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 - Tuesday, August 16, 2005
~~~~~~~~~~~

* SPOTLIGHT: New Course at BetterPhoto™: Using Your Digital SLR
* BETTERPHOTO: Article: Get Better Images with Your Digicam ... by Peter K. Burian
* BETTERPHOTO: Getting Your Own Web Site Is Easy at BetterPhoto!
* BETTERPHOTO: Book of Month: BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on ... Puppies!
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: First Photographed Eclipse / Steady As It Goes
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Understanding Light ... By Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Image Stabilization Lens
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Photography with Natural Lighting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Awaiting Payment from Newspapers
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Digital Wedding Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Shadows Created by Flash
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Autofocus vs. Manual Shooting
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Shoot Monuments
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Model Releases
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Commercial Photography Rates
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Photo of the Day: How Is It Selected?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Presenting a Slide Show


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

New Course at BetterPhoto™: Using Your Digital SLR
This exciting new online course by George Schaub - instructor, author, and editor of Shutterbug magazine - is designed for everyone who has made the step into the realm of digital single lens reflex photography. "Using Your Digital SLR" is for those who have experience with a film SLR, as well as for those stepping up from a digital point-and-shoot camera. In his new class for fall, George covers everything from basic to advanced techniques for making the most of the features found in many digital SLR cameras. For more details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/GEO03.asp


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

Welcome to the 225th issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

Such exciting times at BetterPhoto! The first annual BetterPhoto Summit is less than a month away, and this awesome event is really coming together nicely. It's going to be such a fun-filled and inspiring weekend. In fact, we have so many terrific programs planned that it's hard to fit them all in! You're welcome to join us in Seattle on September 10th and 11th. For specifics, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp

Preparations are also going on for our best online school schedule ever. For fall, we have some great new courses: George Schaub's Using Your Digital SLR, Charlie Borland's Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting, Jon Canfield's Camera RAW Processing and Color Management for Digital Photography, and new instructor Michael Frye's The Digital Landscape. Plus, there are dozens more classes. Check out the entire lineup at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

In this issue, don't miss instructor Peter Burian's excellent article, "Get the Best Images Your Digicam Can Produce", and instructor Charlie Borland's Photo Tip on "Understanding Light". In addition, we have the Featured Gallery (puppies!), the Trivia Question, and a fine collection of questions and answers.

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


*****
Article: Get Better Images with Your Digicam ... by Peter K. Burian
While the best JPEG recording options are great for digital photography, there's another, entirely different, alternative, points out instructor/author Peter K. Burian, who teaches Digital Photography at BetterPhoto. Available with all digital SLRs, and some compact digicams, RAW capture mode is well worth considering for serious digital photography. Aside from slightly higher image quality, a RAW file has much greater latitude for technical image correction. As pointed out in Peter's new article, "Get the Best Images Your Digicam Can Produce", you can make major changes to aspects such as white balance, contrast, exposure, and color rendition. Read Peter Burian's article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=86


*****
Getting Your Own Web Site Is Easy at BetterPhoto!
Ready to share more photos, get more exposure, even sell your photos? If so, now's a great time to check out our Deluxe BetterPholios™. Deluxe BetterPholios™ are for BetterPhoto™ members who are ready to take their photography to the next level. Here's what do you get with a Deluxe BetterPholio™: ability to upload up to 1000 images; your own domain name (www.yourname.com); site and images are hosted by BetterPhoto; template-based design (so you don't have to know HTML); and an optional image sales package (for additional fee). But choose a Deluxe Pro site and you get 3000 images, password-protected private galleries, visitor statistics, and several more cool design features. For details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs.asp


*****
Book of Month: BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography
In his awesome new book, The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography, BetterPhoto founder Jim Miotke seeks to demystify the digital world. "I want to help make digital cameras less intimidating and more intuitive, so people can relax and have fun with their shooting," says Jim of his hands-on, lesson-based book. To celebrate the release of this fine book, the first 500 copies are numbered and signed by Jim! An added incentive: As Book of the Month, there's free U.S. shipping through August. For all of the specifics, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1311

back to top


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FEATURED GALLERY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Focus on ... Puppies!
