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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Tuesday, August 24, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
* BETTERPHOTO: Combo Workshop: Photograph Oregon with Charlie Borland!
* BETTERPHOTO: Publish Your Own Articles on Photography
* FEATURED GALLERY: Capturing Butterflies: Colors and Patterns
* FEATURED PLACE: Capturing Chicago: Skyline Shots And Much More
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Mistakes Happen / Look Behind You!
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Of Ceiling Fans and Photography by Subhash Dikhale
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Film Scanners
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Blurry Indoor Action Shots
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Scanning 35mm Slides
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Shoot Indoor Sporting Events
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Photo Software
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Digital Vs. Film Metering
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Why a 50mm Lens?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Combining Aperture and Shutter Speed
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Lighting for Shooting in Bar?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: How to Come Back After Being Burned Out?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Metering High-Contrast Scenes: Sidelight
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: How to Scan Slides
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Using a Photo Backpack for Traveling
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Depth of Field
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 15: Proof Books
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 16: Techniques for Prepping Food
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Upping the EV and Noise


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
Are you read to learn more about the principles of exposure, composition, digital photography, photographic field techniques, Photoshop, or the business and marketing aspect of photography? Join us this fall for an inspiring online photo course at BetterPhoto.com. Let us be your guide ... with our online courses, you will become a better photographer. Our next session promises to fill the season with creativity and inspiration. But with so many great courses to choose from, the decision-making process isn't an easy one. That's why we created our categories page, which can be reviewed at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 174th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

We have had a tremendous week here at BetterPhoto! Much of the excitement involves our next session of online photo courses. In fact, our lineup has never been better, and although the next session doesn't kick off until Oct. 6, signups are already proceeding at a lively clip. See all of our course offerings at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, read about instructor Charlie Borland's spectacular workshop in Oregon. Also check out some terrific photography, with the Featured Gallery focusing on butterflies and the Featured Place putting the spotlight on Chicago. And, once again, the Q&A is awesome and enlightening - enjoy reading, learning, and posting your own responses.

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


*****
Combo Workshop: Photograph Oregon with Charlie Borland!
Join BetterPhoto's Charlie Borland for an exciting week of photography at Oregon's Steens Mountain. Open to both digital and film photographers, this combination on-location and online workshop - September 26th to October 2nd, 2004 - is an excellent opportunity to explore and photograph the fantastic Southeastern Oregon scenery with a great photographer/instructor! With glacial cut valleys, aspen filled gorges, wildflower laden meadows, and wonderful desert views, Steens Mountain offers the landscape photographer a vast array of photo subjects. Learn all about it at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/_cws/Charlie-Borland-Steens-Oregon.asp

Charlie also teaches an immensely popular "Stock Photography" course here at BetterPhoto. For details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/CBL01.asp


*****
Publish Your Own Articles on Photography
BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™ feature the ability to publish your own articles. A simple form lets you combine text with photos to create your own tips pages, stories, helpful how-to pages, and more. You enter the material and we stitch it all together for you. In a matter of minutes, you see your own photo-illustrated work on the Web. Order your Deluxe BetterPholio™ today at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Capturing Butterflies: Colors and Patterns
Bold colors, fine designs, and delicate features all describe one of the more popular subjects for BetterPhoto.com photographers. And these small yet magnificent creatures have been recorded in a variety of ways. Many images, for example, show the butterfly in close-up, with some shots almost filling the frame with colors and patterns. Still other photos, however, picture the butterfly in its environment. Likewise, the appeal of butterflies extends beyond the great colors, as some BetterPhoto black-and-white shooters have shown. For ideas and inspiration, don't miss BetterPhoto's "Butterfly Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=1178

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FEATURED PLACE
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Capturing Chicago: Skyline Shots And Much More
The city of Chicago has such a fantastic skyline - with the bright lights and bold colors so strikingly captured by BetterPhoto shooters during twilight and nighttime. High vantage points add to the visual drama. But a check of BP's Chicago gallery also reveals a great array of other scenes, including creative shots of architecture, art museums, street scenes, train stations, zoo scenes, water reflections, and other regional attractions. For inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "City of Chicago Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=1168

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
A 1/2 million dollar camera lens was recently ruined by exposure to candy ... what happened?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager is:
Definitely not an easy question! But here's the answer: The remake of the film "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" was thrown into chaos in July when a worker dropped a $540,000 camera lens in a vat of chocolate, according to the Internet Movie Data Base (imdb.com). The clumsy technician had failed to properly secure his wire-held camera, the movie site reported, and watched aghast as it plunged into the three-foot-deep tank. A source on the English set told imdb.com: "When the camera fell it was like a slap-stick scene straight from the movie. ... The production team didn't know whether to laugh or cry." Tim Burton directs and Johnny Depp stars in the film, which is due out in 2005.

