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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, January 17, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts February 2nd!
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo of the Day: How We Pick It!
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focusing on Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!
* FEATURED PLACE: Grand Scenery at Grand Teton National Park
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Early Camera Feature / Cool Cameras
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Inexpensive Protection ... By Bob Cammarata
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Eliminate Red-Eye?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Suggestions for Studio Backdrops
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Digital Photography: Getting Light Right
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: What Determines Contrast?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: White Balance Help?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Macro Lens Help
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Kodak Easyshare Pics as Big as Advertised?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: CF Card: Reformat?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Monolight with Built-in Pocket Wizard?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Light Rings
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Sports Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: Question About a Stock Agency
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: RGB vs. CMYK
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 14: Professional Football Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 15: Portrait Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 16: How to Catch the Sparkle in Jewelry?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 17: Submitting Photos to a Magazine
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 18: Ins and Outs of Slide Film
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 19: Wedding Photography: JPEG, TIFF or RAW?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Where to Find Used Equipment
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: How to Start a Studio and What Software to Get


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

BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts February 2nd!
The winter session of BetterPhoto's online courses has gotten off to a fantastic start. But some classes haven't even begun yet! These are the second sessions of our 4-week Short Courses: Jay Forman's "Photography for Kids 101"; Tony Sweet's "The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras"; Jim Zuckerman's "Non-Digital Special Effects"; Brenda Tharp's "Mastering Macro Photography"; and Kerry Drager's "Details and Close-ups."

These second sessions are not "extensions" of the first-round classes - rather, they are repeats, and they begin February 2nd with the very first lesson. Read about them at the following courses page (look for "2nd Session" in the class titles):
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 195th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Great news for fans of the BetterPhoto contest! The December finalists have now been posted for your viewing enjoyment. We apologize for being late with the selections, but check out these awesome images at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=5275

Our newest newsletter - Photo of the Day - is still only 4 months old ... and we are pleased with its success. For anyone wondering just how the images for this daily visual showcase are selected, read all about it in this issue of SnapShot.

Speaking of this week's SnapShot, check out our excellent featured galleries (on dogs and the Tetons), as well as an excellent Photo Tip from BP member Bob Cammarata. And, as usual, there's a terrific lineup of questions and answers.

That's it for now. Enjoy this SnapShot ... and happy shooting!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Photo of the Day: How We Pick It!
An often-asked question at BetterPhoto is how the Photo of the Day is chosen. Here are some answers:

  • All images for the POTD newsletter are picked from contest entries. BetterPhoto staff members make the selections.
  • Keep in mind that there are "only" 30 or 31 POTDs a month. Thus, only a few of the spectacular contest images can appear in the daily newsletter.
  • Also, we try to ensure a good balance of images - i.e., "traditional" vs. digital art, color, black and white, landscapes, animals, people, elements of design, special effects, close-ups, monthly theme, etc. An example: Say, we have already run several flower shots over the past few weeks. Then, yet another fantastic flower photo is entered into the contest. For variety's sake, we will likely be forced to "pass" on this new one. Of course, that particular image could very well go on to achieve great contest success!
  • Because of our quest for variety, many POTD candidates are "held over" into the next month. That explains why a few photos may have a "contest" award attached to it ... again, those particular images were actually chosen for POTD status before the contest judging.
  • All contest entries remain in the contest, regardless of whether they are selected for the POTD. Likewise, judges ignore any POTD status during the choosing of contest finalists and winners.

    Hopefully, this takes the "mystery" out of the POTD selection process. Of course, if everything here sounds totally mysterious, it may be that you haven't yet signed up to receive this free e-newsletter! Check out our POTD archives page (which includes a sign-up link) at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/Photo-of-the-Day.asp


    *****
    BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
    Frustrated with the hurdles and hassles of getting your own Web site? BetterPhoto offers two fantastic options for displaying - and even selling - your work! BetterPhoto makes getting your own site hassle-free by taking care of all the technical issues and offering a single, comprehensive package. And we have two exciting plans from which to choose:

    1) Deluxe BetterPholio™, in which you can choose the look and feel of your Web site from a selection of unique, high-quality designs. For details, go to:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

    2) Pro BetterPholio™, which includes ALL of the features of our Deluxe BetterPholios™, PLUS many more powerful extra features. This option is geared especially to professional shooters and aspiring pros. For details:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeProWebsites.asp

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    FEATURED GALLERY
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    Focusing on Dogs, Dogs, and More Dogs!
    Some of the most photographer-friendly subjects at BetterPhoto are dogs. And BP members and instructors have shot these animals in all sorts of creative ways. Check out our gallery, and you'll find ears-to-paws portraits, close-ups of wet noses, shots of sleeping dogs, images of owner-pet interactions, etc. And, of course, there are the verrrry funny - and verrrry priceless - poses! Check out this BP gallery at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=457

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    FEATURED PLACE
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    Grand Scenery at Grand Teton National Park
    The photographic appeal of this slice of U.S. mountain scenery can be seen in the awesome images of BetterPhoto shooters: sweeping landscapes, mirrored lake reflections, and beautiful light. Yes, the Tetons' cliffs rise 7,000 feet above the valley floor, but this Wyoming park offers more intimate scenes too - such as wildlife, wildflowers, and classic barns. Stop by the BP gallery at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=434

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    PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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    Last week, we asked:
    What was the camera that first offered a view of the lens aperture in the viewfinder?

    The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke is:
    This was definitely a challenging question this week ... and the answer is the Minolta SRT 202.

    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 - Cool Cameras - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

    What movie actress recently said the following in a magazine interview? "There is something about that particular piece of hardware - a camera - that's kind of cool. It sort of instantly makes you the coolest person in the room."

