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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, December 27, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Winter School Session Begins January 5th!
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo of the Day: A Free Daily Showcase of Creativity
* BETTERPHOTO: Online Adventures: Wildlife, Travel, Business, Kids, and Polaroid
* BETTERPHOTO: Debut of BetterPhoto's Pro Deluxe BetterPholios™
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Kids Sports
* FEATURED PLACE: Putting the Focus on Ohio
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Polaroid Factoid / Picturing Philadelphia
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Directing Models for Stock Photos ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Help! No ASA 800 Setting on My Camera!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Canned Air: Is It Safe?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Lifespan of Prints
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Studio Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Photoshop 7: Color and Tone
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Best Flash for Wedding Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Canon Powershot A-75 Owners
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Shooting Against the Sun
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Which Camera???
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Cleaning 35m Slides and Negatives
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Bipod ... Or Monopod or Tripod?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Can You Stack Teleconverters
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: How Do You Sign a Photo?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BetterPhoto's Winter School Session Begins January 5th!
If you received a new digital camera this holiday season, or if you simply want to learn how to make great photos with any camera, be sure to take a look at BetterPhoto's amazing lineup of online courses.

Not sure which class is best for you? Then check out our categories page, with classes fitting into one of the following categories: Beginning; Composition and Design; Digital; Lighting and Exposure; Photoshop; Business; 4 Week Short Courses; Specialty Subjects; and Field Technique. The listings also include the skill level involved for each course. See it all 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 192nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

At BetterPhoto this holiday season, we are having fun gearing up for another awesome session of online classes. Winter is such a wonderful time to make photographs - the light is low and clear. Some scenes glow with pristine new snow, other scenes dance with dramatic weather. Could there be a better time to have a professional photographer motivating you to get out the door? Check out our courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, BetterPhoto instructor Charlie Borland offers more valuable advice on stock photography. Also, don't miss the Featured Gallery (kids sports), the Featured Place (Ohio), Photo Trivia, and yet another awesome collection of questions and answers.

Have a fantastic and safe holiday weekend! Whatever your plans, don't forget to have your camera handy :-)

Happy New Year,
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Photo of the Day: A Free 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


*****
Online Adventures: Wildlife, Travel, Business, Kids, and Polaroid
One of BetterPhoto's most dynamic online-course specialties involves ... well ... specialized topics. Here's a sampling:

  • Vik Orenstein's The Business of Photography - a step-by-step guide to making a living out of your passion:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/VIK04.asp

  • Jim Zuckerman's Wildlife Photography - tips for taking excellent and inspiring images of the animal kingdom:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK05.asp

  • Brenda Tharp's Beyond the Postcard - techniques for creating memorable travel images ... whether close to home or far abroad:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRN02.asp

  • Jay Forman's Capturing Your Kids In Pictures - simple techniques for taking great pictures of your children:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY01.asp

  • Kathleen T. Carr's Polaroid Image and Emulsion Transfer - explore two alternative photographic processes that produce unique and artistic results:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KAT01.asp


    *****
    Debut of BetterPhoto's Pro Deluxe BetterPholios™
    For professional photographers, aspiring pros, and any other serious shooters, BetterPhoto now offers the Pro BetterPholio™s. With the Deluxe Pro package, you get control over the look and feel of your site, ALL of the features of our Deluxe BetterPholios™, PLUS these powerful features: image sales option included; visitor statistics; triple the images (now space for 3,000 photos!); mailing list pages; more email aliases; password-protected private galleries (ideal for posting non-public images for clients, friends, and family); additional wildcard pages (for equipment lists, ordering policies, testimonials, or anything else you wish to add); and enhanced large slide shows (for both galleries AND front page!). For information, visit:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeProWebsites.asp

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    FEATURED GALLERY
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    Focus on Kids Sports
    A delightful part of parenting is watching your own children playing sports. Girls and boys always make excellent photo subjects, of course, and kids sports photos are a great way to remember their participation through the years. See the fantastic moments that BetterPhoto members and instructors have captured at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=137

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    FEATURED PLACE
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    Putting the Focus on Ohio
    The Midwestern U.S. state of Ohio offers so many fine opportunities for photography. Landscapes, bridges, cityscapes, lakes, wildlife, and close-ups. Check out the work of BetterPhoto members and instructors, and you'll also see what can be done with great compositions and fine light added to Ohio's awesome subjects! See this gallery at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=1026

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    PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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    Last week, we asked:
    In which movie does Meg Ryan get suspicious when she notices a friend not appearing in a Polaroid shot?

