The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, July 14, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Color Management ...
Q&A 2: Mounting Photos w...
Q&A 1: Shooting in Raw...
Q&A 2: Tripods...

"I'm so glad I took this class! Jenni is so forthcoming and eager to help. She's very quick to respond and provides tons of additional tips. Highly recommended - I think all levels of photographers can learn. ... I also made some great contacts too with fellow classmates. I learned a lot!!" -student in Jenni Bidner's Photographing Your Dog with an SLR Camera course

Check out our "frequent flier" program: For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP...

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

Meet people with similar interests. Learn and gain new skills together. Share and discuss photos. All this in the BetterPhoto Clubs! Learn more...

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...

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Photographing Action Subjects ... by Jim Zuckerman
"When you are shooting action subjects," says top pro Jim Zuckerman, "never take your eye away from the viewfinder, or you run the risk of missing a special moment that will never be repeated. This applies to photographing children at play, sports or wildlife, or anything else that moves and changes quickly. Too often, I’ve seen photographers miss a peak action shot and then remove their eyes from the viewfinder to complain about it. A second or two later, something else happens that’s great and that picture is missed as well."
Editor's Note: Jim Zuckerman teaches a number of terrific courses here at BetterPhoto, including Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography and Perfect Digital Exposure.

Featured Gallery
* Sunrise Glory *
© - Carolyn J. Connolly

Welcome to the 377th issue of SnapShot!

July has been an exciting month at BetterPhoto, but we are already looking forward to our August photography school! In our interactive online courses, you get feedback from established professionals with all the convenience of the Web. Learn more... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out instructor Ibarionex Perello's awesome new course on Nikon's awesome new camera (D60), instructor Jim Zuckerman excellent photo tip on photographing action, and details on our sleek new galleries (Basic BetterPholios). ... 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. School starts August 6th... Discover how to successfully use the Nikon D60! In this four-week course, pro instructor Ibarionex Perello takes you beyond the instruction manual to provide a context for when and why you will want to use the camera’s many outstanding features. Learn more ... From organizing your photos to customizing your photo gallery, the sleek new Basic BetterPholio has it all! Learn more...

Photo Q&A

1: Color Management and Dark Prints
I have been having a problem with color management. My monitor is calibrated with the Spyder 3 and I have the ICC profiles from the lab. I'm also soft proofing in CS3. My prints keep coming back too dark and flat. So, I have adjusted my brightness and contrast on my monitor to hopefully help with my prints. I just sent them off to the lab to see how they come back.
So my questions!
What else can I be doing to get this color management right? I'm shooting in sRGB, have CS3 in sRGB and do my edits from CS3, and saving as sRGB.
Also, although they look okay on a calibrated monitor, they are blown out on a non-calibrated monitor. So, I have clients that do online proofing on my site. I don't want them to think that they will be blown out. What can I do about this?
Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
- Amber J. Skene
Proper color management is soup to nuts, not just calibration. You do NOT want to adjust your monitor -- especially not after calibration.

Two things here don't seem to work together: your images seem blown out and they print flat. My suspicion is the lab profiles, which I am not sure you need to use at all. If you are supplying them a tagged sRGB image and not converting to CMYK prior to sending the image, I am guessing that it is the profile causing the trouble. One other trouble there is that you say they look blown out on an uncalibrated monitor...if the monitor is not calibrated there is no reference, so likely they could look blown out just as easily as they'd look flat.
Also, depending on your color settings, your previews might be completely wrong - and considering that you are not predicting well using soft proofing, it really isn't proving valuable. Soft proofing is only valuable when you have tested it, and that means running prints that are successful (which means having color management set correctly, etc.), and being able to match those prints with previews on screen.
Many people over-complicate color management. If you look for other posts of mine on the subject there is an outline to follow ... though I also teach a course here at BetterPhoto in color management (available again in September).
I hope that helps!

- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:

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2: Mounting Photos w/Mats & Foamboard
I have a 6x9 photograph; a piece of 6x9 foamboard; an 8x10 custom cut mat w/a 6x9 (approx.) opening; and self-adhesive hinging tissue on the way. I plan on framing this photograph.
Instead of having the 6x9 foamboard, would I have been better off getting an 8x10 piece, and mounting the mat to that, with the photograph pancaked in between (also using the adhesive on the back of the photograph to attach to the foamboard)? Or is what I have suitable?
Thanks for any and all input! :)
- Timothy W. Morris
Tim, don't use the 6x9 foamboard. The backer board must be the same size as the outer dimensions of the mat. I always mount the photo to the backer by carefully measuring the placement and using a T-hinge on the back of the photo to "hang" the photo on the backer. Then I use double sided tape to secure the mat to the backer. The photo should be hung and not firmly taped to the backer so that it can float with humidity changes. All my materials are archival, acid-free, but that may no be necessary - I just prefer it.
- John Rhodes
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1: Shooting in Raw Format

I have just purchased my first SLR camera and have been shooting Raw files. My problem is Photoshop 7.0 isn't opening a viewable photo. Any ideas? I checked help and followed the instructions, but upon opening, all I get is a grey space. As a newbie, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
- marsha e. lee

There are two possible issues.
First, there are a number of issues with Photoshop 7.0 and certain camera files (Raw ones) cannot be read as Raw files.
The second is that you probably need to download Adobe Camera Raw from the Adobe site. It's free. Just be certain you look through "back files" since I believe the more current downloads will only work with CS3 and Elements 5/6.

- John Sandstedt
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2: Tripods

What is a good tripod for traveling? I need a sturdy and safe travel tripod that can be packed in a carry-on bag on airlines that will support at least a standard 50mm lens or a wide angle 19-35 mm lens. I am afraid of small tripods that are travel size that may not be able to properly support the camera. Thanks.
- Paul D. Carter

Greetings Paul. This subject has been discussed here a lot and as you might guess, opinions on this particular issue vary equally, a lot. Do a search (top right-hand corner) under "tripods" or even "travel tripod".
Best solution is to find a big camera store to go to - i.e., Samy's in L.A. or B&H in NYC, and look at models with and without supplied heads. IMHO, first consider the tripod legs themselves and portability vs. stability under the weight of present and future cameras you may get. Then think about what head to put on it - say, a ballhead and perhaps add a quick release to that and your camera. I always recommend Gitzo for those reasons I mentioned, plus durability, fixability if necessary, and supplied items like spikes for dirt, variety of materials, and warranty (if you ever needed it). I like Linhof Profi ball heads with quick-release plates but there are a lot of those available too.
My Reporter model Gitzo has lasted 29 years in heavy use. I also have a Gitzo Monopod, nice for hiking, and a Studex for studio work. Manfrotto, ad infinitim, are also good.
Take it light.

- Mark Feldstein

Hi Paul,
Mark made a good suggestion to go to a camera store and look them over. See how they feel and function to determine what will work for you.
I have a Manfrotto 3021 Tripod w/Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead & Manfrotto 322RC2 Pistol grip head, and a Manfrotto 676B monopod w/Manfrotto 3229 head.
This tripod is light enough for me to carry on my 8-mile hikes through the woods and is flexible and so far has been sturdy enough for my needs. I carry my tripod with me everywhere I go.
The 322RC2 Pistol grip head is quick and easy for small lenses, but for my 70-200mm and 100-400mm, I needed more stability and the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead does handle the weight. The pistol grip goes for about $120 (if I remember correctly) and the 468MGRC2 sells for about $350.
I will probably get a sturdier Gitzo tripod sometime soon as I am doing more portrait work now. Good luck with your decision Paul - carlton

- Carlton Ward
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