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


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

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


~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THIS ISSUE - Monday, May 30, 2005
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto Summit Now Has a Better Price!
* BETTERPHOTO: Summer Courses: Enjoy a Season of Learning and Shooting
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo Tips and Thoughts: Check Out BetterPhoto's Web Logs
* FEATURED PLACE: Pictures of Washington State ... Site of the BetterPhoto Summit!
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: 20 Years in Print / Primary Colors
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: In Praise of Lens Hoods ... by Kerry Drager
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot a Person by a Campfire
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Equipment Vs. Ability Vs. Photo Goals
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Tips on Taking Black and White Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: How to Use a Flash Unit
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Photographing People in a Club
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Concert Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Size of Digital Sensors
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Photographing in the Rain ... or Underwater
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Night Photography Tip: Exposure Settings
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Camera Protection: Beach Lovers' Advice Needed!


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

BetterPhoto Summit Now Has a Better Price!
A jam-packed weekend of photography is on tap for the first annual BetterPhoto Summit - in which students, contestants, and members can hang out with instructors and staff. It all takes place September 10th and 11th, 2005, near the Seattle airport. Best yet, we were able to find a much less-expensive meeting room for the summit and are passing the savings on to you. We will have lectures, demonstrations, slide shows, the sharing of ideas, and much more ... a full weekend of instruction and inspiration for just $297! For specifics:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp


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

Welcome to the 214th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

As June nears, things are going great at BetterPhoto. We are looking forward to the BetterPhoto Summit, which we can now offer at a much more affordable price, thanks to a change in venue. Two days in September, a dozen instructors, a lot of fun ... such an intensive and inspiring weekend for only $297! For all the details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp

As spring courses wind down, signups for our Summer schedule are revving up. And, no wonder, since this will be our best session ever, thanks to three new instructors and courses: Bruce Smith (Fashion and Beauty), Jon Canfield (Digital Slide Shows), and David Bathgate (Photojournalism). See our schedule at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this week's ShotShot, don't miss our usual features. The Photo Tip, instance, features instructor Kerry Drager's thoughts on the virtues of using lens hoods. Also, the Questions and Answers section includes instructor Peter Burian's valuable Night Photography Tip on exposure settings.

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 digital photography, photographic field techniques, Photoshop, exposure, composition, 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. For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


*****
BetterPhoto's Deluxe BetterPholios™: Two Great Options
Frustrated with the hurdles and hassles of getting your own Web site? BetterPhoto offers two fantastic options for displaying - and even selling - your work! BetterPhoto makes getting your own site hassle-free by taking care of all the technical issues and offering a single, comprehensive package. And we have two exciting plans from which to choose:

1) Deluxe BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

2) Pro BetterPholio™, designed especially to professional shooters and aspiring pros. For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeProWebsites.asp


*****
Photo Tips and Thoughts: Check Out BetterPhoto's Web Logs
In early May, we launched Better Blogs. Now, these photography Web logs ("Instructor Insights", "Notes from Team BetterPhoto", and "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

back to top


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


Pictures of Washington State ... Site of the BetterPhoto Summit!
For any BetterPhoto Summit goers who wish to arrive early or stay late, Washington state offers so many photo opportunities. For example, check out this gallery of awesome images that depict majestic peaks, mountain reflections, the Pacific Coast shoreline, beautiful rural landscapes, and, of course, the Seattle skyline and other city scenes. For ideas and inspiration, go to BetterPhoto's Washington State gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=212

back to top


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

Last week, we asked:
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?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Lorie Giebel is:
The answer is George Lepp, who still writes the "Tech Tips" column.

Editor's note: Galen Rowell was the first issue's featured photographer - with an interview and portfolio. But he began writing his Photo Adventure column later.

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 - Primary Colors - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

For many years, Kodachrome was a staple of color slide photographers. But along came a super-saturated film that turned into a favorite of pros and serious amateurs who shoot scenics. Two-part question: 1) What film is this? 2) What year did it debut?

