier down from them. Tiffen's advertising hype is mostly about their cinematography filters, and their reputation for them, which are definitely NOT the same as the inexpensive ones they make for still photography. For anyone like me who has lenses with metal barrels and filter threads, Tiffen's aluminum rings also "gall" in the threads, making them nearly impossible to remove (B+W's and Heliopan's are brass, which does not gall). A good filter has the dye in the otherwise optically clear glass, not a sandwich of cheap glass around a gelatin film. The two surfaces will be absolutely dead flat and parallel to each other. The best filters have these characteristics that minimize their effect on the optical system.
- John A. Lind

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ANSWER 3:
Thanks for the info! I probably will take a look at the B+W filters. Also, I'm not always using the filter. But I like to have it on when I travel. I also use the hood to protect the lens.
- Thomas Sterr

See Thomas's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10304

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Compact Flash Memory Cards
I shoot digital with the Canon 300 and the Canon Eos 1ds. I have several memory cards, all 512mb and up. Two of my cards are the SanDisk Ultra II, and the others are regular compact flash cards. I recently took pictures outdoors with plenty of daylight, and some of my images were blurry. Could it be the difference in my flash cards? I did not use a tripod, but these were portrait shots of children, and I took 188 images and only 100 were not blurred. Is there really that big of a difference between memory cards? Thank you!
- Bobbi Webre

ANSWER 1:
I can't see how your problem would have anything to do with the memory cards. The files are either readable or if corrupted, they aren't. There's no way a bad card would result in a blurred image. 99.999-percent probability it is your technique (camera shake from hand holding, poor focus, unclean or scratched lens/filter, etc.) that is causing blurred images. Can you post a sample?
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Were the blurry ones on the card in the heavier camera? Or use the info and compare speeds/ISO between cameras.
- 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=10293

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10293

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: How to Shoot Photos with Blurry Backgrounds
Hi, I have a digital Canon Powershot s400 camera, and I was wondering if that camera is able to create or shoot photos that has a blurred background, but the subject is clear. I don't know what to call that shot and if my camera is able to do that ... and how do I do that? Thanks a lot, and I am so happy to see find this site!
- Ces A.

ANSWER 1:
Hi Ces! I'm a beginner when it comes to these things, but I think you are referring to Depth of Field. My new camera has been doing it, mostly in auto mode (check out my flower pictures posted today and yesterday in my gallery). From what I understand, your aperture is what makes the background fuzzy or not (that is what I understood from my camera's manual - but I really look forward to a pro explaining it to you here). The book says that for the background to be out of focus you must have a large aperture, and to have both near and far objects in focus at the same time you should use a small aperture. ... But I'm hoping someone will confirm that for me ... Good luck and keep in touch!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Sorry I pressed the return key too many too fast.

The style is called Selective Focusing, which has to do with the Depth-of-field. For the definition of Depth-of-field, please see here:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allDefinitions.asp#Depth

Basically, what you can do is to place the background further away from the subject, come closer to the subject, and use a larger aperture (SMALLER f/number like 2.8).

Here is a discussion with your same situation with a similar camera:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=10260

Hope this helps.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 3:
Ces, Andy already posted the common technical term for it "Selective Focusing." In order to employ this technique - to control depth of field to make it what you want it - you need to be able to control lens aperture. Controlling lens aperture requires being able to run in an aperture priority or shutter priority auto-exposure mode, or in completely manual exposure mode. It's nearly impossible using a "program" autoexposure mode that selects both aperture AND shutter speed based on luminance level (how much light there is). In Program Mode, BOTH settings are adjusted by the AE system as the amount of light changes. The only possible method I'm aware of that can put lens aperture exactly where you want it (to get the depth of field desired) using Program AE is by being able to control the lighting level (as one can in a studio by changing the lighting power levels) and driving the "program" to the exposure that will use the lens aperture desired.

The bad news about the Powershot S400:
The only exposure mode is "Program AE" on this model Canon. You're left with the last, and very difficult method, of controlling lighting level to drive the program to the desired lens aperture, and that's if the camera will tell you what aperture it will use. Its specs on the Canon-USA Web site don't mention anything about displaying this for you.

I truly wish I could tell you something better about how to use this technique with your camera. I use it very, very frequently; the desired depth of field is an important consideration in every photograph I make. There are times I want as much as possible too, not selective focusing. In looking at Canon's specs for the S400, I don't see a practical method for doing so with it.
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10290

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10290

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Studio Lighting and Canon Equipment
I am thinking of acquiring some portable studio lighting for group shots and am wondering just how I would sync up to my main lighting as the Canon Elan 7 and the Digital Rebel have no ports for a sync cord? I use the Canon 550EX flash on my camera now. Do I simply have to make sure I buy portable lighting that will act in slave mode to the 550EX?
- Dennis C. Janda

ANSWER 1:
You have two choices.

