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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, July 26, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: The BetterPhoto™ Guide to Digital Photography ... by Jim Miotke!
* BETTERPHOTO: New Article: Basic Digital Camera Shooting Techniques by Robin Nichols
* BETTERPHOTO: Short Courses at BetterPhoto: Next Session Starts August 3rd!
* BETTERPHOTO: Spotlight up to 300 Images in a Premium BetterPholio™: Upgrade Today
* FEATURED GALLERY: Putting the Spotlight on Kids Sports
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Exposure ... By the Numbers / Digital Timeline
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Photoshop Diffusion ... by Jim Zuckerman
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Printing a Photo with Plenty of Black
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Lens Question: 50mm Vs. 85mm
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Photographing Private Property
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: To Print or Not to Print
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: How to Shoot a Full Moon
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Flash Photography of Live Bands
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Best Lens for Shooting Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Photoshop Elements 2 vs. 3
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Scanning Film for Big Nature Prints
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Neutral Density Filter and 'Frothy' Water


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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The BetterPhoto™ Guide to Digital Photography ... by Jim Miotke!
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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 222nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

There's so much great news at BetterPhoto that it's hard to know where to start! First off, the Fall schedule of online photo courses has just been posted, and it's our very best ever! We are excited to have a new instructor on board - nature photographer Michael Frye and his new course: The Digital Landscape. Check out the Fall lineup at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

The June contest winners have been announced, and they are fantastic! A huge congratulations go to all of the winners, including AAT SA AAT_SA for the Grand Prize winner: "Aliya". See the June winners at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0506.asp

I am thrilled to let you know that my new book, "The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography," is coming out on August 1! This is the first in a series of BetterPhoto guidebooks and focuses on photographic technique. While supplies last, get a numbered, autographed copy - and, if you buy before August 1, get 20 percent off! Use the promo code book80102EmtPi when ordering at:
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Still more excellent news: Thanks to our developer Jay Wadley, we now have a new Image Uploader. This new drag-and-drop system will speed up the rate of transfer, and allow you to do some very cool things. You don't even have to downsize your image before uploading anymore. But, just in case, we do have the old method still around ... just in case you need it.

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


*****
New Article: Basic Digital Camera Shooting Techniques by Robin Nichols
Want your photos to look better? There are several simple composition steps that just can't miss, says BetterPhoto instructor/author Robin Nichols, who shares these tips in his excellent new article. Robin, by the way, also teaches an online course right here at BetterPhoto:
Bare Bones Digital Photography

To read Robin's article, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=94


*****
Short Courses at BetterPhoto: Next Session Starts August 3rd!
The second session of our 4-week Short Courses begins soon (August 3rd), and spots are still available in Jim Zuckerman's "Non-Digital Special Effects"; Jay Forman's "Photography for Kids 101"; Tony Sweet's "The Four Essential Filters for Film and Digital Cameras"; and "Mastering Macro Photography" with guest instructor Jed Manwaring. To enroll, call toll-free at 1-888-927-9992.

To see our entire Fall online schedule, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


*****
Spotlight up to 300 Images in a Premium BetterPholio™: Upgrade Today
BetterPhoto's free member galleries are a great way to show off your photographs. But did you know that our Premium BetterPholios™ give you a chance to do more? Premium BetterPholios™ also include gallery, bio, and contact pages, but they also let you display up to 300 images, while also giving you a sleek, clean look. Plus, the Premium BetterPholios™ offer many cool design and display choices. All that for only $22/year! Check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/tour-photo-sharing-1.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Putting the Spotlight on Kids Sports
Photographing youngsters at play can make for some eye-catching photos. And funny images, too, at times! Check out the outstanding work by BetterPhoto members at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=137

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
This is a new take on Jim Miotke's previous quiz question: Two cameras are shooting from the same position, aimed at the same subject, and facing the same direction. One is set at f/4 and 1/125th sec., and the other is set at 1/15th sec. What would the latter camera's aperture (f/stop) need to be to produce identical exposures?