    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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    Inexpensive Protection ... By Bob Cammarata
    Those handy felt bags that come with Crown Royal Whiskey (the 1.75 L size) make great soft cases for lenses, flash units, camera bodies, and other stuff. They can usually be found on places like eBay pretty cheap or if you know someone who owns a bar or restaurant, you can ask them to collect them for you.

    In addition to the felt bag, the gallon-sized plastic food storage bags sold at any grocery store provide cheap, temporary, water-proof protection for your cameras and gear. The bags with the sliding “zipper” are quicker to use than the “pinch-to-close” styles. They will usually last around 10 trips or so before they need to be replaced, and they can offer a little extra peace of mind while afield.

    See Bob Cammarata's Deluxe BetterPholio™:
    http://www.cammphoto.com

    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
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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:

    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: How to Eliminate Red-Eye?
    I have set the camera on red-eye reduction, but I end up with missed shots, and then when I tilt my sb800, the photo is too dark. What can I do besides fixing it in Photoshop all the time?
    - Nancy Lietz

    See Sample Photo - Red Eye:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=684889

    ANSWER 1:
    Nancy,
    You'll have to do one of two things (at least 2 things that came to my mind):
    1. Get the flash off the camera. Use a flash bracket (stroboframe); or:
    2. Get a lens that won't need as much flash to get the shot.

    One other thought: Have you tried to diffuse the flash with one of those that fit over the flash? It might be worth a shot.
    - John Wright

    Visit photobing.com - John's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13641

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13641

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 2: Suggestions for Studio Backdrops
    I am setting up a studio in a room of my house, and I'm trying to figure out what type of backdrop I should buy. The room is carpeted, so paper is not an option. I would prefer a white vinyl background to start out with, but the places I've seen it for sale seem really expensive. Other options I've considered are just getting a white muslin or canvas and using it until I can afford white vinyl. But I would rather have a backdrop that will drape smoothly without wrinkling. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I might find reasonably priced backdrops? Or are there other backdrops available that I haven't considered? Thanks!
    - Brooke Peterschmidt

    ANSWER 1:
    Brooke,
    The only ones that I can think of are Denny Mfg and Maheu. www.backgroundsbymaheu.com Some of my students mention Amvoco. I have never seen white vinyl before, but if it is shiny then your lights will reflect hot spots in it, and that may be a problem.
    - 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:
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have actually seen photographers using vinyl backdrops in their pictures, and the vinyl is not glossy - it has a matte finish. I really like the effect that vinyl gives. It's so white and smooth that it fades into nothingness.
    - Brooke Peterschmidt

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13632

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13632

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 3: Digital Photography: Getting Light Right
    We purchased the Canon Digital Rebel 6.3 in December. The flash was a 420ex speedlite. We did a wedding for the first time with the digtal. Shot in the program mode, ISO at 200 AEB at +1 - +2. ALL the pics were bright subjects with dark backgrounds. The camera store said to shoot at 400. This was a little better. We also bought a Canon 580ex speedlite. Thinking we needed more light to fill a dark church, we changed the ISO to 200 from 400. The pics were about the same. AEB bracketing from -2 to +2, the pics still seemed bright subject and dark background. We found the AEB at -1 looked better but still dark. Any suggestions?
    Scott
    - SCOTT R. SCHUITMAN

    ANSWER 1:
    A single on-camera flash cannot light both the subject and the background. Inverse square law - light intensity falls off proportionately with the square of distance from the source. Set to properly light a subject 10 ft. away, the light will be half as bright on objects 14 ft. away, and gives only 1/4 the light to objects 20 ft. away.

    In full program mode, the EOS cameras set exposure in a "snapshot" mode with relatively fast shutter speeds (1/60 and higher) that leave the background darker than the flash-lit subject. Adding + AEB probably had no effect in Program mode. With flash in P mode, the AEB is accomplished by changing the aperture only, and if you have an f/3.5-5.6 zoom, it was probably already wide open, so +2 would get the same exposure as +0.

    Slower shutter speeds are needed to give more exposure to the background (slower shutter speeds have no effect on the flash-lit subject). This can be accomplished by using Av or M mode. In these modes, the exposure scale in the viewfinder will be measuring the ambient light only, without regard for the flash, and the flash is used as fill-light on the near subject. Set shutter and aperture for "0" on the exposure scale, and the flash-lit subject and background will be balanced, to "-1/2" the background will get 1/2 stop less exposure than the subject. Take care to note the subject distance scale on the 580EX, and make sure your subject is well within that range. If you set the aperture too wide, a subject at the near end of the range or closer will be overexposed.

    See http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/ for a comprehensive guide to using Canon's EOS flash system.
    - Jon Close

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13629

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13629

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 4: What Determines Contrast?
    I am trying to find out how to achieve a higher contrast and wondering what determines high or low contrast?
    - Dawn

    ANSWER 1:
    It depends on what you mean. With color film, you can just change to a different type, like Fuji Superia vs. Fuji np films.
    You can have contrast with black and white by either using filters when you take the picture, or using contrast filters when printing. There are also different papers with printing black and white.
    You can also use lighting for contrast.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    In photography, contrast is the relationship between the highlights (bright spots) and the shadows (dark areas).
    The easiest way I know to determine or define "high contrast" is to think in terms of black and white. A black lab retriever playing in the snow on a sunny day would be a good example of high contrast.
    In this scenario, there would be four or more stops of exposure variance between the dog and the background ... hence, the contrast.
    As to how to achieve a higher contrast, that would depend upon your subject. If it's dark, try to position it against a light background. If your main point of interest is light in color, then a dark background would be more appropriate.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    Consider a black and white photo - black being the darkest and white being the lightest. Now consider that there is a scale from black to white with 8 steps of grey in between. This will show a gradual tonal range from black to white. Now if we compress the 8 steps to 4 steps, we will be increasing contrast. In conventional photography, contrast can be increased by over-developing the film or choosing a harder paper for printing. Digitally, this can be done by adding contrast in software.
    - Douglas Chetcuti