See Kerry's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=20858

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 - Look Behind You! - entered by BetterPhoto member Bob Cammarata

In the movie "Midnight Run", what common photographic mistake was made?

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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Of Ceiling Fans and Photography by Subhash Dikhale
This is a very simple tip, but an important one. When photographing indoors where there is a ceiling fan that is likely to appear in the picture, it is advisable to keep the fan switched on while shooting. A stationary fan in the frame takes away from the impact of the photo and makes it look mundane.

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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

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

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Film Scanners
I just want to know if I have this straight ... If you have a film scanner (not a flatbed, but one that looks like a hard drive), do you scan your prints or the actual negative? If you scan the negative, how do you get a picture out of that? I know this is probably remedial to most, but since I am a beginner, I do appreciate all answers and feedback. Thanks!
- Olivia A. Hurtado

See Olivia's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Scanning a negative or a slide gives you the image as a digital file. You can save it to CD for when you want to print it, or print it from your computer on an inkjet printer. You can also downsize (make the resolution, measured in pixels-per-inch, smaller) so that you can send it, post it to a Web page, or use it as on your computer desktop. Read the articles on my Web page and ask any question you'd like.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Doug, for the quick response! I will take a look at your Web site.
- Olivia A. Hurtado

See Olivia's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11166

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11166

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Blurry Indoor Action Shots
OK - need advice, please! See the indoor action shots enclosed. The lighting was bad, as usual, and unless I used the flash things were really not good if the subject was moving.
Do you have any advice as to what settings to use if I cannot use the flash? I unfortunately did not have my tripod with me. And how do you take pictures with a tripod when the subject is jumping up and down on a trampoline??
Thanks in advance for your advice!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Flash on - why is there the white/blue halo?:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=507818

See Sample Photo - Flash on - captured ok even with backlight:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=507817

See Sample Photo - Flash on - movement captured:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=507816

See Sample Photo - no flash, blurry everything:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=507815

ANSWER 1:
You can either improve the lighting with some high- powered lams or use your tripod. Carefully aim it for the mid jump "area" and use action shot mode. Then move it to top jump and bottom jump for variation. Or move the tramp outside! Somebody else might have more ideas on settings, but nothing I've tried lets me take pics of things moving in low light.
- Karma Wilson

See Karma's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Diane,
For this type of action, 1/500 sec. or faster would be best to freeze the action without flash (unless you were lucky enough to capture the trampoliners at the extreme summit of elevation, when they were motionless). Then you could get away with a much slower speed.
This would not be possible in low light without a high ISO setting. You can check the lighting by metering in manual mode to see what ISO setting will permit speeds that fast, though grain (noise) may be more prevalent.
At 1/500 sec., a tripod is not necessary.
In the last photo, the halo is a result of "ghosting" ... i.e., using flash with a slow shutter speed. What happens is that the flash freezes the action but the shutter remains open a fraction of a second longer than the duration of the flash and allows subsequent movement to register.
Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11157

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11157

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Scanning 35mm Slides
I have been using my Sony 4meg digital camera to photograph my art. I have been enlarging the images and printing on an Epson 2200 with good results. The more I do, the more detail I would like to see. I recently got out my old 35mm camera and bought some slide film. When they come in I will be looking for someone to scan them to a CD. I use Adobe Photo Shop 7 and enlarge up to 12X24. The question is: Should I invest in a slide scanner? Or would I be better off sending them out? Thanks.
- Geroge Kovach

ANSWER 1:
Film scanners that will do slides are down to about $500, for 4000 ppi. Nikon especially has a good one.

Budget for Ed Hamrick's scanning software is $50-80, depending on which version. I have used Nikon, HP and Canon scanning drivers. All are OK with negatives, but the hamrick.com product wrings the shadow detail from slides, and gives nearly any scanner an overscanning capability it would not otherwise have.