    The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Jan Stadelmyer is:
    City of Angels.

    See Jan's Premium BetterPholio™:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=62889

    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 - Picturing Philadelphia - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

    In 1940 film The Philadelphia Story, who plays the photographer?

    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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    Directing Models for Stock Photos ... by Charlie Borland
    As a stock photographer, you need to think of yourself, as a director, conductor, and illusionist. You will need to come up with the concept, create an illusion, direct your talent, and “conduct” them to act in unison. For example: You want to shoot a casual business meeting - a popular stock photo concept. You have the models sit around a table (you cannot see table) in your garage or studio. The three models are on one side, side by side. You light them from the front so the background goes dark and zoom in tight. You have created the illusion of an office and you direct your models to have a meeting. You next conduct the shoot by directing the models to do different poses, expressions, and looks.

    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:
    • 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: Help! No ASA 800 Setting on My Camera!
    Hi,
    I have just been given an old Yashica FX-3 (yippee!) fully manual SLR (it has metering that works). I also have a roll of 800 ASA film, BUT the camera's ASA settings leap from 400 to 1000 with no 800. Can I just set it at 400 and halve the exposure? Do I just set it at 1000 and compensate; if so, how? Can I never reliably use 800 film in it, or is it wise just to stick to 400 for a while as I am an absolute beginner? Thanks.
    - Mark

    ANSWER 1:
    If you are a beginner, stick with the ISO 400 until you get some experience.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    ANSWER 2:
    Or, if you are a beginner, if you can set shutter speeds manually, just use a shutter speed that's twice as fast as what the meter reads at iso 400.
    - 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=13271

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13271

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 2: Canned Air: Is It Safe?
    The canned air I recently bought says to NEVER use it on "camera mirrors". Does this mean:
    1: Don't use it on cameras anywhere?
    2: Just don't spray the reflex mirror and focusing screen?
    3: Don't spray any glass whatsoever?
    Just wanted to know, as the inside of my backup body started to get dusty. Thanks.
    - Alex Cabrall

    ANSWER 1:
    The warning is most likely to deter possible damage to delicate internal parts. (The pressure in those cans can be pretty intense.)
    There's also the possibility of blasting tiny bits of debris further back into the camera where they could wreak havoc with your circuitry.
    Personally, I won't use canned air on anything ... except for cleaning slides or negatives prior to scanning.
    Dust on the mirror and/or focusing screen has no effect on the image. As long as your lens glass is clean, you are OK.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13264

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13264

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 3: Lifespan of Prints
    What is the expected lifespan of prints made at home from a digital camera? I have some black and white prints made in 1960 from a 35mm camera and they still look new. Will the ink used last that long?
    - Wayne Redden

    ANSWER 1:
    It depends on the ink and paper that you use. You can check with the manufacturer of your printer/ink/paper. I use the best Epson pigmented inks, and Epson says they will not fade for 75 years. Of course, it all depends on exposure too ... my 1977 Corvette has faded paint on it; of course, it gets a lot of sunlight that a photo probably would not get, so storage is always a factor. But if you use the best paper and pigmented inks, I would say you are as good as real photographic paper, 75 to 100 years without much fading if stored out of sunlight.
    Vince
    www.PhotoAgo.com
    - Vince Broesch

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13262

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13262

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 4: Studio Lighting
    I am looking into getting some studio lighting for small projects - some portraits and an upcoming wedding. It seems from what I've been reading that most photographers writing answers tend to prefer strobe lighting as opposed to reflected lighting. Am I correct in my observations, and why?
    Ken Hupila
    - Kenneth Hupila

    Visit finnbayphotography.com - Kenneth's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Ken,
    The reason most pros use strobes is that they are the only lights whose color is balanced closest to that of daylight. One of the preferred units is Photogenic. Most of the pros I know use these for their in-studio and on-location units. They are versatile, easy to use, dependable, and have built-in slaves. So you only need to be connected to one unit or have a radio slave connected and when it fires so do all the rest of the units. I would like to suggest that you get three units - one for a main light, one for fill, and one as a hair light.
    Many accessories are made to fit these lights - soft boxes, snoots, parabolic dishes, and gel holders.
    Hope these ideas help.
    Good shooting.
    - Doug Elliott

