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


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IN THIS ISSUE - Monday, November 29, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's School: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
* BETTERPHOTO: Holiday Buying for the Kids? Try a Gift of Photography!
* BETTERPHOTO: Our 4-Week Program: Mini-Courses, Maximum Benefits
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo of the Day: A Daily Showcase of Creativity
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Dancing
* FEATURED PLACE: Focus on Nevada
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Getting Good and Close / The First Flash
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Success in Stock Photography ... By Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Digital Camera: How Many Pictures?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Which Photoshop?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Best CD-R for Photo Archiving?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Which is the Best Film?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Tripod for Vertical Shooting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Shoot Those Big Nose Dog Faces
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Shoot a Successful Panning Image
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Image Size to Upload
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Learning About Studio Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Need Some Serious Help on Lighting!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Capturing the Beauty of Pregnancy
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Taking Dog Photos Without Eye Glare
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: How Do I Shoot a Fast-Moving Object?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto's School: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
Would you like to learn more about photography? Are you struggling to gain a better understanding of the principles of composition, exposure, digital photography, photographic field techniques, or Photoshop?

Join us 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 winter session of photography courses promises to fill those excellent weeks with creativity and inspiration.

For more information and a complete listing of the latest courses being offered, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 188th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great holiday! We certainly did here at BetterPhoto and are now getting back into action. After all, our winter online photo school is just around the corner (early January).

BetterPhoto has a number of new courses for the next session, and sign-ups for all classes are well under way. Check out the winter schedule at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

This issue of SnapShot includes a valuable photo tip from instructor Charlie Borland, who shares his thoughts on what it takes be a successful stock photographer. Also, don't miss our usual excellent lineup, including the Featured Gallery (dancing), the Featured Place (Nevada), the Photo Trivia Quiz, and yet another fantastic collection of questions and answers.

That's it for now. Have fun shooting during this wonderful, photo-rich holiday season!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Holiday Buying for the Kids? Try a Gift of Photography!
Are your kids always taking pictures of their friends or pets? Is your child the one who always has the camera during your family vacations? If so, Jay Forman's new 4-Week Short Course, “Kids Photography 101,” may be just what they need to take better pictures. Designed specifically for ages 10-16, this online class strives to teach them the basics of photography through activities and lessons that are fun and interesting to them. For all the details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY03.asp

Jay also teaches another outstanding course at BetterPhoto: "Capturing Your Kids in Pictures." For details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY01.asp


*****
Our 4-Week Program: Mini-Courses, Maximum Benefits
BetterPhoto's standard 8-week online courses covers an incredible range of photo subjects. Still, if you haven't checked out our new line of 4-Week Short Courses, you may be in for a pleasant surprise! This online mini-course program covers some very exciting specialized subjects: Jim Zuckerman's "Non-Digital Special Effects," Brenda Tharp's "Mastering Macro Photography," Kerry Drager's "Details and Close-ups," and our two newest Short Courses: Jay Forman's "Kids Photography 101" and Tony Sweet's "The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras." These classes run twice each session. For details on the 4-Week Short Courses, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


*****
Photo of the Day: A Daily Showcase of Creativity
Our newest newsletter, Photo of the Day, has provided a daily showcase of outstanding pictures! The images are selected from either our monthly photo contest or, occasionally, from the excellent work of our online course instructors. In addition to being inspired by awe-inspiring images each day, subscribers receive brief announcements and occasional photo tips from our team of instructors. To learn more or to subscribe, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focus on Dancing
All forms of dance offer a wonderful opportunity to record energy and expression. Check out our gallery to see how BetterPhoto shooters have captured motion and color, portraits and details. The images range from professional performances to spontaneous bursts of emotion. See it all at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=1183

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FEATURED PLACE
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Focus on Nevada
The great state of Nevada includes Las Vegas, of course ... and certainly the Strip provides some colorful photo possibilities. But a check of our Nevada gallery reveals that this western U.S. state offers some very beautiful landscapes too. See it all at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=213

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
One of the most notable pieces of photographic advice is this one: "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." That quote is attributed to what legendary photographer?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Rumiana Koynova-Tenchova is:
Robert Capa
(In fact, he was talking about war photography, but it seems to apply to most other photography as well.)

See Rumiana's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=53907

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 - The First Flash - entered by BetterPhoto member Blanca Acosta

Which chemical element was first used to create a flash in the early days of photography?