They're sooooo cute! In fact, who can resist an adorable puppy ... or photos of adorable puppies? Check out the wonderful work of BetterPhoto shooters at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=7299

back to top


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

Last week, we asked:
A solar eclipse was photographed for the first time in what year?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Ellen Devenny is:
The final proof that the corona was actually the Sun’s upper atmosphere had to wait for the studies made during the eclipses of 1842 and of July 28, 1851, when it was photographed for the first time.

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 - Steady As It Goes - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

The first lens to offer technology for reducing the effect of camera shake and vibration made its debut in what year? Extra credit (but not part of the quiz): Who was the manufacturer?

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

back to top


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

Understanding Light ... By Charlie Borland

Understanding light and how it works is a vital aspect of creating great photos. As photographers, we are working with basically two types of light; available light and light we create. Available light is known as Ambient light. This is light that exists and is constant. Sure, in some cases, it is light we can turn on or off, but it is usually a continuous light source. It could be sunlight, light from street lights, light from lamps in our living room, and lights in an office or manufacturing plant. But it is always the light source that is constant and can also be looked at as the light that you may not have control over its adjustment. Supplemental or secondary light is strobe (flash) or "hot lights". Strobes are flash lights and hot lights are constant lights. In both cases, you can set up these lights and move them in or out of your photo setup. Strobe lights also have the ability to change the output of the light emitted during each flash by an adjustment of the power settings. Hot lights can also be adjusted by a control making them brighter or dimmer, but this also changes the color temperature of the light as the power is changed. Strobes emit a flash that is instant and does not vary much in the amount of time that it is on.

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

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: Image Stabilization Lens
With the current line of Canon lenses, is it still better to buy a fast lens, 2.8? Or is it OK to go with a slower lens with image stabilization (IS)? It goes against all my past knowledge to do that, but I'm wondering if the technology is so good it does not matter. Thanks!
- Craig Demartino

ANSWER 1:
IS is a great feature for getting sharp shots hand-held without blurring from camera shake. It is not a replacement for f/2.8 or faster lenses when the primary concern is shallow depth of field, or a fast shutter speed to freeze subject motion. Thus, some of Canon's f/2.8 lenses also incorporate IS (eg., EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, EF 300 f/2.8L IS USM).
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18529

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18529

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Photography with Natural Lighting
Okay, as I've heard from quite a few people: It is okay to take pictures using a backdrop and not use any fancy equipment. But I really need some pointers on this. I mean is taking them outside a good idea? A few people have said to place my backdrop adjacent to a window, so the sun is shining in. But I think I might just take my whole backdrop system and set it up outside. Will that work???
- Amber D. Jones

ANSWER 1:
You could try it outside, especially on an overcast day or early in the morning or late at night. In direct light -no. You can try in shade, but I often get a strange blueish colorcast in my shady photos. I can fix it in PS, but I like the quality of diffused sunlight the best (clouds). Good luck,
Karma
- Karma Wilson

See Karma's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks Karma. .I was planning on taking these photos around sunset tonight. That would probably get me the effect I'm looking for. And I have definitely tried my hand at direct light. NO MORE OF THAT. Every picture that I took, the subject had really dark shadows on their faces. Not a good thing!!!
Thanks again!!!

- Amber D. Jones

ANSWER 3:
Just remember to get your subject about 5 feet in front of the backdrop, and use a reflector if you need to deal with shadows. A piece of white cardboard works fine, and I've also used silver cookie sheets. The best reflector I've ever found is a field of golden grass believe it or not. If you shoot in that the whole field acts as a reflector and the even amount of light is amazing. I take all of my kids' portraits in late summer to get that nice, even reflection from the field grass! :-)
Karma
- Karma Wilson

See Karma's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Pray for a passing cloud - or, better yet, total overcast or haze to diffuse the sun. Barring these scenarios, you will have shadows on your background, or in other places where they may not be flattering to your subject(s).
