The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 19, 2007
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Lens Hood: What I...
Q&A 2: Raw Versus JPEG...
Q&A 3: Taking Photos Ind...
Q&A 4: Photography on a ...
Q&A 5: Shooting a 6th Gr...

"Excellent course! The material covered was quite complete and very well-presented. The assignments allowed for lots of practice of the concepts presented and they built on each other. Jen's critiques were excellent. They reinforced the lessons and helped with getting better shots." -student in Jennifer Wu's Nature and Landscape Composition class

Discover the best practices for shooting nature photos, as well as processing those images in Photoshop and Elements in this feature-packed 4-week course with photographer-author Kevin Moss. Learn more...

Open up a whole new world of photographic possibilities with your digital SLR camera - in this exciting 4-week online PhotoCourse with professional photographer Todd Morrison. Learn more...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 64075 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Commercial Lighting Tip - Extra Cord ... by John Siskin
Always keep an extra sync cord for your strobe. It doesn’t cost a lot or weigh a lot, or take up much room. But it can save a shoot.
Editor's Note: Check out John Siskin's Understanding Professional Lighting and Introduction to Product Photography classes.

Featured Gallery
The Pace of New York
© - Chris Gentile

Welcome to the 308th issue of SnapShot!

Lots of thrilling news! The 2007 BetterPhoto Conference - September 29th and 30th in Chicago - is going to be a jam-packed weekend of information, inspiration, and just plain fun. To learn more about what you'll be learning, we have just posted the Conference Program. ... Our Spring online photography school was already going to be our best ever, and it just got better with the addition of three new classes: Photography for Writers and Bloggers with Matt Bamberg; Photoshop and Elements For Nature Photographers with Kevin Moss; and Gain Control of Your Digital SLR System with Todd Morrison. ... The BetterBlog Instructor Insights features the valuable thoughts and tips from BetterPhoto's team of professionals, including March entries from Jim Zuckerman, Ibarionex R. Perello, John Siskin, and Brenda Tharp. ... That's it for now. Have an enjoyable week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Such a grand location, so many great instructors, and so much information and inspiration ... that's what you can expect at the 3rd Annual BetterPhoto Photography Conference (September 29th and 30th, 2007, in Chicago). Sign up today! Only $329. After March 31st, the price increases by $60. Check out the details... Would you like to learn more about photography or Photoshop? Then join us for an inspiring online PhotoCourse™ at Classes begin April 4th. See the school schedule... If you haven't already, be sure to check out our BetterBlogs: Instructor Insights and The BetterPhoto Digital Photography Show.

Photo Q&A

1: Lens Hood: What Is It?
How does the lens hood provide protection?
A lens hood will keep sunlight from creating glare on your images, while at the same time it will protect the lens itself from external damage (i.e. bumping or dropping).
- Michelle M. Peters
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2: Raw Versus JPEG
If I compose an image, on a tripod, and expose the image as a Fine JPEG, then take the same photo again, this time as Raw, the histograms are different. The Raw image is lighter on the LCD and in Bridge. I would think that the histogram on the camera for both photos would be the same. I'm shooting with a Nikon D100.
- Todd Smith
A JPEG (in camera or after downloading) shows the results of the camera's computer chip and its interpretation of the image. Hence, the histogram from the camera. The Raw image contains no interpretation and would, logically, be different.
- John Sandstedt
If you are shooting something like family events or covering a news story - i.e., a situation in which you need to get the results out quickly to interested persons - by all means use the JPEG shortcut. For fine art and serious work, shoot in Raw and tailor the image brightness, contrast and color balance to your own desires in Photoshop, in high-bit color. Archive these images as TIFFs. You might even save 'em as a PSD, preserving Adjustment Layers.
- Doug Nelson
If you save you converted Raw files as TIFF files, you'll also save all layers.
- John Sandstedt
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3: Taking Photos Indoors
I use ISO 400 with my Nikon film F80 camera to take photos indoors, and I use my built-in flash. The problem is that the photos (which are colour photos) are quite grainy. What is the best way to take photos indoors without a tripod? Or is my only option to use ISO 100 with a tripod indoors to get less grainy shots?
- Raman Sohal
Use the widest aperture that you can to let more light in (lower f/stop number such as 2.8). Then if you still need it, use a flash. You might want to consider an external flash. The on-camera flash is usually weak, and an external flash will allow you to bounce the light and remove harsh shadows and help make it seem more natural. You could also use it for fill to balance the flash with the ambient background light.
- Mike Rubin
Hey raman,
I use 400 speed color print film a lot and never have a problem with grain. Subject movement or camera shake is more likely the culprit. Mike's right about the external flash. Make sure it has a swivel head - most do. It will also get rid of almost all of the red eye. Good luck,
- Samuel Smith
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4: Photography on a Cruise
I'm heading out on a cruise to Alaska, and just received my first DLSR for Christmas. I'm trying to think of what I might need to take with me, and I'm scared I'll forget something critical! What would you recommend I take to make sure that I can shoot my little head off? So far, I have: 1 extra battery, 2 extra memory cards, circular polarizing filter, lens hood, lens brush, antifog cloths. Do I need a tripod? Can anyone recommend an inexpensive one that travels well? Anything else? Thanks soooooooooo much for your time in advance!
- Cindy Sj
Are you taking a laptop to dump photos onto? If not, make sure you take lots of memory cards for your camera. The 1 and 2 gig cards have gone done in price - take several. I would hate for you not to be able to shoot your little head off. Good Luck
- Willie Lawton
Hi Cindy,
On a ship's deck, a tripod is probably not much use because the engines make the entire ship tremble continuously. 24/7. On land, however, a tripod is your best friend. Have you got a zoom telephoto lens, Cindy? Alaska is a BIIIIG place! And don't forget your charger. Have fun!
- W. Smith
Take a battery charger for sure, depending on the size of your memory cards, maybe a 3rd extra. Tripod is basically useless on the boat. We did the Inside Passage a couple years ago ... if that's what you are doing, you won't have a whole lot of time at the ports to use your tripod since there are so many (thousands) cruise ship passengers out in town at the same time... Have a great time.
- Bob Cournoyer
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5: Shooting a 6th Grade Dance ...
I'm getting ready to shoot a 6th grade dance at the end of April. Can someone please advise as to what backdrop would give less glare? I'm considering using black ... would it be better than white??
- Varnea  Parker
Both black AND white backgrounds create problems, Varnea. If some of your subjects wear black (at a dance? care to bet how many'll wear black...?), they'll "fuse" with a black background, creating big black indistinct "ink blots".
Of course, you could do something about that with good backlighting and hair lights, but who needs those kinds of problems and subtleties in a high-tension setting? Against a white background, your camera will probably not be able to handle the contrast either, leading to overexposed edges on your subjects. Or underexposed subjects. Also, you will need plenty of extra light on that background to actually GET it really white.
So you will avoid many problems by using neither a blacknor a white background - but something in between.
Have fun!
- W. Smith
Varnea, you may want to scout out the area where the dance will be held. There may be a wall or background already available.
- J Bellinger
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