The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, August 25, 2008
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Sharpening Workfl...
Q&A 2: Shooting Photos o...
Q&A 3: How to Sign Print...
Q&A 4: Best Color Monito...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Excellent class! Jim Zuckerman provided thoughtful, specific and candid critiques. ... Jim’s willingness to share all that he has learned (what works and mistakes to avoid) in his many years of success in this business is priceless. Thank you!" -Cheryl Rau in Making Money with Your Photography


PLAN YOUR PHOTO GET-AWAY ...
... with BetterPhoto's easy-to-use - and very helpful - Trip Planner!


EQUIPMENT SPECIALS FOR BP MEMBERS!
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...


JOIN A PHOTO CLUB - OR FORM YOUR OWN!
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 66598 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
A Key to Flower Photography Success: Background!
by Tony Sweet
Watch out for busy backgrounds, hot spots, black holes, and extraneous elements entering the frame. In fact, the background is at least as important as the subject. Nothing can kill an image quicker than a busy background. There may be as little as an inch or less of camera repositioning to go from a distracting background to a pleasing, detail-less, muted background.
Editor's Note: Check out Tony Sweet's classes, including Fine Art Flower Photography


   
Featured Gallery
Aqua Vortex
© - Michael Rogers

Welcome to the 383rd issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

These are exciting times! The 4th Annual BetterPhoto Summit takes place October 25th in Monterey, CA, and what a jam-packed event we have planned. You'll come away filled with new insights and inspiration. But act soon to take advantage of the "early bird" discount on the already low price! Learn more about the Summit. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out instructor Tony Sweet's excellent Photo Tip and the latest batch of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Would you like to learn more about exposure, composition, digital photography, Photoshop, or the business of photography? Our awesome online photography courses give you personal interaction with top pros - regardless of where you live. The next session begins September 3rd! Learn more... "This course was fantastic. Jennifer Wu has a nice balance in technical information and practical application. Her lessons were thorough and the assignments were well-structured. I'd highly recommend this course and Jennifer as an instructor!" -Ray Rafiti in Nature and Landscape Photography: Composition

Photo Q&A

1: Sharpening Workflow
Hello, friends:
I have just finished editing a banquet, and the photos are still in the psd format. But I plan on converting the copies to be sent to JPEG. I will be delivering the photos on a disk, and a few are to be printed then delivered. Should I sharpen the photos after or before converting to JPEG. Thanks to all!
- Bernard 
ANSWER 1:

Sharpening is the very last thing I do before printing. So I sharpen AFTER conversion to JPG.
Have fun!
- W. Smith VIII
ANSWER 2:
Sharpening should be assessed with all the care that you apply any other image correction. That is, don't assume an image needs sharpening just because it is in a 'group'. If you have changed lenses, if you have changed subject and focal length, etc., the need for sharpening may be very different and even UNDESIRABLE in some cases.

Also, do you need to convert to JPEG? It is a lossy format which will degrade your images (maybe slightly depending on your settings, but you do not state what those are).

We all work very hard to get image quality...and spend lots of time and money doing it. it is best to try to keep as much quality as possible by knowing what to do definitively with those images.

Converting to JPEG is not the best choice in a workflow if it can be avoided.

- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=121428

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
ANSWER 3:
W.S. Thanks for the response.
Richard, very informative ... your answer deserves "Snapshot" recognition. Thank you!

Note from SnapShot Editor: Hi Bernard, I agree with your SnapShot suggestion! :-)

- Bernard 
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Shooting Photos of Cars
Hi all,
I was asked to take a few pics of a friend's muscle car. The car is navy blue with black stripes. I have about 2 acres of lawn, and it backs up to a pond and bush. I have a Canon Rebel with a Sigma 18-200 and a Canon 17-85 lens. What conditions, time, etc., would be best to shoot the car? Also any other ideas of location or background other than my large back yard? Any helpful hints appreciated.
- Gord D.W MacEachern
ANSWER 1:
A bright, sunny day will allow you to get a bright starburst off a reflective part of the car. Just position yourself with the sun directly behind you and and look for a pinpoint of light striking the chrome or other shiny part. Then stop-down the aperture to create the starburst.
- Bob CammarataSee Sample Photo - Sky


ANSWER 2:
Thanks guys!
I am going to get him to leave his car at my place for late afternoon and early evening so I won't feel rushed. Then I can try different lenses, lighting, and composition.
- Gord D.W MacEachern
ANSWER 3:
I shoot for car magazines/TV shows so I've shot tons of cars. I would take a shot of the car on a long road really low so you see the asphalt and the car and the focus blurs on past the car. I built a 1000hp Viper and took photos of my buddy smokin the tires and doing 360s ... it's kinda cool if your buddy waves while the tires are smoking. It makes a great image. The grass with a dark car isn't sounding that great. I'd maybe shoot it on a dirt road or cliff where it'll stand out.
- Oliver Anderson
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: How to Sign Prints?
I just got about 20 of my images printed for the first time to hang around town, and I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about what kind of pen I should sign them with?
- Jared L. Loftus
ANSWER 1:
Normally, people frame their pictures, mounting them on mat board. Spray adhesive or a "window mat" are used.
The color of the mat board is the maker's choice and should complement the print; in competition, however, many judges demand that the maker use white mat board. I mat my prints using white or black mat board exclusively.
Once the image is matted, the maker signs the mat board and usually includes the image's title, the date it was made, and often, the number of the print - if it's one of a series of the same print.
If you use a light-colored mat board, sign on it lightly with a sharp pencil! Do not sign any print with a pen on the print surface, front or back.
- John Sandstedt
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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4: Best Color Monitor Calibrator System?
I am in need of a color monitor calibration system and could use some feedback as to which brand offers the best results with minimum installation problems or bugs. Any, and, all advice is welcome!
- Kathryn Massey
ANSWER 1:
Hi Kathryn,
I just calibrated my Imac last night (every 30 days), and I use Colorvision Spyder2. I bought it when I used a Windows PC a couple of years ago and the same software works with my newer MAC. It is very easy to use. It will guide you through and you will set up a profile (which I name mine Spyder2) and your monitor will be set to that profile and you can select the same profile for your printer so that your monitor & prints match in color.
Spyder3 is now out, but I have seen no need to upgrade as I am happy with Spyder2. You will need to have your room lit the same for running your calibration as it is when you are editing photos. I keep my room fairly dark and mostly edit during the evening hours as I can see better this way.
Good Luck - Carlton
- Carlton Ward
ANSWER 2:
Some type of hardware calibration is better than none. If price is an issue, the Spyder Express will do. It works to calibrate flat screens as well as CRTs, and I've even tricked it into calibrating dual monitors.
Some of these will take a little practice and really reading the manual - sometimes even a call to support.
Other issues can be your settings in Photoshop and Elements ... if these are wrong (or, rather, incorrect), you will get poor results.
Calibration and getting results is a process. That's why I teach a course, and don't just issue an article. It starts with your camera, and follows through to your image printing or submission to services. Calibration is just one piece.
Hope that helps!
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=121428

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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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