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13626

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13626

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 5: White Balance Help?
    I am still learning. and a lot of the terms are clear after some study. But this white balance ... I am having trouble understanding it for some reason! Can someone give me a description that even a child might could understand?
    Thanks for you help:)
    Maria
    - Maria K. Carpenter

    ANSWER 1:
    Light from sunlight is different than light from a light bulb and fluorescent lights ... even though to your eyes, it can look the same.
    Sunlight has all colors in its spectrum (rainbow), so sunlight makes white things look white. Light from a light bulb only has the red-yellow in its rainbow, so on film, everything looks yellow. But it's just really easy to see on white areas because they look yellow instead of white.
    Light from a fluorescent bulb only has green-blue in its rainbow, so white things look green.
    Thus, in order to get a photo to look natural, you use white balance. So you could say that with purple, blue and green on one side, and yellow, orange and red on the other side, sunlight is balanced with 6 colors. A light bulb has only three - yellow, orange, and red. So you have to balance the other side with the 3 missing colors to get white stuff to look white.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Well, thank you very much! You have made it clear!
    - Maria K. Carpenter

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13623

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13623

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 6: Macro Lens Help
    I am looking into getting a macro lens. Actually, I am going to get one and I have been trying to compare them and have had no real luck. I shoot with a Canon Rebel Ti. If anyone can recommend at good 1:1 macro lens or a site that has comparisons, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Tammy
    - Tammy Scott

    See Tammy's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 1:
    Absolutely. Canon makes three "real" macros - a 50mm, a 100m, and a 180mm. In addition, Tamron and Sigma have long offered similar focal length macros in Canon mount. Those are your choices. Personally, I'd stick with Canon if you can afford them, or go with Tamron or Sigma, in that order. I have Nikon equipment, and own all three respective macros (actually, Nikon calls them "micros") - 55mm, 105mm and 200mm, in Nikon brand. Which focal length you go with, assuming you only want to buy one, will be determined by what you want to use if for. Let me know your plans for using the lens, and I can recommend which will more suit your needs. Here's what I use each for:
    - 55: studio set-up shots, Ebay shots, table-top shots.
    - 105: anything where the 55 is a little too short, or too close to the subject. Doubles as a head-and-shoulders lens.
    - 200: flowers.
    Email me if you have further concerns.
    Michael H. Cothran
    Here are some pages from my Web site using these macro lenses -
    http://www.mhcphoto.net/InteriorPages/FAimagepages/1327.htm

    http://www.mhcphoto.net/InteriorPages/FAimagepages/29.09.htm

    All 8 images on the next page were all shot with the 55mm -
    http://www.mhcphoto.net/InteriorPages/JSimages/JS%20ThumbMasters/JSThumbnails.htm
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Yes, I only want to buy one for now so I guess I would like the one that is most versatile. I would like one that allows me a pretty close shooting distance for still images, and yet gives me the ability to shoot a little farther away for live subjects.
    - Tammy Scott

    See Tammy's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    Tammy,
    Go with the shortest focal length that will achieve 1:1, (or at least 1:2) reproduction if you want versatility. The 50mm lens can double as a standard lens for all-around shooting.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 4:
    Tammy,
    If I could only buy one to start, it would be the 100mm. I find that the 50mm requires you to be way too close to the subject in the 1:2 to 1:1 range. The 100mm will double that distance.
    I do a lot of jury slides for artists and craftsmen. Mostly I use a 55mm (Nikon), but I'm usually in the 1:10 range. If I need to focus closer, such as with small jewelry items, I switch to the 105, or even the 200, to give me more working room. With your 50, you'll be within a few short inches of your subject at the closest focusing ranges. If you can live with this, then you can definitely save some money on the 50. The 100 also serves as a great head-and-shoulders portrait lens.
    Michael H. Cothran
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13620

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13620

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 7: Kodak Easyshare Pics as Big as Advertised?
    Hello, everybody. I recently picked up a bottom-of-the-line Kodak Easyshare to fill my digital void before I get all of the money for a Digital Rebel or similar. The camera has 3.2 megapixels and advertises on the box that it can make a max print size of 11"x14". I took a picture of a building in bright sunlight without any digital zoom. Shortly after I took it back to my room, loaded it on the computer, saturated the color a little more fot the sky, the roof and the bricks and preceded to print it on picture paper with my Dell printer that is usually fairly good (although black sometime appears bluish when I print in color). The picture is fairly sharp in the building, but the sky seems to have a lot of digital noise, I think. I'll try to attach it. If it advertises 11"x14" shouldn't 8"x10" at least be decent? What do you think is the problem here? Lastly, I realize the camera is 3.2 MP and cost me $100, but on the screen, the picture has very little noise even though I will magnify it to 11"x14" on the screen. Thanks!
    - Andrew Laverghetta

    See Sample Photo - Indiana University Student Building:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=682156

    ANSWER 1:
    I also have a 3.2 megapixel camera - not the Kodak but a Fuji. But it's the number of megapixels that counts, I believe.
    I have successfully printed up to 11 x 14 (even though a digital "pro" told me to forget it - you'll never be able to!). He was rather shocked when my print did well at the camera club competition - he couldn't believe I had taken it with a 3.1.
    Anyhow, I think not all pictures will be able to blow up to that size. It depends on the subject and overall composition. If you look in my gallery I printed Yummy and Under Mom's protection with no problems.
    You should be able to get a decent 8 x 10. You could try Neat Image (it's a free program you can download off the internet) which helps clean up digital noise.
    Good luck!
    - Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

    See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    Wow! Thanks! That picture looks a whole lot better than it did before! I'll go ahead and recommend that program to anybody else I think may need it. Once again, thanks!
    - Andrew Laverghetta

    ANSWER 3:
    Glad it worked, Andrew! Be sure to shoot your pics at the highest setting too. That will help! Happy shooting!
    - Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