You can pay to have your slides scanned, but you may find that you will spend enough to buy a scanner after about 100 slides.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11156

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11156

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: How to Shoot Indoor Sporting Events
I am new to photography and am trying to take pictures at indoor soccer matches. I use a Rebel Ti (shutter priority mode) with a Sigma 70-300 lens (min. aperture f22-32). I have been using 1600 speed film with a shutter speed of either 180 or 250, and the pictures are OK, but I would like them to be clearer and less grainy. 800 speed film results in blurry pics. Any ideas?
- Elizabeth Whitcomb

ANSWER 1:
Hi Elizabeth! Let me first say that professional sports photographers use long/fast glass - i.e., 300mm f/2.8 up to 600mm f/4. They all shoot at the lens's widest aperture, unless they have the luxury of light. One will need to shoot wide open in order to stop action in 99 percent of situations. ISO 1600 film is probably OK in some cases, but many pros use ISO 1600 speed film pushed to 6400 and even to ISO 12500! This is probably why ISO800, to which you prefer, is a bit blurry. The shutter speed is not fast enough to stop the action. In order for you to get what I believe you're looking for, you'll need at least a 200mm f/2.8 lens and push your 1600 film to at least one stop to ISO 3200.
Your 70-300 lens is probably in the f/4 to f/5.6 range, which will probably not be fast enough to get the fast shutter speed you'll need. Grain may be less noticeable using Tmax 3200 film (B&W), pushed to ISO 6400. And again, shooting wide open will result in less sharpness, but will be more likely to stop action. That's the trade-off. Hope that this helps. Good luck!
- Tony Sweet

See Tony Sweet's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Tony Sweet's Web Site - TonySweet.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
Image Design
Fine Art Flower Photography

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the info, Tony. You are correct that my lens is f/5.6. I only do this for fun - not professionally, so getting a great zoom lens is out of the question. I think I'll play with my camera's manual mode a little this season. Something new to conquer!
- Elizabeth Whitcomb

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11147

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11147

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Photo Software
I have noticed that a lot of people use PS7 to fix up their photos, I'd really like to try this program. Can someone help me out by sending a link of a good place to get a trial version. Thanks.
- Tonya Boles

ANSWER 1:
Here is the link for the tryout version of Photoshop CS. Since Photoshop 7 is no longer the current product, there is no link available. Besides, there are so many great changes in CS that I recommend you use it!

http://www.adobe.com/products/tryadobe/main.jsp#product=39

If you want to learn how to use it sign up for my classes here at BetterPhoto.
- Lewis Kemper

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Visit Lewis Kemper's Web Site - LewisKemper.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Lewis Kemper:
Large Format Photography
Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #1

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the link. I have been working on the download, seems like it's taking forever with this slow dialup.
- Tonya Boles

ANSWER 3:
Photoshop Elements is very user friendly (and 1/8th the price of the full Photoshop). It might be worth taking a look at. I know many people on this site use it.
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.
- Tonya Boles

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11142

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11142

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Digital Vs. Film Metering
Hi everyone. I've recently taken photos at a music festival and, not being able to use spot metering for my exposure, I used my Fuji Finepix S5000 for test shots to see what settings were correctly exposed. Seeing which worked well I used those for the film-based camera (eg 1/60 @f/4 with ISO 400 film ) ... most of the time it seemed to work although some were badly overexposed. So I guess the question is how close is the exposure for digital cameras when compared with film cameras and why would settings be correct for one but not the other (digital vs. film).
Any help greatly appreciated. Cheers.
- Erin

ANSWER 1:
Exposures should be the same, assuming you had the digital camera set for ISO 400 to match the film. If it were set for a lower ISO - like 160 or 200 - then that shutter/aperture combination would give 1 to 1 1/3 stops overexposure on the ISO 400 film. Even so, 400 speed print film should not have been badly overexposed (though it may have been printed badly by your lab). If you were using slide film (which has much less exposure latitude), the +1 stop overexposure would be very noticeable.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
P.S. The metering obtained with the digital would apply to the film camera only so long as the scene remained the same. If the film and digital lenses aren't giving the equivalent view, then the metering will be different. Also the lighting can change in the time from metering with the digital to taking the shot with the film camera (passing clouds, etc.).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11137

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11137

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Why a 50mm Lens?
I have seen many recommendations for acquiring a 50mm lens. Why?
- Steve McCroskey