The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Ray Thibaut is:
The Answer is f/11.
Ray Thibaut

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 - Digital Timeline - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

The first D-SLR to be designed and made by a single camera manufacturer (as opposed to a joint venture) debuted in what year? Note: Feel free to guess the model, too, but it's not required.

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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Photoshop Diffusion ... by Jim Zuckerman

Softly diffusing a photograph is a technique in photography that has traditionally been done with special glass filters placed over the camera lens. Now in Photoshop you can do the same thing after-the-fact, and you have complete control over the amount of diffusion.

Open a photo and then use Select > select all, followed by Edit > copy. This places the image in the clipboard, a temporary holding place.

Next, use the pull down menu Filter > blur > gaussian blur. Move the slider to the right until the image is significantly blurred but still recognizable.

Now, use Edit > paste. This places the original photo over the blurred version. In the layers palette, adjust the opacity until the blurred rendition is seen through the sharp one. By varying the percentage of opacity, you can vary the amount of the effect.

This technique can be used on many subjects, but it is especially effective on portraits of women and girls and on flowers. I've also used it for romantic European scenes, and it's stunning. Jim Zuckerman teaches these excellent courses at BetterPhoto.com:



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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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Printing a Photo with Plenty of Black
I have a moon photo that I really like, but when I tried to print an 8 x 10 on my printer at home, the black seemed to print horribly, how could I fix this or is it impossibly to print a mostly black photo on a home printer.
kindly,
Brandy
- Brandy Wilkinson

ANSWER 1:
I have had something like this happen as well. It's because it's probably not a true photo printer. The printer probably has one or two cartriges like the three color one and maybe a black one. I don't believe that it will use the black one because even though it looks like it, it's not true black. So, it doesn't use the black cartridge and tries to make that near black color with the other three colors mixed together. Look at a photo printer at a good photo shop and check out, maybe, a good Epson or Canon. Maybe the paper could be part of the problem also, but I'm not sure.
- Andrew Laverghetta

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17972

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17972

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Lens Question: 50mm Vs. 85mm
I just bought a Canon 50mm 1.4 USM lens and really like it, but I am now reading how wonderful the 85mm f/1.2L USM is. While more expensive and what is recommended for the 1Ds Mark II, would the images be much different on my 20D from this type of lens? Anyone have this lens and use it with the 20D? Is it worth the big $$$$? I could exchange the one I just bought.
- Angela Fairless

ANSWER 1:
Angela, the 50mm lens on your 20D has an equivalent focal length of 80mm, which is a very good length for portraits.
The 85mm lens, which is a great length for portraits on 35mm cameras and full-frame digitals like the 1ds Mark II, has an equivalent focal length of 136mm on the 20D. This makes it on the long end for portraits. Still good for head shots, but you'll need room to back up quite a bit for groups of more than two people.
I'm assuming you're looking for a portrait lens, but you may have something else in mind. I have the Canon 50mm f1.4 USM lens, and I love it. I bought it because my 85mm f1.8 lens was a little long for group portraits.
If you want to try a longer lens, you could save about $1200 and get the 85mm f1.8 instead of the f1.2. It's not an L series lens, but it has the same good quality construction as the 50mm f1.4 lens. In one review that I read comparing the two, the f1.8 lens actually was found to focus faster than the more expensive lens. This is probably due to the larger, heavier glass elements in the f1.2L.
- Chris A. Vedros

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17970

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17970

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NEW QUESTION 3: Photographing Private Property
I understand that one needs permission to photograph on private property. My question is about photographing private property without actually being on the property. Last December, I shot several rolls of film capturing Christmas light displays all over town, both public and private displays.
I shot from the street or sidewalk. I didn't ask permission to photograph, though in the few cases that someone came out of their house, they were uniformly thrilled that I was photographing their light displays.
I got some great shots, and would like to use some for holiday cards. Others might have potential for a show or a book. (A writer friend of mine wants to do a coffee-table type book with me. I'm not sure I'm big on the idea, but would consider it.
But thinking about that, I get concerned about the lack of permission, and if there could be potential problems with that. It could be hard to find all of these houses again, since I'm horrible at keeping notes of what I shoot, and they look very different without their light displays.
Anyone have any info/advice about the legal parameters here?
- Deanna L. Nichols

