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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, July 26, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Showcase - And Sell - Your Photography Online!
* BETTERPHOTO: ARTICLE: Seeing Stars - Creating Sunbursts Without A Filter
* BETTERPHOTO: Capture Great Wildlife Photos in Natural Settings - in Utah!
* BETTERPHOTO: Meet Jim Miotke and Jay Forman - On the Radio
* FEATURED GALLERY: Tuning Up Your Photography with Music
* FEATURED PLACE: Utah: From Canyon Country to Great Salt Lake
* PHOTO LINK: Capturing Your Kids in Pictures: Tips from Jay Forman
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Great Shots, Radical Views / Smile
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Shooting with Extension Tubes ... By Bob Cammarata
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot Group Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: People in Photographs: Legal Question
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Lighting Questions ...
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Quote a Pricing List
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to Get Rid of Dark Eyes
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Negatives... To sell or Not to Sell?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Good Places for Model Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Macro Flower Shots
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Lighting a Mannequin
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Formatting for Mac Compatible?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Air Travel with Digital
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Wedding Help ... Please!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Photographing Artworks
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Filters Needed for Digital?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: What Does Bulb Mode Means?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Portable Image Storage
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: Problems with Some Prints
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 4: Selling Photos for Calendars


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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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:
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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 170th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Some exciting news as July winds down: Next April, Triple "D" game farm goes back on the road with its wildlife photography road show - this time to Utah. And, best yet, BetterPhoto will be there! Our exciting 2005 combo workshop involves photographing wildlife models in southern Utah's amazing red rock country. For all the details, see the update item below.

Of course, the entire state of Utah is awesome. Be sure to check out the Featured Place for a photographic tour of not only red rock country, but also of Utah's many other grand landscapes and cityscapes. Also in this issue of SnapShot: an article by BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager on capturing sunbursts without a filter, Bob Cammarata's excellent tip on focusing with extension tubes, a gallery of wonderful musical photos, and yet another Questions and Answers section that's filled with tips, tricks, and techniques.

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


*****
ARTICLE: Seeing Stars - Creating Sunbursts Without A Filter
Backlighting always offers great opportunities to capture dramatic scenes of light, shadow, and silhouette. But for a really dynamic effect, says BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager, you might also want to include part of the sun. Yes, he says, a star filter does some very magical work, but he prefers to create his own sun stars! In his article, Kerry shares some tips and tricks on "seeing stars." Read all about this subject at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=16


*****
Capture Great Wildlife Photos in Natural Settings - in Utah!
Jim Miotke is thrilled to announce his combo workshop for photographing wildlife in the red rock country of Southern Utah April 13th - April 16th, 2005. This unique on-location and online adventure offers photographers the chance to record wildlife models in an array of natural settings, providing you with beautiful and convincing backgrounds for your animal pictures. Just imagine the possibilities: photographing animals such as grizzly bear, mountain lion and kittens, wolves, bobcat, black bear ... all in natural surroundings. Plus, there's a bonus "Birds of Prey" session! For more information on the Digital Wildlife Photography combo workshop with Jim Miotke, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/wildlife-photography/digital-wildlife-photography-Utah.asp



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Meet Jim Miotke and Jay Forman - On the Radio
BetterPhoto founder Jim Miotke and instructor Jay Forman will appear on Shutterbug's Web Radio show this Friday, July 30th, at 2 p.m. Pacific time. As always, the show will be hosted by Jack Warren. Here's more about the weekly program:

Shutterbug Magazine Radio features up-to-date information from guest photographers, photo editors, writers of top magazines and books, and industry leaders from around the world. So if you’re a beginner or pro and want to hear what's hot and what's not in photography, the show has something for you. Call Jack, ask your questions and talk with the guests during the LIVE show. For details, go to:
http://www.shutterbugradio.com

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Tuning Up Your Photography with Music
Musical instruments and the people who play them have long been the creative focus of BetterPhoto shooters. Our fantastic gallery reveals such an exciting array of images. Among them: Musicians posing beside their instruments; fiddle players, guitarists, band members, and others shown in deep concentration; and still-life shots of violins and music, roses and piano keys. Other pictures show just the instrument itself - mostly close-ups, always creative. And, of course, there are many photos that focus on a key aspect of playing music - the hands! For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Music Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=236

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FEATURED PLACE
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Utah: From Canyon Country to Great Salt Lake
For sandstone cliffs, grand arches, red rocks, amazing vistas, desert landscapes, and open woodlands, it's hard to top this grand state in the western United States. Utah's Canyon Country offers a collection of photo opportunities with names like Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Arches, and Escalante. These attractions make fantastic subjects in all seasons, as proved by BetterPhoto members and instructors. In addition, the sweeping Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, and other areas have also caught the eye - and the lens - of BP shooters. For a visual inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Utah's Scenic Photos" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=215

