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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 31, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto Launches New Line of Short Courses!
* BETTERPHOTO: Combo Workshop: Photograph Oregon with Charlie Borland!
* BETTERPHOTO: Promote Your Portfolio of Photos in a Deluxe BetterPholio™
* FEATURED GALLERY: Rain? A Great Time to Start - NOT Stop - Shooting!
* FEATURED PLACE: Los Angeles: Touring Southern California's Center
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Look Behind You! / Early Photography
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Reducing Your Compact Digital Flash Output ... By Brenda Tharp
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Filter, Film for Quartz Halogen Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Classic Cars and Copyright
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Lenses for SLR Digital Cameras
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Mirror Lens vs. Telephoto Lens
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Do I Need a Property Release?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Getting Clearer Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Shooting in National Parks - Permit Needed?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How to Store Images
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Which Umbrella to Choose?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Beginner's Dilemma
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Wedding Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Thinking About Digital ... Please Help!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Digital Cameras
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Traveling with Film
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 15: Software to Help with Pricing?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 16: Shooting Home Interior Shots
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 17: Properly Exposing a Sunset
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Blurry Indoor Action Shots


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto Launches New Line of Short Courses!
We are thrilled to announce the start of our new short-course program for this fall ... 4-week online "Short Courses"! These courses will focus on a variety of specialty subjects and will run twice each session. Leading the way is BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager's Short Course, "Details and Close-ups". In this unique 4-week class, he offers tips, tricks, and techniques for turning close-at-hand subjects into larger-than-life images. Check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD04.asp

As for our regular 8-week online courses, we've never had a better lineup! If you need help selecting a photo class, use our new Course Finder (on the home page) or go to our Course Categories page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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

Welcome to the 175th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Some fantastic news this week with the launch of our lineup of 4-week mini-courses! We think these short courses will be an awesome addition to our regular schedule of 8-week classes. Instructor Kerry Drager kicks things off with his "Details and Close-ups" course, with other specialty subjects being added over the coming weeks. See all the details above.

Secondly, we have yet another new feature: the Course Finder. Try out this handy function at the top of BetterPhoto's home page. With the drop-down menu, you can quickly find a course by subject or by instructor. It's also found on the courses page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

Also this week, check out instructor Brenda Tharp's photo tip, and read all about instructor Charlie Borland's combo workshop. In addition, this issue includes our usual Featured Gallery (on rain drops) and Featured Place (Los Angeles), as well as a terrific lineup of questions and answers.

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


*****
Promote Your Portfolio of Photos in a Deluxe BetterPholio™
With a Deluxe BetterPholio™ by BetterPhoto.com, you can show off up to 1000 of your best images, set up slide shows, and create the look and feel you want! Our Deluxe BetterPholio™ solutions give you a ONE STOP SHOP for getting your portfolio on the Web. What's more, people can search for your photos via a search engine! And if you opt for the Image Sales option, you can sell your images via the Internet! Learn more at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Rain? A Great Time to Start - NOT Stop - Shooting!
When it comes to rain, many photographers pull out their cameras ... NOT put them away! After all, rain provides vibrant colors and a wonderfully fresh look. A check of some of the outstanding images by BetterPhoto members and instructors shows such a creative range of images: scenes shot through wet windows, water drops on flowers and all sorts of other objects, and people playing in the rain. For shooting hints and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Rain Drop Photos" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=371

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FEATURED PLACE
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Los Angeles: Touring Southern California's Center
Southern California takes in a fantastic variety of imagery: from coastal to desert scenery, from big cities to small towns, from colorful details to people shots. At the heart of it all, of course, is Los Angeles (and surroundings). A check of BetterPhoto's gallery shows images of everything from striking skyline scenes to night lights to great sunsets. Architecture has caught the eye of many photographers: And architecture: including images of the J. Paul Getty Museum, as well as the curves, lines, and colors of the incredible Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened in 2003. For shooting ideas and inspiration, see BetterPhoto's "Los Angeles Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=402

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
In the movie "Midnight Run", what common photographic mistake was made?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke is:
Excellent responses to this question (especially from BetterPhoto member Karen, who did some nice research at the IMDB.com Web site). But, while there were quite a few continuity problems and other mistakes in the film, here's the photograph-related answer that we were looking for (from member Bob Cammarata, who wrote the question):

Bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler takes a polaroid of "The Duke" with the daily paper to prove to the mob that he has him in his custody. What he doesn't notice is that the name of the hotel - at which he is being held for ransom - is written on a towel hanging in the background.

