The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: 'Green Eye...
Q&A 2: Exposure Problem?...
Q&A 3: Photoshop, Elemen...
Q&A 1: Working with No...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"This is an outstanding course, easy to follow and understand. Lewis explains each lesson going step by step on each process, making it easy to understand, even for beginners. I'm looking forward to his other Toolbox courses! Thank you Lewis!!!" -student in Lewis Kemper's Photographer's Toolbox for Photoshop: The Bridge, Camera Raw & More





FEATURED COURSE: EIGHT STEPS TO DRAMATIC PHOTOGRAPHY
Transform your photography from mediocre and unfulfilling to exciting and dramatic in this 8-week online class by pro photographer Jim Zuckerman. Learn more...


FEATURED PHOTOSHOP COURSE: LEVERAGING LAYERS
Become a master of the powerful Layers tool to create amazing results in Photoshop. This 8-week online class is taught by digital imaging specialist Richard Lynch. Learn more...


TUNE IN FOR PHOTO TIPS & INSIGHTS
BetterPhoto Radio is on the air - Fridays at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Listen to Jim Miotke interview instructors and BP members! Learn more...
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Close-Up Lenses: An Alternative... by Susan and Neil Silverman
We like the macro and micro lenses! BUT a great and inexpensive way to get wonderful close-up effects is to purchase the Nikon diopters - even if you shoot with a different model camera than Nikon. They come in a 52-mm filter thread size and in a 62-mm thread size. We recommend that you get either the 3t-4t set or the 5t-6t set (this is the 62-mm ones) and then purchase a set of stacking rings to hold them securely when you are not using them. If you have a set of 3t and 4t, then you can use just one of them or you can stack them and use them both together.
We usually use these on a zoom lens such as a 80-200mm zoom or thereabouts. Or they can be used on a macro or micro lens as well. If your lens does not have a thread size that corresponds to 52-mm or 62-mm, then you will need to purchase a step-up ring or a step-down ring - whichever is appropriate for your lens, diopter combination. Then screw that on the lens and screw the diopter into the other side of the ring. This will allow you to focus much closer to the subject or object and therefore get more magnification.
Editor's Note: Susan and Neil Silverman teach several excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto.com, including Jump Start to Digital Photography and Street Photography.


   
Featured Gallery
The Green Mile
© - Morteza Safataj

Welcome to the 318th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

With May drawing to a close, we at BetterPhoto.com are thrilled about the awesome Summer school session of 8-week online photo courses and the July return of a very popular instructor (Rob Sheppard) and his very popular Impact in Your Photographs: The Wow Factor class. ... Meantime, don't forget the upcoming June start of our 4-week online classes, including Jim Zuckerman's new Techniques of Natural Light Photography and William Neill's new Landscape Essentials. ... Plan your photo escape: Our splendid Trip Planner has recently been updated! ... Meet BP's pro instructors - in person!: The BetterPhoto Conference (September 29th and 30th in Chicago), which promises to be an outstanding event filled with inspiration and information. See the Conference Program. ... Excellent new how-to articles include Jim Zuckerman's Photographing Children Around the World and John Siskin's Studio Photography: Types of Light. ... Enjoy the rest of the week!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

At BetterPhoto, we have an awesome lineup of online classes - all taught by experienced professionals who love to share their expertise. See the school schedule... BetterPhoto offers very cool, very sleek Web sites! Compare the BetterPholio™ options to display - or sell - your photography. Rob Sheppard, Outdoor Photographer editor, returns as a BP instructor in July! Check out Impact in Your Photographs: The Wow Factor, an awesome 8-week online course.