    See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13618

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13618

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 8: CF Card: Reformat?
    Hi,
    I just bought the new Canon D20. Shot a number of images on the CF card and transferred them to a notebook. I then formatted the CF card and started to take a new round of pictures only to find out that the first 10 could not be transferred to the notebook from the CF card although they show up in the camera display. The EOS transfer tells me that that there are "no images in the camera". I find this annoying, to say the least. Has anybody encountered this problem? Was I not to reformat the CF card? Thanks for any advice.
    - Klaus Lang

    ANSWER 1:
    I use a Digital Rebel. I always plug the camera into the computer, download the pics, turn off camera and unplug, close the picture program then reopen to make sure all pictures are there. Then I delete the pictures from the camera and reformat the card in the camera - every time - never had any problems.
    When I download stuff to my laptop and then try to download from the same card/camera at home to the big computer, the automatic Canon program says I have no pictures, so I have to go to "My Pictures" and do it the long way ... never figured that part out.
    bob
    - Robert Cournoyer

    See Robert's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 2:
    I had a similar situation and found a quick solution: Don't re-format the card after uploading. See if it works for you.
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    I had a similar problem when I deleted my CF card through a card reader connected to the PC. So now, after transferring my pictures to my PC through the Card Reader, I replace the CF into the camera and delete them from there. Never reformat your CF through the computer - always through the camera.
    - Douglas Chetcuti

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13614

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13614

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 9: Monolight with Built-in Pocket Wizard?
    What would be a good set monolight set that come equipped with built in "pocket wizard"? I'm just starting out a small studio, looking for some advice to get 2-3 monolight set with around 400-600 ws. Thanks in advance.
    - Guy S.

    ANSWER 1:
    Guy,
    I don't know that any lights that have built-in Pocket Wizards as they are a brand of radio remotes. Paul C Buff Corp. makes White Lightning and Alien Bees monolights. I have lots of WLs, and my students have those and ABs ... and I hear nothing but praise for the lights. Pocket Wizard is one brand of radio remote, and Radio Slave by Quantum is another. Both have good reputations.
    - 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=13609

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13609

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Light Rings
    What type of photography are light rings used for, and what effect do they give?
    - Crystal Williams

    ANSWER 1:
    The regular light rings are used a lot for macro. It gives even lighting for something that's only a few inches away. The stronger ones turn up in fashion ads. They also evenly light the person, with a faint even shadow that outlines them, instead of a shadow that has a direction to one side. They also flatten the person into the background. It smoothes textures and facial features. Even more if it's diffused. It's an easily recognizable look.
    - Gregory La Grange

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    NEW QUESTION 11: Sports Photography
    Hello all!! I have an opportunity to photograph all the home games for the semi-pro football team, but I have never photographed a sporting event. I need to get an idea of what type of equipment works best for this type of photography. I will be purchasing a Canon 20D, which is 8.2 megapixel, in the very near future. Now, I need to know what lens will work best for this job? Thanks!!!
    - Delano A. Porchia

    ANSWER 1:
    Congratulations and good luck. The short answer to your inquiry is simple: There is no one lens which works best. I would suggest you scope out the terrain. Find out where your shooting positions will be. Will you be assigned one area, or can you move about? Will you be on the sideline or up in the bleachers? Will you shoot in daylight, or nighttime or both? Do you want overview shots or close-ups of individual players on the field, or both? No one can answer these questions but you. Once you have DEFINED your shooting situation, then determine what lens (focal length and speed) you will need for each different shot. Then determine whether you want high-quality images that potential buyers can use, or snapshot images to send to your friends via email.
    All this said, I'd personally seriously consider the 70-200/2.8 as a base lens, and build from there. If you need shorter focal lengths, get the 24-70/2.8. If you need longer, look into their high-priced 300 to 600 single focal-length lenses, but remember, if you're using these monsters, you'll need an assistant.
    - Michael H. Cothran

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    ANSWER 2:
    Thanks, Michael, that really helps!! I will definitely want high-quality pictures. I will be selling them to the players or who ever else wants to buy them. I don’t know all the details yet, but I know that I will be shooting close-ups of all the key players: quarterback, wide receiver, etc. I think a 600 will be too long for that, but a 300 may not be long enough. What are your thoughts?
    - Delano A. Porchia

    ANSWER 3:
    Of course, those wonderful white Canon lenses would be my #1 pick, but for me, money was an issue. I took this with a Promaster 70-300 lens. This lens will only open up to f4, but it seemed to stop action really well for me.
    - Lori Carpenter

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    ANSWER 4:
    One of the things about the "lesser"-type lenses, and often those made cheaper, is that they just don't perform well wide open. So, even if your lens will open to, say f4, the quality won't be acceptable to, say f8, which would then define your largest aperture as f8, not f4. Nonetheless, go with what you have or can afford, and learn where the "sweet" spot is for that lens. I would assume your Promaster's sweet spot to be somewhere between f8-f11. As the money comes rolling in, then upgrade. It seems to me that if you think 300 is too short and 600 is too long, you'll need something in the 400-500 range. Expensive! Quality vs. Expense - I would opt for the Canon 70-200/2.8 with the 1.4 extender.
    However, the shots you posted above appear that they were taken in bright sunlight, where even f8 and a decent shutter speed will work.
    - Michael H. Cothran

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    NEW QUESTION 12: Question About a Stock Agency
    Last summer, I signed a non-exclusive contract with a stock agency. I have about 50 images on their site and with each submission they usually request 10 to 20 percent of the images. My question is, how long does it take to start making any money from stock photography? I understand that 50 images isn't going to buy a Porsche (or the seat cover). Currently, none of the images have been sold. Is this normal? Is it better to place images in Royalty Free sections or Rights Managed? All of my images are in the Rights Managed section.
    Any advice or information from any of the seasoned stock photographers is greatly appreciated.
    - Lori Carpenter

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Lori-
    I am co-owner of stock photo agency www.fogstock.com and teach the Stock Photo course here at BP. So my answers are from an agency owner and a photographer.

