The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, January 21, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Shooting Through ...
Q&A 2: Tripod Vs. Monopo...
Q&A 3: D-SLR Vs. Point-a...
Q&A 4: Sports Photograph...
Q&A 1: Selling Photos ...

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Upgrading to a Digital SLR ... by Kevin Moss
I often get questions from my BetterPhoto students on upgrading their compact digital cameras to digital SLRs, like the Nikon D40x, Canon Digital Rebel, etc. I thought I would share my thoughts:
There is no question that upgrading your camera to a digital SLR opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities, and a lot of expense to go with it. The G9 and similar cameras allow you still to take great photos, and if you use good techniques (tripod, aperture/shutter priority, good composition, etc.) with these types of cameras, you'll still get great results.
Digital SLRs, however, have some advantages over compact "all in one" cameras: the ability to upgrade and change lenses, better resolution, less noise in shadow areas, and overall faster operation with no shutter lag time. The expense is greater, though. If you want to upgrade to a digital SLR like a Canon Digital Rebel, I would suggest investing in Canon "L" lenses, which are quite expensive. But a lot depends on your budget too!
Editor's Note: Kevin Moss teaches an excellent online course right here at BP: Photoshop & Elements for Nature Photographers

Featured Gallery
Seattle Lights
© - Debra R. Harder

Welcome to the 352nd issue of SnapShot!

What a great year that 2008 is shaping up to be! At BetterPhoto, we've added some outstanding features: the new and improved ClassTracks (in which graduates of the year-long program receive a free bonus 4-week course AND a free Pro BetterPholio!) and the new Cash Photo Contest (win up to $1,000!). ... Our BetterPhoto photography and Photoshop school is better than ever, with online classes offering excellent interaction between pro instructor and students. ... If you haven't already, check out our new "frequent flier" program (MVBP Rewards): For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! ... If you haven't recently, be sure to stop by our very cool Community page. ... That's it for now. Have a fun-filled week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

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Photo Q&A

1: Shooting Through Glass Window or Door
I want to click a photo of an object standing behind a glass window or door and avoid reflection of myself or the flash
- Hitesh More
Hi Hitesh,
1) Don't use flash (so use a tripod and the self-timer if the shutter speed gets too slow).
2) Avoid perpendicular angles of the glass against the lens axis.
3) Use a circular polarizer filter.
Have fun!
- W. Smith
If possible, remove the glass pane.
- Dennis Flanagan
Hello Hitesh, W made some great points, and I would add that if you put the lens up close to the glass, it will cut down reflections. I took some photos at an aquarium and used a shallow DOF f/2.8 and kept my shutter speed at 1/30s minimum and braced myself against the glass with my left arm and held the lens close to the glass. I still had to increase my ISO setting to 800 to 1600 sometimes but was able to get the photos. It was pretty dark in the room but there was just enough light illuminating on the subject in the tank to capture the image. I also used a monopod for some of the photos. I didn't think it would be appropriate to carry a tripod but the monopod is much faster to get in and out of position, and I could stay out of the way other viewers easily.
- Carlton Ward
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2: Tripod Vs. Monopod
Well, I have this nice 28-300mm lens and I finally have been able to make it down to the fields for some NFL action! Of course, I know that I should be using a monopod like everyone else but my first chances on the fields were unexpected and it showed. Many of the high zoom shots had blur... duh... I expected it. But my question is why not use a tripod on the field? It is sooooo much more stable than the monopod. Is it because a monopod is easier to aim and move?
- Sebastian J. ScaloraSee Sample Photo - Chris Houston

