The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Studio Shoots Wit...
Q&A 2: Can I Use a Film ...
Q&A 3: Automatic Focus P...
Q&A 4: Selective Coloriz...
Q&A 1: How to Exhibit ...

"I never thought this course would have such an impact on me! ... I got my enthusiasm for photography back again. Thanks, Rob, for this great course!" -previous student in Rob Sheppard's Impact in Your Photos: Getting the Wow Response online course

This course - taught by photographer Ibarionex Perello - offers the skills and experience you need to make the camera a natural extension of your eye. Learn more...

Transform your favorite photographs into beautiful paintings using Corel Painter software in this course by photographer-author Jim Zuckerman. Learn more...

BetterPhoto Radio is on the air - Fridays at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Listen to Jim Miotke interview BP's pro instructors and also BP members! Learn more...
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 68272 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Controlling Depth of Field with P&S Camera! Susan and Neil Silverman
You can achieve images featuring soft, intentionally out-of-focus backgrounds even if you do not have an SLR camera. Here's how to get those results with a point-and-shoot camera:
1) Choose Macro or Close Up mode on your compact camera (most cameras have this feature).
2) Have a scene with a foreground subject, and one or two subjects in the background that are some distance away from the foreground object (you can work with salt and pepper shakers, for example).
3) Put your camera as close as you can to the foreground subject and still be able to focus (the closest focusing distance - your manual will tell you what it is).
4) Focus on your close, foreground subject by depressing your shutter halfway down.
5) Do NOT release the shutter button, but DO re-compose so as to include the background subjects in your image and then completely depress the shutter button.
Editor's Note: Instructors Susan and Neil Silverman teach several online courses here at BP, including Jump Start to Digital Photography and Street Photography.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 321st issue of SnapShot!

There's lots of excitement as BetterPhoto's Summer online photography school gets ready to kick off July 4th with a terrific schedule of classes. Subjects cover everything from digital and fundamentals, to light/exposure and composition, to Photoshop and People, to Nature/Travel and Specialty. There are even classes on specific Nikon and Canon D-SLR cameras! ... Get Inspired at BP Conference - For an action-packed weekend of tips, techniques and downright fun, don't miss the 2007 BetterPhoto Conference, September 29th and 30th in Chicago. ... Get your own Web site - Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are great for showing or selling your photography. Plus, our new monthly newsletter for BetterPholio owners offers great tips and updates. ... And, in this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out another excellent Photo Tip by BP's popular instructor team (the Silvermans)! ... That's it for now. Enjoy this week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

At BetterPhoto, we have an awesome lineup of online classes - all taught by experienced professionals. See the school schedule... Can't decide? Then try out our very cool Betterphoto CourseFinder... We now offer the convenience of a payment plan with your purchase of any online photography course. In choosing the payment plan option, your payments will be divided as follows:
  • 4 week classes at $188 - 2 payments of less than $100 ea.
  • 8 week classes at $297 - 3 payments of less than $105 ea.
  • 8 week classes at $348 - 3 payments of less than $123 ea.
If you are interested in this option, you will see the ability to select payment in full or payment plan on the checkout page during the order process. See course listings... At, we have a number of resources...
- Have a few spare minutes? For inspiring thoughts and great photo tips, read BetterBlogs. Many new entries from BP's pro instructors each week!
- Plan Your Next Photo get-away ... ... with BetterPhoto's recently updated Trip Planner!

