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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, August 02, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: New Course By Lewis Kemper Launches Fall Schedule
* BETTERPHOTO: Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure ... Updated!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focusing on People and Their Pets
* FEATURED PLACE: Putting the Creative Spotlight on Florida
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Smile / Word Problem
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Still Reluctant to Try Digital? ... By Shawn R. Olszewski
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Selective Focus
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Kit Lenses for Digital Rebel
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Shoot People with Black Background
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How Do I Shoot a Fast-Moving Object?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Sunset, land is silhouetted. How do I prevent?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Storing Prints and Slides
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: TIFF or JPEG?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Manual or Autofocus?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Backdrop Ideas
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: How to Shoot Photos of Castles
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Traveling with a Digital Camera
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Photographing Buildings: Releases?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: How to Choose Film Speed
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Photoshop: What to Get?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: People in Photographs: Legal Question


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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New Course By Lewis Kemper Launches Fall Schedule
BetterPhoto's fall lineup of online courses is shaping up to be the best ever ... and leading things off is an all-new course by Lewis Kemper! His "Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop: Toolbox #3" will help you move beyond the basics of Photoshop. Topics include working with the File Browser, taking advantage of the Camera Raw Processor, and creating weather (rain, snow, stars, and rainbows). You'll also learn to create filters and custom brushes, plus other useful tips. Find out the details at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/LEW04.asp

More exciting courses at BetterPhoto are on tap too ... with such subjects as: beginning photography, composition and the art of seeing, digital photography, shooting technique, business and marketing, lighting and exposure, and other Photoshop and specialty subjects. Check them out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 171st issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Some exciting news for two BetterPhoto instructors! First, an all-new edition of Bryan Peterson's classic book, "Understanding Exposure," will be published in September. But you can pre-order an autographed copy from the BetterPhoto Store right now! See the update item below.

Next, Lewis Kemper has just announced another in his series of superb courses: "Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop: Toolbox #3." Learn all about this class at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/LEW04.asp

In addition, this issue of SnapShot is filled with information and inspiration. The Featured Gallery, for instance, puts the focus on pets and their owners, while the Featured Place zeroes in on the great state of Florida. Also, be sure to check out the weekly Photo Trivia quiz and Shawn Olszewski's photo tip. Lastly, there's an outstanding lineup of questions and answers.

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


*****
Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure ... Updated!
BetterPhoto instructor Bryan F. Peterson's book, "Understanding Exposure," is a well-deserved classic ... but soon it will be a REVISED classic! An all-new edition isn't due out until next month (September), but you can pre-order an autographed copy of this awesome book today! Subtitled "How to Shoot Great Photographs With a Film or Digital Camera," this beautifully illustrated book is designed to help any photographer maximize the creative impact of his or her exposure decisions. Bryan stresses the importance of metering the subject for a starting exposure, and then explains how to use exposure meters and different lighting. For more details, or to pre-order an autographed copy, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1246

Bryan also teaches excellent courses at BetterPhoto, including "Understanding Exposure." For information, see:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BFP02.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focusing on People and Their Pets
Pets often become beloved members of our families. As a result, BetterPhoto shooters have celebrated that bond by photographing people with their dogs, cats, and other pets. These pictures range from formal portraits to casual shots to candids. In some cases, the photographer took a pet's-eye view with just the owner's legs showing. In other cases, the dogs are bigger than their young masters. Also, don't miss the Peruvian boy showing off his llama, a young German with his cow, and the child relaxing aboard his horse. For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out the "Pictures of Pet Owners" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=114

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FEATURED PLACE
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Putting the Creative Spotlight on Florida
Renowned icons like Miami and the Everglades naturally evoke the color and character of Florida. But, as BetterPhoto shooters have so consistently proved, this Southeastern U.S. state has much more to offer. Check out our gallery of photos and you'll see for yourself the wealth of imagery that's possible in Florida. For example: bird life, beach scenes, bridges, reflections, fantastic seascape sunrises and silhouettes, lighthouses, architectural details and designs, and lots of people shots. Don't miss BetterPhoto's "Florida Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=218

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Which 1960s' American TV show used the word "smile" in its signature slogan?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Barbara Russell is:
Candid Camera (as in "Smile, you're on Candid Camera!"), hosted by Allen Funt

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 - Word Problem - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

If two cameras were shooting from the same position, pointed at the same subject, facing the same direction, one at f8 and 1/500 and the other at f16, what would the latter camera's shutter speed need to be to produce identical exposures?