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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Success in Stock Photography ... By Charlie Borland
Like all stock photos, the success and appeal of an image depends on the subject and the skill of the photographer. Today’s stock photographers have to be determined, aware, and able to respond to a constantly changing world. You must be aware of changing lifestyles, demographics, trends, fashions, technologies, etc. The most successful stock photographer will almost have an ability to see into the future and foresee coming changes in these areas. They will have good “instinct” to upcoming subject demands and have produced images that are already available when these trends become hot. Your camera ... never leave home without it!

Take Charlie Borland's online courses:



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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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: Digital Camera: How Many Pictures?
My question is an in-general question. I am sure that a more costly camera will last longer than a cheaper camera. I was just wondering about how many images can be shot with a digital camera before the “charged coupled device” is no longer good and yields a poorer image over time (pixel flaws, bright/dark)?
Nothing is exact in digital photo, I mean 1000 pics or 10,000 pics, or more? What have you all noticed?
- Kevin D. Burns

ANSWER 1:
I've shot 10,000 shots in the last 5 months and haven't noticed any problems. Good question, now you've got me wondering ...
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 2:
I have heard just a little about this. I hope the cameras are good for a long time!
- Lisa Carpenter

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12817

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12817

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Which Photoshop?
If I were to get Adobe Photoshop, which one do I just HAVE to have? All I want to be able to do is edit photos ... no video stuff or anything. Most likely, I would just use it for touch-ups, color enhancement, and putting color in black and white photos ... can anyone help? Thanks.
- Michelle Ross

See Michelle's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
PS 5.5 - you probably could find a good deal on Ebay ... Just make sure that it's a full version with product key and license.
- Damian Gadal

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

ANSWER 2:
Now, if you are going pro, and have extensive amounts of money to spend and time to invest, go for the PS 5.5. However, if you are a hobbyist to advanced amateur, I believe PS's newest little brother would make a fine investment. Elements 3.0 is an excellent choice for the price, and I haven't found anything that I can't do with it that I have wanted to. No, I don't work for them, but I would definitely be a good spokesman for an advertisement. If you would like to know any specifics, you're welcome to email me. :o)
- Mikki Cowles

See Mikki's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Personally, my opinion, you should look at the other photo programs available. Depending on what you are trying to do with your photos, the time you wish to learn, and how accustomed you are to basic "tools"; you may wish to time-trial some. Though Adobe Photoshop is the leader, the other programs are gaining - due to cost, ability to compete with Photoshop for function, plug-ins, effects, etc. I own multiple photo programs, including Photoshop 7, but they each have their usefulness. You need to determine what you plan on doing, the time you wish to learn, and the cost you wish to invest. Almost all competing programs will allow Adobe type plug-ins, and have their own useful "effects". So if basic editing, any of the available programs will probably suffice.
- Kip T. Berger

See Kip's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12806

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12806

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NEW QUESTION 3: Best CD-R for Photo Archiving?
I want to archive all of my photos onto CD-R and was wondering if anyone has an idea of which is best. I have heard that Kodak Ultimas are very good, yet they are quite pricey. I have also heard that Fujifilm's CD-Rs are very good. I know that I am going to have to pay a little more for an excellent quality CD-R, but I don't want to break the bank either. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for the help.
- Brian McDonald

ANSWER 1:
I've been using CD-Rs since they first came out. You would be surprised to know that there's not much difference between them. As a matter of fact, many are made by the same company and then sold to Kodak, Memorex, etc. You will be just as well buying something like Memorex ... you can get 50 for about $15-$20. The key is storing and labeling them properly. Keep them in a case at room temperature, and they'll last a lifetime.
- Gary Chevers

ANSWER 2:
Do not use felt markers. They will cause "CD rot" (the CD won't last as long as they should). Use only markers that are made to write on CDs. This was printed in a digital photo magazine.
- Wayne Oliver

See Wayne's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12804

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12804

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Which is the Best Film?
I have been shooting Fujicolor Superia. Is this a good film or is there something better I should be shooting? I am in high school and shooting for the school paper. I usually shoot 400. My images aren't the sharpest. Is that because I am having the lab put them on a CD? Or am I doing something wrong or using the wrong film?
- Jack Glasser

ANSWER 1:
Are your prints un-sharp, or is the digital transfer not of equal quality? If it's the prints themselves, the problem MAY lie in the optics of your lens, but more often than not, sharpness of photos (or lack of it) can be linked to human error.

