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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, May 17, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: Two New Instructors Join the BetterPhoto Team!
* BETTERPHOTO: Summer Courses: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
* BETTERPHOTO: New from Tony Sweet: Interview and Book!
* BETTERPHOTO: Workshop Update: Join the Silvermans in the Eastern Sierra!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focusing on Fashion and Beauty
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Unsold Life Saver Turned Photo Filter / Peaks and Pics
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Stock Photography: Business Subjects ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: What is an Optical Viewfinder?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: What Makes Photography So Fun?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Shooting Raw - Vs. JPEG
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Prevent Copying of Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Nikon D70, Adobe RAW, and Sharpness
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Selling Your Photos
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Model Releases Vs. Personal Use
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Wedding Photography: Help!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Film Developing: Which Lab Is Best?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Shooting Maternity Portraits
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Update for Photoshop CS2 & Elements 3.0


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Two New Instructors Join the BetterPhoto Team!
BetterPhoto is thrilled to announce a pair of new online instructors: Bruce Smith (fashion photography) and Jon Canfield (digital slide show creation). Here's more:

- "Fashion and Beauty: Introduction to Fashion Photography": In this new class for summer, Bruce Smith shares tips and techniques for capturing great fashion images. The course is designed for anyone who wants to shoot fashion images for fun or who wishes to become a professional fashion photographer. For all the details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/bru01.asp

- "Digital Slide Shows": In this new course, Jon Canfield shows how to develop professional-quality presentations, select images for digital projection, create shows for viewing on computer, TV, or projector. The class is designed for any type of photography - from landscapes to weddings, or anything in between. For more information, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/jon01.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 212th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

What a fantastic month for BetterPhoto.com! Last week, we welcomed David Bathgate to Team BetterPhoto, with his new Photojournalism course. This week, we extend huge welcomes to two more instructors: Bruce Smith and Jon Canfield. Check out their exciting new courses - Bruce's "Fashion and Beauty: Introduction to Fashion Photography" and Jon's "Digital Slide Shows" - at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In early May, we launched Better Blogs. Two weeks later, these photography Web logs ("Instructor Insights", "Notes from Team BetterPhoto", and my own "The BetterPhoto Digital Photography Show") are going strong. Find them at the top of the home page, and at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/betterblogs.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the latest in instructor Charlie Borland's series of stock photography tips ... this time focusing on Business and Industry subjects. And, as usual, we have another awesome collection of great questions and insightful answers.

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


*****
Summer Courses: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
Would you like to learn more about composition, digital photography, photographic field techniques, exposure, Photoshop, specialty subjects, or the business of photography? Join us this summer for an inspiring online photo course at BetterPhoto.com. Let us be your guide ... with our online courses, you WILL become a better photographer. But with so many great courses to choose from, the decision-making process isn't an easy one. That's why we created our categories page, which can be reviewed at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


*****
New from Tony Sweet: Interview and Book!
It's been a busy month for BetterPhoto instructor Tony Sweet. First, there's his BP interview, in which he talks about making the transition from photographing in jazz clubs to photographing in nature. He also shares advice for becoming a professional photographer. Read it all at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/interviews/Photographer-Tony-Sweet-A.asp

At the BetterPhoto Bookstore, Tony's awesome new book, "Fine Art Flower Photography" is in the spotlight as Book of the Month. If you buy this fine book before the end of May, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, it's autographed by Tony! For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1304


*****
Workshop Update: Join the Silvermans in the Eastern Sierra!
BetterPhoto's ace online instructors - Susan and Neil Silverman - are leading a workshop tour, May 25-29, through California's spectacular Eastern Sierra region. The workshop covers the endless designs of Death Valley's sand dunes, the marvelous boulders and panoramic landscapes of the Alabama Hills facing Mount Whitney, and the magnificent Sierra Nevada range. This tour also includes sunrise at Mono Lake and a visit to the ghost town of Bodie. Time will be spent teaching and critiquing. Details:
http://www.gapweb.com/eventinfo/2005/eastsierra.htm

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focusing on Fashion and Beauty
Fashion and beauty are among the more popular subjects for BetterPhoto photographers. Here's a small sampling of images:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=37

Also, check out a terrific new online course at BetterPhoto: Bruce Smith's "Fashion and Beauty: Introduction to Fashion Photography". Details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRU01.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Some inventors are famous for one or two of their creations, but often not the inventions they are most proud of. This inventor quit Harvard University when he was 19 years old to invent his first of hundreds of patented inventions. This invention was a safety feature to be used on automobiles to save drivers from headlight glare. It was not picked up by car manufacturers, but it has been used by photographers all over the world as a filter to remove glare from unwanted reflected light. Who is this inventor?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member William Koplitz is:
Edwin Land (1909-1991) - polarizing filter

Editor's Note: Another Land invention - the Polaroid Land camera - debuted in November 1948, according to Polaroid's Web site, and sold for $89.75. In its first full year - 1949 - sales exceeded $5 million and Ansel Adams was hired as a consultant.

