The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, January 29, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How Do I Price My...
Q&A 2: Basic Studio Equi...
Q&A 3: Help!! Printing t...
Q&A 4: Mounting Inkjet P...
Q&A 5: JPEG vs. TIFF For...
Q&A 6: Model Release For...
Q&A 7: Low-Light Indoor ...
Q&A 8: How to Sharpen a ...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"This is an exceptional course by an exceptional instructor. Ibarionex is enthusiastic and passionate about his craft. He provided excellent feedback that demystified the process of taking portraits." -student in Available Light Portraiture with Ibarionex R. Perello


LENSBABIES: SELECTIVE FOCUS SLR LENSES

NEW CLASS ON SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Learn the fundamentals of capturing great sports images - without the need for big lenses - with pro shooter Newman Lowrance. Learn more

COLOR AS A DESIGN ELEMENT
Learn how to get a better understanding of how to use color as an element of design in a 4-week PhotoCourse with Lewis Kemper. Learn more...

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 62574 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Shoot Lighter to Reduce Noise ... by Josh Anon
When shooting Raw, many people used to think you should shoot underexposed to avoid blowing out a highlight. However, when you brighten the photo, you're also brightening your noise. What you should really do if you're unsure about exposure is to shoot as light as you possibly can, without blowing out the highlights in your shot (indicated by a large peak on the far right side of your histogram). This way, when you convert the image in your Raw converter of choice, you'll end up darkening the exposure and crushing the noise into black.
Editor's Note: Check out Josh Anon's terrific class - Photo Design: Composition for the WOW Factor - which starts Feb. 7th.


   
Featured Gallery
Brice Morning
© - George A. Crow

Welcome to the 301st issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

We are thrilled to welcome pro photographer Newman Lowrance to BetterPhoto's outstanding team of instructors! Newman wrote the book Digital Sports Photography, and his work often appears in Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine. So he's well-qualified to teach a fantastic new 4-week class - Basics of Sports Photography - which begins February 7th... Also, we are excited to announce instructor/author Al Ward's terrific new four-week course - Right-Brain Photoshop: Merging, Melding and Morphing. This new class also gets under way next week (Feb. 7th)! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Josh Anon's excellent photo tip on exposure, plus updates on our popular ClassTracks program (act quickly, though) and Better Blogs, and another fine batch of questions and answers. That's it for now ... enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

We have three exciting one-year ClassTrack™ programs to choose from (nature composition, Photoshop, and making money), but time is running out for signing up. After January 31st, you must wait until 2008 for the next ClassTrack sessions. Learn more... Would you like to learn more about exposure, composition, digital photography, photographic field techniques, Photoshop, specialty subjects, or the business of photography? Then join us for an inspiring online PhotoCourse™ at BetterPhoto.com. Learn more... For lots of tips, tricks and inspiration, check out "Instructors Insights", a Web log that features Jim Zuckerman, John Siskin, Brenda Tharp and others. BetterPhoto Photography Blogs...

