The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, April 21, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Bridal Bouquet...
Q&A 2: Copyright Notice ...
Q&A 3: Shadows Against a...
Q&A 1: What Lens Is Be...
Q&A 2: Characteristics...

"I loved this class! It was challenging, fun, and Robin is an excellent teacher. He also has some great articles to read and always helped us with our questions. I would highly recommend this class. Thank you, Robin!" -student in Robin Nichols' Advanced Adobe Photoshop Elements course. Robin also teaches the intro class: Adobe Photoshop Elements

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...

Hunt's is a top retailer of photography gear and a trusted BetterPhoto partner. Each month, Hunt's offers specials just for BP members! Check out the latest deals...

Give your favorite photographer something really special! Our BetterPhoto Gift Cards are redeemable toward PhotoCourses, ProCritiques, Premium BetterPholios, or Deluxe or Pro BetterPholio web sites.

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.Photographing in Diffused Light ... by Sean Arbabi
Capturing images in soft, diffused, or ambient light, (that is, away from direct sunlight, flash or strobe, such as shade or overcast conditions) can provide nice lighting for your images. Why? One reason the soft light works is it can provide even lighting in your scene. Smooth even lighting can help remove any potential splotchy highlights and/or shadows, thereby helping to create cleaner less-distracting backgrounds (drawing your eye to your main subject in focus).
Editor's Note: Check out Sean Arbabi's excellent Better Exposure: How to Meter Light online course here at

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 365th issue of SnapShot!

The big news this week involves something that won't even take place until next month: our May online school! At BetterPhoto, we are getting ready for this next session of interactive photography and Photoshop courses. Learn more about our classes... Are you looking for an excellent value while also taking your photography (or Photoshop) to the next level? Then consider one of our year-long ClassTracks programs, in which you receive a free Pro BetterPholio upon enrollment and a free bonus 4-week course upon completion. ... Speaking of value, we are offering a "frequent flier" program for multiple course-takers: For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

"It's like traveling around the world to study with the best in the business without the jet lag and price tag." That's what one student has to say about BetterPhoto's interactive online photography and Photoshop classes, which begin May 7th! Check out the details on our short 4-week courses, more intensive 8-week classes, and year-long ClassTracks programs. Would you like to show - or sell - your photos in an extremely sleek and cool way? Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are easy to set up, easy to maintain, great to look at, and with a music option, great to listen to as well! Meet people with similar interests. Learn and gain new skills together. Share and discuss photos. You get all this in a BetterPhoto Club! Learn more...

Photo Q&A

1: Bridal Bouquet
I will be doing my first bridal session next month and am wondering: Do I bring an artificial bouquet for her to hold? Or does she need to order a bouquet like the one she will be using at the actual wedding? Thanks!
- Angela Griffin
It would be a good idea to have a silk bouquet on hand. I use one that is a white cascade type and on that is the stem wrapped type. Check with the bride to see if she is planning on bringing one. Hope this helps.
By the way, your gallery is awesome.
- Crystal A. Moore
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2: Copyright Notice on Photos
How do you put the copyright on pictures if you have PhotoShop Elements 6.0? I can't seem to figure it out. Thanks.
- Cheryl K. Satterly
Click the text tool ('T'), place the cursor where you want it, and start typing...
- W. Smith
Also try this other BetterPhoto thread on the subject:
copyright additions
It works the same in Elements 6 as other versions of Elements or Photoshop for that matter. Let me know if you have questions about specific steps!
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
4-Week Short Course: Correct and Enhance Your Images
4-Week Short Course: From Monitor to Print: Photoshop Color Workflow
4-Week Short Course: Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer
Leveraging Layers: Photoshop's Most Powerful Tool
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3: Shadows Against a Backdrop
I'm very new at this and just bought and received my first backdrop. My question is about shadows. I don't have any extensive lighting yet, but would that correct the problem with the "shadows" you see in some of my photos or do I just need to adjust my subject? Any feedback would be appreciated!
- Mandi M. Wiltse
Mandi, the "drop shadows" you speak of are the result of three factors - the "hardness" of the light, the distance of the subject from the background and the distance from the lens axis to the light source. As you increase each of the latter, the shadow will be less visible.
"Hard" light refers to high-contrast illumination - think of a sunny day at the beach. As a point light source, your electronic flash is a hard light source unless you modify it with some sort of diffusion - there are many flash diffusion gadgets on the market. The diffuser makes the light softer - think of an overcast day where the sun is diffused by the cloud cover - which helps eliminate shadows.
Meanwhile, it's just a matter of having enough room in the studio and asking the subject to step forward. A few feet may make a big difference.
As for increasing the lens-to-light-source distance - this is what flash brackets are made to do. Alternatively, you could have your flash mounted on a light stand off to one side and triggered by remote control.
Hope that helps,
- Bob Fately
Much thanks. I've ordered a few more backdrops and will work on my photos with the things you mentioned!!
- Mandi M. Wiltse
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1: What Lens Is Best to Capture Human Iris?

I need to get equipment that will give high resolution when capturing the human iris ... so that I can see the Iris structure. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Jessica Grande

What camera/lens do you already have? Many compact digitals have a macro mode that allows very close focus. There are also adapters for many that allow attaching a close-up lens (screw-on like a filter, such as Canon 250D or 500D).
For an SLR, there are specialized macro lenses that will focus very close to give up very detailed image. Longer focal lengths like 100mm or 150mm allow more distance between the subject and the front of the lens. Shorter focal lengths - like 50mm or 60mm - might be uncomfortably close. Other alternatives include using a close-up lens screwed onto the front of a lens you already have, or using extension tubes between the lens and the camera which also allow closer focus.

- Jon Close
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2: Characteristics of a Circular Polarizing Filter

I recently purchased a Hoya circular polarizing filter. While hand-holding the filter, should I be able to see the difference in color as I turn it? It looks like a clear piece of glass to me. My pics with it do not seem affected either. Thank you for your help over the last couple of years. Thanks to you guys, my husband saw an answer you had given me about camera choices, and a few months later, he upgraded me to a Nikon D80. I am a happy woman!
- Debra L. E.

Your eyes and brain "correct" the effect, but you still should be able to see the difference when you turn the ring while looking through the viewfinder. You can also watch the TTL metering system in your camera adjust when you turn the ring.

- Bob Cammarata

Find a reflection in a window ... as you rotate the polarizer, you should see the reflection disappear, or at least be reduced. Same for water. And if the sky is blue, you should see it deepen. It's very visible. When you say "turn it", are you simply holding the polarizer in your hand, without the camera? Or is it screwed onto your lens, and you're turning the outer ring? It sounds like you have a straight ND filter, but I doubt that's the case.

- Ken Smith
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