The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 29, 2007
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Is There Hope for...
Q&A 2: Changing Part of ...
Q&A 3: Adding Copyright ...
Q&A 4: ISO and Shutter S...

"I never thought this course would have such an impact on me! The best part of the course for me was to learn how to look completely different to all kind of subjects and combine this with technique to create really nice photographs ... I got my enthusiasm for photography back again! Thanks, Rob, for this great course!" -student in Rob Sheppard's Impact in Your Photos: Getting the Wow Response online class, which gets under way this Wednesday, Oct. 31st

Would you like to show - or sell - your work in your own extremely sleek and cool Web site? We've just added great new design options for our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios!

Discover how to successfully use the awesome new Canon EOS 40D. This 4-week online class by Ibarionex Perello begins November 7th. See the 40D course details...

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 70048 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Photographing Food ... by John Siskin
"I have done several food jobs," says pro shooter John Siskin. "My experience is that there are fewer problems with photographing food than many people expect. The problem is in food preparation. I have had the good fortune to work with good food stylists and some excellent chefs. I have always shot food with strobes, because they have good color control and don’t generate heat."
Editor's Note: Check out John's online courses, including Assignment Photography and Building Better Photographs with Strobes.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 340th issue of SnapShot!

Lots of big news at BetterPhoto with Halloween coming up and October winding down! First, the special school session of 8-week online photography and Photoshop courses kicks off this Wednesday, Oct. 31st. So if you missed signing up earlier for the Fall session, now's your (second) chance! :) ... Next, we're absolutely delighted how quickly the new BetterPhoto Clubs have formed. It's exciting to see how much fun everyone is having bonding with each other, sharing tips for taking amazing photographs, and making plans for photo shoots! ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

At BetterPhoto, we have an awesome online photography school led by top pros. See our special session of 8-week classes... Note: Payment plans are now offered on all courses - including 4-week classes (which begin Nov. 7th). We have four excellent options: 1) Phone for advice! Our Course Advisors are available toll free Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm Pacific Time at 1-888-586-7337. 2) Or try our very cool CourseFinder. 3) See courses by category. 4) Check classes by skill level. Be sure to catch the latest Instructor Insights blogs - with new entries from Kerry Drager, Jim Zuckerman, and John Siskin. Also, don't miss our Articles on Photography page, with recent additions from Kevin Moss!

Photo Q&A

1: Is There Hope for My Lens?
I had a bit of an accident today - slipping on the shore of my pond. My "kit" Canon EF-S 18-55 lens that came with my Canon EOS XTi was loose and went floating in the pond. And, at the same time, my Canon Powershot Pro 1 in its camera bag was also floating away as I'm mucking in the pond mud grabbing for both! My Powershot came out dry, but my kit lens has condensation inside. Is this lens kaput or will it eventually dry out? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
- Lisa B. North
The condensation will clear. The electronics will probably be OK, given enough time to dry. The REAL problem you have is the residual dirty water that has evaporated and deposited a ton of dirt internally. Lenses CAN be opened and cleaned, but if you have never done it, don't even try. Let an expert do it if the cost is reasonable.
All the best,
- Pete Herman
Well, Lisa, you're fortunate it wasn't salt water and also that you don't look into the front of the lens and see fish or tadpoles swimming around inside the barrel.
To supplement what Pete said, lenses can be opened, cleaned, dried out and relubricated to some extent. Condensation might dry and turn to corrosion and may leave some of the electronics inoperable.
So, in my opinion, the best thing you can do - if there's hope in saving this lens - is get it to a competent repair shop. Let them open it up, dry, clean, relube and retest the electronics. The sooner the better. If the estimate isn't more than half the cost of a replacement, I'd let them give it a whirl.
Take it light. ;>)
- Mark Feldstein
Thanks, Pete and Mark! I'll look into that today. I still see water in there! But no fish!! Lisa
- Lisa B. North
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2: Changing Part of Picture to B&W
Hi all,
Question regarding Photoshop: Besides extracting a portion of a photo and changing the saturation, is there another way to change only part of a picture to black and white? As always, thanks for your tips and help.
- Joseph R. Ward
Hi Joe,
Getting a good conversion to black-and-white may be a little more complicated than just desaturating, which is usually the worst means of B&W conversion. Other methods include using Channel Mixer, and making custom conversions using layers, separations and possibly even Duotone mode. The History brush method can work, but some people may find using two layers and a mask more concrete and easy to follow.
If you make a good black-and-white conversion, your steps should look like these (for Photoshop users, Elements users can do this a different way):
1. Open the color version of the image.
2. Open the black-and-white version of the image.
3. Position the images on screen so you can see them both.
4. Choose the Move tool (press V on the keyboard).
5. Hold down the Shift key, and click-and-drag the black and white version of the image into the color version. The shift key will keep the images aligned (so long as you have not cropped them differently or change the resolution).
6. Be sure the black-and-white layer is active, then click the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers palette. This will add a mask to the black-and-white layer.
7. Change the foreground color to black, choose a brush (be sure the Options are set to Normal, Opacity 100%, and Flow 100%, you'll probably want a somewhat soft brush), check to be sure the mask is active, then paint over areas where you want to reveal the color.
That should do it. This technique uses the layer mask to reveal the color layer below. If you want a good book on Layers, I just happen to have written one: The Adobe Photoshop Layers Book
I also teach a course here on BetterPhoto about layers (Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool), and image correction (Correct and Enhance Your Images). But you may want to have some other background in Photoshop/Elements before taking those as they are more advanced courses. My Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer course is meant to be a solid introduction to the program.
I hope that helps!
- Richard Lynch

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Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
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
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3: Adding Copyright Symbol to My Digital Images
I have Photoshop Elements IV, and I cannot find a way to imbed a copyright mark or my name into the photos I have taken. Can you help me with this?
- Brenda Smith
The format is usually:
Copyright © 2007 [your name]
Copyright can be added in several ways, including right in the image as suggested here, as part of the metadata (see File>File Info), as a watermark, and as a digitally embedded registration (digimark). None of these are foolproof protection of your images, and usually the most obvious works best.
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
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
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4: ISO and Shutter Speed Questions
How high of an ISO can one safely choose without too much noise/grain in the photos? Or does this depend on the camera (I have a Nikon D80)? Also, how slow is too slow for shutter speed for a handheld exposure? Thank you in advance!
- Tara R. Swartzendruber
"How slow is too slow for shutter speed for a handheld exposure"
With a 50mm lens, for some (very few), that is 1/15th or 1/30th, for most, it's 1/60th or 1/125th. As a rule of thumb, the shutter speed ought to be 1 divided by the focal length of the lens. Or faster.
- W. Smith
I have had some success shooting with ISO 1600. But I have to be dialed in perfectly in terms of exposure, because if I need to lighten the image at all - it gets real noisy real fast. I use a monopod a lot for low light situations when a tripod is inappropriate (such as when I am taking pics of musicians on stage in a small club with terrible lighting), and even then, I tend to have a low rate of keepers. I can usually shoot at ISO 800 with few problems, but after that, it is hit and miss. I just took some pics the other day using a tripod and ISO 1600 and didn't lighten the images in PS but still had too much noise.
- Carlton Ward
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