The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, March 10, 2008
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Studio - Flash Pr...
Q&A 2: Blue or Purple Fr...
Q&A 3: Paint Shop Pro Vs...
Q&A 4: Developed Pics Cu...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Portfolio Development is a must course for any photographer who has generated thousands of images of varying quality and too many subjects!. ... William's feedback method helped me make an immediate improvement in my works habits. ... He is a gentle and honest critic who answers all questions. This course was perfect for my skill level as a very serious amateur photographer!" -student in William Neill's Portfolio Development course





TURN YOUR PHOTOS INTO BEAUTIFUL CARDS!
Photographer's Edge features a complete line of do-it-yourself Photo Frame Greeting Cards for all types of photographers and subjects. Visit Photographer's Edge...


LEARN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY!
Top British pro Bruce Smith, who teaches BetterPhoto's outstanding Fashion Photography Course, embarks on a U.S. Tour this May and June. See Bruce's calendar of fashion workshops...


GREAT EQUIPMENT DEALS FOR BP MEMBERS!
Hunt's is a top retailer for photography gear and a trusted BetterPhoto partner. Each month, Hunt's offers specials just for BP members! View the latest deals for BP Members!


ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 68082 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Photographing People: Control Light for Better Portraits ... by Sean Arbabi
A common blunder in photographing people is to position yourself between the sun and your subject, with the sun at your back. But this not only causes the subject to squint heavily - since they are forced to stare directly into the sun - but the light created on the subject and surroundings is flat and boring.
Instead, look for more pleasing, less-harsh light. For instance, try photographing friends, family or other subjects in ambient light - that is, non-directional light that soft and even. This can be shade, the diffused light from an overcast sky, or the non-direct light that enters a window. Soft diffused light offers little or no shadows on the face, in order to provide beautifully soft light that is complimentary for most people.
Editor's Note: Check out Sean Arbabi's excellent online course: Better Exposure: How to Meter Light


   
Featured Gallery
Golden Stairs
© - Dee Riley

Welcome to the 359th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

BetterPhoto's online photography school is off to an outstanding start for March, but good news! It's not too late to enroll in one of our interactive online photography courses. See our class schedule... By the way, you may qualify our new "frequent flier" program. For every five classes you take, you'll receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP Rewards... Are you aware of all of the great ways to showcase your work at BetterPhoto.com? Consider a sleek gallery or a full-fledged Web site. Learn more about photo sharing... That's it for this week. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Yes, you can still join the fun. If you sign up for one of our 8-week online courses today, we will send you the first lesson pronto. Then you will have plenty of time to do the first assignment, which isn't even due until March 16th. Our four-week online courses are fun, fast and to the point. There's still space in our March session. Otherwise, our next session kicks off on April 2nd. For practical techniques and inspiring insights, read our how-to articles - all written by BetterPhoto's talented team of professional instructors.

Photo Q&A

1: Studio - Flash Problems
I have a Nikon D80 with a SB800 flash. I have been having problems getting the lighting in my studio right. I have been using my built-in flash as a commander and the SB800 as a remote in a small umbrella. Both set to TTL. The remote sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
- M Shores
ANSWER 1:
Hi M,
Something to keep in mind with strobes running off AA batteries: recycle time is long, at best, and gets longer as the shoot progresses. Are you sure that your problems don’t come down to weak batteries? Frankly, just about any monolight is better in the studio than these things - cheaper too.
Thanks, John Siskin
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Understanding the Tools of Photography Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Understanding the Tools of Photography Lighting
ANSWER 2:
Can you explain to me how a monolight works? Sorry, but I am still learning about all the different types of equipment that I can use. Thanks!
- M Shores
ANSWER 3:
Hi M,
Strobes differ in the amount of light they create and the controls, primarily in these areas: light output, automatic vs. manual control and the types of light modifiers available for the unit. Big strobes, either studio strobes (systems with a power pack) or monolights, may have as much as 5 stops more light than your Nikon units. That translates to 32 times more light. Many systems do not have this much power, but more power than you have is critical for manipulating the character of the light while maintaining low noise images.
Either studio strobes or monolights are stupid compared to the automatic controls in your Nikon units. All power levels, as well as other aspects of light control, must be worked out manually. While this sounds difficult, in the studio where light is under your control, it is not so bad. You might want to take a class about lighting.
Finally, you can get an on-camera strobe mounted so that you can use an umbrella. It is difficult to set up the strobe with a large soft box. With either unit there is not much power after the light goes through the modifier. Things like beauty dishes, honeycomb spots, barn doors and snoots are not made for strobe like the Nikon or the Canon units either.
You might want to check out this article to give you more information on manipulating light: www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=129.
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Understanding the Tools of Photography Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
4-Week Short Course: Understanding the Tools of Photography Lighting
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Blue or Purple Fringing
I purchased a new Sony 75-300mm lens less than four months ago, along with a new camera. For about the last month, the photos taken with the Sony lens have blue or purple fringing and seemed to have a soft focus instead of clear, crisp focus. Is this something I am doing or is it the lens? All advice will be most welcome!
- Samantha L. Dean
ANSWER 1:
Hi Samantha,
In a perfect color-corrected optical system, all the colors come to a focus at precisely at the same location, forming an image at the surface of the digital imaging chip (focal plane). Sorry to report, that dream has never been achieved. What actually happens is: the image is composed of multiple images superimposed on top of one another. Each different color of the vista comes to a focus at differing distances from the lens. Blue light forms an image further down stream and thus the blue image is the larger image. Red light focuses closer in thus it is the smaller image. The other colors come to a focus at intermediate distances; each thus is minutely different as to size. The purple fringing you have identified is caused by two types of chromatic aberrations. One is called transverse; a variation of focal lengths by color, the other is longitudinal whereby the actual location of the image is a function of its color.
Lens makers know about aberrations. They design complex multi-element systems to counter each and they succeed to a high degree. Countermeasures for aberrations are more difficult when the lens is very long or very short as to focal length.
Sorry to report that digital cameras introduce another phenomena that piles on top of the chromatic abnormalities. The digital chip is divided into tiny sights (pixels). These are the light sensitive locations. These pixels are then further divided into sub-pixels each covered with a strong red or green or blue filter. This arrangement fashions a matrix with surfaces that act just like tiny biconvex lenses (lenticular array). Thus the purple fringe is a combination of chromatic aberrations and the lenticular contour.
The good news is: Your digital editing software now contains automatic tools to deal with purple fringing.
Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)
- Alan N. Marcus
ANSWER 2:
To add to Alan's detailed analysis:
Fringing is most prevalent toward the outside portions of the frame and is even more pronounced along lines that are not sharply focused.
(I've noticed this while conducting test with super-telephoto/converter combinations and with extremes in macro.)
In other words, break the "rules" and compose your primary point of interest in the center of the frame AND make sure your point of critical focus is on target.
This will reduce or eliminate the effect of chromatic aberration on your subject.
Any fringing that occurs toward the outside portions of the frame can be cropped out.
- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



