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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 24, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto Summit: Two Full Days, A Dozen Instructors, A Lot of Fun!
* BETTERPHOTO: Summer Courses: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting!
* BETTERPHOTO: Update On Charlie Borland's Workshop on Oregon's Beautiful Coast
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo of the Day: A Free Daily Showcase of Creativity
* FEATURED PLACE: Focus on the Summit's Nearby Attraction: Seattle
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Peaks and Pics / 20 Years in Print
* THIS WEEK'S TIP:
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Portrait Shots: What Lens Is Best?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Camera Protection: Beach Lovers' Advice Needed!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: What is a Digital Transparency?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Better Flash Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Wedding Photography in a Low-Light Church
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Wedding Photography: Getting the Focus Right
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Update on Kodak Slide Projectors
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Using a Lens Hood ... and 400 Speed FIlm
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Upgrade for Nikon D70 ... by Peter Burian
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Lens Fogging in High Humidity
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 11: Best Camera Tripods
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Selling Your Photos


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto Summit: Two Full Days, A Dozen Instructors, A Lot of Fun!
We are thrilled to announce the 1st annual BetterPhoto Summit - a jam-packed weekend of photography in which students, contestants, and members can hang out with instructors and staff. It all takes place September 10th and 11th, 2005, near Seattle, Washington. Come meet your favorite instructors in person and learn exciting tips from the best of the best! We will have lectures, demonstrations, slide shows, and the sharing of ideas. In addition, 1 to 3 day post-Summit workshops are being planned. For all the Summit details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 213th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

April Contest Update: Sorry for the delay, but winners are coming soon!

Now for the other news of the week: You asked for it, you got it ... the first BetterPhoto Summit is now a reality! We are so excited about this event, in which members, instructors, and staffers get together for an awesome weekend of great fun and photography. It all takes place September 10th and 11th in the Seattle area. For information, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp

Also, signups for our Summer online photo courses are well under way, and our schedule is the best yet, thanks to terrific new instructors and courses. Stop by our class listings at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, look for our Featured Place gallery (Seattle!), the Photo Quiz, and the Photo Tip, in which BetterPhoto instructor Kerry Drager talks about the virtues of lens hoods. Lastly, we have an excellent batch of questions and answers - including BP instructor Peter Burian's update for Nikon D70 users.

That's it for now. Enjoy a great week of photography!
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


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Update On Charlie Borland's Workshop on Oregon's Beautiful Coast
Charlie Borland is pleased to have Janis Miglavs join him for Aspen Photo Workshops; The Digital Landscape: Oregon Coast June 12th - 15th. Janis is an internationally renowned travel, cultural and architectural photographer with more than 25 years of commercial, editorial and corporate experience, photographing people and places in more than 30 countries. His editorial clients include National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, Sunset, and National Wildlife, where he honed his skills in capturing poignant moments in people's everyday lives and the splendor of nature. He is completing three book projects and is developing and exhibiting his photo documentary, Africa's Undiscovered Myths & Personal Dreams, the Inner World of Endangered Indigenous Tribes. You can view Janis's work at:
http://www.aspenphotoworkshops.com/instructors/miglavs.htm

See the workshop outline at:
http://www.aspenphotoworkshops.com/digitallandscape/oregoncoast.htm


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Photo of the Day: A Free Daily Showcase of Creativity
Our newest newsletter, Photo of the Day, has provided a daily showcase of outstanding pictures! The images are selected from our monthly photo contest. To learn more or to subscribe, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp

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FEATURED PLACE
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Focus on the Summit's Nearby Attraction: Seattle
The first annual BetterPhoto Summit will convene in the Pacific Northwest ... near one of the West Coast's great cities - Seattle. Some summit goers are already making plans to arrive early or stay late, in order to take advantage of the region's photo opportunities. For picture ideas and inspiration, check out the Seattle images of BP members at
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=417

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What actor played a National Geographic photographer in the 2000 mountain climbing movie "Vertical Limit"?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Tonya Boles is:
Chris O'Donnell, who played climber-photographer Peter Garrett

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 - 20 Years in Print - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

With the current issue (June 2005), Outdoor Photographer celebrates its 20th anniversary. Who was OP's first columnist when the magazine debuted in June 1985?

