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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, November 29, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto Unveils New Designs for Deluxe BetterPholios™
* BETTERPHOTO: New Online Course: Adobe Photoshop Elements
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto's Online School: More New Classes for Winter!
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterWorkshops: On-Location Excitement and Online Critiques!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focus on Snow Photography
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Movie Moon Shot / Ditigal Timeline
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: The Purpose of Fill Light ... by Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Portrait Photography - Head Shots
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Christmas Tree Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: SLR: Film Vs. Digital
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Photoshop: Motion Blur
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Digital SLR: Previewing Scene on LCD?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Tips on Sunset Photography
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Picturing People Wearing Eyeglasses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Fast Lenses Vs. Pro Lenses
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Portrait Lighting Kit
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Coatings on Photos


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto Unveils New Designs for Deluxe BetterPholios™
Give yourself the gift of a Web site this holiday season! The updated Deluxe BetterPholios™ by BetterPhoto.com™ offer beautiful and functional design, plus easy Web hosting – for a great low price. And, starting this week, we have 6 awesome site designs and four different color schemes for each design. (Note: If you are already a Deluxe BetterPholio™ owner, you may convert to the new designs - at no cost to you - or keep your current design. See the announcement in your Deluxe Admin Center.) For more information:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxe-photographer-websites.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 240th issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

Just in time for the holidays: all-new Deluxe BetterPholio™ designs! BetterPhoto's template-based sites showcase photographs in such beautiful ways. Two particularly cool things: 1) You can change layouts as well as color schemes anytime you want - right from your own admin page; 2) if you are already a Deluxe BetterPholio™ owner, the conversion to the new design is easy ... and you will NOT have to re-upload your images. For Deluxe BetterPholio™ details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxe-photographer-websites.asp

The October Contest winners have been posted, and as usual, the images are just awesome. Special congratulations go to Alton I. Vance for his fantastic Grand Prize-winning image: "Painter Painting of Southwest Equestrian Sunset". See all the winners at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0510.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss our usual features, along with another outstanding Photo Tip on lighting from instructor/photographer Charlie Borland.

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


*****
New Online Course: Adobe Photoshop Elements
Learn all about the awesome - and affordable - image-editing program Photoshop Elements in a terrific new 8-week online course taught by BetterPhoto instructor-author Robin Nichols. Elements is a great program because the tools it contains are incredibly sophisticated, yet it's (relatively) easy to use. For specifics:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/ROB02.asp


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BetterPhoto's Online School: More New Classes for Winter!
Our next session is shaping up to be our most comprehensive ever, with a number of new classes. Besides Robin Nichols's Adobe Photoshop Elements (see above), we also have Paul Gero's Digital Wedding Photography, Peter Burian's Mastering the Digital Camera & Photography (an update of his guest-instructed Digital Photography class), and Kerry Drager's Creative Light & Composition (which compiles favorite lessons from his Field Techniques and Point, Think & Shoot courses). For info, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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BetterWorkshops: On-Location Excitement and Online Critiques!
Our exciting lineup of workshops combines the best of two worlds - online and on-location. And each workshop is led by one of BetterPhoto's expert instructor-photographers. For more details and the schedule, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/on-location-photography-workshops.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focus on Snow Photography
It's just about that time of year for many BetterPhoto photographers. For some excellent ideas and some equally excellent inspiration, check out the creative images at our snow gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=450

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Amanda Peet plays a photographer in the recent film "A Lot Like Love", which also stars Ashton Kutcher. What is the name of the real-life photographer who actually shot the nighttime photo of Amanda and Ashton in their birthday suits with the moon behind them?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Dave Mikkelson is:
Actor turned photographer Ben Glass. Editor's Note: Ben Glass is credited as the film's still photographer. But we received some other interesting - and conflicting - answers too. Thanks to all for your input!

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 - Ditigal Timeline - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

In what year was the first patent filed for a filmless electronic camera?
Extra Credit (optional): What is the name of the company that filed the patent?

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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The Purpose of Fill Light ... by Charlie Borland

When you are lighting a person or a product, your main light will be the key light. Its purpose is to create highlights and shadows and this is how you use light to shape your subject. Unfortunately, digital and film cannot see what we see in terms of lighting ratios. So the shadows in your scene often need to be lightened with a fill light and to do this you place your fill light as close to the camera lens as you can. The fill light then fills in the shadows created by your key light.