See Deanna's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Legal issues are always tough (any lawyers in the crowd?), but generally, private property would require a property release. It might depend on what you are using it for though. For example, if you took a picture of a nice house at Christmas and ended up selling it to someone who used it for an ad on drunk driving ... that would be bad. If you are featuring it in a coffee-table book, maybe not ... but ... then again maybe the owner is a private person and wouldn't want their house distributed in a book. Better safe than sorry: get a release for private property. By the way, that can include anything private. I've read and heard the same thing if you take a picture of someone's dog, for example. It's private property, need a release (no, not from the dog but from the owner ... paw prints not acceptable).
BTW, there are a number of threads on this here at BetterPhoto. Do a search on property releases, and I'm sure about 10 will come up.
- Joe Jarosz

Visit joejaroszphoto.com - Joe's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
You need a release form signed for photographing private property, Deanna. If the people were pleased that you were taking images of their light display, I'm sure they would be happy to sign a form. Offer then a batch of cards that they can use for Christmas. Be honest with them of your intentions with the images :-)
- Terry R. Hatfield

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ANSWER 3:
Thank you for your responses--I sort of figured I would need a release to use the images.
- Deanna L. Nichols

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ANSWER 4:
Here is a good link on photographer's rights.

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm


- Sharon D

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17967

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NEW QUESTION 4: To Print or Not to Print
Hi there,
I have a plan to start my own photography business - just a bit of extra cash on the side as I already have a full-time job that I will keep. Anyway, let me give you a quick overview of my idea. I want to take photos of children playing sports on weekends and then sell to parents. I am having problems working out how to get the prints to them and also how to get them to see what I am doing. I was thinking about taking a photo printer with me and then printing out a contact sheet from the game and taking orders on the spot and then using the printer to print out the pictures they order right there and then. Alternatively, I thought about posting them on a website and then dishing out my business cards at the end of the game. Do you think it is cheaper to do my own prints or to get a lab to do them? And how's the quality with the top-end printers? I am using Canon gear.
I'd be interested in hearing any advice especially from someone who does the same sort of thing themselves. Thanks.
- Tim S. Hales

ANSWER 1:
Hi Tom, great idea. I'd go for the post on a Web page idea. Printing on-site seems like it would just be too much of a hassle, plus getting the parents to hang around while you print them, possible technical glitches, hot summer days ... Pass out the cards.
As for printing vs. sending in: I have the Canon i9900, and the quality and speed are incredible. I've never figured out what the cost per print is, but my guess is a lot. Uses a lot of ink, and the higher quality paper is a little expensive. Not sure what you plan on selling these prints for. Believe it or not, some of the local quick-print labs have great quality and reasonably cheap prices. You just take your memory card over and print whatever you want. I've printed at CVS before and the quality is photo quality. They use the same print system they use for their film prints. Wal-Mart, I've heard, is very good also, and the prices are hard to beat ... not as convenient as printing at home, but may be an alternative. I'd suggest taking some pictures and getting some test prints done.
As an aside, BetterPhoto has some new enhancements to their Deluxe BetterPholios™, which allow for password-protected galleries. Maybe an idea, since I'm sure parents wouldn't want their kids pictures posted on the Internet. You can put them in a gallery titled whatever the game or date was. Then, on the cards you hand out, give them what the password will be for those pictures.
Hope this helps.
- Joe Jarosz

Visit joejaroszphoto.com - Joe's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17963

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17963

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: How to Shoot a Full Moon
There has been a gorgeous full moon the past couple of nights. I tried taking pictures of it last night, while it was still pretty low. The moon itself came out all right, but I was also trying to get some of the palm tree in the foreground. What's the best way to capture the moon, as well as other surrounding objects?
- Alicia Anthony