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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Still Reluctant to Try Digital? ... By Shawn R. Olszewski
For those of you who have drawn a line in the sand and refuse to go digital, consider this: Some of the less-expensive "prosumer" digital cameras have many manual controls (focus, film speed, shutter speed, f-stop) and can use the filters you've already spent your hard-earned money on. While a 3.1 megapixel model would never replace your SLR, it can be an inexpensive way to cut your teeth on digital and, more importantly, improve your film photography. You can shoot all day long trying every combination of f-stop/shutter speed and so on - without spending a dime or waiting for prints.

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:

  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Selective Focus
I need to shoot a good selective focus shot with blurred foreground and background and central object in focus.

I use the widest aperture on my lens (28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom) at 80mm. I tried some floral shots - not yet developed. Do I need a more powerful telephoto lens, such as 200mm to give me even more shallow DOF. At 80mm, how far or close should my subject be from my lens. Thanks.
- Frank P. Luongo

See Frank's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Obviously, longer focal length and wider maximum aperture lenses will give shallower depth of field. Without spending more money, use the lens you have and get closer. At 80mm and f/5.6, if your focused subject is 10 ft away, then depth of field will be from approx. 9.4-10.7 ft. If only 5 ft. away, DoF is reduced to from 4.8-5.2 ft. If focused to 18", DoF is just from 17.85" to 18.15".
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10800

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10800

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Kit Lenses for Digital Rebel
I've been told with other lenses, I have to take the focal length times 1.6 (I think) to determine what my lens sees. Now, if the kit lens was made specifically for the Rebel, is 18mm really 18mm or is it 18mm X 1.6? I know this is probably clear as mud, but that shows just how little I know. Thanks for any guidance.
- Woody Woodward

See Woody's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
The EF-S 18-55 is made specifically and exclusively for the Digital Rebel. Nevertheless, the same cropping factor applies. 18mm focal length is 18mm focal length, regardless of the camera format. But because the digital sensor is smaller than the 35mm film frame, the angle of view of 18mm on a Digital Rebel will be equivalent to 29mm (18 x 1.6) on a 35mm film camera.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Woody, kits typically include a lens that has a small max aperture and a pretty standard focal length like 28-90, because they are inexpensive to manufacture and are good "starter" lens. Anyway, because of the crop factor, Canon purposely uses a shorter focal length range (18-55), so the effective length becomes 28.8-88, which is quite close to an ideal standard of 28-90.
- Steven Chaitoff

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10798

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10798

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: How to Shoot People with Black Background
I have seen many photos where everything is black except the person/subject that is being captured. How is this achieved? Is it done digitally, or can you capture it correctly automatically? Thanks for the insight! I really want to know how to do this.
- Sarah

ANSWER 1:
The easiest way to accomplish this is by using flash. Have your subjects stand at the distance for which your flash is set to illuminate, and use the fastest flash sync possible. As long as there are no background objects closer than 10 feet or so, everything but your subjects will be black. You can also do this in a studio setting with a black backdrop and one or more light sources illuminating your subjects at an angle.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10795

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10795

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NEW QUESTION 4: How Do I Shoot a Fast-Moving Object?
Excuse me, if anyone knows how to shoot a fast-moving object, please kindly let me know. Many thanks in advance.
- Ronggo Kusumo

ANSWER 1:
Hi Ronggo. Assuming that your "fast-moving object" is a car, aircraft etc., the secret is to "pan" the camera.

Get your object in the viewfinder well before the point at which you wish to take the photo, and follow it with the camera ... keeping it framed in the viewfinder.
Press the shutter at the point you want the picture. Continue panning after you hit the shutter to ensure that any shutter lag does not result in you losing the shot.