Photo Q&A

1: 'Green Eye' Effect in Animals
I have been tinkering with my lights in my studio to try and get a better feel for animal lighting. However, I can't figure out how to lessen the "green eye" effect my dogs have. Anyone know how to help me on this? Thanks!
- Katie Parks
ANSWER 1:
Animal "green eye" happens for exactly the same reasons as human "red eye" - the ambient light is dim so the iris is dilated, and the flash is too near the axis of the lens. It is green because their retina has a green cast rather than red. The fix is also the same. Close the subject's iris by raising the ambient light level, and move the flash farther off-axis from the lens or use more diffuse light including bounce flash.
- Jon Close
ANSWER 2:
Hi Katie,
Human red-eye and animal green-eye are products of the same action. Some of the light entering a transparent sphere will reverberate within and a high percentage will exit. Of the light that exits, a high percentage will be aimed directly backwards in the direction of the originating lamp. In other words, reflected light from the eyes will be traveling on-axis with the light source. As an example, in your car, as you drive at night, you are sitting almost directly over one of the headlights. Thus, you are on axis with this lamp. When this lamp shines on an animal eye, a big percentage will be directed back at the headlamp - which means at you too. The key point: Someone not on this line (axis) will not see the bright eye refection. The color of this refection is a function of the sphere’s diameter types of pigments and tissues encountered.
The 3M Corporation utilized this principle in the manufacture of high-tech reflective paints and highway signage, background screens for front projection, slide and movie projection screens and the like, all use glass beads. The principles are all the same: A high percentage of the light will be retuned to the originating light source.
A camera flash mounted close to the lens is on-axis lamp-lens and reveals red-eye in humans and green-eye in animals.
There are two countermeasures: 1) A pre-flash to cause the subject's eyes to contract to a tiny purple (somewhat effective). 2) Place light sources off-axis - i.e. move the lamps away from the camera lens, the further the better.
Alan Marcus
- Alan N. Marcus
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Exposure Problem?
I can come up with the proper exposure I want with my new camera, the Rebel XTi. Let's say I'm taking pictures of a barn, with clouds in the sky as the background. With my kit lens zoomed all the way out, it creates an image with the clouds having an all-right color/exposure ... however, the barn is dark! When I move the exposure stop up +1, the barn becomes visible, but the clouds/sky are way overexposed. How can I get around this?
- Mike J. Caudle
ANSWER 1:
The dynamic range that can be recorded in a single exposure is limited. The difference in brightness between the sky and the barn is too great. With film, the typical solution is to use a graduated neutral density filter (dark at top, clear at bottom) that lessens the difference between the bright sky and the dim foreground. This also works with digital.
Additionally, there are several techniques for achieving High Dynamic Range (HDR) in digital. The digital Raw file retains more dynamic range than the in-camera JPEG files, so a better result can be obtained in post-processing with a powerful editing program. Alternatively, it is relatively simple to take several shots (one exposed for the sky, others exposed for the dimmer subjects) and combine them into a single image.
- Jon Close
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Photoshop, Elements, Aperture & Lightroom
I am currently using Photoshop Elements 4, but I am going MAC soon. Making the plunge to Adobe Photoshop intimidates me a bit. I have read that Aperture or Lightroom are simpler to use, but I don't know if they are stand alone programs or if the need to be used in conjuction with Photoshop. Thanks!
- Joan E. Herwig
ANSWER 1:
Joan,
Photoshop isn't all that much different from Elements, and there is no reason to be intimidated by it if you are used to using Elements - the programs are very similar. Photoshop has a few more features, and some that most users will never need. Elements isn't just a good starter program, it is a good program - period. I use it every day and have Elements 1, 2, 3, and 4 installed on my Mac (OS10.49). I have some additions on my Web site that are free and add some of the features back into Elements that are said to be "missing". I assume you want to move up to Photoshop because the long-term support for Elements may be limited on Mac, but because Mac has Intel chips and can run PC programs natively, you should be able to run Elements 5 on a new Mac!
If you are going to make the move to another program, be sure to see if there is a trial version and give it a whirl before you make a commitment. Aperture ($299) and Lightroom ($299) are both stand-alone, and may be easier to use ... but I would not want to give up any of the control I have in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. Lightroom is said to be a "complement to Photoshop", allowing corrections on groups of photos.
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=121428

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer
From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Workflow
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Working with Noise Reduction Software

After applying noise reduction, I notice my photo doesn't seem to have the same crispness and brilliance of other images. Why is that?
- Susan Shepard 

ANSWER 1:
While this depends a little on the type of noise reduction you are applying, noise reduction works by blending/blurring. The problem comes in when your noise reduction software can't distinguish from image details. In short (and again, some methods of noise reduction are superior to others), detail in your image may be compromised by noise reduction - the detail gets reduced with the noise.
It would be a lot easier to tell what you were talking about in this case if you uploaded an example. But I'd keep noise reduction to a minimum in any case.

- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=121428

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer
From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Workflow
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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