The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, June 02, 2008
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Shooting Candids ...
Q&A 2: Higher Quality Li...
Q&A 3: Stock Photography...
Q&A 4: Photographing Wat...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
Editor's Note: Lots of inspiring testimonials this week, including:
- "Your course has really made a big difference by making me step out of my comfort zone! I was quite nervous taking this course but I'm glad I did. ... Thanks for sharing your talent and expertise with us, Paul!" -student in Paul Gero's Mastering Your Canon Flash class
- "David, you are an outstanding photographer and teacher! ... This course has made a huge difference in my photography!" -student in David Pavol's Wedding Photography Techniques: An Introduction 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...

PHOTO SHARING MADE EASY
We have many exciting online options for showcasing or selling your work - from a sleek gallery to a full-fledged Web site. Learn more...

JOIN - OR FORM - A PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB!
Meet people with similar interests. Learn and gain new skills together. Share and discuss photos. All this in the BetterPhoto Clubs! Learn more...

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 67088 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Natural Light for Outdoor Portraits ... by Jim Zuckerman
Most of my travel work is done with available light. I prefer the natural look that ambient light gives, as long as I can choose the type of lighting. I try to avoid direct sunlight during the middle of the day, for example. In most instances, it’s the kiss of death for good photography. Shade is so much more attractive for outdoor portraits because it retains the subtle light and dark relationships on the face. Flash, even fill flash, tends to eliminate or reduce those subtleties.
Editor's Note: Jim Zuckerman teaches many awesome online courses here at BetterPhoto, including Techniques of Natural Light Photography.


   
Featured Gallery
Cinque Terre
© - Deon Stephenson

Welcome to the 371st issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Make June a photographic month to remember! Our awesome online courses are designed for everyone from the novice shutterbug who wants to improve family and vacation images to the professional photographer developing a portfolio of masterpieces. But enroll now, since classes are about to start! See our June school schedule... If you'd like to take an exciting year-long jump into photography or Photoshop, then we have a deal for you! Enroll in our ClassTracks program and you'll receive a free Pro BetterPholio Web site. Then, upon completion, you'll qualify for an additional free 4-week course! Learn more about ClassTracks... Congratulations go to the April winners of BetterPhoto's Cash Contest and Free Contest for their inspiring photos. That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Imagine getting direct feedback on your photos from a famous professional photographer - regardless of where you live! But act now, since some of our interactive online classes are starting to fill up. Here are the course listings...

Need help deciding? Try out our cool CourseFinder!

BetterPhoto's awesome year-long online course program - ClassTracks - offers five exciting options: Nature Photography, Photoshop, Making Money, People & Portraits, and Customized ClassTrack. With purchase, you receive a free Pro BetterPholio; upon completion, you qualify for an additional free 4-week course (for a total $547 value)! The next session begins Wednesday. Learn more... For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP...

Photo Q&A

1: Shooting Candids with Unattractive Backgrounds
All too often I want to take quick candid photos of my child during play or craft time - you know, the famous "Kodak Moments" type scenario. However, the majority of the time my photos look undesirable because the background contains undesirable elements or clutter. Any tips to help me get better candid photos without such distracting backgrounds?
- Raquel S.
ANSWER 1:
Use a lens that has large usable aperture to blur the background, like the 50mm f/1.4, 80mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, etc. Or get closer to the child and fill the frame with only the child. Or use a long lens and zoom in on the child. Or even changing the shooting angle may help.
Just a few thoughts. Hope this helps.
- Andy 
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Higher Quality Lighting Umbrellas?
I recently had an issue with one of my strobes hitting the ground when some nasty wind got up and well my umbrella took the brunt of it. I am kind of shocked how flimsy the interior rods are and I am wondering if there are more sturdier umbrellas out there? I am using a Photoflex translucent umbrella and it works marvelously just the quality makes me wonder now.
- KH PHOTO
ANSWER 1:
KH, you should really invest in sandbags. I use some fancy double zipper model I got off EBay for $8 each and empty and fill them on location with everything from sand to rocks. I shoot on location at beaches with heavy winds, and it's not a problem if the sandbag is weighting the tripod down. My brand of choice is Photoflex softboxes vs. umbrellas since I love using the grid filters with them.
- Oliver Anderson
ANSWER 2:
Just remember, photo umbrellas are usually no more durable than standard rain umbrellas. The only cure is weight on the light stands. Have fun and keep shooting.
- Mark R. Hiatt
ANSWER 3:
Hi KH,
I love umbrellas, and the wind has not been the only thing that toppled my light. One advantage of an umbrella is that it usually slows the impact. I have repaired umbrellas, using a nail some wire and glue, but really they aren't too expensive to replace. I am using umbrellas from Calumet and Photoflex and Red Wing, currently. 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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Stock Photography
I am thinking about getting into selling my images on istock and I was wondering if anyone had any advice about it. I would like to know the good and the bad of starting this venture. Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks 8o)
- Kristy A. Keene
ANSWER 1:
Hey Kristy, I've got 3 Stock Photography friends (how they make a living). The photos they sell most frequently are less artsy than yours...(I like the screw photo). The one thing I can tell you is to make sure you've got a bunch of different type images then you can discover what sells for you best and move in that direction. The Getty guys had to have some INSANE amount of images in order to be approved I think. I think IStock allows any amount of images so its a great place to start.

Editor's Note: Also, BetterPhoto offers an excellent course on the subject - Stock Photography Boot Camp - taught by an established pro (Scott Stulberg) who is represented by Corbis, Getty, Alamy and Superstock.

- Oliver Anderson
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Photographing Waterfalls
Hi All. I've been spending a lot of time in the Columbia Gorge photographing the spring runoff in the countless waterfalls out there. I've been experimenting with switching my white balance between sun (which gives me deep greens and cool, blue-toned water) and shadow (which gives me warmer, richer greens and white- to gray-toned water). Is there a "right" exposure for this kind of shot? Thanx ~ Eli
- Eli Boschetto
ANSWER 1:
I just returned from Oregon and took some shots in the same area as you. For me personally, I hate the sunlight. You'll most likely wash out the whites on the water, especially if using auto-focus. I use a polarizer to cut the light, because I want the smooth flowing water, so I try to get an exposure less than 1/8th of a second. 1/2 second is usually fine. At longer exposures, like several seconds, I think it's too smoothed out. And I also change exposure compensation to minus 1 or lower, to hopefully avoid washing out the water. Then, you can do some post-processing things to balance out the exposure in the dark areas. Bottom line: Get a polarizer or neutral density filters, and shoot in cloudy weather, or even in shade. You don't have to have sunlight to get good color saturation. Quite the opposite.
- Ken Smith
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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