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 - Peaks and Pics - entered by BetterPhoto member Dawn

What actor played a National Geographic photographer in the 2000 mountain climbing movie "Vertical Limit"?

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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Stock Photography: Business Subjects ... by Charlie Borland
So what constitutes Business and Industry stock photos? This is a huge area and one of the top-selling stock photo categories. Stock photo agencies are looking for these subjects and concepts: Transportation (trucking, railroads, ships and shipping, airline, automotive), Financial (stock market, banking, lending institutions, precious metals, the economy, real estate), Energy (oil explorations (and all related to that), natural gas, coal, solar, wind generation), Resources (timber (logging, mills, paper plants), fisheries, agriculture), Manufacturing (this covers everything to make products; metals, plastics, home building, high rise construction), and Business (meetings, executives, telephones, email, deadlines, sales, profit and losses, offices, buildings, home offices, retail and shopping, restaurants, food industry).

Check out Charlie Borland's online courses:



Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:
  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: What is an Optical Viewfinder?
This might be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a viewfinder and an optical viewfinder if any? If a camera does not have an optical viewfinder does that mean it has no viewfinder, only the lcd screen.
- Valerie A. Niblack

ANSWER 1:
Valerie,
Only in the new world of digital would there be a question like this ;-)
An "optical" viewfinder is the type found on all film cameras ... it uses optical train (glass or plastic lenses) to a "viewing" lens on the front of the camera. In an SLR, the "viewing" lens is also the picture-"taking" lens. In rangefinder and TLRs, they're two different lenses.

Nearly all digital cameras have an LCD panel on the back. Most have an "optical" viewfinder in addition to the LCD panel. Some have what appears to be a viewfinder, but instead of a pure optical train to a "viewing" lens on the front (in an SLR it's the "taking" lens) it's a small LCD panel with a lens or two in front of it so your eye can focus properly on it (because it's an inch or less from your eye).
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16261

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16261

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: What Makes Photography So Fun?
Why do you think taking photos is fun? Especially when you are on vacation in a new place? I'm just interested in what other people think.
- Taylor J. Brusky

ANSWER 1:
Photography is not fun, it's an addiction! Like drugs or alcohol, the more you do ... the more you need. (I often tell folks I'm hooked on Provia, which usually gets a laugh ... or at least a sympathetic grin.)
Why do I like taking photos? Well, for me, it's creating something interesting and dramatic from the mundane ... or capturing life's fleeting moments and sharing them with others who might benefit from, or otherwise enjoy what I've experienced.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I got into it about a year and a half ago. I'll go with addiction ... I made dinner tonight at home ... then took several snaps of it ... then microwaved the dinner cuz it got cold ... then ate it ... :-)
I have noticed, also, that when I'm wandering around ...w here I used to just look at things and walk on to the next, that I take more time looking at stuff from different angles (camera or not) ... hard to explain ...
Bob
- Robert Cournoyer

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ANSWER 3:
Addiction, totally. And I can relate to not just being able to "look" at things anymore. I'm always evaluating things now. It IS weird. I love everything about photography - too much. I make no money at it but spend the majority of my time doing, thinking, or spending money on it! Ridiculous! But very fun!
Karma
- Karma Wilson

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ANSWER 4:
Seeing my clients eyes well up with happiness when they see the photos I have taken of their precious little ones. That is fun!

