BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THIS ISSUE - Monday, January 24, 2005
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts Next Week!
* BETTERPHOTO: Uploading at BetterPhoto: Image Size and Image Quality
* BETTERPHOTO: Book of Month: Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Automobile Pictures
* FEATURED PLACE: Focus on Yosemite Park Pictures
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Cool Cameras / Life on the Edge
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Keep Track of Used Memory Sticks ... by Barbara Gordon
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Photograph My Toddler
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Lenses for the Canon 20D
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Action Photography Indoors in Low Light
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Get White Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Lighting for Outdoors and Studio
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Portable Image Storage
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Wedding Photography: Getting Started
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Shooting Falling Snow
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Reoccurring Spot in My Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Scanning Old Photos Safely
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Labeling Digital Prints
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 12: How Can I Take Questions in the Rain?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 13: Selling Photos for Web Site Use
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Advice on Stock Agencies
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Studio Lighting - Getting Started


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

BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts Next Week!
Kicking yourself for waiting too long to sign up for a winter online course? Great news: Our second session gives you a second chance! The next round of 4-week Short Courses gets under way February 2nd: Jay Forman's "Photography for Kids 101"; Jim Zuckerman's "Non-Digital Special Effects"; Tony Sweet's "The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras"; Brenda Tharp's "Mastering Macro Photography"; and Kerry Drager's "Details and Close-ups." For all the details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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

Welcome to the 196th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

The first month of 2005 may be winding down, but sign-ups for our next session of 4-Week Short Courses are revving up! These second sessions are not "extensions" of the first-round classes - rather, they are repeats, and they begin February 2nd with Lesson #1. For information:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out our detailed advice for uploading at BetterPhoto: sizing your images and obtaining the best quality.

Once again, we have an excellent batch of questions and answers. Don't miss instructor Charlie Borland's tips for getting started with a stock photo agency. Also, check out the valuable advice on wedding photography, studio lighting, portable image storage, shooting in rain and snow, shooting motocross events indoors, and other topics. In addition, the Photo Tip suggests how to keep track of used memory sticks.

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


*****
Uploading at BetterPhoto: Image Size and Image Quality
A popular question at BetterPhoto concerns the uploading of photos. Some thoughts:

Sizing Images: When trying to correctly size your image for upload, the ppi (pixels per inch) is not as important as the overall pixel dimensions. As long as you measure the overall image dimensions in pixels (instead of inches), you can simply size your image to something close to 500 x 750 pixels.
In Photoshop's Image Size function, for example, you would change the units pull-down menu from inches to pixels. Then, with the Resample checkbox checked, change the shorter dimension (whether it be the width or the height) to 500 pixels.
If you cannot change the units of measurement from inches to pixels, use the following as guidelines:

  • With a ppi of 72 ppi, you would want your image to be about 7 inches on the short end.
  • With a ppi of 150 ppi, you would want your image to be about 3.5 inches on the short end.
  • With a ppi of 300 ppi, you would want your image to be about 1.7 inches on the short end.
    For example, a typical 300 ppi image should be around 1.7" x 2.5" before uploading.

    Image Quality: For an added touch of sharpness and clarity, it often helps to slightly apply the Unsharp Mask filter. Then save either as a TIFF or a high quality/low compression JPEG, and upload to the site. This will result in the best-quality uploaded images.



    *****
    Book of Month: Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively
    Our online store showcases the fantastic books and DVDs from our staff of BetterPhoto instructors. For January, we put the spotlight on Bryan Peterson's awesome book, "Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (Revised Edition)." If you buy this fine book before the end of January, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, it's autographed by Bryan!
    http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1187


    *****
    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

    back to top


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    FEATURED GALLERY
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Focus on Automobile Pictures
    From old classics to custom cars to the latest models, automobiles have long caught the attention of BetterPhoto members and instructors. But the images aren't just overall looks of eye-catching vehicles; many views zero in on gleaming chrome, wonderful curves, mirrored reflections, and, of course, cool lines and hot colors. See this BetterPhoto gallery at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=249

    back to top


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    FEATURED PLACE
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Focus on Yosemite Park Pictures
    As BetterPhoto members and instructors have proved, Yosemite's visual attractions extend far beyond its famed attractions (i.e., Half Dome, El Capitan and tall waterfalls). In fact, there's so much of visual interest at this High Sierra park - from grand landscapes to intimate details to wildlife to a picturesque mountain chapel - during all four seasons. See it all at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=415

    back to top


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Last week, we asked:
    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."

