The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, July 30, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Digital Images Lo...
Q&A 2: Giving Skin a Sof...
Q&A 1: Protecting Imag...
Q&A 2: Calibrating a M...
Q&A 3: Posing a Large ...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Thanks for the critiques! This class is definitely improving my photography. I feel like I'm getting my money's worth already! Your critiques on other photos are helping me a lot as well. The feedback is perfect." -student in Jim Zuckerman's Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision course





FEATURED COURSE: LIGHTROOM - A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK
Find out how to take full advantage of all the power and tools found within the awesome Lightroom program in this 4-week online course by pro photographer and digital darkroom expert Lewis Kemper.


FEATURED COURSE: DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Discover the best practices for shooting nature photos, as well as processing those images in Photoshop and Elements - in this 4-Week online course with photographer-author Kevin Moss.


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 69724 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Matching Prints to Your Monitor ... by Richard Lynch
In a recent BetterBlog, instructor Richard Lynch writes: "One of the most common complaints I hear is that prints do not match what people see on their monitors. This complaint can range anywhere from prints seeming desaturated, to seeming a little tinted (green, red, blue), to seeming too light or dark, or just being flat out awful as a combination of these problems. Managing color sounds scary, but if you know what to do, it becomes fairly simple in practice. You need to consider 4 things:
1) You need to calibrate your monitor so you see things correctly on screen and create an ICC profile (all easier than it sounds).
2) You need to set up Photoshop / Elements color management to handle color display and profiling.
3) You need to test your process to be sure your workflow performs as you expect, and make corrections if it doesn't.
4) You should also consider how your camera is handling color. Such options as choosing white-balance, color space, and even file type can affect your color options.
Editor's Note: Richard Lynch teaches several online courses here at BetterPhoto, including Color Workflow and Correct and Enhance Your Images. Also, check out Richard's Instructor Insights blogs.


   
Featured Gallery
Shine On
© - Ken Smith

Welcome to the 327th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Lots of big news at BetterPhoto these days, including this Wednesday's start of the August session of 4-week online classes! And our lineup is the best ever, with many new photo courses. Check out the school schedule ... Also, we just announced the Summit Contest! So sign up now and start submitting, since you could win a free trip to the Summit, a Deluxe BetterPholio Web site, and more! Check out the Summit contest details. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out our usual features, including an excellent Photo Tip ("Matching Prints to Your Monitor" by instructor Richard Lynch) and a fine collection of questions and answers. ... Are you familiar with all of the photo sharing options at BetterPhoto? We have four great ways to display - and share - your photos. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Enroll now in one of our four-week interactive online courses! You'll learn photography or Photoshop through exciting weekly assignments and helpful critiques from professionals. These 4-week classes begin August 1st ... Too Soon? Check out our 8-week Fall school schedule. The 3rd Annual BetterPhoto Summit is less than 2 months away! Join us on September 29th and 30th for a fantastic weekend of photo fun in Chicago. Sign up today to give yourself greater odds in winning the Summit photo contest. See the awesome program schedule... ... Check out the Summit contest. Here are three don't-miss features at BetterPhoto.com:
Instructor Insights blogs ... Trip Planner ... BetterPhoto Community

Photo Q&A

1: Digital Images Look Blue When Processed
We've been learning about our digital camera and took pictures that looked fine when downloaded into the computer. But when I had them processed, they all came out blue, and the lab tech said something about a wrong setting on our camera, but my husband thinks it is the photo place! Help!
- Gina M. Dockins
ANSWER 1:
Blue suggests to me that your white balance could have been off, particularly for fluorescent. Another thing to consider is whether the lab is doing "color correction" to your images. The first time I uploaded to a lab, and picked up the results, the colors were totally off. I then saw on their Web site, which I'd missed the first time, a tiny checkbox for whether I wanted them to perform color-correction or not.
- Christopher J. Budny
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Giving Skin a Softer Look
I am looking for an easy photo tool to make skin look softer. Any suggestions? I don't have Photoshop.
- Stefanie Mallow Russell
ANSWER 1:
Diffuse the flash light by shooting it through something like white nylon, or bounce it off of a ceiling, wall, or white foam board. Or use window light either coming thru a sheer curtain or indirect window light.
- Gregory La Grange
ANSWER 2:
Certainly, as Gregory suggests, probably the best way to control the scene is first to shoot it with the correct techniques (lighting, filtering, etc.). You can use photo-editing software to add a soft-focus effect. Filters and plug-ins may claim to be able to do this ... but I find a fairly simple procedure works well in Photoshop, and you should be able to mimick this in any software that has layers (Photoshop / Elements / Paint Shop Pro / GIMP / PhotoPlus / others.