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Capturing Your Kids in Pictures: Tips from Jay Forman
If you would like to learn how to take better pictures of your children, instructor Jay Forman's excellent new book is just for you. For more details on "Capture Your Kids in Pictures: Simple Techniques for Taking Great Family Photos With Any Camera," or to purchase an autographed copy, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1204

In addition, Jay also teaches a terrific online course on the subject: "Capturing Your Kids in Pictures." Designed specifically for parents, this course offers simple techniques for taking great pictures of your children. Check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY01.asp

But that's not all. Jay has a new Web site that's devoted to showing you how to take great family photos ... with any camera. Visit Jay's site at:
http://www.captureyourkidsinpictures.com

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Who was the Italian photgrapher who lived in Mexico most of her life and was known not only by her excellent photos but also by her radical views?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Dorothy Dyer is:
Tina Modotti (1896-1942), who studied under Edward Weston

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 - Smile - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Which 1960s' American TV show used the word "smile" in its signature slogan?

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 with Extension Tubes ... By Bob Cammarata
When using extension tubes for shooting macro photos of insects or other tiny subjects, focusing manually will be more effective than auto-focus for locking on to a critical part of the subject ... such as an eye or antennae. When possible, pre-focus the lens to the minimum focus distance. Then, while looking through the viewfinder, lean in to the subject, and move the camera and tripod back and forth to lock in on critical focus. Not only is this an effective focusing practice when using "tubes," but skittish subjects seem to be less fidgety with this type of approach.

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
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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: How to Shoot Group Portraits
I've been asked to do a photo shoot on the band in our church. I'm not real good on posing as of yet. Any ideas on how I can come up with poses?

- Dee

ANSWER 1:
Well, the cardinal rule when doing portraits is to not, under any circumstances, do a lineup. When people stand in a row or even a few rows in front and behind each other, everyone looks so static and "posed." The idea is to get people to not look posed. I don't know how big the group is that you're shooting, but you can be creative with setting them up. With large groups, stairs or props like that tend to be helpful because they allow people to stand at different heights and have places to put their arms and hands instead of at their side. That way, each person looks unique and comfortable, but overall, the group is organized and pleasing to look at.
- Steven Chaitoff

ANSWER 2:
Thank you for your response. The group only consists of three women. They want to go to the beach also. I was thinking of rocks, swings, footprints in the sand, old buildings, walking in the water with bare feet. Do you think all of these will be OK? I won't have a lot of props to work with at the beach besides what I mentioned. Any ideas still :) Thanks.
- Dee

ANSWER 3:
Dee, those all sound like great ideas. And at the beach ... the very nature of that kind of place is conducive to good pictures. Open shoots are when you include a lot of negative space between people, so if you have a spacy, open, and pleasant-looking beach area, that may work well. You can have 3 people all at different distances, leaning, sitting, not even looking at the camera. However, be aware that you're not in control of your lighting at a beach (unless you have equipment). I think that is more important than the group's pose. If you shoot away from the sun, the group may be squinting. Try aiming towards the sun, turn right, then turn a little more, like 110 degrees, and then shoot in that direction.
- Steven Chaitoff

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10655

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10655

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NEW QUESTION 2: People in Photographs: Legal Question
If a person in your photograph is not recognizable (e.g. if you just have the back of their head), do you have to have written permission to use their picture or is that only for recognizable faces?

Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 1:
Hi Pam. I believe if they are not recognizable you don't need a release. But I look forward to an expert answering your question.
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I agree, very useful information.
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 3:
If I can remember correctly, the answer is no. Check in here for some further info on the subject.

http://photography.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.simslaw.com%2Fmodel%2Fmodel_releases.htm

Mike
- Michael Brown

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Thanks for the great Web site. It's a little hard to wade through, but at one point he does talk about a person being recognizable. Most of the stuff just uses the term "likeness," which seems kind of vague to me. I think I'd still like an answer from someone with a little more definitive answer.
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 5:
I'm actually an attorney (though I usually try hard to hide that fact), and I can tell you the law is very confusing/unsettled on this. See:
http://www.publaw.com/photo.html

Generally, if the photo is for commercial use (stock photography, etc.) you'll need a release for photos that include a person's likeness (from what I've seen this usually means face).