ANSWER 1:
Shoot them separately, in slides if you use a film camera. By digital - if that's your gameplan.
Sandwich the slides in a slide duplicator (a pro lab can do this for you, also). If you're into digital, use layers or even the copy feature. Be sure to flatten your image when you're finished editing.
Note: If you apply the moon as the "copy," you be able to enlarge it easily, thereby making startling and beautiful images.
- John Sandstedt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17939

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17939

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Flash Photography of Live Bands
How can I photograph live bands with ambient lighting that needs flash. I don't want to use flash because that kills the atmosphere. Unfortunately, all my photos are coming out blurred as the musicians move around a lot. Can anyone help?
Cheers, kathie
- kathie jones

ANSWER 1:
Although I am not an expert in photographing live bands, I can share with you some of my experience from taking stage performances from the cruise ships. Besides cityscapes, taking stage performances is my second favorite in low light photography. The lighting is just so dramatic.
First, preparation: While I was on a cruise ship, I have no idea what the performance will be. But you have an advantage because you can scout out the area first and you may even familiar with what the musician is going to perform. It is much better if you know the music or the songs.
Second, equipment: You did not mention what equipment (camera and lens) you own. I use a film SLR camera, a 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 with Image Stabilizer, and ISO 400 speed film. The IS on the lens helped a lot because most of the time the shutter speed got down to 1/8 or even 1/4 second. Another point is I was using a zoom lens and at maximum zoom, the largest aperture will be f5.6. I fight to get as close as possible so I do not have to use the lens at maximum zoom (usually between 50 and 65mm). If you have a fast lens, use it.
Third, set-up: The key point here is use manual. Forget about auto-exposure and auto-focusing. Most of the time the musicians, not like the dancers, stay at the same place. So you can set the focus and turn it to manual. About exposure, I always use the first couple of performances to get the feel of the best exposure value I can use. Then I just lock the value and shoot. Of course, some of my shots will be underexposed but seldom overexposed (due to the use of print film, which has more tolerence towards overexposing). For performers who moved around a lot, I just preset my focus and wait for them to move into the "kill zone" ;)
Fourth, participation: There is always a moment the performer will stop moving. I don't know the terminology in music. But there are times like the moment between two sentences (in a song), the music changes from fast to slow beat, the last word of the sentence, the last note of the entire song, a long note, etc. That's the time I will press the shutter. Personally, I think the best is to capture the dramatic lighting together with the performer's face being sharp, while another part of the body has a little motion, instead of everything sharp and motionless.

I usually can get a few good ones with a roll of 36-exposure film. In my gallery, the last two, which I took from a cruise ship, are my favorites. I got a few more which I did not scan yet.
If nothing comes out, then it is just too dark to get any good picture. Hope this helps.
- Andy Szeto

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17916

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17916

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Best Lens for Shooting Portraits
Is there such a thing as THE best lens for portrait photography? I own a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and would like to get a really SHARP lens for it! Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated!
- Susana Heide- Thiessen

See Susana's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
The short answer is probably no, but a medium telephoto (80mm to 100mm for 135 or 35mm film) is usually regarded as the proper length for portraits. Get the best lens you can afford in that range... The longer-than-normal length allows a shallower DOF, backs you away from your subject, etc.
- Peter M. Wilcox

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17914

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17914

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Photoshop Elements 2 vs. 3
Being new to digital photography, I purchased an Epson 4180 scanner which came bundled with Photoshop Elements 2. What's the difference versus Elements 3? Version 2 seems to have everything I'd need at this time, especially being new at this. As always, thanks.
- John A. Karas

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ANSWER 1:
Learn the one you have first, and then think about upgrading. It's not all that easy to get stuff down when you're new at it. Good luck!
- Carolyn Fletcher

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Visit PickYourShots.com - Carolyn's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
I just got Elements 3. The main difference is it has the ability to open RAW files, a healing brush, easier red eye fix, and it also has a better file browser. Hope this helps ... good luck with all your new toys!
- Deb Holmes