    The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Kenneth Cavin is:
    Julia Roberts. I believe the magazine was American Photo.

    Editor's Note: Yes, Ken, you are absolutely correct! Julia was talking about her photographer roles in 1998's "Stepmom" and her new movie, "Closer." Her interview in the current issue (January/February 2005) of American Photo also included this excellent (and fun) reply to a question about film vs. still photography: "I feel so stupid when I'm being photographed. And I feel only slightly stupid when I'm being filmed."

    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 - Life on the Edge - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

    Who plays the photographer in the movie The Edge?

    Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

    back to top


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Keep Track of Used Memory Sticks ... by Barbara Gordon
    As with the tip on how to tell a used battery, I keep track of my used and unused memory sticks in the case by loading them all the same direction. Then, when I change sticks, I place the used one in the opposite direction in the case. At a glance, I know how many are left, and which ones I've used up.

    View Barbara Gordon's Premium BetterPholio™

    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

    back to top


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


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NEW QUESTION 1: How to Photograph My Toddler
    Could you please provide me with some tips on how best to capture my 2-year-old? Many thanks in advance!
    Sincerely,
    Mom-with-new-Canon EOS 20D
    - Brooke B

    ANSWER 1:
    Brook,
    Get your little one involved in something. Building block, builder bob, whatever. Set it up so you are near a window or sliding glass door. Get down on their level to shoot. Be patient, be patient, and be patient.
    Get dad involved, but set him on the opposite side from your special one. Set a large white foam core board up so it will throw light into the shadow side of your child. Sometimes the best toys are the ones you don’t think they will like. Try a balloon, or a peacock feather. If you have a window that is low, let the little one look out. If you have snow, go play in it - but just remember to shoot at their level. Your tummy might be cold but the pictures will be worth it.
    If you do the tub scene, use a bounce flash. Oh, did I say you need to be patient? Have fun, have a dress-up day. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot ... oh, did I mention you need to be patient and keep shooting?
    Good luck, and good shooting.
    Doug
    - Doug Elliott

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13802

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13802

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 2: Lenses for the Canon 20D
    I just bought a Canon 20D, and I'm looking for some help for choosing some lenses for landscape and close nature shots. Thanks.
    - Christian Amezcua

    ANSWER 1:
    Check out www.canoneos.com ,and scroll down to the section on EF lenses. If you didn't get a lens with your 20D, check out something that's said to be around 15mm or 18mm so when you multiply it by 1.6 for the smaller digital sensor it is still wide. Actually, 35mm could be usable for landscapes. For close nature shots, check out something that's around 300mm or maybe a little more; 200 can work sometimes depending on how close you can get. If you mean close as in macro pictures of flowers and bugs, maybe check out a macro lens or a regular lens with a small "f" number, and buy a set of extension tubes if you're looking for close-up pictures. Hope this helps!
    - Andrew Laverghetta

    ANSWER 2:
    The Canon's new EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (~$450) is a good all-purpose lens for your 20D. It is equivalent to the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM for the film cameras. Other brands, like Tamron and Sigma, do carry similar focal length lens for less money. But I can tell you Canon's IS works real good. Usually, if you got the kit lens with your camera, it should work just fine, until you are after a wider lens or "better" image quality. For macro, I use the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM (~$480). But I don't know if it will be too "long" on your digital camera. Hope this helps.
    - Andy Szeto

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13789

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13789

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 3: Action Photography Indoors in Low Light
    I take pics of indoor and outdoor motocross races. When shooting indoors, I set my camera to the shutter speed setting so I can take continual shots that are not blurry, but the lighting is so bad inside they come out dark. But any other setting makes the pics blurry. What do I need to set my camera on so I can get the pics not to blur but not be black?
    - Tracy