    At our agency, my rough estimate is that our shooters who have about 5000 images online make roughly $1500 per month - but it varies, of course, by subjects that each photographer shoots. Lifestyle and business themes far out-sell landscape, nature, and wildlife. So the corporate/lifestyle shooter may make much more per month than $1500, while the travel photographer makes much less.

    Fifty images are not enough to generate much income in today's market, unless you are shooting something that is incredibly unique and not many similars are on the market. I also added (below) two paragraphs out of one of my lessons from my course: Introduction to Stock Photography, taught here at BP. I hope there is some information that will help answer your RF/RC question.

    ROYALTY FREE vs. RIGHTS CONTROLLED
    Once upon a time, all stock photos were rights controlled, and the price for a photo's usage was negotiated on how it was to be used - how big it was going to be used and how long it was going to be used. Then PhotoDisc was founded, and Royalty Free stock photography was formed, and the world has never been the same. You can choose to shoot for one or the other, and it is imperative that you understand the difference. Many despise the RF model, but I have made more money in RF than in RC. What RF did for the photo industry was to open up markets that couldn’t pay traditional prices. The idea was to sell volume.

    Today, RC and RF images are defined by many factors, including how difficult the image was to obtain. RC images command two to three times the usage fees as RF and oftentimes more. RC images might be an image that was difficult to get and as an example, lightning across the Grand Canyon is very difficult to obtain. However, an image of the Grand Canyon taken on an average day, with no special situation is a dime-a-dozen and would do better as an RF image. RC images are still licensed by the usage and if the client wants to use it again, beyond the original negotiated terms, they pay again. Clients pay for RF images once and can use them without any additional compensation going to the photographer.

    RF images account for 80 percent or more of all stock photo sales now. So if you want to tap into that large part of the market, you should place some of your images in RF. My strategy is to place the images that are common within the market into RF. Any image that has a very strong concept, or I have spent considerable time creating in Photoshop, go into RC. If I photographed a tornado while driving across Oklahoma, that goes into RC. If I photograph the storm clouds preceding the tornado, those are very common images and go into RF. How unique and special an image is should be the deciding factor in where you place an image in the market. They are both good sources for income.
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 2:
    I was hoping you would answer this question! I signed with agefotostock (they don't capitalize it either) ... this was only after looking at a lot of different agencies that I thought would accept my images. I have thought of using Alamy as they have a much higher commission rate, but there's a lot more work with them.

    You are so right about what they want. I shoot for stock a lot of times and between my children and all of my nieces, nephews and siblings, we can do a lot with model releases. I still enjoy trying to get those pretty images for my enjoyment, but fthe fact is that most average stock images aren't that contest worthy.

    I'm going to try the RF a little and see what happens. Thanks again for your reply.


    - Lori Carpenter

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    NEW QUESTION 13: RGB vs. CMYK
    So why is it than when you send images for professional printing, sometimes they want CMYK and sometimes RGBAnd Also if CMYK is mostly the norm for printing, why do pro cameras still default to RGB and not CMYK?
    - Kim Moyle

    ANSWER 1:
    Are you sure they aren't accepting RGB and then charging extra to convert it to CMYK? That's frequently the case. I'd ask.
    As to why RGB instead of CMYK: RGB is for screen display, and many people prefer to work in RGB on the computer then convert to CMYK for printing. RGB also offers some advantages when working with various color and image manipulation tools (once the image work is done, then it would be converted to CMYK for printing).
    Generally, you get better results going from RGB to CMYK than the other way around, so having the image in RGB initially is more versatile. That is, you can get good results converting to CMYK for print, but if you need to use the image online or for on-screen presentations it's already in RGB.
    - Ann Hall

    ANSWER 2:
    Are we talking the sRGB of Internet posting, or the Adobe 98 RGB that many contemporary scanners scan into? Do both convert equally well to CMYK? As I understand (or fail to), CMYK is a narrower gamut than Adobe RGB. Is CMYK even narrower than sRGB?
    - Doug Nelson

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    ANSWER 3:
    People see RGB, so cameras see RGB. Photo printers print using RGB. All colors can be seen/printed in RGB in theory. Where K (black) comes in is where the press, or other printer, has a problem getting a good black due to CMY inks that are not perfectly pure. So a black ink is added. Having a black ink gives the press a simple way to print a rich black, and also prevents over-saturation of the paper that would occur if you layed down 100 percent CMY. It's called gray scale replacement, where a black ink replaces equal amounts of CMY ink. The gamut of offset press CMYK does not print as many colors as RGB, especially greens, so it is best to edit in RGB, then convert to CMYK for separations for press.
    Just some technical junk, but it's all about the output end, the printer. The camera is RGB like people. I hope this makes some sence.

    Vince
    www.PhotoAgo.com
    - Vince Broesch

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    NEW QUESTION 14: Professional Football Photography
    What type of equipment do you see professional photographers using during professional football games? I would imagine it is all digital cameras with autofocus telephoto lenses. What size/brand are those enormous lenses you see mounted to the cameras on the sidelines? Cost? Apertures?
    - Thomas C. Rowe

    ANSWER 1:
    Generally, Canon or Nikon, but others as well. They use a range of lenses - from wide-angle zooms to tele primes. The enormous lenses are 200 f/1.8, 300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8, 500 f/4, and 600 f/4.
    - Jon Close

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    NEW QUESTION 15: Portrait Lighting
    I want to take portraits. I have a Nikon N65 with a flash and flash bracket. Can anyone recommend an economical studio flash kit? Also, what will I need to use my camera with a studio flash kit; 1-3 flash units.
    wayneredden@hotmail.com
    - Wayne Redden