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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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: Portrait Shots: What Lens Is Best?
What type of lens should I use for taking photographs of people and faces? What lens (mm) do professional photographers use? Is it right to use a 12-24mm lens?
- JEEVAN

ANSWER 1:
"Head shots" are best taken with a lens approximately 2x a normal lens. For 35mm film/cameras, a "normal" lens is considered to be 50mm, thus a good head shot lens would be in the neighborhood of 100mm. Any lens between 80mm and 135mm would be ideal. Personally, I would opt for either an 85mm or 105mm lens. Most major camera companies make these size lenses, and, of course, you could always use any zoom lens that covers this range.
The "12-24mm" lens you mentioned is probably for digital cameras only, and should NEVER EVER be used for head shots unless you wanted to intentionally distort the person's features.
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=16432

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16432

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NEW QUESTION 2: Camera Protection: Beach Lovers' Advice Needed!
Hi! In 10 short days, I'm leaving for the breathtaking and ever-magnificent beaches of St. Martin. WHOO HOOO! I'm so excited to take my new Nikon D70s, but terrified of saltwater or sand damage!! Am I being overprotective of my new camera? The sales rep told me to protect my camera by covering it with a Ziploc baggie ... hmmmm ... that doesn't sound like much protection. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
I'll be thinking of all of you while I'm sipping a pina colada in the sun! :) Thanks in advance!
- Katherine K

ANSWER 1:
You almost can't be overprotective of your camera - especially on a beach. Common sense is your best protection here. On the one hand, you won't get much use out of a camera if it stays in a Ziploc baggie; on the other hand, if you're romping in the surf, do you trust a 3-cent piece of plastic to protect your investment?
The best way to avoid getting sand or water inside your camera is not to expose the inside while you are on the beach. If you have multiple lenses, pick one to use on the beach, mount it in your hotel room, and don't remove it until you get back. The same goes for your memory card.
If you're going to be handling the camera, get someone else to rub in the sunscreen. Sand sticks to greasy hands, then gets everywhere you touch. Keep a clean, dry towel in a bag so that you can dry your hands and face before taking pictures.
Of course, don't leave your camera or camera bag sitting in direct sunlight for long. Plastic parts and electronics don't like intense heat.
I'm sure some other people could add some tips to this list.
Have fun, and clean your camera and lens carefully when you get back. Read the manual about how to clean the sensor, as well.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Chirs has given you excellent advice on how to protect your camera. However, please note that no matter how careful yu are, salt spray WILL get on your camera. When you leave the beach, gently clean the outside of your camera with clean water and a soft cloth.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16431

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16431

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NEW QUESTION 3: What is a Digital Transparency?
When a company asks for a transparency submission, what exactly is that and how do you achieve it in a digital format? The definition is a positive format for the photo objects ... not a negative?
- Randy J. Schneider

ANSWER 1:
Transparency equals slide ... a positive film image created with slide film. Many publishers still prefer (or require) transparency submissions.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
There are many companies online that produce "digital slides." It is a FILM slide made from a DIGITAL file.
I use and recommend www.slides.com. You can upload your digital file (ideal size is 32 MB - 4096 x 2731 ppi in Adobe RGB 1998 workspace). They will produce a film slide, and return it to you via U.S. mail. You could also take your file (in CD form) to a prominent photo lab near you. The quality of the slide depends on the quality of your file.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
That's interesting info, Michael. I wasn't aware that this was being done.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16422

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16422

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NEW QUESTION 4: Better Flash Photography
How can I take better (illuminated) pictures at night when the subject(s) are more than say 30 feet from camera - i.e., a play or club scene.
- Jose T. Mercado

ANSWER 1:
Get a flash with a zoom head ... adjustable for wide/normal/telephoto operation. Set it to telephoto and shoot at your camera's recommended sync speed with the widest aperture your film (or ISO setting) allows.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Jose,
I agree with Bob, There are some great systems out there. Quantaum, Norman, etc. You might look at getting a flash that is rated for 400 watt/seconds or better if you want to light that much area. You could go for broke and get a second light with a slave and have an assistant on one side to add additional light. I hope this info is helpful. Good luck and good shooting.
- Doug Elliott

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16409

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16409

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NEW QUESTION 5: Wedding Photography in a Low-Light Church
I am going to be shooting my brother's wedding in a low-light church. I am not the best with a flash, but would love to get some really great intimate pictures. Any ideas???
- Lori Knight