See Steve's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
The magnification and visual perspective - from foreground to background - is closest with a 50mm to how our eyes and brain perceive the world in "real time" ... thus allowing us to accurately record what we saw.
50mm's are also faster, and can be used in lower light.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
It's a good way of learning and improving. Too many people think they have to have a certain lens. They don't involve themselves enough - by depending on Program mode and depending on a zoom instead of moving.
I've seen it described as a perfect balance between expanse and intimacy, and to me that's on point.
I think it's the most under-rated lens, as far as focal lengths. Especially for portraits.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11136

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11136

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Combining Aperture and Shutter Speed
I don't understand how to combine aperture and shutter speed.
- Kasandra Torres

ANSWER 1:
Kasandra, aperture and shutter have a relationship to each other that gives you the correct exposure when you make the picture. Camera meters are designed to measure a certain amount of light, and you must set the shutter and aperture to expose your film or sensor correctly. Many modern cameras will do this automatically, in certain settings, but they are not always accurate and you must learn to understand when to override the settings to get a great picture.

I would suggest a basic course on photography and using your camera's controls, as your question tells me that you are not certain of what a camera can really do to help you make better photographs. I do not teach a basic one, but there are several offered through this site. "Getting Started" by Jed Manwaring is a very good one, and there are others, too. Hope this helps you!
- Brenda Tharp

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Visit Brenda Tharp's Web Site - BrendaTharp.com

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

ANSWER 2:
Kasandra, I've got an awesome analogy that is really helpful and can go a long way relating to photography. I think it's pretty popular ... maybe they teach it here at BetterPhoto. Here goes:

An exposure is like a bucket filling with water from a faucet above. Film is the bucket. Light is the water. Now you start with an empty bucket and the goal is the fill it to the brim by turning on the faucet. If you don't fill it enough - that's an underexposure - the shot is too dark. If you overflow it, the shot is too bright.

So you have two controls in your arsenal for filling up the bucket appropriately. First is how long you leave the faucet on, which is analogous to the shutter speed. Second, you can control the size of the flow. You can have a little dribble coming out - a tiny aperture - or you can turn it on full blast so a lot of water comes out at once. The latter is a large aperture.

So to fill the bucket to the top you could let a little dribble flow for a really really long time, which is a small aperture with a long shutter speed. Or you could blast the water out for a quick time, which is a large aperture and a fast shutter. Or you can do anything in between - just as long as the combination will fill the bucket up.

Now say you let the water dribble out for a very very short time. The bucket won't be full at all, just a puddle at the bottom. So your picture will be extremely dark and unsatisfactory. That's why you have to be careful not to use a small aperture and a fast shutter together. Likewise, a large aperture and a slow shutter will have water seeping all over the floor.

So that's basically it. There's film speed too. A slow film like ISO 50 would be analogous to a very large bucket. A fast film like 1600 would be a very shallow bucket ... more like a frying pan. This way you simply don't need very much water no matter what combination you use. So you can work with smaller apertures or faster shutters to get more depth of field or freeze action. But that's as far as this well crafted analogy goes ...
- Steven Chaitoff

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11132

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11132

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Lighting for Shooting in Bar?
Need advice urgently! I have just started serious photography. My studio photos come out great, but my first paid official shoot is going to be in a bar. Therefore minimal lights, neons and spotlights. I'm working with 4 models who will be spread across the bar, all models have to be in full focus, and all the clothes, etc., must be visible as it's a fashion shoot. I've never taken photos other than in my little studio! I'm just a beginner and very young but don't want to lose this amazing opportunity! I'm completely stuck on this shoot. Basically, do I use a flash? If so, what type? Will I need a tripod for the shoot? And how do I set up my lighting? Will I need to use reflectors? And someone mentioned I need a slow shutter speed... ???
- Neelam Mughal

ANSWER 1:
Neelam: I have shot in conditions like this many times, and it is very difficult if you do not have lots of light and know how to use them. Here is what I suggest for a quick fix, and it should get you close:
First, hopefully you are shooting digital so you can preview the shot and see the effects of the lighting? Go scout the bar ahead of time and find your angle, set up the camera on your tripod, camera on manual, and snap a couple shots with whatever your meter suggests - at least F/8 ... F/11 better. If they are too bright or too dark, adjust your exposure. Record the exposure that looks the way you want. Take you camera OFF Auto White Balance and set on Manual or K. Next, shoot more tests with the exposure you felt was best, but bracket the color balance settings. Or I suggest you set the camera color balance settings to 4000K, 5000K, 6000K, and 7000K. Look at those different color settings on you computer and decide which color balance setting looks best.

