The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, August 06, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Make a Cop...
Q&A 2: Interior Photogra...
Q&A 3: Photographing a B...
Q&A 4: Working in Layers...
Q&A 5: Image Sizes for P...
Q&A 1: Painting with L...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I have throughly enjoyed this course ... With Tony's excellent and inspirational examples, I have learned to look more creatively at a subject and what technique would be good to use ... Tony answered all questions in a prompt manner. His critiques were fair and very helpful. I would highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to 'design an image' instead of just taking a picture! -student in Tony Sweet's Image Design: Essential Design Concepts online photography class





FEATURED COURSES: COMPOSITION AND DESIGN
At BetterPhoto, we have many online PhotoCourses geared to composition and design.


FEATURED COURSES: LIGHT AND EXPOSURE
Check out our awesome schedule of online photography courses on light and exposure.


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 pro instructors and BP members!
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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Using Shadow and Highlight in Portraits ... by Ibarionex Perello
"The human eye is attracted to areas of high contrast," points out BP instructor Ibarionex Perello in one of his BetterBlogs. "Meetings of light and dark, black and white draw our attention, particularly when looking at a photograph. Itís a visual fact that can be used to great effect when shooting a portrait.
The key to composing a strong portrait in high contrast light is the placement of your subject. Itís important to place your subject in the area of highlight and not in shadow, especially the eyes. Since the eyes are the most important element of the shot, you want to make sure that this area of the subjectís face is brightly illuminated. Always stay aware of how shadows are rendered across the face.
Often the best time of day to use this strong directional light is in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun is close to horizon. Photographing at noon will result in the poorest photographs as they produce the bad shadows on the face mentioned earlier."
Editor's Note: Check our Ibarionex Perello's excellent online photo courses, including: How to Overcome Your Fears and Photograph People and Available Light Portraiture.


   
Featured Gallery
Moonrise at Bryce
© - HSIHAO LUNG

Welcome to the 328th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

If you're still kicking yourself for waiting too long, there's good news: You aren't too late to sign up for an online photo class! So enroll in a BetterPhoto course today and join in on the fun! Check out the August and September 4-week classes ... Looking ahead to September: Shoot with your friends - and the pros - during the first-ever Scavenger Hunt at the 2007 BetterPhoto Summit! ... Looking ahead to October: Boost your photography or Photoshop skills in an eight-week interactive course. ... News and notes: Our Pro and Deluxe BetterPholios now feature many new design options to really enhance - and personalize - the look of your Web site. Also, new entries are being added regularly to our awesome Trip Planners ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Our four-week online courses are fun, fast and to the point. Review our 4-week class schedule... Too soon? Check out our 8-week online courses. Note: Payment plans are now available for all classes! The 2007 BetterPhoto Summit in Chicago will be an inspiring weekend of presentations - plus a great opportunity to get out and have fun photographing! In the first-ever Scavenger Hunt Shoot, you'll enjoy tracking down hard-to-find photo subjects, and finding clues that lead you to the next scene. Learn more about the Summit... For inspiring thoughts and great photo tips, read BetterBlogs, which are updated regularly.

Photo Q&A

1: How to Make a Copyright Symbol
How do I make a copyright symbol with my computer to put on a card?
- Joan E. Herwig
ANSWER 1:
- Bob Cammarata
ANSWER 2:
I've got a BetterPhoto article about this, but essentially:
Mac: Press Option+G
PC: Hold down the ALT key and press 0,1,6,9 on the number pad and then release the ALT key.
You can also copy/paste: ©

- Richard Lynch

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

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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
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2: Interior Photography - Simplified?
My husband and I have a company, designing and installing home theaters and entertainment systems. I'd like to take good "snapshots" of the rooms we do, for our Web site. I have a Sony DSC-F707 (fixed lens). To date, my photos turn out dark. I've been putting the camera on the tripod, hitting the self-timer, and hoping that the exposure would be long enough using ambient light - but it's not! In fact, it looks only slightly dark when reviewed through the lens, but when I get the images home, ugh! Do digital cameras experience reciprocity failure? Will some slaves be the answer? Do I need to use an incident meter and manually set my exposures? I try to get in and out of the houses quickly, to avoid annoying the client. I need to find a way to get good pictures, with minimal hassle. Thanks!
- Valerie 
ANSWER 1:
Simple interior photography is to use available light and use a flash to enhance or add a little to darker places if needed, instead of the flash being the light for the room. Camera meters can be fooled by uneven lighting and a very reflective object. So if you have manual, use a longer shutter speed - and the tripod.
- Gregory La Grange
ANSWER 2:
Hi Valerie,
Interior photography is probably the most technically difficult specialty there is in photography, since interiors are so different and require such wildly different lighting techniques. First, I would explain to clients that pictures of your installations are critical to your business, and you simply must take the time to do them properly. Many of my clients make arrangements for me to come in after the installation is finished and spend hours creating photographs they will use to promote their businesses.
Your Sony will probably allow you to change the exposure with an exposure compensation dial, which will be easier to use than a meter. Also, reciprocity is not a big problem with long exposures, but noise can be. Long exposures on my camera, for example, are almost useless because of noise. The best way to approach this would be with several strobes, but I do not know the sync situation with your camera.
You might want to look at this article, which I did for Photo Techniques: http://www.siskinphoto.com/magazine2c.html. I do not know if it will help, but you might want to take a look.
Practice helps! 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 See Sample Photo - Entry Way


Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Photographing a Boxing or MMA Event
I am going to be shooting an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event in a week. I have a Nikon D200 and a Speedlight, and will be shooting with my 18-200mm 3.5 AF VR. I have no idea what the lighting conditions are going to be like at the event. Also, I have to shoot through the "cage". I am looking for sports photography tips!

