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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, June 07, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: Meet the BetterPhoto Instructors and Staff!
* BETTERPHOTO: Article: Use Your In-Camera Controls Wisely ... by Peter Burian
* BETTERPHOTO: Book of Month: Jim Zuckerman's Shooting & Selling Your Photos
* BETTERPHOTO: Get Creative with Kathleen T. Carr's New Course Extension
* FEATURED GALLERY: When the Photographer is in Front of the Lens
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Primary Colors / Taking Shape
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Model Releases: Why You Need Them ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Studio Lighting Problem
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Copyright: How It Works
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Camera for a Child
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Air Travel with a Digital Camera
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: F-Stop, Shutter Speed, and Flowing Water
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Digital Strobe Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Wedding Photography Tips
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: TIFF vs. RAW vs. JPEG
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Night Photography: Painting with Light


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Meet the BetterPhoto Instructors and Staff!
Learn photography over one intensive, jam-packed weekend - at the first annual BetterPhoto Summit. Come meet your favorite instructor in person and learn exciting tips from the best of the best! It all takes place September 10th and 11th, 2005, near the Seattle airport. We will have lectures, demonstrations, slide shows, the sharing of ideas, and much more ... two days of instruction and inspiration for just $297! For specifics:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 215th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

What a great month at BetterPhoto! It all begins with a sleeker, sharper, and easier to navigate home page. Our fantastic summer school session is spotlighted at the top of BetterPhoto's main page with the new Featured Photo Course. See our entire schedule of online photography courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

Also, we'd like your assistance in making BetterPhoto.com better! By taking our survey, you can provide valuable information in helping us refine the site - by identifying improvements and additions you'd like to see. For the Survey link, go to the home page.

For summer, we are thrilled to offer instructor Kathleen Carr's new Polaroid Transfer and Manipulation Course Extension. Check out this creative course at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KAT03.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Peter Burian's article on using your in-camera controls wisely and instructor Charlie Borland's Photo Tip on stock photography. Also, instructor Jim Zuckerman's excellent book, "Shooting & Selling Your Photos: The Complete Guide to Making Money With Your Photography", has been selected as Book of the Month at the BetterPhoto Store. Read all about it below.

That's it for now. Enjoy a great week of photography!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


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Article: Use Your In-Camera Controls Wisely ... by Peter Burian
Many of todayís digital cameras include overrides for controlling color saturation, contrast, and sharpness, points out Peter K. Burian, who teaches the excellent Digital Photography course right here at BetterPhoto. If your digicam offers these functions, you may be tempted to really boost all three aspects for more "punchy" images. But that can be a mistake, advises Peter, because inappropriate settings can produce unnatural effects. Read Peter's outstanding new article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=82


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Book of Month: Jim Zuckerman's Shooting & Selling Your Photos
Our online store showcases the fantastic books and DVDs from our staff of BetterPhoto instructors. For June, we put the spotlight on Jim Zuckerman's awesome book, "Shooting & Selling Your Photos: The Complete Guide to Making Money With Your Photography". If you buy this fine book before the end of June, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, it's autographed by Jim! For all the book details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1191


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Get Creative with Kathleen T. Carr's New Course Extension
Do you already know how to do image transfers, emulsion transfers, or SX-70 manipulations? Sign up for Kathleen T. Carr's exciting online Polaroid Transfer and Manipulation Course Extension. You don't have to be a prior student of Kathleen's or of BetterPhoto. Also, many students continue to take Kathleen's beginning workshops over and over to get re-inspired, or to learn more. For all the details, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KAT03.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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When the Photographer is in Front of the Lens
BetterPhoto members have captured fellow photographers in all sorts of photogenic "poses". Some are formal portraits, but most have been captured in the field - and even in front of world-class landmarks (for example, instructor-author Bryan Peterson at the Golden Gate). See this gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=327

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
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?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Michael McCook is:
Fujichrome Velvia 50 was launched in 1990.

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=13251

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 - Taking Shape - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

"Silhouette" refers to a dark figure or outline that's set against a light background. How did this word get its meaning?

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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Model Releases: Why You Need Them ... by Charlie Borland
My advice: Get them Ö period! If you want to avoid expensive and disastrous consequences, get a model release for every picture you take of any person. No matter whether it just their fingers, feet, an unrecognizable view from behind, or even silhouettes, you must have a model release. It is correct that when a person appears in a photo that is newsworthy and running in the paper, no release is required. Does that prevent a lawsuit over that picture? Absolutely not, but having a jury decide is expensive. If you hope to sign with a stock photo agency, they will require them, period. They donít want any hassles with possible lawsuits. There is also an element in society that seeks to exploit photos of un-recognizable people by claiming that the photo is of them and they did not give permission to use it. It will cost you to prove it isnít them. A model release helps you do that.

