The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Eliminate ...
Q&A 2: Best Shutter Spee...
Q&A 3: Flash Unit Questi...
Q&A 4: You Asked for It,...
Q&A 5: Best Prints Possi...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Sean has put together a great class in 'Exposure A to Z'... Besides knowing his subject inside-out, Sean has a wonderful way of putting everyone at ease no matter what their skill level. His critiques are timely, relevant and thorough. Add to this his great sense of humor, I have to highly recommend this class. Bravo, Sean!" -student in Sean Arbabi's Exposure A to Z: The Ins and Outs to Metering online photo class





NEW COURSE: ASSIGNMENT PHOTOGRAPHY - WORKING FOR BUSINESSES
Learn new skills that will enable you to work as a professional photographer for businesses. This exciting 4-week online course - by commercial photographer John Siskin - covers product photography, copy work, architectural photography and industrial photography.


NEW ONLINE COURSE: CORRECT AND ENHANCE YOUR IMAGES
Learn the valuable techniques of image correction and enhancement so you get consistently better photos with confidence - every time. Instructor for Correct and Enhance Your Images is best-selling Photoshop author Richard Lynch.


BP RADIO: TUNE IN FOR TIPS & INSIGHTS!
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!
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 69343 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Wide Angle Lenses Create Strong Foregrounds ... by Jim Zuckerman
"Shooting landscapes often involves including a dominant foreground that is made to appear disproportionately large compared to the background", instructor Jim Zuckerman writes in a recent BetterBlog. "This is done with a wide angle lens placed very close to the foreground, and a small lens aperture is used for complete depth of field. Foregrounds can consist of wildflowers, rocks with an interesting texture, ripples in sand, a twist tree stump, and many other things. This same technique can be used for other subjects as well.
In a photo example from Ireland, Jim used a colorful boat as a dominant foreground and a 15th-century castle as the background. "Note the depth of field," he writes. "Everything is sharp in this picture. The lens I used was a 16mm wide angle, and I closed the lens down t of/32. The camera was about four feet from the boat, and of course, I used a tripod."
Editor's Note: Jim Zuckerman teaches many excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto, including: Taking the Mystery Out of Flash Photography and Techniques of Natural Light Photography.


   
Featured Gallery
half dome, framed
© - Anton Falcon

Welcome to the 326th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

As July starts to wind down, things are starting to ramp up here at BetterPhoto.com! First, the August online courses get under way next week, and we have added many new classes to our excellent schedule. Review our 4-week classes... Is August too soon? Consider one of our outstanding Fall courses, which begin in October. Check out our 8-week offerings... Also, we are really thrilled about the awesome new ways to share your photos. This includes keeping track of your favorite BetterPhoto photographers, collecting your favorite images, and easily communicating with other members. For details, just sign in and check out your new Member Center! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the Weekly Photo Tip, the questions and answers, etc. ... That's it for now. Have a great week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

At BetterPhoto, we have many awesome online photography courses. Categories include Digital, Light/Exposure, Fundamentals, Composition, CameraCourses, Photoshop, People, Nature/Travel, and Specialty. Learn more... Additional design and color options, and a newsletter with tips and updates are some of the great new features of BetterPhoto's Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios. Sign up for Web site today... ... with BetterPhoto's helpful new Trip Planner!

Photo Q&A

1: How to Eliminate Shadows in Portraits
How do I get rid of shadows behind my subjects in my photos?? Please help! Thank you!!!
- Jennifer N. Flaherty
ANSWER 1:
When you use flash, it will throw a shadow behind your subject. If they are standing close to a backdrop or a wall, the shadow will be very easy to see in your image. If you move them farther out from the backdrop or wall, the shadow won't be as visible.
If you're using a flash attachment, and not the built-in flash, then another method is to raise the flash up higher by using a flash bracket. This changes the angle between your flash and your subject, so the shadow will be thrown down behind your subject, instead of straight back to the wall.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com
- Chris A. Vedros
ANSWER 2:
I am very familiar with both Nikon and Canon's creative lighting systems. If you have one of these camera manufacturer's cameras, then you are in luck for what I am going to say. Essentially, you will want 2 speedlights - such as Nikon's SB-800 or Canons 580EX (ver. I or II). You set one flash on the camera and bounce the light off a wall or ceiling and use the white card up to reflect some of that light back to the subject's eyes and face. The second light will be set to "slave" mode (read the manual on how to set them up in the flash's menu) and it will be placed somewhere behind the subject to hit the wall essentially.
When the main flash goes off, the slave will read that and trigger at the exact same time so everything is evenly lit...
If one is stronger or weaker, set the flash's EV to give more or less power depending on the situation and weather or not your photos are too dark or too light still.
- Michael A. Bielat
ANSWER 3:
Now here is my "without spending money" fix to the problem you have... Get a reflector or some reflective fabric (white) and have someone hold it off to the side so it will bounce your flash's light behind the subjects.
There are 5-in-1 reflectors that are portable and cheap. Otherwise, get 1 nice speedlight like the ones mentioned in my previous post and work on positioning the flash head to bounce the light off walls and ceilings for a more ambient look. It basically diffuses the strong flash light so that it gets rid of the white head look and makes the room just look more lit up than it really is.
This is something that can be corrected pretty much by getting into better gear. A great photographer can take a great pic with whatever, but the better bodies just make the good shots more frequent and allow photographers to open up their artistic side. If you have a simple point and shoot, then you are out of luck for eliminating this in every photo from now on even with the tips and tricks...
- Michael A. Bielat
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Best Shutter Speed for Fly Fishing?
What shutter speed would you use to "freeze" the fly line overhead when photographing a fly fisherman?
- Tom 
ANSWER 1:
At least 1/250 second or faster.
- Bob Cammarata
ANSWER 2:
It may also depend on the point of the cast you are trying catch. At the very end, when the fly is fluttering down 1/250 second or even less should be fine. But when the fly is turning over in either a forward or backward loop at the end of the front or back cast, you may need 1/1000s or more.
- William Schuette
ANSWER 3:
It all depends on what available light you have and how fast your lens is... Use the fastest shutter speed you can and the motion will keep getting sharper and sharper. There will be a fine line because you will essentially want some "motion" to the image, and if you go too high of a shutter speed, then everything will look like a statue. Does your camera have a burst mode or a decent sized shot buffer so you can take multiple shots per second? If so, then use it!
- Michael A. Bielat
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Flash Unit Question
A couple of years ago, I saw a flash unit of some sort that, when placed opposite the digital camera being used, would go off at the same time as the flash on the digital, thus eliminating glare and reflection when photographing jewelry. It was under $50.00. I can't remember what it is called, nor can I locate one. Do you have any information on this?
- Noreen Callahan
ANSWER 1:
Noreen, many speedlights have light sensors so that you can set them up remotely and when they sense another flash they will trigger. Alternatively, you can buy slave triggers that do the same thing. I can't think of a decent speedlight for $50.00 and am wondering if you saw an add for a slave trigger.
Bill
- William Schuette
ANSWER 2:
Hi Noreen,
There are devices you can put into most strobes that will fire them when another unit goes off. These are called slave units. There are special units that will work with digital cameras that have an extra early flash to reduce red eye. Slave units, the trigger devices, are less than $50. You can find a very nice article in the current Photo Techniques about working with slave units.
The problem is that just randomly adding an additional light source is unlikely to solve more problems than it creates. You need to spend some time learning where to place lights and how to control them.
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
4-Week Short Course: Building Better Photographs with Strobes
Understanding Professional Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Assignment Photography: Working for Businesses
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: You Asked for It, You Got It: More Photo Sharing!
Hi Everyone,