1. Isolate the image highlights. In Photoshop you would do this by selecting the brightness (Command+click / Crtl+click [mac / PC] on the RGB composite channel), and then copy/paste the highlights to their own layer.

2. Blur the highlights, and lower the opacity.

I sometimes use several layers to do this effect, mixing layer modes and opacities ... but the real goal is similar to what you do when using a soft-focus filter (or even vasoline on the edge of a VU filter), and that is scattering the light. Isolating the highlights targets the lighter areas of the image only, and blurring and lowering opacity allows you to retain image edges without simply blowing away details by blurring the whole image.

- 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 3:
What about a plugin to give a soft look? I have Dreamysuite which is awesome but not the look I need. Just skin softening, not the whole pic.
- Stefanie Mallow Russell
ANSWER 4:
Neat Image (neatimage.com) does this:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?cat=&photoID=4259832
It can be either a plug-in or a standalone.
- Nobi Nagase
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Protecting Images On a CD

Hi There,
I want to burn some of my digital photos onto a disc but I want to protect the images from being copied from the disc. How can I do this? Can I protect each individual picture or the whole disc.
Thank you.
- Samantha Hotch

ANSWER 1:
Samantha,
What is the purpose of burning to CD? I assume it is for some kind of distribution? While there are methods for protecting images from being copied directly as files, if someone can view an image on their monitor, nothing can stop them from taking a screen shot and duplicating the images to the clipboard. There is also the probability that the images can be opened in an image editor that allows saving (unless you use a proprietary viewing format).
Some other considerations you might make for the sake of protection are including smaller versions of the images on disk, so there is not enough resolution to print at a significant size, or perhaps watermarking the image and placing your copyright over the image. I would also make a habit of distributing images with proper metadata embedded, including your digital copyright information.
None of the methods is completely safe, and you always run a little risk. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the reality.
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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Calibrating a Monitor

I am looking into getting a color calibrator for my monitor, can anyone suggest one that they prefer? I have done my research but reviews seem equal on the main products out there such as Pantone or Colorvision.
- Amelia 

ANSWER 1:
Amelia,
I have used the ColorVision Spyder for some time now, and it is what I recommend in my Color Workflow course. It is easy to use, and does a great job. I also used an early version of the GretagMacbeth (when it was still Sequel Imaging), which is what got me using hardware calibration in the first place.
The competition in this market is tight, so manufacturers really have to provide ease-of-use and results. Whichever you pick, it will be a good addition to your system and a means of helping you along the way to getting better color.

- 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:
Hi Amelia,
Richard, of course, is the expert in all of this. However, just to reassure you that you do not need to be an expert in order to get good results from calibrating your monitor, I also use the Spyder Pro. I find it very easy to use (no real tech knowledge needed) and accurate. I tried the Huey, but was not as satisfied with the results; although, many other folks here have used that system and have received good results. Whichever you choose, rest assured that both will vastly improve your workflow.
Irene

- Irene Troy
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Posing a Large Group

I need tips on posing a large family group of 22 people (12 of whom are children). It will be outdoors at a park at 5pm. Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated!
- Angela Azzinnaro

ANSWER 1:
Hello Angela,
I would use my wide-angle lens, and you will need to use more Depth of Field to get everyone in focus (like f/16), and you will need to use a fast enough shutter speed to prevent blurring as the adults can be as restless as the kids when it comes to getting a group to stand still and pose. I would try around 1/125s shutter speed. You may need to adjust your ISO to get a good combination of DOF and shutter speed.
Then you want to consider the background. I would try to position them in front of a tall stand of bushes or trees for a darker background and, if possible, have some space between the background and the group - unless there is a scenic background you want behind them.
Now you will have to try to get this to work with the lighting you have available. I would definitely consider getting a couple of reflectors and/or make sure you have sufficient fill flash capability with a shoe mount flash. (I don't know if the built-in camera flash would suffice). With reflectors, you can avoid having to position the group facing the sun (if it is a sunny day) and use them to reflect softer lighting back on the group. This will also prevent them from squinting their eyes and lesson darker shadows. You need to see where the shadows are and position the people in the group so that someone isn't blacked out or half of their face is dark. I think this may be the toughest thing with a large group - keeping everyone evenly lit. And don't forget the tripod.
Well Angela, that's my .02 cents - good luck and, hopefully, more BPers will respond with their experiences.

- Carlton Ward
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.comŽ, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

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