If it is for private use (not for sale or promotion) and taken on public property, you generally can use the photo without a release. After all, anyone could have seen that person anyway, since he or she was on public property. He or she would lose any "reasonable expectation" of privacy.

Other laws govern taking photos on private property.

My thought is that if it's just the back of someone's head, taken in a public place, you're almost certainly OK to use it for anything.

That being said, please don't take this as formal legal advice (my official "legal disclaimer"). :-)
- Rob Friedman

See Rob's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 6:
Thanks so much for your detailed response. I did get verbal permission from the person to use her photo in another contest and it doesn't show her face at all.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 7:
No problem, Pam - glad it was helpful!

Here's another article. It may make your head spin, but it contains very good analysis (you can see how murky and fact-intensive the law is):
http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html

Take Care!
- Rob Friedman

See Rob's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 8:
I guess this is why so many people are shooting flowers and landscapes. :-)
All joking aside, whenever I photograph a person I don't know, I will make it a point to show them from behind (translation ... "un-recognizable"), or at a distance, so that they are part of the landscape and not the main focus of attention.
If they ARE the main point of interest or can be recognized, I always get their permission to photograph them. I tell them of the intended use ("possible publication"), and Igive them one of my business cards. As far as I know, this "verbal agreement" is OK for use in an editorial context (newspapers, magazine articles, and the like), as long as it's done tastefully.
For commercial use, such as advertising or trying to sell their image for profit, a written release would be required.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 9:
Thanks so much for all of your imput. This really helps. (And it is also why I usually only photograph non-human animals...)
- Pamela L. Keil

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10650

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10650

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Lighting Questions ...
I'm not sure how to judge the lighting in the sunlight and in the shade. I also have been asked to take photos at a family wedding, and I'd like to know how to eliminate shadows behind the subjects.
- Janicebigelow M. Bigelow

ANSWER 1:
Janice: Two general methods for controlling shadows: multiple off-camera lights including a background light, or on-camera flash that's elevated and kept directly above the lens. With either, sufficient distance between the subjects and background lets shadows fall well outside the frame or drop down behind them. A background light is often used in studio portraiture to provide a modest highlighting on the background behind the subject and ensures shadows are eliminated.

I don't believe this is feasible for the wedding you mention; even if you used off-camera lighting for portraiture, it must be basic with "fail-safe" lighting angles for quick setup and tear-down. For candids, photojournalism, etc., that use on-camera flash, keeping the flash directly above the lens at all times by about 10-14 inches drops shadows directly behind the subjects. Even with that flash elevation, distance between subject(s) and background is important. Even though the shadows fall down behind them, if the subject(s) are too close to a wall or other vertical object, the head shadow may not drop far enough to land below the shoulders and can be seen around the neck.

For wedding work with on-camera lighting, a bracket is used to elevate the flash and keep it directly above the lens regardless of camera orientation. There are two basic styles: camera rotator and "flip flash." The first is a bracket with handle or grip and has a rotating mechanism for the camera. The second allows the flash to rotate (or "flip") to the side of the camera to keep it above the lens for vertical compositions. The best known and largest bracket maker is Stroboframe; another is Newton Camera Brackets (in Florida). If Stroboframe is the "Chevy" of flash brackets, the "Rolls Royce" is made by Custom Brackets in Ohio.

For the wedding you will be shooting, you may wish to see my Survival Guide:
http://johnlind.tripod.com/wedding/
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10642

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10642

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: How to Quote a Pricing List
I have been asked by several people to take pictures at various events. What is the usual protocol as in developing a pricing list?
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Steve,
There isn't a "protocol." You need to build a "business case" that captures ALL of your costs for doing these types of things .... tangible costs (film, developing, etc.), intangible costs (cost of driving your auto to/from event, etc.) and the value of the time you will spend not only at the event, but doing all the "back end" post-processing work afterward. If you have accurately captured the tangible and intangible costs, what you have left afterward is your profit ... the value of your time spent doing the work.
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10640

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10640

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: How to Get Rid of Dark Eyes
This picture scanned darker than it is. In the original, the brightness is good throughout the picture expect under the adults eyes. How do I get rid of that, and have them as bright as the bottom little guy?
- Jana Yohe

See Sample Photo - Sister, Brother, Kids:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=469505

ANSWER 1:
I'm sure there's a Photoshop fix for selectively lightening the shadows. To correct when taking the pic, you need some reflectors or use fill flash.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Using natural light early in the morning or very late afternoon really helps. The light comes in horizontally, illuminating the eye area. Around midday, the sun moves overhead, casting shadows over the eye area.
- Nancy Grace Chen

See Nancy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Jana, light that first breaks at dawn (called "sweet light" by some photogs) is beautiful for picture-taking. Just what Nancy said (it comes in at a soft angle, so no hard shadows.) Anyway, ideally this is around 6 AM or so, and I'm definitely not up to that! By 10:00 or even earlier, the sun is typically already to harsh to shoot. What I'm getting at is that you have a larger window to work with in the evening than in the morning, so try to shoot in the PM.