Photo Q&A

1: How Do I Price My Photos for Street Fair?
I am currently in the process of matting my own photos and want to sell them at street fairs and such and have no clue how to price them. Please help.
- Peter Appelbaum
ANSWER 1:
I would suggest you do some leg work before your new business venture. How much do other street fair photos go for? Visit other artists who have set up such things and ask them questions: How successful are they? Is it worth the effort? How much is the profit?
Sometimes they don't want to share information because they are afraid of competition, but maybe if you go to another town, if you can, it would be more helpful. I would consider the cost of printing the photo, matting it, framing it and then the time to do all this ... the gas it took me to get back and forth ... the cost of shipping the goods to me, if any. It may be not be a business like IBM or Xerox, but you have to treat it as such so you can be successful. Who knows ... from the street fair to your own gallery!!!
THINK BIG!!!
Good luck!
- Debbie Del Tejo
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Basic Studio Equipment
I shoot with a Nikon D70 with SB-800 speedlight, and am looking to buy basic studio equipment (to shoot portraits): speedlight stand, umbrella, maybe a few backdrops, etc. I have no idea where to begin, other than knowing I want decent/dependable stuff but don't want to spend a fortune either. I thought buying backdrops would be easy ... until I saw that there are different materials. What is the best to use, and what "starter colors" do you recommend? I know nothing about light-diffusing umbrellas, so any/all advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
- Celeste McWilliams
ANSWER 1:
Hi Celeste,
I just finished sending in a Better Blog on making your own backgrounds. In any case, be sure to check out my studio lighting blogs. I think that dark grey is a good starter background. I would think you’ll want large umbrellas; I’m partial to 60-inch umbrellas and light panels. I wrote an article about building light panels. You’ll find a lot of other good things there. It can be a good idea to start learning with one light, but you’ll want about 3 lights to cover most working situations.
The only inexpensive way - or the best inexpensive way - to get strobes in to obtain used Norman 900 series gear: either the P800D or the P1250D or the P2000D for a power pack and LH2000 or LH2400 heads. If you have more money to spend, there are a number of good choices in new monolights. Stay away from the really cheap kits, since they don’t have enough power. A reasonable goal is to own at least two heads with more than 500 watt-seconds. Welcome to the place where we take responsibility for the light!
Editor's Note: John Siskin teaches several awesome online courses here at BetterPhoto, including Understanding Professional Lighting.
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: Framing and Mounting Your Photographs
4-Week Short Course: Introduction to Product Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio
Understanding Professional Lighting
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3: Help!! Printing the Whole Picture
Hi,
How can I print the whole image that I captured without Photoshop croping some of it out when I print? I capture in Raw off a Canon 5D and am using Photoshop CS2, printing on a Epson 3800. I am enlarging photos to 16x20, and for some reason, I can't seem to figure out, it crops the photo. When I do them as a 4x6 with a border ... I get the whole thing, it seems crazy to me that you can't print the whole photo that you see??? I would love some help.
- Steve W. Horney
ANSWER 1:
Steve,
Unfortunately, you will have to crop to print at the size you desire, 16 x 20. Your camera, as do most DSLRs, has a sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The image size you want is 2.5:2 ratio. I try to print in image sizes that correspond to the aspect ratio of the camera; i.e. 8 x 12, 12 x 18, 16 x 24. You are able to get a full 4 x 6 print as that is also the aspect ratio that matches your camera. If you need to print an image that is not the same ratio as your camera's sensor, you must crop (as I said earlier). This means you'll have to leave room around the edges with no important detail. Hope this helps.

