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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 - Tuesday, April 19, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts May 4th!
* BETTERPHOTO: Book of Month: Vik Orenstein's Guide to Building Your Photography Business
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
* BETTERPHOTO: Aspen Photo Workshops: Program Expands!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Musical Instrument Pictures and Music Pictures
* FEATURED PLACE: Focus on Washington, D.C. Pictures
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Photographer's Day Job / Who Said ...?
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Wobbly Tripod? ... by Josh Hudson
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Flash Problem: Camera or Flash Unit?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: White Balance: How to Use It
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Wedding Photography: Shadow Problem
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Setting Color Temperature
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Lighting in Photography: Tungsten and Strobe
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Wedding Photography: First Reception
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Lighting: Umbrella for Group Shots?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: How Do You Get a White Background?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Portrait Photography: Focusing
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Photographic Model Release Forms
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Tips for Taking Wedding Photos
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Flash Photography: Diffusion Suggestions?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto's Short Courses: Next Session Starts May 4th!
Our line of online 4-Week Short Courses covers some very exciting specialized subjects. Best yet, the second sessions are coming up soon (beginning May 4th):

- Jim Zuckerman's "Non-Digital Special Effects":
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK10.asp

- Jay Forman's "Photography for Kids 101":
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JAY04.asp

- Tony Sweet's "The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras":
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/TNS05.asp

- Kerry Drager's "Details and Close-ups:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD05.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 208th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

The Spring 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, which launch on May 4th. Check out the "Short Course - Late Start" section at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

In other news, instructor Vik Orenstein's awesome book, "Guide to Building Your Photography Business," has been selected as Book of the Month at the BetterPhoto store. See the item below, or go directly to the book page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1238

Also in this issue, check out the photo tip by BP member Josh Hudson, the Featured Gallery (music), the Featured Place (Washington, D.C.), the Photo Trivia Quiz, and another terrific batch of questions and answers, including lots of valuable insight from instructor Charlie Borland.

That's it for now. Have another fun-filled photographic week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
Book of Month: Vik Orenstein's Guide to Building Your Photography Business
Our online store showcases the fantastic books and DVDs from our staff of BetterPhoto instructors. For April, we put the spotlight on Vik Orenstein's excellent book, "Guide to Building Your Photography Business." If you buy this fine book before the end of April, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, it's autographed by Vik! For details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1238


*****
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 takes care of all the technical issues in one comprehensive package:

1) Deluxe BetterPholios™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxe-photographer-websites.asp

2) Pro BetterPholio™s, for professionals and aspiring pros:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeProWebsites.asp


*****
Aspen Photo Workshops: Program Expands!
BetterPhoto instructor Charlie Borland has announced the addition of two more workshops to his new Aspen Photo Workshops program:
- Red Rock and Sandstone: Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, UT: Join Charlie for a workshop in the heart of Utah's canyon country. Based in Escalante, our small group will explore and photograph America's newest national monument and the canyons of the Escalante, waterfalls, arches, and slot canyons.
- Stock Photo Adventure Shoot in Moab, UT: Charlie leads this Adventure Sports Photo Shoot in the canyon country outside Moab, Utah. This workshop begins with multi media presentations and discussion on shooting and marketing techniques. Then we'll move to our fully outfitted base camp in the field where we will camp in luxury for the next three days. We will have models available to mountain bike, hike, camp scenes, and plenty of outdoor action to photograph.
For more information on these and other workshops, go to:
http://www.aspenphotoworkshops.com

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focus on Musical Instrument Pictures and Music Pictures
Musicians and their instruments have long captured the attention of BetterPhoto photographers. A check of these photographs shows such a variety of innovative images. See our Musical Instrument Pictures and Music Pictures gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=236

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FEATURED PLACE
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Focus on Washington, D.C. Pictures
The U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln and Washington Memorials, dynamic architecture, and beautiful reflections are among the Washington, D.C., scenes that have been captured by BetterPhoto members and instructors. Check out their creative photos in the Washington, D.C. Pictures gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=430

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What noted outdoor/adventure photographer got his start while climbing and photographing on weekends and running an automotive business on weekdays? (Note: He turned full time to freelance photography and writing in 1972.)