Panning does require some practice, particularly with a long zoom and a fast-moving object.

A nice side effect of panning is that you can use a slower shutter speed than you might normally need to stop the motion this will give your background some movement blur giving a real impression of speed to the photo.

Hope this is of help. If your object is "something else," let us know.

Cheers
DC

- Dave Cross

ANSWER 2:
Hi Dave, I have a question. Are you doing this on a tripod? Can you easily turn the camera on the tripod and follow the action until the right moment? Or are you hand-holding? I've tried a few times (with my son on his trick bike). It is quite difficult. Any other advice you may have on capturing the moment would be greatly appreciated!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10783

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10783

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Sunset, land is silhouetted. How do I prevent?
Ok, shooting post-sunset sky shots, with Canon Digital Rebel, EF-S 18-55mm, with tripod. (see examples) The sky looks great, but the foreground is silhouetted. Is there any way to correct this, or am I stuck with silhouettes? Note, these shots were taken just after sun down.
- Paul T. Thompson

See Sample Photo - sky3:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=481727

See Sample Photo - sky2:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=481725

ANSWER 1:
A graduated ND filter will help bring out more foreground detail, but after sundown some silhouetting will still occur.

For a detailed look at how these filters work:
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Sorry, the hot-link didn't work :(

Here's the ND filter web site :

http://www.photofocus.com/zine2/zine9.htm
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
This looks like just what I was looking for! Thanks!
- Paul T. Thompson

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10779

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10779

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NEW QUESTION 6: Storing Prints and Slides
Hey again: Just curious ... if anyone can help. My slide and print/negative collection is getting rather large now, and I was just wondering if anyone knew of a sort of semi-professional way to store these (either together or apart) ... and to arrange so I can show people and stuff like that - like a neat folder especially designed for this type of thing. Thanks in advance. :)
- Ben

ANSWER 1:
They sell archival plastic sleeves for either slides or negatives. You can check the major photo supply houses, or just do a Google Search under "Slide Storage" to find out what's available.

I keep my slide pages in notebook binders. (They come with three holes punched in them for this.) They can be grouped and categorized - however works best for your collection ... as long as it's organized to allow for quick access to an image.

As far as showing them, I seldom do "slide shows" any more. Thanks to technology, it's easier (and better for the slides than projection) to scan them to a computer and e-mail them ... or put them onto my Web site.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10769

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10769

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: TIFF or JPEG?
Should I save my images in a TIFF or JPEG file? I do a lot of printing, and some of the photos I prints just don't look like the original print. I scan the negatives first at 250ppi. Should they be saved in Adobe Photoshop too? Thanks, Tim
- Timothy S. Bell

ANSWER 1:
TIFF will give you the best quality. JPEG is a "lossy" format. While compressing, some data is thrown away in the Jpeg. Additional edits/saves throw away even more data. So you should use JPEG only where small file size is important and quality is less demanding (like for Web graphics).

Vince
www.PhotoAgo.com
- Vince Broesch

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10756

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10756

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Manual or Autofocus?
I'm new to the world of photography. I want to purchase a new SLR camera. Is it possible to begin with a manual focus camera and then to switch to autofocus? What will be the difference in the resolutions of the two cameras? One Will I be able to improve my photography skills? And, lastly, which is the best choice among manual cameras?
- Sam Kumar

ANSWER 1:
Hi Sam! Yes, it is possible to start with a manual focus camera and then switch to an autofocus model! Nikon,I believe, makes their lenses so they will fit either manual focus or autofocus cameras. I, however, decided to purchase a Minolta Maxxum 5 camera - autofocus - but it has manual settings if I want to experiment! Most autofocus cameras have a manual setting. Hope this helps!!
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Sam,
As Steve mentions, it is possible to start with manual focus lenses and move later to autofocus within Nikon's system. Choose the specific camera body and lenses with some care. Some of their autofocus bodies are easier to use the Nikon AI/AIS manual focus lenses with than others. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert with Nikon's autofocus system, so I cannot make specific recommendations. (You cannot do this with Canon ... their FD manual focus lens mount is different from their auto-focus EOS system.)

