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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, February 21, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: Special Offer: 200 for the 200th!
* BETTERPHOTO: William Neill Joins BetterPhoto's Team of Instructors
* BETTERPHOTO: Featured Article: Flash Photography ... Balancing with Ambient Light
* BETTERPHOTO: View the January Showcase of Contest Winners
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Architectural Details: Doors and Windows
* FEATURED PLACE: Putting the Spotlight on London
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Photography to the Rescue! / Early Composite
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: In Your Bag ... by Josh Hudson
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: What is a Diopter?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Long Exposures Beyond Metering
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Black Backgrounds
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Shooting Children ... and Focus Issues
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Help in Purchasing Lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: How to Get a Decent Picture of Stars?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Opinion about Signing Photos?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: It's Not Like I Want to Be Famous, But ...
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Traveling with a Camera
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Portrait Photography ... Getting Started
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Tearsheets in a Portfolio
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Monopod or Tripod?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Special Offer: 200 for the 200th!
To celebrate the 200th issue of SnapShot, the next 200 people to purchase a book or DVD from the BetterPhoto Store will receive a free year of our new and improved Premium BetterPholio™! Just enter the codeword "snapshot" in the Additional Comments field when you get to the order form. But act quick - this offer is only good until the end of the month. It expires Monday, February 28th. Limit one per member. Learn more about our awesome new Premium BetterPholios™ at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/premium-photo-galleries.asp

Or find the book or DVD you'd like to purchase at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/store.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 200th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

So many great announcements for this 200th issue of SnapShot. First off, acclaimed photographer William Neill, "On Landscape" columnist for Outdoor Photographer magazine, has joined our outstanding staff of online photo instructors. For details on this awesome new course - "Portfolio Development" - go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BIL01.asp

Be sure to tune in to Ebay radio today (Tuesday) as I discuss how to find the best camera for photographing products to sell on Ebay. The show begins at 11:00 a.m. PST. Just click on the "Listen Live" button when you go to the EbayRadio.info Web site at:
http://ebayradio.info

In addition, for those of you trying to choose the best digital camera, we have something very special in the works. Stay tuned to BetterPhoto for upcoming news about this exciting feature.

And, in this 200th issue, don't miss these items: The January contest winners have just been posted - featuring Mary-Ella Keith's Grand Prize winning image, "Embrace Your Dreams." Instructor Jed Manwaring shares tips and techniques in his terrific new article on flash photography. See the contest and article items below. Plus, check out all our regular Snapshot features, including the informative - and enlightening - batch of questions and answers.

That's it for now. Enjoy this special 200th SnapShot ... and happy shooting!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
William Neill Joins BetterPhoto's Team of Instructors
BetterPhoto extends a big welcome to William Neill, "On Landscape" columnist for Outdoor Photographer magazine, and the photographer of many wonderful books (including "Landscapes Of The Spirit" and "Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness"). William's exciting new course, "Portfolio Development," focuses on the art of editing your images and the development of thematic portfolios. Read all about this course at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BIL01.asp

For details on all of BetterPhoto's other online courses, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


*****
Featured Article: Flash Photography ... Balancing with Ambient Light
How often have you made pictures of people that end up looking like they're in a dark cave with no detail in the background? In his excellent new article, master photographer and instructor Jed Manwaring offers tips and tricks for using shutter speed or ISO to make your flash shots look better. Jed, by the way, teaches an excellent course here at BetterPhoto: "Getting Started: How to Make Great Photographs". Read Jed's article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?ID=45


*****
View the January Showcase of Contest Winners
Congratulations go to Mary-Ella Keith for the terrific Grand Prize winning image, "Embrace Your Dreams." Kudos also go to Patrick Byrd, Stan Kwasniowski, Kelly Cockerham, Kay Beausoleil, Lee Ann Sahagun, Richard Fortune, Cliff Berinsky, Maryanne Gobble, Heather McFarland, and Leena Robinson for their First Place photos. Of course, January's second-place winners and contest finalists deserve plenty of praise, too! View the contest winners at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0501.asp