You want to shoot around sunrise and sunset. Since we are all awake and active before, during and after the sun is setting, you have a lot of latitude for getting great shots without those "black eyes." On the other hand, most people aren't up until the sun has fully risen and that sweet light is already gone. Your best shots will come after 4:00 PM. Anytime before that, the sun is high up in the sky and the shadows will persist.
- Steven Chaitoff

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10635

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10635

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Negatives... To sell or Not to Sell?
I am a beginning photographer, and I recently did a photo shoot for a co-worker. I made her the prints we agreed upon, and she paid the balance in full. Now she wants to know if she can buy the negatives from me. I don't have a problem selling the negatives to her because they are of her and her daughter and don't really mean anything to me. I want to know how much to sell them for, or if there are any consequences for selling them (people printing them later on with not as good quality as I would print them myself, etc.). Thank you for any input you have!
- Tabitha A. Durstine

ANSWER 1:
Few professionals relinquish the negatives for at least five years for several reasons, and you've hit nearly all of them ... including one that most don't think about ... losing control of the print quality while not being able to ensure your name is no longer associated with the shoot. You can be blamed for a poor print; very, very few people know how very much the person making the print influences what it will look like.

I've been asked but am very reluctant and extremely selective about doing work for co-workers, friends and relatives. On the few occasions of this I will have reprints made "at cost" for them ... but that's only for those I know very well (e.g. for co-workers it's those I've been closely associated with for many years).

If you do decide to sell negatives, assess what you think someone would want to make ... for a portrait sitting perhaps one or two 8x10s, a couple 5x7s and perhaps 20 wallet size ... and then charge what you would for that. Adjust the print sizes and quantities for what you think is appropriate for the situation. They're paying you for your cost of opportunity lost. Then try not to think about them having prints done by the cheapest one-hour (fill in name here)-Mart ... it will only make you cringe.
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10632

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10632

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Good Places for Model Photography
I'm thinking of doing some photography shoots in nice scenic, but public places - of models. I was wondering what kinds of places other photographers have chosen or used as a good spot for model photography. Thanks in advance!
- Wing Wong

See Wing's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Check out very old cemeteries. I had some luck there without any threats of arrest or anything happening at all.
- Chuck Freeman

ANSWER 2:
Wow ... thanks, Chuck. Cemeteries never even occurred to me. Thanks!
- Wing Wong

See Wing's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Parks, playgrounds, ball fields, waterfalls, nature trails ... I've used them all at one time or another ... :-)
- John Wright

ANSWER 4:
Thanks. It seems like the brain forgets how to come up with ideas when the question is put to one's self!
- Wing Wong

See Wing's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10627

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10627

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Macro Flower Shots
I am interested in close up floral shots. I plan on purchasing either the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 macro or the 105mm version. My question is: How do I get a black background with a macro shot of a beautiful lone flower? I read that you can use a flash or underexpose your image by one stop below metered reading. Can someone enlighten me? Thanks very much.
- Frank P. Luongo

See Frank's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
You can either use flash (set at a distance to illuminate only the flower), or use natural light and prop up a piece of black foam-core or poster board behind the flower. I would personally opt for the latter ... and shoot outdoors on a cloudy day.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Frank! I usually use the flash to create a black background, as Bob previously mentioned!! I have not experimented with anything else yet.
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Really up close and Personal:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=467896

See Sample Photo - Canna Up Close and Personal:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=467895

ANSWER 3:
I like using the flash also, but I keep it soft by using a Pocket Bouncer on the flash, and a Press T flash bracket, and a tripod.
How I create a black background on a sunny day: Most of the time I can shade the flower and background with my body or a 24" reflector. This reduces the light by at least three stops or more. I manually set my camera at the sunny f16 x 1/125 sinc speed. If your camera has a higher sinc speed, better yet to create a black background, or use smaller apertures. Then the flash will TTL the correct exposure. And, of course, the further away the background and the longer your lens focal length is the more out of focus the background will be. I will also use a black cloth. Regards,
- Ken Henry

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10616

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10616

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Lighting a Mannequin
I need to take shots of clothes on a mannequin. I was wondering what lights I should buy for this. I have a small area to work with. I am shooting with a digital canon rebel.
- Suzanna Yun