John

- John R. Rhodes
ANSWER 2:
Hi Steve,
As pointed out, what’s bothering you is called aspect ratio. Most modern cameras are designed with film or image sensor chip in the shape of a rectangle. You could still buy a square format film cameras, it makes an image 2¼x2¼ inches. Your camera was designed around a format taken from the 35mm film camera. This format has the dimensions of 24mm x 36mm. Note that the length is exactly 1.5 times the height. Your digital camera has the same aspect ratio, which has become the defacto standard. Stated another way, whatever the height, multiply this value by 1.5 to derive the length.
Now allow me to explain your problem:
Let’s start making a 4x6 print. Your software adjusts the image (magnification) so that the image printed will exactly fit the 4 inch height dimension. Now your camera produces an image that is longer than the height. In fact the image is 1.5 times loner. Thus: 4 x 1.5 = 6. That translates to a 4x6 exact fit no cropping.
Now let's make a 16x20:
Your software adjusts the image magnification to exactly match the 16 inch requirement. However, the long dimension must be 1.5 times this value or 16 x 1.5 = 24 inches. Sorry, the 24-inch length is too long, it won’t fit the 16 x 20 piece of paper. Now the software logic causes 4 inches to be lopped off. Happily or unhappily the software crops off 2 inches from each end. You see, you picked a size, 16x20 that is more "square" in size. Had you ordered your software to display all the image (no crop) it would be forced to cause the image to be distorted. You see this all the time when a wide-screen movie title is displayed on a standard width TV. The broadcast engineer distorts the image and the people are squashed as they appear too tall.
Now next time you should make a 13.3x20 or a 16x24. In other words, whatever height you choose, the length must be 1.5 times that number or you crop or distort which ever comes first.
Hope you enjoy photo math 101.
Your friend,
Alan Marcus
- Alan N. Marcus
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4: Mounting Inkjet Photos
Can you use a heat-press to mount inkjet prints printed on the better inkjet papers?
- Clarence A. Lynn
ANSWER 1:
Yes. In my classes, we mount inkjet prints using a heat press.
- Stephanie M. Stevens
ANSWER 2:
Hi Clarence,
Some inkjet prints, notably the Epson pigment ink products, will work well with a dry-mount press. Prints made with an HP printer on their premium paper will not survive the dry-mount press. Generally, it is a bad idea to dry mount any dye-based print, it may cause immediate changes in the color. It is likely to reduce the long-term stability of the product, considering that heat is one of the factors used to test prints with accelerated aging. I do not use the dry-mount press for long-term display with any inkjet or other color process. I will still use the press with black and white fiber- based papers.
Thanks, John Siskin
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: Framing and Mounting Your Photographs
4-Week Short Course: Introduction to Product Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio
Understanding Professional Lighting
ANSWER 3:
Stephanie and John,
I appreciate your response to my question. This question arose during our camera club meeting,with no one knowing the answer. I use only BW silver-based paper, but will be changing to digital shortly. John, your Framing and Mounting Your Photographs course looks very interesting. Stephanie, I enjoyed your prints.
Clarence
- Clarence A. Lynn
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5: JPEG vs. TIFF Format
I have a couple of questions regarding the storage format for photos:
1. Am I correct in assuming that the JPEG image loses quality only when being saved after successive edits (I use Photoshop Elements) and not when "opened" at other times, such as for viewing in the Photoshop browser or being used as a computer desktop background image or screensaver?
2. I saved an image with TIFF format and had no problem working with it in Photoshop. However, when I tried to select it to use as my computer desktop wallpaper, I was unable to display any image with the TIFF format, and am assuming that TIFF images will probably not display in my computer screensaver, which is one of the main ways I enjoy my photos. I also noticed that TIFF is not recognized in Windows Media Player. Do you know how I can make the TIFF format compatible with these functions in Windows?
- Virginia Kickle
ANSWER 1:
You are correct on your first statement about JPEGs. Editing and saving the file as a JPEG throws out data each time. So, over time, if this is repeated, your image quality is degraded. If you are shooting JPEGs, you should save the edited files as TIFFs of PSD (Photoshop) files.
Because the TIFF files are uncompressed (unlike JPEGs), the files are significantly bigger and cannot be rendered in the same way as JPEGs for the person of screen savers, slideshows or other applications. If you want to use the image in this way, you save a copy of your edited file as a JPEG for this purpose.
- Ibarionex R. Perello

See Ibarionex Perello's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=170812

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Ibarionex Perello:
4-Week Short Course: Available Light Portraiture
4-Week Short Course: Posing and Portraiture Techniques
DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them
ANSWER 2:
Thanks! I'm glad to have that cleared up. I'll use your suggestions.
- Virginia Kickle
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6: Model Release Forms
I take photos of children while their parents are present and sometimes photos of the parents themselves. The photos are for sale to the parents and possibly to some of their other family members. Do I need to have the parents sign any model release forms prior to the photo shoot?
- Marius Liebenberg
ANSWER 1:
If you intend to sell those image to a thirty-party for commercial use, you will need a model release. If the images are only being sold to family members it's a non-issue. If you intend to this professionally and want to use these images for self-promotion on a Web site, cards, etc. ... it would likely be a good idea to have a release signed to protect yourself.
- Ibarionex R. Perello