See Sample Photo - face to face

Sebastian, I suspect (and this is a guess) is that tripods aren't allowed along the sidelines for safety reasons, both for the players and photographers. I've seen too many games where a player was forced out of bounds at high speed and plowed photographers down left and right. Imagine getting tangled up in a tripod. Plus, as you said, you cannot follow action fast enough with a tripod.
- John Rhodes
No tripods allowed at 49rs and Raiders games. Sebastian, next time on the field, rent a faster 300mm, 400mm or 500mm lens, and you'll capture some INSANE images.
- Oliver Anderson
Sebastian, the blurriness in your shots has to do with the motion of the subjects more than anything else; you need to do as Oliver suggests and get some fast glass down there.
The real reason to use the monopod is to give your arms a break in terms of holding up that large lens - it's really not about steadying the camera to avoid blur. I mean, it might help a little, but even if you had a tripod on those shots, they'd be blurred due to the players' motion - so you need a faster shutter speed, which means you need faster glass.
- Bob Fately
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3: D-SLR Vs. Point-and-Shoot for Trip?
I have a Canon Digital Rebel XTI with a few lenses (18-55, 75-300, 100mm macro). We will traveling to Europe in June and I am pondering whether it would be easy to bring a small point-and-shoot rather than carry all my heavy equipment. Any recommendations?
- Daphne G. Rubinstein
Daphne: I'll bet you would bet better photos with the XTi. Unless you travel to Europe frequently, you might want the very best possible camera.

It would be a shame to find fabulous photo opportunities and not have the best camera and a versatile lens.

Cheers! Peter K. Burian

- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Premium BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Daphne, I totally agree with Peter. If this is a rare trip, I would take the XTi and a tripod as well. There are so many wonderful images to capture and I would hate to have the regret of not being able to get the image I wanted because of limited camera ability.
Some of the classic scenes like the Eiffel Tower, Venice, water fountains, (wherever you will be) taken with slow shutter speed at dusk with as much DOF as possible can be absolutely breathtaking. Hence ... the tripod.
Good luck with your decision!
- Carlton Ward
If you are a serious photographer (as you seem to be by just viewing your gallery), then the decision is an easy one (as you might have already figured out by suggestions given): It has to be your Canon XTI and lenses of your choice.
Here is one case I know in which a P&S will do: On a recent trip to Europe, there was another serious photographer in the group. She had both types of cameras, BUT she mainly used her P&S. Her purpose was, more or less, taking photos for her travel albums and her family and friends, i.e., for 4x6 prints. (By the way, she has taken over 1000's photos.) In this case, P&S would do just fine.
If the purpose of taking the camera is more than simply for the travel albums, then DSLR is a must. As far as macro lens is concerned, it's optional depending on your interest in macro work, such as planning to visit floral gardens, for example. When visiting a place like Hawaii, carrying a macro lens is a must IMHO for there are so much opportunity for tropical floral fields and gardens.
- Nobi N
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4: Sports Photography and Lighting
Recently I have been shooting a lot of basketball games where the lighting is poor. Where can I find lighting equipment to use and are they referred to as corner kits?
- Michael P. Damm, Jr
Michael, usually one has to use a high film or ISO speed along with a very fast lens to capture shots in these environments. Consumer flash units aren't powerful enough to reach across the court, and also are often frowned upon (if not outlawed) as they can distract the players.

Pros who can afford them (or, more realistically, whose magazines can afford them) have radio-fired flash banks up in the rafters, where the flashes' short durations make them invisible to the players or fans. But now you're talking real money.

Editor's Note: Also check out BetterPhoto's excellent online courses:
- Basics of Sports Photography
- Photographing Fast-Action Sports with a Digital SLR

- Bob Fately
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1: Selling Photos in Coffeehouse or Gallery

I am having a showing at a local coffee shop and wondering the best way to sell my pieces. I have 4 photos. If someone wants to buy one, should they get that one off the wall or contact me or what? My thoughts were to keep the 4 at the shop and have them call me. Please help. Thanks!
- Robert C. Gustafson

Robert, You might consider both scenerios: Customer buys from the wall; you replace. This presumes the buyer likes your framing and matting choice. If not, offer the print unmounted for a suitably lower price, and they contact you. Or, if the shop owner allows, have the 4 wall-hung pieces as well as a print rack with matted prints.
One thing to consider is that the workers at the coffee shop do not have your best interests at heart. Make everything self-explanatory with a flyer or a product list near your art.
The most important thing to arrange is a written aggrement between you and the shop owner There are different arrangements possible: 1). Place the items on consignment and the shop gets a percentage when the print sells (you take the risk). 2) "Sell" the print to the owner and allow them to sell for whatever thay can get (they take the risk). The second option means you will receive a lower amount up front.
The shop owner must cover their costs in handling the sales; however, the benefit to them is that you are decorating their place of business.
A lot to think about. All the best.

- John Rhodes
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