You could try moving the background material back a little, away from the subject so the shadows will dissipate or fall out-of-frame.
When shooting outdoors, I prefer natural backgrounds to studio set-ups.
I position my camera and compose my subjects in a way that will make the best of the light that's available. Usually, the sun is behind me ... on an angle, but not always.
Shadows on a natural background are more acceptable (to me, anyway) than when they appear on something I've set up.
Sometimes a "halo" of light works better and I'll shoot into a rising or setting sun. Exposure for this can be tricky, and you may need flash-fill to bring out the detail of your subject.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Bring a chair with you. Put your cardboard at an angle, facing up towards your subject so it is reflecting light to shadows cast under the eye, etc. Experiment and you'll get it right. You could bring several pieces and reflect to the background as well. What type of background are you using? If it's white/black, you can considerably touch it up in PS. I have done this.
Karma
- Karma Wilson

See Karma's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 6:
Amber, I don't know if it's too late. But I hope your shoot goes well. The fill flash can be the one on your camera. Good luck to you! (Hope it's not too windy!)
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18472

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18472

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Awaiting Payment from Newspapers
I've been doing some freelance writing and photography. Recently, two weekly newspapers published two of my stories, both which contained 2-4 photos each, but they have yet to pay me. I've submitted invoices, although initially the editor claimed that he didn't recall discussing compensation. I have his original email quoting what he'd pay. The articles appeared in June and July. I'm tempted to go over his head and contact the publisher, as I feel frustrated. Is this common with smaller publications? What's the usual time frame to be paid for work you've done for a weekly newspaper? I know they don't have much money, but still ...
- Mary B. McGrath

See Mary's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit MaryMcGrathPhotography.com - Mary's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Usually they pay at the end of the month. If anything has been run within a certain time, like the first three weeks, then put all check requests in at the same time so all checks get sent out at the same time.
Based on principle, you can go over his head, which is something I'd do. Expect to not have him want to use anything from you again, if you do. Can't say it's common, but it's not a surprise. When it comes to money and photos, never take it for granted that they'll follow their word. You're not paid until the check cashes.
- 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=18462

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18462

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Digital Wedding Photography
What type of flash do I need to use for wedding photos?
- Joanne L.

ANSWER 1:
Three factors are required for a good professional wedding flash:
- Portability
- Power
- Separate battery packs capable of quick recycling times, and loooooong life between charges.
If you are serious about a wedding flash, look into the high-end units made by Metz, Norman, and Quantum.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18454

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18454

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Shadows Created by Flash
Using a direct flash, what techniques or equipment are used to avoid hard shadows on images?
- A D. Ross

ANSWER 1:
Don't use direct flash. Angle the head to bounce off ceiling, or use "pocket" bouncer/diffuser such as Stofen Omnibounce, various Lumiquest products, Lightsphere II, etc.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
If you must have the flash directly on the camera, hard shadows are difficult to avoid. Allowing the ambient light to build is the only real way to eliminate the harsh shadows.
The little soft boxes, reflectors, etc., that attach to the end of the flash are of little use, and do more damage in the way of power loss than they do in diffusing the light. I've got a drawer full of them.
Here's a couple of ways to build up ambient light:
To allow the ambient light to build, you need to slow down your shutter speed. If you are shooting indoors, this is simple. Slow down your shutter to 1/30 or 1/15 for example. Depending on how bright the interior light is will determine the shutter speed, but by allowing this light to build, your shadows will slowly subside.