What shutter speed are you using ... with what size lens ... and in what light? Are you using auto-focus, or focusing manually?

At 400 ASA, you should be able to comfortably hand-hold your camera outdoors on a sunny day at any aperture setting. And you should be able to shoot indoor scenes with a wide aperture without camera support in "normal" lighting conditions. If your un-sharp images were taken inside, maybe it was too dark and a tripod was required to eliminate camera movement.

Transferring film to digital (CD) will always result in a little "softness." This is inevitable, but a lab can usually correct these deficiencies to a degree where they are hardly noticeable.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12801

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12801

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Tripod for Vertical Shooting
I've read many of the comments regarding tripods, but not sure I've found my answer.

I need a sturdy tripod to support vertical shooting. My current one (which isn't professional) will not support the weight of my camera and flash therefore all my vertical shots are crooked.

Any help would be great!
Thank you!!
- Susan Bohanon

ANSWER 1:
Hi Susan,
I like the Bogen Manfrotto Series. The line by Gitzo is good too. For vertical camera position, you are looking more at the type head attachment to use with the tripod. I use a 3 way head with quick release plate. Your other option would be a ball head. Best to test out some models in your local camera shop to see which is more comfortable for you to use. Good luck with the shopping. PS-for mobility, a monopod is alot easier to transport.
- Kip T. Berger

See Kip's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Susan:
Excellent advice from Kip! Here are a few more thoughts:

If buying in a store:
Take your heaviest lens/camera combination, set up the tripod that looks most promising, and see exactly how it performs with your gear. Of course, you'll want to especially put it to the most critical test - the vertical format! You may also wish to see how high (without raising the center post) or how low it goes.

If buying online:
Of course, there's nothing like seeing - and trying out - a tripod firsthand ... in the shop. However, although you won't know just which model "feels" best (after all, every photographer is different), at least you can order a tripod rig that is sturdy enough to meet your needs. Here's how to go about it:

  • You must know the precise weight of your largest camera/lens setup. Consult your camera and lens instruction manuals, or check the manufacturer's Web site or online camera store for the specifications.
  • Next, see how that total weight matches up against the recommended maximums for both the tripod legs and the tripod head you are thinking of ordering. Most of the bigger online camera shops (i.e., B&H) include weight specifications for tripods (as well as for lenses and camera bodies); otherwise, check the manufacturer's Web site for both the tripod and head.
  • The tripod specs will also include details on how low to the ground it goes - important, for example, if you do a lot of nature macro work - and how high it sets up (including without raising the center post, which can make things less stable).

    Hope this helps, Susan, and good luck shopping!
    Kerry

    - Kerry Drager

    See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Kerry Drager's Web Site - KerryDrager.com

    Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
    Point, Think, and Shoot: Beyond the Snapshot
    Field Techniques: Light and Composition
    4-Week Short Course: Details and Close-ups
    4-Week Short Course: Details and Close-ups (2nd Session)

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12795

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12795

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 6: How to Shoot Those Big Nose Dog Faces
    I'd like to take photos of my own dogs with the look of all those calendars, etc., out there. They have a huge nose. When the dog gets real close, it is kind of fuzzy. Is it done with a wide-angle lens? What type of digital camera/lens would work well? If you Google "Artlist International USA", you can see what I mean. Thanks!
    - Bill Walkowiak

    ANSWER 1:
    Bill,
    Those are definitely wide-angle lenses. You can get that effect if you use at least a 24mm or wider. I did some of my dog with a 17mm.
    - Charlie Borland

    See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

    Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12793

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12793

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 7: How to Shoot a Successful Panning Image
    I have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to pan a shot by increasing my shutter speed and following a moving target during the prolonged exposure. The inner mirror on my SLR (Canon Rebel 2000)is designed to flip up to allow film exposure, so I lose sight of my subject in the viewfinder. Can you share any tips to achieve a sharp subject and blurred background with this creative technique other than pan and pray?
    - Mary Kaye Bailey

    ANSWER 1:
    Yep, you're right! With a film camera, the mirror flips up to expose the film and you cannot see the image during the exposure. Just begin your pan and keep moving in the same direction throughout the exposure. You don't really need to see the image, and it will be fine as long as you continue to "follow-through" during your exposure.
    - 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: Revealing Your Personal Vision
    Fine Art Flower Photography
    4-Week Short Course: The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras
    4-Week Short Course: The Four Essential Filters (2nd Session)