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

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Studio Lighting Problem
I am not sure how to word this and have it make sense, but here it goes: I want to shoot my portraits at f/5.6 or f/8. But when I set up my lights for that, anything under f/11 is too bright. I have been shooting at f/11, and the lights are set to f/11 (main) and f/16 fill, but I want the backdrop to blur a little. I know I'm doing something wrong, but cant figure it out. Any suggestions?
- TINA L. DOANE

ANSWER 1:
The fill shouldn't be brighter by itself than your main, assuming that's what you did. If you want f/5.6, then if there's any crossover with two lights, the main should be f/4-f/4.5 with the fill at f/2.8-f/3.5 - and the result would be f/5.6.
You ought to try one light at f/5.6 and a reflector for fill, instead of another light. See how that looks to you, as a way of starting out. Then if you still want two lights, you have to take in account that depending on the angle, some fill ends up lighting the same areas as your main.
- 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=16783

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16783

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NEW QUESTION 2: Copyright: How It Works
What makes a picture copyrighted? Is it just when you put it on the photo, or is there more to it than that?
- Connie J. Turner

See Connie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
You own the copyright to a photo from the moment you create it. However, you may still be limited in how you can use the photograph, as there may be competing copyrights contained in it - such as the subject's or model's, copyrights on artwork or architecture photographed, etc. You do not need to include the copyright symbol - hold (alt) and type 0169 on most keyboards - but it helps deter casual/unintended thefts.
You do not have to register the copyright of your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office, but doing so makes it easier to enforce one's copyright and enables one to collect punitive damages instead of being limited to only actual damages.
For more information, see http://www.copyright.gov/.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16773

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16773

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NEW QUESTION 3: Camera for a Child
My 4-year-old son has expressed a real interest in photography. I guess the poor kid gets dragged in front of mommy's camera so much, he would like to experience the other side. Is this too young for a child to start? And are there simple digital cameras that would be more suitable for a youngster? Thanks.
- Karen A. Beri

See Karen's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
While I couldn't recommend a camera, I will say that if he's inspired to be as creative as mommy ... keep the spark you've created within him alive. Your images are wonderful: It's no wonder that he wants to follow in your footsteps.
- Mary McAllister

ANSWER 2:
Karen, I see from your gallery, that you have gone through several cameras on your way up to the 1ds Mark II. I doubt you'll outgrow that one too quickly! Look at the ones that you have outgrown: Do you think any of them would be simple enough for him to operate?
My oldest son just turned 8, and I gave him my old Casio QV-3000EX 3.3MP.
Fisher-Price used to make a really great 35mm camera for kids. It was made like a Viewmaster with two eyepieces, since it's tough for some little kids to get the hang of winking one eye. It just had a shutter button, and a dial to wind the film. I would love to see them convert that design into a digital.
There are a couple of digital cameras on the market that are intended for kids, but I've seen some really bad reviews on them.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16762

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16762

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NEW QUESTION 4: Air Travel with a Digital Camera
I am going to watch my daughter throw at the NCAA National Track Championship, which is being held in Calif. I am taking a plane, and I need to know if there are any precautions I need to take with my camera! It is a Canon 1ds.
Thanks, Sandy
- Sandra Wortmann

ANSWER 1:
The main precaution you need to take with an expensive camera like that is to never let it leave your side! Bring your camera bag with you as a carry-on. Checked luggage is not a good place for valuables. The X-ray machine is not a problem for digital cameras or memory cards. Keep a tight grip on your camera bag when walking through the airport, getting in and out of cabs, etc.
Also, I hear that some airports will get very agitated if you take pictures in the airport.
Have a good trip.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Sandy,
Traveling through airports is where digitals shine. Just don't let the Canon 1ds out of your sight! And keep it under the seat in front of you instead of the overhead compartment, and make sure you've updated your personal articles floater with your insurance company before you leave.
Unless you can afford to self-insure these pricey little works of electronic art, it's a good idea to make sure all of your major equipment (like bodies, lenses, flash units) is listed separately and is up to date with your insurance company.
- Rick Richardson

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16741

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16741

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NEW QUESTION 5: F-Stop, Shutter Speed, and Flowing Water
My camera only allows for an 8 f-stop. This means I canít get the flowing waterfall effect, since I can't lower my shutter enough without overexposing. I was told a neutral-density (ND) filter might help. I looked into one, and I can only get one that would bump it up to a 9 f-stop. Would this be enough, or would I need more like an 11 f-stop? What shutter and f-stop setting do you guys use? Any info on where I can get a ND filters to fit my camera threads?
- Eric Seidle

ANSWER 1:
Don't worry so much about your aperture setting. Available light and your ISO setting will determine how slow you can go.
Shoot waterfalls on cloudy days or in deep shade to get that veiling effect. An ISO (ASA) setting of 100 or lower will yield great results.
Vertical falls will start to blur at 1/30 second, and at 1/15 second and slower, the water will "veil" and get cotton-like.
I've shot 100 ASA film at f-8 and have gone as slow as 1/4 second or slower on cloudy days.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16739