Outdoors or indoors, you can also set your flash to the "Fill" mode if it is so equipped, or dial down the flash output to maybe -1 or so. Combined with a slower shutter speed, this will do the same thing as I stated above - it will allow the ambient to build, thus reducing the amount of flash needed, which will in turn, reduce the harsh shadows.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18441

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18441

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Autofocus vs. Manual Shooting
My camera is an autofocus and/or manual. This might sound like a real amature question, but if I use my manual settings, do I want to keep the camera on AF or do I want to use the Manual focus mode? Also, if the camera is smart enough to know what the best settings are for the pix I am taking, WHY would I want to use the manual settings at all? Oh, how I wish you guys lived closer to me, so I could get some hands-on training ... I feel so dumb. Thanks much.
- Kathy L. Pollick

ANSWER 1:
Focus is a separate issue from exposure. If you want, you can autofocus while setting exposure manually, or vice-versa.
The camera's meter does not always give the best exposure, or necessarily the exposure the photographer wants. It is calibrated to a midtone 18-percent gray and so tends to underexpose light/white subjects and overexpose dark/black subjects. But it's close enough for general use, especially with print film which is very forgiving of exposure errors.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Jon is correct, as usual. For the vast majority of the photos taken, the meter will operate properly and give you an excellent exposure. However, in some instances, like a snow scene, it will read the whites as gray so you need to switch to manual. Also, for a backlit scene, you will need to switch to manual and meter off the subject, set your exposure, recompose and shoot. The use of manual focus or autofocus is optional. Manual focus works best when you are shooting scenics where you want to use hyperfocal distance focusing. Again, for most shots, AF works fine.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 3:
As you learn more about exposure, it will be helpful to know what part of your viewfinder screen is being read by the meter. Center-weighted means the whole scene is being read, with emphasis on the center. See your camera's manual for what they mean by "center". If you set the meter on "Partial", my preference, you know exactly what part of the scene is being measured.
Light meters give us an accurate reading nearly all the time, because all the shades in the area being measured average out to the middle gray Jon tells us about. Center-weighted usually works.
It may not work in the black-cat-on-a pile-of-coal, or bridal gown against a white wall situations. At times like these, we have to outthink the camera and keep the light meter from deceiving us. Estimate how many stops the subject deviates from a middle gray and adjust accordingly. In the bridal gown situation, that white is maybe two stops brighter than the way the meter reads it, so you open up two stops. (Then shoot another one three stops over, and another 2 1/2 over, and another a stop brighter).

Autofocus is useful if you're losing your ability to fine focus because of failing eyesight, like me. For sports and wildlife, AF may well be essential. The better systems work quite well. Trouble is, in low-contrast situations, AF just doesn't work, but hunts back and forth to find the correct focusing point. Or it may put out an infrared beam, scaring your subject. When this happens, just focus manually. This is also necessary in fine macro work. The better Canon EF (and probably other makers' better lenses) allow you to do this.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
LOL. We all learn more from our mistakes than our successes. Here is an example of how to meter a backlit scene. It also works at times when you know the meter (which averages all the light it reads) will be fooled. I used this technique on Man of God by the Light of God in my gallery. I had to because I knew the meter would read too much light coming through the window and overexpose the subject.
1. Set your camera to manual and walk up to your subject. Get close enough that the part of the subject you want to expose correctly fills the viewfinder (in my case, his face.)
2. Set the shutter speed and aperture so that the exposure is correct (you may have LEDs or match needle metering, whichever).
3. Back up to where you want to shoot from and re-compose your picture and focus - manual or AF, doesn't mater.
4. Shoot.

Hyperfocal distance - The smaller your aperture, the greater the depth of field (area of acceptable focus). When shooting a something like a landscape shot, you can use the DOF to your advantage, assuming you have a distance scale on your lens.
1. Compose you picture (decide what you want to shoot).
2. Set your aperture to a small aperture (f/16 or f/22).
3. With your camera in manual focus, set the infinity mark on your lens to coincide with the aperture you have chosen. Everything from the shortest distance (where your aperture mark is on the other side of the distance scale) to infinity will be in acceptable focus.