See Jim's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=124

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 - Early Photography - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

The Calotype process - discovered by William Henry Fox Talbot in the 1800s - has been called a "direct forerunner of modern photography" because it involved both a negative and a positive. What does the word itself (Calotype) mean?

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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reducing Your Compact Digital Flash Output ... By Brenda Tharp
If you have problems with the flash on your compact digital camera being too strong, here's a solution. First, if you can program your flash to output less (by setting it to -1, or -2, etc.) do that. But if, like me, you find that it's still putting out too much light, hold your index finger partly over the flash head when it makes the picture. It would seem illogical, but flash output it so powerful that it actually does the trick. Not only has this been very successful in knocking down the light output for me, it has also warmed up the light of the flash. The light of the flash going through my finger is much warmer.

Take Brenda Tharp's online courses:

  • Creating Visual Impact
  • Beyond the Postcard

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

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

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

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

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

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    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
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NEW QUESTION 1: Filter, Film for Quartz Halogen Lighting
    I am thinking of using quartz halogen lighting for portraits. Is this a viable alternative? And, if so, what film to use? Would I need to us any special filters also?
    - Norbert Maile

    ANSWER 1:
    The typical color temperature of a 150-watt quartz halogen lamp is at 3200K.
    Tungsten-balanced film would be the closest match to this color temperature. (Tungsten slide and print films are recognized with a "T" on the packaging.)
    You can also use daylight film with a blue 80-A filter. This will work fine for still-life subjects, but the light loss when using the filter will require longer shutter speeds ... which may present a problem for portraiture.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11300

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11300

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 2: Classic Cars and Copyright
    1) If I go to a classic car show and take photos of the exhibited cars, and then publish to an Internet site some of the best photos. Do I need to have prior consent from the owners?
    2) If I was to blank out the registration numbers, would the answer in 1) be different?
    - Steven Butterworth

    See Steven's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Yes, You would need a property release if the owner could definitely identify the vehicle as his property. You should always carry property and model releases with you to a car show if you plan on submitting the images to publications. Donnarae
    - Donna Rae

    See Donna's Premium BetterPholio™

    Visit DonnaraePhotography.com - Donna's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Thanks Donna. I had better find some property release papers.
    - Steven Butterworth

    See Steven's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    Just saw this. It sounds reasonable, I will therefore take side-views. No Release needed.
    http://www.indexstock.com/photographers/PRguides.htm
    Private property-unidentifiable
    No
    Cars, boats, planes, that do not show ID numbers, license plates, or other identifiable insignia.
    - Steven Butterworth

    See Steven's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 4:
    There we go!! A side view is the ticket!! How about a few abstracts??
    Look at Kerry Drager's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
    http://kerrydrager.com/-/kerrydrager/gallery.asp?cat=697
    He has awesome classic car shots!!
    - Donna Rae

    See Donna's Premium BetterPholio™

    Visit DonnaraePhotography.com - Donna's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 5:
    Yes, he has indeed has some great ideas and angles. I love the Blue Rolls shots. Thanks for the tips...
    - Steven Butterworth

    See Steven's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 6:
    Just a thought, I am not so experienced with Photoshop. However, yesterday, I took a test photo of a car from the front and then "wiped" the registration number to leave a blank number plate.

    Isn't that also a good way to go?

    I mean I love side views, quarters, mirrors, and so forth, but front-end, low-down shots I really love or back-end - depending on the car (E-type Jaguar front-end for example).
    - Steven Butterworth

    See Steven's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11296

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11296

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 3: Lenses for SLR Digital Cameras
    I am such a newbie in the digital field, and I have a question: Are the lenses that are used for regular 35mm film cameras interchangeable in a digital SLR camera? Thanks.
    - Melinda

    ANSWER 1:
    Mostly yes. Some exceptions with one, maybe two brands. But with Canon, all film EOS lenses fit their digital EOS.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Canon - yes
    Nikon - yes
    Pentax - yes
    Sigma - yes
    Olympus - no.
    - Jon Close