Oh, and I can't look at anything the same ever again. I am always looking to see what something would look like through the camera, etc., even when I don't have it with me.
- Natalie Howe

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ANSWER 5:
I'm with both Bob's ... although I've never gone to the extent of preparing a meal and photographing it before consuming it.
"Seeing" the world around me photographically has become a habit ... because I've worked at it to improve my compositional skills and for seeing opportunities ... that isn't easy to turn on and off at will. Things just jump out at me now as opportunities and possibilities to be explored. Ansel Adams calls it "visualizing" ... the development of a mental image of what the finished photograph will look like.
The joy for me is the challenge of executing the photograph once I have a mental visualization of what I want it to look like. It's starting to extend now into studio "constructions" ... the seeing of objects around me and how they can be constructed or arranged into something that can tell a story or express an emotion ... and set it up in a studio to photograph it. The most challenging part right now is the studio lighting and working with it to get exactly what I want in illuminating the subject material. When I get an idea for a studio composition, it will gnaw at me until I execute it.
- John A. Lind

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ANSWER 6:
I agree with addiction. I also think it's fun. My friends and family enjoy my pictures, and that makes me happy. Debbie
- Debbie Truesdale

ANSWER 7:
Hi Taylor,
1. Photography is for fun completely. Because, after all, especially when you are on vacation, you take photographs in order to cherish the places you visited and experienced - life long with you in your mind. It gives a wonderful feeling when you often look at your old photos.
2. When you get into "creative" shots, ohhh, yeah, you get full satisfaction mixed with freedom. Something that is inward feelings comes out to share the same with like-minded people.

3. What "Mr.Bob" said is absolutely fact. Once you start looking at the normal things, at different angles, you will start capturing them with your camera.
Human eye is excellent, wonderful, thanks to God. We cannot twist and tweak our eyes to look at the objects making blurred and sharp as per our imagination ... whereas only in the camera it is possible.
Many thanks to the gentleman who invented the camera!!
- Siddhun M. Karthik

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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NEW QUESTION 3: Shooting Raw - Vs. JPEG
I just took my first few photos in studio raw. They look weird. They were really overexposed, although the JPEG of the same shot was exposed OK. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The person's skin also looked really muddy.
- Michelle Prince

ANSWER 1:
Hi Michelle,
What I've read about RAW is that it is an un-processed exposure of the camera's digital sensor. When you take a picture using any quality JPEG, there is some amount of image processing and enhancement. The camera may be optimizing your settings in JPEG while everything is up in the air with RAW.
- Ryan Jones

ANSWER 2:
RAW files and JPEGs will always look different, and the JPEGs will usually look better - IN THE CAMERA, and before editing. The reason being is that your camera "edits" the JPEGs to whatever settings you have chosen on your camera (or to default if you have not chosen any settings), whereas the camera does NOTHING to RAW files. RAW files are exactly what the name implies. They need full editing in something like PS, but after editing, will produce the largest and finest quality file - providing you edited well!! If your RAW files look over-exposed, check your histogram to confirm. If it is skewed to the right then they are, indeed, over-exposed.
Dial in a -1/2 or -1 exposure compensation when shooting. It is much easier to work with a slightly under-exposed image than an over-exposed image in digital photography.
In a nutshell, RAW files need full editing after shooting, while JPEGs do not. If you are going directly from your camera to the printer or to a CD, then choose JPEG. If you intend to do your own post-editing, then choose RAW. If you have a camera that will create both files simultaneously, then expect them to look quite different from each other.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Thank you both. I want to be able to shoot raw so I guess I better learn a little more about image editing.
- Michelle Prince

ANSWER 4:
When I got Adobe Photoshop 7.0 a while back I knew absolutely nothing about how to use it. I had just fiddled. I have learned a lot through fiddling :) I'm proud of it. Anyway, after I had photoshop, I was browsing in the local Borders and I found a huge section dedicated to graphics software. The book that I found was Adobe's book on PS 7.0. It starts you with the basics. The only problem was since it was at Borders and it was by Adobe, it cost around $40. I think you can find similar books by other authors/publishers that don't cost as much. Try to find one that might be geared more towards photography since it's also used for advertising, webdesign, all that fun stuff, which may take up more than that it may help in those sections. Although, it's always nice to know that extra stuff. Hope this helps a little bit.
- Andrew Laverghetta

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16252

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NEW QUESTION 4: How to Prevent Copying of Photos
How do you put a watermark in the photographs that are printed to prevent someone from making copies from a scanner or having negatives made in order to make additional copies? I use Photoshop and Jaasc Paint Shop Pro 9.0.
- Barbara Hoblitzell

ANSWER 1:
The text tool; then fade the layer with the opacity scale, or some other way if you'd like with layer options like soft light, overlay, color dodge, etc.
I'm sure Paint Shop has the same thing.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16235