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Tracy,
    What kind of camera do you have? Is it an SLR with interchangeable lenses? Your shutter speed might be too fast for the lighting. Are you using the lens that came with the camera? If so, it's probably f4-5.6 or something like that, unless it's a fixed 50mm lens. You might need to get a lens that has a lower "f" number than 4, such as f2.8. Pay attention to what your camera says to you when you're taking these pictures. If it's not just a point-and-shoot, SOMETHING should be flashing at you telling you that the aperture or shutter speed are going to underexpose the picture. You might try setting the camera to the aperture setting and make the number as small as you can, and if the shutter speed is not fast enough for the pictures to be sharp and not blurry, you may need to change equipment.
    - Andrew Laverghetta

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13782

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13782

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 4: How to Get White Pictures
    i have recently purchased the Canon Digital Rebel, and I am having problems getting pictures white. They are coming out gray or tan. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    - Jennifer Kinsler

    ANSWER 1:
    You need to understand how a camera's meter reads. It reads the scene as 18-percent gray, so whites will come out as gray. Get an 18-percent gray card at a photo store and meter off that. (Point your camera at the scene you are taking and place the card in front of the lens - about a foot away.) Then the whites will appear white. Alternately, meter off the palm of you hand. Not being a digital photographer, I can't tell you how to set the white balance on your camera. Perhaps some of the digital photographers here can help you. It works either way.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    ANSWER 2:
    Sounds like a white balance problem. Different lighting sources (daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, etc.) will have different color temperatures and cause different color casts. In the Basic Modes (green box and icon settings), the Digital Rebel uses Auto White Balance, which doesn't always get the correction right. In the Creative Modes (P, Av, Tv, M, A-DEP), you can set the white balance directly, either for one of the presets (daylight, shade, cloudy, etc.), a custom setting metered off a white subject or gray card, or can set it for specific color temperature (say, if you're using 3200°K studio lights).
    - Jon Close

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13779

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13779

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 5: Lighting for Outdoors and Studio
    I have a Nikon D100 digital camera, and I love it. I am interested in purchasing some lighting equipment, but have no idea what to look for. Can you please give me some insight? Thank you.
    - Carol L. Perialas

    ANSWER 1:
    Carol,
    What kind of photography do you want to do? Do you want to use continuous lights or flash? Do you want portable or studio lights?
    - Doug Elliott

    ANSWER 2:
    I do a lot of outside photos now, but would like to have a small studio for more options. I wouldn't mind having both studio and some portable lights as well. Thank you for your fast response.
    - Carol L. Perialas

    ANSWER 3:
    Carol,
    You might consider Norman's, Dyna-Lite, Lumedyne, and Quantum.
    Lumedyne has the most models. Quantum is a good flash that is controllable outside and you have the ability to pull off the parabolic dish and use it as a bare bulb flash for your outdoor portraits. Quantum has the fast rechargeable batteries and is used in a studio ... it has various flash settings. There are many more. I am an on-location photographer, and I use Sunpak 120 J’s and the Pro 622. I have the big batteries, which allow me to shoot up to 250 exposures before I have to recharge the batteries.
    Those are the ones I am most familiar with and have used at one time or another. Check out their Web sites to gain more information.
    Hope this info helps, and good shooting.
    - Doug Elliott

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13777

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13777

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 6: Portable Image Storage
    Several months ago, I asked about buying a Digital Rebel or point-and-shoot as a backup to my 10D for traveling. I then went on vacation and never responded to the suggestions upon returning. For this I apologize.
    I have seen that a few people have purchased the Nixvue portable storage. There are so many out there that the choices are confusing. What is anyone's opinion between the storage devices vs. the portable CD burners? I need to purchase something for traveling, and am undecided which way to go. How important is the viewing screen? Thanks for any help.
    - Jeanne Griffith

    ANSWER 1:
    Jeanne,
    I am using the Apacer rechargeable CD burner on all my shoots. Love it! I have a friend who has a Fortress portable hard drive and can't say enough good things about it.
    - 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, Charlie,
    I have been looking at that one, also. Apparently you can get several 256 MB cards on one CD, right? Have you ever had any doubt that the transfer did not go, so when you erased your cards your images were safely on the CD? I was wondering about different files on the CD. My sister will be traveling with me, and rather than her buying more CF cards or her own storage device, we were planning on using the same one. Will it be fairly easy to keep our CF cards separate to load on our respective computers from the CDs? Thanks for your input.
    - Jeanne Griffith