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

back to top


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

In Praise of Lens Hoods ... by Kerry Drager
I use a lens hood (or lens shade) on ALL of my lenses! This handy device fits on the front of the lens and helps keep sunlight from hitting the glass, which can cause flare - unsightly reflections or splotches of light on the photo. More thoughts:
- One hood size definitely does NOT fit all. Each lens has a specific recommendation for its add-on lens hood. Note: Some telephoto lenses come with their own built-in lens hoods, and with ultra-wide or fisheye lenses, you won't want a hood at all. A wrong-size hood can cause vignetting (dark corners on the picture). But even when using the correct-size hood, however, vignetting can sometimes occur if you're also stacking filters (using more than one).
- More thoughts: The hood only works when the sun is out of the picture frame. With the sun just barely out of view, you may even need additional help - say, your hand or hat to block out rays of light. And, something to keep in mind: Occasionally, flare can be used for creative effect!
- Lastly, a valuable side effect: A hood can also provide a little extra protection for your lens glass.

Check out Kerry Drager's online courses:
Point, Think, and Shoot: Beyond the Snapshot
Field Techniques: Light and Composition
Details and Close-ups

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

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

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

back to top


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

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

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

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

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


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

NEW QUESTION 1: How to Shoot a Person by a Campfire
I am going camping and would like to try a profile of my husband lit by the campfire. I have a Canon Rebel TI. I have not done much with night or low-light photography. Any advice?
- Linda Buchanan

ANSWER 1:
Well, no, but I've been told a thousand times what to do here. Get close to the fire, and point the lens at the blaze so it fills most of the frame. Push your AE lock button (a * symbol, I believe), recompose, and shoot. Bracket like mad!
- Alex Cabrall

ANSWER 2:
Shoot wide open and meter off what the fire is illuminating, rather than the flames themselves. The flames will over-expose a little, but you will get more detail of your husband. Have him sit close to the fire - but not TOO close. :)
As Alex pointed out ... Bracket over and under.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16583

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16583

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Equipment Vs. Ability Vs. Photo Goals
I know that an 80-200mm f/2.8 is a better-quality lens than an 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. I even understand some of the rationale. But if one's level of experience is good but not comprehensive (meaning no portrait experience, macro experience, and limited telephoto experience), does it make sense to opt for the more expensive lens?
Honestly, it's not really a cost issue. But I want to become a better photographer - and spending more money isn't always the solution.
"It's not the violin, it's the violinist" - Agree
If and when I am semi-pro/pro, than I will invest more $$$.
What are your thoughts? I appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
- Frank P. Luongo

See Frank's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Don't let your equipment handicap your growth potential. If money is truly not an issue, you will become a better violinist if you learn on a Stradavarius.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Frank,
You're partly on track. The person holding the camera is the most important part of the equation. However, if the tools are limiting, they can become frustrating; they are enablers. High-quality glass won't create great photographs, but it does enable the photographer's ability to make them.
Get the best glass you can from the outset. This doesn't necessarily mean the fastest glass ... although the best usually is among the fastest. "Best" isn't just resolving power or contrast (although they're very important), it's also a variety of aberrations or distortions (lack of them), flare control (lack of it), and "bokeh" (Japanese word to describe how soft out-of-focus highlights are rendered).
One of the most problematic and potentially the most frustrating with inexpensive zoom lenses is barrel and pincushion distortions. Many have noticeable barrel at the short end and pincushion at the long end. This is a distortion that makes a straight line, especially near a frame edge, look curved ... barrel distortion bows outward and pincushion bows inward. It can be extremely frustrating shooting around man-made objects with straight lines and ending up with them having noticeable curvature in the photograph.
On manual focus systems, the faster glass allows more accurate focusing, and easier composing and focusing in lower light levels, even if it's rarely used wide open. Auto-focus systems also have an easier time with the faster glass in low light. The constant aperture makes working with studio lighting, the power level for which along with lens aperture are manually set based on metering it with a flash meter. A variable aperture zoom has a variable aperture from wide open to fully stopped down and with studio strobes, it's a Royal PITA!
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16568