    ANSWER 2:
    Thanks! Will check it out. Ken
    - Kenneth Hupila

    Visit finnbayphotography.com - Kenneth's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13247

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13247

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 5: Photoshop 7: Color and Tone
    How do I tweak color and tonal values accurately in Photoshop 7? Difference in lighting conditions has caused blond-hair individuals in my pictures to look a tad green, and I was wondering if I could change this green back to the original color. I have tried but it turns out looking like a bunch of larger pixels.
    - Mark Teixeira

    ANSWER 1:
    Select Image->Adjustments->Hue/Saturation. In the dialog box, choose the drop down Edit box; select Greens and lower the hue. You may need to adjust other colors as well until you get the color hue you wish.
    You may do the same thing using an adjustment layer.
    In the future, if you can shoot in the RAW format, do so. When "developing" the RAW image, you can adjust the white balance, which will accomplish the same effect as above.
    - George F. Howard

    Visit georgefhoward.com - George's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13246

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13246

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 6: Best Flash for Wedding Photography
    What flash do you recommend for a Digital Rebel when shooting weddings? Also, what kind of filters do you use to create a soft light effect?
    - Julie

    ANSWER 1:
    Julie,
    If you truly want professional results, I would like to suggest the Canon 550EX. In addition, I would like to suggest a frame to mount your flash above your camera, and a connecting cord {Canon Off Camera Shoe Cord 2, 60cm (2ft.), TTL Off-Camera Flash Cable for All EOS Cameras}, and a rechargeable battery pack for the flash. The battery pack will allow more flashes than AA batteries, and it will re-cycle the flash quicker.
    The reason for the bracket is to get your flash up off the camera. This will eliminate most of the red eye that occurs when using the built-in flash. The bracket also helps when carrying your camera. I've used a Stroboframe for over twenty years.
    Another idea you might want to try is using a light stand next to your camera. You can set your flash upon the stand and use it to get a higher angle for the flash; this will allow you to place the shadow down and behind the people. I use a small ball (I use a Bogan Mini 482) to be able to tilt the flash where I need its light.
    I hope these ideas are helpful.
    Good shooting and Happy New Year.
    Doug

    - Doug Elliott

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13239

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13239

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 7: Canon Powershot A-75 Owners
    I have been unable to locate Canon PowerShot A-75 users. I would like to find someone who knows how to use this camera. Please email me at chetsut@gmail.com
    - Chet Sutherland

    ANSWER 1:
    Have you tried http://www.powershot-a.com/ or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/A70_Canon/?
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 2:
    Right here at BetterPhoto - click on reviews - search for A70 ... click on it - you have reviews as well as all pics posted on this site taken with this camera. A direct link to BP's PowerShot A70 Digital Camera page:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/reviews/reviewItemDetail.asp?reviewItemID=1505

    Anyone who you find there with a Premium BetterPholio™ or a Deluxe BetterPholio™ has a contact photographer button. Good luck in fixing your problem!

    Here's a direct link to Powershot A70 photos taken by BP members:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?camID=1505
    - Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

    See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13236

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13236

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 8: Shooting Against the Sun
    I shot this photo against the sun. It was sunset, but as you can see, it didn't work out the way that I wanted too. The details of the ridges and the coastline was just too dark, even though it is fixable on the computer. I want to know how to fix it when I shoot again. I am familiar with my Canon EOS 300v and know the importance of shutter speed and aperture in this situation. Please don't hesitate to criticize my technique and help me out.
    - Aravinda Subasinghe

    See Sample Photo - Stuffed :
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=654315

    ANSWER 1:
    OK, I will try to answer your question to where you can get what you want. The problem is that there is just too much difference between the light reflecting off the foreground and the light coming from the sky. You could try using a 2 stop graduated neutral density filter to eliminate some of the light from the sky and meter off the foreground. This would keep the sky from being blown out too much and would make the foreground properly lighted. The question I have is why would you want to do that? You have a very nice picture. You could use a 1 stop or 2 stop graduated ND filter, and meter off the sky, thus maintaining a beautiful silhouette with the sky being a little darker than it is. I would shoot two shots, one with the 1 stop grad. ND and one with the 2 stop filter and see which you like better. Just don't try to fight the light. You will wind up with a muddy picture that isn't as pretty as the one you have here. Silhouettes are great. You just don't want the sky too light. Take a look at the picture I have posted. The foreground is dark in it too but the sky is also darker.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    See Sample Photo - Sunset at the Beach:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=654622