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http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=170812

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Ibarionex Perello:
4-Week Short Course: Available Light Portraiture
4-Week Short Course: Posing and Portraiture Techniques
DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them
ANSWER 2:
Well Marius, I agree with Ibarionex, including the releases for usage beyond the family, although it doesn't depend on your professional use, it's publishing or displaying the photo of a minor child in any medium, whether in print or electronically.
However, you gotta be somewhat cautious with this one, and personally, if I were you, I'd get releases from the parents if you plan to sell them to anyone beyond the parents who hired you - including aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Family relationships can change, and one member may become hostile toward another and, without your knowledge, may not want one person or another to have a photo of their kids. I hear about that kind of petty nonsense all the time, and the photographer gets caught in the middle. It may not necessarily be grounds for liability, depending on the circumstances, but having a signed release to show a disgruntled parent who squawks will shut them up quickly and put an end to the entire discussion.
Take it light.
Mark
- Mark Feldstein
ANSWER 3:
Their subjects are somehow newsworthy and fall into a different category in terms of releases and the laws tnat apply to releases.
M.
- Mark Feldstein
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7: Low-Light Indoor Photography
I am getting ready to buy a DSLR camera. I am currently using a high optical zoom camera (Canon S3). I am having difficulty getting good exposures indoors without using flash. I am going to invest in a Canon or Nikon, and am debating between XT/XTI and Nikon D50. I have held both in the store and like both of them. Which camera works better in low-light situations with less noise? I am also planning on investing in the 50mm f/1.8 lens and a speedlight. Thanks for any help.
- Sarah 
ANSWER 1:
Both cameras are very good performers when it comes to shooting at low light at high ISOs. The biggest factor will be the lens. The 50 f/1.8 is definitely the lens to consider for the type of photography you are considering. If will provide you with much better results than the current camera with its slower lens. Don't hesitate to increase ISO as needed because that will be crucial to maintaining a fast enough shutter speed to ensure sharp results.
- Ibarionex R. Perello

See Ibarionex Perello's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=170812

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Ibarionex Perello:
4-Week Short Course: Available Light Portraiture
4-Week Short Course: Posing and Portraiture Techniques
DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them
ANSWER 2:
Thank you for your response. Do you think it's better to get a 20D or 70D instead of the XT/XTI or D50? Is it better to go with "newer" models/technology. I've seen some good deals on the 20D and 70D. Thanks.
- Sarah 
ANSWER 3:
For the purposes of low-light shooting, any of these cameras would be good. Though older, the 20d and D70 are very good cameras. Unless, you see a features that you think will aid you in a particularly type of photography, I think you would be fine with the 20d or D70. New technology is always fun, but not always necessary for everyone's work.
- Ibarionex R. Perello

See Ibarionex Perello's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=170812

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Ibarionex Perello:
4-Week Short Course: Available Light Portraiture
4-Week Short Course: Posing and Portraiture Techniques
DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them
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8: How to Sharpen a Blurry Photo
Does anyone know if it is possible to sharpen a blurry photo in either PSE4 or CS2? Is there an action or tool that can do it in one step? If not, does anyone know where I can find a step-by-step tutorial on how to sharpen a blurry photo? Thanks!
- Theresa C. Tyree
ANSWER 1:
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to sharpen a blurry image even in Photoshop. You can apply sharpening to an image, but it's just adds edge sharpening to an image, but doesn't come close to what it should have looked like.
The only way to ensure a good shot is to achieve at the moment of exposure. This requires solidly holding the camera, having a reasonably fast shutter speed and, if necessary, using a tripod. It will always come down to camera handling to ensure a sharp result.
- Ibarionex R. Perello

See Ibarionex Perello's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=170812

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Ibarionex Perello:
4-Week Short Course: Available Light Portraiture
4-Week Short Course: Posing and Portraiture Techniques
DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use Them
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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