ANSWER 1:
First, what is your budget? You could get permission from the church to change the lamps in all the lights to ones of higher wattage. You can use hot lights to bring up the overall luminous of the church. Alternatively, you can use a tripod and shoot long exposures. I normally photograph most of the wedding party before the wedding ceremony. Therefore, I have everyone at the church two and one half hours before the ceremony. I am at the church one half hour before anyone else shows. I am setting up my flash equipment and working from light meter readings from a Sekonic 558. I have my assistant fire the flash and take meter readings, so I know that when the bride comes down the isle, at five rows from me I need to have my camera set at 60sec and f/5.6.
If you can, go to the church a week before the wedding and practice. When the big day comes, you will be ready.
Good luck and keep shooting.
- Doug Elliott

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16406

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16406

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NEW QUESTION 6: Wedding Photography: Getting the Focus Right
I have a Canon EOS3 with a 35-90 USM Canon zoom lens that I use for weddings using Fuji NPH 400 ASA film. I also tend to use a tripod when practical. My question is this: whilst photographing 1/2L and 3/4 length people shots I aim to focus on the bride's eyes but quite often her bouquet is not pin sharp. I shoot at 1/125 and with 400 ISO up to f8 and beyond, so why is the depth of field in front of her eyes less than 6 inches (i.e., the distance differential between my lens and her eyes and my lens and the flowers)? Canon recently tested my lens and was OK. Camera is new. I am racking my brains for an answer - please help!!! My lens is not an L or IS, and I think the film is up to it; maybe I need new glasses! Many thanks to whoever takes the trouble to reply. Steve, Derby UK.
- Steve Ireland

ANSWER 1:
If you are shooting from up close, you may need a smaller aperture to increase the DOF.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 2:
Yeah, I'd suggest trying to use a smaller aperture. What you can do is use your DOF preview button (if you have one) to check the focus on everything in the shot.
You might be able to focus on the bouquet and use a smaller aperture so she will come into focus also; I'd check with the DOF preview button before I released the shutter, though you don't want too small of an aperture and get distractions in the background.
If you don't have a DOF button, you can stop down to the aperture you believe would work and twist your lens like you are taking it off but instead of removing it take a look through the view finder and the lens will have stopped down to that aperture.
Hope this helped.
- Justin

ANSWER 3:
Steve,
Can you set the shutter to 1/60th? This will allow picking up more ambient light (twice as much) and will help keep background from being quite as dark ... not your question, but noted you are using 1/125th X-Sync.
I'm wondering what your working distance is (camera-to-subject). I shoot nearly all the portraitures at f/5.6 and don't have this problem (using manual focus cameras) ... even with medium format (645) that has slightly less depth of field for a given aperture, working distance and lens with the same field of view.

At short working distances, I start thinking about this at about 6 feet or less ... Kerry has made the correct suggestion: stopping down. When I do tight close-ups, I stop down ... the closer (higher magnification) the more I stop down. With people, it's rarely more than f/8 ... occasionally f/11, if I'm actually cropping some of the head.

Left wondering if your AF is locking where you want it to ... or if it's changing as you compose.
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Many thanks, Guys. To respond to John, my working distance would be approx 6 - 8 feet, I suppose, as I would be using about a 70mm zoom. I will try using a smaller aperture/slower shutter whilst being aware of background distraction. I haven't used the DOF preview button, so will do so if you think it will help. Many thanks for you all for the replies. Regards, Steve.
- Steve Ireland

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16383

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16383

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Update on Kodak Slide Projectors
What's the #1 Kodak 35mm Slide Projector to use? And where can I find it to buy?? Thanks!
- Skip Haywood

ANSWER 1:
Hi Skip,
Kodak announced last year that they were not making projectors anymore, and I really don't know if any are around in the stores. You will probably need to look around, maybe eBay. Ektagraphic III was a very good professional quality projector.
- 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

ANSWER 2:
Charlie's right. You may find some "old stock" ... a new projector still on hand if you look into the larger "brick and mortar" camera stores. Look for used ones with the major used camera dealers.

The Ektagraphic series were their commercial/industrial models. They're quite robust ... they were made to take a beating with heavy use in places like schools. The predecessor to the Ektagraphic III is the Ektagraphic II ... also excellent. With either one, if you find one used, you want to run it to ensure it's operating well - that the cooling fan in particular isn't making rattling noises (which usually means its bearings are shot).

