The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, January 28, 2008
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Macro Photography...
Q&A 2: Fixing a Picture ...
Q&A 3: Photoshop Action ...
Q&A 1: Wedding Photogr...
Q&A 2: Batch Naming in...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Thanks to this class and Richard's clear tutorials and critques, I now have a good grasp of the fundamentals of using this program. I am far from an expert, but now I'm able to take more advanced courses at BetterPhoto. If you have Photoshop and don't what to do with it and your photos, then I highly recommend this course!" -student in Richard Lynch's Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer




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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Stock Market: Photographing People ... by Scott Stulberg
"The best-selling photographs at just about any stock agency worldwide usually have people in the images," points out pro instructor Scott Stulberg, who teaches the Stock Photography Boot Camp course here at BetterPhoto. "Probably the top category for shooting people for stock is Lifestyles. Examples of lifestyle images include family, work, success, happiness, the future, reliability, trust, food, time, teamwork, winning, competition, money, culture, conceptual ideas, school, education, computers and so many more. Also, model releases signed by your subjects are essential when shooting people. And shooting photos of people of every age and nationality is the key to making real money in stock!"


   
Featured Gallery
Night People
© - Michael S. Baker

Welcome to the 353rd issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

What an exciting start to the new year! Our January school session is well under way, and the next round of online photo courses begins next week (Feb. 6th). So get inspired, have fun, and learn a lot this coming month! ... By the way, our online classes feature personal feedback from top pros, plus lots of interaction among students and instructor. Take a quick tour to see how our virtual classroom works. ... And if you haven't already, check out our new Cash Photo Contest and take your best shot at winning up to $1,000! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Scott Stulberg's Photo Tip on stock photography. And, in the Q&A, instructors Kevin Moss and Richard Lynch offer excellent insights. ... That's it for now. Have a great week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Are you ready to take an exciting next step in your photography or in Photoshop? Our interactive online classes include short 4-week courses, more intense 8-week courses, or year-long ClassTracks. See our school schedule... Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are easy to set up, easy to maintain, look great, and with the new streaming music option, sound great too! Buy a Web site for you or for the photographer in your life. Learn more... For great photo insights and techniques, read the frequently updated BetterBlogs.

Photo Q&A

1: Macro Photography: Lens?
I am looking to buy a macro lens, but I only want to spend about $300. I shoot a Nikon D80 and was wondering if anyone had some advice? Should I go with a Tamron, Sigma, or should I just stick with Nikon? Thanks!
- Sarah Myers
ANSWER 1:
Be careful, Sarah, when buying optics. If you buy cheap, you get cheap. That being said, the Sigma DG series are very good.
- Dennis Flanagan
ANSWER 2:
Another potential option (and I am not a Nikon user, so I don't know about availability/utility) is using extension tubes*. Kenko makes a lot of these, and there is one that you can get to turn any of your existing lenses into a macro without actually buying new glass. The clear advantage is that ALL of your current lenses become macro, and the cost is around $170 - well below your budget.
Take care that the model you get doesn't truncate features that you like to use (autofocus, etc.).
I hope that helps!

*Editor's Note: Extension tubes are hollow cylinders that fit between SLR camera and lens, and allow you to focus a lot closer.

- Richard Lynch

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

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
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Fixing a Picture with Photoshop
How can I fix this picture? In the left hand corner, there are about 4-5 little dots that stand out in the picture. Thanks!
- Michael P. Damm, JrSee Sample Photo - Holy Moon


ANSWER 1:
Clone/stamp tool. There are some of those spots at the right side too. Looks like dried-up water drops on your lens. You may want to clean your lens.
- W. Smith
ANSWER 2:
In Photoshop, it is probably best to use the Healing tool to make this change. The Clone stamp can work, but it will take a little more care and skill.
To use the Healing tool, choose the tool and pick a hard brush (100% hardness) that is large enough to cover the area in one stroke. Sample from a clean area of the sky and clean up by applying short bursts with the tool to cover individual spots.
Healing works to blend the sampled area with the surroundings of the existing area you are correcting, and the result will leave you with smooth transitions. I discuss techniques for healing and using the clone stamp in more depth in several of my courses, though discussion is probably most involved in Correct and Enhance Your Images.
- Richard Lynch

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

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
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
ANSWER 3:
You need to clean your sensor too.
- Dennis Flanagan
ANSWER 4:
Dennis,
Agreed ... as well as any other surface that comes between subject and sensor. It will cut down on the need to make such repairs.
- Richard Lynch

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

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
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Photoshop Action Modification
I have a Photoshop action that I bought that I love to use ... but I want to modify parts of it because the image is too saturated. I've tried duplicating the action and then going through it to change little pieces of it, but those changes never save so I can apply it to a batch of photos. Does anyone know how to modify an already existing action and have it save so you can batch apply that action?
Thanks!
- Susannah Robbins
ANSWER 1:
Robin,
I've done a lot with actions, and it seems you are suggesting the right things - so long as you know how the action works, you can modify and re-save.
You may just want to be sure that the dialogs for the action open so you can adjust saturation ... check through the action to be sure the dialog toggle (the box immediately to the left of the action step - a box with three dots) is on. It is off if the box is not there; to turn it on, just click.
To save, choose Save from the Actions menu. To run it in batch, you need to choose Batch from the automate menu (CS2) and then select your action.
If part of this is a problem or unclear, feel free to ask!
- Richard Lynch

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

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
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Wedding Photography: What Camera?

I am curious! What kind of camera do wedding photographers use when shooting on location?
- Tammy L. Newcomb

ANSWER 1:
Tammy,
I am an instructor here at BetterPhoto, and I would love to answer your question. I have shot many weddings, and I have to tell you, I recommend 100% professionalism when working with clients. That said, I recommend that you shoot with professional-level gear. The durability and quality is demanded by your clients.
If you shoot Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, or one of the other popular manufacturers, I recommend that you first purchase a professional-grade camera, like the Nikon D300 or the Canon 40D as a minimum.
Additionally, I recommend the best-quality flashes you can afford. Canon's 580 Speedlight and Nikon's SB800 would be great choices, depending on the camera brand you choose.
Good Luck!

- Kevin Moss

See Kevin Moss's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=198787

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kevin Moss:
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop and Elements for Nature Photographers

ANSWER 2:
Canon 30D with a 350D for backup - Canon L lenses. 24-105 and 70-200. Canon 580 EX flash.

- Robyn Ball

ANSWER 3:
Mamiya M645j w/ 45, 80 and 150mm Sekor-C lenses. Vivitar 280 flash.

- Christopher A. Walrath
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Batch Naming in Photoshop

I took about 60 photos, and used the Automate Rename batch. At first, it looked like it worked greatd. Later, I tried to open a photo from the viewfinder, and it turned into a file that Photoshop does not recognize. I hope somebody has an answer. Thanks!
- Iker M. Gutierrez

ANSWER 1:
Iker,
Great Question! From your explanation, it looks like you may have renamed the images on your flash card using Photoshop, then re-inserted the images into your camera. Your digital camera probably doesn't recognize the naming convention you changed to, but don't worry! Your images are probably still intact on your flash card, and you should be able to load those images to your computer and view them in Bridge.
I've written an article on the Batch Rename function. Check it out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=221

- Kevin Moss

See Kevin Moss's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=198787

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kevin Moss:
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop and Elements for Nature Photographers
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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