4. Shoot.
Believe me, it is quicker and easier to do this than the time it takes to read what I just wrote. Also, note that hyperfocal distance focusing should be used judiciously. You don't always want everything in focus. Sometimes you want to intentionally blurr the foreground, for example.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 5:
Thanks. I sure hope I catch on to this lingo soon. It's the most frustrating part for me.
- Kathy L. Pollick

ANSWER 6:
Kathy, don't let it frustrate you; just enjoy taking pictures. Your light meter and exposure system will work, most of the time, except for the unusual situations mentioned. I have an article on exposure that may help you. I'll send it along when I get home. Believe me, you'll find photographers willing to help you, and willing to distill this lingo to understandable terms. If you want to learn serious photography, there's a course on exposure here at BetterPhoto. The instructor has also written a book on it.

Editor's Note: "Understanding Exposure" is the name of Bryan Peterson's online course and his how-to book.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18435

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18435

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 7: How to Shoot Monuments
What is the best way to photograph a slate or finished stone monument without glare and reflections?
- Christy L. Anderson

ANSWER 1:
Don't use a flash. Your flash probably wouldn't be strong enough, and spread out wide enough to light it evenly. If you're shooting at night, use a tripod and a long exposure time.

If the surface is shiny and you are getting glare from the sun, try using a circular polarizer filter. Turn the filter until the glare is minimized.

You can also try moving to adjust the angle between your camera and the shiny surface.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Chris' last bit of advice is the best: Change the angle. Reflected light is most prominent when the primary light source is at 180 degrees (either in front of you or behind you). At 90 degrees, the light reflection will exhibit its least amount of effect.
If you are using the sun as your light source, hold your thumb and forefinger into an "L" shaped right angle.
Aim your thumb toward the sun and shoot in the direction your forefinger is pointing. Reflected glare will at its minimum from this angle.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
That thumb/forefinger thing always confused the bejeebers out of me. I understood better when I was told that when I point my camera (and myself) at my subject, look at my shadow: If my shadow is facing towards or away from the subject, that is not good. If my shadow is to either side of me, that is good. Same thing works for circular polarizers.
- Bob Cournoyer

See Bob's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
... Same process, explained differently.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18421

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18421

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Model Releases
When photographing for a company at their private party - an event sponsored by them - do I need releases from people attending if their photos are used for commercial applications for that company?
- Craig Demartino

ANSWER 1:
Yes, Craig, you will need the release formed!
- Terry R. Hatfield

See Terry 's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Craig,
I have been presented with this a time or two and have asked the client to provide me a written letter saying that they will be responsible for all issues related to use of said photos. This is one way to protect yourself since they are the ones using the images commercially, not you, and this will help protect you.
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:
Stock Photography
Lighting for Commercial Photography
Advanced Lighting for Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting (2nd Session)

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18388

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18388

back to top


*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Commercial Photography Rates
I have been photographing for a while, and a client has just asked me to do some product shots for her company. How much per hour should I charge? Would it be the same hourly rate I charge for the rest of my services or more? As well, are there any golden rules about commercial photography that I should know?
- Melissa Sweeney

ANSWER 1:
Melissa,
The going rate for qualified pro photographers should be at a minimum of $100 an hour and average $125 to $150 an hour. Many, but not all photographers, will charge half their hourly rate for computer time, location scouting, casting calls, etc. Hope that helps.
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:
Stock Photography
Lighting for Commercial Photography
Advanced Lighting for Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting (2nd Session)

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18378

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18378

back to top

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Photo of the Day: How Is It Selected?
I'm just curious how the Photo of the Day gets chosen. Anybody know? I received the newsletters and browsed pictures on this site for months before I actually started posting. I saved some of the cool Photo of the Days. I just went back and looked at them, and I recognize a lot of names of people I've talked to on here. Nice knowing you all via the discussions! :)
- Kelly Barclay

See Kelly's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Hi Kelly,
Thanks for your interest in the Photo of the Day newsletter!