    ANSWER 3:
    Jeanne,
    Making sure you have the data stored properly is always a concern. Most of my work is commercial photography, so we have the Apacer and a laptop. Upon removing the CF card, my assistant downloads to the Apacer while I continue shooting. We use CD-RW so we can keep adding to the same CD each time a CF card is full. After downloading the card to the Apacer, he downloads to a folder on the laptop. When we have completed the shoot at that location, we burn the laptop folder to another CD-RW. We now have two backups, which is imperative on a commercial shoot. The laptop is actually organized into folders identifying each shot and location, where the Apacer is just a collection of images from all locations and is, thus, backup only. For traveling in the field or on an adventure when I cannot take the laptop, I'll back up the CF cards on two CD-RW, but the Apacer does need to be recharged each day if it gets consistent use. I also carry a Belkin AC converter that plugs into a cigarette lighter and gives you AC electric for low-wattage uses like the laptop or recharging camera batteries and the Apacer. If you are shooting JPEG, you can get a lot of images on a cd, less if you shoot RAW, but I have never actually tried to count how many of each. For you and your sister keeping your images separate, carry separate CDs for each of you. If you use a Fortress, I am not sure, as I do not have one and think that all the images would just be loaded and combined together.
    Have a great trip!
    - Charlie Borland

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

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

    ANSWER 4:
    Charlie, I never thought of separate CDs. Seems so simple when you said it. Thanks for the advice. I just went to your site, and your photography is awesome, really awesome. Your scenics are breathtaking, and the rest of your work ... well, I am impressed. Thanks, again.
    - Jeanne Griffith

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13771

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13771

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 7: Wedding Photography: Getting Started
    My sister just asked me to take her wedding pictures. And I always wanted to get into taking pictures, so I guess this is as good an opportunity as any? I was wondering what are two good camras to start out with?
    Thank you
    Teresa
    - Teresa Nowak

    ANSWER 1:
    Dear Teresa:
    Yikes! That's quite a responsibility! Tell her to set the wedding date for sometime in 2007, to give you some time to practice.
    All joking aside, I have a few things for you to consider. One of the biggest dangers you face is trusting the automatic exposure settings on the late-model cameras. Time and time again, I have spoken to novice wedding photographers who have quivering voices and shaking hands because they just finished looking at proofs from a wedding, and some important photos that can't be re-created. Of course, they have to break the news to the newlyweds, and that's a situation no one wants to face.
    Successful photographers, no matter which specialty they favor, practice their craft thoroughly before they offer their services to the public. They are so familiar with their equipment that they don't have to look at the owner's manual to confirm how to do something.
    If you want to photograph your sister's wedding, your sharp, beautifully lit, expressive, and well-composed photos will be the best gift she and her husband receive. This gift to them will cost you more than the camera equipment you buy, and more than the film and developing costs. It will cost you a commitment of your time and energy. It will take you away from doing other more fun things, because you will be practicing composition, learning about lighting, reading, reading, and reading, looking at photos in bridal magazines and photo magazines, finding pictures you like and re-creating them with your camera and equipment, talking to other wedding photographers, watching them as they work (which means going to weddings to "shadow" the photographer) ... get the picture?
    You won't be working just on her wedding day, you'll be working for a long time before that, shooting dozens of rolls of film, noting what works and what doesn't, planning which camera settings to use at each location, practicing, practicing, and practicing; learning, learning and learning; reading, reading and reading.
    Now, I suspect you are considering this because it sounds exciting and interesting. It is. It's fun, too. What a gift to give your sister. A word of caution: Don't let your sister's wedding be the event that makes you learn a great deal about photography, especially about things you should not do! When the wedding day arrives, be the experienced, calm, flexible professional who captures the magic and creates images that hang on walls for generations to come.
    I hope you have a sense of the commitment you are considering. If you accept it, it will change you, and I suspect you will like the change.
    Nikon, Canon, Minolta, and Pentax all make film and digital SLR cameras that work well for wedding photography. The lens you get with it should be researched and considered carefully. Avoid off-brand lenses. Get the best lens you can afford. Consider buying used equipment. Adventure approaching ...
    - Maynard McKillen