And check out all of the wonderful finalists at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=5475

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focus on Architectural Details: Doors and Windows
Shooting buildings of all shapes and sizes means more than simply capturing overall shots of great structures. Often times, smaller scenes that focus on photogenic doors, interesting windows, or decorative details can tell more about a subject than the full-size view. Check out BetterPhoto's "Door Pictures and Window Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=227

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FEATURED PLACE
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Putting the Spotlight on London
Great light and great architecture highlight the wonderful work by BetterPhoto members. Check out the images of street scenes, skylines, bridges, and museums - and, of course, shots of Big Ben and the Royal Guard. See this BP gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=486

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
In which movie does Sandra Bullock turn to photography to make a little extra dough?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Karen is:
"Hope Floats"

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - Early Composite - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

After he died in 1926, which celebrity was portrayed as ascending up to heaven in a composite photograph?

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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In Your Bag ... by Josh Hudson
Before you walk out of the house, make sure you have your "loot bag." This a small baggie of the little non-photographic things: a little bit of gaffer's tape, extra batteries, string, chamois cloth, aspirin, emergency blanket (great as emergency reflectors, too), etc. These things have multiple uses when you find yourself without your thousands of dollars of camera gear. Experience will tell you what to put in your own loot bag.

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

  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: What is a Diopter?
Hello! I've seen this everywhere and I still don't really understand what it is. What is Diopter and how does it affect your image? I've messed with the dial a little bit on a Nikon and it just seemed to focus the viewfinder image but this doesn't do anything to the final image does it? What's the importance of adjusting diopters? Thanks!
- Andrew Laverghetta

ANSWER 1:
A diopter is basically an eyeglass on your viewfinder. Just adjust it until the black lines in your viewfinder are in their sharpest focus. It has no effect on the image itself.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14334

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14334

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Long Exposures Beyond Metering
Hi, I am a beginner, just getting beyond point and shoot. I have an old fully manual Yashica FX-3 with a 50mm lens. I would like to have a go at moonlit landscapes and long exposures of the city at night, etc. My meter just says that the scene is under-exposed. I know I need to use bulb and time the exposures so I can keep it on f16, but how do you know what time to try? I was hoping to avoid shooting several rolls to find out! I have been using Fuji Superia 100 so far. Thanks!
- Mark

ANSWER 1:
Set your lens to the widest aperture and turn your ISO dial until you are within the range of your meter. Assuming that at ISO 800 you can get a reading of 1 second at f2, you can count backwards to your preferred setting of ISO 100, doubling the time for each full-stop setting. This will get you to 8 seconds at f2.
Next, set your aperture ring to your preferred setting of f16 - again, doubling the time for each full stop.
f-4 = 16 sec.
f-5.6 = 32 sec.
f-8 = 64 sec.
f-11 = 128 sec.
f-16 = 256 sec.

This will give you a starting point from which to bracket over. A few points to remember:
- Use a locking cable release to avoid touching the camera during exposure.
- You shouldn't need to use f16 with a 50mm lens. If there is nothing in the foreground for the first twenty feet or so, you will have to focus on infinity anyway, so why not select a wider aperture setting and have the advantage of less exposure time?
- When metering as described, meter the illuminated landscape without the moon in the frame.
- When composing the shot, don't include the moon or it will over-expose and look elongated.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14320

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14320

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NEW QUESTION 3: Black Backgrounds
How do you get the background to be a solid black? I take a photo at home with natural light and use a sheet in the background but when I look at the photo on my computer I can see the sheet. I have tried to change from f3.5 to f11 and it seems to always look bad. Help.
- Mike Carpenter