Go to a pro camera store and rent four monolights with stands, four of the biggest and softest umbrellas you can rent. Tell the camera store you need Color Correction Gels to change the color temperature of the lights to the color settings that looked best on your computer, from the test.

The overhead bar lights are your main light, and the strobes are the fill lights. Make the overhead as bright as possible. Now set up two lights on one side of the scene, side by side, put the gels on the lights that the store sold you, set up your camera and dial in the exposure settings that you determined from your test. Have some people stand in so you can test-shoot before the models arrive. If you need the other two lights, set them up and have them ready.
Good Luck!
- Charlie Borland

See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
Stock Photography

ANSWER 2:
Charlie, thank you SO much! I've been pulling my hair out over this and checking my mail every hour! I'm SO grateful you don't know. Thanks again!
Neelam
P.S I'm still nervous! But I feel a lot better!
- Neelam Mughal

ANSWER 3:
Neelam: When you do the shoot, upload a sample for us to see how it went, and I'll gladly give you more suggestions, if you want them. I am currently designing a Lighting course for BetterPhoto to hopefully run in the winter session. I'll let you know in case you are interested.
- Charlie Borland

See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
Stock Photography

ANSWER 4:
I'd love for you to look at my work and advise me later! That'd be great thanks. And, as for the course, is it an online thing?
- Neelam Mughal

ANSWER 5:
Neelam. Yes, it will be online.
- Charlie Borland

See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
Stock Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11115

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11115

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: How to Come Back After Being Burned Out?
How do you get back into the swing of things after you have burned out of photography for a while? I have a passion for photography, and I have invested a lot of time and money on it! I want to find my back to it! Do you have any steps to take to get back? I carry my camera everywhere, but when I feel like taking a shot of something, I lose interest in it!
Please help!!!!!!
- Stephen L. Dorton

ANSWER 1:
I can only speak of my own experiences. I've burned myself out doing photos on trips. I get back and find I am not particularly satisfied with any of my shots.
Then I find that the problem was not my shots so much as my attitude. I cannot change the time of day in which I was at a potentially great place, and I see that the midday light produced weak slides of pretty good compositions. I made the mistake of trying to do National Geographic, when, as an amateur, I should have been photographing whatever pleased me for whatever reason.
We DO have to step away from things we love from time to time. Be looking at a lot of other people's photographs. Ask yourself what you like or don't like about them. Whatever you do, don't throw money at the problem. In fact, put a 50mm on your SLR and look at the way light falls on things.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11097

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11097

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Metering High-Contrast Scenes: Sidelight
I enjoy the challenge of shooting sidelit scenes. For the following scene:
A large urban park with lots of grass in the foreground - with streaks of sunlight and shade falling upon it, buildings and sky in the foreground.

I read, when using color film, there is more latitude for overexposure (3 1/2 stops total) than underexposure. Therefore, one should take a meter reading off the shadows, and shoot one or two stops higher - e.g., if reading from shadows is f/16 1/4 sec, then shoot at f/16 1/2; and f/16 1sec. Does this make sense?
Alternatively I could shoot frontlit landscapes only, BUT I don't want to constrict my creativity.
Thanks.
- Frank P. Luongo

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ANSWER 1:
If you meter off the shadows and open up a stop or two, your highlights will wash out completely (especially the distant sky).
Think about composing only the foreground that is sidelit, and meter off something bright that's important to the scene. Use that setting as a starting point and bracket 1/2 stop both ways.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Bob! I'll give that a try.
- Frank P. Luongo

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NEW QUESTION 12: How to Scan Slides
I recently developed my slide film and would like to know if it is possible to scan the slides onto my computer and if so how do you do it? I tried and they are too dark and you can not see them very clearly. Is it possible? Thanks for your help.
- Kim Lampkins

ANSWER 1:
Slides can be scanned with great results with a dedicated film scanner. It sounds like you attempted to scan with a flat-bed type scanner. These don't work very well for slides. Check out online auction sites for a good film scanner. Prices have come down considerably in recent times.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the information, Bob. I was using a flat-bed type scanner. I'll check out the others.
- Kim Lampkins

