The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, November 19, 2007
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Depth of Field: M...
Q&A 2: How to Shoot Voll...
Q&A 1: Macro Lens Vs. ...
Q&A 2: Buy Lens & ...

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Retrieving Lost Images ... by Susan and Neil Silverman
If you have ever mistakenly deleted your images from your compact flash card, all may not be lost. Most of the card makers provide a software program that you can download. It will help you retrieve almost all of your images, even if your camera may tell you that there are no photos on that card. When you purchase a card, check the manufacturer's Web site for downloadable retrieval software. And if you are traveling with your laptop, keep it on your computer. Hopefully, it will be one program that you do not need!
Editor's Note: Learn more about the Silvermans and their popular online courses.

Featured Gallery
© - Terri Beloit

Welcome to the 343rd issue of SnapShot!

A happy Thanksgiving to all BetterPhoto members who celebrate this wonderful holiday! I really enjoy setting aside the opportunity to observe such values as family and gratitude. ... Looking to December, we at BetterPhoto are excited about our next session of 4-week online courses, which begin Dec. 5th. See our school schedule... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Susan and Neil Silverman's "Retrieving Lost Images" photo tip and a fine collection of questions and answers. ... Also, are you getting all of our free newsletters? SnapShot is just one of them - there are three more! See our subscription page... That's it for now. Be sure to have your camera handy to capture family and friends this holiday season!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Betterphoto's online photography and Photoshop classes are so much fun and you learn a lot in a short time. See our December 4-week schedule! ... Too soon? Check out our Winter session, which gets under way on January 9th. At, we have a number of exciting online options for showcasing your work - from a sleek gallery to a full-fledged Web site. Compare the options... With our BetterPhoto Clubs, you can create a group in order to interact with photo friends, share photos, exchange tips, and even get together for trips!

Photo Q&A

1: Depth of Field: Measuring Hyperfocal Distance
I'm very much interested in landscape photos, and have just started learning about hyperfocal distance. I have a basic idea and a chart. But how do landscape photographers measure hyperfocal distance each time in reality? I don't suppose they use a tape measure. Do they use their eye to measure one-third distance in the frame? Thanks!
- Alex T. Mizuno
In practice, you will find it easier to set your lens aperture to f-16 or f-22 and critically focus just beyond the closest object within the frame. (Typically, the infinity symbol will be directly over your chosen f-stop number at this focal range ... but not always.) It's also wise to bracket critical focus points just beyond and in front of your original focus setting on key shots, especially if you plan to enlarge them.
- Bob Cammarata
Hello Alex,
They also use their Depth of Field preview. But at small apertures, though, DOF preview is difficult to visualize ... very dark. As Alan correctly points out, few if any pros calculate this figure anymore. NO real need with instant previews. Now with macro photography, you may indeed want to figure this out ... but again, I doubt you will need to.
All the best,
- Pete Herman
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2: How to Shoot Volleyball in a Gym?
I have a Canon Digital Rebel 350D xt, and I am shooting volleyball in a gym. I am clueless on what to set my camera on. I have a Sigma lens 28-70mm 1:2.8-4 DG and a Sigma DG 70-300mm 1:4-5.6. Can anyone help me please? Thanks!
- Jeannie M. DenoSee Sample Photo - volleyball

See Sample Photo - volleyball in gym

See Sample Photo - volleyball

Shooting in gyms is a challenge. First, a fast lens is essential. F2.8 throughout or faster, and then bump your ISO up to 400 or so like Mark mentioned. If you encounter a dark floor, it gets even harder. I like to be at 1/200 to 1/320 F2.8 and, hopefully, ISO 200, but 400 if needed. If you like Sigma, consider their EX 28-70 F2.8 lens. Though it is short on focal length, you can crop pretty deep with the 350D, and it is pretty easy on the wallet. If you like to spend, get the Canon 70-200 2.8L, it is everything the cost tells you it should be. Sigma's EX series and Tokina's ATX Pro are fast lenses for not too much money, and good quality to boot. Hope that helps! Good luck shooting - Tom
- T Michaels
Before spending $$$ on f/2.8 zooms or f/2 telephoto, make sure you're getting the most out of your current set-up. Which exposure mode are you using? If Sports (running man icon), the 350D limits you to ISO 400 and AUTO ISO. ISO 400 is not giving you fast enough shutter speed to stop motion blur of the players, and AUTO WB (auto white balance) is not getting the color balance right for the gym's lighting. Instead, use one of the "creative" exposure modes - P, Av, Tv, M. In these modes, you can manually set a higher ISO to get faster shutter speed. The 350D gives pretty good performance even at ISO 800 and 1600. You can also select the white balance to better match the gym lighting (try Fluorescent or Custom WB). You can adjust the Picture Style and parameters to boost sharpening, contrast, and color saturation. And you can select that the camera save the image files as RAW, so that you can "post-process" them to get better sharpness, less noise and better color, rather than leaving it to the puny in-camera processor that creates the JPEG files.
- Jon Close
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1: Macro Lens Vs. Zoom's Macro Setting

I notice a reference in the zoom lens specs for a "Macro setting" mode. Does anyone know what macro setting they are referring to? I am thinking of buying a Sigma 105mm macro lens but don't really know what it will buy me in terms of image quality on macro images vs. a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 IF-ED lens. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Mike Perez

In the case of zoom lenses like the Nikon 28-70 f/2.8, the "macro" feature allows closer focusing than a standard lens. But it still is not as close nor as great a magnification as a specialized macro lens like the Sigma 105 f/2.8 EX Macro. At 70mm and .5m focus distance, the 28-70 will give 1:5.6 magnification on the image sensor (1/5.6 of life size). The Sigma 105 Macro will focus as close as .31m to give 1:1 (life size) image on the sensor.

- Jon Close
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2: Buy Lens & Flash? Or Better Lens But No Flash?

I am ready to buy an extra lens for my Canon Rebel xt and have decided on either the 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. I am on a budget, though, so should I go with the 1.8 and also get an external flash? Or should I go with the 1.4 and nix the flash? I typically shoot indoors and my subject is almost always my almost 1-year-old son. I have had lots of problems with shadows that have ruined photos for me, which is why I have been interested in an external flash. If you reccomend the 1.8 with a flash over the 1.4 without a flash, what flash would you suggest?
- Jessi 

I'd go with the 50/1.8 and an accessory flash. While it is very cheap, plastic, and has a buzzy AF motor, the EF 50 f/1.8 II is very sharp. Don't bother getting a "protective filter" for it. A good filter will cost as much as this lens, and is apt to cause more problems (reflections, glare, flare) than it solves. ;-)Recommended flash would be the Canon 430EX, which is fully auto in all exposure modes and enables all the advanced flash features of the XTi, and has a tilt-swivel head for bounce flash to avoid the harsh shadows that direct flash creates. Third party alternatives need to be E-TTL capable, like Sigma EF-500 DG Super or Sunpak PZ40X. If looking at used flashes, you should look for Canon's -EX models (380EX, 420EX, 550EX). The digital EOS cameras like the XTi will not work with the simple TTL or A-TTL system used with Canon's film EOS cameras, so avoid Canon's -E, and -EZ series speedlights (420EZ, 430EZ, 540EZ).

- Jon Close
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