With the 550EX on your camera as master, you can get extra 550EX or 420EX as slaves. Your 550EX can control up to 3 groups of slaves.

Get a Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 on your camera as master. You can get extra 550EX or 420EX as slaves, as needed. But the ST-E2 can only control two groups of slaves.

Both the Elan 7 and Digital Rebel can use one of the set-ups mentioned above. Hope this helps.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 2:
Will either the 550EX or the ST-E2 control anything other than other Speedlites? I'm really wanting to use with some stand mounted strobes ...
- Dennis C. Janda

ANSWER 3:
Many self-contained strobes have built-in slaves that set the strobe off by the light from another flash.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
If you use non-Canon strobes triggered by optical slaves, you must set the 550EX to manual output. If you use it in E-TTL the low-power preflash will trigger the slaves before the shutter opens. They will not cycle fast enough to fire again with the 550EX's open-shutter main flash. You will not have auto TTL exposure, so you should invest in a good flash meter when you buy the other strobes.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 5:
Another option: Buy hot-shoe PC adapters (single trigger contact in center and PC socket on side). These are pretty inexpensive. Hama and Kaiser make the best ones I've seen, and cost isn't much more than the "generic" ones. I prefer the Hama over the Kaiser if I can find them.

Connect the sync cord from one light to the hot shoe PC adapter. Put the other light in slave mode (nearly all monolights come with built-in optical slaves). If the sync cord isn't long enough, get an extension cord for it. Paramount makes them, and they're not that expensive either. If it's a 1/4-inch phone plug, AKA monoplug, you can get an extension cord at Radio Shack ... monaural microphone extension cord with a 1/4-inch phone plug on one end and jack on the other. Also inexpensive.

Put the camera in manual exposure mode. Set shutter speed to X-sync. Meter the lighting using the flash meter Jon suggests you buy, and set lens aperture manually from meter reading.

BTW, I prefer using incident flash meter readings versus reflected. I've found them more accurate. Reason I make this suggestion:
I've had to trigger monolights using a flash (usually aimed straight up) when a sync cord didn't work right (cockpit error; wasn't plugged in correctly; found the problem later on). Works well in the smaller spaces of a studio that bounces light off the ceiling and walls. Doesn't work very well in large spaces with tall ceilings and the only wall nearby being the one behind everyone. The light from the flash can dissipate too much to trigger the monolights, especially if ambient lighting is medium or brighter. It's unreliable; works sometimes in some on-location spaces but not in others. OTOH, if you fire one monolight, it WILL put out enough light to trigger the other one.

Since I frequently have to put up with people shooting "over my shoulder" (weddings), I now use radio slaves, the backup for which is a PC cord to both lights with a "Y" splitter (single 10-foot PC cord from camera to splitter, and two 20' cords from splitter to the two lights). Got tired of Uncle Harry and Aunt Harriet occasionally triggering my lights, them benefiting from my lighting in their photos, and having to wait for the lights to recycle.
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10286

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10286

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Question About Backgrounds
Can someone please tell me what to use for a high-key, bright-white, seamless background? I have a white muslin, but I don't like it! Thanks for your help!
- Cindy K. Bracken

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ANSWER 1:
Cindy, doing this with material is difficult. It needs to be bleached pure white and kept very flat. You might try using some background kicker lights on it to see if that helps wash it out completely in the photographs. These need not be that expensive. There are inexpensive battery-powered slave lights that can be set on the floor a couple feet in front of the backdrop and aimed upward toward it. You may need to shield the side opposite the backdrop to keep from backlighting the subject with light spill coming directly from the kickers. A simple opaque panel (heavy black construction paper) is a quick fix for this.

If the above doesn't work, the best method I've seen used is seamless paper background. Savage makes very wide paper background materials in many colors including bright white for use in studio work. It comes on a roll and your stands/crossbar or whatever you use to hold it up must be able to support the weight of the roll which will be noticeably heavier than muslin draped from a crossbar.