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NEW QUESTION 13: Using a Photo Backpack for Traveling
I going on a cruise soon, and I am thinking about purchasing a backpack to carry my equipment. I am looking at the Canon Deluxe backpack 200EG and the Lowepro Micro Trekker 200. I do not want to spend a lot of money for one because it is only going to be used for the trip. Currently, I own the Canon 10EG bag. Can anyone give me some input on a backpack, and does it really hold the equipment in place? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
- Bobby W. Curry

ANSWER 1:
Yes. It feels better to walk around with a backpack instead of something over one shoulder. The Micro Trekker should have velcro and modules to adjust how you can arrange the compartments. Except why get something new if it's only going to be used once?
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 2:
What equipment are you going to be carrying? I'd suggest looking into Tamrac bags also, especially since they've been generous enough to be a sponsor for this site. I use one of their hip bags for traveling (I just carry a telephoto lens and then a regular zoom lens with my Digital Rebel), and it works great.
- Nancy Grace Chen

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ANSWER 3:
Unless you plan to carry a lot of gear, you can get by with a standard day pack instead of investing in a photo back-pack. I bought one at an outdoor show ten years ago for $20, and still use it today. It holds all my gear, including a compact tripod. Also, it is less conspicuous to would-be thieves than something with "Canon" or "Lowepro" written on it ... an important consideration when traveling to distant lands.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 4:
Hi Bobby! I agree with Bob: The less noticeable your equipment is the safer you are! I have carried my equipment in a diaper bag at times ... who is going to steal a diaper bag?????
- Steve McCroskey

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NEW QUESTION 14: Depth of Field
I just purchased a Panasonic FX10P, and it's my first digital camera. Apparently this camera's smallest f/stop is F8 and the depth of field at this f/stop seems to be very narrow. Is this common for digital cameras? How can I get more of my subject in sharp focus?
- Bill Lofton

ANSWER 1:
FZ10K? Smallest f-stop is f/8, but this does not limit you to narrow depth of field. It limits you instead to very deep depth of field. The focal length of this camera's zoom lens is just 6mm-72mm, and gives correspondingly very deep depth of field. While it gives the equivalent field of view as a 35mm film camera with 35-420 zoom, the f/2.8-8 aperture on the 6mm-72mm lens gives depth of field equivalent to f/16-46 in a 35-420 zoom. I'm pretty sure you are going to have trouble getting a completely blurred background unless you are very very close to your subject.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Deep depth of field is what I want, but I don't see it in my pictures. I shoot F8 using aperture mode (where I select the aperture) and the resulting depth of field looks very narrow to me. Could this be caused by some other setting on the camera? Thanks for your assistance.
- Bill Lofton

ANSWER 3:
Only if you are shooting at very short focus distance, eg. macro. Can you post a sample?
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
P.S. Other possible sources of unsharpness:
- Dirty lens/filter (obvious)
- Less lens resolution at the edges than at the center
- Digital noise at higher ISO settings
- Diffraction/color fringing due to light from lens striking the sensor at low angle
- JPEG compression
- Jon Close

ANSWER 5:
I'll post an example tonight after I get home. Just had a thought that I might have selected the low-quality setting when I thought I was selecting the "Fine" high-quality setting. I'll check tonight. Thanks again ...
- Bill Lofton

ANSWER 6:
If the last is the case, make sure you set the super high quality as the default. Some cameras will automatically reset every time you turn them off.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 7:
I've posted a photo as an example (see PhotoID#501532). In this photo of my dog, the collar and tags are in sharp focus but his nose looks out of focus to me. Is it just my perception of the photo?
- Bill Lofton

ANSWER 8:
I don't think the nose is too out of focus, but I do see what you mean. Focus goes soft beginning just past puppy's head. You were shooting at "400" (actually about 70mm) and f/8 from (just guessing) about 8-12 ft away. Your total depth of field is only about 6-7 inches. But that is about all you could expect with the equivalent 35mm film camera, 400mm lens set for f/46. To get more depth of field from a close portrait like this would require a specialized "technical" camera that tilts the lens to change the plane of focus from perpendicular.
- Jon Close

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NEW QUESTION 15: Proof Books
I'm trying to locate proof books so I can present my photos to the client more professionally. I just started doing portrait shoots. So ... does anyone have a variety of resources they use for proof books? I can't seem to find the style I'm looking for - partly because of cost and partly because I'm picky. Thanks.
- Angie M. Nemanic