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16235

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NEW QUESTION 5: Nikon D70, Adobe RAW, and Sharpness
I have a Nikon D70 and have been taking exclusively RAW photos for several months now. When I import the photos into Photoshop Elements 3, I use the Adobe RAW converter, and have been pushing the default setting for Sharpness from 25 down to 0.
However, I have been noticing that my pix are really soft. When I left the Sharpness at 25, they are somewhat less soft, but to really get the crispness I like, I find myself pushing the Sharpness setting up to 100.
When I first got my D70, I shot in fine JPEG, and did not notice any sharpness at all. However, I do like being able to adjust white balance and exposure through the converter.
Could someone offer some insight as to what's going on here? Is the D70 applying some sharpening in fine JPEG mode that I would always need to compensate for when using RAW? What does the sharpness setting on the Adobe RAW actually do? Is there some inherent fuzziness with this camera? Thanks!
- Robin Briggs

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ANSWER 1:
There is nothing wrong with the camera, Robin. Shooting RAW files - as opposed to fine JPEGs - is a bit different when it comes to the amount of in-camera processing. RAW is a digital "negative". I use the Unsharp Mask Filter within PS for sharpening and leave the slider alone. In the converter, I think the camera sets this at 25. It's just not that effective at sharpening as the Unsharp Mask function in PS.
The Fine JPEG mode applies a lot of in-camera processing. That is why JPEGs appear to look better and require less editing.
- Terry R. Hatfield

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ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Terry. That makes a lot of sense - that the JPEG would already be "processed" and, therefore, would look better right out of the camera. I take it from what you're saying that, pretty much no matter what, you always apply Unsharp Mask to your RAW files, because they will always need it? If that's the case, then it's just a matter of setting my expectations ... Thanks again.
- Robin Briggs

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ANSWER 3:
Not always, Robin. It greatly depends on the lens you are using, and maybe a little camera shake, etc. :-)
- Terry R. Hatfield

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ANSWER 4:
Well, these were tripod-and-self-timer pix, so I don't think camera shake really plays a part. However, I'd like to know more about what to look for in lenses. I have the 18-70mm lens that came with the D70 as a kit lens. I'm looking to get a longer zoom (i.e., 70-300mm) and I'd love some advice on what to look for to deal with some of the sharpness issue. Thanks!
- Robin Briggs

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ANSWER 5:
Robin,
I have both CS and Nikon Capture. I've found for basic RAW post/batch processing, the Nikon Capture is easier to work with. Also, it lets you save your edit file and re-set it back to the original if needed. This is done without saving additional files. Personally, I feel Capture does a better job with processing AND sharpening the RAW files.
Steve
- JAMK Photography

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Visit jamkphotography.net - JAMK 's Deluxe BetterPholio™

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http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16210

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Selling Your Photos
Someone wants to purchase two of my flower photos to use to make postcards promoting her floral shop. I have never sold a photo before. Can someone please offer me some advice? I don't know how much to charge, and I'm not sure how to write up a contract. Does the contract have to be formal? Thank you.
- Sherri McGee

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ANSWER 1:
Sherri,
Pricing your photography is all about negotiations and finding what they have for a budget. For her to use a photo of yours for postcards to promote her shop is an advertising usage. Check out www.photographersindex.com, where they have a pricing guide to help you determine a price. In the 'better' days, clients would pay you for the print run that they were printing or a time usage, say 3 months. Pricing still works that way in some sales, but clients can also buy images online for less than $100 and use them forever. So this is a consideration when trying to determine your price. Good Luck! 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
Lighting for Commercial Photography: Advanced
Stock Photography

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16204

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NEW QUESTION 7: Model Releases Vs. Personal Use
If you sell images for personal use, do you need to get a model release? For example, I took shots of a group of high school seniors before their Prom for a friend of mine - some large group photos and some with just a couple of friends. And now some of the other parents would like to purchase some of these photos. Thanks. ... Tony S
- Anthony Soares