See Mike's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
It's the difference between the light level that's on the subject and what's on the background that makes it black. Block some light from shining on the background if you have to.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Stick with the wider aperture setting and get more distance between the subject and the background. This will help to "iron out" the wrinkles in the fabric. As Greg mentioned, angle the light(s) to illuminate only the subject.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14318

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14318

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Shooting Children ... and Focus Issues
OK, I have searched the site and don't think I have found the answer to my question yet. My main business is centered around babies and children - who don't seem to want to sit still. The problem I have is once I get them in focus they may move slightly and then be out of focus. So I spend the majority of my time trying to refocus them. I'm trying to determine if I need a different kind of lens or what.
I have a feeling that the reason they move so easily out of focus is because I'm too close to the subject. But to get the kind of shots I want (photojournalistic style), I tend to take tight shots.
So any recommendations on how I can get tight shots of those precious little ones and keep them in focus? I currently use the Canon Zoom Lens EF 28-105mm 1:3.5-4.5.
Thanks for any and all help!
- Susan Bohanon

ANSWER 1:
A few things that might help:
- A simple prop or play thing will divert the child's attention from the camera and leave them free to "be themselves". (You will have to use flash, or a fast shutter speed, and be quick on the trigger to capture the natural poses that will ensue.)
- A longer lens will allow for more working distance from the camera to the subject. (Even small children can be intimidated with something pointing at them up close.) With your zoom, try working at its maximum range of 105 mm.
- A wireless-remote shutter release can allow for quick captures of spontaneous expressions, or rare moments when the child is posed perfectly. (This is much easier to determine when you are not standing behind an intimidating camera and tripod with your face pressed against it.)
- Finally ... you can solicit a little help from "Mom", or anyone else the young one recognizes, to get his or her attention at the critical moment when you press the shutter.
Hope this helps.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Susan,

I too have a photography business that centers around babies, children, and families. I have only just started out, and I tell my clients I am still "in training", but they are always happy with the photos.

I have the same issues, I also like tight photos and the slightest movement means you have to re-focus. Although your lens seems faster than mine, I have terrible difficulty focusing on children's skin as it has very little contrast, etc.

To help me to get the children to sit still, I will usually ask mum or dad to stand behind me and blow some bubbles, pull funny faces, or ask them questions. If I have older children like the age of 8+, I ask silly questions like - are you married? etc. It usually makes them laugh, and it breaks the ice. But the bubbles work wonders. I use the little wedding bubbles that way if the container is in the photo it is only a little white thing, instead of a huge container with pics on it, and then they can take it home afterwards.
Hope this helps! Any tips, I'd also love some thrown my way!
- Natalie Howe

ANSWER 3:
Susan, use Canon's AI Servo autofocus mode. Most EOS cameras can set this directly, but with many lower-level Rebel models, including the original Digital Rebel, this mode is only available in the Sports (running man) exposure mode.
In AI Servo, the camera will continuously follow-focus/refocus so long as you have the shutter button half-pressed. This mode should be able to keep up with your fidgety subjects.
In One-Shot mode, the AF stops as soon as the camera confirms focus and will not refocus unless you lift and repress the shutter button. AI Focus (the default for many EOS models) starts in One-Shot mode and is supposed to automatically switch to AI Servo if it detects movement, but in my experience it is not as effective as AI Servo.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14312

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14312

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Help in Purchasing Lenses
I am struggling with sharpness and clarity of my photos and need advice on lenses. I have a canon 20d that came with a standard 3.5f 28-55mm lens and purchased a Quantaray 4.5f 70-300mm zoom lens. My pictures are OK, but do not seem to be crystal clear like some of the ones I see on websites. I am willing to spend some money to make a good investment to replace these. What is it that I should be looking for in respect to "specs" to replace these two lenses so that I too can get great sharpness and clarity in my photos? I can either send or post some examples. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Sacchet
- Tom Sacchet

ANSWER 1:
Tom, I hate to do this to you, but I would like to ask the same question!! I am using the standard kit lens (18-70 mm) for the D70 and I, too, am frustrated by the lack of precise focus you are describing EXACTLY!

