The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, April 17, 2006
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Exposing for Back...
Q&A 2: 28mm Lens Vs. 18m...
Q&A 3: What Lens to Use ...
Q&A 4: Subject with Sunr...
Q&A 5: Film/Slide/Photo ...
Q&A 6: Wedding Photograp...

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Soft Proofing Shortcut ... by Jim M. White
Those who regularly use Photoshop's Soft Proofing feature prior to printing know all too well how different papers affect the appearance of our final image. I use a curves adjustment layer to bring the image back into line, whether it is too dark, too light, or has a slight color cast. I then save the curves adjustment, and name it after that particular paper. Then, whenever I soft proof an image, I create a curves adjustment layer, load the .acv file for that particular paper, and use the opacity slider to dial it in.
Note: Jim White teaches two awesome 4-week courses for May:
The Canon Pro Digital SLRs
The Canon EOS 20D

What a terrific lineup of brand-new 4-week online classes that start May 3rd: Simon Stafford's The Nikon D70-series Cameras; Tony Sweet's Mastering the Nikon D2X; Paul Gero's Using Your Canon Strobe Creatively; Jed Manwaring's Low-Light Photography; Brenda Tharp's Macro II: Advanced Techniques; and Ellen Anon's What the Histogram Tells You About Exposure. Also, check out our other May courses...
Photo by Ellen Anon
Featured Gallery
© - Dibyo Gahari

Welcome to the 260th issue of SnapShot!

At BetterPhoto, we are privileged to have so many awesome instructors - published professionals with extensive teaching experience. In fact, that's a big reason why our Spring session of online courses has gotten off to a wildly successful start. But best yet, some classes haven't even begun yet! These are the second sessions of our 4-week Short Courses for May, which begin May 3rd. Also, in this issue of SnapShot, one of our newest instructors - professional photographer Jim White - offers an excellent Photo Tip (Soft Proofing Shortcut). We also have another fine collection of questions and answers on a variety of topics.

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Are you still kicking yourself for not signing up for a Spring online class at BetterPhoto.comô? Well, help is on the way ... in the form of BetterPhoto's second sessions of Short Courses. These 4-week online courses - which are repeats of the class sessions that began April 5th - kick off May 3rd. Learn more about May courses... Learn the basics of photographing children in Jim Miotke's new DVD, Photographing Kids. This jam-packed DVD features over two hours of helpful, informative, and inspiring content. It's divided into four segments: Working with Light; Portraits & Candids; Sports & Fast Action; and A Look Inside Jim's Camera Bag (info on cameras and equipment). Learn more... BetterPhoto founder and photographer Jim Miotke will present his popular program - "Top Tips for Digital Photography: Storytelling With Your Digital Camera" - in Washington state and California in April. We have just updated the Where Is Jim? calendar. Upcoming schedule: April 22nd in Oceanside, CA; April 24th in Encinitas, CA; April 25th in Escondido, CA; and April 29th in Lynnwood, WA. Learn more...

Photo Q&A

1: Exposing for Backlit Subjects
I have recently purchased Canon A620 and started taking some photographs. I am not a good photographer, so I started using with whatever setting come as default. I took some photographs and I see that they are coming out "darker". Is it because that I have taken them in sunlight? In sunlight the flash is not working. It works only in a dark room (indoor) etc. Basically I feel that there is some problem with my taking of pictures. Is it the problem with Camera or is it because of the way I am taking the pictures? Please advise. I am uploading two images for your review. Thanks!
- Satish N
I'm not familliar with that camera but it sounds like you might be having "backlighting" problems. A good rule for taking pics outside in the bright sun is to be sure the sun is behind you and not the subject. It seems your camera is metering the bright light so it's darkening the exposure to compensate for the bright light... which is good - but if your subecj is in front of the bright sunlight, you won't get the right detail. For this, you'd need to be shooting in Manual mode and "meter" the subject but then your background will be too bright and look funny. The best thing is the use fill flash and in automatic mode you won't be able too, unless there is a setting on your camera that will let you use it when you want to. Sunlight is very tricky - that is why the best times are at dusk and at dawn... the "golden" hours.
- Craig m. Zacarelli
Thanks Criag for the quick answer. Here are the images I have taken (in my St. Louis trip)
- Satish NSee Sample Photo - Photo 2

