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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, October 11, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Online School: Not Too Late to Sign Up
* BETTERPHOTO: Meet, Hear BetterPhoto Founder-Photographer Jim Miotke!
* BETTERPHOTO: Featured Article: Photographing Fall Color ... by Kerry Drager
* BETTERPHOTO: Book of Month: William Neill's Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Fall Foliage
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Shooting Script / Focusing on the Future
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Controlling Flash and Ambient ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: How to Shoot Wine Bottles?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Photoshop 7.0 vs. CS
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Help with Senior Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Tips on Taking a Band's Picture Inside
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Why Is This Picture So BAD???
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Best Zoom Lens for Travel Holiday?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Saving Images from Digital Camera
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: First-Time Wedding ... Jitters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Backdrop Sizes
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Battery Charging
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Matte or Glossy - Preference?


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto's Online School: Not Too Late to Sign Up
Don't kick yourself for not enrolling in BetterPhoto's fall session. Instead, sign up for the fun and adventure! Although the first lessons have already been sent out, the first assignments for our regular 8-week online courses aren't even due until Sunday, October 16th. Sign up now, and we'll send you the first lesson pronto - and you'll have plenty of time to complete that first assignment! Check the schedule at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 233rd issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

Our summer online courses are off to a fantastic start! But although many classes have filled up, others still have space. Check out the BetterPhoto schedule at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp

Incidentally, some of our online classes haven't even begun yet! These are the second sessions of our 4-week Short Courses - which are repeats of the first sessions and begin November 2nd. See the lineup at our new Short Courses page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-short-courses.asp

Looking ahead to 2006, I'm really excited about our combination online/on-location photography adventures. Check out our new BetterWorkshops page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/on-location-photography-workshops.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Charlie Borland's excellent Photo Tip on lighting, Kerry Drager's article on photographing fall color, and another informative collection of questions and answers.

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


*****
Meet, Hear BetterPhoto Founder-Photographer Jim Miotke!
Join Jim Miotke for a fun and interactive talk about digital picture taking! At four California locales this month, Jim will be giving practical, easy-to-follow advice on improving technique and making the most of your digital camera! Jim will also be signing copies of his book, The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography. Specifics of these free events:

- Sunday, October 23, 2 p.m., Pleasanton Public Library (sponsored by Towne Center Books).
- Monday, October 24, 6 p.m., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose, Computer Instruction Classroom (room 125).
- Tuesday, October 25, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble at The Pruneyard in Campbell.
- Wednesday, October 26, 6:30 p.m., Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch Library in San Jose.

The BetterPhoto Show ... Now on the Air!
In his weekly podcast on digital photography, Jim shares tips so you can learn how to make your own eye-catching imagery. Jim tells the stories behind his favorite photos and shares simple techniques for improving your own photography. Listen to this radio show at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/podcasts.asp


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Featured Article: Photographing Fall Color ... by Kerry Drager
Few things say "color" quite like fall foliage, says BetterPhoto instructor-author Kerry Drager. In his excellent new article, Kerry shares some tips and techniques for photographing autumn scenes. Among the topics are "Working in beautiful sunlight", "Beautiful natural light also means overcast', and "For more saturated colors, try a polarizer". Read more at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=102

Also, read Jim Miotke's recent "Fall Colors" blog in The BetterPhoto Digital Photography Show at:
http://jim.betterphoto.com/


*****
Book of Month: William Neill's Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness
For October, the BetterPhoto Store puts the spotlight on William Neill (who teaches the excellent Portfolio Development course here at BetterPhoto) and his awesome book, "Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness." If you buy this fine book before the end of October, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, the book is autographed by William!
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1325

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focus on Fall Foliage
Take a look at the autumn photography of BetterPhoto.com™ members and instructors, and you'll discover an inspiring array of images. See the gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=449

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
One of photography's biggest names committed suicide and left behind this note to friends: "My work is done. Why wait?" Who was this person?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Robert Bradshaw is:
George Eastman (1854-1932) left this note and committed suicide after he retired from the company he founded - the Eastman Kodak Company.