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Larry Randall is:
The one and only, late, lamented Galen Rowell (1940-2002).

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 - Who Said ...? - entered by BetterPhoto member CHUCK TURNER

What legendary photographer said, Photography provides "absolute unqualified objectivity"?

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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Wobbly Tripod? ... by Josh Hudson
Didn't spend $600 on a Bogen tripod? Don't worry. Most of the extra cost is to ensure stability, and you can turn a $50 tripod into a pillar of strength for $5 more. Any small weight (more than a pound or two) tied to a string and hung from the center post of the tripod will disperse the weight evenly to each leg and down the center axis. This dramatically stabalizes your tripod - even in harsh weather.

View Josh Hudson'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

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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: Flash Problem: Camera or Flash Unit?
When taking pictures with my Olympus OM-10 and my Vivitar 3500 Thyristor flash, the flash does not always go off when I press the shutter. When it does flash, the pictures are fine. Am I looking at a flash problem or a hot shoe problem? Thanks.
- Charles E. Orcutt

ANSWER 1:
"Am I looking at a flash problem or a hot shoe problem?"
Yes. ;-)

Things I'd check:
(a) That the contacts in the hot shoe and on the flash's shoe are clean;
(b) That the flash is fully and firmly seated in the shoe;
(c) That the flash has fresh batteries, and that you are allowing enough time for the flash to cycle before taking the next photo.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15592

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15592

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: White Balance: How to Use It
I am having a problem trying to understand white balance. I would like to start taking my Nikon Digital to my wedding jobs. I took a digital class and we were told it's best to take a reading for each situation. Examples: Church altar, bride near stain glass window, outside., etc., etc. He suggested buying a fold-up disk showing one stripe of white, gray and black. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if this is what they do when taking professional photos.
Thanks for your help.
- Maryann Ianniello

ANSWER 1:
Quick and to the point: Natural light is made up of all colors (rainbow or spectrum from prism, colors from red to purple). Artificial light is missing some colors. Tungsten(60w light bulb) has yellow and red, and lacking blue, purple and greens. Fluorescent is heavy on the greens and blue, lacking red end of the spectrum.
All will appear white to your eyes, but not to film or digital. So you balance so that white looks white, and not yellow or green.
Filters can be used, or strobes that are daylight balanced if they're well made. Someone may bring up a color temperature meter, but that's high-end commercial.
Digital cameras have pre-set settings for different light sources to balance white. Some you can set to a specific number to balance white.
If your camera has a custom white balance feature, with that you take a picture of something white (which is what that white strip on that disk you mentioned is for), properly expose it in the same light you'll be shooting in, and use that picture to set your white balance.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I'm a Canon user so I'm not positive but I know that I can shoot RAW, go into my photo program (Photoshop CS) and open my RAW image in the RAW converter thing of Photoshop before the actual program, and I can change the white balance or you could say I could tell the program what kind of light I shot my picture in and it comes out pretty good. I find it's fun to change my white balance setting when my shots are just for personal enjoyment because you can create some interesting effects. You can make midday look like sunset if you change the color temp all the way up to 10,000K. Hope this helps you a little bit.
- Andrew Laverghetta

See Andrew's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Thanks Guys

I appreciate your input.