    ANSWER 2:
    Kerry is correct that strong silhouettes can improve a great sunrise/sunset. If you want to illuminate some of the closer foreground elements, you can meter off the sky and use flash to add extra light to the foreground. Also, take a moment to see what is going on BEHIND you. The setting sun will illuminate everything from that direction.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13234

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13234

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 9: Which Camera???
    I am going to take an introductory photography class and it requires a "fully adjustable 35mm camera." I found these cameras and am wondering which is good (which you would recommend). If you have other suggestions, I would gladly accept them. too. Thank you!
    Nikon FM10 (new)
    Nikon FM3A (new)
    Nikon F2 (used)
    Pentax ZX-M (new)
    Pentax K1000 (used)
    Also, for the used cameras, how much is a good buy?
    - Emi

    ANSWER 1:
    The first two Nikons on your list would be my choice for a manual-operating SLR, if I were bying new. (The FM3 offers aperture-priority automatic exposure, as well as full manual.)
    You might want to consider getting a used body. A Nikon FM2 is a good choice. They can usually be found on those on-line auction sites for @ $100 or so. This model was manufactured by Nikon back in the '80s, and many are still in use today. (I have two myself.)
    This camera is fully mechanical (except for meter) and was built to last.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    The cameras on your list avoid the scarce battery/unsatisfactory work-around problem of many of the otherwise fine '70s cameras. Look also for a Nikon FM2n. The Olympus OM-1, OM-2 and 2n are good student choices. Canon had only the AT-1 as an affordable '90s totally manual camera. Look at Minolta's X-370 and X-570. KEH.com is a reputable dealer in used cameras. Go to their Web site for retail prices. Even their Bargain grade cameras come with the mirror bumper foam and film door foam replaced. If you buy on eBay, budget $35 more to have KEH replace the foam parts. BTW, I don't work for KEH, and have had differences with them occasionally, but they're good honest folks.
    - Doug Nelson

    Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    I don't know a THING about any of the cameras you are asking about except the K1000. I took introductory classes with one the school provided until I was given one "used" (from a pawn shop) for a Christmas present. I love that little camera, and even though I have a Nikon N80 that I use predominantly, I still take my Pentax with me as well on outings. It's a sturdy little camera, very reliable, and no bells or whistles - just the standard manual buttons/knobs.
    - Shauna Linde

    ANSWER 4:
    About the prices for used cameras - I think the K1000 I got was around $100 dollars. It came with a standard 50mm lens and nothing else. This was about 6 years ago, though, so the prices are probably a bit lower. Just make sure if you get a used one that they let you handle it to make sure everything functions well. Open the back and snap the shutter button at different shutter speeds to make sure it doesn't have a problem there, check the lens for scratches etc. ... if you know someone who is familiar with cameras or photography, you might find it helpful to bring them with you if you go looking for used cameras. My instructor actually went with my parents and made the recommendation for which camera to purchase.
    - Shauna Linde

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13233

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13233

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Cleaning 35m Slides and Negatives
    What are the best materials for cleaning 35mm slides and film prior to scanning? And what's the best procedure for doing so?
    - William H. Parker

    Visit bparkerphotography.com - William's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    There is a solution created for this particular purpose which will clean fingerprints and such. You can learn about it at this link:
    http://www.photosol.com/pec-12product.htm

    Personally, I simply brush both sides of my slides with a dry Q-Tip. Brush in one direction, toward the darkest part of the image. Then, I'll give each side a blast with a can of compressed air to remove residual cotton hairs the brushing may have left.
    Stubborn spots, scratches, etc., can be removed with a software program such as Digital ICE.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13228

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13228

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

    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Bipod ... Or Monopod or Tripod?
    Do any of you know whether any of the tripod manufacturers actually make a bipod? I am purchasing a Sigma 50-500mm zoom lens and think a bipod would help eliminate blur, etc. Thanks in advance.
    - Todd Bennett