As important as the projector itself is its lens. I found the Kodak consumer projector lenses lacking. I replaced the Kodak lens on my Ektagraphic II with a Schneider Prolux. The difference was amazing. After you find a projector, you may need to search for a while, but you should be able to find a better lens for it if it comes with one of their plastic barreled consumer lenses.
- John A. Lind

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16370

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16370

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Using a Lens Hood ... and 400 Speed FIlm
Does a lens hood need to be used at all times, even indoors? Also, If I'm shooting indoors, would the Fuji 400 Xtra Superia film be good enough? It's supposed to be for indoor, outdoor, low light, and fast action. I'll be shooting indoors and just wanted to get the right speed. Would it be playing it safe if I used manual setting 125-250 speed @ 8.0 f-stop with 400 speed? Or should I open my aperture more? Thanks.
- Jyan

ANSWER 1:
First off, take some metered readings. Then go from there. Film speed is the light sensivity of the film. The higher the number (400) and so on, the less light it takes to activate the silver halide crystals in the film.
4oo film is 4 times as sensitive to light as 100 film. 100 is twice as fast as 50 or sensitive.
Do you get the picture? No pun intended ... lol
- Kevin Ekstrom

ANSWER 2:
99 percent of the time, the lens hood is of no service to the lens. It is effective ONLY when there is extraneous light striking the surface of the lens that could cause flare. There is no harm in keeping it on the lens. It does act as a pretty good protector in case you bump the lens into something, and some of the newer-style hoods simply look "cool" on the end of your glass.
Wide-angle hoods are even less effective, and pretty much a waste of good plastic! OK, some are metal.
Since I shoot on a tripod always, I can tell when there is the potential for flare, and in that case will shade the lens with my hand or body. I can physically see when the lens is "shaded" that way.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Really, using a lens hood at all times is a good idea. Obviously, they are designed to restrict stray light, something that may not be a problem indoors. And, the hood provides lens protection! Often, I use it rather than a Skylight filter.
Fujicolor 400 (Superia,) like any ISO 400, is a good general purpose film (in fact, I standardize on it). It's good outdoors; of course, my Canon EOS 3 allows really fast shutter speeds to 1/8000th sec., so sunlight really isn't a concern. That being said, indoors - one may have a problem with any film. That is, ISO 400 may not be fast enough (there's Fujicolor ISO 800 and Kodak and Konica have films with speeds of ISO 1600 and 3200. Grain can become a problem, however.)
So, as Kevin says, use your meter and, perhaps, you might want to bracket. Remember, the exposure the meter gives you is "averaged." You may want to make changes for photographic and/or esoteric reasons.
And, now, the killer! Make sure you can hold your camera still when shooting indoors. In my experience, even with ISO 400 film, shutter speeds generally sink to 1/60th or slower. At such speeds, it's tough to hold the camera steady - so you need to be thinking about a tripod, a unipod, a bean bag, or using the time delay feature of your camera (if it has one).

And, one other thing - indoor lighting plays havoc with color rendition. Incandescent light will cause an orange cast in your slide or negative, halogen and fluorescent lights will cause a blue or greenish cast. You can address these issues using an 80A filter (for incandescent lighting) or a FLD filter for fluorescent. You might also try Tungsten film - it normally has an ISO 160 speed.
Hope this helps.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 4:
I'm with John on the 400 Superia. It will cover a lot - low light, indoor, outdoor, just about anything. You probably don't want to go past 8x10, but a great film.
Sam
- samuel smith

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16365

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16365

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Upgrade for Nikon D70 ... by Peter Burian
Nikon has posted the new Firmware for the D70.

- For Windows users:
http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin/nikonusa.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=13580

- For Mac users:
http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin/nikonusa.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=13581

Peter Burian: www.peterkburian.com

The v2.0 firmware incorporates a number of improvements from the D70s, including:
- Performance of the 5-area AF system has been improved (Dynamic area and Closest subject AF-area modes).
- Changes have been made to the design of menu displays.
- Page-size settings can now be applied from the camera with direct printing from a PictBridge-compatible printer.
- The number of exposures remaining, displayed in the control panel and viewfinder, when shooting at an image-quality setting of NEF (RAW) or NEF+JPEG Basic has been changed (the number is calculated based on the size of compressed RAW file).
- Maximum number of exposures displayed when a 256-MB CompactFlash memory card is used:
Version 2.00: NEF (RAW): approx. 44 exposures; NEF+JPEG Basic: approx. 39 exposures
Version 1.03 or earlier: NEF (RAW): approx. 23 exposures; NEF+JPEG Basic: approx. 21 exposures

The default setting for camera clock has been changed from 2004.01.01 to 2005.01.01. Now you cannot set the clock back to a date before 2004.12.31.