ANSWER 1:
If you find something, let me know. I am always scouring boutique shops and other places. It shouldn't be so hard. The professional album companies make them too expensive. The other places are not consistent, so you always have to be looking. There's a camera store in my area that has pretty nice leather proof albums.
- Jerry Frazier

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ANSWER 2:
Good Question. I have seen very nice leather photo albums in boutiques, which are pricey. When you put together a portfolio, what size prints do you use?
- Frank P. Luongo

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ANSWER 3:
Angie, check out Light Impressions. They have almost anything you need.
http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/servlet/OnlineShopping
- Randy Kinney

ANSWER 4:
If you have a business, you can request a catalog from Capri Albums. Good prices.
http://www.caprialbum.com/products/products.html

Otherwise anyone can order from www.Porters.com ... they have good prices too.
- Rachel Tabron

ANSWER 5:
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm going to check those out. You are all such valuable resources!! All the best.
- Angie M. Nemanic

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NEW QUESTION 16: Techniques for Prepping Food
I am about to photograph food for a client that has heard food photography entails a lot of glazing and dry ice and different preparation. I have photographed food but never with elaborate prep work besides corn syrup for dew drops. I'm looking for whatever techniques anyone has for basically anything - fake ice cream, grill marks, steam etc. Thanks very much ... all info is appreciated.
- Jesse G. Hlady

ANSWER 1:
There was a special about this on HBO a couple years ago. They were talking about different ways that food is prepped when making advertisements and commercials. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the documentary. Some stuff I do remember:
Glue works well as a substitute for milk; use raw meat and brand with a hot wire to make grill marks that aren't all blurred, toothpicks can hold sandwiches together so that the lettuce and tomato are peeking out of the bread (you don't need whole pieces); be very selective of fruits and vegetables (make sure there are no marks and that the color is perfect, at least on the side facing the camera); steam is often produced using dry ice.
That's all I remember off the top of my head. Maybe someone else will know the name of the show ... It was about the truth and lies in advertising or something like that ... Hope this helps. I've never actually tried any of these methods. Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 2:
Also, for cooked food, keep it under-cooked. It looks better.
- Jerry Frazier

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ANSWER 3:
I recently went through this same exercise ... I now know why there is a profession for "Food Designers". It's not as easy as one might think. A couple of things I learned:
1. Olive oil was my friend. I used it to bring out the highlights on many things (bread, meat, garnishes, etc.).
2. Lots of light and lots of diffusion.
3. Lower angles.
4. Open apertures.
5. Glycerin works well.
6. Plan on spending some time doing this. In my case, 2 full days, 800 shots, 20 items... Hope that helps - Good luck!
- John Wright

ANSWER 4:
I recently did a food shoot myself. The above tips are good. Here are a couple of others out of Petersen's.
-Recipe for "ice cream" that won't melt: confectionary sugar, mashed potatoes, Fleishman's margarine, and light corn syrup, shaped with an ice cream scooper.
-Use mirrors, reflectors, and foil to bounce light back onto the subject. (Of course, diffuse lighting is good; never use the on-camera or direct flash).
-Keep the props minimal.
Good luck!
- Nancy Grace Chen

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ANSWER 5:
The article was the September edition of Pop Photo. The article begins on page 93. Some of the tips offered from the article:
For grill marks on meats, heat a skewer with a blow-torch and apply at measured intervals.
Avoid bagged food ... bagging creates unnatural surface textures and warps the shape.
Florist wire for holding lettuce and leafy herbs upright.
Glass cleaner and cotton swabs for touching up plates, just before shooting.
Putty and shims for holding food and props in position.
Corn syrup for glossing pasta.
Overall, a very interesting article. I recommend it.
- Randy Kinney

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Upping the EV and Noise
Hi,
I know that increasing the ISO will increase the noise.

What about increasing the EV?
(I currently shoot w/Nikon CoolPix 8700)

If increasing the EV increases 'noise' also, is there a lesser of the two evils?
Thanks for any light on this...
- Carolina K. Smith

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ANSWER 1:
If by "increasing the EV" you mean using the exposure compensation control, no, these are not equivalent.

If your exposure at ISO 100 is f/4 and 1/15, then increasing the ISO to 400 allows 2 stops higher shutter speed: f/4 and 1/60. The total exposure remains the same, though. The loss of light due to the high shutter speed is offset by the higher sensitivity of the sensor at ISO 400.