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16739

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NEW QUESTION 6: Digital Strobe Lighting
I read somewhere a long time ago that if I plug my 1600-volt monolight into a digital camera it will screw up the camera. Is this true?
- Jeff Scheerer

ANSWER 1:
Jeff,
The reports are coming in that you can fry your camera if you plug the sync cord directly into the camera. You should get a Safe Sync or equivalent.
Charlie
- Charlie Borland

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

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

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16695

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16695

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NEW QUESTION 7: Wedding Photography Tips
I'm taking pictures at a wedding in a few months. I have a Canon 420EX flash. The wedding is indoors. Would this flash be powerful enough to take pictures at the ceremony? I also wanted to know if 800 speed film would be a good choice for film?
- Amanda R. Milam

ANSWER 1:
The 420EX should be strong enough unless you are positioned really far from the subjects. You should check ahead of time to verify that it is OK for you to use flash during the ceremony. Some celebrants will ask you not to.
I think 800 speed film might be overkill, especially if you are using a flash. Try to get by with 400 or slower if you can ... in order to minimize grain in your enlargements.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I've used my 420 EZ for years shooting weddings and other things; when I bought it, it was top-of-the-available-line and has a Guide Number a bit higher than the 420 EX. Less than the 550 EZ.
Don't use ISO 800 film with flash under any circumstances; you find that Caucasian skin tones take on a reddish tone. As Chris said, ISO 800 will be overkill.
But, if you're using flash, the speedlight will control the exposure. A Guide Number of 100 is fast enough in almost any conceivable wedding scenario, unless you're shooting from a distance greater than 75 feet. And, in such a case, you need to be sensitive to surrounding details that will gravely influence the image.
- John Sandstedt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16690

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16690

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NEW QUESTION 8: TIFF vs. RAW vs. JPEG
I have an Olympus and can shoot in JPEG, TIFF, or RAW. For printing large photos (larger than 11x14), is it better to shoot in TIFF or RAW? Is there a quality difference between TIFF and RAW?
- Michael D. Vanden Berg

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Tiff provides you with in-camera editing capabilities just like JPEGs (sharpness, color saturation, contrast, etc.). RAW does not. RAW relies on 100-percent editing in post softwares such as PS.
If you are PS literate, and have the time to spend on each image, you will have more control over the final image by shooting RAW. If you are shooting an event, and need to prepare a lot of images quickly, I'd recommend shooting JPEG or TIFF. Note - I believe TIFFs will take up more space on your memory card.
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I don't need to edit the photos in the camera, I do all my editing in PS CS. I was mainly wondering if there is a quality difference between shooting TIFF or RAW.
- Michael D. Vanden Berg

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Hi Michael! Both are good formats to use. As far as a quality difference, I would say no: Shooting TIFFs will fill the buffer up faster, and your card, slowing your overall shooting rate down. I use PS-CS and shoot RAW files (they are your digital negative) and turn them into TIFFs when using them for printing or the contest on this site, etc.
- Terry R. Hatfield

See Terry 's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=16683

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=16683

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Night Photography: Painting with Light
I am shooting a night scene of a building using the Canon 420 EX speedlight and 400 speed film for photo class. I need to use bulb setting on the camera, but I can't get my flash to do multiple burst. Help!!!!
- Tiffani Eisenhut

ANSWER 1:
Doesn't the speedlight have a test button on it?
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
That would work. Tripod the camera - and, while hand-holding the flash, just point it where you want the light and hit the test button. Then point it wherever else and hit the test button again ...
- Robert Cournoyer

See Robert's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
While not specific to your immediate problem, you may want to look over Dave Black's instructions for light painting on his site here:

http://www.daveblackphotography.com/workshop/index.htm

The piece on light painting is down the page a little. Mr. Black is considered to be the best in the business using this technique.
- Gary W. Lake

See Gary's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
You also have to remember to put your gray card up in front of the lens in between flash bursts. Flash the test button, then cover the lens, then flash again where you need it.
- Joan Mardeusz

ANSWER 5:
When I was in college studying photography decades ago, I also had such an assignment: painting with light. What I did was set the camera to bulb in a very low light situation, almost total darkness, and then use a constant light source, such as 'hot' spot to paint a light trail throughout the scene.
Total control over the darkness of the set or scene is mandatory, because you only want the light trail and the subject matter to show - not the entire scene.
Back when I was in college, we had flash bulbs instead of electronic flashes like we have today. This is why I used a hot studio light to carefully, but quickly, paint with light.
There are some very good instructions at: http://tinyurl.com/dznld

This is a fun way to be creative. And by the way, a good, sturdy tripod is mandatory!
- Susan K. Snow

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=15837

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=15837

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ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
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Until next week, happy shooting!

Thank you,
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto.com

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