    ANSWER 1:
    Wayne,
    Try Alien Bees, Novatron, Elinchrom, White Lightning, Comet, Dyna Light, Speedotron, and Norman. There are so many out there and available that are good lights. Depends on what you want to spend.
    A portrait usually consists of three lights, but not always. Depends on the style you want to use. You will need lights, umbrellas, light stands, backgrounds, background support systems, light meter, and misc. stuff.
    - Charlie Borland

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    NEW QUESTION 16: How to Catch the Sparkle in Jewelry?
    I've recently been given a great opportunity to work with a great magazine! But first I have to prove myself. One of my tasks is to produce great photos of jewelry (highly sparkling pieces). I'm completely confused on how to catch the sparkle in my pieces. I've lit my piece with a softbox above and used a white reflector on the other side, but should I use flash or not? My soft box is fitted over a flash head that fires. But my photos look dull, and the pieces look much more sparkly in real life! I've tried no-flash, but although the gems look colourful, the black background and the metals look dull. PLEASE HELP!
    Sophie
    - Neelam Mughal

    ANSWER 1:
    Light is most reflective off a shiny surface when it comes from directly behind you ... shining on the object from the same direction your lens is pointing.
    I would suggest a small-product/type setup, tungsten film with incandescent lighting ... two light sources hitting the object at 45 degree angles. This will provide the primary illumination.
    The background should be black felt ... or anything else that will "gobble up" stray light and won't leave hot spots.

    To create the "sparkle": Shine a small high-powered flashlight on a reflective part of the jewelry. Hold the flashlight under the lens - just out of frame and shine it in the same direction your lens is pointing.
    You can examine the effect through the viewfinder and adjust the flashlight distance forward or backward to make the highlight brighter or dimmer.
    - Bob Cammarata

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    ANSWER 2:
    Hi,
    Maybe you could use a filter? Cokin makes a Star filter that may give a good effect on Gems. Look here: http://www.firstcall-photographic.co.uk/pp/Camera_Accessories/Cokin_Filters/Cokin_A057_star_4_filter.html
    I may be completely off the mark here, or of my head, but I hope this helps.
    Regards,
    Del
    - Derek Holyhead

    ANSWER 3:
    Hey thanks, guys! You've really helped ... I'll get cracking tonight. Del, your filter idea is great, but after speaking with the editors I realized that the star filters would make the jewelry look too fake, so it's more the natural "bling" they're looking for. Although I do use the filter in my fashion shots and it picks up great!
    - Neelam Mughal

    ANSWER 4:
    Those filters need a bright point of light to get the starburst effect, and they do tend to look a little fake sometimes. You can get a similar effect by stopping down your lens to a small aperture (like f-22). The starburst effect you will get off the highlight will be subtle and look more natural.
    - Bob Cammarata

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    ANSWER 5:
    I've found this whole thread fascinating! Thanks everyone!
    Karma
    - Karma Wilson

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    NEW QUESTION 17: Submitting Photos to a Magazine
    I am looking for methods to submit digital photography to specific magazines in a professional package. Links to explanations, books, or other advice and material would be very helpful.
    Thank You,
    Upstart
    Chris
    - Chris

    ANSWER 1:
    Contacting the magazines and getting their "Submission Guidelines" is always a good first step. They will outline their specific methods for submissions - be they digital, slides, or prints. It's wise to follow their instructions TO THE LETTER.
    - Bob Cammarata

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    ANSWER 2:
    Thank you, Bob, for your response. I had not thought of writing for Submission Guidelines. I looked through the specific magazines and only found generic information on unsolicited submissions. However, what if, after writing the magazines, their guidelines are a bit vague? Would you have other suggestions for preparing the photos, especially digital ones?
    - Chris

    ANSWER 3:
    Chris,
    Marketing to magazines is challenging and agonizing at best. I have marketed to magazines - as well as ad agencies and designers - for 25 years, and at various times had good relationships with various magazine photo editors that led to sweet assignments and stock sales.
    Do you know the names of any photographers whose work you see published in your favorite magazines and maybe even idolize their work? If so, count them now as your competitors, because your work will have to stand out better than your competitor's. If your image is so unique and no one else in the world has anything like your shot, you will have quicker success.

    For marketing, 99 percent of all promotional material from photographers hits the "round file". When you could start putting photos on CDs, everybody started doing portfolios on CD and the magazines loved them because they were new and a novelty. They are not a novelty anymore as we all get junk mail each day containing CDs. Photo editors rarely take the time to look at a cd anymore, unless it is from someone they know about. Then came email and everybody started marketing with email. Now it is considered spam and an irritant and often blocked by a Spamblocker. The only thing I have found that has a chance for success - and many of my colleagues would agree - is direct mail promotions. But like all advertising, it has to scream at the client. I gave up years ago designing my own promotional materials and started hiring a graphic design pro to design for me. Let's face it, there are too many of us out there, and your success will come from standing out ... big time! Good Luck.
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 4:
    Thank you, Charlie, for your candor and professional response. You highlight some key problems.
    For my edification: Rehash of the key points:

    1. Your boss, friend, and colleagues are now your competitors. Hum, that's a lot of people. :( I tried to ignore this point, believing in a utopia of there is money for all, but alas, I must face the music. I need to become one of the top photographers in my area of desire. I have a bit of work to do. :)

    2. Come up with a unique way to present your material to the magazine or customer. Realize the majority of ideas have already been used. 99 percent will end up in the trash.:( Good thing CDs and DVDs are generally cheap in cost. :)

    3. I need to come up with very unique pictures. This will improve my chances of getting photos printed in the magazine. I just started to realize that novelty sells. I have ideas.:O
    Again, I have some work to do. It helps to know what I am up against. Good thing I am not to easily discouraged from my path. :P
    PS. This explains some of the odd discussions I have had with editors and other photojournalists in my area of focus.
    - Chris

    ANSWER 5:
    Chris,
    You mentioned in your original post that you were seeking advice on marketing to magazines and based on your signature “Upstart Chris”, I gathered you were breaking into the business. The points addressed in my post were based on real experience of what I believe and what I know works for marketing. Your reply leads me to believe that maybe you “misunderstood” my point, and I thought I would address your "Key Points" and clarify what my point was.
    First, I did not say that your boss, friend, or colleagues were your competitors. What I said - in essence - was that if you get published in a magazine it is because your image was better than the others submitted. How do you make that a regular event? Your portfolio of images stands out above the competition. Every time you get an assignment from a magazine, you have replaced somebody before you. You do that with work that stands out above the rest. If snowboarding is your area of expertise and you want to work for those magazines, your work must be better than someone in their pool of photographers. If you get the assignment, it’s because your work stood out.