ANSWER 1:
I'm a little confused (as opposed to being very confused, which I often am!). When you say "other parents would like to purchase some of these photos," are you talking about the group shots? And are the parent's children in that shot? If so, you don't have to worry. If it's any kind of a group shot, and parents of any of the children in the shot want a picture, fine. If a parent wants to buy a picture of another child, then you better have something from the other parent giving you permission to sell their child's likeness to someone else.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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ANSWER 2:
Yes, they are group photos. Some are of the entire group of 40 kids. Others are of couples and smaller groups of friends. And, yes, it is parents buying photos of their kids and their dates. Thanks for the info ... Tony S
- Anthony Soares

ANSWER 3:
Tony,
I think Michael is right in that you have nothing to worry about. Most model release issues revolve around commercial and other usages where profit was made at the expense of the person in the photo. In those cases, a model release is a good idea.
- 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
Lighting for Commercial Photography: Advanced
Stock Photography

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NEW QUESTION 8: Wedding Photography: Help!
I will be shooting an indoor wedding in a few months and need some major help! I will be using my Canon Rebel 2000 SLR camera with a 28-80 and 80-200 lens. Any suggestions on what type of film I should use for inside a church? I also need some suggestions on what I should charge (it's for my cousin and keep in mind that I'm fairly new at this). I did a wedding a few weeks ago for a family member, but it was outdoors. I'm nowhere near a professional photographer, but I don't want to do it for free. Any tips and/or advice will be greatly appreciated.
- Amanda R. Milam

ANSWER 1:
Amanda,
See my Survival Guide:
http://johnlind.tripod.com/wedding/

Your first and biggest issue to tackle will be light ... and being able to create enough of it. Working distances are much farther than in the average home ... and spaces are much bigger (the light from flash isn't bounced) ... in most churches and most reception halls.

Film:
Kodak Portra 160 NC
Kodak Portra 400 NC

Use the 160 if you can create enough light; use the 400 if you're "flash power challenged." There's a section in the tutorial about this. I didn't write it for someone trying to start doing it professionally ... you will need to learn and use more equipment for that ... and it's enough to fill a good-size book. However, it should get you through your immediate commitment. Regarding charges ... for a cousin, if I know that cousin well, I would consider cost (film plus developing, proof prints, proof book and travel mileage), plus something for the value of my time for the shoot itself and for a reasonable amount of time doing the "back end" work pulling together everything into the proof book.

Also, I strongly advise against handing them the exposed film and letting them develop/print it ... since it will most likely go to the cheapest one-hour lab in town. The film developing will very likely be OK, but the printing of the negatives could be anything from OK to absolutely horrid ... and they won't blame the lab for poor printing ... they'll blame YOU!

One-hour labs also very rarely see something like Portra ... and their print machines have basic filter pack settings called "channels" set up for color balancing the prints made from different color negative films. The color balancing for printing is tweaked from that starting point (at a one-hour? maybe; it's supposed to be). It's extremely unlikely a consumer lab would have a channel set up for Kodak Portra! In addition, the print materials used are typically the most dirt cheap their store (or company) buyer can find, higher contrast grade, and punchy color ... which is not what you want for wedding work with lots of skin tone ... and perhaps a white wedding dress with detail (that needs to show) right next to a black tux that also needs to show most of its detail (lest it look like a pure black cave).

Wedding work is critical stuff and needs to be done by a professional full-service lab that handles wedding photography well and knows how to print it properly to maintain good skin tones, color accuracy, and not lose highlight or shadow detail.

Good Luck! Keep the faith. You can do it if you plan, practice elements of what you'll need to do, and organize yourself for it.
- John A. Lind

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ANSWER 2:
Amanda,
Check out John's Web site! Excellent info, John, Thanks!!!!
- Keith G. Williams

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16169

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NEW QUESTION 9: Film Developing: Which Lab Is Best?
I would like to know the difference in film developing - commercial developers (Wal-mart, Meijers, etc.) vs. photo labs. Which ones are better?
- Larry Ginter

ANSWER 1:
It would not be fair to compare film labs by their store-type designation - that is, whether they are a retail store or "photo" lab. The "best" lab is the one that processes YOUR film consistently to your liking. Chemicals and machines are pretty much the same. It's usually a matter of quality control, and the persons running the lab. If you get bad results from one lab, take them elsewhere. Some labs, be they a retail store or a photo lab, just test their chemicals and/or replace them more often than others.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

- Michael H. Cothran

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16168

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NEW QUESTION 10: Shooting Maternity Portraits
I have a close friend who is pregnant and who does not feel comfortable taking pictures at a studio. She would like for me to take them. I have had my Canon EOS Rebel G for some years now but have never ventured into the manual settings. What would be a good place to start, settings wise, for these type of pics? We will be doing this in a room with large windows to use natural lighting in the late afternoon using cloth backdrops.
- Danial Gordon