If you keep the ISO at 100, and dial in -2 EV of exposure compensation, you'll get f/4 and 1/60, but you'll be 2 stops underexposed.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Thanks for the explanation. Then why not increase the EV, rather than the ISO - for example, a low-light situation where you were trying to keep shutter speeds as fast as possible to reduce blur?
- Carolina K. Smith

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ANSWER 3:
The problem is that your photo is then underexposed. You won't be able to see dark areas at all. I increase or decrease the EV when I'm trying to make lighting changes. For example, if I'm photographing a large white expanse, like a snowscape, I'll dial in +.7 so that the snow actually looks white. If I'm taking a shot of a sunset, on the other hand, I'll underexpose (-1.0) to capture the reds.

However, if you use this trick under regular lighting conditions, your pictures will come out underexposed or overexposed. This means that darker areas will be invisible or lighter areas will be completely blown out. A little noise is probably preferable to this. If you wanted a picture with normal lighting but faster shutter speed, you would increase the ISO rather than using exposure compensation.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 4:
In layman's terms, EV is the amount of light there is. Midday has higher EV than dusk, like 8 is to 2. Camera meters see all white things in midday as very bright, thinking very high EV (like 10) and see all black things in midday as very dark EV (like 6). Light levels (EV Value) doesn't change, regardless if the meter thinks it does. EV compensation fixes the meter being fooled, but can't do anything about how much light there is.
You change ISO for low light, because if it's dark, then it's dark.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 5:
Funny, I always thought that increasing or decreasing the exposure compensation was basically the equivalent of increasing or decreasing the ISO. Did I miss something somewhere along the line?
- Robert Bridges

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ANSWER 6:
On my camera, exposure compensation seems to affect the shutter speed rather than the ISO. Maybe it's camera specific. It definitely causes the picture to be under or over-exposed relative to a picture shot without the compensation in automatic.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 7:
Same difference - faster or slower shutter speed ... larger or smaller F/stop. Either way it's equivalent to increasing or decreasing the relative ISO ... I think.
- Robert Bridges

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ANSWER 8:
If you are shooting with film, then changing the EV (or EC - Exposure Compensation) is the same as changing the ISO. If I load ISO 100 film, but set the ISO for 200, that is the same as -1 stop EC. The film's sensitivity has not changed, so exposures based on ISO 200 effectively give the film 1 less stop of exposure.

If you are shooting digital they are not the same. When you change the ISO setting you are changing the sensitivity of the digital sensor. Changing the ISO on a digital camera from 100 to 200 is equivalent to taking out the ISO 100 film and replacing it with 200. It does not result in a -1 stop exposure compensation.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 9:
If you do this with film, isn't it called pushing the film rather than exposure compensation? Don't you have to get it developed differently so you have to keep it pushed for the whole roll? Is there a way to change the ISO just for one picture with film?
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 10:
Pushing involves changing the development time with changing the exposure. That's why it's full name is push processing. You can't push a single frame on a roll. You can try printing lighter, or b/w with higher contrast filters.
Exposure compensation is for when a camera meter gives incorrect exposures for certain situations. If it reads 250 at f/8 but the correct exposure needs to be 125 at f/8, setting a +1 exposure comp is what you do.
For film, if you had 100 film in the camera, it would be the same if you change the ISO to 50.
For digital, if you had the camera on manual, the same thing would happen with changing the ISO from 100 to 50 as long as aperture and shutter speed stayed the same on manual. Wouldn't work on auto modes.
- Gregory La Grange

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ANSWER 11:
Thanks, Gregory. That makes sense.
Pam
- Pamela L. Keil

ANSWER 12:
Jon,
Thanks. I don't shoot digital (obviously), and I did not know that but now that you mention it, yes ... makes perfect sense.
Rob
- Robert Bridges

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ANSWER 13:
Well, listen, I shot a roll in the evening (with street lamps) so it was adequate light. Anyway, I used 200 speed film and shot some shots at ISO 200, some at ISO 400 and some at ISO 800. I developed the roll like any other. No special processing. So it would seem like the shots at ISO 400 would be fine, just one stop underexposed. And 2 stops under for ISO 800. They are darker, but they are unfathomably grainy. Why is that?
- Steven Chaitoff

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