BetterPhoto.com is pleased to announce these great new Member Center features from BP's ace tech crew:
- Collect your favorite BP images into one place - for quick and easy viewing again and again.
- With our internal messaging system, communicate easily with fellow members.
- Keep track or your favorite BP photographers, being notified when they make new uploads.
- Sort your gallery images with our cool, new drag-and-drop sorting tool.
For more details, check the "Welcome" page of your updated Member Center.
Enjoy these new features!
Kerry

NOTE: If you are new to BetterPhoto, you can access your Member Center at the top right of any BP page - by either signing in, or if you are already signed in, clicking on the "My Member Center" link.

- Kerry Drager
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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5: Best Prints Possible!!!
I was wondering what are the best DPI, resolution, or other wise little tricks to do, to get the best possible prints for 4x6. 5x7, 8x10, and 11x14. Also if I am using MPIX.com to print my photos, what kind of paper does anyone recommend for B&W, B&W with some color, and full color pics.

Thanks

- Scott Barker
ANSWER 1:
The resolution of your image (ppi or pixels per inch; dpi is a printer term for dots) really depends on the type of printing you will be doing. For example, if you print to a magazine or other high-resolution offset printing, the printer has greater resolution, so it requires more resolution in your images. On the other extreme, the web is generally low resolution (72-96 dpi; screen dots) and you need less resolution for larger images. I've used as much as 650 ppi for negative reproduction, and I would assume there are options that go even higher. The idea is to match the ppi to the output so the image has enough resolution to satisfy the output device's demands.
Home inkjets can generally get away with 240 ppi at printed size. You CAN go lower (180 or so), but you may begin to get resolution dependent softening - which may be acceptable depending on how picky you are. The type of printing that injets do is pretty forgiving and less likely to be noticeable than if you were to try and print with too little resolution to a laser printer or offset.
To get the best possible prints, I follow the advice I give in my blog. Instead of dealing with the chore of printing at home and needing to keep a store of paper and ink and performing maintenance, I set up my files and send them out to a service where they have printers that cost about as much as my house ... and they take care of it for less than it would cost me, and I get the best prints in any size without having to own and maintain expensive equipment for printing.
If you already have a home printer and are set on using it, manufacturers have a vested interest in you getting good prints. Follow their recommendations (read the manuals) for the best quality, and if they are different than what I suggest here, take their advice.
I hope that helps!
- 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
4-Week Short Course: Color Workflow
From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Workflow
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
4-Week Short Course: Correct and Enhance Your Images
ANSWER 2:
I am not using a home printer as I agree with Richard, I use mpix.com to print, what I was wondering is about them. What paper should I use of theirs depending on what I print? Also about the resolution, I shoot in RAW, around 3400x2100, so what dpi/ppi is it safe to set my RAW image to before I need to start dropping it for a larger picture print?
- Scott Barker
ANSWER 3:
Again, the manufacturer will probably know their own equipment best. There is a pretty good FAQ on their site here: http://www.mpix.com/help.aspx?UserType=1
They suggest 250ppi, and sRGB color space ... which I think are good recommendations. As far as the paper, that is really a personal preference. Maybe try a single shot printed on all three paper types to see which you like best? I always like to test services for workflow and results before I use them for bigger projects using their 4x6 prints - or even 3x5s if they are significantly cheaper. These will prove to be inexpensive tests and may save you lots (effort and headaches) in the long run.
- 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
4-Week Short Course: Color Workflow
From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Workflow
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
4-Week Short Course: Correct and Enhance Your Images
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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