ANSWER 1:
With a super-tight budget, I'd bet you could do it with two flashes, one bounced off the ceiling the other off the wall. It'd be cool to do it outside in a public place. Use a slow shutter speed to blur people walking by, have the mannequin seated on a bench, at a bus stop, standing out on a sidewalk.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
What flash models/brands do you prefer? I'm just a new photo student trying different techniques. I won't actually be taking a photo studio class until next semester. If I were to buy lights, what would you recommend? I cannot always take my pictures during the day because I have work. Thanks for your help.
- Suzanna Yun

ANSWER 3:
Suzanna,

Since you have a Canon digital camera, I would suggest you use a Canon flash system. Others may recommend other brands of compatible flash. It is only good if you intend to use the flash on your camera. The type of shots you are asking is better to move your flash off the camera to achieve professional look. It just happens that I also use a Canon system, and I found their wireless flash system is the easiest to use.

Scenario 1: One flash on your camera: I would recommend the Canon 420EX (about $165) or 550EX (about $310), or any compatible flash that allows the flash head to be bounced and swiveled. You can bounce the light from the ceiling to get the frontal lighting or from the side wall to get the side lighting ONLY if you and your subject are close to the ceiling/wall AND the ceiling/wall color is as close to white as possible (of course you can use reflectors or white board to bounce the light; your camera may use white balancing to correct some color casting too; but what about if the color of the wall is green, purple, brown, etc.)

Scenario 2: One flash off the camera. There are quite a few options to connect your camera to your flash. a) Using the Off-camera Shoe Cord 2 (about $50). But the cord is coiled and can be stretched up to 2 feet only. b) The combination of TTL Hot shoe Adapter 3 (about $60), Off-Camera Shoe Adapter OA-2 ($30) and Connecting Cord 300 ($45) can be used on most EOS cameras except your digital Rebel. c) Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 ($180) on your camera and one 440EX or 550EX. You can use an umbrella, a reflector, or a white board to bounce and direct the light onto your subject. Like in the previous scenario, you can use a reflector or white board to fill in the shadow side of your subject.

Scenario 3: More than one flash. This is when the Canon flash system comes in handy. You can use the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 or one 550EX flash on the camera as the master unit and control one or more 440EX or 550EX flashes. It is easy to set the flash ratio on different flashes. It is also very lightweight and portable for location assignments (I do not have my own studio). And there are NO wires, and the system is expandable.

To start, I would recommend a 420EX on your camera and get a reflector/white board to see if it achieves the result you want. If not, get the ST-E2 and move the flash away from your camera. Of course, you may need to get a few more accessories like the light stand, bracket for your flash, a tripod and remote release for your camera, stuff like that.
Hope this helps.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 4:
Thanks for your response. I was thinking about getting lights, which I thought were going to be expensive, but using flash may actually be better and easier.
- Suzanna Yun

ANSWER 5:
You may find some light systems (new or pre-owned) quite affordable. You can also use the household lights, since your camera can do white balancing on the fly. It's just the type of photography I do most. I need mobility. If you are just taking photos at home, you may even use some flood lights as your basic lighting system. Hope I did not confuse you.
- Andy Szeto

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NEW QUESTION 10: Formatting for Mac Compatible?
I am working on a submission for a company right now. Their email said, "Please format for MAC compatible." Can someone please explain this? I have Windows 98 and Windows 2000. All files are JPEGs. Is there anything special I need to do to make it Mac compatible? I will be burning them onto a CD. Thanks for any direction. I am new to this.
- Jennifer Ralston

ANSWER 1:
Jennifer: If all the files are JPEG, they are as compatible with Mac as with Windows. If you Save As Tiff, and apply compression in Photoshop, you get a Windows and a Mac option.

Frankly, no matter which of those you use, any computer should be able to open the file.

So, the company is just playing it safe, in case someone uses some weird software to save images in some weird format that's not Mac compatible.

