The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, July 17, 2006
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Flash Mystery?...
Q&A 2: Copyright Questio...
Q&A 3: First-Time Rights...
Q&A 4: Car Show Pictures...
Q&A 5: How to Make Long ...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"This was a great course... Tim Cooper is a patient and thoughtful instructor who had useful answers to every question and went out of his way to explain things clearly. His critiques were detailed and extremely useful." - student in Tim Cooper's Understanding Natural Light class.

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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Why Pros Are Luckier ... by Jim Zuckerman
"A truism I learned a long time ago is this: the more times you go out and shoot, the luckier you get," writes pro shooter Jim Zuckerman in a recent BetterBlog. "In other words, the more you put yourself in photographic situations, the odds increase in your favor that you’ll be ‘lucky’ and have great weather. Amateur photographers tend to think that pros are lucky more than they are. The truth, though, is that we spend a lot of time shooting and the chances we have for great conditions are increased simply because of the investment in time. And, we don’t show you our bad pictures where the light was hopeless."
Editor's Note: Jim Zuckerman teaches many awesome courses here at BetterPhoto. Learn more about Jim...


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 273rd issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Lots of thrilling news! The BetterPhoto Summit is going to be a jam-packed weekend of learning photography, demystifying Photoshop, and just plain having fun. But sign up now and you can start entering the special Summit Contest, which features an awesome grand prize: a free trip to the Summit that includes admission, airfare (up to $500) and two nights at the beautiful Marriott Redmond Town Center, near Seattle, WA. After you have signed up for the September 16th-17th Summit, you'll receive directions on how to submit photos. The winner will be announced on the second day of the Summit. By the way, just one image per day can be entered through September 1st - so the sooner you sign up, the greater your chances of winning! Learn more about the Summit... Also, we have an outstanding line of 4-Week Online Short Courses coming up - with a choice of either our August class session or our September class session. On another note, the celebration of BetterPhoto's 10th anniversary is continuing, including free U.S. shipping on books and DVDs at our online bookstore. Incidentally, instructor Bruce Smith follows up the Summit with a terrific Fashion and Beauty Photography Workshop (September 18th-19th in Seattle).

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

If you're still kicking yourself for not enrolling in a July online photography class, you're in luck! Check out our 4-Week Online Short Courses - either our August class session or our September class session. Our redesigned BetterPhoto Deluxe Web Sites offer beautiful and functional design and easy Web hosting – at a great price. Learn more... At BetterPhoto.com, we have an awesome line of 4-week courses geared to specific digital SLR cameras. These classes are fast and fun, and to the point. Learn more...

