The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, April 09, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Products Shooting...
Q&A 2: White Balance Set...
Q&A 3: Selective Color i...
Q&A 4: Photographing Lar...
Q&A 5: What Is APO...
Q&A 6: Getting into wedd...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I bought my first DSLR, knowing nothing, and tried to learn on my own without much success. After 4 weeks in this course with Todd, I feel very much in control. This class is perfect for beginners! It has opened a whole new world for me!" -student in Gain Control of your Camera, a 4-week online course with Todd Morrison, who also teaches Gain Control of Your Digital SLR System





SPRING GIFT CARD PROMOTION!
Give the gift of photography with a BetterPhoto gift card and get an additional $5.00 FREE for every $50!


PHOTO SHARING AT BETTERPHOTO...
At BetterPhoto, we have four great choices for sharing your work.


ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 64630 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Fill Flash Tip for Portraits ... by John Siskin
Camera brackets are a great thing to use with strobes for flash fill. Since they move the light away from the lens, they move the catch light out of the middle of the eye. This looks more natural!
Editor's Note: John Siskin teaches many excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto, including Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio.


   
Featured Gallery
Flower Children
© - Steven Gunnerson

Welcome to the 311th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Kicking yourself for waiting too long? Don't fret, because you can still join one of BetterPhoto's online photography courses. With our photo courses, you get: inspiring lessons and assignments that motivate you to go out shooting; and feedback from published pros. See our awesome April school schedule... Can't decide which class is best for you? Try our very cool, very helpful BetterPhoto CourseFinder... Looking Ahead: 2007 BetterPhoto Conference, September 29th and 30th in Chicago. Check out the exciting, just-announced conference schedule, which promises an event filled with information and inspiration.

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

For a fun adventure this spring, take one of our famous online classes led by experienced, published professionals. Enroll now and we will give you a Premium BetterPholio photo gallery (a $22 value) for FREE! Combine learning with photo sharing. Simply enter "Free PB" into the Additional Comments field when you order. Offer expires Wednesday, April 11th, at 6pm, Pacific. Space is limited so enroll quick. Check out our terrific lineup of April classes. Check out BP's exciting ProCritiques™ feature. Upload up to 8 photos and get a critique by one of our professional instructors! On the lookout for photography tips, equipment information, Photoshop techniques, etc.? Read what BP's professional instructors have to say: BetterBlogs and how-to articles.

Photo Q&A

1: Products Shooting?
I'm new in photography and looking for help about product shooting for printing catalogue and Web sites. The products I want to shoot are medical/surgical instruments made of stainless steel, soccer balls, leather garments, leather and textile gloves, etc. I have a Nikon D80 with 18mm-135mm AF-S Dx Lens. what other accessories do I need for setting up a small studio?
- Khurram Khalid
ANSWER 1:
Hi Khurram,
You need lights, preferably strobes. A couple of strobes with about 300 watt-seconds would probably do. You should also build a couple of light panels or buy them. There is an article here about making Light Panels, the article under Resources. The tripod is also very important; Manfrotto makes some very good ones. You may want a lighting tent, but I usually get along without one.
Thanks,
John
- John H. Siskin

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

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
Understanding Professional Lighting
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
ANSWER 2:
Hi,
Thank you, John, for your advice. Please suggest any online tutorial for my specific photo shooting requirements. I mean how to manage aperture/lighting/shutter speed, etc., for still products shooting. Thanks!
- Khurram Khalid
ANSWER 3:
Hi Khurram,
I teach an online course right here at BetterPhoto: Introduction to Product Photography. If you are interested, you can still join the current session.
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:
Understanding Professional Lighting
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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: White Balance Setting Problem
I shoot in Raw and end up editing the white balance on a good deal of photos. I thought I would experiment with a Custom WB Setting. I have a Canon 30D and shoot at a 18% gray card in the same lighting condition. Now the problem is my photos are way too 'cool' and I am compensating for that. Am I missing something? I know that Canon used to suggest a white card, but their manual says that a gray card will work better. Can anybody give me some advice? Oh, I shoot the grey card using AWB, Manual Focus, about 12" from the card - just in case I am missing something?
- Suzanne Colson
ANSWER 1:
A similar question garnered a response that gray cards aren't always a neutral gray. So, if yours happens to be one that isn't neutral gray, maybe somebody will be able to give you a brand name that's known for more fidelity. I've usually used a piece of inkjet paper if I carry something with me and intend on using a custom WB. I know being off on the exposure for the sample picture will make the WB off, but with a gray card, you should be okay by just pointing and shooting. If a different kind of gray card doesn't help, maybe you'll be closer with something white.
- Gregory La Grange
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Selective Color in Photoshop
I have a color image that I want to be black and white, but I want part of the image to remain its true color. How do I do this? I know how to change the image into a greyscale. I tried to drag the color layer into the greyscale image and that did not work.
- Kalina Acord
ANSWER 1:
Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and turn the saturation all the way down. Set the foreground color to black. Then with the brush tool, paint over the areas that you want to be in color. If you make a mistake, change the foreground color to white, and paint the color back out. You can go back and forth as many times as needed until it's perfect.
- Stephanie M. Stevens
ANSWER 2:
Kalina,
If you crop this image first, you cannot complete this action. So, with an uncropped image ...
*Go to image adjustments.
* Hue / saturation, and turn black and white.
* Then go to the History Brush (that would be the brush with the curled arrow on it)
*And color over the places you want to restore color. Using the magnifier to get a close look at your working area comes in handy.
*Then crop your image and save as copy.
I hope this helps,
Debby
- Debby Tabb
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