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12779

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12779

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 8: Image Size to Upload
    I am thinking about Deluxe BetterPholio™. I am not clear how to make 500 pixels x 750 pixels at 72 ppi. I have an excellent Nikon Coolscan V and can scan from 35mm slides and negatives the files up to 60meg in TIFF. But I am not clear how to make a 500kb file in JPEG with 550X750pixels output.
    Please advise. Thanks.
    - Val Smirnov

    ANSWER 1:
    Change the image size in Photoshop or a similar alternative. Click on image . under that there's image size. The following window shows pixel dimensions. Change the shortest side to 500 or less. Save it as a JPEG. A resized 60meg might be too big to try and upload as a TIFF.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Val, I save all my website/contest uploads as TIFF (better Quality). At 500 x 750, the upload size is an ~ 1 MB file.
    Open your scanned large Tiff files in PS. Go to Image, then Image Size.
    For starters, click (check mark) Constrain Proportions and Scale Styles, and Resample Image. For 'Resample Image', choose Bicubic Sharper. (A general rule of thumb is to use Bicubic Smoother when upsizing, and Bicubic Sharper when downsizing).

    Now go to the Resolution box (keep it at pixels/inch) under 'Document Size'
    and type in 72. When you do, you will see everything else change automatically (because you checked 'constrain proportions', and your 'width' and 'height' should be close to the 500 x 750 numbers. The actual numbers may vary some from picture to picture, depending on how you cropped it. Don't worry about it. (Sometimes after this, I may uncheck 'constrain proportions' and adjust the individual height and width a bit)
    Now click OK, and you will see the smaller file show up.
    VERY VERY IMPORTANT...
    Don't just 'Save As' the file, but when you go to File, then Save As, make sure you check the box 'As a Copy' under Save Options!!!!

    If you don't check the 'As a Copy' option, your original file will be saved as a super low res 72 dpi permanently (if that happens, you can not regain that info, in your case you would have to rescan the photo or slide). I would choose to save as a tiff file, especially if this will be on your Web site (my two cents).
    Now click the Save button.
    You have now created a new 72dpi file.
    At this point, I close the original file, and when the box comes up that asks if you want to save changes, CHOOSE NO!!! This way, the original file will close with no information lost, and you will now have the large file and the small (for uploading file). Hope that helps :)
    - Carolina K. Smith

    Visit CarolinaSmith.com - Carolina K.'s Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    I don't know if your scanned images will open up in PS as 8-bit or 16-bit files. If they are 16-bit files, you might want to go to Image, then Mode, and change them to 8-bit. This will shrink a 60 MB file to 30 MB and then when you choose 72 dpi and constrain proportions, the file size will be in the ballpark.

    Actually, no matter how big the original file size is, if you get the width and height down to 500 x 750 pixels, it will always be ~ 1 MB file size., but the other way I described is just the workflow method I prefer.

    My Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n files open (after converting from "raw") as ~ 76 MB file sizes. After I do any corrections or adjustments, I change them to 8-bit files (38 MB file sizes) and use the above stated workflow, and it works pretty well for me :)
    - Carolina K. Smith

    Visit CarolinaSmith.com - Carolina K.'s Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12770

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12770

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 9: Learning About Studio Lighting
    I am starting my own photography business, mostly family and children's portraits, and am looking for more information about where to go to learn more about setting up my own studio and lighting option. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    - Betsy Burke

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Betsy-
    I am conducting a new online course starting in the winter term here at BetterPhoto called "Lighting for Commercial Photography." It will cover a wide spectrum of subjects including portraits, products, location, corporate, and will give you a good introduction to lots of lighting aspects.

    You can review the course description on the BP home page, or by clicking on the following link:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/CBL02.asp

    Good luck, and let me know if you have more questions.
    - Charlie Borland

    See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

    Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12767

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=12767

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Need Some Serious Help on Lighting!
    I would like to purchase some studio lighting. One person has suggested the Opus Pro 2 X 250WS Mono Kit or the Opus Pro 2 X 500 WS Mono Kit c/w 2 lights, stand, case, umbrella, snoot, barn doors, and some filters, for $1099, and $1699. He also suggests a Hot Shoot PC adaptor for $129 that protects against frying my camera, or a $20 one that has no protection I guess. I use the Canon Powershot G5 not an SLR. Will this work with my camera? Is this sufficient for doing in studio portraits? The room is not real big. Good buy? Is it compatible with my camera? I don't want to fry it. Do I have any other options? Do I need a light meter? Can I shoot in auto modes or is it manual only? Any info is greatly appreciated. Please point out everything as I am just a beginner doing all the research I can. Thanks.
    - Michelle Thalen