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 - Focusing on the Future - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

A famed photographer died long before the peak of the digital era, but had the following to say just before his death two decades ago:
"In the electronic age, I am sure that scanning techniques will be developed to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in twenty years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images. It is true no one could print my negatives as I did, but they might well get more out of them by electronic means. Image quality is not the product of a machine but of the person who directs the machine, and there are no limits to imagination and expression."
Who was this photographer?

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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Controlling Flash and Ambient ... by Charlie Borland

The rule: Shutter speed controls ambient light; f/stop or aperture controls flash. The shutter speeds on your camera control the length of time that light is allowed to expose the picture. F/stop or aperture only controls the amount of light that exposes your picture. This relationship is the same no matter what shutter speed and f/stop combo you use. View Charlie Borland's online photography 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
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

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

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


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: How to Shoot Wine Bottles?
Please help! I am shooting wine bottles for my sister-in-law's wine company Web site. I usually shoot portraits and am just starting out so I don't have my lighting equipment yet. I use the Rebel XT and Speedlight 420EX. I am looking for lighting advice. I plan to shoot at their warehouse/office. What else can I use for lighting? Any suggestions or advice is welcome!
Thank you.
- Leslie A. Browne

ANSWER 1:
Two important points to remember:
1. Use wrap-around light from one side, with a long reflector on the other side. A rectangle softbox is the preferred lighting source, placed as close to the bottle as possible. Warning: DO NOT use an umbrella or straight flash. The lighting, and its reflection in the bottle will be awful!
2. Cut out small white reflectors to place behind the bottles. You will need to highlight the color of the wine, and without these little reflectors strategically placed behind the bottles, the wine will be dark and lifeless.
Suggestion: Before you actually shoot the wine bottles, practice (on your own) with a bottle of Pepsi or Welch's grape juice.
Good luck
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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NEW QUESTION 2: Photoshop 7.0 vs. CS
I am new to Photoshop and still learning. I have 7.0, which transferred to my Mac from my friend's Mac. Due to a transfer, some of the applications of the program are missing, so I'm just going to buy it new. But first, what are the differences between 7.0 and CS?
- Ernestine Lona

ANSWER 1:
Photoshop CS has a few new filters, and a much better file browser. Some of the newer digital cameras require a different Raw converter than what comes with PS7 - assuming you shoot in the Raw format.
- Terry R. Hatfield

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NEW QUESTION 3: Help with Senior Portraits
I just did a senior portrait session, and it was really cloudy. I did not use the flash because this girl has very pale skin and my experience with flash and pale skin has not been good. The pictures look a little dull - I believe from being so cloudy out. Is there any way to add catchlights into her eyes or anything I can do in PS to brighten them up a bit?
The gal I photographed has a lot of freckles, and it kind of makes her skin look blotchy and uneven. To present her with the best photos that she will be pleased with, I feel that I should try to smooth out her skin with the clone stamp tool a bit. Is this wrong of me to do since the freckles are part of who she is? I'm not saying try to take them all away so that they are not visible, but I did smooth some out and it does look so much better. I just don't want to offend. For those of you doing senior portraits, what kind of touch ups do you do to the photos?
- Kristi Eckberg

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ANSWER 1:
Hi Kristi,
I had a gal who had really pasty skin in real life. So, in the pics where a flash was used, it came out REALLY pasty. Anyway, I added a warm filter on PS. It completely changed the lighting. It was a lifesaver.
An option for the freckles: I wouldn't clone stamp the freckles, but I would place a gaussian blur on the photo and erase the blur on the eyes, nose (any facial lines). This will be a remarkable improvement, and still keep her look. It will make them less of a focus in the portrait.
I hope this helps.
Cyndee
- Cynthia L. Wanyonyi

ANSWER 2:
I wouldn't erase the freckles either, but I often use the nose reduction feature in PSE 3.0. This will give you a soft effect to their skin and you can adjust it to how much or how little. I tend to use strength 10 Preserve details (varies on the sharpness and subject, but I use anywhere from 126% to 180%) and Reduct color noise 100% As far as flash goes. The ones in my gallery of Tanya I took using flash. I used my accessory flash and adjusted it to the ISO I was using and then just adjusted the flash head length as I needed. I also put my flash strength to -2 ... that seemed to work well and I don't think it had a bad effect.
- Michelle Ross

