The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, March 27, 2006
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Photo Signature Q...
Q&A 2: Wedding Photograp...
Q&A 3: Color Space: Adob...
Q&A 4: How to Clean My L...
Q&A 5: Travel w/DSLR: Do...
Q&A 6: BP Summit - This ...
Q&A 7: Prom Photography...


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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Macro Photography Tip by Laurence Saliba
When filling your frame with a macro subject, disable your autofocus and set at the closest range. Move in very slowly till the subject is clear, and take some consecutive shots to try and get one at least to your desired effect.
Check out BetterPhoto member Laurence Saliba's Premium Gallery


NEW MACRO COURSES FOR SPRING!
Two courses that explore the wonderful world of extreme close-ups have been added to BetterPhoto's online school: Jon Canfield's Macro Photography: An In-Depth Look, an 8-week class that begins April 5th; and Brenda Tharp's Macro II: Advanced Techniques, a four-week course that runs in May.
Photo by Brenda Tharp
   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 257th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Lots of fantastic news at BetterPhoto.com! The Spring session of our online photography school gets under way April 5th, and we've added many awesome new classes and instructors. See the Updates and Ad in this issue of SnapShot. Also, I am looking forward to the upcoming release of my Photographing Kids DVD (pre-order and get a gift for the kids!) and to the Second Annual BetterPhoto Summit. In addition, I was honored to be the featured guest on the very first Digital Photography Show on The Podcast Network (TPN). A reminder: In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we are giving you 10% off and free US shipping on every book and DVD in the BetterPhoto Store during March!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Matt Bamberg - the author of Digital Art Photography for Dummies - shares his vision in a new BetterPhoto Digital Art Photography course. And we are thrilled to have photographer-author Ellen Anon on board with a new 4-week class that begins May 3rd: What the Histogram Tells You About Exposure. Digital photography enthusiasts have yet another resource with the recent debut of The Digital Photography Show on The Podcast Network (TPN). BetterPhoto founder Jim Miotke was the featured guest on the very first show. Learn more... The Pacific Northwest Photographic Society has announced its 8th Annual Invitational Photo Show coming up May 19-21, 2006. The show is open to all photographers - professional, non-professional and youth. For entry information, email show organizers at photoshow2006@aol.com or pacphoto1@aol.com.