Neither manual nor autofocus gives you any better "sharpness." That's a quality of the lens, and ultimately you control lens focusing (albeit indirectly with auto-focusing systems). With film-based systems, resolution - more correctly resolving power - is a function of the lens and film together. Whether it's manual or auto-focus makes no difference.

I still prefer manual focusing for the control it provides ... it allows me to very directly place critical focus exactly where I want it using the viewfinder's focusing aids (split, microprism, etc.). Not that it cannot be done with auto-focusing systems ... the methods for doing it seem cumbersome to me the few times I've handled auto-focus gear and I've done it so long manually that I don't have to think about it ... it's a natural part of the flow in making the photograph.

Regarding photography skills, it depends to some extent what you want to do. I'm very much Old School on this ... with the three most important things being control, control, and control ... which requires understanding the aspects of lens optics, film/print (the photographic process), and exposure relevant to being able to control them for desired effect in the photograph.
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I too prefer manual focus ... especially for critical work in macro, and for landscapes. As mentioned, AF systems can be somewhat "cumbersome" ... unless you have a thorough working knowledge of the system you are using, and can INSTANTLY get it to react to your desired objective.
Where autofocus has its advantages is shooting action sports ... where focus distances may change quicker than your ability to react, or when trying to capture fast-moving wildlife subjects.

The good news is that just about ALL AF systems have manual overrides ... so you can "improve your skills" ... or switch off the AF for those times when manual-focus simply makes more sense.
As far as improving resolution and image quality ... stick with the name brands (Nikkor, Canon, etc.) and get at least one good "prime" lens.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10755

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10755

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Backdrop Ideas
I'm looking for ideas for good backdrops - inexpensive, because I'm just getting started. Thanks.
- Andrea Hillis

ANSWER 1:
Hmm ... sheets, blankets, curtains, rugs, walls, foliage, windows, sky, beach...
My few cents:o)
- Mikki Cowles

See Mikki's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Mikki. How do you get the rippled effect when you place these over the backdrop?
- Andrea Hillis

ANSWER 3:
Sheets are good. You can find them on the clearance table at some bed and bath shops. The problem I ran into with sheets was that they were not long enough to cover the flooring, so I just get two and sew them together.

You can also go to a fabric store and purchase muslin, extra wide - it is cheap, and you can even paint on it, like a bunch of primary colors, spattered on it.

Also, at the fabric shop you can look on their clearance table for cheap fabrics - say, if you would like some fake fur to make a rug to lay on, or some animal print pillows. If you don't sew, the fabric stores always have a list of people that do.
- Rhonda L. Tolar

ANSWER 4:
When you hang them, don't pull them smooth, just attach them to the wall or a pole, slide it together and give it some slack, as if you were draping some curtains. The extra material should fall into a soft, drapey look, which you can adjust to get the desired effects and shadows.
- Mikki Cowles

See Mikki's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Believe it or not, shower curtains also make good backdrops. For a different texture and color mix, you can use sheer curtains over the backdrop, or to help frame the subject. Good Luck!
- Jerry Ferguson

See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10743

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10743

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: How to Shoot Photos of Castles
In two weeks, I am going to England and will be taking a lot of photos of castles. If you have any tips to make my photos better please tell me.
- Taylor Brusky

ANSWER 1:
Incorporate the relationship between the castle and the scenery.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Taylor. Enjoy the UK :-)
Like Gregory says, make sure you incorporate the scenery and context of the castle: Get shots of the castle looming over the landscape, dominating the city, etc., etc.

Don't get too close ... castles are BIG.
Having just said 'don't get too close' I'll now contradict myself ;-) ... Get in close to capture the details, carvings, statues, etc. Look for unusual angles - maybe silhouettes or views out through barred windows etc.