Cheers!
- Peter K. Burian

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ANSWER 2:
Thank you SO much, Peter!!! I will remember that for the future for TIFF files. For this one ... I'm only using JPEGs. Thanks!
- Jennifer Ralston

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NEW QUESTION 11: Air Travel with Digital
I am taking a trip next week and was wondering about taking my Canon 10D on the plane. I'm not comfortable w/leaving it in my luggage (to possibly get lost). What precautions do I need to take?
- James E. McKinney

ANSWER 1:
I handled it by getting insurance (very reasonable $30/year) and by carrying my equipment with me (camera backpack).
- John Wright

ANSWER 2:
I have a camera backpack that I was going to use, but will the equipment be OK going through the airport machines?
- James E. McKinney

ANSWER 3:
Keep it with you - in your carry-on luggage or around your neck. The carry-on X-ray machine has no effect on digital cameras or storage media, put it through. I wouldn't trust the metal detector/magnetometers to not harm digital storage media like Compact Flash cards, so I'd put them through the X-ray rather than keep in my pockets.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
I had no problem with the airport machines. In fact, the ones they use for carry-on are supposedly not as damaging as the ones they use to scan items that get checked (at least that's what I've read). In any case, I have had no issues with either traveling with both film and digital equipment.
- John Wright

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NEW QUESTION 12: Wedding Help ... Please!
I will be doing a wedding with a Canon D60 and was wondering if anyone has used one for a wedding and can offer me some advice regarding white balance, using Canon 420ex flash, focus mode, camera settings and generally any help or advice please. Thanking you in advance.
- Colin

ANSWER 1:
Use white balance for flash because many flashes have a slight blue tint. And the material that wedding dresses are made of tend to look blue when you shoot with flash, especially straight on.
I haven't used a Canon 420, but whether or not you use it on auto or manual, beware of the common problem of flash in a large dark room (dance hall, ball room, convention room): the flash shooting too much in order to try and light a dark background, thus making the people in front that you're shooting poof out to mostly white ghost.
You'll have to use auto on the flash at a lower f/stop number than what your lens is actually at, or you can switch to manual on the flash and go by the distance you are away form people.
And if you move closer or farther away, keep adjusting power output of the flash, or the f/stop of your lens accordingly.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 2:
Colin,
Gregory mentions one of the hazards in large reception halls ... light dissipation and blowing out foreground. I try to fill the viewfinder to at least 2/3 to 3/4 of it with the subject to keep this from happening ... even if it's a full length of the "first dance" I'll shoot several pulled in tight ... 1/3rd or 2/3rd body shots ... that show their faces well ... and a couple full length that leave only a little at top and bottom above/below the couple.

Flash Power: Your 420EX flash has a GN=100 for 35mm focal length (ISO 100 in feet) which is more than plenty at home, but is very marginal for wedding work at longer distances (can be twice as far as in your living room) in bigger spaces that don't contain the light. I recommend setting the camera at ISO 400; you're going to be in trouble with inadequate flash power at a lower ISO. You need a bit of "overkill" with flash horsepower too ... otherwise you'll be waiting an eternity for it to recycle ... upward of 7.5 seconds from alkalines if it's having to "full dump" all the time. You can shorten this to about half that if you use rechargeable NiMH cells which can put out much more current to recycle the flash faster (get a 1-hour charger and at least two sets of cells, better yet three).

I'm suspecting this is your first wedding (???). If so, you might be interested in my "Survival Guide" here:
http://johnlind.tripod.com/wedding/
- John A. Lind

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NEW QUESTION 13: Photographing Artworks
Show applications require slide applications. I'd like to photograph my miniature works (approx 3" x 6") and fill up the whole slide rather than have a lot of silver tape blocking out the borders. I think I need a macro but have no idea which one and where to begin looking. As you know, good slides make all the difference in getting accepted in national shows. Thanks.
- Jackie Sevier

ANSWER 1:
A 50-60mm macro lens will produce the best corner-to-corner sharpness. You can probably find a used manual-focus macro in your camera mount for not a lot of money.
I would suggest a copy-stand type setup with a fine-grain tungsten-balanced slide film.
Shoot straight down to the image with the two light sources at 45 degrees. For a full frame, you will need to position the camera and lens at 10" away (measured from the center of the artwork to the film plane).
In 35mm format, you will lose some of the image on the long end (I think it will be closer to 3" x 5", or so.)... or you could place a piece of black foam-core or poster board under your works and give the slides a black border. Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

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NEW QUESTION 14: Filters Needed for Digital?
I am reading a lot about filters and film. Are these same filters useful if you are shooting digital? I find myself in situations where the light in the middle of the day washes out the sky. Will a neutral-density filter help here? I have a Canon Rebel. Is there going to be a difference in what film records vs. the sensor on the digital camera? Thanks in advance.
- Shirley Pearce

ANSWER 1:
Polarizer, ND, Haze, and color enhancing filters (skylight, 812, 81-series, 82-series, enhancing, etc.) work the same on digital as they do on film cameras. So do special effects filters, such as soft-focus, star, fog, etc. IR filters (block all light except infrared and ultraviolet) can also be used, but some digital cameras have internal filters that block IR light.

