The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, February 19, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Emotional Aspect ...
Q&A 2: Best Way to Back ...
Q&A 3: Modeling Lights...
Q&A 4: External Flash - ...
Q&A 5: Vinyl or Muslin B...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I couldn't be happier with the lessons that were taught to me in this course ... This was just what I was looking for ... and has really opened my eyes to the Photoshop workflow. From Monitor to Print is an absolute must for anyone wanting to improve their work!" - student in From Monitor to Print Photoshop Workflow with Richard Lynch





ENROLL IN 8-WEEK CLASS, GET A FREE CAP!
Sign up in our Spring session (starting April 4th) of 8-week courses today and receive a Black Embroidered BetterPhoto Ball Cap for free! To ensure shipment, add "Free Cap" in the promo field upon check-out. (Caps available while supplies last.) See school schedule...


NEW SPORTS CLASS BY NEW INSTRUCTOR
Learn how to use your digital SLR camera to capture your favorite fast-action activity. This new 4-week class - Photographing Fast-Action Sports with a Digital SLR - is taught by photographer-author Gregory Georges.


ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 63295 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Pro Tip: Infrared Triggers by John Siskin
I used to use an infrared triggering system for my strobe. This consisted of a little strobe with an infrared trigger that fit in my hot shoe and a very sensitive infrared slave that triggered my lights. I gave this up because the trigger unit ran on AA batteries and took forever to recycle. I had an expensive strobe that recycled in less than 2 seconds, but my trigger unit wasn't ready for 7 seconds. I now use a radio slave, which I like much better.
Editor's note: Check out John Siskin's Understanding Professional Lighting and Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio courses here at BetterPhoto!


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 304th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our outstanding team of BetterPhoto instructors! Gregory Georges, an established pro shooter with 10 books to his credit, will teach an awesome new 4-week class - Photographing Fast-Action Sports with a Digital SLR - that begins March 7th. ... Looking ahead, we are also excited about the photographic event of the year: the 3rd Annual BetterPhoto Photography Conference (September 29th and 30th, 2007, in Chicago). It will take place at a grand location, and feature a plethora of instructors, a ton of information and inspiration, and a lot of great fun! Check out the conference details... In this issue, don't miss the new articles posted by BetterPhoto instructors, as well as This Week's Tip. ... Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

The next session of 4-week photography class kicks off March 7th, and includes five new courses:
- Composition - The Essentials
- Raw Shooting Capture to Finished Photo with Adobe
- Image Design: Essential Design Concepts
- Image Design: Advanced Design Concepts
- Photographing Fast-Action Sports with a Digital SLR At BetterPhoto, we have quite a number of excellent articles written by our online photography instructors. Here are some of the latest:
- Histograms: Not as Obvious Nor as Boring as You Might Think! by Ellen Anon
- Creative Photography ... Through the Microscope! by John Siskin
- Taking Maximum Advantage of Minimalist Art! by Matt Bamberg Bruce Smith is a top-level fashion photographer who not only teaches a terrific Fashion & Beauty online class right here at BetterPhoto, but he also runs a series of photography master classes around the world throughout the year. See Bruce's workshop schedule...