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Michelle-
    I teach the "Lighting for Commercial Photography" course here at BetterPhoto, and the price sounds right for the lights. But I am surprised that I have not heard of the brand before. I don't know if you can really fry your camera the way they are made these days. I fried an old Nikon F about 25 years ago in the studio, and that was in the days when you used extension cords as your PC cord and if you accidentally crossed the polarity, that fried the camera and made you count your blessings you were still alive. I do not believe that today that can happen with the type of pc cords that are used on monolights. Your camera, as far as I know, does not have a pc connection to plug the pc cord into, so you will need the adaptor to fire the flash. Because your camera has automatic and manual settings, you could use it for strobe photography, but set your camera on manual. You dont need a light meter as you can preview test shots on your LCD and also evaluate your light ratios.
    - Charlie Borland

    See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

    Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    ANSWER 2:
    Thank you very much. Just a couple other questions. Should I buy the 250W or 500W? And are you saying that I should buy the $20 pc adaptor, rather than the $129? What do you mean I could use my camera for strobe photography? Not sure what that is. You really know what you are talking about, and I would appreciate all the info you can give me. I feel so much better now. Thanks a bunch.
    - Michelle Thalen

    ANSWER 3:
    I would definitely get the 500ws as this is more power, and as you learn your lights better and try more difficult shots, you'll be glad you have the extra power.

    What I was referring to - on using your camera for strobe photography - is that there are so many digital cameras out there, yet not all are suitable for strobe photography ... meaning using the camera with the lights you want to buy, not on-camera flash. Your camera barely makes it as you have to have varied settings such as manual to use supplemental strobes. With strobes. there is no automatic shooting because quality lighting comes from balancing a key light and a fill light in ratios, lighting angle, lighting contrast, etc.
    - Charlie Borland

    See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™
    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

    Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Charlie Borland:
    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    ANSWER 4:
    I hardly know what strobe lighting is, but let me try summarizing what you are saying. My camera is not best suitable for strobe lighting, as it is not an SLR and need more manual settings. But I will be fine with the mono lights? Sorry, I am just starting out. I don't even know fully how the monolights will work, until I go to buy them (the guy is going to teach me). I guess I want to make sure that this is the right thing to buy. I want to take portraits in my home of children, etc., and I want the colour to be right and I want to shoot with my flash. I was using halogens with my flash, but I am mixing 2 different lights. I want to have the right set-up. Am I on the right track?
    - Michelle Thalen

    ANSWER 5:
    Well, you are close to understanding what I meant. Your camera comes with a flash, and that type of lighting is for snapshots. Then you have ambient light, which is any available light - the sun, street lights, fluorescents in a ceiling, etc. Ambient light is usually light you don't have control over.

    Then you have strobes that are flash. They come as power packs with heads that have a cable and plug into the power pack. These lights are limited to where you can place them in the scene to the length of the cord plugged into the power pack. A monolight is also a flash, but is a stand-alone unit with the power pack built into them and you can put them anywhere in your scene as long as you can plug them into an electrical outlet for power.

    Your camera is acceptable for what you want to do because it has manual settings - but barely. When you take a picture with the on-camera flash, it is all automatic TTL (thru the lens), but not when you use the monolights, they are not automatic. So you judge your lighting angle, lighting ratio, and exposure VISUALLY by looking at your LCD on your camera.

  • If you take a portrait and shoot a test shot, when you look at the LCD and if it is way too bright or overexposed, then you either cut power on the light or change your f/stop to a smaller aperture.

  • If the test is too dark, then you go the other way but turning up the power on your strobe or opening your f/stop to a bigger aperture. Get your lights, and play around until you are comfortable. Then consider taking my lighting course, and I will make you a lighting star!!!!!!
    - Charlie Borland

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    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

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    Lighting for Commercial Photography
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    ANSWER 6:
    You are AWESOME! I can't believe how cool this place is. You have been very helpful and I can't believe how much you have helped. I am going to get the lights and I will definitely consider your course. One last question. Do you think I need the $20 pc adaptor or the $129 protector one? Ah, this is awesome. I am grinning from ear to ear. Thank you - you are awesome!!!
    - Michelle Thalen