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13760

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13760

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 8: Shooting Falling Snow
    Hi. Could someone tell me what is the right exposure to catch the snow falling at night and in broad daylight (by broad daylight, I mean an overcast day). We are going to have snow tomorrow during the day and night. I don't want to miss it. I have a 28-80mm lens mount on a Canon EOS Rebel k2 body. Thanks.
    - Manish Issar

    ANSWER 1:
    ...Never tried this myself, but it sounds like a fun challenge. If I were attempting this, my first priority would be to keep the snowflakes from falling onto my lens. A lens hood would help to prevent this, but better still, I would shoot from under a porch or canopy so my equipment stays dry.
    I would use a faster film (ISO 400), to give me the depth of field I need to capture as many flakes as possible - both near and far.
    I would select a shutter speed of 1/125 second, if the snowflakes were large and floating gently to earth, and 1/250 second or faster if they were wind-blown (with the matching aperture setting for the available light, metered off a gray card.)
    I would pre-focus the 28-80 at the minimum focus distance, and set the zoom at around 50mm. I would then take several shots, bracketing with the aperture in 1/2-stop increments.

    For night time, I would follow the same procedure to keep my equipment out of the weather, and use flash to freeze the snowflakes falling in front of me.
    I would use a slower shutter speed of around 1/30 to 1/15 second (with a tripod) ... to allow some ambient light to record what's going on in the background.
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13752

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13752

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 9: Reoccurring Spot in My Photos
    Hello,
    I have a new Canon 20D and I am noticing a spot in my photos. I've noticed that they show up with both of my lenses, so it's not the lens.
    What can I do to remove that spot?
    Thanks in advance!
    - Willie

    ANSWER 1:
    Best-case scenario: You've got a piece of foreign material (dust, lint, etc.) on your sensor chip. Read your manual carefully, and follow the instructions for cleaning the chip. If Canon doesn't recommend cleaning it yourself, abide by what they recommend. Be careful with it.

    Worst-case scenario: You've got some dead sensors already, but I would imagine that a new 20D would be fully covered under warranty if this is the case.
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13751

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13751

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Scanning Old Photos Safely
    I recently acquired a book of black-and-white photos from when my dad was young. The photos were taken around 1921, and they look to be in good shape for the most part. I am worried that a scanner would flood the images with too much light and cause them to fade at a higher rate. Is this the case, or can I safely scan them?
    - Murray Landauer

    ANSWER 1:
    The few seconds of light from a flatbed scanner will not harm your photos. The fact that they have been in a book, away from direct sunlight, is encouraging. They would have been more likely to suffer from the acidity in the paper pages than from a few-seconds burst of light. Scan them, archive them on good quality CDs or DVDs, and keep backup copies. Also, print them, or have them printed, to an archival quality paper. Use search engines to get these specifics. Keep a backup copy of the prints, also.
    - Doug Nelson

    Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13748

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13748

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 11: Labeling Digital Prints
    If I am entering a digital photograph in an art show, how do I label it? With a film photograph, you'd write, "(1/number of prints you'll make) Title Name", but since it is a digital print, I could make endless copies. What number should I write?
    - Karen Low

    ANSWER 1:
    Karen - Your second sentence implies there's a difference in how many prints can be made from film as opposed to digital, and that is simply not valid. ANY photograph - digital or film-based - can be printed an unlimited amount of times. The "1/#" you refer to is something one would use if YOU, the artist, DECIDE to limit the number of prints you wish to offer to the buying public. It's called a "Limited Edition." YOU MAKE THE DECISION on how many your edition will be, and then you honor that amount. At juried arts and crafts shows, many shows require limited editions of no more than 200, and some 300, for photographic editions. Therefore, most photographers who do limited editions will limit their editions to those amounts. Painters will often have editions in the thousands, since they have to buy that many reproductions at a time to receive a reasonable price per print.
    I hope this is what you were asking about!
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13731

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13731

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 12: How Can I Take Questions in the Rain?
    I have a digital camera (Minolta Dimage 7Hi). I live in Guatemala (Central América) and sometimes it's raining in the jungle. How can I take pictures on the tiny rain without getting my lens wet? I can not clear the lens with some drops because the water will spread on the lens and the picture won't come out as I want. Any ideas?
    - Sergio Izquierdo