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:
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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: Portrait Photography - Head Shots
I have been asked by my daughter, who is an associate partner for a law firm, if I would be interested in doing some head shots of the lawyers and others for their Web site. I'm fairly new to digital photography, only about 1 1/2 years. I've entered some local shows and won a few ribbons. I even sold a few prints, but this would be my first "real" paying job. I would be able to take a few practice shots of my daughter in the settings they want to use. How much should I charge? It would just be take the pictures, download to a CD, and that's it.
- Darlene Rodriguez

ANSWER 1:
Well Darlene, it's like this: When you shoot a job for pay, your fees are calculated using a number of factors including how much time is involved(before, during and after the shoot, including travel time to and from the location); the degree of difficulty and your level of skill; expenses including film, processing, or whatever you might pay for a pound of pixels and cds; use of the equipment, whether you own it or have to rent it (i.e., cameras, lenses, lighting and accessories). Last but not least, fees for usage of the images - in this case, on a Web site based upon the fact that you hold the copyright unless or until you'd transfer it in whole or in part.

As your daughter is a lawyer, she should understand that the copyright that you own (in most situations) is a property right created under the federal constitution and governed by the Copyright Act and the amendments to it, including those of 1976 and 1978.

Once you've considered all these factors (among others I may not have listed), then you should be able to set a fair price for your work including the usage they want on the Web site and a structured fee for any subsequent usage - say, for advertising materials, illustrations in any magazines to accompany articles they've written, etc. As your daughter can probably attest, everything is negotiable. When you establish a price, make it high enough to remain flexible in your negotiations, if any.

And, if as most photographers starting out, you tend to undervalue your services (even when the client promises tons of work from referrals), then you should probably take a look at two web sites: Advertising Photographers of America http://www.apa.com and the American Society of Media Photographers http://www.asmp.org.

And, when your daughter throws back her head and says something like, "Gee Mom, I'm a lawyer and even I don't make that kind of money". Remind her that when you were a lawyer, neither did you. :>) Then remind her to consider the benefit you convey to them by doing the work and the uniqueness of your particular work product.

Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20850

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20850

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NEW QUESTION 2: Christmas Tree Pictures
I would like to know if there would be a problem taking a subject in front of a christmas tree with lights. Will this cause any affect to your pictures? What advice could you give me concerning taking Christmas pictures? Also, taking pictures in front of a glass window with a Christmas tree in front of it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Ms. Nette
- Twynette Deloris Reynolds

ANSWER 1:
There's some articles here at BP that address Christmas photography: here's one from the Home Page:
Photographing Christmas Lights and Other Holiday Happenings

I've seen a few threads here on Q&A lately, as well. You might search Christmas and find them.
- Joyce S. Bowley

See Joyce's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
The short answer is no. The easiest thing to do is use daylight type film and a little bit of fill-in flash on your main subject so as not to wash out the color of the lights around them.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein

ANSWER 3:
It depends on whether the Christmas Tree is the subject of the picture. If not, focus and expose for your subject - but don't, necessarily, expect the tree and its lighting to be great.
- John Sandstedt

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20845

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20845

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NEW QUESTION 3: SLR: Film Vs. Digital
Is there a difference between digital SLR and just SLR? And, if so, which is right for me? I'm a beginning photographer who prefers to take pics of scenery.
- Tyler Alan Hall

ANSWER 1:
One is digital and one is film. It depends if you want immediate gratification or wait to have your film developed.
- Bob Cournoyer

See Bob's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
There's also the question of money ... a huge initial outlay for a decent digital SLR system vs. a modestly priced film SLR capable of producing the same results ... but having to pay for film and processing over time. With a film camera, there will also be the added expense of scanning equipment and learning how to use it effectively if you want to post anything here or e-mail any of your photos to your friends and family. Both styles of camera are a means to capture light and to re-create a vision. They just accomplish it in different ways. Which is "right" for you? That is something only you can decide.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Just to add to what the Bobs have already said, and in case you didn't already know this, SLR just stands for Single Lens Reflex. It just means that there's a single lens for the light path, with a mirror that directs the light to the viewfinder when composing the shot and moves out of the way to take the shot ( hence the term "reflex" ). The 'D' just means that on the other side of the mirror is an electronic optical sensor instead of a film frame.
- Stan Lubach

See Stan's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20829

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20829

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NEW QUESTION 4: Photoshop: Motion Blur
I'm trying to do a picture for my husband for Christmas of him on his motorcycle. I want it to show a motion blur with movement streaks behind the motorcycle. So far, I haven't figured out how to do this and really look cool. Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can achieve this? I appreciate anyone's help on this. Thanks.
- Pat Wimpee

Visit portraitcreation.com - Pat's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Well, Pat, it sounds like the effect you're going for has to do with taking a nighttime shot, and setting your flash to synch with the rear shutter curtain.