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11286

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11286

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 4: Mirror Lens vs. Telephoto Lens
    I would like to buy a 500mm lens for wildlife/nature photography. I've got a Canon Rebel 2000 and will soon be getting either a Rebel Ti of a Rebel K2. What is the difference between a mirror lens and a telephoto? Which one would be the best to use for what I want to do? Thank you!
    - Kate Callaway

    ANSWER 1:
    A mirror is still a telephoto but it's made with internal mirrors to achieve a long focal length in a smaller physical sized lens. Incoming light is reflected forward by the first mirror, then a second mirror reflects it back towards the film.
    They don't have a way to change apertures. I don't know how much has been put into developing them over the years, because they aren't the lenses the companies push as having the latest aberration-correcting glass. So I can't say that a mirror lens would be just as good as a recently released zoom that may be in the same focal length and maximum aperture range.
    Mirror lenses are usually around the f/8 range.
    So I don't know if something like Sigma's mirror lens would be better than their zoom around the same focal length. But mirrors are lighter, and cost less.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Telephoto generally refers to any lens with longer than "normal" focal length (around 50mm), so a 500 mirror lens is a telephoto.
    A mirror or reflex lens tends to be very compact, lighter weight, and much less expensive than traditional lenses of the same focal length. While quality varies, they potentially can be very sharp because the mirror elements don't have the spherical aberrations (light through the outer portion of a lens does not focus to the same point as light through the center) and chromatic aberrations (different color wavelengths refract focus to different distances) that conventional lens elements have.

    On the other hand, the reflex design makes an adjustable aperture impractical, and so they have a fixed aperture, usually a relatively slow f/8. Thus, you are limited to either manual or aperture priority exposure mode only. With the exception of Minolta's 500 f/8 Reflex for their Maxxum SLRs, mirror lenses are manual focus only. And because of the "folded" light path, out of focus highlights appear as doughnut shapes instead of flat disks. Like lens flare ghosting, these doughnuts can be a distracting annoyance or an additional "artistic" element.
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 3:
    Thank you both for your answers! I appreciate the help.
    - Kate Callaway

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11285

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11285

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 5: Do I Need a Property Release?
    The county historical society asked me to photograph some local sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Because the society might want to publish the photos, I think I should be getting property releases when necessary. But exactly when are they necessary?
    Some of the sites are bridges on public roads. Because they are publicly owned, I assume that I don't need a release. Or do I? What if I stand on private property to take the shot?
    Some of the sites are private homes. If the photo is taken from a public road or sidewalk, do I need a release?
    Some of the sites are publicly owned buildings such as an armory. Do I need a release?
    Thanks for your help on this. Barb
    - Barbara Senier

    ANSWER 1:
    In regards to private property: You can snap away without a release. However, if you plan to publish these images or make money with the images, you better have a release.
    If the historical society hires you to take the photos and the images will be theirs, I suggest you ask the society to get the release. You might find it much easier to obtain the release if the society does it for you.
    I did the exact same thing you're talking about, only I had the local historical society get the releases. When I was ready to photograph the private property, I approached the owners, introduced myself, and presented copies of the release and had absolutely no problems.
    Good luck.
    - Terry L. Long

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11283

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11283

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 6: Getting Clearer Pictures
    I recently purchased a Sony Mavica MCD 500 and am having a few problems. This is my first "serious" digital camera after using a Nikon 35mm for many years. It seems that many of my shots are just not that clear. Some turn out just great while some seem to be fuzzy. Could this be due to how still I am holding the camera while shooting? I do mostly nature photography and hate the thought of dragging a tripod with me on every shoot. Any suggestions from members here would be greatly appreciated. I can also be reached at studiogd@up.net as I am not sure how this online Q&A thing works. I will check back each day to see if I can find answers. Also, are there any good books that deal with this camera that might help me?
    I love the camera and really want to be able to use to it's full potential.
    Best Regards.
    - Arin Brown

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Arin.
    I suspect that (since you are doing nature) you have the "smart-zoom" enabled. This is not smart! -since any digital zoom degrades the picture significantly. Disable smart zoom. If you then are too far away from your subject, either get closer or get one of the add-on telephoto attachments (I am assuming they are available for this camera).
    You don't need a tripod. Carry a small beanbag, so you can use walls, rocks, trees, etc., to steady the camera. If you use the beanbag, you will also be able to use one of the lower ISO settings of the camera. The ISO 400 tends to be rather noisy on these tiny CCD imagers.
    Let us know how you get on.
    Cheers
    DC