    ANSWER 1:
    I don't think anyone makes a bipod commercially. But why not use a monopod or tripod? The latter will give you the most stability, let you walk away from the camera to be certain you've removed clutter, etc.
    When you use a monopod, YOU are the two additional support legs. Make sure the monopod leans toward you as you focus and press the shutter.
    You might also consider an image stabilizing lens before you purchase the Sigma 50-500mm. Don't know if your camera's maker has one, but this is worth checking out first.
    What are you shooting that requires 500mm? If it's birds on the wing, etc., you really aren't going to be too happy, because you'll not be able to move the camera/lens fast enough to easily capture such an elusive subject. If it's insects, you might want to consider freezing the action with flash; this might enable you to purchase a more controllable lens.
    Just a thought or two.
    - John Sandstedt

    ANSWER 2:
    Thanks, John. I am shooting wild turkey, deer, perched birds, etc. I don't try to get birds on the wing. I like the ability of the 500mm to zoom in close up on my subject and thought if a bipod were made, it would be more stable than a monopod. Guess I'll have to do the monopod.
    - Todd Bennett

    ANSWER 3:
    If you need a camera bipod, here's a commercially available one (inexpensive, too):
    http://www.exploreproducts.com/bipod.htm

    You can actually make it into a makeshift tripod by carrying some light lanyard cord and an anchor. If you attach the cord near the panhead and anchor it to the ground with the camera's weight tilting slightly forward. It's handy if you are on sloped/uneven terrain. I have found that my tripod serves an identical function if I simply disregard one of the legs.
    - Keith

    ANSWER 4:
    If you are in an area the prevents you from extending all 3 tripod legs, just extend 2 legs, and you have a bipod. Leave the 3rd leg unextended and pointing away from you. This has worked for me in tight areas or on terrain that is too steep to extend the 3rd leg.
    - John P. Roberts, Jr.

    See John's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 5:
    Thanks guys. All very good suggestions.
    - Todd Bennett

    ANSWER 6:
    For wildlife, you need a monopod. You can set up and shoot in a hurry with it. Make sure it has a quick release plate, and make sure the plate is snugged onto the camera good enough, keep the camera on the pod and ready. It's a good plan to keep the camera strap around your neck anyhow just in case. A monopod works great until you get to real slow shutter speeds, which you won't be using for wildlife. You do need to watch to make sure the camera is level. It's steady but easy to shoot at an angle if not paying attention. I don't know what the pros use to steady but that's the way I do it, and it works great.
    - Scott Pedersen

    ANSWER 7:
    The suggestion of getting a good tripod (Bogen, etc.) and using only 2 legs is a good one! Make sure you get a decent tripod with a head you like to use (try before you buy!). Before you get that particular Sigma lens, what about the APO 80-400 OS (their version of image stabilization)? Very good reviews - and you want to be sure the lens is sharp!
    - Harry H. Marsh

    ANSWER 8:
    I've used the "two-leg" trick quite often when shooting insects. It makes it possible to carefully lean in to get super close to the subject without disturbing the surrounding plants or flowers. This two-leg method offers more support than a monopod, which only stabilizes the camera's vertical movement.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

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


    CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Can You Stack Teleconverters
    This sounds like a silly question. Can you stack 2X teleconverters on one another - like you can with a set of extension tubes - but only for long-distance shots. Just wondering. Thanks for all your help.
    - Sam Endicott

    ANSWER 1:
    Generally, yes, but it depends on the specific teleconverters.
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 2:
    Yes, in most cases it is possible. But the subsequent loss of light will result in the need to use a much larger aperture and a faster shutter speed. The quality of the image will most likely be greatly compromised.
    - Gregory Gaskin

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13173

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    *****


    CONTINUING QUESTION 3: How Do You Sign a Photo?
    I have sold a photo of mine, and the buyer would like me to sign the photo. What should I use to sign it with?
    - Tamara Kay Hildahl

    See Tamara's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Sharpie® FP Permanent Marker ... or any archival-type ink if only signing the outer mat.
    - Kip T. Berger

    See Kip's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    I prefer to use an old-style pen with black India ink. It scratches ever so slightly into the surface and makes it non-removable. It also looks very timeless and professional.
    - Norbert Maile

    ANSWER 3:
    If you choose an archival ink, a good source is a frame and art supply store. In my area, Aaron Brothers is my preferred store for this.
    - Tiffany L. Cochran

    ANSWER 4:
    I sign mats in pencil, and so do most professionals I know. However, if you are signing directly on the print, use a pen designed for signing photographic prints. An art or photo supply store should have those.
    - Shirley Cross

    See Shirley's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13160

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