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16568

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Tips on Taking Black and White Pictures
I love the look of black and white pictures. I took in a few rolls to a local printer. It is true black and white film. The pictures came back and did not look as sharp as I wanted them to be. They looked more gray and white than black and white. I know the film is sent out to be processed and is printed back at the store on the same paper they use for the color pictures. Any ideas? Thanks.
- Annette Leibovitz

ANSWER 1:
Even if it was printed on black-and-white paper, contrast is usually controlled with contrast filters when you print. A regular place like that would just print straight. You can also change contrast when taking pictures with colored filters. But with losing some on exposure, it's easier to do it when printing.
So, if you want to add more contrast, darken sky, define clouds more, you can use a yellow filter. Orange would be more, and red would be high contrast.
It still won't be the same as black-and-white paper, but it will make the ones on color paper look better.
If you wanted to, you could look at the sky or anything blue through a red filter and see how dark it appears. Gives you an idea of what it does to a b&w picture.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Wow, what good advice! I love black and white photos. I usually only use it when taking pictures of my girls. I took that film to Wal-mart and they turned out great!! I have never used filters with black and white but I might try it next time. I learn so much on this site! Thanks!
- Debbie Truesdale

ANSWER 3:
Kodak makes a B&W film that can be developed with standard color film process. Look for a black and white film that says C-41 process on the package. This film can be developed at a standard lab just like color print film. It gives very nice results.
I'm not sure if any of the other film manufacturers offer a C-41 process B&W film.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
When shooting B/W film to achieve natural white tones you have to trick your meter. The meter tries to produce 18% gray. That's what it reads, and that's what you'll get. White will look gray. Such as snow not appearing white.
So if you point your camera at snow the meter will tell you how to make the snow look 18% gray. Try using a gray card to take a reading. This is a great tool. The 18% gray tone in the card will be produced as 18% gray making all other tones darker or lighter giving you the proper exposure for the print. It's all about exposure and film latitude. This is a whole other subject. I'll stop here. I hope I made sense?
- Kevin Ekstrom

ANSWER 5:
Made sense but not exactly what I was talking about. Straight prints on properly exposed b&w still are flat, although it could be a look that's what some may want. How much can be personal, but a #3 contrast - which is a very light purple - is kinda considered normal.
If you have any filters and a digital camera, you could shoot the same scene with no filter and a yellow filter (or orange) and switch them to grayscale and compare them. A straight b&w print looks more like newspaper b&w. Using a contrast filter looks more like portrait, art stuff that people usually expect it to look. Which is why many are disappointed when they get a roll back.
- 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=16552

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16552

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: How to Use a Flash Unit
I recently purchased the Sigma ef-500 dg super flash. I have read the manual, and I still do not have a good understanding on how to use the flash and all its features. Is there anyway someone could help me? I know how it works I just don't know how to incorporate the features like when would I want to reduce the power levels, and what does the pulse frequency do and when would I want to reduce that. Also is the exposure compensation the same thing as reducing the power? I consider myself an advanced amateur, but really need help with the flash unit.
- Anthony Ruiz

ANSWER 1:
Anthony, I was in the same boat as you when I bought my new flash unit. I read the manual several times. To be honest what worked for me, is to just put the flash unit on the camera, and try it out, that's how you will learn, hands on.
- Julie M. Cwik

