The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, December 24, 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Shooting Soccer P...
Q&A 2: Colors Dull, and ...
Q&A 3: CS 3 Upgrade or E...
Q&A 4: What Happened to ...
Q&A 5: Using Film Lenses...
Q&A 6: Freelance Landsca...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Creating Visual Impact is the best course I could have taken! Brenda is more than a teacher - her passion for the craft inspires. She makes students more thoughtful and creative. If Brenda offered Creative Visual Impacts II, I'd take it without hesitation. I just loved this course and her feedback. Both made me a better photographer!" -student in Brenda Tharp's Creating Visual Impact online course





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PHOTOSHOP CS3 FOR NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Learn to use Photoshop CS3 to help make your nature, travel and other images the best they can be! This exciting 8-week course, taught by master photographer-author Ellen Anon, will get you comfortable with using Photoshop efficiently and effectively. Learn more...


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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Depth of Field in Low Light ... by Jim Zuckerman
"When photographing flat objects," writes instructor Jim Zuckerman in a recent BetterBlog, "you can achieve more depth of field by making sure the back of the camera is parallel with the subject... For example, photographing iridescent bubbles on a black sand beach in New Zealand was a real challenge. It was a dark, overcast day, yet I couldn’t use a tripod because it was very windy and the bubbles kept moving and breaking, and the surf would come up and change everything... I made sure the back of the camera was parallel with the sand as I shot straight down on the bubbles – careful to keep my feet out of the picture - and at f/4.5 I was able to get the entire surface of the sand and the bubbles sharp."
Editor's Note: See Jim Zuckerman's bio for info on Jim and his excellent online courses.


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 348th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

At BetterPhoto this holiday season, we are having so much fun gearing up for another exciting session of online classes! Just in time for 2008 is our all-new ClassTracks - more options, more flexbility, and a great price. Plus, complete one of these one-year course programs and get an additional 4-week class AND a Pro BetterPholio too - both for free! See the ClassTracks details... Our regular Winter schedule also gets under way January 9th, and we have an outstanding lineup of 4-week and 8-week courses. Enroll today to ensure a spot... In this issue of SnapShot, check out Jim Zuckerman's Photo Tip ("Depth of Field in Low Light") and the Q&A selection, with excellent input from instructors Richard Lynch, Tony Sweet and John Siskin. Also, a reminder that SnapShot isn't BetterPhoto's only free newsletter - see our subscription page for three others on photography and Photoshop... That's it for now. Have an enjoyable - and safe - holiday week, and best wishes for a wonderful new year!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

BetterPhoto's awesome year-long online course program - ClassTracks - is back, and it's better than ever! Choose from four exciting options: Nature Photography, Photoshop, Making Money, and Customize Your Track. That's not all: Upon completion, get an additional free 4-week class AND a Pro BetterPholio for free! Learn more about ClassTracks... Get comfortable with your new digital camera! Our online photo courses are fun, fast, and interactive with feedback from a pro. School begins soon, so sign up now. See our course schedule... Have some spare time? Check out our BetterBlogs: Instructor Insights, Digital Photo Blog, and, of course, the new BetterPhoto Girls Blog!

Photo Q&A

1: Shooting Soccer Pictures
Hi Guys! I recently purchased the Nikon D40 and was wondering which lens would be best to get action shots in game, etc.
- Steven 
ANSWER 1:
Hi Steven,
The lens you currently have is currently the best to get action shots in game, etc. Use it! Get experience with it. Find out if you would like more wide angle for the task. Or if you would like more tele. Or both. And/or if you need more light sensitivity. Then – with that practical, hands-on knowledge and experience – you select the appropriate lens from the available line-up.
Have fun!
- W. Smith
ANSWER 2:
The D40 can only use an AF-S lens. My favorite is the 300mm AF-S, which I use for outdoor sports (tennis, baseball, softball, etc.). I bought mine used for $750 in mint condition on eBay. I don't know if that is within your budget. If not, try the 70-300mm AFS VR, which can be had for $450 new. Using the kit lens (18-55mm) I assume you have, you won't be able to get up close and personal (you will need at least 200-300mm).
- Scott H.
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Colors Dull, and Background Not Bright
Hi: Thanks to all who helped. I did go and change my White Balance and it's better than the one before. But a new problem has arisen. Why are the colors in the photo two 1000 watt. continuous lights. Should I have them turned to the max for optimum brightness?
For John Siskin: You are absolutely right when you say, "I can do a lot of practice and work with books,or take a class." I now realize that I indeed need to take a class! Thank you for wording it in a way that really hits home!
- Apriyile D. VidalesSee Sample Photo - colors dull and background not bright.


