The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Sunday, September 02, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Sports Photograph...
Q&A 2: What Is a Strobe?...
Q&A 3: Learning How to P...
Q&A 4: Pictures of a Wed...
Q&A 5: Continuous Light ...
Q&A 6: Micro Drive: Reco...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Simon, thank you so very much for a fantastic course on composition! Learning about the relationship of lens focal length and perspective has changed the way I use my camera. I am much more in control of my camera... Reading the critiques of all students' images was very helpful. And I have used my tripod more in the last 4 weeks than in the last 4 years!" -student in Composition - The Essentials with Simon Stafford





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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Developing a Tripod Workflow ... By Kerry Drager
I use a tripod for every stationary landscape scene - to achieve the best in image quality and to fine-tune my compositions. But breaking out the tripod is not the first step in my shooting workflow. In fact, the tripod set-up should come near the end of the picture-making process, not the beginning!
For instance, when I come across a promising landscape, I take just my camera and lenses. I'll then explore the surroundings - looking for the best viewpoint, choosing the right lens focal length, considering Depth of Field and other issues, etc. - without the tripod. Only when I've lined up a shot do I actually grab my tripod, attach the camera, and carefully frame the composition that I had envisioned. With this keep-it-simple strategy, the tripod is a benefit to creativity - not a hindrance!
Editor's Note: Check out Kerry Drager's online photo courses: Creative Close-ups and Creative Light and Composition


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 332nd issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Lots of big news at BetterPhoto, including this Wednesday's start of another outstanding session of 4-week photography and Photoshop classes! See our September schedule... An online course is a great way to get your work reviewed by a pro instructor, but it's not the only way. At the 2007 BetterPhoto Summit (Sept. 29-30 in Chicago), live critiques - personal one-on-one feedback on your photos - are included in the price of admission! ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out our usual features, including Kerry Drager's excellent Photo Tip and another fine collection of questions and answers. ... 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 Sept. 5th... Too Soon? Check out our 8-week Fall courses. The 2007 BetterPhoto Summit is coming up soon (Sept. 29-30 in Chicago), but did you know you could receive a big discount on admission? If you've taken 2-4 BP courses, you get 20% off; 5-9 courses, 50% off; and 10+ courses, free admission! To get your discount: email karen@betterphoto.com and then use the special discount code to sign up for the Summit. For inspiring thoughts and great tips on both photography and the digital darkroom, read BetterBlogs.

Photo Q&A

1: Sports Photography in Low Light
I generally take youth sports pictures. All summer, I've been taking baseball pics and I have had a lot of success with my Nikon D80 and a Sigma DG 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens. Now that football is here, I get great pics at Saturday morning practice and scrimmages but evening pratices are an adventure. I understand a little about the lighting conditions (I have set the camera through program mode to take pics inside without the flash at concerts), but I wanted to know is that possible at a sporting event?
- Kraig HenrySee Sample Photo - Flying Tackle

See Sample Photo - here comes the BOOM!!!


ANSWER 1:
Hello Kraig,
Options:
1) Buy some fast glass (expensive)
2) Raise the ISO
3) Get a high-powered flash
I don't mean to sound abrupt, but those are about all you can do. Oh, except for "don't shoot at night" Kidding. ;)
Pete
- Pete Herman
ANSWER 2:
Also, get out of program mode. Shoot in aperture-priority or shutter-priority. Many sports photographers shoot in shutter-priority because stopping action is more important than depth of field ... but I'd shoot in aperture-priority mode and choose the widest aperture to ensure the highest shutter speed possible.
Raise your ISO to at least 400 if not 800. Your Nikon should take acceptable images at ISO 800 ... they won't be as good as at ISO 100, but would you rather have grainy and sharp or smooth and blurry? ISO, shutter speed, available light ... pick any two.
Now you know why pro sports photographers have those massive f/2.8 lenses that cost more than many used cars!
- John Clifford
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: What Is a Strobe?
Is that flash light or continuous light? Thanks!
- Cindy Wibowo
ANSWER 1:
Hi Cindy,
A strobe is an instantaneous light source, with a duration of around 1/1000th of a second or shorter! To most people, that means flash. The light in a strobe is created by a spark that goes through a tube filed with Xenon and other gasses. I refer to any light created in this way as a strobe regardless of size. So the light source on top of your camera is a strobe, not a flash.
A flash is an aluminum filament in a bulb filled with oxygen that burns when you use it, so it is a single-use light source. The reason that I refer to strobes is that it makes them seem simpler. Most people use the light on their camera, so they have experience with strobes. Strobes are the best light source for controlled light in the studio, and often the best light on location.
If you want to see pictures made using flash, you should check out the work of O. Winston Link, a master of flash!
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
4-Week Short Course: Assignment Photography
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Learning How to Print Color Photos
Can someone suggest the best book or course for optimizing printing digital photos viewed on a computer (digital camera -> laptop -> printer)? I would like to understand this concept and the easiest way to achieve reliable color from my prints.
- Pete Konrad
ANSWER 1:
Getting the best color (and, by that, I mean getting your prints to match as closely as possible to what your monitor displays) is a matter of developing a solid workflow - either that or relying on luck (which I don't recommend). A solid workflow is established by doing all of the following:
- Calibrating your monitor.
- Creating an ICC profile.
- Setting up color management in Photoshop /Elements.
- Adjusting your images for print (color, resolution, sharpness).
- Testing your workflow, and adjusting if necessary.
In my opinion, the best way to work through the issues is to take a course focused on these issues, with an instructor who can lead you through the pitfalls and show you how to get results. This could save you weeks and months of trial end error. There are at least two online courses at BetterPhoto.com that do this but approach it in a somewhat different way:
- My course: From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Color Workflow
- Jon Canfield's: Better Color for Great-Looking Prints
I can't speak directly for Jon's course (perhaps he will jump into the discussion), but my course was specifically designed to help you tackle the issues, weigh the options, and test your results to be sure you get what you want. The process you learn can be repeated should you ever need to set up another computer or if you want to change your workflow. We cut to the chase, can discuss and adjust based on your needs and interests, and get you where you want to go in less time than wading though a book and putting the pieces together on your own.
I have a pre-press background and learned the ropes on the front lines working for a photography book publisher where I needed to match color in print on various papers. Jon also has quite a technical background and record for expertise. I don't think you would go wrong with either course!
- Richard Lynch