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Not having that flash or the manual, I'll guess based on how flashes usually work. Reducing the power level is usually for using it on manual. Not sensor reading, just shooting at fractions like 1/8th power on up to full power.
Exposure compensation is an adjustment to what the sensor determines what it should do, like exp. comp. on a camera. It would be useful for fill flash if you still feel the need to use auto settings, or if you're using flash and are shooting in the same situation that you'd use exp comp on a camera (dark background with a spot-lit subject). You could also use it if you decided to slow down your shutter speed and still use flash. That way the flash doesn't expose for an aperture and a higher sync speed, but tones down the power, and lets the longer shutter speed fill in without the flash/ambient light becoming too much.
Pulse frequency, I don't know what that specifically is. I'd have to actually read what it says. Could be strobe effect, could be that preflash for red-eye reduction or through-the-lens metering.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I believe the "pulse frequency" feature is for a stroboscopic effect. The flash fires several times during a single exposure. It is used to capture several stop-motion images of a moving subject, such as a dancer or a golf swing. It's generally used with the camera on a tripod and setting a longish shutter speed. You set the number of bursts or pulses, the frequency or pulses, and the power output level. A frequency of 10 Hz is at the rate of 10 times per second, so if you set the number of flashes for 5 then you need to set the shutter speed to 1/2 second (5 flashes divided by 10 per second). The output level limits the total number of pulses, there is probably a chart in the manual giving maximum number and rate for different output levels. Lower output level gives greater maximum number of flashes.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16547

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16547

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Photographing People in a Club
I'm shooting in a club for a magazine. I need to capture the natural light and color of the club, but I need the 20 people in the bar sharp and no grain. What do you think the best way is to do this. Shooting this weekend . Thank you very very much.
- Bode

ANSWER 1:
Welcome Bode,
You didn't say what kind of camera you had, type of lens or lenses. Do you have a light meter? Have you taken any test shots? Bright natural light or low natural light? Today's Sunday, so it's probably too late. Don't forget, drink after the shoot.
sam
- samuel smith

ANSWER 2:
Hey Sam, thank you for answering. Not too late. I'm shooting 8 clubs. The ones I shot already are just sitting-still shots of people drinking. They are pretty good. Yes, I have a meter and 2 pro foto light kits and also 3 tungsten heads. I'm shooting with a D1x Nikon. I have several lenses. The club is dark, and I want to get people dancing and capture the light on the dance floor. But I need sharpness and little grain.
- Bode

ANSWER 3:
You will probably need flash to freeze dance moves in a dimly-lit club setting ... and flash used normally will probably dominate and overpower the light on the dance floor you're trying to capture. A combination of a slower shutter speed in conjunction with the flash will record ambient light AND freeze the dance moves. Don't go slower than 1/30 second, though, or the ghosting of the action of the dancers might be too noticeable.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16546

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16546

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Concert Photography
I'm going to a Kenny Chesney concert in July. I am in the 8th row and have a Canon Rebel 2000 SLR film camera. What brand and speed of film will be good to take pictures with? I will be using a Canon 75-300mm lens with the camera, any suggestions on how to make my pictures better will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
- Amanda R. Milam

ANSWER 1:
You're going to have to be sneaky with getting the camera and that size lens in. Putting it in your purse won't work. You may have to hide it on you. It will be tough. If you are able to get it in, it is still going to be tough to not get caught with it during the concert.
Kenny puts on a great show. Have fun!
- Brandon Currey

ANSWER 2:
I say the same as Brandon ... you may want to check with the concert venue beforehand, because chances are you won't be able to bring it in. I had the same dilemma a few weeks ago when I went to see 3 Doors Down. I called ahead of time and they said "no cameras". One of my friends didn't listen and she brought hers. She had to walk all the way back to the car, and it was a general admission concert so needless to say she ended up with not-so-great seats. HOWEVER, if you have a good camera phone they can't stop that ... hehe lol :)
Kenny ROCKS. you'll have a great time ;)
- Mandi Benoit

ANSWER 3:
Well, I thought the same thing, that they may not let me bring a camera. While I was looking on Ticketmaster.com, Some of his shows stated " No video recorders, and no professional cameras". The venue that I'm going to only said "No video cameras" so maybe I won't have a problem. The only thing I was worried about was the flash. I emailed the venue yesterday, but have not got a response yet. I told them what kind of camera I had and asked if there would be a problem with using a flash. OK, now let me ask this: If they say that I can bring the camera, but can't use the flash what do I need to do in order for my pictures to turn out good? Thanks for the information.
- Amanda R. Milam