MaryAnn
- Maryann Ianniello

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15568

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15568

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Wedding Photography: Shadow Problem
I need some advice on how to avoid shadows when taking pictures at weddings. I use a Canon Digital Rebel with a 420 EX flash. I have also used a bracket. This helped a little. The horizontal pictures came out fine but the verticals had the shadows. Any advice?
- Lisa Stringer

ANSWER 1:
Does your bracket allow you to flip the flash? Flip brackets allow you to either flip the flash or the camera, so that when you take a vertical shot, the flash will still be positioned above the lens. These are not too expensive and are very handy. Stroboframe is a popular brand.
Another handy item is a Lumiquest Mini Soft Box. This is a soft vinyl folding diffuser that velcros to your flash to diffuse and soften the light.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Yes, the bracket allows to flip the flash. I thought the church was too dim to use a softbox.
- Lisa Stringer

ANSWER 3:
The intensity of the ambient light has no bearing on whether you should use a softbox. It is your flash that is lighting the subject. If your flash is powerful enough - and it probably is unless you are using a very small flash - you should use a softbox. If softens and diffuses your flash.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15561

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15561

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Setting Color Temperature
I just purchased the Canon 20D and love it. I was looking through the menu and instruction manual and noticed it has a setting for adjusting color temperature. It is set at 5200k. What do I need to know about this to start shooting with this camera? It was not a feature on the Rebel that I have been using. Thank you to anyone who comments.
- Michelle Prince

ANSWER 1:
Hi Michelle
This camera and many others allow you to adjust the color temperature for varied light situations. The Kelvin Temperature for daylight/outdoors is 5200-5500K for normal midday light. As the sun sets and the light becomes very warm, the Kelvin color temp changes dramatically. Your tungsten lamps in a home are 3200K, much more amber than daylight and Cool White Fluorescents are roughly 4000K.

Now with all that, how to use the camera normally: Leave your camera set at the 5200K when you are shooting outdoors. When the sun sets and warms up the light, leave it 5200K still, so that your pictures reflect that warm light.

When shooting indoors, set the camera to AWB (auto white balance), and it will adjust the color balance quite well and give you normal-looking color. There are also some presets for different situations, like fluorescents, that come with the camera, and I personally do not use those because my color has to be perfect in my commercial work, so I use a color meter.

It is always good to run some tests with these presets, and check your results to gain more understanding.
Have fun!
Charlie

- Charlie Borland

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Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - www.borlandphoto.com

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

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Lighting in Photography: Tungsten and Strobe
I am unsure how to combine tungsten lights and strobe light, and also how you would meter for them.
- leah

ANSWER 1:
Leah,
It all depends on what you are trying to do. Are the tungsten lights lamps on an end table next to the couch where you are shooting a family portrait? Or are they ceiling lights in a big room?

The thing to remember here is the tungsten can be viewed as "ambient" lights and are best controlled by the shutter speed, and your strobes are best controlled by the f/stop.

Basically, you do your set-up, and let's say you are shooting a portrait. So start with a fast shutter speed and work on getting your exposure for the strobes correct, changing your f/stop until you see a good exposure on your subject from the strobe. I am assuming you are shooting digital and can view the results on the LCD.

Once your strobe exposure looks good, start changing your shutter speed by making it longer, 1/60 to say 1/8, maybe as long as 1 second, or until the tungsten lit part of the scene looks like you want it.

Hope that answers it for you.
- Charlie Borland

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Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - www.borlandphoto.com

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

ANSWER 2:
To add another point to Charlie's response: Be prepared for some amber color shifts, as ambient (tungsten) light illuminates portions of the scene not dominated by the strobes.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
You can counteract the amber color shifts by using a polarized filter
- Karen E. Michaels

Visit karenemichaels.com - Karen's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15549

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Wedding Photography: First Reception
This will be my first assignment, and I do not have a portfolio. My sister's friend is getting married on New Years Eve 2005 and asked me to take picture at the reception. She said she has a professional photographer for the ceremony and for some of the reception. I have a Nikon N80 and Nikon 28-205, and I am going to purchase a Nikon 70-300mm D lens and a Speed light sb-80.I am going to use Fuji Supair 200 speed film. I am going to college and majoring in photography. I need some advice. I have a few questions:
1. Will the speed light be enough light for the reception? Are there any accessories I should get for my speed light?
2. What kind of package should I create? Should just have a package with just all of the proofs?
- Jennifer