    - Dave Cross

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11281

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    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11281

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 7: Shooting in National Parks - Permit Needed?
    Do you need to obtain permission if you are going to sell photographs that you have taken at a national park or any public park or garden?
    - Joy Carey

    Visit photosbyjoy.com - Joy's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Joy,
    I have shot in the national parks for more than 25 years and have sold hundreds of images. I have never had a permit, sought permission, nor did I ever believe I was required to. Title 36, Section 5.5 of the U.S. Commercial Code, which covers photography and filming within the National Park system, states that permits are required for "photographing and filming when models and crews are used". So if you were to go to a park with models and an assistant, you might be challenged and be required to have a permit. And selling pictures of any government land, as far as I know, does not require permissions or permits.
    - 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=11272

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11272

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 8: How to Store Images
    I store all my images on CD-R discs. I believe they are re-writable ... they must first be reformatted, then I can burn images from my PC to disc. Is this a good method for long-term storage? Is DVD better? Non re-writable?
    Thanks
    - Frank P. Luongo

    See Frank's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Non-rewritable is better than rewritable. Can't say anything about DVDs.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    DVD isn't better, but it holds a lot more data.
    - Jerry Frazier

    See Jerry's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11260

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11260

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 9: Which Umbrella to Choose?
    Hello,
    For general-purpose lighting for portrait, baby toddler, candid, etc. ... would white shoot-through umbrellas be best, or would the black with silver on the inside or would the black with white on the inside be good? I was thinking that if I just got the white shoot- through ones they would be good overall, but what is the difference with all of the other ones? I know about the use of silver vs. gold, but other than that?? These will be used with a slave flash and not continuous lighting.
    Also, when I am buying a set-up, do I have to buy the stand AND the bracket to hold the umbrella and flash, or are there stands that have it ready to go?
    Thanks!
    - Angela E. Wright

    ANSWER 1:
    Angela-
    I think you will be happier with a white shoot-through umbrella that has a removable black back. If you use a shoot-through umbrella, a lot of your light goes through the umbrella and is lost out the other side. With the black backing you can reduce that light loss. You can also use the shoot-through like a light box. I personally don't like silver-lined umbrellas, because they are more contrasty. I much prefer a softer directional light for photographing people. Most strobe lights have something for holding the umbrella.
    - 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=11258

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11258

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Beginner's Dilemma
    Photography has always been my dream, even though I have a GREAT deal to learn. But, of course, my life has always been too busy or it wasn't the right time, blah, blah, blah. You've heard it all before. Anyway, I now have the time. I will wait no longer. With all of that said, here is my dilemma: I would like to eventually break into the photography business. I'm still learning and cash flow is, of course, limited ($700 or less). What is a good beginner digital SLR camera for learning that won't become obsolete before you know it, and would give me the chance to experiment and learn about several features? I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks. Deb
    - Debra M. Watkins

    ANSWER 1:
    Debra,
    Unfortunately, at this time there are no new digital SLRs available for under $700. You may consider buying a used Canon D-60. It is slightly older technology (but, then, any camera over a day old is older technology). But it would be a good camera to learn on - making the feedback instant and giving you files that you can work with. Or you may consider a film camera, but then you have the expense of processing, and if you are learning, you should be taking lots and lots of pictures!
    Sorry for the "bad" news.
    - Lewis Kemper

    See Lewis Kemper's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Lewis Kemper's Web Site - LewisKemper.com
    Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #1
    Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #2

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11243

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    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11243

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 11: Wedding Photography
    Hello, I recently took wedding photographs for a friend, who was pleased with the results. However, in a couple of the photos taken of the entire wedding party, the center subjects were in perfect focus, while those on the outer frame were slightly out of focus. I used a Minolta QTsi with a 2000xi flash and 200 speed film.
    The subjects were in a single line. Would changing the composition of the subjects correct this problem or should I purchase a wide-angle lens?
    - Lynn J. Sims

    ANSWER 1:
    It's typical for lens resolution to be less at the edges of the frame than in the center, especially with zoom lenses. Try leaving more space between the outer-most subjects and the edge of the frame. Also realize that subjects at the end of that single line are farther from the camera than those in the center. You need more depth of field (smaller aperture), or you need to arrange the subjects in an arc rather than a straight line, so all are at the same focus distance.
    - Jon Close