That is - first, you'll need to find a stretch of road you can use in the evening, as to get the streaky look you'll want a slow shutter speed. Imagine having the shutter open for a full second - but to do that it needs to be fairly dark. Next, you need to mount the camera on a tripod, since you don't want to introduce blur from your side. The streaks you speak of are the blur caused by his motion across your field of view.
Finally, since it is dark (see above), you'll need to use a flash to get a sharp and clear image of your hubby. The rear curtain synch I mentioned relates to timing of the flash - rather than it "popping" as soon as the shutter opens, it waits until the full second is over and then "pops" when the shutter just starts to close.
The net result is the bike crossing your field of view is blurry, with whatever small amount of ambient lighting (or its own head-and-tail-lights) causing the streak effect. And then the flash goes off, simultaneously freezing the motion and properly exposing the shot.

And plan to take a gaggle of shots attempting to do this - my 1 second shutter speed is merely an example; you need to experiment with shutter speeds, motorcycle speeds, distance to subject & angle of view, etc.
Good luck!
- Bob

ANSWER 2:
Photoshop has motion blur as one of its filters.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Thanks for the tips, Bob. I'll definitely give that a try.
Gregory- I tried the motion blur in Photoshop, but I can't get streaks behind the bike! The wheels spin real good, tho :)
Off to freeze my husband this weekend!!
- Pat Wimpee

Visit portraitcreation.com - Pat's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
You blur a separate layer and erase to blend in with the bike.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
Oh- I should have thought of that, Gregory!! Thanks, I'll try it.
- Pat Wimpee

Visit portraitcreation.com - Pat's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20802

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20802

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NEW QUESTION 5: Digital SLR: Previewing Scene on LCD?
Why can't I preview the scene on the LCD before I press the shutter on a Digital SLR? Sorry, I am new to this. Thanks :)
- Magda

ANSWER 1:
With an SLR, the sensor is behind both a shutter screen and a mirror that directs the light from the lens to the viewfinder. So there is no live view possible on the LCD screen. You view live through the viewfinder. When you fully press the shutter button, the mirror flips up so that the light is then directed to the sensor. The shutter opens to allow the light to hit the sensor for the amount of time specified by the shutter speed, then closes and the mirror drops back into place.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
So, basically, on an SLR, you are looking directly through the lens.
- Brendan Knell

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20801

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20801

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Tips on Sunset Photography
What do Know about sunset photography?
- Farheen Riaz

ANSWER 1:
Meter the sunset without the sun in the photo. Remember this reading, and since the camera meter is going to read it as middle-toned gray, bracket at the rated, +1 and +2. If you're using slide, bracket at 1/2 steps to get the desired impact you want.
- Justin D. Goeden

ANSWER 2:
Make sure to include a point of interest in the foreground.
A sunset without it is just that ... a sunset. (Translation: boring and cliche.)
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Welcome, Farheen! You'll need the following:
some knowledge of weather
tripod
remote release
wide angle lens
clouds
good color film
a body of water, not essential, but makes for a great reflection
no power lines or poles
patience ... i.e., hang around after the sun sets ... many times that is when the colors come alive
hth, sam
- Samuel Smith

See Samuel's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
And don't forget while you are focusing on the sunset to turn around and see what the sunset has done to anything behind you ...:-)
Bob
- Bob Cournoyer

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20774

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20774

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Picturing People Wearing Eyeglasses
How do you take a picture of a child with eyeglasses and not get a reflection of the glasses?
- Hope Anderson

ANSWER 1:
There are a few tips to photographing anyone with glasses.
- First make sure your subject's body is angled - and that you have brought their nose around so you have full eyes.
- Make sure the glasses are all the way back on the nose.
- Have them lean towards you - this would be from the waist.
- Lower the subject a little or raise the lights a tad more.
Try these things - one or all should help. A person who wears glasses 75 percent of their day should be photographed in them.
And a little light on the very top of the frame is acceptable if you can't get rid of it.
I do hope this helps.
Debby Tabb
- Debby Tabb

See Debby's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Or try a circular polarizer filter. It cuts off glare on cars with shiny chrome ... great ...
Craig-
- Craig m. Zacarelli

See Craig's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
If you know the person wears glasses before the shoot, you can ask them to bring frames without lenses in them. Or you can tilt the glasses down a bit as well.
- Jason Kesselring

ANSWER 4:
Just have them remove the offending glasses.
Craig
- Craig m. Zacarelli

See Craig's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 5:
What kind of pictures do you have in mind? Candid? Studio portraits? I try not to use flash at all (unless it's off the camera or the child is not looking straight into camera - if it's not reflecting off the lenses, it usually reflects off frames and produces at least some glare). I usually use natural light only and try to remember that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. It is simple but you will need a lot of practice; I practiced with some good results - my daughter has been wearing glasses full time since she was 15 months and she is 6.5 now). But still when we go to have her pictures taken (Passport only - renown photo studio in DC area)- they still have problems, and we usually don't like the results, and they use flash for this kind of photos.
- Malina Stanczak