My usual victims - I mean subjects - are my kids, and I am usually at F/4.5-6.0 with them. I want to purchase the 50mm lens, and I'm wondering if that will give me that clarity at 35-65 mm I would like to see. So ... advice for me too, please!
- Jessica Lubs

See Sample Photo - E at Home:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=738983

See Sample Photo - P at Park:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=738982

ANSWER 2:
Whenever someone asks for advice about which lenses to buy, I give them this advice:
Get the best glass you can afford, in a size which will best handle the subject matter you shoot most often.
I've always preferred the sharpness and clarity of prime lenses over zooms but with today's technology, a high-quality zoom in the hands of a skilled photographer will yield excellent results.
Many "package deals" include an off-brand lens, or an inexpensive "consumer version".
Ideally, you should buy the camera body and your preferred len(s) separately. If you opt for getting the combo, sell the lens for whatever you can get for it and put the money into an upgrade.

As far as "specs", I am not familiar with the Canon line but I'm sure that any prime lens with their name on it will yield better results than the Quantaray. (I had one on my first camera, and unloaded it after the first roll of film.)
For telephotos, look for the faster ones. You will see the price jump when the maximum aperture of a given focal length goes from f-4 to f-2.8. While aperture change may seem insignificant, the faster lenses were built for a more demanding clientele and will have better optics and color rendition.
Of course, it goes without saying that better lenses will only help achieve improved clarity if all "human factors" have been addressed. Improper focusing techniques and camera-shake are the main causes for un-sharp photos.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I'm not sure about the Nikon lenses, but I know that I have a rather inexpensive Canon lens that I use probably around 75% of the time. It's the Canon EF 50mm f1.8. It'll usually cost less than $90, but it's pretty sharp and is very good with low-light photography. Since it'd be on your 20D, though, it would be more like 80mm, which is going to look like you were using your 28-55mm lens at full zoom all the time.
- Andrew Laverghetta

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14304

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14304

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: How to Get a Decent Picture of Stars?
I love photographing the stars! All my old pics of stars were very shaky, since I didn't have a shutter cable. So that is the next thing on my list. But they also came out elongated ... if that's the right word. I just want to take a picture of stars as they are without them streaking. I know that it takes a long time, and stars do move. So does that mean that I need a stronger camera? Lens? What?
- Jake Stanton

ANSWER 1:
Jake,
First, thank goodness you're speaking of stellar stars, not the ones from Hollywood. In order to get most stars to register in your camera, you need a long exposure, and sometimes the exposure is so long that the stars move - well, actually, it's the earth that moves, but you get my point. That's why they look 'elongated', because they have actually traveled a bit across the sky during your exposure. It's just the nature of the beast. Your best bet would be to get out in the country, away from any ground light sources. The desert is best, as the sky is usually clearest there. Use the lens wide open for the quickest exposure time.
Here's a neat trick if you can't beat 'em: Aim your camera directly at the North star, and do an exposure for at least a couple of hours. Your 'star trails' will all be circles.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14288

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14288

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Opinion about Signing Photos?
Is it better to sign the matte or is it OK to use a font and put your name on the print? I would like to know what people think about this.
- Mike Carpenter

See Mike's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
As an Arts and Crafts show photographer, I can state that it depends on what you are selling. For my note cards and cheaper-priced small prints - which I mass-produce - I have a scanned signature that the computer prints on the image. For the larger, more expensive, "fine art" prints, I hand-sign each one. Hand-signed prints are always preferable, when you can.
Note: If you're going to have the computer print your name, it would be better to scan in your signature rather than just using a type font.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14271

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14271

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: It's Not Like I Want to Be Famous, But ...
I need to know how to get started as a professional photographer! I've got a great portfolio, a great camera, but no customers. Help! It's not like I want to be famous. I just want and need to start selling my stuff.
- Jake Stanton