ANSWER 4:
Try to fenaggle a back-stage pass! :)
All kidding aside, it's doubtful you will get past the gate with your camera with any "name" performer such as ol' Kenny, but if they do let you in with it, it's wise to be prepared for the worst possible lighting scenarios.
A film of at least 800 ISO (or even 1600) would insure that you would have some flexibility if the lighting gets real dim.
You will likely experience color shifts due to the lights they use, so negative film might be better to use than slide film. (Negative film is easier to correct during the printing process.) Black and white film is another option, and will negate any need for correction.
From the 8th row, your lens should yield great frame coverage.
P.S. Don't forget to enjoy the show!
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Thanks for all the information. If I'm able to get my camera in (I'm taking my boyfriend's Canon A95, just in case), do you think that Fuji 800 speed film will give an OK picture? I also bought a Canon 420EX flash, although I don't know if I'll be able to use it or not, but does anyone know if that should be powerful enough from the 8th row? Even if I don't get to use it at the concert, I needed the flash for a wedding that I'll be taking pictures at in July so I needed the flash anyways.
- Amanda R. Milam

ANSWER 6:
Amanda,
Good luck in getting the camera in. It's not likely they'll allow it. If I were photographing a concert from that distance, I'd be using Fuji Press 1600 (there is a consumer version of it, but finding it is another matter). Sounds like you've got the consumer version of Press 800, which might work. I wouldn't risk it going into it with ambient light levels completely unknown. Concert lighting is quite variable. Fuji Press 800 and 1600 are quite forgiving of man-made lighting even though they're daylight films (labs usually don't have too much trouble color balancing the prints).
Forget the flash. In a concert venue, there are no walls or ceiling to contain the light (compared to inside your home), and it dissipates rapidly with distance. While the flash you have is fairly respectable, I doubt it has enough horsepower to light up the stage from the distance you'll be. Even if it did have enough steam, the light from it would completely overrun ambient stage lighting and your photographs would bear no resemblance to what you remember seeing there (nor would they be quite as dramatic). It would also be a dead giveaway to security that you're using a camera.
- John Lind
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16533

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16533

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Size of Digital Sensors
I'm wondering why the camera manufacturers didn't standardize the size of digital sensors to produce an 8x10" print or a 7.5x9.5" size. It looks like they took the same dimensions as 35mm film and went with that, which I think is short sighted. The film world tries to operate around the 8x10" print, not a 6.5 x 10" print. It seems that all they would have to do is add sensor to the narrow sides. I'm hoping there are people who have insight into digital sensor size.
- William Koplitz

ANSWER 1:
8x10 is no more a standard than is 5x7, 6x7, 4x6, 11x14, or any other common print size. Most digital cameras, including the Olympus line of DSLRs, are formatted in 4:3 to match the dimensions of common computer monitors. That Canon/Nikon/Minolta/Pentax adopted the 2:3 format of 35mm film for their DSLRs is due to the overwhelming familiarity of users with that format, and because their existing SLR lens inventory is optimized for that format.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
If you work in 4x5" or 8x10" film, you will see that there is an 8x10" standard for those sizes, and if you've worked in 5x7", you will see that there is an 3.5 x 5" a 5x7", and an 11x14" size that speaks to that format. I guess by standard, I'm speaking of getting the most utility out of the paper trim sizes that are on the market.
Why would I want to buy 8x10" or 8.5x11" inch paper if I have to trim and throw parts of it away? Wouldn't it have been better to match the sensor to the paper rather than to an arbitrary size left over from old technology that never spoke to the standard photographic paper sizes for 35mm either, or to a monitor size which is changing and evolving? I just don't know.
- William Koplitz

ANSWER 3:
Paper sizes have never been standardized to fit the film format (with the exception of 4x5 and 8x10 large-format film). Many years ago, when I was young (too many years ago), the film sizes were 6x6 (2-1/4 x 2/14) and 24x36 (35mm). You just learn to allow for the crop when you take the picture.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16517

