The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, September 04, 2006
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Would I Need a Re...
Q&A 2: Client's Busi...
Q&A 3: How to Shoot Glas...
Q&A 4: Problems with Flu...
Q&A 5: Taking Photos of ...
Q&A 6: Shooting Raw - Wh...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I am really enjoying this class and have learned so much in such a short time. Your lessons are easy to understand and right on point. Of my 4 previous classes, this is by far the best. Thanks so much!" - student in Scott Stulberg's 4-week Photoshop Tips, Tricks and Filter Magic course, which starts this Wednesday (Sept. 6th).

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THIS WEEK'S TIP
A Tripod Workflow ... by Kerry Drager
For the best in image quality and for fine-tuning compositions, I advise using a tripod whenever possible. But after making the effort to expand the tripod legs and lock your camera in place, it's reeeeeally tempting to simply stay put, without even considering a potentially better vantage point. Try this tripod "workflow" strategy:
Set the tripod aside (assuming there's a safe place) and wander around and scan your surroundings for fresh angles BEFORE you set up your tripod. Only when you've figured out a potential shot should you break out the tripod.
Editor's Note: Check out Kerry Drager's online courses: Intro to Macro: Creative Details & Close-ups and Creative Light and Composition.


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 280th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

At BetterPhoto, we are thrilled with all of the exciting things going on this month. For instance, our September school session kicks off this Wednesday (Sept. 6th). These 4-Week Short Courses are fast, fun, and to the point. Among the offerings: Photo Restoration; Professional Framing For Photographers; Camera Raw Creative Techniques; and Better Color for Great-Looking Prints. And coming up soon (September 16th-17th near Seattle) is the BetterPhoto Summit Photography Weekend. What a jam-packed event we have planned! You'll learn to compose better images, have Photoshop de-mystified, and come away filled with new insights and inspiration. Check out the 20%-off deal, too. Learn more about the Summit... And there's this great news: We now have a Refer-A-Friendprogram where you can get a $20 discount on your next online photography class. Simply sign into your Member Center and then click the Courses tab. There you will see a link to the new Refer-A-Friend form! By the way... One of the great free features at BetterPhoto is Instructor Insights - the BetterBlog that features tips and thoughts from Jim Zuckerman, Brenda Tharp, John Siskin, and others.

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

At BetterPhoto, we have so many 4-week courses that get under way this Wednesday - covering shooting techniques, Photoshop, specific cameras, and many other exciting topics. Learn more... Join BetterPhoto instructors at the BetterPhoto Summit Photography Weekend - for information and inspiration! Good news: If you have taken two or more BP courses, you immediately qualify for 20% off. If you've taken 10 classes, you get in for free! Find out more... Check out three new photography articles from three members of our talented team of instructors: Matt Bamberg's Create Historic Art from Your Photography . John Siskin's Photography Exposure Basics: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO . Richard Lynch's How to Capture a Screen Shot ... on a PC or a Mac!