ANSWER 1:
Hi Apriyile,
You might want to try increasing the saturation on these shots. I shoot in Raw, and you can increase the saturation, warm the color, and increase the contrast on almost every shot. The image you make with your camera is a beginning, but the camera is designed to get as much information as possible. It is up to the photographer how to make the Raw information into a picture. Richard Lynch has several excellent Photoshop classes here at BetterPhoto. It is also important to remember to have a good time. I’ll look for you in my classes. Thanks!
- John H. Siskin

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4-Week Short Course: Portrait Lighting on Location & in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Understanding the Tools of Lighting
ANSWER 2:
Apriyile,
Part of what you are experiencing here is compression in your exposure. There are some ways to enhance images in Photoshop, as John says: using saturation controls, but also enhancing exposure with good techniques in post processing, like levels corrections, color balancing, contrast enhancement, etc. My courses can give you some great methods for working out the kinks on the back end. I took a couple of minutes to show you where this might go ... and admittedly there is plenty more that could be done. This was done using techniques from my course: Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer
However, as John may want to emphasize, another part of the issue seems to be in lighting and exposure ... which would be things to discover and explore in his classes. For example, the lighting seems to be too centered on the face, and while that is not always a bad thing, there may be better ways to have handled the lighting in this shot. I think he can help you out!
- Richard Lynch

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

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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 See Sample Photo - A Little Enhancement


Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: CS 3 Upgrade or Elements and Lightroom?
I have a copy of CS2 of which I use about 2% of its functionality - on a good day! I'm now faced with the decision to upgrade to CS3 or just purchase Elements and possibly Lightroom. What's the difference? And am I just better off going with Elements? All I want to do is to enhance and correct some of my images shot RAW with a D80.
Thank you!
- Jeff Dewey
ANSWER 1:
Jeff,
Generally, Elements will be all you need, especially if you only use 2% of Photoshop. A key here might be which 2%, though. Elements will have the image editing tools (even the ones that Adobe suggests it doesn't for the most part -- they just need to be implemented differently). It is 1/10th the cost of Photoshop (though the upgrade is significantly less). You should check out the features in Elements by downloading the tryout ... see if you can work with it, and THEN decide.
- Richard Lynch

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http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=121428

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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:
In my BetterPhoto Photoshop/Elements courses, you can use one of many versions of Photoshop (7, Cs, Cs2, Cs3) or Elements (3, 4, 5, 6). A lot of the commands are similar, and I can provide work-arounds in the form of add-ons for Elements that take care of functions the program is said not to have.
I found Elements eye-opening, as the immediate limitations made me think about what I was really trying to accomplish, and I ended up learning a lot from using the program. Photoshop provides some additional tools, but the added functionality, I think, was blinding me to what was really happening.
Either program is quite capable of editing images. If you have needs for scripting, CMYK manipulations, Web development, and full 16-bit (or higher) support, then you will need Photoshop. It has its advantages, but Elements often provides all you might need.
I look forward to seeing you in class!
- Richard Lynch

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

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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 3:
CS2 is all you need, Jeff. So you now have a couple hundred bucks extra budget to spend on stuff that IS useful to you.
- W. Smith
ANSWER 4:
WS - good point as well! Jeff, why move from CS2 if you currently only use 2%? There is so much left to learn, and it isn't like a new version comes out and the whole previous version becomes obsolete!
WS is right - your upgrade may be better done elsewhere. I have a blog on possibilities for just your computer system here:
Building the Ultimate Image Editing Computer
And there are even more options if you choose to use that budget for photography equipment!
- Richard Lynch

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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 5:
You guys rock! I knew I'd get the right answers by coming to BetterPhoto. Have a great holiday and thanks again!
- Jeff Dewey
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: What Happened to the buZZ filter?
It looks like the people who made the buZZ filter are out of business ... the domain name is gone, etc. Wish I'd bought it a couple months ago when I was testing the demo!