    ANSWER 1:
    Carry an umbrella. Keep yourself and the camera under the umbrella, and you will both be happier.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    ANSWER 2:
    A lens hood will work if the wind is not blowing toward you. Try to angle the camera down slightly so the rain will fall on the outside of the hood and not onto the glass. A standard-sized macro lens with a recessed front element can be another alternative. (Ideally, you should try to avoid getting your gear wet to begin with. ... The umbrella sounds like the best idea.)
    - Bob Cammarata

    Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13719

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13719

    back to top


    *****


    NEW QUESTION 13: Selling Photos for Web Site Use
    Another question! I've been asked to provide a few of my images for a website. The images are of our town and the person is a local Real Estate agent. What should I charge for the use of the pics? I can find info on editorial and commercial use but not web site use. I have no idea even where to start! Thanks, Darlene
    - Darlene Christensen

    ANSWER 1:
    I can't really tell you what you should charge, but I will try to point you in the right direction. One thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that, as I understand it, you were not hired to take these photos. They are photos you already have, so you are not concerned about the time and money you have invested in taking these shots. You might want to charge a fairly small fee just to get your work out there. Then, if they ask you to take more photos, charge for you time and materials - and don't short yourself of the value of your time.
    - Kerry L. Walker

    ANSWER 2:
    Darlene,
    Check out photographersindex.com. They have a pricing guide. Also, if you are interested in selling pictures and plan to do that regularly, you should have Jim Pickerall's book on "Selling Stock Photography." It covers the industry widely, tells how it all works, and provides a pricing guide as well. I highly recommend this to my stock photography students. Check out also stockphoto.net for more resources. I own a stock photo agency and when the Web was born, we were getting $250 for each photo on a Web site, but now it is all royalty-free downloads at Web resolution for $29.95. My brother is a realtor, and knowing him, you won't get much money! Seriously, when clients threaten to go to the Web because they don't like your price, let them. When a human has to get involved, the price goes up. And, hopefully, your images they want are rare and cannot be found on the Web or from any other photographer. Not knowing totally the situation you are in, if it was me, I would quote $50 for each photo for a 2-year usage on the Web only. If he balks at the 2 years, then say $75 for unlimited use. If the images are totally one-of-a-kind, double the price. It's all about having several negotiating tactics. Good Luck!
    - 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=13709

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13709

    back to top

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

    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Advice on Stock Agencies
    I'd like to start working towards submitting my images to stock agencies. Which agencies are supportative to photographers just starting out in the field of stock photography? Any suggestions? To be honest, I don't know if my images are good enough, so I'm hoping to find an agency willing to give me a chance! Thanks for any help! Darlene
    - Darlene Christensen

    ANSWER 1:
    Darlene-
    Below I have posted some paragraphs to answer your question about stock agents. This material comes from my lessons on Stock Photography, a course taught here at BP. Please excuse the broken flow, as I chose select paragraphs to answer your question. Also check out the following resources for more info: stockphoto.net, photosource.com is loaded with info for beginning stock photographers, and pickphoto.com has the best book out there for established pros. There is also a variety of workshops out there. Santa Fe used to have one. I am co-owner of fogstock.com and the company president, and I will be teaching Breaking into Stock Photography this summer. You can check it out at aspenphotoworkshops.com, which will be online in about a month.

    Where to Start
    Stock photography is an exciting business when you can make money off your passion. I hope that the previous lessons have given you a good grasp on how and what to shoot for stock photos. Are you ready to move on and shoot with the goal of your own stock photo business or signing with an agent?

    Before you quit your day job, let’s look at the business realistically. First, what are you shooting and or planning to shoot? Here is a rough breakdown on the best-selling categories in order of what sells best.