Photo Q&A

1: Photo Signature Question...
Hi all... I was noticing that some photographers "sign" their photos with something like Photoshop. Is that the standard? I've also seen some people sign the photo in the corner by hand. What's the common practice? Thanks! :)
Mel
- Melanie Bujold
ANSWER 1:
Hi Mel!
I think it's just personal preference. Contests I've entered forbid signatures on the front. If I was doing portaits for a client, I wouldn't sign them as it would be annoying to them. If I was selling photos as art pieces (landscapes, flowers, etc.), I'd probably sign using PS. But that's just me.
- Denyse M. LaMay
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2: Wedding Photography ... Getting Started
Hi, I am a beginner in photography. I received an offer to cover a wedding of my friend on May 2006. I am having a Yashica FX3 + 50mm + 70-210mm(vivitar) and a Minolta 200 flash. I'd like advice on using flash and also tips on taking camera out in rain - i.e., any special gear for the camera? Thanks!
- Joseph Varghese
ANSWER 1:
First of all, let's talk weddings. If you've never shot one before, I would highly suggest getting hold of a wedding photographer and seeing if you can shadow them. A wedding is a very special occasion. It's really something you don't want to mess up. I highly suggest shadowing a professional until you feel comfortable.
I just sold a Minolta 200 flash that was basically no use to me because it didn't have the power I needed. Since I use a Minolta X700, it also didn't link to my camera's electronics. Each photographer and camera is different, but my suggestion is this. Go to the church where the wedding will be held and pop off some test shots. Make sure it has the power you will need for the wedding. If it doesn't, you may have to purchase a new one. Some of today's flash units can cause major sticker shock. If you need a new one, be prepared.The Yashica FX3 is a solid camera that should last years if treated right.
Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark
- Mark R. Hiatt
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3: Color Space: Adobe RGB vs. sRGB
Good morning, all! Adobe RGB or sRGB? I have read many of the reviews analyzing the differences per which selection, when actually taking RAW photographs, maximizes color quality and accuracy rather than converting Raw color schemes in PS. As in every 'art' industry, there seems to be no definitive answers or recommendations. I notice what I "think" are better results on the color histogram when in sRGB mode when shooting but would appreciate any insights and/or opinions per this ongoing debate.
Thank you!
- R.J. LaBarba
ANSWER 1:
If you are referring to which colour space you should set on your camera (assuming your camera gives you the choice), I recommend you set it to Adobe RGB since this has a wider colour gamut than sRGB. Let's say you shoot a load of JPEGs with the camera set to sRGB - you can't increase that gamut afterward because vital colour data is missing. But if you shot them as Adobe RGB you then have the option to either leave them as they are or reduce the gamut to sRGB in Photoshop before printing. With Raw shooting, such decisions don't matter in-camera. It's only when you convert that you have to decide between the two. I still say stick with Adobe RGB when converting Raw files for further editing - for the same reason - you can change adobeRGB images to sRGB but not vice-versa. By sticking with AdobeRGB all the way into your image editor, you are leaving your options open and you won't need to choose between the two colour gamuts until you are ready for saving or printing the final processed image.
- Phillip Corcoran
ANSWER 2:
Phillip's right. Every pro I've ever heard from says to stick with Adobe RGB. The sRGB color space was designed specifically for Web imaging and is not suitable for critical work. You wouldn't notice the difference in 4x6 prints or on a Web page, but get serious about making some large prints and you'll see a difference. I haven't heard of a good reason to use sRGB on purpose, and as Phillip said, you can always convert the image to sRGB inside Photoshop. The whole reason for shooting Raw is to have as much data as possible in the image file. It would make no sense to limit your possible colors by choosing sRGB.
- Paul Tobeck
ANSWER 3:
What Adobe RBG gives you is a greater range of colors that it can display, therefore you have a greater range of printable colors. No matter how big a color space you edit in, there is a limit to the colors that your printer with cmyk inks can actually reproduce in the final print (check it out sometime using the Gamut warning feature inside Photoshop). This year was my second time attending the Epson Print Academy, and every pro there stresses that you should never use the sRGB colorspace. If you have an opportunity to attend, I highly suggest it. Very informative.
Make sure your camera gives the option to choose Adobe RGB 1998. It should be listed somewhere in the setup menu. If your camera only shoots sRGB, then convert them to Adobe 1998 inside Photoshop. You can't gain back the lost colors, but at least you're editing within the proper space. You can set that space up as default within Photoshops preferences, and make it ask you to convert if you try and open sRGB images.
- Paul Tobeck
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4: How to Clean My Lens
I have a Nikkor D-type lens (28-80mm) for my Nikon F-601 film camera and noticed a spot on the glass. I slightly wiped it with a special lens cloth but it's still there. I'm worried on the change of color in the spot in the green-colored coating on the glass. Is this a major problem that needs servicing? Will it decrease the quality of my shots? I'm a novice SLR photographer. Thanks a lot.
- Ronald Isidro N. Singson
ANSWER 1:
Well, first of all Ron, I'd get rid of the lens cleaning cloth, whether it's a micropore or some other variety. Why? Because even though they're a nice idea in theory, in practical use, they can tend to hold embedded particles that don't rinse out. Those in turn, could end up scratching the lens.
To properly clean your lens, first take a burst or two of compressed air and blow off the front elements to get rid of the loose chunks. Next take some LENS TISSUE, apply a few drops or a quick spritz of good quality cleaner to the lens tissue, never directly on the lens. (My own preference is ROR (residual Oil Remover) available from bhphotovideo.com. Then gently, in a circular motion, wipe the lens - move the tissue from the inside of the lens to the outermost edges. Take a couple of dry pieces of tissue and continue until you remove all the excess lens cleaner. That should do it.
As you clean, you may notice some changes in the reflection, which doesn't mean the coating is or has deteriorated. It's just how the lens reflects whatever lighting you're working in. Now, if you really think you've got a damaged coating, it can't be fixed. It's a part of the glass. But if you take it to a competent Nikon repair shop, they can look at it and let you know if it's really OK or has a problem. I did know a guy once who spent almost an entire evening trying to remove what he called a bright spot from his lens. Turned out to be a reflection from the work lamp he was using.
And, if it is a flaw in the coating, yes, it could impact your image quality depending on what you're shooting and the lighting conditions, how your lens is positioned to the light sources, etc.
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
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5: Travel w/DSLR: Do You Post-Process All Shots?
Just curious about this. Those of you who travel and shoot with a DSLR (or high-end P&S), assuming you've taken hundreds of photos while eliminating the worst, do you post-process all of them on the computer? This seems to me to be a timely endeavor ... especially when I hear of some taking 1000+ pictures.
- Cheryl A. Staub
ANSWER 1:
I don't take that many pictures, at least not all at once, but what I usually do is keep them as originals unless I want to print them or have some other specific use for them, or I just happen to be feeling especially artistic at the moment :) If I have one I want to sell or print, then I'll tweak it, but I don't do all of them.
- Stephanie M. Stevens
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6: BP Summit - This September!
Hey everyone!
Just wanted to let you know that the 2nd annual BP summit is set for September 16-17 at the Marriott Redmond Town Center, just outside of Seattle.
All the details can be found here: http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp
Cheers!
Julie
- Julie Rose
ANSWER 1:
I, for one, have started saving for it already! I can't wait I think it's going to be a great learning experience. I also cannot wait to meet some of my fellow BP'ers in person!
- Angela K. Wittmer
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7: Prom Photography
I need some help with prom portraits. I haven't done many portraits. What kinds of settings (backgrounds) should I shoot in? What film should I use? I was thinking of going for late-day time to shoot nice lighting. I have no lighting equipment other than the sun and a built-in flash on my Rebel T2.
- Scott L. Burnett
ANSWER 1:
Most proms already have a backdrop made to go along with theme of the prom. Are you going indoors or outdoors? Are you the official photographer of the whole prom? Or are you taking candids of the couples before the prom starts? I did some prom shots the last few years, but they were before the actual event, and I did them outside by a golf course and in a park setting. Most proms have the "official" backdrop all couples are photographed by but it is inside. If this is the case, you will need more than the flash on your camera to get the shots that you want. Let us know all the specifics and we will be glad to help!
- Angela K. Wittmer
ANSWER 2:
I am not going to the actual prom. I was just going to get together with one couple (they are my friends) and do some shots, probably outside.
- Scott L. Burnett
ANSWER 3:
I'm doing the same thing for a senior ball in June, getting the couples together before they head off for some pics. Outdoor pics are great: use what is around naturally - trees, open fields for great blurred backgrounds, fences, gardens, whatever. Do you get to pick the location? I'm going to be limited to the yard at the house where they're meeting. In early evening like that, you shouldn't have to worry too much about not having light equipment - you should have good natural light. Keep the sun to your back, and if it's really sunny. put them in the shade to avoid harsh shadows.
- Denyse M. LaMay
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