ANSWER 1:
Jake,
This is a business where longevity is the key. The longer you can hang in there the better. You need to figure out who you should be marketing to: What do you shoot? Who buys your type of work? What's the best way to get their attention? Then dive in and market with a vengeance.
One other thing to consider if you are new to the market: It may not necessarily be you and your work. The photo business has been slow since 9/11, and the last six months have been the worst so far. So hang in there, and be sure and target your market.
- Charlie Borland

See Charlie Borland's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - www.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=14268

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14268

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Traveling with a Camera
I'm going to be traveling soon and want to take my new camera with me. However, I'm not comfortable carrying my camera bag around with me when I get there, and it'll be too cold for me just to carry the camera by its strap. Do you have any suggestions on how to carry my camera inconspicuously while being gentle to the body and lens?
Also, are there any particular precautions I need to take about shooting when the weather's in the 20s and 30s?Thanks.
- Emily

ANSWER 1:
Domke and at least one other company sell camera wraps, nothing more than a square piece of well-padded cloth with Velcro securing pieces at the corners. This is a versatile way to pad camera with lens, camera body alone or lens alone, depending on the size of wrap used. This frees you to use a beat-up, inconspicuous bag or purse that looks like anything BUT an expensive camera bag. I know someone who carries $3000 worth of Leicas and lenses in a pink diaper bag - a bit extreme, but he's never had a bag snatched. In cold weather, carry extra batteries and keep them warm in a pocket. Try to adjust your camera gradually to temperature extremes, or, at least, let it acclimate to cold or heated buildings before trying to use it, or you may get condensation on lenses.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
You may also check out the soft pouches from Op-Tech. They have so many options.
http://www.optechusa.com/product/detail/?PRODUCT_ID=31&PRODUCT_SUB_ID=
- Andy Szeto

ANSWER 3:
How about a simple backpack? It takes longer to pull stuff out, but they are great for those long hikes between shots. They are inconspicuous, "snatch-proof", and can hold a lot of gear.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14258

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14258

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Portrait Photography ... Getting Started
As I start my portrait work and get more involved with it, I would love to work with some experienced portrait photographers in the New Jersey/New York area for free - simply for exposure to the field. Anyone interested??
Or, what is the best way to get in with a photographer without having to just be a "second-hand man" like handing out props. I want to be taught along the way and really involved in it. Would working with portrait studios like in the mall or department stores be worth it?
- Stephanie Sherwood

See Stephanie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Stephanie,
I have used many, many assistants on my commercial assignments over the years and have them doing exactly what you mention you do not want to do. I have them carry all the cases, climb the ladders, sweep the floor, load and unload the van, set up lights, run errands - all the while, they observe how I shoot and learn. That is what being an assistant is all about, and I cannot possibly employ all the assistants that call every week anxious to work. I also don't know many photographers who have time to teach assistants the ropes on real jobs. Rather, we teach workshops for those who want to learn.
I think the best way to get in with a photographer would be to be a sales person: Call up a couple studios and mention that you are on your way to becoming a portrait photographer and tell them you would like to work for their studio someday. Ask them if they would meet you at the coffee shop, you would buy them an espresso, and ask them to look at your portfolio and offer suggestions. Tell them your goal would be to work for them as an assistant someday. Photographers are easy sales targets, because we all have egos, and if you tell them that you "saw there wedding photo display at the mall" and would love to eventually work for them, that might get you in the door. Remember, though, in a horribly competitive market, photographers are reluctant to educate future competition. All the while, keep working on building a phenomenal portfolio. If you are going to come into their operation and work and shoot for them, your work has to be as good as theirs.
- Charlie Borland