Be creative and post some of your shots here when you return. Enjoy.
DC
P.S. Don't forget your umbrella - everything you've heard about our weather in the UK is true :-)
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 3:
Be sure you have a wide-angle lens, at least a 35, maybe a 24 or 28. You'll be in some tight spaces and won't be able to back up. Frame your shots when you can. Sometimes the view of the countryside from inside the castle can be interesting, especially through a window or battlements. See the France gallery on my Web page for some castle shots. There's one in the Switzerland/Austria set. The best of the bunch was taken through an arch in Carcassone, France, with a 35mm lens on an $80 point and shoot.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Thank you, Gregory, Dave, and Doug. You all gave me great tips, and I will keep them in mind.
- Taylor Brusky

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10726

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10726

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NEW QUESTION 11: Traveling with a Digital Camera
I am new to traveling with a digital camera. Does anyone have tips on how to keep my memory card available? What do I do when I have filled it? I don't want to lug my laptop with me to download everywhere. Do I have to buy a bunch of memory cards? This could be pricey. Any tricks? Also, deciding whether to delete or not is hard to tell when just viewing a LCD - sometimes the shot is fine when I see it on the computer at home. How do I better view "in the field"?
- Lorraine E. Smith

ANSWER 1:
Lots of memory cards or a portable hard drive are the route I'd go - and save the discerning view for the computer ...
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 2:
You just have to budget your shots widely. Definitely get cards big enough where you can shoot all day, as much as you want, without memory restrictions for at least one day. That way you can shoot carefree for one large "block" of time. Then, when you have time off, you can go back and methodically examine your photos on the LCD and cull out all the garbage to free up some memory for later. I think any technique you use - if you want to shoot carefree - you have to have quite a bit of memory.
- Steven Chaitoff

ANSWER 3:
Hi Lorraine. If you are traveling in the "civilized" world, many photo shops or cyber cafes have the facility to transfer your memory card to CD/DVD ROM. Otherwise, lots of cards and/or a portable storage unit are the answer. I find that I shoot a LOT more now I've gone digital ... I used up 3G of CF on a 4 day trip to Paris! Memory is not that expensive these days; buy for this holiday, and you can re-use it next holiday :-)
Enjoy your trip, and post some of your shots when you get back.
Cheers, DC
- Dave Cross

ANSWER 4:
Hi. All of the previous answers are really good and should be helpful to you. Additionally, I am sure you are aware that the capacity of a CF card depends on the quality you are shooting at - i.e., several JPEG possibilities, TIFF, or RAW. You should be able to get several hundred JPEGs on a reasonably sized CF card, which will be quite adequate for 4X6 prints for an album. TIFF and RAW take a considerable amount of storage memory and greatly reduce the amount of images you can get on a given card. Remember, in a fix for space, you can always change the image quality with just a few clicks from your memory button and conserve space.
I, like others, have a portable storage unit that is just great for downloading images. Be sure to acquire the proper plug configuration for wherever you are traveling. Europe takes the common two round plugs found in most travel conversion kits.
Generally, I find that most of us delete too quickly from just previewing with the camera LCD. Most images are better than you think when you get them back to your computer. Look closely for composition, etc., and then delete the more inferior ones. You can acquire a little device called an LCD hood to better preview your pictures in daylight conditions. The cheapest alternative is use a toilet paper tube, and it's a good companion on any foreign junket, ha!
- Jeff Quiggle

ANSWER 5:
Jeff, what do you mean by a portable storage unit? Any advice there? Yes, thank you for the reminder on the quality setting for the pics. I have it on JPEG for now. Love the toilet paper tube tip! Thanks to all.
- Lorraine E. Smith

ANSWER 6:
A portable storage unit is just a hard drive that'll fit in your pocket. Or it can be flash memory or something else, but basically, it may hold 30 Gigs per se, and when your memory card is full, empty it out onto the portable storage unit so you can reuse the same memory card again and again. Belkin and Minds@Work both make these kinds of devices.
- Steven Chaitoff

ANSWER 7:
I use a Nixvue Vista for portable storage, as I shoot all RAW and can burn through 5 gigs in a day ... hth
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 8:
Hi Lorraine. 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. You can even listen to your favourite mp3s! www.apple.com/ipod
Regards, Del
- Derek Holyhead

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=10717

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=10717

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*****


NEW QUESTION 12: Photographing Buildings: Releases?
Should you get a release from someone if you were to take photos of property? For example, houses. I know they are in public view (the residence), and if you are not on the property, is it required? Also, does someone have a good example of a release or site to obtain? I wouldn't want to infringe on someone's rights.
- Sandra Harrasser

ANSWER 1:
If you take a photograph of someone's private residence and you're on public property, everything is OK ... up to this point: As soon as you publish the image or make money from it, then you could get into a "fix" with the owner ... provided the property in the photograph is identifiable. It's always advisable to get a property release.