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NEW QUESTION 4: Tips on Taking a Band's Picture Inside
I am going to photograph a 6-piece band that will be playing for a high school reunion. It will be inside - probably low light (?)... except obviously for lights on the band's faces. Should I angle the flash? Shoot direct flash? Any tips? Thanks. They want to use these pictures for their Web site.
- Linda L. Clark

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Visit familyfotos4u.com - Linda's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
If there's any chance you can get there early before the event starts and have them pose in position with extra lighting, that would be best. If not, then bring a tripod, stake out a good spot, and try with flash and without.
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

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ANSWER 2:
That's a good idea. I think I will get there early and try to get a shot of the band when they are dressed ... but before the crowd gets there.
- Linda L. Clark

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NEW QUESTION 5: Why Is This Picture So BAD???
OK. I know I'm just learning, but the other morning on my way to work I saw this beautiful sunrise and had to stop to take a picture. It was almost daylight out (around 7:30 am) but the sun peeking over the horizon still lit up the sky. WHY does everything look so black in the pics, and why is there a reddish circle over on the right side? I used a flash, which maybe I shouldn't have and I'm not certain, but I may have had a circular polarizer on also.
- Kathy L. Pollick

See Sample Photo - Sunrise:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=1291138

ANSWER 1:
You have answered your own question. Polarized filter and flash at sunrise do not mix.
- Karen E. Michaels

Visit karenemichaels.com - Karen's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
You also need to understand that, at sunset, the light from the sky is so much brighter than the light in the foreground that you will either get a silhouette (if you meter off the sky) or blow out the sky (if you meter off the foreground). You might try using a split (graduated) ND filter, which will cut down on the light from the sky.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 3:
Ditto, Karen and Kerry. The flash is only good for lighting near subjects. It cannot light the distant trees. The polarizer is most effect when the sun is 90° to the direction you are shooting. Straight into the sun, it is least effective, and its additional glass surfaces add to flare and ghosting (the reddish circle on the right side).
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
I see several problems.
One, what film were you using? There's a lot of grain in the photo. You want to use 100 ASA film for shots like this, and a tripod.
Two, the reflection in your photo could be the result of the filter (specifically, a reflection off the inside of the filter). You don't want, or need, polarized filters when shooting into the sun like this.
Three, as someone said, when the light levels vary this widely across your picture, you have four choices: Expose for the sky (giving a black ground); expose for the ground (blowing out the sky); using a graduated neutral-density filter so you can get both ground and sky; or shooting two photos (one for the sky, one for the ground) and blending them in an image editor (you'll need to shoot from a tripod to have a chance to pull this off successfully).
Since you're using a film camera, the graduated ND filter approach is the easiest. You can buy several with different stop differences... then meter the sky, meter the foreground, figure the difference in stops, and use the appropriate grad filter.
Keep in mind also that the eye can capture much more variances in light levels than film (or digital) cameras, so unless you expose for the sky in some manner (as described above) you will have no chance of capturing even some of the different light levels that make sunrises and sunsets so intriguing.
- John Clifford

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NEW QUESTION 6: Best Zoom Lens for Travel Holiday?
I'm going to Rome in November and just want to take one lens. Iam thinking of buying the Canon 28-300 3.5-5.6L (for full-frame camera). I would appreciate any advice!
- Helen

ANSWER 1:
If you can afford that then go for it. You can't beat the focal length range and its L designation. But don't forget ... it's a push/pull zoom, not your usual twist type zoom. Some people don't like this. I've never tried it, but I'm not sure if I would like it. I would recommend renting it for a day from somewhere and seeing if you really like it. I was going to recommend the 28-135 for a lot less price. But if you have $2100, by all means try it if you won't mind the push/pull factor.
- Justin D. Goeden

ANSWER 2:
Justin,
Thanks for your advice! I have never used a push/pull zoom, so it may not be the ideal lens. I will now definitely "try before I buy"! The 28-135 sounds good, will definitely look at it. Thanks again.
- Helen