Photo Q&A

1: Flash Mystery?
Hey guys,
I was watchin television today, and I saw a photographer on this show shooting portrait-style pics and he's got a digi SLR and speedlight as well. But over the flash, he had this big white cone pointing out... looked really strange. I'm just curious what this is. I'm guessing a diffuser or some sort, but what is the effect of it on work like this?
ta
- Ben F
ANSWER 1:
A diffuser is exactly what it was. It softens the light of the flash, reducing harsh shadows and point highlights. A simple diffuser basically changes the size of the light source from the bare flash, to the size of the diffuser, which in turn softens the edges of shadows. It also widens the beam of the flash, causing more of the light to be indirect.
- Peter M. Wilcox
ANSWER 2:
Yes, it is a diffuser. The effect is to give more even light with greatly reduced/softened shadows than is possible with direct flash. Several common types are available commerically,
Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce, several styles from Lumiquest, and Gary Fong's Lightsphere. Some photographers make their own out of plastic bottles.
- Jon Close
ANSWER 3:
Sorry to repeat Peter's fine answer... I type slow!
Sample of a cheap DIY version:
LINK
- Jon Close
ANSWER 4:
You took the time to add links and everything, a far superior answer :)
- Peter M. Wilcox
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Copyright Question on Teddy Bear Pics
I have a group that wants me to make a calander for them using teddy bears. The calanders will be sold. Some of the bears that I want to use are Boyd Bears. Can I sell images of them without their permission?
- Trudy L. Smuin
ANSWER 1:
Assuming you reside in the U.S. and/or the bears are made and/or distributed by a U.S. firm or some foreign firm that has registered them in the U.S., then the short answer is "no".
The longer answer - and worst-case scenario - is that the manufacturer could see the images, send you a cease-and-desist letter, then sue you for trademark and/or copyright infringement, confiscate your profits from this endeavor along with those of the group that hired you to do this. Plus, under federal law (which applies in this case), the bear company could collect statutory damages for each photograph and each infringement from both you and the group under federal law.
Ok ... now sing along: "If you go out to the woods today, you won't believe your eyes... If you go out to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise ...."
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
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3: First-Time Rights for Publishing Photos
I was wondering, if anyone ever let a magazine publish their work with the stipulation of first-time rights and it reverts back to me when they finish publishing, selling, etc. It's a local magazine in my area. Any feedback would be helpful
- Jyan Crayton
ANSWER 1:
According to Photographers Market, First Rights "is genenrally the same as purchase of one-time rights, though the photo buyer is paying a bit more for the privilege of being the first to use the image. The publication may use it only once unless other rights are negotiated". That information is on pg 31 of the 2006 edition. I hope this helps you out.
- Mike Rubin
ANSWER 2:
The copyrights don't really transfer, Jyan, unless you specifically agree to that, in writing, and get appropriate compensation. Generally, a magazine pays the photographer, in this case, for first publication rights for North America (sometimes worldwide), for a press run of XXX copies. After that, you'd be selling SECOND North American publication rights, etc., and the value of the photo tends to diminish with increasing publication. See what I mean?
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Car Show Pictures
Does anyone have suggestions for taking pictures at car shows? All the cars are highly polished, and everyone of my pictures show the refelection of people, other cars or trees on the sides or fenders. I've tried different angles but it's not working. How do you do this?!!!? Thanks for any input.
- Pat Wimpee
ANSWER 1:
Try using a polarizing filter. As you rotate the filter, the refelctions should be minimized.
- Jason A. Woodcock
ANSWER 2:
Shoot in a studio, or do lots of cloning. A polarizer will get rid of glare, but reflections of people and trees you're stuck with if you can't actually remove the people, trees, or the car to a different location.
- Gregory La Grange
ANSWER 3:
Shoot early morning before the sun gets high and it helps some. Wear black or gray to minimize your own reflection, and all the above. Not much else you can do but live with it. What I hate is the people who leave their cars hoods up. Fine if you want to shoot engines, but if not it kind of ruins the line. Sometimes I just shoot from the back of the car and clone out the hood along with the rest of the background.
- Carolyn Fletcher
ANSWER 4:
Hey Pat, I've been building cars for a very long time - Concours, Hot Rods and now Import Tuner cars (Porsche 993TT). What are the conditions you're photographing the cars in, outside or inside? Studio is the only answer and you're still going to have to do post-production on all the photos. Even for the posters and car mags, if you look you'll notice reflections in the photos but you always notice them more in your own photos. When I photograph HIN Chicago in 2 weeks I always photograph the cars early before all the people get in and crowd me or get in the reflections. I bring two 500 watt Studio Strobes to photograph models with the Porsche, and I don't get too many reflections but its a white car.
- Oliver Anderson
ANSWER 5:
Thanks everyone for your quick responses. All of these have been at car shows outside. Some of the owners have asked if I could get shots of their cars. I usually just do portraits of people, so the reflections in the cars are really a challenge. I've been doing Greg's technique of cloning but I was hoping there was an easier answer. :) I'll try the polorizer and earlier hour and see how it works. Thanks again
- Pat Wimpee
ANSWER 6:
Pat, move in close. Don't just shoot the whole car, but also focus on key points of interest about the car. Maybe the emblem on the hood or fender. The side mirrors, the wheels. Pick out points of interest about a car that make it stand out. But concentrating on smaller areas, you can greatly minimixe reflections.
- Bob Chance
ANSWER 7:
Thanks Bob for your imput. Good Idea!
- Pat Wimpee
ANSWER 8:
No one will thank me for this perspective :o) BUT I like looking at the stuff in the reflections. Whenever I see a car photo in the contest, I immediately look at the reflections to see what I can see ;)! I think it makes it more interesting.
- Sharon D
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5: How to Make Long Exposures
Hi,
I've bought a Canon EOS 350D and I'm researching before it arrives. I've read loads about exposure and time-lapse photography, however I have a very basic question: When someone speaks of a 30-second exposure or a 3-hour exposure, what do they mean?? Is there some option in the camera for starting the exposure, and leaving the camera there for 3 hours and then coming back and stopping the exposure??
- Denis 
ANSWER 1:
The camera can set timed exposures (shutter speeds) from 1/4000 sec. to 30 seconds. For exposures longer than 30 seconds, the user selects M (manual) mode and sets the shutter speed to "B" (Bulb). On this setting, the shutter remains open so long as the shutter button is pressed down. While one can do this with their finger on the shutter button, it is not practical. For such long exposures, you should use a remote shutter release. The wired RS60E3 has a shutter button that locks down for B exposure so you can set it, leave and come back to close the shutter later. With the wireless RC-1 or RC-5 remotes, the first press of the shutter button opens the shutter, then a 2nd press on the remote closes it.
Note that digital cameras draw heavily from their batteries during such long exposures. To do a 3-hour exposure, it is recommended that the camera be connected to a continuous power source with the optional AC-Adapter kit, or at least powered with the optional BG-3E battery grip loaded with 2 fully charged batteries. Cold temperatures will drastically reduce battery life.
- Jon Close
ANSWER 2:
Jon - I've been wondering about long exposures with digital. I have done them with film; however, I read somewhere that it is next to impossible to do these type exposures with digital due to problems with excessive noise (not to mention the power problems you speak of). Is this accurate info? I am now shooting with a Canon 5D if that matters. Thanks!
- Irene C. Troy
ANSWER 3:
Not impossible, but the increased noise is a hurdle. Canon's in-camera noise reduction feature for long exposures works by taking 2 equal length exposures, one with the shutter open to record the image, then one with the shutter closed to map the noisy pixels. Works OK with exposures measured in minutes, but beyond that it is not practical. With the noise reduction feature on, a 3-hour exposure will actually take 6 hours before the image gets written to the CF card. Better to use post-processing noise reduction methods for ultra-long expsosures. Some digital camers designed specifically for astro-photography have elaborate cooling systems for the sensor to reduce heat/noise for long exposures.
- Jon Close
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