Look into "Business and Legal Forms for Photographers" - Third Edition, by Tad Crawford ... you'll find all sorts of releases in there.
- Terry L. Long

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NEW QUESTION 13: How to Choose Film Speed
I have the opportunity to take photos at several holiday activities this fall. They will be held at night. How would I choose a film that will accommodate night-time work with little or no flash - only available street light and ambient light?

- Steve McCroskey

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ANSWER 1:
I would use TMAX 3200, if you cannot, or don't want to, use flash. It will be grainy, but I like that look. Many people do not, however.
- Jerry Frazier

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NEW QUESTION 14: Photoshop: What to Get?
I have a birthday coming up and have requested Photoshop. I do not know what one to get. I have about $300.00 to spend. Would someone please tell me which one I should get so I do not have to upgrade six months from now? My next course is going to be Photoshop. Thanks.
- Pat Worster

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ANSWER 1:
If you are a student, you can by the Adobe student versions. Student versions are fully functional like the retail. You will need to prove that you are a student. Check out www.studica.com The Adobe pack with Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, GoLive, and Acrobat is about $380. You will want CS, it is the new one.

Vince
www.photoago.com
- Vince Broesch

ANSWER 2:
Newest isn't always best - I picked up a copy of PS 5.5 (along with the license) on eBay for less than $100.00 and am perfectly happy with it ...
- Damian Gadal

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ANSWER 3:
I concur with Damian that "newest isn't always best." I have v7.0 and won't upgrade to CS ... yet. There are a lot of problems with "plug-in's" and CS. I've got too much money invested in plug-in's to not be able to use them. I'll wait until they overcome the bugs in CS before I upgrade.
- Terry L. Long

ANSWER 4:
Personally, I haven't seen a problem with Photoshop CS or plug-in's, and I use it daily. PhotoshopCS is far superior to previous versions (and I've been using it for years - including v5.5). If you can get a copy that is within your budget, I'd recommend it. There are other alternatives out there (that are cheaper), but I have no experience with them.

Good luck!
- John Wright

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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 I give 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

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

ANSWER 10:
The issue of photo releases is often misunderstood. But the rule should be "get them" ... period. As a veteran of 25 years stock shooting and representation by 10 different agencies during that time, I have personally been "accused" of photographing someone and not obtaining a release. Although I was able to prove that I had a release for the person who was in the photograph, I had to spend considerable time to prove that the person in the photo was not my accuser.

That is where we are in the state of this issue. If you are accused of not having a release, the burden is on you to prove it is not the accuser in the photograph, rather than they having to prove it is themselves. Over the years, I have had several photographer/friends pay out thousands to people they had photographed, but failed to get a release, as well as to attorneys to battle these claims. I have seen others being sued when they had a release, because the model didn't like how the photo was used. Whether the photographer won or lost, it costs plenty in legal fees. It is easier to pull a release and prove immediately who is in the photo and that the image is released. It is true that editorial photos often do not need to be released but that does not mean that you are protected from litigation. Numerous photographers have paid out here as well. A verbal OK is not sufficient either; all they have to do is change their mind. If they saw the photo published once, then published again, they are thinking money and the fact they didn't get paid and you did.