    Second, I did not say that all ideas have been used, but rather out of the three main ways photographers have marketed in the last 15 years, two have generally become "undesirable" to photo editors and art directors. Certainly, this is my opinion and how did I form it? I asked! For 20 years, I have asked hundreds of photo buyers what types of photographer’s promotions catch their interest. I have also gotten hundreds of different responses and from here I was able to form my opinion. These questions are also where I learned that 99 percent of photographer promotions get tossed. I have been told by art directors that they sometimes get as many as 15 promotions a day from photographers. Obviously, the only one they keep, if they keep any, are the ones that stand out. Those get tacked to their wall. Web sites? We all have to have them, but photo buyers don’t surf the 'Net for people to hire. That is, because the photographers have already found them. You still have to promote to get them to your site.

    I also am co-founder and an owner of the online stock photo agency www.fogstock.com, where I currently am Director of Photography. This is the second stock photo agency I have owned and subsequently been heavily involved with marketing strategy. What we have found is that a CD portfolio does not generally work without an eye-catching promotion that convinces them to open and look at it. They also seem to work better after we established brand recognition over time. Most Spamblockers take care of email campaigns. This past summer we hired out for a list builder to update a regional marketing list by calling and getting contact information and also ask how they prefer to be contacted. At least 90 percent said no email, so we dropped that from our marketing campaign.

    Three, you are correct and like I said, to get published, your work needs to stand out. I market my work to about 100 magazines each month using direct mail campaign of printed pieces. My current campaign has been successful because I have reached a 1 percent return, which means I had calls, a stock photo sale, or an assignment. 1 percent is considered to be a success for professional photographers. I have had plenty of promotions that generated zero response and over 20 years, have spent at least $100,000 (I had to quit counting) in marketing costs, which is not much compared to top N.Y. and L.A. photographers. I have been able to determine what works and what doesn’t by having my staff track it. I believe at this time that a printed piece that jumps at an art director is the best way to market. Like you, I have plenty of ideas as well, but without a strong marketing campaign that makes me stand out, nobody will know how good my ideas are.
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 6:
    Charlie's advice is some of the best I've heard on the subject. To all those who are looking to get published: Listen to what he has said and not to what you want to hear!!
    - Laura Berman

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    NEW QUESTION 18: Ins and Outs of Slide Film
    I know this might sound like a silly question, BUT when shooting on slide film what exactly do you get back from the photo lab when your roll of film is developed?
    - maeve

    ANSWER 1:
    You get mounted slides.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    ANSWER 2:
    Slide film is called "positive" film, because, as Kerry said, you get the actual results in the form of slides you look at via a slide viewer or projector.
    Many folks - amateur and pro alike - feel that the best results can be achieved with slide film. In many ways I agree - great color, sharpness, etc. However, your exposure must be "right on" when using slide film.
    Generally, with negative film, there is a fairly wide exposure latitude. You might have up to nine stops, based on lighting, etc. Typically, you can over-expose up to about 3 stops, under-expose up to 5 stops. That's a very wide range. Of course, you need to experiment and check your results for the exposure you like.
    With slide film, you can generally use 1/2 stop over and 1 stop under. So, you can see that there is less exposure latitude with slide film. You must try to be "right-on" the first time.
    One of the nice things about slide film is that, because you get slides (also called transparencies), you can really get great results when you try bracketing.
    When you bracket using negative (print) film, always bracket by at least one full stop (over and under). That's because, with most of today's computerized printing processes, the computers will try to "correct" the small differences of, say, 1/2 stop bracketing. In other words, you may not be able to see the effect. Always alert your photo-finisher to the fact that you've bracketed exposures when you use print film.
    Hope this helps.
    - John Sandstedt

    ANSWER 3:
    "Normally" you get back mounted slides, assuming you are shooting 35mm. However, some better film labs will give you back the processed roll of film uncut and unmounted if you so desire. Some will give you the option of plastic or cardboard mounts, numbered or un-numbered, etc.
    - Michael H. Cothran

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    NEW QUESTION 19: Wedding Photography: JPEG, TIFF or RAW?
    Hi everyone,
    First, I wish to thank everybody who gave me sympathy when my new Fuji s2 dropped off its strap. To the person who said it might not be as bad as you think lifted me no end. It only cost me $120.00, and it took only 10 days to down to Sydney and back 8 days in transit. Things are slow in the bush. But I am very happy with my camera. My question is: What is the general rule when photographing weddings, do most people use JPEG, TIFF, or RAW?
    - Ellen.
    P.S: By the way, the info on this site is great.
    - Ellen

    ANSWER 1:
    At my own wedding, the wedding guest with a digital camera took the best portrait of us. Unfortunately, he was more concerned with how many pictures he could cram onto a card than in the quality. I had to up-sample the image in Photoshop to get a barely acceptable 5 x 7 to frame.
    If you're at an event as important as this, shoot in TIFF or RAW, at the highest resolution you can shoot. Buy more cards if you have to. Yours might be the shot they'll treasure. If you are the main photographer, shoot scenes in the same light, in the same place, if possible, and with your flash to BE SURE you will get what you want.
    - Doug Nelson