See Sample Photo - Photo 1

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2: 28mm Lens Vs. 18mm Lens
I currently have a 28-80mm lens. I'd like to get something that is a little wider for landscape pictures. I don't want a fisheye lens, because I just don't like the looks of them. I'm looking at a lens that is an 18-50mm. Is there going to be much of a difference in this lens at 18mm than my current lens at 28mm? What do you all use for landscape shots? Thanks!!
- Brandon Currey
Hi Brandon;
I don't know if you shoot digital or film, but I've got a 19-35mm Vivitar Series-1 zoom for my Minolta X700 that is great for landscapes. It was purchased off ebay for $40.00, plus $5.50 shipping. Have fun and keep shooting...
- Mark R. HiattSee Sample Photo - Ozarks Winter

Hi, Brandon,
Short answer - yes, there is a big difference beteen a 28MM and 18MM lens. While 10MM is not much on the telephoto end, in wide angles it is pretty sizeable.
Although the 28MM focal length is considered a normal wide angle lens, the 18MM length is a so-called "ultra-wide", and you will immediately see how much more scene you can take it from a given location. Another interesting effect is the perspective distortion you can achieve - that is, by putting something in the near foreground it will really look exaggerated in size.
Ultra wides can be a lot of fun - good luck with it!
- Bob 
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3: What Lens to Use for Group Shots & Candids
I'm shooting a family reunion/going-into-the-Army party. What lens is the best for group shots AND candids? I'll be using the Digital Rebel XT.
- Jenni Wheeler
Jenni, this is kind of a loaded question, because so much depends on your own shooting style. In general, a wide-angle lens is good for groups - a wide-angle zoom is better as it goves you more options. But you'll also possibly want grab some candids from a little further away, so a telephoto is useful as well. So, generally speaking, to make things easiest, something like an 18-70-ish MM lens might be the ticket.
- Bob 
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4: Subject with Sunrise Behind
Any recommendations on how to photograph a marathon runner? He'll be in aposition with the rising sun behind him. I'm not quite sure what settings would give best results. Thanks for the input.
- Eva M. Loretta
Use your flash ... unless you want a silhouette!
- Cherylann Collins
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5: Film/Slide/Photo Scanners
I have about 25 years of film, slides and photos that I am thinking of digitizing. First, I have a simple question: When one scans a strip of negs with the scanner (with the proper adapter), does the scanner create an image for each frame or the whole strip? How does that work? Second, I need some advice on what type of scanner is best. I'm looking at dishing out no more than about $300 CDN. I have quite a lot of film and slides to do, so I was looking at the Canon that could scan 4 strips of negs and 4 slides at one time. Can you guys help me out? Thanks in advance - all input is welcome!
- Gloria Pidwerbecki
A film scanner will scan a strip of negatives individually, but don't ask me how. The scanner software separates them for you and you can save them individually. I've read in photo forums that the Epson 4990 flatbed scanner is excellent for scanning film; however, I do not have first-hand knowledge and I think it's a little more expensive than you're wanting to spend. HTH
- Sharon D
First, if your scanner, be it flatbed or dedicated film, comes with special film carriers, it should produce an individual file for each image, when scanning strips. How much scanner you need to buy really depends on what you plan to do with the scans. And if you plan to do your own inkjet printing, just how big do you plan to make the enlargements? $300 won't buy that much of a scanner, but it may be enough for your needs, once defined.
Economically, flatbeds are usually less expensive. But for better-quality film scans, I would do some serious research into dedicated film scanners, such as the Nikon Coolscans, or the Konica Minolta line. Granted, they are a little pricier, and may be out of your range. But I also hate to see you buy a cheap flatbed, and then be dissatisfied with the results. Bottom line is - It all depends on what you intend to do with the scans, and on your personal definition of 'quality.'
Good luck!
- Michael H. Cothran
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6: Wedding Photography & Invitations
Hi, can anyone tell me what the norm is if you are the photographer at a wedding. Do most photogs just take pictures, or do you also do the invitations? (printing as well as taking the photos)Thanks for your input.
- Pat Wimpee
I'm in the catering business by trade and am therefore familiar with the "package deals" often offered to clients who don't want to bother with logistics. We offer complete catering packages, which include music (our house D.J. service), the wedding cake, limo service and other amenities. To date, I've never heard of a contracted photographer handling the wedding invitations. (Might be a profitable marketing strategy though.)
- Bob Cammarata
Thanks for your response, Bob. I think I will look into designing a few different styles. I've had a few people ask if I do so. I guess I'll see how it goes!
- Pat Wimpee
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