ANSWER 1:
1. The SB-80 should do well at the reception. I would suggest a flip bracket to mount it on, a sync cord to hook it to the camera, and a softbox to mount on the flash. The bracket will eliminate any chance of red-eye and will allow you to keep the flash above the lens when you turn the camera vertical, thereby eliminating side shadows. The softbox will soften and diffuse the light, eliminating most hot spots.
2. I wouldn't try to create any special packages - just the proofs.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 2:
Jennifer, since the bride is also going to have a professional photographer on site, it would be a good idea to discuss with her exactly what she is expecting of you.
Is the pro going to get all the posed shots that she wants, and you will handle candids of guests, people dancing, etc.?
Is the pro going to be there for only a set amount of time, and then anything else is up to you? This might leave you with the responsibility of getting shots like throwing the bouquet, throwing the garter, etc.
A little planning ahead of time can avoid important shots getting missed, or even worse, two photographers stepping on each other's toes.
- Chris A. Vedros

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


NEW QUESTION 7: Lighting: Umbrella for Group Shots?
I'm finally expanding my lighting supply after several years of just bracketing my main flash. I'm still moving slowly and economically, but I have my old SB 28 mounted with the Nikon SU4 bounced into an umbrella. I'm shooting with a Nikon D100 with an SB80 mounted on a bracket.
I am only planning to use the extra flash for my larger group portraits for my weddings, as I always have problems with dingy prints from not enough light with those shots. Can anyone give me advice as to where to place this extra lighting to encompass the best even lighting and still maintain the sensor from camera to flash? Thanks!!!!
- Amber Mizer

ANSWER 1:
Hi Amber,
I have shot plenty of groups, although not weddings - mostly groups for business, and I use strobes and umbrellas. Sounds like your approach is probably correct, but by the time those Nikon flashes are bounced out of an umbrella, there is not much output left to light a group. I would do this with strobes, but then it is a wedding and you may not have time to set up.
One point I emphasize in my lighting course is that "big highlights require big light sources". This means that if you are shooting a large group, one small umbrella does not have the ability to spread the light far and wide and evenly. You would need several umbrellas side by side, as this makes your light bigger overall.
I also always put lights to one side or another at about 45 degrees from the camera, give or take. Then the fill light is next to the camera.
Now one approach that might work for you would be to buy a monolight and a huge umbrella, like 48", and put that to the side. Then use your on camera Nikon flash, set at -1, as the fill light. This flash would also fire the monolight at the same time. You would need to adjust that umbrellas power by a couple of quick tests shots. Of course, work this all out by testing before you get to the wedding.
Well, I hope this is useful.
- 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
Lighting for Commercial Photography: Advanced

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15524

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15524

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: How Do You Get a White Background?
How do you "blow out" the background in your picture ... like when you want it to be all white??
- Courtney

ANSWER 1:
First, if you want it to be white, I would suggest beginning with a white background. Theoretically, any color can be made to appear white, but it's a lot easier if it's white to begin with. Then ... light reflecting off the white background must measure at least 2.5 stops brighter than your subject. Then you will have white. But be careful - you actually do not want to "blow out" the white, as it will spill into your subject matter, ruining the edges.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

- Michael H. Cothran

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


NEW QUESTION 9: Portrait Photography: Focusing
I am taking really tight head shots of people and am interested where I should put the focus. The main feature is the eyes - do I focus on one eye and then centralize the shot? Or focus on the whole face or in the centre of the eyes? Please help. Many thanks.
- Mark A. Oxtoby

ANSWER 1:
Always focus on the eyes. A shot with only the eyes in focus will be accepted by viewers. But if everything is in focus EXCEPT the eyes, viewers will not accept the image as being in focus. Try it yourself, and see.
You must have at least one eye in focus, and both preferably. The most important part of the eye should be the lashes.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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ANSWER 2:
Thanks Michael! How would I go about focusing on the eye lashes?
- Mark A. Oxtoby