All Photo of the Day images are chosen from contest entries. The Judges at BetterPhoto make the selections. A Photo of the Day, however, does not guarantee a contest victory. It's just us saying "Wow! Great photo!"

In order to get a good balance of photos over a period of days and weeks - i.e., "traditional," digital art, color, black and white, landscapes, details, animals, people, etc. - some of the pictures are "held over" into the next month. Thus, although some photos may have a "contest finalist/winner" award attached to it, those particular pictures were actually chosen for POTD status before the final contest judging.

Thanks again for asking, Kelly!

Check out the Photo of the Day archives at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/Photo-of-the-Day.asp

The POTD newsletter is free. To subscribe, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp!

- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Kerry Drager's Web Site - www.KerryDrager.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Point, Think, and Shoot: Beyond the Snapshot
Field Techniques: Light and Composition
4-Week Short Course: Details and Close-ups
4-Week Short Course: Details and Close-ups (2nd Session)

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18459

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18459

back to top

*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Presenting a Slide Show
Hi, I just came back from Africa, where I shot about 45 rolls of slides - mostly Fuji Velvia and Kodak 100vs. My colleagues at work want me to give a slide show, and I'm trying to sort out what's a good length of time (I'm thinking about 20 minutes), but I'm not sure how many slides I should show in that amount of time. I'm a reasonably serious shooter, but I don't think anyone's going to want to dwell on any particular shot, so is there a rule of thumb out there for number of seconds/slide that I could use to get a sense of how many slides I should select? Thanks, Howard
- Howard

ANSWER 1:
45 rolls! ... WOW! ... Sounds like you have some serious editing to do. I have had some experience doing slide presentations in the past, and I think I can help to address your concerns. The length of time of your show will depend upon your material and its ability to hold interest.
If your shots include a lot of scenics, edit them carefully to include only a dozen or so of the very best ones. I like to use scenics as "breaks" ... when I go from one theme to another.
As an example, if you were showing a series of big cat photos, a scenic or two would change the mood as you go into grazing animals like zebras and antelope. (I've found that showing a bunch of scenics together will get your audience to lose interest quickly.)
Try to create "story telling" sequences with the images you have on hand.
Example: A shot of a herd of dik-dik or other grasslands species casually grazing, then a close-up of one animal looking over its shoulder. The next frame could contain a lioness crouching in the grass, followed by a shot of a herd running. Photos displayed in sequence will hold interest better than just a bunch of shots shown in random order.
As far as how long to "dwell" on a particular shot, 8 to 10 seconds is enough time for you to briefly caption the shot and let your audience get whatever reaction they are going to get from it.
Don't take time to "explain" the shot - why or how you you took it or what you were trying to capture. Just throw it up there and let it stand on its own. A very brief "captionary" synopsis about the subject matter should be all that is mentioned before moving on.
As to how many slides to show, I've never done more than a standard Kodak Carousel (140 slides) in any presentation. This usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes up to an hour, depending on the audience's participation.
A few more quick tips:
- Have a catchy "focus slide" as the first one in the presentation. This will show up when you first turn on the machine. It should be something humorous and fit into the theme of your presentation. When I do shows of fishing for wild trout, I use as my focus slide a shot of a sign on a tree which reads: "Trespassers will be SHOT". This image stays on the screen while my audience is assembling and they immediately know that they are in for a fun evening.
-When you sequence your shots, start with the weaker ones and place the best ones at the end of each series. This will help to pique the interest of the audience, and they will anticipate what's coming next.
-Be sure to preview the entire show beforehand. There is nothing more embarrassing than having a slide appear on the screen sideways or upside down. :(
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Great ideas from Bob. Also, remember, the amateur photographer will show you all his pictures, the professional will show his best.