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

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer
4-Week Short Course: From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Color Workflow
4-Week Short Course: Correct and Enhance Your Images
ANSWER 2:
Hi -
Richard's advice is right on the money: It's all about the workflow, and it starts with the monitor. I also think either of these courses would be a great option for you, and if you decided to go into more depth, the color management books are an option, and I have a book titled Print Like a Pro that covers the printing workflow extensively (it's what my course is built around).
Richard is one of the recognized experts in color, so I'd have no problem recommending his class.
- Jon Canfield

See Jon Canfield's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=115340

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jon Canfield:
4-Week Short Course: Better Color for Great-Looking Prints
4-Week Short Course: Camera Raw Processing
4-Week Short Course: Digital Slide Shows
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Pictures of a Wedding Rehearsal
I've been asked by a friend to take pictures of her wedding rehearsal. She's hiring a pro for the real deal, but wanted me - an aspiring amateur - to do the rehearsal. I'm curious if anyone has any tips on what kinds of "moments" I should look to capture.
Thanks!
- Melinda Hambrick
ANSWER 1:
I've shot at rehersal! As an aspiring amateur, you'll find that it's a great time to just practice - as IF it was an actual wedding! For example, what settings to use, where to stand, angles to shoot at, etc. And shoot candids too ... just be on your toes for any candid moments that are interesting. It's good practice for a wedding too, because the candids are the ones people usually love the most. Training yourself to always be watching and anticipating what might be a good shot, that's important.
- Denyse M. Clark
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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5: Continuous Light Vs. Flash Light
Could compare these? Which is better? I have a 16"-tall artist's doll to sell on Ebay. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!
- Cindy Wibowo
ANSWER 1:
Hi Cindy,
Strobes are better. You don’t have to work on a tripod, your shooting area doesn’t become overheated, and your color is accurate. Strobes are more expensive and take more time to learn to use, but they provide better results. So if you are doing this once, I would get someone else to make a quality picture. If you are going to do this a lot, then I would get strobes.
Good Luck! 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
4-Week Short Course: Assignment Photography
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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6: Micro Drive: Recovering Photos?
I have a 2G micro drive, and I can't get the photos off of it. I was wondering if there is any way possible to recover them? Thanks.
- Marilou Olejniczak
ANSWER 1:
It depends on what the problem really is. If the problem is mechanical (disc is physically damaged, won't spin, heads won't track properly, etc.), then you are probably are looking at an expensive job - if it can even be done. There are companies that can recover data from damaged hard drives, but they may or may not be able to work with micro drives as well. Do a Google search for "damaged hard drive recovery".
If the problem is just a data corruption problem, you might be able to recover images yourself with a data recovery program. Start by checking to see if the manufacturer of your micro drive has software for this. If they don't, search around, since there are lots of programs on the market that might work.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com
- Chris A. Vedros
ANSWER 2:
Also, does the micro drive work in your camera? If you can still see the images when the drive is in the camera, then it is more likely that you will be able to recover them.
If it is working in the camera, try connecting the camera to the computer with a USB cable instead of reading the card with a reader. This will be slower, but it might work.Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com
- Chris A. Vedros
ANSWER 3:
Unfortunately, it's not working in my camera either -, it states card is not initializing. Well, I'll still see what I can do to try to recover them. Thanks so much for your help!
- Marilou Olejniczak
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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