Photo Q&A

1: Emotional Aspect of Pphotography
How many times have you seen an excellent shot and thought, "I'd feel like a fool getting out of my car here in front of all these people to snap a photo"? (This happened to me this morning - wished I had stopped.)
- Michael D. Kendall
ANSWER 1:
Some of my best shots were because I didn't care about looking foolish. OK, the time I got flat on my back in the center of a railroad museum floor to shoot the ceiling, even my wife and son disappeared, lol
Let people laugh. You'll get the shot they only dream of, or at least give them something to talk about the rest of the day. :)
- Mike Rubin
ANSWER 2:
Quite a few years ago I was flat on my belly photographing ants. Another photographer came up and snapped a pic of me shooting ants. That picture was published in the Los Angeles Times. That was embarrassing. Got a good picture of an ant, though. 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:
I've had several amusing things happen. In the spring, there's a nice wildflower patch in the median between 3 roads. I always get strange looks when I'm flopped on my face in the middle of it shooting flowers. Once, I was on my back shooting the undersides of some tulips, and pretty soon, a lady appeared in my vision field wondering if I was okay. Her car was stopped with the doors open in the middle of the road. Gotta love it!
- Carolyn Fletcher
ANSWER 4:
I used to give students an assignment to shoot cracks in sidewalk. The assignment taught them how to use line as part of a design and that you could get away with crazy behavior if you had a camera. 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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Best Way to Back Up Photo Files?
With all the new bells and whistles out there has this old farm boy wondering what is the best way for me to go to backup photo files - CD, DVD, external hard drive?
- David  L. Pabst
ANSWER 1:
Imo, the safest way is to burn them to DVD-R's. Two copies, each to be stored at a physically different place.
Since the chemicals in the plastics in DVD's also react with each other (and with light? And with gases in the air?), which slowly deteriorates (destroys) them to the point of being unreadable/illegible, it is very advisable to burn new copies of your DVD-R's - on new DVD-R's, of course - every 2 years (then destroy the 'old' ones).

However, this won't be "for generations", if only for the fact that PC's, system software and 'reading' software will be so different from today's in, say 20 years, that your DVD-R's - however pristine and perfect - most probably can't be read by then.
Try and find a record player these days to play your old stack of vinyl records...
NO photo storage method - be it film or digital - can guarantee to keep your photos perfect for anything over 50 years. If you want to keep them better longer, you will have to re-store them within 10 or 20 years (max) with the THEN available technology. Every 10 or 20 years again! And so on, so forth.

Storing on hard disks is easy. But extremely volatile. (Hard disks fail!).

- W. Smith
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Modeling Lights
I have a Paterson/Interfit system, which I am starting to use more and more. I normally shoot in concert. What wattage of bulb would you recommend for studio use per monolight? Also, are modeling lights any different from lights that can be bought in, say, Home Depot?
- Barry McCloud
ANSWER 1:
I usually use modeling lamps I get at Lowe's. The difference is the brightness of the lamp. If you are going to use the modeling light to try to previsualize your shot you will want all your bulbs to be the same. It will help if they are bright. I usually previsualize a shot in my head, so I mostly use the modeling lights to tell me which way the lamp is pointed and to help me focus. 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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



4: External Flash - Battery Power?
I am using a Canon 550 flash, which requires 4 AA batteries. I run through tons of batteries during the course of a typical wedding day. I can see in the prints when the batteries are weakening. And I try to change them often enough to keep it firing at full power. I also have the energy saver setting on. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for this problem?
Thanks,
Rachel
- Rachel Larson
ANSWER 1:
Rechargeable NiCad or NiMH AAs will cycle faster than alkalines, but will not last quite as long. The only way to go longer without battery changes is to use an external battery pack. Canon's Compact Battery Pack CP-E3 loads 8 AAs, it's Transistor Pack E uses 6 C cells. There are similar solutions from other companies, such as Quantum Turbo.
- Jon Close
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



5: Vinyl or Muslin Backdrop?
I'm looking to purchase either a vinyl or muslin backdrop. Now, I've learned that a muslin backdrop is renowned for its wrinkles, and vinyl is supposedly of a much smoother finish. However, a member was complaining that their vinyl back drop was all wrinkled. Now I'm very confused!!! I want a white backdrop that is smooth and has no wrinkles. I also need it lightweight, as I will be going mobile. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
- Sarah Stigant
ANSWER 1:
Get white seamless paper. Then, when it is stained, you can throw it away. It stays very smooth on the roll. If you get the very long rolls (100 feet or more), it is much cheaper to use, but also much heavier. 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 2:
Yup - although vinyl (if stored properly) can lose its wrinkles over time, white paper is probably the only wrinkle-free option.
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

Unsubscribe | Change Email Address | SnapShot Archives | Recommend to a Friend

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding www.betterphoto.com to your Allow List.
The sender of this email is the BetterPhoto.comŽ, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

Copyright 2006 BetterPhoto.comŽ - All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.
BetterPhoto is a trademark of BetterPhoto.comŽ, Inc.