The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, August 21, 2006
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: I'm Just Star...
Q&A 2: Portrait Photogra...
Q&A 3: Tripod Buying Adv...
Q&A 4: Model Release ...
Q&A 5: Pro Tips 2: How t...
Q&A 6: Pro Tips 1: How t...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I was stunned by how much I learned and how valuable the course was... What impressed me and others in the class the most, though, was Ellen herself - her enthusiasm, her gifts as a teacher, the way she always started each critique with something positive, but then went on to give detailed, concrete suggestions for improvement... So, as someone who has been through the course, I want to say: Folks, in this 4 week course, the histogram becomes a familiar and wonderfully helpful tool - you will be surprised and thrilled!"- student in What the Histogram Tells You About Exposure with Ellen Anon, who also has a new course for September: Four Fundamental Photoshop Techniques

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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Save Images Often and Safely ... by Richard Lynch
As you work with digital images, you'll want to be sure you save your originals, and save work as you fiddle with them to be sure you don't have to start over. Use the following quick guidelines:
1. Always save your images fresh from the camera with no changes to a safe archive. This will keep you from losing shots by saving over them.
2. When you work on an image, be sure to save it with another name with the layers intact. Saving by another name will keep you from over-writing originals or other versions; saving the layers will help you make new changes without starting from scratch.
3. Save every few minutes as you work. While Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are very stable applications, power outages or other glitches (e.g., filling your hard drive) can lead to unrecoverable work.
Editor's Note: Check out Richard Lynch's excellent online courses: Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool and From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Workflow.


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 278th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

With August winding down, we are turning to September, which promises to be an awesome month at BetterPhoto. A big weekend of photo fun - the 2nd annual Summit - happens on September 16th & 17th near Seattle, WA. Sign up before August 31st to get in on the Early Enrollment Price of $369. After August 31st, the price goes up. Also, you can win wonderful prizes, including a free trip to the Summit! You get to enter one photo per day until Sept. 1st. Learn more about the Summit... and see all of the great places to visit and photograph in Washington state. Second, our September session of 4-week online courses begins on the 6th. Among the brand-new classes on tap: Digital Fundamentals, Photo Restoration, Four Fundamental Photoshop Techniques, and Posing and Portraiture Techniques. Check out our entire September school schedule... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out the Q&A, which includes links to two brand-new articles on DSLR sensor cleaning issues.

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Then try out our brand-new Course Calculator, which will help you choose the online class that best meets your needs! 4-week classes begin September 6th. Our 8-week classes start October 4th and include two terrific new ones: Rob Sheppard's Better to Best Color in Digital Photography and Ibarionex Perello's DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them. Join BetterPhoto instructors at the Second Annual BetterPhoto Summit to learn to compose better images, de-mystify Photoshop, and come away filled with new insights and inspiration. Sign up now, in order to take advantage of the Early Enrollment Price and to start entering the Summit Contest. Learn more... Several BP instructors have recently posted interesting items in BetterBlogs, including Brenda Tharp, Jim Zuckerman, and John Siskin. Read Instructor Insights...