ANSWER 3:
Focus manually.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15490

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15490

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Photographic Model Release Forms
In 1996, I went with a friend to deliver some calves. While there, I took pictures of children with various baby animals. For impromptu shots with a mid price 35mm camera, some came out surprisingly well. Unfortunately, I forgot to have the film developed for quite a while, and the people apparently left the area. Is there a time limit, after which I would be able to to use these pictures? Some of the children are still minors; two are now over 18.
- Brigitte Stahre

ANSWER 1:
Brigitte,
If you intend to sell the pictures or make money or even publish the photos, you will need a model release from the people. There is no time limit after which you could sell the photos and not need a release. It just depends on your intention regarding "use".
Charlie

- Charlie Borland

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Visit Charlie Borland's Web Site - www.borlandphoto.com

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

ANSWER 2:
i was hoping to be able to use them in my portfolio and possibly enter them into some contests.
- Brigitte Stahre

ANSWER 3:
Using them in a portfolio shouldn't be a problem. Entering them into a contest could be.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 4:
Brigitte
A portfolio should not be a problem, and I have used numerous "non-released" images in my direct mail and sourcebook ads marketing myself as a photographer. These were shots I did for clients and did not get releases, because I couldn't use the photos for anything anyway. I personally do not see any potential problems with using your copyrighted photo for promotion, even without releases.
- 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
Lighting for Commercial Photography: Advanced

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15460

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15460

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*****


NEW QUESTION 11: Tips for Taking Wedding Photos
I want to start doing wedding photography in the hopes that my expensive hobby will become a sustainable one. I have talked a few friends into letting me "practice" at their weddings while another photographer did the official work. I have had good results, but I feel that I still need more experience (and equipment) before I would be comfortable doing this on my own. My friends don't get married every week, so do you have any suggestions on how to get more experience?
- Gerald Pope

ANSWER 1:
Join some wedding photographer organizations, and online forums. WPI is probably the largest organization, but joining your local, state, or national PPA would also be an asset to you. Your best-case scenario would be to hire yourself out as an assistant, if you can get the work.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Flash Photography: Diffusion Suggestions?
Hello all,
I have a Canon Rebel Ti and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to diffuse the on-camera flash. I find the on camera flash is not very flattering and need a way to soften the flash a little until I purchase the 550EX Speedlite.
- Marquee Smith

ANSWER 1:
There's no real or efficient way to do it. If you use the pop-up flash as a "fill" light - that is, dimmer than your ambient light - the effect can be quite acceptable. But forget it if you are using it as a "main" light. When you get your 550EX, be sure to get the off-camera TTL cord too, and add a nice soft box, like the two portable units available from Chimera. Portable Chimera softboxes will give you the best quality and softness you can get out a small strobe.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Michael, thank you for responding. I plan to get the off-camera TTL cord with the flash but I will add the softboxes to my growing wish list of accessories.
- Marquee Smith

ANSWER 3:
Once you have the off-camera flash, you might take a good look at Gary Fong's LightSphere II. It does a great job.
Dick Parrish
Dick Parrish Photography
Cape Coral, Florida
- Dick Parrish

ANSWER 4:
My photo teacher told me to put some diffuser tape over the glass on the pop-up flash. For a more softer light, use small piece of tracing paper (or layers) and cellotape.
- Roy Blinston

ANSWER 5:
I was told by my teacher to put several layers of Scotch tape over the flash to keep it from being so obtrusive.
- Sheri

ANSWER 6:
In a pinch, try using a Kleenex or a piece of lens paper. It sounds like you are beginning to "enjoy" yourself. Good luck ...
- Larry

ANSWER 7:
Try the tissue paper used for wrapping around hair when doing a perm. Let your flash pop up, and just tape it in place, works great.
- Liza M. Franco

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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