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    ANSWER 2:
    First, I'm happy that your mishap wasn't as bad as it could have been. I, too, shoot with a Fuji S2, and love it.
    I would most definitely, without any doubt, always, always, always shoot in RAW. With a 1 gig card, you will get 80 shots. For weddings, you could pocket some extra gig cards, which have come way down in price. And if you had a portable hard drive device (I use either a Mac iPod or a Mac laptop on location), you could be uploading one card while you've got one shooting in the camera, and yet a third and fourth in your pocket waiting their turn.
    With RAW files, you'll never have to worry about how large of an image you can provide your customer, and as long as you know your way around an editing software like Photoshop, you will always be able to provide your customer with the absolute best quality images of all.
    - Michael H. Cothran

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

    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Where to Find Used Equipment
    Does anyone have used equipment to sell or where to find some used equipment? Like background or props? Any ideas on this subject? Thanks for your help.
    - Tim

    ANSWER 1:
    Tim,
    Here is one source:
    http://www.keh.com/hmpg/index.cfm
    - Charlie Borland

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    ANSWER 2:
    Thank you, Charlie, for the help! The town that I live in doesn't have a portrait studio. There are two couples in town who do it part time after their main jobs. I've been doing photography since high school on and off. I've done a few weddings and horse show pictures. I hurt my back at the job I was at, so I've enrolled in NYIP and am going to get my degree in the field.
    I sure could use all the ideas you could give me. I have five SLR and two digitals<. I would like to do weddings and family portraits and try to get into sporting events to shoot. So hope this helps a little. If you're ever in South Dakota, give me a call and we'll get together!
    Thanks again for the help!
    - Tim

    ANSWER 3:
    Tim,
    No competition in town is a good thing, so you have an opportunity to come in making a big splash. I have heard from several people about NYIP and gotten very mixed responses. But I will not make a judgment since I have not seen the course. I don't know if you are in a position to travel to workshops, but the hands-on approach may be a good way to go, in addition to home study. There is a guy in town where I live who is one of the top wedding guys on the West Coast, and he teaches workshops on digital weddings. I have not met him so this is not an endorsement, but his Web site is www.kubotaworkshops.com.

    There are so many places to get the experience you need in a short time. Take a look at my Lighting for Commericial Photography course here at BP for a well-rounded lighting course:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/CBL02.asp

    Vik Orenstein's Studio Portrait Lighting class on lighting would be good as well:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/VIK02.asp

    And there is so much used equipment out there that would help you get started. Save the big bucks for advertising.
    - Charlie Borland

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

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    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    ANSWER 4:
    Tim,
    I have had a lot of luck purchasing backdrops and props on eBay. There is a huge selction and I have got a lot of great deals.
    Good Luck,
    Christine
    - Christine S. Hunt

    ANSWER 5:
    Uesed equipment? Ebay. It's all on E-bay.
    - Scott Pedersen

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    *****


    CONTINUING QUESTION 2: How to Start a Studio and What Software to Get
    I want to start a portrait studio in my town! But where do I begin? I've been in touch with SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration). But they need the layout of what equipment I need. So can anyone give me some ideas of what kind of studio equipment to get, and if there is a place that sells used equipment? I'm going to be doing both digital and film, but mostly digital. Can you point me in the right direction. Thanks for the help!
    - Tim

    ANSWER 1:
    Tim,
    There are lots of places to buy equipment, and most large city camera stores carry it. I have to ask if you have experience at taking portraits and running a studio? Trust me, it is a monumental task - not unlike opening an auto shop, where you gotta know how to work on cars.
    It also depends on what type of work you are going to do. Do you plan on weddings also? You will not only needs lights, but stands, umbrellas, soft boxes, a background system, painted backgrounds, posing tools, props, and your camera gear. Clients may not want digital, so you will need a film setup also. Then your digital darkroom, color-corrected computer monitors, film scanners, a printer setup, and the software to make it all run. Calumet sells a good chunk of the photo stuff. Good luck!
    - Charlie Borland

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    Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - borlandphoto.com

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    Lighting for Commercial Photography
    Stock Photography

    ANSWER 2:
    Hi Tim,
    Why would you want to start a studio?? If you don't already know what equipment you need, it seems you'll be on a steep learning curve - never having used any of it! Can you afford to buy $50,000 of equipment and then be upsetting customers and experimenting on them when something doesn't work properly? Can you afford to have backup equipment? Do you have a business plan? How long can you afford to pay for your equipment without earning an income?

    I do not wish to be critical. I would just like you to think before jumping into a raging river without any help! No doubt you are already an accomplished photographer, so do what you are already doing, and start out slow. Perhaps start by buying some studio equipment and ensure you have it down pat. Have you worked in the industry before?

    I do only digital, have a about 4 pro lenses and a Canon 10D. A relatively new computer and Photoshop CS. This was relatively cheap start $A20,000. I don't offer film at all and if someone wanted it I would still do it with my old Canon EOS 300. I also have the 540 EX flash and very basic studio lighting. I shoot mainly with a tripod and natural lighting, but have the flash for weddings, etc. Look further into exactly what you want to offer and buy accordingly.

    Remember, too, that if you are renting, you need to generate enough income to cover rent, electricity, heating/cooling, wages, bank loan on equipment, broadband, phone, mobile expenses ,and the list goes on ... I hope you are loaded, because the general consensus out there now is no one wants to pay too much per image ...
    Good luck,
    Rhonda.
    - Rhonda

    ANSWER 3:
    Excellent responses Charlie and Rhonda...
    Rhonda, you forgot to mention that (at least here in the states) you only get to keep a portion of what you earn ... taxes will eat a good chuck. Not to mention insurance (not just for your equipment, studio, and car, but also for yourself)... :-)
    - John Wright

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