See Deb's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I totally agree with Carolyn. I still haven't exhausted Version 1.0. When Version 2.0 was released, one reviewer said that the changes in the upgrade, though nice, didn't justify spending additional money. Version 3.0, I believe, has a feature (I don't even know what it's called) that is significant and right out of CS. If you want/need/can stand the expense, you might consider upgrading.
The main thing you need to consider is that, in part, a software company upgrades its product(s) to continue revenue generation. (It's also called planned obsolescence.) But, in fact, how many of the bells and whistles on your camera, computer, or software do you use (or need)?
If you are happy with Version 2, keep using it until it no longer fulfills your needs. Spend your money on lenses, film (if you still use traditional equipment), etc.
- John Sandstedt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17900

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17900

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Scanning Film for Big Nature Prints
I have recently decided to start printing my nature photography digitally, so I purchased the Nikon Coolscan 9000 film scanner (35mm and medium format). In order to have large prints made for me, I need to scan my transparencies at the right settings. I'm not sure what settings are the best: Do I need 4000 resolution? What size should I scan the image at? The Nikon manual just said something like: "Just set the resolution to 4000 and enter the size print you want." But the photography printing company said I only need 300 resolution. Do I need to enter the big size of print in the scanning program? Thanks, Josh
- Joshua T. Farnsworth

ANSWER 1:
You've got two things going on here: 1)input (scanning) and 2)output (printing). The term DPI is really an output term, and scanning is better referred to as SPI (samples per inch). If I was scanning one inch of film, and I wanted to make a print 10 inches at 300 DPI, I would need to scan my one inch of film at 3000 SPI. I hope you see the math here.
On the output side, as to document size, like if you look at the document size in Photoshop, that doesn't really mean anything. The important thing is how many pixels you have. If your document says "16x20 inch 72 DPI", that only means that IF you were to print it to 16x20, it would be at 72DPI. But, if you print it to 8x10, it would be print close to 300DPI.
Math test: How many pixels do you need to print 20 inchs at 300 DPI? (Answer: 6000) If you scan 2 inches of film and you want 6000 pixels, how many samples per inch do you need to scan? (Answer: 3000)
Also, don't be too afraid of printing at less than 300DPI. You might be happy with a print at 150 DPI.
I hope this makes sense. If I explained something poorly, someone else might help us.
- Vince Broesch

ANSWER 2:
You didn't cheap out on the scanner! Good choice. The less you do in the scanning program the better. Just let the image dimensions default to whatever it is, maybe 72 ppi. I WOULD, however, let the scanner's Digital Ice do its thing (except for Kodachrome, where it makes a mess). I scan at the max resolution and the max color bit depth - in your case, probably 16 bits PER Red, Green and Blue channel. The file size will be huge. Do your tonal and color corrections (Levels and/ or Curves) in Photoshop at the high bit setting. Then, in Image/Image Size, resample turned OFF, enter 300 ppi in the resolution block.
You might want to archive these minimally fixed scans, uncropped, bit depth unchanged to CD. Submit these to your customer.
To print them yourself, go to Image Mode and convert to 8-bit color. The file size will drop by half. Go to Image Size again and enter the print size you want. You might also Resample and, keeping that print size, go to 300 as your resolution.
You might eventually want to look at Silverfast or Ed Hamrick's VueScan, as they seem to handle dense slides a bit better than Nikon's software.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Whoops, almost forgot, medium format doesn't need 4000 ppi. Probably 2400 will do fine. See what print size that gives you at 300 ppi.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17898

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17898

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Neutral Density Filter and 'Frothy' Water
I was told a neutral density filter will create a "frothy" look to my waterfall pictures. But how do I choose which one to use?
- lynda

ANSWER 1:
The reason it will give you the a frothy look is because it forces your camera to use a slower shutter speed, so a tripod is a must. About choosing a ND filter, it depends on how bright the scene is. So my guess would be to just choose a good medium, but that may be wrong. Or if your budget allows, you could buy a high one and a low one and one in the middle.
- Brendan Knell