UV (ultraviolet) can still be used for protection on digital camera lenses, but are not really necessary since digital sensors are not as sensitive to UV rays as is film.

If you have a digital camera, do not get suckered into a filter set that includes an FL-D (fluorescent lighting to daylight). Your camera's white balance can correct for fluorescents much better than can the filter, plus you won't lose the 1 stop of light that the filter does. Ditto the color-correcting 80-series and 85-series filters, which are used to correct tungsten light to daylight film and vice-versa.
- Jon Close

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: What Does Bulb Mode Means?
I am a beginner photographer and I have a Canon Rebel 2000 and for the first time I heard the term "bulb" mode. What does it mean, and what do I do? Also what is the purpose? Thanks!!
- Jo-Anne Walsh

ANSWER 1:
Bulb mode will keep the shutter open as long as you push down the shutter button. So, you are in complete control of the exposure ... You can also use it when cleaning a CCD and you want to keep the shutter open.
hth
- Damian Gadal

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ANSWER 2:
Hey Jo-Anne: Typically you'll just want to use a timed shutter, because most subjects don't require shutters more than a second or so, but the bulb has some interesting and creative uses. For example, if you're out at night and with little light, you can leave the shutter open for a long time and capture the motion of the stars around the north star. I even know one guy who left his shutter open for 9 or 10 hours, all night outside in the pitch black, and captured a scene entirely from the light reflected off the moon!
-Steven
-http://www.vinrock.i8.com/photos/
- Steven Chaitoff

ANSWER 3:
Historical Notes: At one time, many moons ago, most of the top-end cameras had a "T" and a "B" shutter speed position. The "B" as already described means "Bulb" and shutter is open as long a shutter release is held down. The "T" means "Timed" and was intended for long timed exposures Pressing the shutter release opens the shutter; either pressing it again, or turning the shutter speed dial, or moving a lever is required to close it. I have an old camera with both "B" and "T" on the shutter speed dial.

The "Bulb" shutter speed position name comes from the early days of flashbulbs, which were invented in 1929. Prior to flashbulbs, flash powder was used. One would open the shutter, light off the flash powder in an elevated trough and then close the shutter again. There was no shutter synchronization with flash.

Cameras made shortly after flashbulbs were invented likewise had no flash synchronization to fire the flashbulb while the shutter was open ... requiring the same method of opening shutter, manually firing the flashbulb, and then closing the shutter again ... hence the "Bulb" name it was given.
- John A. Lind

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ANSWER 4:
When you do try out your B setting, use a cable release. Don't just press the shutter with your finger and hold it down. A locking cable type lets you leave the shutter open for extended periods.
- Scott

ANSWER 5:
A Canon Rebel may not have a way to attach a cable release.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 6:
Luckily, the Canon Rebel 2000 has a remote control terminal on the side that can be attached by the remote switch RS60-E3. So do the Rebel Ti and GII.
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 7:
You can attach a cable release, but not a generic one. Canon uses its own proprietary system, so you have to buy theirs. It'll cost more, of course, but there are a bunch on eBay! The name of it is the Canon RS-60E3 Remote Switch Cable Release.
- Steven Chaitoff

ANSWER 8:
Painting with light in simple terms: Set you camera to manual mode and focus on your subject. Set the bulb mode then in total darkness press the shutter button to open the shutter and shine a touch on the subject moving the light around. You can get some great effects.
- Norman Ewan

ANSWER 9:
Bulb is a very old term and comes about not because of flash powder but because many of the early shutters were operated by air. A flexible rubber tube attached to the shutter and at the other end was a rubber bulb. When you squeezed the bulb the air compressed and activated the shutter. The word has persisted for many years. When shutters became mechanical the T for Time was added and required two actions: one to open the shutter, one to close it.
- Bill Wassmann

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Portable Image Storage
I have heard there is a device that you can transfer images from a CF card into, for instance when traveling. If there is, is it cost-effective, is it reliable, or are you better off to buy more CF cards?
- Jeanne Griffith

ANSWER 1:
I use a Nixvue Vista and love it. It doesn't hurt to have extra CF cards so that you can be filling one up while transferring data from the other.
Cost effective? Depends on the storage of the device you buy and the amount you shoot.
hth
- Damian Gadal

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ANSWER 2:
I'm leaving on July 23 for a 1-month trip through Vietnam, so I recently bought a 40GB Smartdisk Flashtrax unit. It will easily hold all my shots - plus, I can bring lots of mp3 music files to listen to. It has a small screen to view pics and a tiny speaker. It is rather expensive, but I tested it out this weekend and am very glad I bought it.
- Chris L. McCooey