The slide show can be great, but you really need to do ruthless editing - thereby finding the best of your slides, consistent with the story/chronology you wish to present.
Make certain you have rehearsed some kind of script about what's in the image and NOT how you shot it. And be aware that too short a show might be as bad as too long. However, I'd opt for the 20 minutes you describe.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 3:
Dear Bob and John: These are great suggestions. Yes, I spent about 7 hours on my slides this weekend. I've got them down to about 330 slides that I think are worthy of showing to other people, and frankly, only about 5 or 6 that I would actually consider enlarging to frame and put on my wall, so I think I'm in the right mindset.
I also really like the story-telling idea, which supports what I've been thinking about (at least when I do have an interesting story to tell, instead of random shots of animals).
Thank you so much for the point on scenics - I was considering stringing a series together that I took at sunrise and sunset, since the African sky is so spectacular and I was going to weave a theme on that, but maybe I'll reconsider. Obviously, I'd only show the ones that I consider to be truly spectacular - what I might term "Galen-esque".
Thanks also for the advice on not explaining the shot necessarily. My audience is a group of my colleagues, so they're not going to want to know about the graduated filters I used, bracketing, the type of film, etc.
This has been great and valuable coaching, and I incredibly appreciate these thoughts!!
- Howard

ANSWER 4:
Hi Howard,
Well you have already received some good tips. Like you, I have had occasion to share travel photos with friends and colleagues. Having done this many times, I found that a lot depends upon the interest of the group. Assuming that your stuff is great, experience has taught me to limit the number of slides to no more than 200. Time spent per slide should vary. Some are self-explanatory. Some need a "brief" story. I usually play some background music, or suitable sounds along with the presentation. Examples might be recordings from the mountains, jungle, disney, or wherever.
Sometimes I serve pretzels and popcorn too. Make it an enjoyable experience for you and your audience.
- Allen M. Aisenstein

ANSWER 5:
I do quite a few slide shows, mostly for churches celebrating anniversaries. This is how I do it, and it's worked great:
You need to set your slide show to music, otherwise it will get boring to watch no matter how exciting your photos are. My slide shows run about 15-18 minutes using 140-200 slides. (Each image is displayed for roughly 4.5 seconds.) I group my slides into categories, and play appropriate music for each category.
Here's an example of a typical show. (Now this example doesn't apply to your photos, but it should give you an idea.) For photos of the church being built, I played classical music that "built up" and got more exciting as the walls of the church went up. For the ladies fashion show, I played "Oh You Beautiful Doll". And for the outdoor festival pictures, I played "Stars and Stripes Forever". It was great because the audience really got into it, and clapped along with the music.
Likewise, you could play music that goes with your particular slides. For beautiful landscapes, you could play some kind of classical or whatever kind of music you want to fit those images. If you have images of scary animals, play scary music. Slides of kangaroos jumping? Play something with a Polka beat. Get the idea? (Remember the "Titanic" music?)
Now, about your 20 minutes. This might be too long. Not all of mine are 15-18 minutes; the shortest was 9, and that was enough for that particular show. Even with 45 rolls, this is still one thing - a trip to Africa. (With my church slide shows, you've got a ton of different things - building the church, different organizations doing their thing, road trips, luncheons, weddings, holidays, etc., and on and on.)
Once you have everything set and your music recorded, have a "rehearsal" or run-through to make sure everything fits together well.
OK, so you might ask how you're going to talk through this thing. You're not. If there are any slides you want to talk about, show a few of them AFTER your music slide show ends. You may repeat ones you've already shown.
Have fun. It's a lot of work, but very rewarding.
- Maria Melnyk

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=18305

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=18305

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 51316 subscribers.

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={Email}

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

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding www.betterphoto.com to your Allow List.

The sender of this email is the BetterPhoto.com, Inc., P.O. Box 2781, Redmond, WA 98052

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

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