The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 09, 2006
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Watermarks on Pro...
Q&A 2: Wedding Photograp...
Q&A 3: Resolution: Film ...
Q&A 4: Fill Flash Frustr...
Q&A 5: Jewelry Photograp...

"I loved this class. It has opened avenues of creativity that I was unaware I could do with my photography. The instructions were clear, concise yet not so restrictive as to restrict our creativity and imagination... I got all the necessary instruction I needed and appropriate, helpful critiques from Jim, the instructor... To me, the best recommendation and/or review I can make is to say that I am looking forward to another class by Jim Zuckerman!" - student in Jim Z's Making Masterpieces with Painter class.

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Revisiting a Location for a Change of Scenery ... by Brenda Tharp
"There is such value in returning to the same places, time and again, during different light, different seasons," writes instructor Brenda Tharp in a recent BetterBlog. "You see the same familiar doors and lanes, and fields, but the light is always different, and the colors change throughout the year on the landscape." This advice not only applies to exotic locales, she says, but also to "the local park or town center where you live. View it under different conditions of light, weather, and with a set of fresh eyes."
Editor's Note: Brenda Tharp, by the way, teaches the awesome Travel Photography: Capturing a Sense of Place class right here at BetterPhoto.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 285th issue of SnapShot!

Are you kicking yourself for waiting too long? Don't fret: You can still sign up for one of BetterPhoto's online photography courses and join in on the fun. Check out our Fall school schedule. Although the first lessons have already been sent out, the first assignments for our 8-week courses are not even due until this coming Sunday (October 15th)! But if you're having trouble finding the class that's right for you, then check out our Course Calculator. ... Also, I'm looking forward to presenting my digital photography show in the San Francisco Bay Area this coming weekend. Check out the 'Where Is Jim?' schedule... And, of course, don't forget about the BetterPhoto Radio Show - coming up this Friday! ... In this issue of SnapShot, we have our usual fine features, including another fine collection of questions and answers.

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Yes, you can still join the fun. If you sign up for one of our 8-week online classes today, we will send you the first lesson pronto. Then you will have plenty of time to do the first assignment, which isn't even due until July 16th. Check out BP's exciting new ProCritiques feature. Upload up to 8 photos and get a critique by one of our professional instructors! BetterPhoto Founder Jim Miotke will present a series of free talks on digital photography this month in California. Check out the Where Is Jim? calendar for details!

