The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, August 20, 2007
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Metering Off the ...
Q&A 2: How to Choose the...
Q&A 3: New Course Wishli...
Q&A 4: Converting RAW to...
Q&A 1: Capturing a Spi...

"I thoroughly enjoyed Newman's class!!! I learned more about the proper ways to shoot sports with the proper settings from Newman more than I did from my camera manual ... I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in shooting sports ... it helped me tremendously!! Thank you Newman!" -student in Newman Lowrance's Basics of Sports Photography course

At BetterPhoto, we have an outstanding line of online classes on people photography.

Focus on the basics of photography or Photoshop in an online course at BetterPhoto. Check out the school schedule...

BetterPhoto Radio is on the air - Fridays at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Listen to Jim Miotke interview pro instructors and BP members!
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 70702 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Photoshop Actions: Saving Actions and Sets ... by Al Ward
Save, save, save! In other words, save your action sets frequently. If you alter an action, do not save the file under the same name; rather, change the name and save the action set as a new file. You'll find your toolbox quickly building, with multiple actions that perform variations in the same vein.
Saving actions in the middle of a process is fine also, and recommended. You may always start recording again, and this is much better than losing the previous steps altogether as my happen if the computer suddenly reboots, the power surges, so in and so forth. When Photoshop is stopped unexpectedly, it generally returns either to the default configuration or to the point where it was last closed normally. Any new additions, such as recently recorded actions, are lost if not saved.
Editor's Note: Al Ward teaches the excellent Right-Brain Photoshop: Merging, Melding and Morphing course here at BetterPhoto.

Featured Gallery
The Banzai Pipeline
© - David Orias

Welcome to the 330th issue of SnapShot!

Lots of outstanding news at BetterPhoto! We are excited about our new and improved Deluxe/Pro BetterPholios, and, as a result, we offering a giant two-day Super Sale! From 12:01 am PST on August 22nd to 11:59 pm PST on August 23rd, if you sign up for a new Deluxe or Pro site, or a renewal, you'll get two years for the price of one! Note: The offer applies only to orders paid in full. ... Looking ahead to September: Our next online school session begins September 5th. ... The photographic event of 2007 - the 3rd Annual BetterPhoto Summit - takes place September 29th and 30th in Chicago. Plan on lots of inspiration, interaction and information, as well as one-on-one pro feedback on your work. ... Meantime, if you haven't checked lately, dip into BetterBlogs: Instructor Insights, Digital Photo Blog, and the all-new BetterPhoto Girls Blog. ... That's it for now. Have a great week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Our new and improved Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are better than ever! Place your order between this Wednesday, August 22nd, at 12:01 am PST, and Thursday, August 23rd, at 11:59 pm PST, and we'll add a free year to your account! The offer is good for both new sign-ups and renewals, and applies to orders paid in full (payment plan orders do not qualify). The 2007 BetterPhoto Summit photography conference is coming up fast - late September. You'll learn new techniques, get inspired, and receive one-on-one critiques from a BP pro instructor! If you're ready to take the next step in your photography or in Photoshop, then we have the course for you! Check out our class schedule...

Photo Q&A

1: Metering Off the Sky: Why?
Why meter off the sky, then re-compose on a ground-based subject? Thank you.
- Bernard Dee
Metering off a deep blue sky (with the sun at your back) will have an exposure value similar to that off a gray card. In-camera meters measure reflected light so even if the foreground subjects are in "perfect light", the exposure values may be different (... like if a black dog and a gray cat were frolicking in a patch of white flowers). Metering the sky in this case will expose the scene correctly ... as long as you keep the sun behind you.
- Bob Cammarata
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2: How to Choose the White Balance for Sunsets
I have a Sony Super Steady Shot DSC-H2. When attempting sunrise photos, I have found that my colors flip and the sun reads yellow rather than red. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Lisa Uvena
With film, the color balance is fixed, usually for daylight. If the actual light source is different, then it affects the color cast. Thus sunsets and indoors with incandescent bulbs give a "warmer" red cast to photos, fluorescent lights tend toward green, etc. If "true" colors are desired, then the photographer used color-correcting filters (skylight, 80-, 81-, 82-, 83-series, FL-D, etc.)
With digital cameras the color sensitivity is not fixed at a single setting. Instead it can be adjusted for a wide range of lighting with the white balance control. On your H2, the white balance is probably set for AUTO and is trying to "correct" for the redder light at sunset. Try setting the WB to the Daylight or Cloudy settings. These settings should give the redder sunsets that you got with color film.
- Jon Close
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3: New Course Wishlist Feature at BetterPhoto!
Hi Everyone,
Just a note that BetterPhoto has added a wishlist button to each course page. If a class interests you, but you are not yet ready to sign up, simply click on the "Add to Wishlist" button. It will then be added to Your Course Wishlist in the Courses area of your Member Center. This helps you keep track of classes of interest!

Check out BP's online school schedule:
- 4-week classes
- 8-week courses

- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Premium BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
Creative Light and Composition
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
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4: Converting RAW to JPEG
I recently bought a Digital Rebel and though I like shooting in RAW, I don't know how to convert it to JPEG. I imagine this is fairly easy, could someone help me with the method?
- Tom 
For images you REALLY care about, get the tones, color balance, cropping and touch-up the way you want it. Then do a SAVE AS, not a SAVE. In the SAVE AS dialogue, you will see a drop-down where you choose JPG, then have a choice of the degree of compression. For BetterPhoto, I compress no more than a 10. If you are building a web site or sending an email attachment, you might want more compression. Each degree of compression, AND each successive SAVE in the JPG mode after an edit deteriorates the image some.
- Doug Nelson
I am finding that Adobe Lightroom is really handy. I can make all my adjustments (exposure, white balance, contrast, saturation, etc) to my RAW images and export them to JPEG all at one time. If there are images that need more then those basic changes I will use Photoshop CS2 and save to a JPEG as mentioned in Doug's post. Adobe also has a 30-day trial on their Web site for Lightroom.
- Suzanne Colson
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1: Capturing a Spider Web Photo

We have a spectacular spider web in our back yard. How do we take a picture of a spider web outside?
- Richard  Sandoval

Get up early ... before the wind picks up, attach a macro lens or close-focusing attachment and focus manually on the web itself. If early-morning dew is present, so much the better. If the spider is "home" at the time, even better still!

- Bob Cammarata

Try to catch the light shining on the web and find an angle that provides a dark background. I love spider web shots, and this is what I find works best. And what Bob said.

- Carlton Ward

An effective black background can be created by carefully positioning a flash unit set to expose only the web. This takes practice but this technique can also be helpful in freezing the web and eliminating the risk of blur from that brief gust of wind that always seems to come along just as you squeeze off the shot. Natural light will always look better though, when it's "work-able".
As I mentioned before, the early morning hours are definitely best. Natural dew and/or calm conditions will generally prevail until the sun rises higher and the wind picks up.
In the attached example, a macro lens and bellows unit were used in natural early morning light. (You can see another example shot in early morning here).
You can also use a simple flashlight to accentuate the reflections off a dewed web for some really cool effects. A wide aperture setting, along with a carefully positioned light source, will produce out-of-focus halos of light.
In this example, a flashlight was propped up and positioned to illuminate the dewed web from underneath.

- Bob CammarataSee Sample Photo - Dewed Web

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