4: Photographing Large Groups: Focus Issues
When photographing large groups, sometimes I have a hard time getting all of the people in focus. Any tips? It's digital SLR. Thanks!
- Lisa Miller
ANSWER 1:
Hi Lisa,
Your problem most likely revolves around depth-of-field, which is that span that remains in acceptable focus. The span extends both towards the camera and away from the camera as measured from the point focused upon. You need to know that this zone is not split down the middle but extends 2/3 further away from and 1/3 towards the camera. To maximize depth-of-field, try not to focus on the center row, instead focus on the next row that is closer to the camera. You can compose and focus on an individual in this row and lock focus by partially depressing the shutter release. With this pressure maintained, you re-compose and then complete the shutter release action. This maximizes the depth-of-field span.
- For large groups, it is advisable to set the rows as curves rather than straight lines. This reduces the camera-to-subject distance for those at the end of the row. This simple act equalizes somewhat the subject distances, thus it maximizes the depth-of-field zone.
- Depth-of-field significantly increases when your camera is set to the smaller apertures.
- Select a slower shutter speed when shooting groups.
- Selecting a higher ISO setting will also force the use of the smaller apertures, thus expanding the depth-of-field zone.
Sometimes poor focus is actually camera movement. When possible, use a tripod or other stable mount. A cable shutter release is an asset as well as the self-timer function. Both minimize camera shake caused by a heavy handed photographer.
Overall subject-to-camera distance is a major factor. Just stepping back increases this distance and depth-of-field increases too. This is accomplished by leaving room on both ends when composing. Setting the zoom to a shorter focal length also expands the depth-of-field zone.
One or more of the above can be employed to solve your problem.
Alan Marcus
- Alan N. Marcus
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



5: What Is APO
Hi! Can anyone explain what APO is in relation to lenses? Thanks!
- Michael 
ANSWER 1:
Michael,
APO is simply shorthand for "Apochromatic." Uncorrected lenses exhibit Chromatic and Spherical abberations - which is the inability to focus ALL colors to a specified distance behind the objective lens. APO is not the only way to correct for this, though it is certainly the preferred and generally more expensive design. Hope that helps!
- Pete Herman
ANSWER 2:
APO is a term also commonly applied to telescopes. While the same types of corrections are made to camera lenses, not all makers use the term. Leica, Zeiss, Sigma and Minolta use the term "APO" in naming their lenses. Canon, Nikon, Tamron, and others also make lenses well-corrected for chromatic aberrations and technically apochromatic, but do not use the term "APO". Instead, they tout the special lens elements used to achieve this, especially fluorite crystal and low-dispersion glass. Even there the different companies use different terms for essentially the same thing. UD (ultralow dispersion) and SUD (super low dispersion) in Canon, ED (extra low dispersion) in Nikon, LD (low dispersion) and AD (anomalous dispersion) in Tamron, SD (super low dispersion) and HLD (high refractive low dispersion) in Tokina, SLD (special low dispersion) and ELD (extraordinary low dispersion) in Sigma, etc.
- Jon Close
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



6: Getting into wedding photography business
I would like to get into the wedding business as I am doing a lot of portraits and some art (sculpture) photography. I would like to first see if it is really for me and thought that getting started as an assistant to an established wedding photographer would give me the insight I need. Has anyone done it this way? Is this the correct approach or will most wedding photographers see that as a threat of someone possibly competing for their business in the future?
- Marius Liebenberg
ANSWER 1:
Hi Marius,
Weddings are probably in the top three of subjects discussed here. So I suggest you type "wedding" into the search box at the top right of this page and hit enter.
You've got quite some reading up to do. Have fun!
- W. Smith
ANSWER 2:
Hi Marius,
A good question, and a good idea of doing a BP search ... you'll find lots of fine discussion threads on wedding photography!
Kerry


P.S. to anyone interested: BetterPhoto offers an excellent online class taught by an experienced pro, Paul Gero: Digital Wedding Photography.

- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=20858

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Creative Light and Composition
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
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.com®, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

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