    1) Business
    2) Lifestyle
    3) Technologies
    4)Industry/Medical
    5)Sports/Adventure
    6)Nature and wildlife


    Getting into a Stock Photo Agency
    To get represented by an agency you should build a large body of unique stock photos. Stock agents are not exclusively for established shooters and are always on the lookout for new talent. They are as much interested in what you can do in the future as what you’ve done in the past. Their primary interest is how much are you going to shoot and how good will the quality be. If you shoot what everybody else does, you won’t get in. With a larger supply of stock photos available than demand, and you shoot flowers, rocks, and moss, you will have a much more difficult time being accepted than if you shoot lifestyle or business. This will be the first point they address.

    If you are a beginning stock photographer and approach an agency, they will look through your work. If they see talent and you are shooting something very unique, they may invest the time to nurture you. Some agents give shot lists for you to go shoot, and some don’t. However, if you are accepted by an agent, then they consider you a pro and they’ll expect you to know how and what to shoot. My agents do offer suggestions and guidance when I ask. It also takes -on average - a year for images to find their way to a client and make you a sale. So calling an agent up two months after your images were submitted and wanting to know where the moneys are will get you nowhere and probably aggravate the agent. You should concentrate primarily on shooting lots and lots of imagery to increase the volume of images you have in an agency. The money will come!

    These days, your agent will also demand that you are either exclusive or image exclusive with them. Exclusive means you cannot have any of your images at another agency or sell them yourself. Image exclusive means you can send images to another agency, but not the same ones, and sell yourself as well. Fogstock is image exclusive with the images we accept, and I recommend that you only sign contracts that are image exclusive. It is very difficult to put your entire stock business with one agent, not be able to sell images yourself, and rely totally on one company for your stock income.

    My feeling as a photographer is to be with as many agencies as I can. However, this can present problems. I have been with a total of 10 different agencies in my career, although no more than four at a time. Some have done well, and some have not. The good part about being with many agencies is that you have multiple revenue sources and, hopefully, money coming every month from each. The problem is that each agency has its strengths and weaknesses.

    We need content from highly committed and productive photographers. We actually require at a very minimum 200 stand-alone high-quality stock shots to consider any photographer for Fogstock. If we sign one with the minimum 200, we view them as a beginner because the pros we sign have 5000-10,000 images for us. It is a horribly competitive business out there. This is a business where survival of the fittest rule. The photographers with 5000 images online might make $1500 per month. The ones with 200 might make $20 a month. There is not much success for weekend stock photographers, it's all about volume.
    - 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:
    Charlie... I just wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to help new (and old) photographers by giving such helpful and detailed responses. You are a role model for those of us wanting to get into the business.
    - Lori Carpenter

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13707

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13707

    back to top

    *****


    CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Studio Lighting - Getting Started
    I'm thinking of purchasing new lighting gear, because I want to delve into more portrait photography. I already deal with lighting in my current job, which is video production. The lights we use are tungsten. When purchasing a lighting kit for photography, are the lights for studio work automatically 5600k or are they 3200K? Or do you specify when you buy the lights? I'm asking because the lights are tungsten, I'll always have to use a filter for color, and I can't see having to do that all the time.
    Also, any suggestions about what lights to get for a first light kit? Thanks...
    - Angie M. Nemanic

    ANSWER 1:
    Hi Angie,
    Most strobe lights are around 5500K when you buy them and that is what you want to get as well so you don't have to filter. I do not know of any strobes that come at 3200K, but I do have to occasionally convert my strobes to 3200K to match the ambient light at a location. There are tons of good lighting out there, and ask 10 people for opinions and you will get 10 different answers. I use Norman powerpacks with heads in the studio and White Lightning Mono Lights on the road. I love these lights and was able to get discounted packages for students in my lighting course. Good Luck!
    - 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:
    Hi Angie,
    Charlie is right about opinions. Everyone seems to use something different. In my area, most photographers I know use Novatron, possibly because they are based out of my area. I personally have a Novatron 600 Kit with 3 heads and it works great for me.
    - Tiffany L. Cochran

    See Tiffany's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    I bought a cheap light kit with 3 stands and shades along with DAYLIGHT bulbs. No filters required! $180.00 Canadian. Hard to beat, and it works great too. Ask your store for daylight balanced bulbs. Norbert
    - Norbert Maile

    ANSWER 4:
    Thanks for the info. What is the difference between the monolights and regular strobes ... or is there? And what is the minimum wattage I should be looking for? Again, thanks for the info!!
    - Angie M. Nemanic