Photo Q&A

1: Watermarks on Proofs
I was wondering if anyone knew how to put a watermark of some sort onto a proof in Photoshop cs... Or I guess I should say an easier way! I'd like to be able and save something and just "stamp" it on the proof... Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks in advance, Angie
- Angela K. Harter
You have to create a brush. Make a new type (vector) layer, type in your copyright info, then go up to the brush palette, click on the little paper icon (that looks like the corner is folded down) and save it. That's it.
- Sipho Eish
I will try and do that... Thank you so much!!!
- Angela K. Harter
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2: Wedding Photography: Model Release
In my wedding contract, it states I have all rights to use the photos as needed (advertising, etc). I recently photographed an engagement couple with their children, as well as the children separate. Now, to really cover myself, should I have the parents sign an additional release form for the portraits of the kids... or, since this was part of the engagement session, would that be covered still under the contract? Just wanted to double check and see what you guys and gals thought! Thanks in advance!
If you're saying you photographed everyone in the same session, although separately, and that you obtained a release from the parents for the photographs you made during THAT session that named the kids, then no, you don't need an additional release.
If, on the other hand, the kids were NOT named in the original release for THAT session, yes, you should get a release that covers them specifically for that specific shoot. Okie dokie?
Releases should be specific as to specific persons photographed on a particular date and time.
- Mark Feldstein
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3: Resolution: Film to CD
I recently took several action shots on the beach. When I had the film developed and put on CD, the resolution was horrible. Every single photo was grainy and choppy. I was using a Canon EOS Rebel Ti with a Sigma 90-200mm lense. Does anyone know how I can clean up the photos so they're crisper? Please let me know.
- Nana O. Malone
I think Adobe Photoshop has plug-ins and stuff to reduce noise, sharpen them, etc. Maybe the developer or CD maker did something wrong. High ISOs or photos taken when it's dark could lead to grainy photos.
- Ariel Lepor
Hi Nana,
Your camera is a 35mm using conventional silver-based film, which can produce images with fantastic quality. In addition to the developed film, you received paper prints and a CD. Your film was chemically developed in one machine and the resulting film was sent to the paper/processor. Prints on paper were made by exposing images of each negative (one at a time) onto light-sensitive color photo paper. After exposure, the print paper was chemically developed.
To make the CD, the film, in a separate operation, was sent to a film scanner. The scanner digitized each frame and the data transmitted to a computer which utilized software to burn a CD.
Now consider that the film scanner and software utilized by this lab has a high limit. Their high limit might be below your expectations. You need to find out what their policies are with regard to resolution. You may find that they normally work at a default resolution that is low. They might burn at a higher resolution if requested (higher takes more time, and time is money). Your film can be re-scanned and a new CD produced. Many labs will do this at no charge to satisfy a disgruntled customer.
You must talk to the lab to get their specifications. Best of luck,
Alan Marcus
- Alan N. Marcus
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4: Fill Flash Frustration...
I've read, searched, but it's just not working. Every time I try to use fill flash outside - on a portrait to lift the shadows - I end up with a totally overexposed picture. I'm using aperture mode on my Rebel XT, as suggested on the Canon Web site, an on-camera flash, with the flash at -2 ... and still overexposure. What am I missing here?
- Barbara J.
What aperture and ISO are you trying to use? In Av mode with a flash, the fastest shutter the camera can set is 1/200 (unless using a speedlight set for FP High Speed Sync). If you set too wide an aperture, then the camera cannot set a fast enough shutter speed to prevent overexposing the ambient light. The XT warns of such overexposure by blinking the shutter speed in the viewfinder.
- Jon Close
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5: Jewelry Photography
Hi Guys,
I'm looking to take pictures of jewelry for my website and would like to know if the MK Photo eBox Plus is a good choice. I called the company and asked for there opinion on different boxes and they suggested to go with eBox Plus. When I called back to order the box they suggest I should add on LED Light. Is that a must???


- Bobby Borukhov
I shoot jury slides of arts and crafts. I shoot more jewelry than anything. The proliferation of "magic" boxes like the MK's have become popular due to Ebay sellers, since they're basically "catchalls" for reflective subjects. However, the MK's are quite expensive, and they and other brands are somewhat limited in what you can use them for. For much, much less, you can purchase a few sheets of white frosted plexiglas, in a size you can use, and have your own system. This is what I use. Consider it.
- Michael H. Cothran
Hi Bobby,
Jewelry, flatware, glass, and the like are all shiny objects. All are challenging to photograph. Think about ways to dull down. Old-time photographers built a tent of white translucent material and placed the subject material inside. Lighting is applied to the outside of the tent. The camera peeks inside through a hole in the tent material. The idea is to create a totally diffused environment. There is lots of variation on this theme. Consider that you can make, using PVC pipe, a rectangular box-like framework. Buy ˝-inch PVC pipe and fittings. A pipe cutter is a nice tool to own for this application. You don’t need to glue as the pipe and fittings hold together nicely by friction alone.
Once you have constructed a framework box, cover with white fiberglass material - fiberglass because it’s fireproof. Now get several pin-up (clamp-on) light fixtures. You know, the kind with metal reflectors. With a little creativity, you can make poles or pipe lamp stands.
Now load the fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs. Use the ones from the hardware store or buy full-spectrum models available on the Web. You can use photo flood lamps too. These get quite hot, and there is a fire danger. That’s why you use fiberglass cloth. You can illuminate with strobe lamps too.
Other ideas to dull down shiny metals and glass: Use hair spray. Once upon a time, I used a mixture of talcum powder and water and applied with an old insect spryer. As they say, “lots of ways to skin a cat”.
Luck to you,
Alan Marcus
- Alan N. Marcus
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