Photo Q&A

1: I'm Just Starting Film Photography
I have a digital camera and use it all the time. However, I want to buy a film camera to shoot everyday things: nature, landscape, and people. I don't have a lot of money to spend. I would probably use a 35mm format. If you could give suggestions on cameras, it would be appreciated.
- Megan 
ANSWER 1:
Do you want autofocus or manual focus? Do you want an electronic camera or one that is not? Although nearly all manufacturers have abandoned the film market, there is a plethora of used equipment on the market that will probably outlast the digital camera you are now using.
The old standby Pentax K1000 is a good choice. It is all manual and will last for years to come. The lenses are excellent.
I have an Olymous OM-2n, and I love it - 27 years old and still going strong (although it doesn't look so great anymore). There are so many choices from Nikon and Canon that it is nearly impossible to list them all. Some have manual metering only, while others have either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, or both.
- Kerry L. Walker
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Portrait Photography at the Beach
I am having a terrible time getting good beach photos without people squinting. Because we live in the south, even the morning and evening sun this time of year is harsh. I read putting the light behind the subject and using a flash is a possibility. If you do this, wouldn't you use a diffuser on the flash? Also, where can you buy a large handheld diffuser to block out the harsh sun (for shooting with the sun behind me), and is this a better method? I have a helper to hold it.
- Trudy Hite
ANSWER 1:
Both methods work, and there is no real need for a diffuser for fill flash, Trudy. With the sun behind your subjects you may find that the reflection from a sandy beach provides all the fill you need, but a reflector (held by that assistant of yours) is a very good option, and probably better than your flash, though you could use both together.
Whenever squinting is a problem, you can tell your subjects to close their eyes and then open them on your count so you can catch them at the prime moment.
I have also seen sun shelters set up on the beach to handle conditions like these... large, white, translucent car-port sized... you can buy them for about $80 from hardware stores and the like.
- David A. Rich
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Tripod Buying Advice
Hi there! Please point me in the right direction - I shoot with a Nikon D50 and want to shoot some night photos, as well as macro photography. I plan to purchase a tripod, but wanted to ask the experts what you'd recommend. My criteria includes: reliabilty, durability, travel-friendly (light and compact, and is versatile to do both macro and night shooting. Budget is wide open.
Thanks so much for your guidance!!
- Keith W. DeAngelis
ANSWER 1:
Keith,
Just remember to get a sturdy tripod head. A good tripod with a flimsy head is not good.
- Michael ORourke
ANSWER 2:
Think features and compatability. How much does your camera with its heaviest lens and other accessories weigh?... This is the key component.
You should check to make sure you are not compromising too much on ease of transport at the expense of having a reliable, rigid shooting platform for your intended equipment. Check the specs on whatever 'pod you choose to make sure you're not cutting yourself too short.
What subject matter does your macro photography entail? Do you need your support system to be contorted into weird angles to get your shots? Or will a more standard tripod position fit your needs? There are models available from all of the major manufacturers that will have the ability to support a camera and lens at just about any angle or position.
As mentioned, a good head is an important aspect and should be considered. (There are times when I've tolerated a flimsy head as long as the legs were good but we won't go there.) ;) Many prefer the ball-type heads for ease of use and quick deployment. Others like the ones which have separate tension knobs to control horizontal and vertical positioning. I prefer the latter because I rarely have to rely upon instant camera positioning, and I prefer the extra stability these types of heads provide with my equipment.And always check the legs! Make sure they have tension levers to extend them and lock them into place. I hate the ones with the round screw rings you have to turn. These are a pain for me to work with when I'm in a hurry to get set up.
- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Model Release
I have a good photo of a man working. You cannot see his face, or a logo that shows the company he works for. Do I still need a model release for a photo like this, or for anyone I take in a crowd who is not clearly defined?
- Amanda D. Austwick
ANSWER 1:
If the individuals in your photographs are not in any way recognizable, the answer is no and you can publish them electronically or in print or display them in public without a release. Corporate logos or identifying signs, etc., are a bit trickier. But if the logo isn't showing, it's a non-issue anyway.
With corporate identity issues, you need to determine whether publishing the photo would lead the viewer to construe the corporation in a derogatory manner. Example: taking a photo and publishing it along with text that is knowingly inaccurate to accompany the picture that shows a bunch of strikers battling it out with corporate security cops in front of the gate to a steel plant or coal mine with the corporate logo in view. Without the text, the photo would probably be construed as newsworthy and no release would be required to publish it in a recognized news publication. BUT combined with false text, the whole package would likely be construed as defamatory and actionable in a suit for libel.
Got it?
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
ANSWER 2:
Hi Mark, what if I would have a photo of a person and their features are obscured completely by a hat but the hat and work clothes in general might be recognizable? No logos ... just interesting clothes. I mean if this person saw the pic online they'd know it was them by the clothes and location. Thanks!
- Sharon D
ANSWER 3:
The question, Sharon, is whether others who know the person would recognize them. Clowns, for example, often trademark or right-protect their particular make-up, wardrobe, wigs, etc., so even though the person isn't recognizable, their outfit is. Since that doesn't seem to be the situation you mention here, and manufacturers make more than one hat, shirt, etc., I'd say if the person is not, per se, recognizable, then you don't have any concerns.
M.
- Mark Feldstein
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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5: Pro Tips 2: How to Clean Your Digital Sensor
Hi Everyone,
BetterPhoto's instructors have come up with some more excellent tips and tricks! Here's the newest article: Pro Tips 2: How to Clean Your DSLR's Sensor

Have fun reading!

- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=20858

Take an Online Photo Course with Kerry Drager:
4-Week Short Course: Intro to Macro: Creative Details & Close-ups
Creative Light and Composition
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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6: Pro Tips 1: How to Keep Your Digital Sensor Clean
Hi Fellow BP Members!
Say, one of the "popular" topics in digital photography concerns the D-SLR camera's sensor - namely, keeping it clean of dust and specks. That's not always an easy task! There have been many excellent discussion threads here in the Forum, with lots of excellent tips and tricks. But we also thought it would be nice to survey BetterPhoto's online instructors to see what they have to say on the subject. Check out the results in this new article: Pro Tips 1: How to Keep Your Digital Sensor Clean

Thanks, and enjoy reading!
- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=20858

Take an Online Photo Course with Kerry Drager:
4-Week Short Course: Intro to Macro: Creative Details & Close-ups
Creative Light and Composition
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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