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16517

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Photographing in the Rain ... or Underwater
Does anyone have personal experience with shooting in the rain or underwater with plastic bags?
In the rain, I would assume that a plastic bag with a hole would be sufficient, especially with a USM lens (internal focusing) since the only thing sticking out would be glass, and as long as you clean the lens after it would be fine, right?
For underwater, though, has anyone trusted maybe a double bag to make this happen? Granted, you'd be shooting through the plastic, but how bad exactly would it be?
I've got a Digital Rebel, soon to have an XT as soon as they are back in stock from where I ordered it from. Is the risk just too high or does anyone have some good tried tips?
Thanks!
- Shawn Wilson

ANSWER 1:
Don't go underwater with anything except a commercially made protection device. Do a search for "underwater housing" for your make and model of camera.

A clear plastic bag with a hole for the lens works OK in the rain, as long as it's not too torrential. A plastic shower cap works well too on light drizzles. (Use a clear filter over your lens and wipe off the drops that accumulate before each shot.)

Best advice for make-shift waterproofing: Shoot quickly and get out of the rain before your protective device springs a leak.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16516

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16516

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Night Photography Tip: Exposure Settings
When shooting photos at night with a digicam, what are the rule-of-thumb basics for aperture/shutter speed?
- Becky A. Shadowens

ANSWER 1:
Becky: Most digicams produce nice shots at night in automatic modes. One problem: In the standard Program (P or Auto) mode, the camera may not be able to set an adequately long shutter speed. You may need to see if it has a Night Shot option.
Use a tripod because the shutter speed will be very long. If you shoot hand-held, the image will be blurred from camera shake.
Of course, if the scene is bright (neon lights, for example), you may be able to get a nice photo without worrying about the operating mode or a tripod.
Peter Burian, www.peterkburian.com
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™
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=16489

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16489

back to top

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: 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:
Chris has given you excellent advice on how to protect your camera. However, please note that no matter how careful you 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

ANSWER 3:
Hi there - beach lover here too. Great advice above. In addition, I actually put my camera bag inside a portable soft-sided cooler. When not using the camera - I put the bag under/behind a beach chair out of the sun when I am not using it. Whether this is overkill or not - I find the double-bagging makes me feel better about minimizing sand, sun, and water exposure. Have a fabulous trip. Jen
- Jennifer Salvon

Visit jhsphotography.com - Jennifer's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Don't forget that Nikon makes an underwater housing for that camera. Pricey and bulky ... yes, but then there's no worry about moisture, salt, sand, spilled drinks, suntan lotion, or scratches on the camera or the lens from sand or whatever else it may come in contact with. You can easily rinse the housing before removing the camera back in your room.

There are also heavy-duty bags with weatherproof zippers or Ziplocs and screw-in lens covers (like a filter that's part of the bag) available. Clumsy ... yes, but less expensive and sturdy. I saw these in a photo magazine not long ago but can't remember which one. I wouldn't recommend them for underwater use but they should meet your above-water needs.
- Steve Eschenburg

ANSWER 5:
THANKS you all! I really apprecaite the terrific advice. Only nine days until paradise! whooo hooo...

Hope you all get to go on a summer exercison of your own! :) Have a great one, Katherine
- Katherine K