ANSWER 3:
The biggest problem with using the EF 28-300L as a travel lens is its size. It is very heavy to carry as a tourist (over 3.5 pounds), and its long length (7.2" at its shortest zoom) and white paint mean it's not a very discrete lens. It's intended more for professional photojournalists. If that doesn't put you off, then go for it.
Alternatively, you can cover the same range with as good or better optics and less total weight and cost with a 2-lens set - such as Justin's suggestion of the EF 28-135 IS, and either the EF 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM or the newly released EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 4:
Since you are touring in a city, I think you need the wide angle end more often. The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is my first choice. The IS feature is extremely useful in low-light situations. My other choices are the EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (less expensive, lighter but no IS) or the Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 Asph. XR IF Macro (very light weight, less expensive and cover more).
- Andy Szeto

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Saving Images from Digital Camera
I have a new Rebel XT camera and I have some questions. I have shot film for nearly thirty years so this is really new to me. I am learning the camera OK, but how do I go about saving the images from the card to a CD. What kind of CD do I want? I want to be able to do some minor editing, save the images and then upload to MPIX for prints. I have a card reader and the software that came with the camera. I also have Elements and Microsoft Picture IT. Can anyone help me? Thanks.
- Linda Buchanan

ANSWER 1:
Use either the camera software or Photoshop to open the file on the card, then transfer the pictures to a file on your computer. Then you open each one with Photoshop and do whatever editing you need. Then save them.
I have never uploaded to Mpix, so I don't know what their guidelines are for uploading to them.
Getting the pictures off your card should be in the owner's manual though.
What kind of CD? I've heard not to get the kind that come in assorted colors. They look good but aren't considered the best for longevity. They'll last a long time, but the plain ones are better.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi, Linda,
As Gregory has pointed out, you are actually asking a few different questions. So here goes:

"How to get the card from the camera to the CD?" This is a question of file transfer - the memory card in the camera needs to get attached to a computer (I assume you have a computer). This can be done in two ways, basically. Either you would use a cable that may have come with the camera itself, and attach the camera directly to the USB port of the computer, or remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into a so-called "card reader". The latter method is usually considered better - only because you don't use battery time on the camera itself and can be transferring to the computer even while using the camera with another card in it. Either way, now you have the image files (and that's all they are, computer files of the images taken by the camera) on a computer.

"What kind of CD...?" Greg makes a good point - home-burned CDs and DVDs may not last very long (a few years, sometimes less). This has to do with the materials used to make their reflective layers - in cheap CDs these chemicals oxidize with exposure. If you are planning to archive the images in question - that is, keep them a long time - it's best to buy high-quality blank CDs, like Mitsui Gold. These are rated to last decades.

Of course, all this presumes that you have the ability to burn CDs on your computer in the first place. If not, you will need to buy a CD burner and perhaps software for it as well. These have come down in price considerably over the years - to about $100 today.

Not to befuddle entirely, but one other possibility would be to get a CD burner specifically designed for photographers to burn and store images "on the road". In other words, these devices are portable, and are not designed to plug into a computer but instead have a built-in card reader and a power cord. The concept is that you fill up your memory card and then plug it into the burner, burn a CD (or 2, just for backup) and then erase the card and reuse it. Then you can take the CD home to your PC/Mac and open the file in Elements or whatever, and have a party!
Hope that helps.
- Bob

ANSWER 3:
The simple way if you do not have a CD burner is to take you camera card to Wal-mart and use their machine to make a CD About $3.00. Hope this helps.
Dr Silly :o)
- Dr Silly

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: First-Time Wedding ... Jitters
I have been offered to do a wedding - yes, first time. I have proofed many weddings and have many ideas, and I have also done a few small family-oriented weddings in a studio that I worked in. I have no feeling that I can't do a wedding ... it is just my first one of the whole wedding. I am struggling with what to charge. I am doing film, and I was thinking of $450.00. Is this too little?? Also, does anyone have any tips on what you have found to work best? I have a list of different poses. The bride and groom are an older couple - that shouldn't matter on a general pose list, should it? Do I ask them to choose which poses they would like to use? I guess I am just looking for any tips and information available! Thanks!
- Erin J. Carlson