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11242

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11242

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 12: Thinking About Digital ... Please Help!
    I have been looking at the Canon 20D that will be coming out. How large can you go on enlargements with these images? 16x20? Will the images be sharp?
    Thanks, Tonya
    - Tonya Autry

    ANSWER 1:
    It all depends on what resolution you print at, and whether you want to interpolate your files. The 20D is 8 megapixels, so it will produce a 24 MB file. If you print at 300 PPi, you can make an 8.5x11 from a 24 MB file. If you print at 240 PPI, you can make a print a little shy of 11x14. Personally I print at 180 PPI (and I have exhibited my prints in galleries and museums). At 180 PPI, you can print a 14 x 18 with no interpolation. Of course, the files from a 20D are good enough to withstand interpolation, so you should be able to go 16x20 with no problem.
    I hope that helps!
    - Lewis Kemper

    See Lewis Kemper's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Lewis Kemper's Web Site - LewisKemper.com
    Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #1
    Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #2

    ANSWER 2:
    I agree, I routinely display 16x20 and larger prints with my 10D with great success. You, of course, must have good technique, AND not all images work well in large format. Best are simple images ... an apple is better than leaves in the forest. On the plus side, the 10D is capable of capturing a great tonal range. You will not go wrong with the 20D.
    - William G. Schmidt

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11235

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11235

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 13: Digital Cameras
    What is the difference between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the EOS 300D digital? Thank you.
    - Peter Roddy

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Peter, they're the same camera. Just different ways of referring to them.
    - Nancy Grace Chen

    See Nancy's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    It's the Digital Rebel in the U.S. and the 300D in the rest of the world.
    - Lewis Kemper

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    Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop®: Toolbox #1
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    NEW QUESTION 14: Traveling with Film
    I am about to go on a trip to the Spain/Portugal area and would like to know how best to protect my film both used and unused at the airports scanners X-rays or any other equipment used. I will carry all photography gear in hand luggage. Thanks in advance.
    - Ronnie Black

    ANSWER 1:
    The best way is to not carry film through the airports, but instead buy, and have it processed, there. U.S. scanners for carry-on luggage are safe for up to ISO 800. Don't know about Spain/Portugal. In the U.S., you can request a hand inspection of film. While you are legally entitled to this, sometimes the security worker will refuse since the scanners are deemed safe for most film and hand inspections slow things down. Some advise carrying some ISO 3200 film to force hand inspection. You're also more likely to be obliged if you show up early and go through security during a relative lull.
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 2:
    P.S. Single-use cameras get scanned regardless. They do not count as "film".
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 3:
    Hi Ronnie,

    Blame it on the times we live in, but there doesn't seem to be an easy solution to this. The X-ray scanners are supposed to be film-safe up to about 800 ISO - the operative phrase being "supposed to be". So, theoretically, a single "normal" pass through the scanner shouldn't affect the slower films.

    However, if you pass through multiple scanners, the effects add up. If the film stays in the scanner for longer than normal (say, the security personnel want to get a good look at your bag or someone else's bag through the scanner) then the film can get "cooked".

    In the U.S., you can request your film (and cameras with film) to be hand-checked. I have done this and have had no problems. However, while the security personnel are supposed to honor this request, there is no real guarantee that they will (especially if the lines are long). Additionally, I don't know if you can get them hand-checked at airports in Spain.

    You can get protective pouches for your film. As I understand it, the pouch is lead-lined and impermeable (or less permeable) to X-rays, which means there is a good chance that it raises eyebrows when put through a scanner. So now, it may sit under the scanner longer as they try to figure it out or you might be asked to either put them back without the pouch or have them hand-checked.

    Another option is to not carry any film while flying - purchase your film at your destination and develop them before you leave there. If you cannot develop them there, you could consider mailing the exposed film back to your residence, but I am not sure if packages in the mail get scanned these days as well ...
    Hope that is of some help..
    - Nirmal Hasan

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    ANSWER 4:
    So they say it's safe ... I always cringe when my precious film goes through that machine and wonder about all the waves going through it. When I went to Kenya last year, I took about 40 rolls and put them in a see-through ZipLoc plastic bag. The rolls were Fuji and used their transparent white container as well, so everything was easily identifiable and all that really helped. You can just hold up your bag and point and they'll pull you over to the side for a hand check. Like Jon mentioned, I also put a couple 1600s in there because they do tend to ask "800 or lower? ... machine." In Nairobi, they actually opened, dusted and examined every canister but it was worth it.
    - Steven Chaitoff