ANSWER 6:
I currently live in Jamaica, and my Nikon D70 is always attached to me. When I go to the beach I attach a rain hood from fotosharp (www.fotosharp.com) if I will be near sea spray. (I used to use a Ziploc bag previously and it worked fine; carry a few.) I wipe the camera and lenses with a damp cloth on the outside each time I returned from the beach, including using a bulb blower brush - paying close attention to the expanding section of the zoom lens. Also you may need to clean the camera bag daily ... you will be surprised where sand can get. Wash any cloths that you use to clean the camera and bag to remove the salt. If you are out in the sun for the whole day, put your camera in the shade. A quick test: Put the camera close to your cheek or on the inside of your wrist - if it is too warm for your skin, then I guess it is time to get it out of the direct sun. I have kept my camera with me a full day, but not in direct sunlight and it is still fine. Be very careful of the temperature change from the sun to an air- conditioned car or room. DO NOT try to change the lens or compact flash card out in the open or open any part of the camera. I always travel with wet wipes, tissues, and a small cloth to clean my hands, and extra cleaning cloths for the camera and an ample supply of lens cleaner. The weather in the Caribbean is fantastic ... have fun.
- Junia C. Bain

See Junia's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 7:
Hi Katherine,
Some excellent advice here. I lived in Hawaii, for 3 years; Southern Calif. 5 years, and have been in Yuma Arizona, for 20 years. Lots of sand, and wind.
Using a Ziploc bag is excellent advice, when traveling and being out in the field. I use one of the larger freezer-size bags, and a couple of rubber bands around it just in case it pops open in the heat.
As for not removing the camera card while outside, this is not always practical, especially if you are a heavy shooter in the 200-plus-photos-a-day range. So here are some tips for working in the field:

If you need to change cards, use your body to shield the camera. Make sure you turn away from the wind, and sun. Many film photographers are used to holding their cameras up to change film - try holding your camera in a slightly down position to change the card, or at least level, but never up.
As for changing lenses, there may be times when you have to for the shot you want. When changing the lens, shield the camera with your body again. Keep the lens mount pointed slightly down, and get the new lens on right away. Cleaning a lens is much easier than keeping a digital camera clean. Once you have the new lens on the camera then put away the old one. Carry lens cleaner and Q-tips with you for cleaning camera and lens. It's amazing how sand sticks to the camera body and lens. Clean your camera often - in the car, at a restaurant, in the motel/hotel room, for sure.
I also compel you to have a skylight or UV filter on your lens at all times. This is always good protection for your lens. Another very important filter is the polarizer, and a third is a graduated neutural density filter.
Put sun screen on before you leave the hotel, and wash your hands afterward. If you need to put more on later, try to do it at a restaurant where you can wash your hands after.
Carry baby wipes to clean the camera body, and lens exterior surface only. Another alternative: Zeiss lens cleaning clothes when I'm in the field. I first clean the lens glass, then the viewfinder, LCD screen, and then exterior surfaces of the lens, and camera body. But don't forget the Q-tips - you will need those to remove the sticky sand, and out here in the desert, sand is like baby powder, so they are a must. A large hat helps to shade your camera when you're not wearing it.
Also, a small vacuum - like those used for computers - can be very handy for keeping your bag clean.
You will have to resolve to the fact that, at some point, your camera CCD will have to be cleaned - no matter how careful any of us are.
I have been a photographer for over 30 years, including a combat photographer for the Marines and currently a contract photographer for the Army. I also teach photography at AWC here in Yuma, AZ.
Best of luck and happy shooting.
- GARY FESPERMAN

ANSWER 8:
Katherine, one more thing: If you happen to have one on hand, take along a cheap, thin, transparent shower cap (the kind they give you in hotel/motel rooms). Before you leave your air conditioned hotel room in St. Martin, put the camera inside it (body first) and then put a rubber band around the lens to keep the shower cap in place. Finally, put the whole thing into a Ziploc freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal it. When you go outside, the condensation caused by going from cool to hot will form on the Ziploc bag, not on your camera. Once your camera has warmed up, and you're ready to take a photo, take it out of the Ziploc and shoot through the opening in the shower cap. The lens or filter will be exposed to the salt air, but the rest of the lens and camera will still be pretty well protected. Hope this helps, and have fun on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. Lots of photo ops there!
- Thomas E. Dillon

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

back to top


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Get word of your product or service out to our rapidly growing list of 54100 subscribers.

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

Until next week, happy shooting!

Thank you,
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto.com

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

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

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

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

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