ANSWER 1:
If you can make a profit at $450.00, I would say it is not too little if it gets your foot in the door. I would use the poses you want to use, rather than asking them how they want to pose ... as it makes you look more professional and competent. THEN I would ask them if there are any additional poses they want ... as this makes you look accommodating. You get the best of both worlds.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 2:
One other thing: Don't worry about the jitters. I shot my first wedding 38 years ago, and I STILL get nervous when shooting a wedding - until the shooting starts. Then I worry again until I see the proofs. Everything always turns out fine, but I believe that when I quit worrying I will have become complacent and then it will be time to quit. It is the desire to do a good job and satisfy the customer and, above all, yourself that keeps you on your toes.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 3:
I am 50 years old, was widowed and married a 51-year-old widowed Methodist minister ... in his church. My suggestion for wedding photography for an older couple would be to be sure to include their children and grandchildren. Also, if you can have some of the negatives scanned to a high-res CD, click out a few of the wrinkles before you print ... they will love you for it!
- Linda Buchanan

ANSWER 4:
The only thing I guess I am really worried about is the equipment. The lights that I have - due to being an extremely poor, recovering poor college student:) and dating/living with a poor college student - are strobe lights. Are these efficient enough to use if the wedding is indoors? Outdoors I am not worried too much about it. If the wedding is indoors, I am afraid that my equipment would not be the best. I do have two of these strobe lights that go off with my flash. Is this going to be too much light if I place them 8-10 feet back?? What would be a suggested placement difference when using strobe lights? Would it be the same as regular lights??
- Erin J. Carlson

ANSWER 5:
I would suggest a flash meter. I use strobes and have an inexpensive flash meter that has saved me more than once. Our wedding photographer used strobes, set off by the flash on his camera that were about eight feet from us, shot into an umbrella and we were very happy with the pics. Good luck, you will do fine.
- Linda Buchanan

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Backdrop Sizes
Is there a general rule on what size of backdrop to use depending on the number of people you're photographing? Would a group of 6 fit on a 6' x 9'? When would you need a 20' long backdrop?
- Michelle Ochoa

ANSWER 1:
Short answer ... not really.
Can you squeeeeeze 6 persons onto a 6x9? Yes, but they better know each other really, really well. However, there are a lot of "depends" which only you can answer:
Depends on how large the people are. Depends on how close together you want them.
Depends on how much of them you want to see. And,
Depends on what focal length lens you are using.

A 6x9 backdrop is more suitable for individuals, and couples. A trio at best. Full length with a 6x9 is difficult with average height adults, assuming you want the backdrop to cover the entire image frame.
OK, you just might be able to photograph 6 really small kids on a 6x9 if you could squeeze them tightly together, then tie them up to keep them contained.

A 20' long backdrop might be in order for a bride with a long train. Remember, you probably want 7-8 feet worth of height, a couple of feet in the sweep, which only leaves you with about 10' coming out. Given that you want some breathing space around the bride, you can eat up that 10' in a heartbeat.

Something else to consider is the focal length of the lens in use. The focal length will determine how much of the backdrop shows side-to-side, and top-to-bottom, as will how far away your lens is from the backdrop. The wider the lens, the more backdrop you will see, requiring your backdrop to be proportionally wider so as to fill the frame.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

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ANSWER 2:
Thank you so much for your response. What if I don't know how many subject, or the size? I could have a couple, or I could have a group of 10 ... some kids, some adults, maybe a mix. And this is all at one event. I'm just starting out using backdrops (I'm more of the candid type of photographer). Would a 10' x 15' be a good safe and versatile size? Or would 15' x 20' be better?
- Michelle Ochoa

ANSWER 3:
Size can become a big issue for location shooting. Physically handling large backdrops can be a problem, unless you have your own road crew. If you are unsure of the group sizes, such as in a large family reunion, you'll either need to inquire a little, or be prepared for anything. Good luck with that! Perhaps you can use an alternative natural background for your shots. If not, and you anticipate groups as large as 10 or so, I'd opt for a large muslin, at least 15x20. Keep in mind that the average width of an adult is about 18 inches, plus you need breathing room on the sides. Be sure you have enough flash power also. I presume you have some studio lights that you will use.
Michael
- Michael H. Cothran

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Battery Charging
I have two older batteries that will only charge for like 30 seconds each. I have to re-set the power each time to get a small charge. Does anyone know if this is an old battery problem or if the aftermarket chargers are no good?
- Kyle D. Neff

ANSWER 1:
If the batteries are old, that is most likely the problem. Rechargeables eventually "wear out" and won't hold a charge.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
It sounds like the generic brands issue. Although they are really cheap, they do not last long. They are done ... retire them... :(
- Melissa L. Zavadil

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ANSWER 3:
Are these battery packs? If so, you can have the cells replaced by an authorized dealer. Sometimes this is a cheaper than buying new packs.
- L. W.