Photo Q&A

1: Would I Need a Release?
I have an image of some headstones in the fog... only the name on the front stone is visible. If I do not edit it out of the photo, would I need a release from the family?
- Robert Farley
ANSWER 1:
To be on the safe side (legally, rather than spiritually), if the headstone is on /in a private cemetary and recognizable - even though it offers public access - it's private property and you ought to get a release from either the outfit On the other hand, public land cemeteries and their contents are public property like parks (not church cemeteries but publicly owned and maintained burial grounds are fair game and I wouldn't worry about a release.
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
ANSWER 2:
Thanks, Mark. I am leery about it because it is a photo in the National Cemetery. I don't want to upset any soldier's family (spiritually) or the government (legally). I will probably start the legwork to obtain a release, just to be safe.
- Robert Farley
ANSWER 3:
National Parks are always open season, so-to-speak, so while it's kind and even extra prudent of you to obtain a release, it's not necessary. In fact, when you shoot commercially for a federal government agency, you're granting them the right to release your work to the public domain, thus eliminating the government's need for a release to publish your work as well. Just thought I'd mention it.
And... btw, I like your work.
Take it light, Robert. ;>)
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
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2: Client's Business Logo on My Pics
I just did a lot of photos for a business that is supposed to help fund a "charity" thing. But now I've been asked if I can put their logo on the photos (i.e., tiny, bottom-right corner). When I do, doesn't that become outright advertising? Then should I charge extra? And to what extent? Thanks for any and all!
- Sunny J
ANSWER 1:
Whatever you want to call it, just make sure YOUR name - accompanied by the copyright symbol and perhaps your phone number - is in larger type than their logo. In fact, your identifying info can say taken on behalf of XYZ Garguantua Corp. CR 2006 Sunny J. 1-800 Beachwood 4-5789. Something like that?? Yes, it should cost them extra depending on how many photos or postcards this is on.
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
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3: How to Shoot Glass?
What is the best way to shoot samples of glass, etched frosted dippled, etc., so that it shows the special features of the glass style?
- Richard Herschberger
ANSWER 1:
Have a light hitting the front of it at an angle, so the etches show up in the shot but the direct light doesn't show up on the rest of the glass. You would probably want to shoot the glass with a light or white background.
Ariel
ScrattyPhotography
ScrattyPhotography Blog
- Ariel Lepor
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4: Problems with Fluorescent Lighting
I am a graphic designer with a basic knowledge of photography. I have to take product pictures at work with no real studio and all fluorescent lighting. My boss is uphappy with the outcome of the photos saying the products aren't color correct. I tried to explain to her that a major problem is because of the lighting and that it adds green to the photos. I'm not sure she believes me. Can someone offer me a more detailed reason for why it is not good to photograph under fluorescent lights??
- Alison Duffy
ANSWER 1:
Fluorescent lighting is the reason, but not an excuse. If using a digital camera, use a preset White Balance setting for Fluorescent (good), set a custom White Balance under that fluorescent lighting (better), shoot Raw and adjust the color balance in post-processing (best).
If using film (and no flash) use an FL-D filter or have prints done in a competent lab that can correct the color balance. With flash and no filters, you should get the correct color balance on your subject, but the background will still have the fluorescent cast. Alternatively, use a color-correcting gel filter over the flash, or diffuser like the Green Sto-fen Omnibounce while using the FL-D filter on the lens.
- Jon Close
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5: Taking Photos of People in Everyday Life
I have been reading some of the Q&A in the newsletters over the last month or so and I have a question myself. I like to just take photos of people in everyday life, doing their normal thing either from a distance or otherwise (I hate posing shots), and I also do this to play and experiment with my camera.
Does this mean that I'm not allowed to publish any of my pics, or can I get away with it if there is scenery in the background or foreground? For instance, I have a pic I love with a couple playing with their dog on the beach, and have the dog suspended in the air... lovely. Sometimes people see me taking the pictures other times they don't. Can I assume if they do see me and say nothing it is OK for me to add to my collection and put on, say, my Web site?
- M D. Lord
ANSWER 1:
M. D.,

This question is probably better answered by Mark F.; but, if I understand the laws correctly, if the person is recognizable, you will need a model release. Sure, you own the picture and the copyrights to it; but, without the people's consent you legally can't publish it. Please correct me if I am wrong Mark.
There are numerous threads on here about just this sort of thing and I have even asked a couple of questions here about model and property releases myself.
Also, I don't think it is safe to assume anything when there is the possibility of any type of litigation. People can be very picky. It is better, in my opinion, to be safe and take the extra step of getting a model/property release rather than be sorry later.
Hope this helps, and maybe Mark will chime in.