    ANSWER 5:
    Angie - here's another dime's worth ...
    All strobes are daylight balanced, but individual companies may use anywhere from 5000-6000K. Look for strobes that are UV coated to give you more consistency. I also use Novatron, and can highly recommend them. I've got pieces that are 25 years old, and still running daily.
    The difference between monolights and "regular" strobes is this:
    1. "Regular" strobes will have a separate AC power pack, with inputs for plugging in individual light heads. Most power packs will allow you to plug in up to four heads.
    2. Monolights have the power source and head built into one unit or entity, so the entire "package" sits on your light stand. (This can be very heavy, so you need sturdy stands.)
    Companies like Novatron make both. It would behoove you to visit their site. There are lots of other brands available too - Paul C. Buff's White Lightning turned the world on to monolights. Check out their site also.
    Personally, I prefer power packs and separate heads, but many young photographers lean towards the monolights. Each have their own pros and cons.
    How much wattage you need depends on your circumstances. If you will be using a softbox or white umbrella, these rob your light output of about 2 stops. I'd suggest buying something in the 400-500WS range. Most units will allow you to cut back to 200WS or 100WS if you don't need that much light. In fact, I own three power packs, and all of them are between 400-500WS. As long as you can keep your lights within several feet of your subjects, 400 WS is more than enough.
    Let me know if I can be of more assistance.
    - Michael H. Cothran

    See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 6:
    Wow!! Awesome information ... thank you very, very much. I'm actually planning on heading to Chicago to check out a few places that sell Novatron and Speedotron. I read one photographer's opinions on the amount of watts/second ,and they suggested at least 1200. When using the lights, I will typically be working in studio; otherwise, I'm outdoors. After reading your information and others, it seems that 1200 seems way more than I need.

    Again, thanks for your information, it's very helpful.
    - Angie M. Nemanic

    ANSWER 7:
    Angie,
    Lots of good info coming in here. Like Michael, I have power packs and monolights as I mentioned in a previous post. The power packs are great in the studio, and when we used to shoot 4x5 product, we often needed 4000ws out of one head to get f/stops like f/45. Obviously, with 35mm, we needed much less power for the same depth of field, but I have found that with digital I need even less power - so much so that my Normans at 400ws are often too much power, and I have to switch to the White Lightnings. My clientele has evolved from studio work to almost all location, and this makes monolights almost imperative. If you need a light way down the hallway, a monolight makes the job so easy. I have 10 of them, so I am not tethered to a power pack. So I agree with Michael that 400-500ws tops!
    - 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 8:
    Dear Angie:
    I suggested to another questioner that it might even be wise to start with a single monolight and a few large reflectors. The latter can redirect light from the monolight to other sides of your subject, plus you'd get good practice in using light efficiently.
    - Maynard McKillen

    ANSWER 9:
    I prefer to use "hot lights", so that I can see the effect before I take the pistures. I use a three-light setup with a 250w for overhead, a 500 w side light and a 250w or sometimes 500w front fill light. It can get a bit hot, but a fan fixes that. No guess work. What you see is what you get.
    - Norbert Maile

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=13460

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=13460

    back to top


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ask a question or answer a few from your fellow photographers:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/qnaTOC.asp


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    READ PAST ISSUES OF THE SNAPSHOT NEWSLETTER
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Read previous issues of SnapShot in the BetterPhoto archives:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/snapshots.asp


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    SIGN UP TO PHOTOFLASH AND THE DIGITAL PICTURE
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Join the fun and master the arts of traditional or digital photography! Participate or follow along as we discuss topics & lessons, practice assignments, and offer feedback on each others' work. Subscribe to our other two free newsletters - PhotoFlash and the Digital Darkroom - at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Get word of your product or service out to our rapidly growing list of 43830 subscribers.

    Learn more about advertising in SnapShot at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/g/advertise.asp

    Until next week, happy shooting!

    Thank you,
    Jim Miotke
    BetterPhoto.com

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

    If you would rather not receive SnapShot, you may unsubscribe at:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeun.asp?e=

    To change your email address, visit:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribeCOA.asp?e=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Copyright 2005 BetterPhoto.com - All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.

  • Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.