Thanks!

- Melissa Olsen
ANSWER 1:
If you're right by the ring, shoot wide through the hole in the links. If you're back in the crowd, you can see if any of the back rows will let you shoot down into the ring over the cage. If it doesn't, then shooting through the cage is all you can do. Avoid the flash - you'll just illuminate the cage.
- Gregory La Grange
ANSWER 2:
Thanks Gregory! I will be right by the ring, and I'll have some access to a basket above the ring as well. I didn't think about the flash illuminating the cage ... thanks for the tip!
- Melissa Olsen
ANSWER 3:
You don't have to shoot everything wide. But zoom in enough to keep the aperture open enough to keep blur. The longer the focal length, the more the cage disappears, but your aperture goes above f/4 fairly quickly so you have to find a useful compromise.
- Gregory La Grange
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4: Working in Layers
I have a series of 3 photos of my son jumping off a cliff, and I want to use Photoshop Elements 5 to put either the 3 photos together or to somehow put them onto the 1 photo so that I get an image with him on it in the different stages of his fall. Any advice gratefully received - thanks!
- Anthony Green
ANSWER 1:
Anthony,
Here's what I'd do (this assumes your images are flattened):
1. Open all three images.
2. Choose the one you want to go first, and make sure it is the active image (click on the title bar or choose it from the Window menu).
3. Choose Image>Resize>Canvas Size. This will open the Canvas Size dialog
4. Make the image at least 3 times the width of the current image (more if you want space between the photos). Be sure to anchor the image to the left: See the image I've uploaded. Click OK to accept the changes.
5. Choose the Move tool (press V) and then space the images on your screen so you can see all of them.
6. Activate the second image, then hold Shift, and click-and-drag the one image into the other. Release the mouse, and then the shift key.
7. Repeat step 6 with the third image. You'll have to use the Move tool to get the third image into place.
You may want to play with spacing in the photo and add a border ... so you might give yourself some more canvas to play with before or after placing all the images. But now that you've got them all into one image, you can complete your 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 See Sample Photo - Resize canvas to add twwo more images


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5: Image Sizes for Portfolio
I am putting together a portfolio and would love to get some opinions from fellow photographers. I am trying to decide if I should stick with all 8x10s, or if it is okay to use some smaller sizes in a grouping. For instance, I might have a 2 page spread that includes photos from the same family shoot - an 8x10 of the family group and then 2 5x7's of the kids or whatever. At first, I thought groupings would be good to show what variations I can get from one setting, but now I'm leaning a bit more towards just individual shots that are excellent and not necessarily related to each other. What do you think? Thanks for your time and advice.
- Clair 
ANSWER 1:
Hi Clair,
I have several portfolios for different potential clients. Each portfolio is set up on a one image per page program. Each image is mounted and matted. This enables me to decide what images to take with me, and what to leave. This allows me to fine-tune the portfolio for a specific client. I think that between 15 and 25 images is about the right number to show. I use 12X12 inch and 11X14 mats for different portfolios. I am considering doing a larger portfolio. Remember, use only the good stuff, nothing you need to explain.
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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Painting with Light

Can anybody tell me what "Painting with Light" in Photoshop means? Thanks in advance!
- Jennifer Orbistondo

ANSWER 1:
Jennifer, what we did in school that was called 'Painting with Light' is using a layer mask. It is the icon at the bottom of your layers pallette that looks like a square with a circle inside. Duplicate your layer so that you have two identical layers on top of each other. The top one will be as close to the right exposure as possible. On this layer, click on the layer mask icon. The bottom layer you will lighten in levels.
Make sure black and white are your default colors with black as the foreground color. Click on the layer mask icon in the top layer, and with the brush tool paint over the areas of the image you want to lighten. Use a soft edged brush. This will erase the top layer and bring out the bottom, lighter layer.
If you don't like it, you can toggle the black and white colors and paint areas back in with the white. Also when using the layer mask, you can change the opacity of the paint brush to lighten as much or little as you want. When you like the image, flatten it. Hope this helps.

- Sherry K. Adkins

ANSWER 2:
Here's what I do for PS painting with light: Create a new empty layer above your image layer. Change blending mode to 'soft light'. Change opacity to 20% or so, can change to taste later. Now, using the paintbrush tool, paint with black to increase darkness of shadow areas etc paint with white to brighten. Usually pays to go with the existing highlights/shadows.

- Jane  M
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