A problem that sometimes caused communication between the camera and computer to be unexpectedly terminated when using Nikon Capture Camera Control has been corrected. (Windows)

The firmware is available for download from Nikon's Web site for both Windows and Macintosh users. As always, we recommend carefully following the manufacturer's instructions, to ensure a smooth and trouble-free upgrade.
- Peter K. Burian

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Visit Peter Burian's Web Site - www.peterkburian.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
Digital Photography with Guest Instructor Peter Burian

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16344

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16344

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*****


NEW QUESTION 10: Lens Fogging in High Humidity
A very simple matter really: Is there any way to control the way a lens fogs up in high humidity? I went to the Virgin Islands last weekend and had a hard time.
- Stephen Arment

ANSWER 1:
I'm going to guess that it happened because you took your camera from cool/dry indoors to hot/humid outdoors. The moisture in the outdoor air condenses on the cold lens.
When moving from cold/dry to hot/humid, put the lens (and camera) in a bag and allow it to warm up to the outdoor temperature before opening it. You don't need to do this going the other way - from hot to cool.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16329

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16329

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NEW QUESTION 11: Best Camera Tripods
My current tripod is too small. Unless I raise the center column to its max height, it is not at eye level. Without raising the center column (which I would prefer) to have more stability, I find myself bending over too much to look through view finder. And, I'm only 5'6" in height. What do people do who are 6 feet and up?
Anyway, I have been searching online looking at the Bogen/Manfrotto tripod legs and ball heads.
Max heights without center column are 51".65" with column raised.
Prices for legs only range from 150.00 to 500.00. Pan heads run about 100.00. Should I spend 400.00 or so?
Is this a good investment?
I like architecture, which I'm told needs a 3 way panning head.
Hope you can help. Thanks.
- Frank P. Luongo

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ANSWER 1:
I'm 6'4". This tripod works fine for me: http://dutchhill.com
- Robert Cournoyer

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ANSWER 2:
Hi Frank,
I'm 189cm and I just got the Giottos MT9170, a great set of legs for about $150. As for a head, well, I'm mainly into nature photography so I decided on a Kirk BH-3 ballhead. But my advice to you would be to bring your camera to a store with a selection of tripods and heads, and see what head best suites you.
Regards, Martin
- Martin Ebbesen

ANSWER 3:
Try a Calumet tripod. They're great and priced right. You won't go wrong. Also SLIK makes some nice tripods. I own an ABLE 300 DX with a pan head that I purchased for 100.00. I use this tripod every time I go down to the lake or out in the woods. It's very sturdy. I've owned it for years.
- Kevin Ekstrom

ANSWER 4:
Frank,
There is nothing wrong with raising your center column when the conditions warrant the extra height. Just be sure not to be touching your camera or tripod during the time the shutter is open ... especially with long exposure times.
Using your timer (or a remote shutter release) will help to eliminate movement due to the decreased level of stability when the center column is raised.
(P.S.: I'm 6' and would rather stoop than raise the center post and worry about remotes or timed releases.)
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Frank,
Look into a Bogen 2021n and a 322r head. At B&H, it runs about 254.95. I have had the 2021 legs for 15 years and they are still working. Today, I replaced my 3047 three-way head for the new 322r. 3047 froze at a wedding last week. I will be sending it in for repair. However, since I am out shooting almost every day, I can only say that the Bogen has been a great tripod. I am 5'10" and when the tripod is fully extended without the center post being raised, I have to stand on an apple box to see through the viewfinder. If at this height I have to extend the center, I am using a step stool.
I hope this info helps. Good luck and keep shooting.
- Doug Elliott

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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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ANSWER 2:
Write an invoice and put on the invoice ... Rights granted: One Time Use - postcard.
Make sure they include your copyright notice on the card. This way there is a record of what they bought.

If you've never sold a photograph before, just decide how much the photograph is probably worth. It's a limited one-time use print run for a post card, probably around $50.00. It would be more important for you to establish a business relationship with this person so that down the road you may get to photograph an assignment for her or him. Negotiate the sale, ask if they need photography of the shop, interiors, exteriors, any floral arrangements that they are proud of. If they are going to use you for an assignment in the future, take them at their work and let them use the image for no charge.
- William Koplitz

ANSWER 3:
A shop along the Mississippi was selling my photography and customers had asked for postcards - I took pictures of the shop, the river, etc., and came up with a card. They wanted it so I had 1,000 printed (online place in California). The shop owner was willing to pay $.75 each to me, and he charged $1.50 so they got their money back. Everyone was happy and the customers loved them.
- Sharon Weeks

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