3: Paint Shop Pro Vs. Elements
I am looking for your user reviews regarding Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo x2 versus Adobe Photoshop Elements 6. User friendly? Satisfied results? Thanks!
- Cheryl Plank
ANSWER 1:
Elements 6 does have curves, but that aside, it is an over-rated feature. I use it on about 2% of the images I correct professionally. I find there are nearly always better ways. It is a common misconception that Photoshop has a slew of tools useful for image editing that Elements doesn't have. I used to write books about just that till I found I was fighting a losing battle: people somehow want to believe that they need to spend more on Photoshop. I continue to make tools to support Elements users - http://hiddenelements.com - and these tools add features that may be thought of as 'missing', like channels, lab separations, even CMYK separations and certain work-around equivalents for Curves, as well as masking tools and more.
Paint Shop is a pretty robust program, but so too is the German made PL32 ... and few have even heard of the latter. Even though these programs are very good in their own right, there is a decided advantage in using a product as well-documented as Photoshop/Elements. I teach courses in those programs - Richard Lynch's Photoshop courses - and don't in the others - for example, more because I can't focus on every product on the market than that I feel they can't do what people need. Many people who write about image editing feel the same way. This doesn't mean much except that it will be easier to find books, courses, tutorials, and other support materials for Elements and Photoshop before you'll find them in such volume for any other image editor.
Any program you get will have a learning curve ... but the resources available for Adobe products may make getting over the hump that much easier.
I hope that helps!
- 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
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:



4: Developed Pics Cut Off
Hi. I just had some pics developed at walgreens on 8x10 paper and the image is cut off! My camera was set at the highest megapixels for my 6 megapixel camera when I took the pic and I thought with a 6, it was possible to have 8x10 images printed without compromising the original image, but perhaps that is not the case. The 4x6 developed picture looks great. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Jennifer Collins
ANSWER 1:
Jennifer, This has nothing to do with the megapixels of your camera. What you have here is a difference in the aspect ratios of the two sizes you had printed. Your camera likely produces a 3:2 ratio, which matches to the 4 x 6 you successfully printed. However, 8 x 10 is not in the 3:2 ratio, thus some cropping is required. You can't leave it up to Walgreens to decide how to crop, so you need to crop the images with your photo editing software before having them printed. Just set the crop to 8 x 10 (or 10 x 8, depending whether it was a vertical or horizontal image), and decide what you want to keep.
John
- John Rhodes
ANSWER 2:
Thank you, John. That is helpful. I learn something new every day when it comes to photography. My response to your response is what if I don't want to crop any of the image, should I then just not develop on 8X10. How do I determine what developed images on what sized paper will jibe with the 3:2 ratio? Many thanks for your help.
- Jennifer Collins
ANSWER 3:
Jennifer, the sizes that correspond to 3:2 are 4 x 6, 8 x 12, 12 x 18. I print almost all my images to 12 x 18. If you need an 8 x 10, just remember to leave room to crop the long dimension by 2 inches if you start with an 8 x 12. Keep in mind, for 8 x 12s, there is no standard frame size, so either custom framing or the metal frames you put together.
- John Rhodes
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

Unsubscribe | Change Email Address | SnapShot Archives | Recommend to a Friend

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding www.betterphoto.com to your Allow List.
The sender of this email is the BetterPhoto.com®, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

Copyright 2008 BetterPhoto.com® - All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.
BetterPhoto is a trademark of BetterPhoto.com®, Inc.