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20771

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20771

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Fast Lenses Vs. Pro Lenses
I have a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, fast in low light and not expensive. How much difference in image quality would a pro lens like the Canon L lenses give compared to the cheap 50mm 1.8?
- Marius Liebenberg

ANSWER 1:
The main differences between an entry-level lens like the 50mm f1.8 and higher-level lenses are more about lens construction. The 50mm f1.8 is mostly made of plastic, has a plastic mount, a rotating front element, and no distance scale.
Canon's higher-level lenses, like the 50mm f1.4, are made of stronger materials, have metal lens mounts, a non-rotating front element, and a distance scale.
If you move further up the line to the L-series lenses, they add in gaskets and weather seals to protect the lens from the elements. Higher-level and L-series lenses also have more coated elements than the entry-level lenses, which can result in better image quality since they reduce internal lens glare and chromatic aberrations.

Chris
- Chris A. Vedros

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20769

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Portrait Lighting Kit
Hello all
Up until now I've been shooting sports and nature. I keep getting asked to do portraits and want to step into this arena (but not have to sell the farm). I've found a few small low-end kits such as the Smith-Victor kit that comes with three lights (and stands), two umbrellas and one boom for overhead and back lighting. I've already purchased a collapsible backdrop so I think I'm covered with that backdrop thing.

Can anyone suggest a brand or things to look for in a kit for someone like me who is just starting out with portraits?

Thanks
Tom
- Tom Chambers

ANSWER 1:
I've been doing a bit of research on this myself, planning for the future. Charlie Borland has a list of required lighting equipment that is needed to sign up for one of his classes here.

Editor's Note: Charlie is an experienced commercial photographer and instructor; see his equipment list at the following page for his online course: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting

I've seen a lot of people in The Forum who have different ideas. I know of some people who will use ONLY Alien Bees www.alienbees.com for their lighting. Charlie recommends 3 strobes; the Alien Bees 800 would probably fit the required 400 watt seconds or greater he includes in his list. Then there are light stands, a light box, umbrellas and a Safe Sync. This (entire) set-up you're looking at is $1K ... but I'm sure you can find folks here at BP who spend a good deal less and are happy.
- Joyce S. Bowley

See Joyce's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20757

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20757

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

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Coatings on Photos
I was exploring some of the photo labs recommended when I searched through past threads. Some of them offer coatings for the prints: prayed lacquer, clear or lustre lacquer, a textured coating. Other than protect the print, what exactly do the coatings do? What is the difference between them? Are they advisable or is one better than the other? I'm new to the professional labs and want to make sure I get quality prints for people. Thanks so much!
- Lynsey Lund

ANSWER 1:
Hi Lynsey,
I have been very happy with ProLabExpress for my print services. I have always had the Satin coating on my prints. I like that it makes the prints nearly impervious to fingerprints. I recommend that you order some small prints, some coated and some not - then make up your mind.
John
- John R. Rhodes

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

Visit backbayscenes.com - John's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thanks, John. What does the satin look like ... does it make them shiny? Or is it like these texture ones I keep reading about so I see some sort of texture? Thanks for the input.
- Lynsey Lund

ANSWER 3:
I have a question that goes along with it! I have a couple of people who want to order these pictures from me that have a texture to them that is rough. They said you don't need to have glass and can wipe it clean. It looks like linen almost that stands off the page. Does anyone know what this is and where to order it?
- Haley Crites

ANSWER 4:
My lab (prophotoimaging.com) offers prints on three types of paper - texture, matte or glossy. In addition, they offer protective matte spray, standard dry mounting, mounting on art board with either canvas or linen texture as well as the print bonded to canvas and mounted to a stretcher frame. Check them out, if you wish.
- Kerry L. Walker

ANSWER 5:
Hello, All! Just thought I'd add my $.02 ... I usually get my prints done with the lustre coating. It is great at repelling finger prints. Mpix has a metallic coating that makes colorful images pop off the page, but I have not used it for any of my prints yet.
Haley, I think the textured print you are describing is a canvas print. I have a canvas print and it does have a linen look to it.
- Marquee Smith

ANSWER 6:
Lynsey, I haven't checked in for a while - too busy putting my house back in order following Katrina (I live in Biloxi).
I have only had my prints in Lustre with satin coating. There is a slight texture from the coating. I'll stay with my original suggestion: Experiment by uploading a couple of your favorites to the lab(s) and order to see what you'll get. Both MPix and ProLabExpress offer generally the same services Satin or lustre, metallic, etc. ProLab ships free for orders over $25 so I always maximize my order to take advantage of that.
John
- John R. Rhodes

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Visit backbayscenes.com - John's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20713

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20713

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