ANSWER 3:
I used to travel with my laptop but found the Roadstor from MicroSolutions. It is a portable CD burner. You can plug in your Compact Flash card or SD Media or whatever, and it will copy the files to CD. It runs on a lithium ion battery or AC power and can also be used as a portable DVD player or just to view photos on a television. This has worked very well for me, and when I get home I don't have to spend hours downloading images to my computer, I already have a "permanent" backup. It is less than $300.
- Melissa N. Trittin

ANSWER 4:
Thank you all for responding to my question on portable image storage. Now I must decide which way to go and how much to spend. Does anyone have a favorite supply outlet? Thanks again.
- Jeanne Griffith

ANSWER 5:
This is where I usually order from. Excellent service every time.
www.bhphotovideo.com
Adorama.com is also very reliable.
- Chris L. McCooey

ANSWER 6:
Hi Jeanne. Have a look at the Apple iPod. It comes with 20 gig or 40 gig storage, and there is a card reader attachment available to download your pics. It is very small and compact.
www.apple.com/ipod
Regards, Del
- Derek Holyhead

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CONTINUING QUESTION 3: Problems with Some Prints
Several prints (2-5) from an occasional roll of film will show an image only on the top half of the picture. The lower half is black or very dark grey. I checked the negatives, and they show the same thing. The camera was not opened. Could it be the film, Kodak 200? Or the processing, Walmart? All the other pictures have been great. I appreciate any help or suggestions.
- Sharon

ANSWER 1:
It shouldn't have anything to do with the processing, because the negative is made inside the camera. I don't know what it is, but it probably has something to do with the camera.
- Nancy Grace Chen

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ANSWER 2:
Sounds like a flash problem. If you use flash at a shutter speed faster than your camera's recommended sync speed, partial blackening of the image frame will occur. Check your manual to see what the flash sync speed is ... (it's also usually highlighted on the shutter speed dial), and shoot with flash only at that speed or slower.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 3:
Could be a flash sync problem if it's an SLR or if it's a compact, it could be that door that covers the lens is not opening completely when you turn the camera on, or your finger is in front of it.
- Scott

ANSWER 4:
One thing that comes to mind is a dangling camera strap, lens cap or finger. This would be more common with viewfinder cameras though because you are not looking through the lens.
- Stephen F. Kahrs

ANSWER 5:
You could have shutter problems. I am attaching a picture I took when I first started having shutter problems. Do your prints look like this example? I had to have my shutters replaced. I don't have any idea how this problem happened, because I am very careful loading film in my camera. I had a roll where some prints were great and some looked like the one attached. Good luck.
- Phyllis Lowry

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ANSWER 6:
If your camera battery is low, your camera and flash may not sync. Have you checked your battery?
- Barbara

ANSWER 7:
I thank you all for your suggestions. The one about the low battery might have been the problem, as I had changed batteries recently. (I am hoping.) But it could be a problem with the shutters also. I appreciate finally finding this forum to get ideas, as my community is very small with limited resourses. Thanks!
- Sharon

ANSWER 8:
I doubt it was the battery if it uses lithium batteries. The dark with the real light area looks like the shutter is hanging up. That picture was taken outside, so if it was merely a flash sync problem, she'd still get an image in the black area.
- Gregory La Grange

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CONTINUING QUESTION 4: 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 35mm, you will increase your chances even more.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 2:
Hi. I am in the same boat. I love taking pictures of my poodles. They are great models, and they are what make the pictures so great, I believe. I want them in a calendar too, and I don't know what to do. I am only 16, though, and I'm afraid that if I was to send samples to a calendar company they would laugh and reject me due to my age. I just want people to take me seriously. Also I was wandering where I should go to college that would give me some decent education for photography. Keep in mind I live in OK.
- Hollywood Stroad

ANSWER 3:
Hi, Hollywood. Well, first off, age isn't really a factor. What the editors will see is what you send. What matters is whether or not your work is up to the level of quality they are looking for and whether the subject matter, be it poodles or flowers, is what they are looking for. (Read: is what their audience/target market is looking for.).

Bob C. hits it right on the nail. Get the Photographer's Market 2004 book. It's a great resource in terms of which companies want what and in what formats in each of the major markets for photographs. The second thing is about the format of the submission. 35mm is common, but for calendar work where the image needs to be printed large, a larger negative (medium format or large format) would be a benefit.

Some places are accepting digital, but because of the quality of a lot of digital cameras under $1000, acceptance may be lower. Good luck!
- Wing Wong

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