If you want to be represented by an agency they will require releases ... period! They deal with legitimate and false claims every year, and most, if not all, will not accept any image without a release, no matter how great the shot. And your agency contract specifically states that you agree to provide a release for any image on file at the agency, upon request ... and that you will be responsible and hold agency harmless for any and all claims arising from model release issues. AND that you will reimburse agency for all cost, losses, and damage awards they incur and related to a model release issue for one of your images. At Fogstock, we require them and ask the photographer to provide them within 48 hours of our request. Many ad agencies, designers, etc., who buy stock will often ask for the release in advance of purchasing the rights to use the image. They don't want any hassles either. I not only get a release from everybody, but I also have a "Photo-shoot agreement" that says they will receive no more compensation that what we agree to up front, and I put it in writing. I have also asked many strangers if I could photograph them.

Basically I say: "Hi, I am a photographer and am shooting for blah blah blah. I am trying to get a story in a magazine (or whatever) and when I noticed that you were doing blah blah blah, I thought that would make a great shot. But I cannot take your picture without your permission, and the magazine won't publish the photo without your written permission. If you will sign my release, I will gladly send you an 8x10 to show you how great you look and how great the photo came out. Here is my business card so you can contact me if you wanted more prints." I have only been turned down once.
- Charlie Borland

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Stock Photography

ANSWER 11:
Thanks for providing such a comprehensive answer and a way to approach people with a release. I really appreciate the feedback.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 12:
The fact that stock agencies won't take anything without a release doesn't stop with people familiar enough to just walk up to and start talking to them.
Whether on the street or down in the Amazon with indigenous people who've never needed to be able to sign their name on anything, and don't have a concept of legalities or why you're down there, a release will be required.
You'd have to go as far as having an interpreter explain to them you need their permission to show the picture back home, and have them make a mark like an X and have a witness.
Would somebody like that - halfway across the world - in that remote a place, be able to track you down and put together a lawsuit? No, but an agency still would not accept the photos without it.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 13:
Legally, any release wouldn't be enforceable if the person can't understand the release. Bottom line is that a written release is great evidence that the person intended to "OK" the use of the photo, but a release still can be challenged in a variety of ways (fraud, undue influence, no consideration, didn't understand the terms, etc.).

However, an agency would be better protected by relying in good faith on a written release, which is why they all would require them. Additionally, because the agency asks you to hold them harmless and indemnify them from any damages, as Charlie mentioned, the risk of the lawsuit is mostly thrown onto the photographer (which makes some sense since the photographer was far more intimately involved with obtaining the release than the agency, and should bear the risk if the release was obtained fraudulently or incorrectly).

Remember that mostly though, for someone to sue, they'd have to shell out a bunch of $ in attorney's fees. This is pretty unlikely for most photos since the likelihood of getting any substantial damages is very very small (risk/reward). If the photo is wildly successful or it is used in a way that disparages the person, that's a different matter (more potential damages, making it more likely there would be a lawsuit).

Charlie, of course, is 100-percent correct that the best protection, and safest course, is to get a model release ... especially if you even remotely intend that the photo will be used commercially or will potentially be widely distributed. And I really like his ideas for how to get the release executed. Great ideas!
- Rob Friedman

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ANSWER 14:
True about the legal enforcement. But I was trying to make the point that there isn't anywhere nowadays that you can take a picture of somebody, that an agency will accept without releases, regardless of how miniscule the chances of there being a problem from that individual.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 15:
Yep, you're totally right. I wasn't disagreeing. It also makes sense for the agency to have that policy. Otherwise, the agency would have to make risk/reward determinations on a case-by-case basis, which for hundreds of thousands/millions of photos would be nearly impossible (especially since the agency didn't have direct contact with the models or have firsthand knowledge of the circumstances around the photo).
- Rob Friedman

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ANSWER 16:
My grandmother is the older lady in the background of the famous WW2 picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square, N.Y. Does this mean that she should have gotten compensation for being so visible in that famous photo? (She is now deseased, but I'm curious.) Thanks
- Mil

ANSWER 17:
I would say "no" off the top of my head. It was a public place (no expectation of privacy), she was part of the crowd (not the center of attention), and it was a news/editorial photo, not a commercial shoot. That being said, people have sued over stupider things in the U.S., and won. :)
- Rob Friedman

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ANSWER 18:
Thanks for all your comments/discussion. I really appreciate the feedback.

Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

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