There are undoubtedly companies besides Savage that make paper background; they just happen to be the one I know about. Before you invest $$$ in paper stuff, try the kickers first (if you haven't done that already).
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10280

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10280

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Effective vs. Recorded Pixels
The specs on my new Fujifilm F610 camera are quoted as 6.3 effective pixels and 12.3 recorded pixels. What's the significance of these 2 numbers? Is it a true 6 MP camera?
- jan green

ANSWER 1:
It is a 6mp camera. Fuji has proprietary software that interpolates a 12mp image from the 6mp sensor, but it is not a true 12mp capture. It cannot add detail finer than what's seen by the 6mp sensor, but it can fill in gaps that can reduce pixelation in large enlargements.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10275

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10275

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Blurry Photos with Canon AE-1
I just bought an AE-1 and just had my first roll of film developed. The pictures are sharp at the center focus point but get blurry around the edges all around the center to the outer edge. I am using Kodak B&W 400 speed film. I set the film speed on the camera to 400 and set the shutter speed to 500 as the book suggested for bright sunlight. My lenses are: Kalimar 28mm and Osawa 300mm. I also have a Promaster Spectrum 7 2X teleconverter. I used all of these lenses on the roll of film, and all of the photos have the blur. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
- Carl Smith

ANSWER 1:
Carl, it's common for telephoto shots to be blurry around the edges as the depth of field with such lenses is very shallow. That all your shots are blurry around the edges and sharp in the middle is peculiar. If there are no special filters on your lenses, unless you hear from someone with more knowledge, I would shoot another roll of film (a different kind) and see if you get the same results. I'll see what other kind of advice you get here. I'm uploading an example of my blurred out telephoto shots.
- Dwight Dolby

ANSWER 2:
The problem may be with your lenses. Off-brands generally have poor optics and can cause blur around the edges and other deficiencies.
- Bob Cammarata

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NEW QUESTION 12: How to Shoot Antique Books
Hello. I have a chance to shoot some antique books in an antique book store. How do I photograph them in a simple, unobtrusive way for a magazine-quality photo? Thank you.
- John

ANSWER 1:
Find a spot with good lighting and not too much in the background to detract from the shot.
- Damian Gadal

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NEW QUESTION 13: Should I Use a Copyright Sign?
Does anyone think it is a good idea to put a copyright sign and then my name or my lines name on each of my photos?
- Fawn S.

ANSWER 1:
That's up to you, but if it isn't going to detract from the picture I don't think it would matter much. Keep in mind that you own the copyright once you push the shutter...

hth
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 2:
I always do! If someone does happen to lift one of your images with your copyright on it and uses that image for the purpose of profit, then they touch/alter it out or even crop out your copyright, that can show "intent" in a court room ... if it ever comes to that. Intent can be shown as "they knew exactly what they were doing!"

It never hurts!! Mike
- Michael Brown

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ANSWER 3:
With all of the millions of places your pictures could be used, how could you catch them?
- Amy

ANSWER 4:
Here is one solution that many use.
http://www.digimarc.com/solutions/default.asp

I do not use Digimarc at this time (cost), but will hopefully be adding this to the images on my site, which should be ready during the later part of this year.
I have tested this method before, and it works fairly well in tracking images that have been lifted off of your site and are being used elsewhere.

You can put a copyright on your images like I have, or put a larger but faint copyright symbol right in the middle of your image, which some might not prefer to lift off of your site.

I have had other photographers to tell me that my images were being used elsewhere on a site or in print. Some I have happened to run across myself. It's very hard to find them all, but it looks like the Digimarc solution is the best right now for tracking down anything that has been downloaded off of your site.

All of my images have also been registered with the US Copyright Office.

One good thing did come out of some of my images being lifted off of my old Web site 6 years ago by a company in Canada and being used to sell their products online. I had 4 years left to pay for my wife's car ... and well ... they paid for it instead!! Hehe!! Mike
- Michael Brown

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NEW QUESTION 14: Digital Apertures
Is there a difference in aperture stops between digital and regular cameras? My Fuji S7000 can go only to f8, and I realized that quite a few good digital cameras have that limit. However, every film SLR (even the cheapest) can go to f22 and higher (on 35mm). Is f8 enough for real sharp photos and good depth of field?
- Moe Lebon

ANSWER 1:
Depth of field is related to focal length as well as aperture. The shorter the focal length (all else being equal) the greater the depth of field. Digital cameras like the Fuji S7000 have very small digital sensors - and, hence, very short focal length lenses. While the zoom lens of the S7000 gives the same view as a 35-210mm on a 35mm film camera, the actual focal length of this lens is just 7.8-46.8mm. The depth of field at f/2.8 is equivalent to f/12.6 in a 35mm film camera at the equivalent focal length; at f/8 it is equivalent to a 35mm film camera set for f/36. The problem with these digitals is not getting enough depth of field; the problem is that it becomes nearly impossible to get selective focus with a blurred background.
- Jon Close

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