ANSWER 1:
I have done a number of maternity shoots, and I have always shot them in the portrait mode. One piece of advice I wish I would have known for my first maternity shoot (which I did for a friend), is to shoot from slightly above her. Shooting straight on makes things in her "southern region" look bigger than they really are. Not good.
Have fun!
- Kimberly J. Whipps

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ANSWER 2:
She wants these in black and white. Is it better to shoot in color and print in B/W or use B/W film? Also, did you use any special lenses or filters while using the portrait mode? I was worried that using portrait mode would prompt the flash to pop and the end result would be too bright.
- Danial Gordon

ANSWER 3:
I shoot in color so that I have the option of either, even if I know we want B/W. I only have a UV filter on mine, more for lens protection than anything else. As for the flash, I too shoot in front of a large picture window, and my flash has yet to rear its head unwanted. Hope this helps.
- Kimberly J. Whipps

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ANSWER 4:
I have a Canon Rebel GII, which is just the new version of the Rebel G. When I just carry my camera around, I leave it in P mode. When I have something specific that I'm shooting, I will switch to AV mode for low-light photos or TV when I need a shutter speed over a certain value like for sports. I'll use M if I have time and can't get what I want in the other settings. If you shoot in AV and have pretty low light you'll have to be sure of where you focus. Take a few different speeds of film to make sure you have the right one for the job.

Using color film would probably be your best bet. I like Kodak Portra 160VC because I like vivid color but many others, possibly most others, will use NC for natural colors. Again, be sure to watch when using large apertures because focus may look good in the viewfinder but prints are less sharp. This is obviously more pronounced when I'm using my 50mm lens at f/1.8 but it may occur at 5.6 as well.

If you know you're going to make a print in black and white, you could also use different artificial lighting to add to the natural light. Maybe make two exposures? I haven't done anything like this but I would love to do something like this with dramatic lighting. Like a profile shot with hard light at the front and no lighting or reflecting at the back. Maybe just a little to show definition along the back. But I love a lot of contrast in portraits myself.
- Andrew Laverghetta

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Update for Photoshop CS2 & Elements 3.0
Good news for those who own Photoshop CS2 or Elements 3.0 and shoot with a digital camera's RAW format.

"Camera Raw 3.1 posted on Adobe FTP server RAW file support for the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT/350D and Nikon D2X" (and other improvements).http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/index.asp

NOTE: Be sure to do the installation properly. You must remove the old Camera Raw.bi plug-in first. From Common Files AND from Program Files ... CS2 only ... Plug-ins ... File Formats. (AND same for Elements 3.0) Save the old plug-in in another folder, in case you ever need it again.

Then, install the new plug-in in both folders (in CS2 and/or Elements 3.0).

And yes, it works well with Elements 3.0 as well, although Adobe does not say so ... i.e., I can use it to open and convert CR2 files from the Rebel XT. Naturally, ACR in Elements 3.0 has fewer features than in CS2, but the new plug-in supports those features perfectly.
- Peter K. Burian

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ANSWER 1:
Hi Peter,
Thanks for this information. I have downloaded what was on that Web site, but I have no idea how to get it from my camera to my computer. I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT and I have been unsuccessful at getting my RAW pictures off of the camera and onto the computer. Could you step me through this? Thanks.
- Cynthia L. Wanyonyi

ANSWER 2:
Cynthia: You could install the Canon software that came with your camera on a CD. That is quite easy and will allow you to open, adjust and convert RAW files (from the CR2 format to TIFF.)
The Adobe RAW update works only with Photoshop CS2 and Elements Elements 3.0
It's important to do the installation properly, with CS2 or Elements 3.0, as described in http://www.adobe.com/special/photoshop/pdfs/CR_31_readme.pdf

Cheers! Peter Burian

- Peter K. Burian

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ANSWER 3:
Cynthia: The simplest way is to get a CompactFlash card reader and simply drag-and-drop all the files from your memory card to the hard drive. I normally leave them in the folders that the camera created (CANON100, etc). If you install the Canon software, you should be able to connect the camera to the computer like an external hard drive, but I find the card reader a much simpler solution.
Fred Smalley
- Fred Smalley

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