Photo Q&A

1: Studio Shoots Without a Flash Meter?
I seem to misplaced (or, worse, lost) my flash meter and am having a very important studio shoot coming up. I can't buy a new one at this moment. I own a Canon 10D and have done studio shoots without using my flashmeter. Well, now when I want to be more accurate, I don't have it in hand. Do you have any solution or tips of how to get an accurate exposure especially to get the light ratios like 1:2 without a flash meter?? If I want to use f/8 or 11, how can I be sure to set the strobe strength? Thanks!
- Sobia Chishti
Well, thank goodness you're shooting digital! You can test and see if the results are what you are looking for. If you have a laptop, you can also shoot into that for a bigger capture screen - to help with your immediate viewing.
- Debby Tabb
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2: Can I Use a Film Lens on Digital Camera?
I have the Canon XTi. Can I use a film lens on my digital camera? Any help would be appreciated!
- Leisa Allen
Leisa, the real question is if the particular lens you have will fit that Canon digital SLR. You need to give us more details as to what lens it is, exactly.
As long as the lens will fit on the camera (and communicate with it electronically), then optically, however, the lens should work. There is the so-called "crop factor" that comes into play due to the chip size being smaller than the 24x36MM frame size of film, so to give you an idea of how that lens will behave you should multiply its focal length by the crop factor. That is, if the crop factor for your camera is 1.6 (which I think it is), then if you put a 100MM lens on the XTi, it would appear to look like a 160MM lens would look on a film camera. It's like getting extra telephoto length for free, sort of. And it also means your wide-angle lenses lose their width - a 24MM lens, which is a nice W/A on film, effectively behaves like a 38MM lens, which isn't so wide.
- Bob Fately
Yes, you can use film lenses on your camera. You just wouldn't be able to use a digital lens on a film camera (or full-frame digital); this combination would cause vignetting. I buy film lenses for my Rebel XT so that if I move up to a full-frame later, I can use all of the lenses I already have.
- Stephanie M. Stevens
The real question that needs to be answered is what film camera did you use this lens on? If it is an autofocus lens from a Canon EOS film camera, then yes, it will work on your Rebel XTi. If it is a manual focus lens from an older Canon film camera, like an AE-1, then no, it won't really work on your Rebel XTi. You could make it fit with an adapter, but it would only partially work and wouldn't really be worth the trouble.
Chris A. Vedros
- Chris A. Vedros
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3: Automatic Focus Problem
When I am in automatic focus, the camera will focus, but when I go to press the button for a picture, it will not work. I can take a picture in manual focus, but the pictures are not coming out as clear as I would like them. Whey won't my shutter button work in AF?
- Linda D. Finck
It depends on the make/model of camera and lens. What Many have a default setting that will not allow the shutter to trip unless it can confirm focus, but they have an optional setting to fire the shutter at your command regardless of focus. While the image may look in focus in the viewfinder, the camera may not be able to confirm if there is not enough light, too little contrast, or if slightly closer than the minimum focusing distance.
- Jon Close
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4: Selective Colorization
Would someone care to explain the lengthy process of hand coloring black and white photos through Gimp? This is very much appreciated.
- Jamie Lynn Crawford
Hi Jamie! I don't know much about Gimp, but from what I understand, it is a free download, and with that, I'm not sure if you will be able to do selective color. The way I do it in Paint Shop Pro X is to copy a photo, paste as new image, desaturate, then copy and paste the BW image on a color image as a new layer. Then I use the eraser tool to remove the BW layer to reveal the color layer underneath. Then layers get merged for the final product. Hope this helps!
- Mary Anne Frey
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1: How to Exhibit Photos

I've finally gotten up enough gumption to approach a local coffee shop to put a few of my photos up on their walls. Well, what do I do? How do I present the photos to them? Do I frame them first? how do I decide what size to make the prints? Help! Thanks for your time in advance!!
- Cindy Sj

Cindy, I've done this a number of times at coffee shops and galleries. I've yet to be turned down. I've taken in several images matted and bagged, or I have taken in my notebook computer and presented my portfolio in a slide-show format. As to the sizes, ask the retailer what will meet their needs. I use the same matting and framing for all my work - a soft-white archival matte and backed framed in black metal profile 115 frames. This has served me well in hanging for a gallery exhibit or other outlets. You might ask if you could offer images matted and bagged (unframed) as well.
Good Luck,

- John R. Rhodes
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