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

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

ANSWER 2:
Good point.
- Stephanie Sherwood

See Stephanie's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14252

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14252

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Tearsheets in a Portfolio
I am in the process of putting together my portfolio. I have a tearsheet to include in which my image is one of five in a 2-page spread. What is the best way to include this? Do I condense the entire spread to fit my portfolio, use only the page that my image is on, or enlarge only my image and caption to use? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Meg
- Megan Trilk

ANSWER 1:
Meg,
I have numerous tearsheets that have my photos along with other stock photos from others. I scan the tearsheet, and then in Photoshop, highlighted my images and left them in color, but converted the remainder of the tear sheet to black and white.
- Charlie Borland

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

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

ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Charlie! That's sounds very cool. I can't wait to give it a try. I appreciate your input.
Meg
- Megan Trilk

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=14235

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=14235

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Monopod or Tripod?
I've never used a monopod and am still learning my new Canon Elan 7E. However, I am considering taking the Elan with me to China, which we'll be touring in April.

Recalling our trip to Prague last spring, there were places where I had to turn my tripod into a monopod, such as in cathedrals. Hence, I'm thinking about purchasing a monopod for this trip.

Which pod you recommend (price as well as sturdiness)? I'm considering taking my Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/4.0L, 28-135mm zoom wide angle, and my Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer USM auto focus lenses.

Weight is a factor - both my body weight and the weight of my equipment.

Also, I really enjoyed playing with the Singh-ray GRAD filters on the Prague trip. Http://danube2004.us

Is it difficult to use them with a monopod? I have a lightweight tripod. Thanking you in advance.
~Bunny
- Susan K. Snow

ANSWER 1:
Monopods fill in that void between when you can use a tripod and hand-holding. It does not provide the stability of a tripod, but it does help you stabilize your setup better than hand-holding. I've got a Bogen. It gets very little use, but in those special times, it is invaluable.
Monopods are all pretty much lightweight in nature. None of your mentioned lenses are real heavyweights, so any moderate-sized monopod with a small head would work well.
Just don't expect it to take the place of a tripod. It won't help one bit with really slow shutter speeds.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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ANSWER 2:
Bunny,
I agree with Michael, and you may also consider that there are some monopod models (I have one Manfrotto myself) that include tripod legs hidden inside, which I have found very convenient. Have a nice trip.
- Jose I. Granados

ANSWER 3:
I too agree with Michael. If you've never used a monopod, don't be misled into thinking that it will replace your tripod. A monopod only stabilizes the vertical movement of your camera/lens combo. A tripod will stabilize the forward-backward ... and side-to-side motions as well.
I cannot offer suggestions on specific brands, but I can tell you that monopods work best when supported against a solid object, such as a rock, or a fence post
(Just food for thought.)
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 4:
I also have the Bogen/Manfrotto with the hidden legs model #3231. I have walked through Rome with it, and it worked well.
I used the legs when I had the opportunity. With the legs, it's still not as stable as a tripod, but you can make do in most cases. I noticed you have an IS lens, too. I have used the IS with the monopod with success.
- Lewis T. Beasimer

ANSWER 5:
The monopod can't take the place of a tripod, especially for low-light shots, but they can be useful if there's nothing for you to brace yourself against. If this is a one-off trip, take the tripod instead!
- Dawn Penso

ANSWER 6:
Most of the pictures in my gallery have been taken with a monopod attached directly to the camera. I often adjust it to the shortest length and use it as a handle that I can then brace against my body. This works wonderfully for getting up close or for action shots. For those of us with (hate to say it!) aging hands that are a bit arthritic, the handle arrangement reduces the weight of the camera. I have a very lightweight monopod that is made of titanium, and it adjusts in length with little effort. And now that I've used it on an almost daily basis, I find it adequate for most of my shooting situations and far easier to deal with than a tripod. I take my camera with me in the car - even to the grocery store - so ease of use is paramount.

Obviously, a tripod should come first in the list of necessary equipment but the monopod can be a pleasant surprise.
- Bonnie Lackey

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