    ANSWER 7:
    No problem, Michelle! I would get the $20 version as I cannot imagine why that would not work. If there is a problem, you can always return it and upgrade. You are welcome to send me your email, and I will keep you informed of tips, tricks, and information on upcoming workshops. borlandphoto@earthlink.net
    - Charlie Borland

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    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

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    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 11: Capturing the Beauty of Pregnancy
    My good friend is very pregnant. She asked me to take pictures of her belly. Pregnancy is a truly amazing and beautiful thing. Any suggestions on poses, lighting, household items for props or lighting, etc? Limited equipment: I have a Canon 10D (digital), a telephoto zoom, a wide-angle zoom, and a tripod. Thanks for the help.
    - Ariell

    ANSWER 1:
    Search the Web for pregnancy or maternity photos. You will find a multitude of poses and ideas.
    Get some white sheets, or light and dark scarves, to drape over the mom to be.
    Do you have a soft-focus filter? If not, you should be able to soften some of the pictures on the computer editing software.
    Just experiment and have fun. Your friend will love it.
    - Rhonda L. Tolar

    ANSWER 2:
    Another quick suggestion: Look on this Web site's contest galleries under People. There are some GREAT pictures in there that might offer some ideas.
    - Shauna Linde

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=12753

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 12: Taking Dog Photos Without Eye Glare
    I'm taking Christmas pictures of my puppies. But I can't keep from getting eye reflection. How can I avoid getting the reflection from there eyes?
    - Brandy Perry

    ANSWER 1:
    If you're referring to catch-lights in their eyes, these can be a good thing. They help to add sparkle and life to your portraits (even with pets).
    If you mean that you are getting flash reflections (red-eye), use a p/c cord, and hold the flash off to the side a little ... if you are using an external flash unit.

    If your flash is the pop-up, built-in type, use whatever red-eye reduction features your camera has.
    - Bob Cammarata

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

    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: How Do I Shoot a Fast-Moving Object?
    Excuse me, if anyone knows how to shoot a fast-moving object, please kindly let me know. Many thanks in advance.
    - Ronggo Kusumo

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Ronggo. Assuming that your "fast-moving object" is a car, aircraft etc., the secret is to "pan" the camera.
    Get your object in the viewfinder well before the point at which you wish to take the photo, and follow it with the camera ... keeping it framed in the viewfinder.
    Press the shutter at the point you want the picture. Continue panning after you hit the shutter to ensure that any shutter lag does not result in you losing the shot.

    Panning does require some practice, particularly with a long zoom and a fast-moving object. A nice side effect of panning is that you can use a slower shutter speed than you might normally need to stop the motion this will give your background some movement blur giving a real impression of speed to the photo.

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

    - Dave Cross

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

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    ANSWER 3:
    Hi Diane
    There is a definite "knack" to panning, and the only real solution is practice. If you have something that follows an irregular course (aircraft, trick bike, etc.) I try to handhold, for motor sport a tripod (or monopod) is more manageable.

    If your camera has a "burst" or "action" mode that allows you to fire off several shots one after another, use it ... you are bound to get one where the subject is near the centre of the frame or, for that matter, in the frame, I have numerous shots of empty sky taken at aerobatic displays :(

    Enjoy, and let's see some of your action shots.
    Cheers
    DC
    - Dave Cross

    ANSWER 4:
    Thanks, Dave,
    I have been practicing, but really only handheld ... My tripod can't move that way, and I don't have a monopod. I do have some sample action shots/collages in my gallery if you want to check it out and let me know what you think. I certainly do love the burst mode on my S5000. It makes all the difference for me!
    - Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

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    ANSWER 5:
    Diane,
    I've been doing panning with the same camera. One thing that kills us is the somewhat slow autofocus. On the DSLRs the autofocus is almost instant. We have a lag. This results in blurry pictures as we rush to try and focus the subject. So, to avoid this get something the same distance you're son will be zooming by and pre-focus on that. Keep the shutter halfway depressed, have your son start pedalling, and start snapping as soon as he comes in the frame in burst mode. Don't use auto mode. It won't produce a good pan. And certainly don't use action. Set your camera on shutter priority, and try 1/30 or 1/60 and you should get a nice pan with a good blurry background and blurred wheels and feet from him pedaling.
    I'll be submitting a pan of my kids running in the snow probably sometime next week.
    Good luck!
    - Karma Wilson

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    ANSWER 6:
    Thanks Karma! I'll try it one of these days!
    DDK
    - Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

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