    ANSWER 5:
    It's good to leave it out of canisters and with the leader out, so it tells them it's actually a roll of film. It may get you a hand inspection if it's that way.
    - Gregory La Grange

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    ANSWER 6:
    I hear you should never leave a roll out of a canister for a long a period of time, but I don't know the source behind that.
    - Steven Chaitoff

    ANSWER 7:
    They say that even regular film (under 800 ISO) will be damaged if it is exposed to regular-strength X-ray more that 5 times. I have taken film out of Canada, and into the U.S., and Japan, post-911. I have always carried it in a separate bag (plastic), and, with a smile, requested hand inspection. I always had a roll of 3200 film in the bunch, and I was never refused. It takes time, but so what? Better to spend time (which is not your fault) than have your film ruined. Ever hear the story of the film company doing a documentary in South America? They spent months filming, came back to the U.S. with all film in cargo, and all ruined! I would not get film developed in a country that didn't have first-rate labs either, unless I was staying there for a few months. Mailing also would be risky, since you are not a film manufacturer. The U.S. government has a good Web site on the subject as well.
    - Norbert Maile

    ANSWER 8:
    Here is the link to the U.S. Government site:
    http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?content=090005198004a860
    - Norbert Maile

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    NEW QUESTION 15: Software to Help with Pricing?
    I am looking for software that helps determine rates for photo usage. It seems like I read about this a while back and never thought I would need it. Now, I have questions on pricing photo services when I know they will be used for newspaper advertising. These photos will be used in the nonprofit world to promote reading. Any tips on resources would be appreciated.
    - Diane H. Inskeep

    ANSWER 1:
    Diane-
    There is software available for pricing photography that we use for stock photography. It is called Fotoquote and I believe is marketed my Cradoc. You can also buy a book that is widely used in the industry called "Negotiating Stock Photo Prices" by Jim Pickerall. His Web site is Pickphoto.com. And if you do not want to spend any money, try photographersindex.com's pricing guide.
    - Charlie Borland

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    NEW QUESTION 16: Shooting Home Interior Shots
    I have a Digital Rebel with the 18-55mm lens. I take photos of exterior and interiors of homes. When it is sunny out, it is hard to get the correct lighting in an interior room shot. It usually turns out dark. There are so many homes that have no blinds or curtains to cover the windows, so closing them isn't an option. Also because these are for brochures they want as much of the view of the room as possible. Therefore I do a lot of splicing together to get the full view of the room, so most of the time it is not an option just to shoot away from the window. I usually use the auto function or the P mode on my camera to force the flash to fill the room.
    I even went out and bought a bounce flash that is Quantaray QDC800 with Canon module to work with the camera. I thought that would help fill the room but it didn't. That may be partly due to my lack of knowledge on how to use the settings with the flash. So I end up using the built-in flash on the camera because they seem to come out better with it than the flash I bought.
    I don't know if this is enough information or not, but do you have any suggestions on how to shoot these rooms so that I can get a "daylight effect" without making without making the portion of the room around the windows dark?
    This is a great forum and I have learned a lot.
    Thanks.
    - Nancy Lyons

    ANSWER 1:
    Nancy-
    I have done a lot of architectural photography, and your problem has solutions, but you may not want to go there. First, the difference in brightness from outside the windows and inside the room is so extreme that film cannot handle it and digital has a tough time as well. That is why we use portable strobes, umbrellas, spots, and boxes. We can then bring the light level of the room up to the brightness outside. That is the part where "you may not want to go there." Second, avoid the windows altogether and use the window light (out of camera view) to brighten the rest of the room and maybe use your flash as a fill light. Are you shooting digital? If so, you can preview the image brightness and it will make your job much easier. Get away from setting P and so on. Put your camera on a tripod, set the camera metering/exposure for manual, set your f/stop at f/8, and adjust the shutter speed for the proper exposure. Adjust your settings until the picture looks good.
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 2:
    Wow! I wasn't expecting an answer so quickly. I will try your suggestions. Unfortunately, I can't avoid the windows, as all the agents want the full room view especially with the windows. Sorry that it didn't upload the photos. I don't know if this will help at all with my question but I hope it will. Let me try again.