Are there places that still sell this plug-in, or are there similar plug-ins available (for the Mac)?

- Colleen Farrell
ANSWER 1:
Nobody has been able to find anything similar so far. We are hoping somebody buys up the rights to it.
- Carolyn Fletcher
ANSWER 2:
Any of these effects (and many, many more) can be created right in Photoshop using the right techniques. What effect do you want to create? learning how to do one will open the door to hundreds more and more of your own creativity than relying on a plugin that anyone can apply.

Richard Lynch

- Richard Lynch

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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 3:
Hi Richard - you're right, of course. I'm learning CS3 and loving every minute of it!
- Colleen Farrell
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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5: Using Film Lenses on a Digital Back
I have heard people say that a lens designed for a film camera will not generate the same results when used with a digital camera. My question is whether or not that statement is true. Thanks!
- Jarred K. Peterson
ANSWER 1:
Jarred,

Alan is far more learned than I and has given you very good information, as he always does. I'd like to add that 3 of my 4 lenses are from my film camera. I shoot Nikon, and the oldest piece of gear I have is about 5 years old so the mounts for my lenses matched up with my digital camera purchase. I've not had any noticeable difference in my images after switching to digital.

- Todd Bennett
ANSWER 2:
Hey Jarred:
I hear a lot of technical and somewhat academic questions like this in the workshop and lecturing business. Obviously, we can debate the technical merits, pluses and minuses, ad infinitum. Alan's answer is certainly credible and is important knowledge. However, a visual art - like photography - makes it very easy to see the results. For example, if you can, just take the same image with a "film" lens and with a "digital" lens of excellent quality. Open both in your image editing software of choice, enlarge to 100% and merely compare them. Just look at them. If the difference is not glaringly apparent, then I wouldn't worry about it. We use a mixture of film lenses and digital lenses, and it's a non-issue. The stock agencies we shoot for are the ultimate judge of what is acceptable, and our images (made with both types of lenses) are readily accepted for inclusion in their picture libraries, no problem.
- Tony Sweet

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Fine Art Flower Photography
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Nikon D200 & D2X/D2Xs
4-Week Short Course: Creative Nature/Outdoor Photos with Lensbabies
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6: Freelance Landscape Photography
How hard is it to get into freelance landscape photography? I have a relative who is in that field, and he has published many books from all of his different travels. His name is Tim Hauf, by the way... Anyway, it has always somewhat peaked my interest. The only thing discouraging me from that is the aspect of income. It has to be pretty hard to make money off of something like that unless you are working for a nature magazine or something. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts! Thank you!
- Molly E. Baldwin
ANSWER 1:
Sure, someone has to make $$$ as a landscape/nature/wildlife photographer. Why not you? Now, let's look at the realities: There are many, many, many outstanding landscape photographers ... just take a tour through the BetterPhoto galleries and photo contest! With the large numbers of outstanding photographers comes the basic economic principle of supply and demand. Demand for excellent images is always great, but the supply is even greater.
Therefore, you have what I consider opportunistic (to be kind) micro-stock agencies, who pay literally pennies for an image, and take full advantage of a photographer's desire to be published. These should be avoided like the plague! Set your sights higher with more established stock agencies.
However, even for established professionals, stock has become a secondary source of income. Many professionals have become more involved in teaching as their prime income stream. But more practically for you and your landscape photography, there are many avenues to making an income. If you are so inclined, the craft show market is viable, but to make any serious money (up to several thousand dollars per show) is a big time commitment. Local exhibits can make a few bucks. Getting involved with a local art consultant, who can place your work in office buildings, can possibly work out for you. Also, if you frequent a local restaurant, see if you can place work in there year round, rotating images every 3 months or so.
Income from photography has become a patchwork quilt of various income generating venues. I recommend Jim Zuckerman's Making Money with your Photography course here at BetterPhoto as a good starting point.
- Tony Sweet

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Fine Art Flower Photography
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Nikon D200 & D2X/D2Xs
4-Week Short Course: Creative Nature/Outdoor Photos with Lensbabies
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