- Todd Bennett
ANSWER 2:
Sorry, guys. I've been kinda busy photographing people in their everyday life (and getting signed releases for publication) Honest...
Soooooooooooo, Todd, you've got it exactly right. M.L., you seem to have part of the drill down already. You can go up to people before or after you photograph them. My preference is to do it before and I almost never, ever, photograph people from a distance of more than 10-15 feet. I want them to know I'm there but usually ask them to just ignore me. (Comes with the territory actually).
I'm a photojournalist, not a spy, not doing surveillance work, not a private investigator.
If you publish an image taken of someone in the U.S. and the images aren't made for a legitimate news publication and newsworthy under the "public right to know" standard, then you need a release. Period. That exception, by the way, is being eroded by numerous court decisions in many states. As a news photographer, my editors prefer that if it's at all possible, I get a release. There are also public figure exceptions to the release law. But it doesn't sound like any of the exceptions apply to what you want to do.
And... if you offer images for stock, they need to be released. Read stock contracts carefully regarding indemnification of your agency for losses in the event they get sued for having your work published. Most legitimate agencies I know of have language in their contracts to the effect that the photographer, by submitting work to them for sale and eventual publication, represents that he or she has a valid signed release from the subject.
The bottom line is yes, if the person is recognizable, get a release or don't publish electronically or in print or display in public or offer for sale. And... BTW, getting a release allows you to meet the person you're photographing. That, in turn, often makes for more interesting images. Nice touch, eh?
Take it light ;>)
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
ANSWER 3:
I work for a small community weekly newspaper, so when I'm on the job covering an assignment, I have my name tag and I usually shoot first then tell the person why I took the picture (publication of the newspaper) then get their name. However, when I am on my own and shooting pictures for myself and my portfolio, I almost always ask first, unless is a moment that would absolutely be ruined by my interruption. Then I will take the picture, show it to the person on my digital camera what I just took, tell them why, and ask their permission. If they are uncomfortable with it and don't consent, I delete it right in front of them. I've taken a class on approaching people for photographs and learned about model releases. Usually, if you approach people with a smiling, uninhibiting face and tell them honestly why you want to take their picture (I'm expanding my people portfolio, the old man jogging at daybreak "you are an inspiration and I think this would make a great story-telling photograph", etc.). Then you provide them a model release. Also, if you offer to - and follow through - to send them a printed copy of the photo, or e-mail it to them, people are a lot more willing to cooperate. If you are just going around secretly photographing people, it creeps them out. One of the hardest thing for many photographers is getting over their fear of approaching people. I think, due to my job, I don't have a problem with this, but once you get over that, you will see a great opportunity open up.
- Becky A. Shadowens
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6: Shooting Raw - Why JPEG files?
For some time now I have been shooting in RAW format; however, I have always also saved a JPEG copy of each image. When I download to Photoshop, I rarely use the JPEG file, but I have heard that you should keep those files anyway. But, I really have no idea why it is important (or if it is important at all) to either save in a duplicate format or to save the JPEG file. It seems a waste of space to me, but I am uncertain why I read that you need to always save to the Jpeg even if you shoot Raw. Can someone set me straight about this? Thanks!
- Irene C. Troy
ANSWER 1:
The only reason I like to keep JPEGs is because if I want a quick look-see at my photos, it only takes an instant to open a jpeg compared to a Raw image that can take several seconds if not longer. There may be other reasons, but that's why I like having a JPEG copy.
- Sharon D
ANSWER 2:
Irene, in a recent workflow article in one of the mags I subscribe to, this was done so an image could be immediately sent to the client (i.e., bride, mother of the bride, etc.) as a proof without having to convert and resize. That's the only reason I've ever heard of or seen that was given as to why to shoot JPEG + Raw.
- Sipho Eish
ANSWER 3:
Hello, Irene,
When I shoot Raw images, I set my camera to make a copy in JPEG format as well. Depending on the camera, one can save in a hi-res mode or low-res. I opt for the low res (faster write times). I can't see a reason to save it in hi-res - after all, I'm shooting Raw for a reason. LOL
In answer to your question, the reason is pretty simple... Once you have several hundred Raw files saved to a hard drive or DVD or whatever you use, many indexing programs will not display a thumbnail of the Raw image.
All you might see is "dsc_001.nef" and have no idea what the image is without taking the time (a lot of time) to open it.
With a Raw image married to the JPEG, it is far easier and faster to sort thru your images.
All the best,
Pete
- Pete Herman
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