    - Nancy Lyons

    ANSWER 3:
    Re: lighting - Bounce flash and/or using a diffuser such as the Sto-Fen Omnibounce should help even out the lighting from the flash so you don't get "hot spots" and reflections, but only if the flash is powerful enough (I can't find specs on the Quantaray 800). Bouncing takes at least 2x more power than direct flash, and if the ceilings are tall or the room too large then you just may not have enough flash power to use the flash as the main light source. Because of this I second the suggestion to use the flash but with a tripod and either Av or M exposure mode. These will give a longer shutter speed so that you get good exposure combining the light from the windows and flash. Setting smaller aperture of f/8 will give a little greater depth of field (more near/far objects in apparent focus) than the P mode, which usually sets the aperture wide open.
    Re: splicing images to get full room view: This works and probably gives you less wide-angle distortion than using a wider angle lens. But if you want to save post-processing time, then consider a wider angle lens. While seemingly a small difference from 18mm, going to 15mm or 14mm will make a large difference (add another 10 +). A 14mm non-fisheye prime will probably have less distortion than a zoom. Canon and Sigma each make a good 14mm f/2.8. Sigma has a 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX and Canon has just introduced their EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM, which looks pretty good.
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 4:
    There are a couple of tricks here, but the simplest is with digital photography: Camera on a tripod, one exposure for the room, lit correctly, one exposure for the window with the room lights off. Both photos into Photoshop layers, erase the burned-out window to reveal the correctly exposed window on the layer below. In film, we had to do this on the same piece of cut film, and it became a carefully orchestrated, nerve-wrecking double-exposure photo experiment. You can make one exposure with professional studio strobes if you have a good direction shooting out of the window. Southern-facing windows are the toughest - many times you can balance a north-facing window.
    - William Koplitz

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    NEW QUESTION 17: Properly Exposing a Sunset
    I think I have a fundamental understanding of photographing sunsets. I have a scene in mind, with a setting sun across a western river. Large black rocks are the Palisades, almost mountainous structures at the same approximate distance as the sunset.
    Do I take a reading off the sky? How does size of sun in scene affect metering technique? Thanks.
    - Frank P. Luongo

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    ANSWER 1:
    Frank-
    My sunset technique is to meter off the sky either to the right or left side of the sunset. I make sure that none of the sun is in the frame. I also make sure that my lens is not being flared by the sun as that will effect exposure also. If it is a fabulous sunset, I might bracket as well.
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 2:
    Charlie's response is correct to render the sunset as it appeared to the naked eye. A general rule of thumb when shooting into a sunrise/sunset: If it's uncomfortable to look at, it's too bright to meter directly. In this case, follow the advice above.
    Quite often, though, especially during the summer months, the sun is obscured by haze as it rises or sets and you can meter with the sun in the frame with great results.
    With either scenario, shoot fast to get as many frames as possible, and bracket.
    - Bob Cammarata

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

    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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

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    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

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    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

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    ANSWER 3:
    There are 2 things you can do:
    1) You follow her ups and downs by moving your camera up and down in sync with her. This will allow you to freeze her action with a slower shutter speed and will blur the background which adds to the 'action'. This method is used when photographing car races for example. It gives you a sharp vehicle with a blurred background which adds to the feeling of speed. A bit of practice and you'll be able to get wonderfully sharp pictures.
    2) You can do what I do to get movements without blur I bought a 50mm F1.8 lens and shoot at ISO 800. The wider the lens the less light is needed for exposure. By raising the ISO it also allows faster speed. The combination of both can give you all the speed boost you require. I love to shoot concerts, and in order to freeze the dancers, this is what I needed. I did not want to use flash so I would not disturb the performers and the audience, and loved the natural colors from the stage lighting.
    You can also combine the 2 methods for great action shots.

    Michael Kaplan
    Canon EOS-10D
    http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan

    - Michael Kaplan

    ANSWER 4:
    Diane,
    I shoot a lot of sports and thought I'd add my 2cents worth. You will need an f2.8 lens to allow more light in. You should also set your camera to T.V. mode, and set your shutter speed to at least 250th.
    You should be able to get away with 400 film speed and take your shot at the top of the jump. Also get into a seated position to give your body extra stability ... that angle will also make it easier to deal with the up-down movement of jumping.
    Hope it helps you.
    - Colin

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