The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 09, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Clone Stamp in CS...
Q&A 2: Using Alien Bee w...
Q&A 3: Lighting for Wedd...

- "This course more than fulfilled my expectations. ... After years of owning Photoshop, I finally know how to use many of its features. Jim is also very responsive to each student ... I wholeheartedly recommend the course!" -student in Jim Zuckerman's Photoshop: Creative Techniques class

- "I would give this course a 6 out of 5 if I could! Kerry gives his all. ... His prompt answers, amazing lessons and right-on critiques helped me to grow as a photographer!" student in Kerry Drager's Creative Light and Composition class

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How to Analyze Your Own Photos ... by Brenda Tharp
If you look at your picture in front of you quickly, you can often see what grabs your attention right away, and where the eye travels. If you try to do this after you've been looking at something else for a few seconds or minutes, it's easier.
I put my picture up on my computer, then I look at a magazine or something on my desk, for a moment or two. Then when I look back at the computer, I'm mentally ready to analyze what grabbed my attention first, where my eye traveled, etc., and what things I found distracting.
I have used this technique in seminars and workshops, where I will have everyone look at the projected image, and then I'll move off it, then move back to it, and ask them right before I change to quickly "read" the picture when it comes up. That first impression tells us so much about how well we did with composing our picture.
Editor's Note: Brenda Tharp teaches macro photography here at BetterPhoto, along with Creating Visual Impact and Travel Photography.

Featured Gallery
© - Angela E. Wright

Welcome to the 372nd issue of SnapShot!

BetterPhoto's June photography school is off to a terrific start, but good news! It's not too late to enroll in one of our online courses, which offer great interactivity with top pros, plus all the great convenience of the Web. See our course listings ... Incidentally, 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... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Brenda Tharp's fine Photo Tip ("How to Analyze Your Own Work"> and an excellent collection of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Yes, you can still join the fun. For example, 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 June 15th.

Learn a lot in a short time! Our four-week online courses are fun, fast and to the point. Although there's still space in our June session, our next session kicks off on July 2nd.

Enroll in our awesome yearlong ClassTracks program and you'll receive a free Pro BetterPholio. Then, upon completion, you'll qualify for an additional free 4-week course! Learn more... Check out the BetterPhoto Quick Keyworder Game! Just click on the Win Big Points graphic on the Welcome page of your Member Center (note: for BetterPholio owners or course alumni). Top score wins 50% off a photography course or BetterPholio! Next award ceremony: August 1st.

Photo Q&A

1: Clone Stamp in CS2
I have Photoshop CS2, and in editing some photos, I have discovered that my clone stamp is not working. It is as though it is somehow "turned off". Does anyone have an idea why and how I can fix this? Thanks.
- Linda S. Buchanan
I'll bet you've got the settings at the top of the page set to something funky (technical jargon). I'd check the Mode (normal), check the Opacity and the Flow ... you've changed one of those most likely. I've even changed the shape of my brush when I was a beginner 8 years ago and it took me 1 week to figure out how to change it back.
- Oliver Anderson
On your layers palette, make sure you have selected the background. If you have been working on other layers such as curves, etc., the clone stamp will not work until you select your background layer (your primary image). I catch myself doing this all the time.
- Raymond H. Kemp
Also, if you are working on a new edit layer and not directly on the background (as you should always do), you will need to check the box at the top of the work space that says "sample all layers."
- William Schuette
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2: Using Alien Bee with Nikon SB-600/D300
Hi there,
I recently upgraded from the Nikon D70 to the D300. With the D70, I would use my SB-600 on camera to trigger my Alien Bee AB400 studio strobe. This doesn't seem to work when the SB-600 is on the D300 body. The AB still fires (or looks like it does), but all I get is a black image. Help!
- Jessica C.
The SB-600 works in i-TTL on both the D70 and D300, and fires a pre-flash for metering. The pre-flash will trigger the strobes before the shutter opens. I'm not sure why this would not be the case when using the D70. Maybe when on the D70 the SB-600 was set for M output which doesn't use the preflash, but switched to i-TTL on the D300?
- Jon Close
Thanks for responding, Jon! I used the flash in ttl mode on both the D70 and the D300 because I wanted -1 stop from camera settings. I could try setting up the flash in manual output and see if that works.
- Jessica C.
Instead of wasting the bulb life of your SB, why not just use the built-in flash on the D-300 to trigger your strobes? This is what I do all the time. Unless you're using the SB for some bounce fill?
I dial down my on-board flash to 1/64th and bang away in full manual.
all the best,
- Pete H
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3: Lighting for Wedding Photography
I have a friend that is getting ready to be married in July. I was planning on getting Excalibur 6400 strobes to shoot with, but the finances have not come through and the only thing that I have are two 160 watt strobes. This is a summer evening wedding (5:00 pm) and there are a total of 8 in the bridal party (including the bride and groom). Do you think that the two 160 watts will be enough light for proper exposure?
- Tara Zerbe
How are you going to shoot an entire wedding with those strobes? That would be impossible, unless you have human tripods.
I've never used anything more than Canon 550/580EX strobes for formals. These are actually very powerful. And, I also use them as external light either on a stand or with an assitant hold them on a monopod. The strobes you are talking about are way too over kill, will take too long to set up, by the time you get everything set, they'll be kicking you out of the church to get ready for the next wedding; or they just all want to go home and aren't going to wait for you to get ready. I'm lucky if I get 15 minutes in a church.
At the reception, you can use both, but I'd just use one at the corner of the dance floor, and shoot it directly into the middle at about f/5.6.
Have on-camera flash for fill when on the dance floor. When off the dance floor, just use your on-camera flash either direct or bounce (I prefer bounce, but you don't have a fast lens, so you'll have to settle for direct most likely).

SnapShot Editor's Note: At BetterPhoto, we offer two outstanding online courses: Wedding Photography Techniques: An Introduction and Digital Wedding Photography.

- Jerry Frazier
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