The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, July 21, 2008
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Shutter Vs. Aper...
Q&A 2: Shooting Handheld...
Q&A 3: Image Sharpness...
Q&A 4: Missing Pixels?...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I cannot believe how much I have learned in the past 4 weeks! This is by far the best online class I have taken. Your lessons, along with the assignments and critiques, have caused a major improvement in my sports photos. Thank you for showing me a whole new world of Photography that I never saw before!" -student in G. Newman Lowrance's Basics of Sports Photography


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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Remember Your Camera Settings ... by Susan and Neil Silverman
It's easy to change white balance, ISO, etc., in your digital camera settings, all within the same photography session. But it's not always so easy to remember to change those settings back - especially while in the heat of the excitement! We take care of this problem with a piece of colored gaffer tape, which we move into an area that can be seen easily as a reminder that we have made a change to the original settings.
This is critically important when using exposure compensation. After returning your setting(s) back to normal, then we place the tape in a spot where it does not get much attention. This tape can be reused in this manner many times and will still adhere well and does not leave any residue.
Editor's Note: BetterPhoto's popular instructor team teaches several courses, including Street Photography


   
Featured Gallery
Waiting for the sunset - Santorini, Greece
© - Andreas G. Karelias

Welcome to the 378th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

I hope your summer picture-taking is fully under way and you are getting the kind of results you want. To help you get even better results, we have posted the August session of online photo courses. Join us for 4 or 8 weeks of fun ... Also, a reminder about BetterPhoto's Quick Keyworder Game: The next award ceremony is coming up on August 1st. To participate, just click on the Win Big Points graphic on the Welcome page of your Member Center (note: for BetterPholio owners or student alumni). Top score wins 50% off a photography course or BetterPholio! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the "Remember Your Camera Settings" Photo Tip by instructors Susan and Neil Silverman, and also another fine collection of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Are you ready to take the next step in photography or Photoshop? Our online classes offer excellent interaction between pro instructor and students, plus the convenience of the Web .Find out more... BetterPhoto publishes a daily dose of visual inspiration! Check out the free Photo of the Day newsletter at our subscription page.

Photo Q&A

1: Shutter Vs. Aperture Priority
Seems like some photographers prefer aperture priority, and others prefer shutter priority. What are some of the pros and cons of each of these? Personally, I shy away from aperture priority because I think it would automatically compensate with a slow shutter speed resulting in blurry images because of camera shake. Is that a wrong assessment?
- Pam Barrett
ANSWER 1:
It all depends on the shot you are trying to take.
- A mode is used when controlling Depth of Field is the top priority. (examples: macro and landscape).
- S mode is used when freezing or blurring motion is top priority. (examples: sports and blurred waterfall).
- P mode is used when you're willing to let the camera make a reasonable trade-off for you (sort of like auto but with a bit more control (example: unpredictable events with little time to capture scene).
- M mode is used when you want absolute control (examples: studio still life, fireworks, etc.).
Good photogs don't blindly prefer any one of these modes ... they use whichever mode best fits the occasion.
dvc
- David Van Camp
ANSWER 2:
These aren't that drastically different, because you can use them for the same purpose. You pick one and the camera picks the matching other.
You can easily use av mode for sports by simply choosing wider apertures that give you faster shutter speeds. It doesn't require anything more than looking at the display in the viewfinder.
Some people who use auto modes for action prefer av mode so that they don't keep shooting pictures that should've been with an aperture that their lens doesn't have.
- gregory la grange
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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2: Shooting Handheld Light
I would like to shoot some pics of my daughter moving a sparkler (or flashlight) in a movement that simulated a letter of the alphabet - or a shape. Does anyone have any experience? I've tried but still get the person (very faded) in the shot. Thanks......
- Kevin T. Butler
ANSWER 1:
Hi Kevin,
There is a technique using a short delayed flash and long exposure in a dark setting that will briefly illuminate the person and allow the delayed exposure of the moving light to be captured. I experimented with this a couple of years ago with mixed results but it was fun experimenting.
Give it a go - Carlton
- Carlton Ward
ANSWER 2:
Slow Sync Flash.
You may have to play around with the flash output a little.
- Pete H
ANSWER 3:
I think Kevin wants to see less of the person doing the 'painting with light' in a photo. Not more.
Well, Kevin, then you will need to take care. There is even less light falling onto - and subsequently reflecting off of - your daughter. Ideally, she should be dressed in black, with a black ski mask, in a black room (including the ceiling). The sparklers will light her regardless, however, because they emit light 360 degrees. The flashlight may work better if you take care there is no backspill onto your daughter. Make a hood of heavy black paper/light black cardboard for the flashlight if you must.
The key is to increase the contrast between the flashlight or sparkler and everything else.
Have fun!
- W. Smith VIII
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3: Image Sharpness
I took 3 photos as a test. On 1st image, sharpness was set to +2; for 2nd, it was 0; and for 3rd, it was -2.
The -2 pic was blurry and seemed out of focus, it was also the smallest in size. Thus, is it a good idea to always leave sharpness at +2, or is there such a thing as too much sharpness? (Same for contrast, is +2 too much?) I guess anything that increases a pic's size is good; setting to 8mp instead of 6mp or 4mp, and fine instead of normal or economy(smallest size). Thanks
- Rom A.G.
ANSWER 1:
I assume you are talking about in-camera settings? If so... Generally speaking, any in-camera sharpness settings can be equally or better achieved in software after downloading to your computer. Further, any sharpening done in-camera cannot be "undone" ... which is to say, if you've lost image quality, you've lost it forever. If you use a minimal sharpening setting in camera, you can always tweak the sharpening values later ... as long as you don't delete the original image, at least!
The same is true for all other in-camera image enhancement options (saturation, etc.). That's why so many people here shoot Raw ... it leaves the maximum possible of all image processing options up to you to do later after downloading to your computer.
Straight out of the camera, unprocessed images don't look very impressive. However, with good understanding on how to process photos manually using good software (such as PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro, etc,) you can actually achieve much better final results (with some work) by shooting with minimal in-camera processing. The question is: Do you want to do that work? Or, would you prefer to just use straight out of the camera images? If the latter, use heavy in-camera processing settings. If the former, shoot "flat" (as few in-camera settings as possible) and process later on your PC.
dvc
- David Van Camp
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Missing Pixels?
I shoot with a Canon 10D and the last few times I downloaded my images I've noticed that there are numerous pixels missing. Even before I start to do any editing. What could be causing this?
- Stephanie Frey
ANSWER 1:
Hi Stephanie,
Are all the images missing pixels in the same place? This could be a sensor problem. Are you shooting Raw, JPEG, or both? Try shooting Raw+JPEG and see if both images look the same. If it is the sensor, you may have dust which you can clean with an air blower or sensor swipes if you are comfortable doing this. You may also try a different CF card to eliminate that option. After that, I would suggest taking it to a camera shop and have them check it out.
Good Luck, Carlton
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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