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Matte or Glossy - Preference?
Hi everyone,
What are some of you guys and gals printing Matte or Glossy. Is there a difference between the two besides personal preference. What are the pros and cons? Thanks for your help.
- Ric Henry

ANSWER 1:
I prefer matte over glossy for all of my work ... I think matte handles better and stays looking nicer over time. ... I don't print anything of importance myself and send off for all of my work. I think as long as the quality of the paper is good that either will have longevity to it. And, for most, I think it simply does boil down to a personal preference!
- Michelle Ross

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ANSWER 2:
Hi Ric,
This really is a personal preference type thing. I think you get a lot better clarity and a crisp look with glossy. When you think about it, most matte finish paper has little dips and valleys in it. When you think about it in that way, all of those little dips and valleys kind of disperse your photo, which gives it that soft look. Glossy shows finger prints terribly, though, where matte hides them really well. Personally, I prefer matte, because I can't stand to see fingerprints. It also is very nice for portraiture because of the soft look.
- Liza M. Franco

ANSWER 3:
OK, Now I am going to throw you for a loop: I like glossy for my animal and landscape prints ... as Liza says, they seem more vivid and crisp. And I print portraits in matte - I feel it gives them a richer more real look.
- Debby Tabb

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ANSWER 4:
For weddings, I get mine printed on texture - sort of between matte and glossy.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 5:
I print on lustre. It's got a nice coat on it ... meaning it's not glossy for glares and not matte for a sometimes dull look. Plus, matte has no polycontrast features. Lustre is beautiful IMHO. I think Lustre is a Kodak thing. I use Kodak Polycontrast III & IV Lustre finish.
- Justin D. Goeden

ANSWER 6:
Matte or Gloss is a personal preference. My preference is for gloss for general work and matte for portraits. The gloss does show up detail much more ... as the matte does have that dispersed look. From a "copyright protection" point of view ... if you supply your pics on matte, this makes it difficult for people to copy via scanning (as the scanner picks up all the bumps and crevices).
- Roy Blinston

ANSWER 7:
Also ... "textured paper" is even worse for scanning (hence even more protection).
- Roy Blinston

ANSWER 8:
Hi Ric,
I have been doing photography for about 30 years. And I have been doing digital photography since 1993. I'm also a digital photography teacher at the local college.
I discuss this with my students every semester. Usually about 2/3rds of the students prefer glossy up front. By the end of a class, most are not using glossy. Why? Matte prints will outlast glossy by many years. Glossy prints scratch easier and show smudges and fingerprints. Also, for me, they have a look of being plastic. Which I know of no one, or any scenics, that have this look. It's just not a real look.
Epson claims 200 years when a Matte print is matted and framed behind glass. Also with their watercolor paper. This is with newer printers, such as the Epson 800, 1800, 2400, 4800, etc. Also, the Epson 2200 has a good life for prints.
In between glossy and matte are semi-gloss and luster papers. Semi-gloss is a little more to the glossy side, and luster is a little more to the matte side. They have a longer lifespan than glossy, but a shorter one than matte paper. These papers have a slight texture to them.
I usually use the Epson Luster, and sometimes Ilford's Smooth Pearl. My third paper of use is Kodaks Satin,
or their new Pro Luster. I also experiment with other papers.
Some require more color adjustments than others. Example: I often have to take out 15 - 30 Red by going to H & S, Red channel with the Kodak paper. Sometimes other minor adjustments are required. I usually have my students buy 2 packs of 8 1/2 x 11 paper each with a different surface to make sure they do experiment a little.
Hope you have some fun with this. Best of luck!
- GARY FESPERMAN

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