ANSWER 2:
Hi Lynda,
Basically the ND filter is like a pair of sunglasses. They cut the light hitting the film much like sunglasses cut the light hitting your eyes. So for taking pictures, you can leave your lens open longer (use longer shutter times)to get the right amount of light on your film and that has the effect of making the water look misty, ethereal, frothy. They come in various qualities and densities. Tiffen, Hoya, B+W, there's more too. Tiffen are usually the most economical. They also come in stops. I'd go for a 3 stop. They might also be called .09. That's a good one to start with. Also make sure you know the size of your lens, because they come in different sizes - for example, my Canon 70-200 is a 77mm. Hope this helps.
- Joe Jarosz

Visit joejaroszphoto.com - Joe's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Neutral density filters are rated by the amount of light reduction provided. Either as number of stops (each stop = 1/2 as much light) or by factor (each 0.10 = 1/3 stop).
For example, if your exposure is f/11 and 1/125, but you want a shutter speed of 1/8 without using a smaller aperture, then you need 4 stops (1.2 factor) of light reduction. You can do that with a single filter, or combine 2 or more filters that add up to 4 stops.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
If it's not sunny outside and you use slow film and a small aperture, you may be able to get that slow shutter speed without that filter.
Oh, and here's a "Good Luck" from me too.
- Maria Melnyk

ANSWER 5:
Maria is right. The best time to shoot waterfalls is on overcast days. If you are using 100 speed film or slower, and a small aperture (f11 to f22) you will easily get the silky or 'frothy' look.
- Shirley D. Cross

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ANSWER 6:
The trick is to get the shutter speed down, somewhere between 1/30th and 30 secs, depending on the speed of the water and what you want to achieve. Use a tripod. Really, you need a selection/set of ND filters - 1,2 and 3 stops. Then you can stack to get the effect you want. Remember also that a polarizing filter doubles as a 2 stop neutral density, so that can help as well. I've used a 3 stop (0.9) ND with polarizer to get the effect I wanted with ISO50 film. A starting exposure would be to expose for the highlights, plus 1 stop. Bracket around this value. Watch for vignetting/light fall-off in the corners if you stack too many together!
- Kevin Elliott

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ANSWER 7:
Yes, a polarizer will work for this purpose, but there might be some nice reflections in the water that you might like to show, and a polarizer will eliminate them. However, it will saturate the colors more, so you can use it to advantage also. Try it both ways.
- Maria Melnyk

ANSWER 8:
The polarizer won't necessarily eliminate these reflections - you can adjust it so that it leaves them there! Take a look at this which was polarised for the sky, but not for the lake... http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=575916&catID=&style=&rowNumber=41&memberID=81822
- Kevin Elliott

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ANSWER 9:
As others have already mentioned, cloudy days (or deep shade) are your best possible scenarios. It's quite possible to achieve up to a 1 second exposure times at ASA 100 when in deep shade. The attached photos were shot a few days ago shaded under a canopy of forest trees without any filters.
- Bob Cammarata

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See Sample Photo - Sample 3:
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See Sample Photo - Sample 1:
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ANSWER 10:
Bob, those pictures are hot!!!! How would you have done them if it wasn't cloudy?
- lynda

ANSWER 11:
Thanks Lynda.
It was actually quite sunny that day but the dense canopy created enough shade to get those slow speeds. (You can see in the third example how a peak of sunlight illuminates a portion of the rock in the foreground.)
This is best attempted on small creeks where you can get real close to the falls or rapids to crop out any sunlit portions of the water. There will be literally 3 to 4 stops difference between the sunlit portions and those in the shade. You must be careful not to let the sun hit ANY of the rapids in your composition during long exposure times, or you will get a wash-out of that portion of the frame.
On cloudy days, the light is diffused and more even so you won't have to worry as much about getting hot-spots.
In either scenario, your best bet is to meter manually off the frothiest part of the rapids and open 1/2 stop over that setting. All three of the attached photos were metered that way.
Bob
- Bob Cammarata

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