The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 06, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Lighting Kits...
Q&A 2: Spot On Pictures...
Q&A 1: Litepanel Micr...
Q&A 2: Selective Color...

"Rob's critique's are helpful, direct, and to the point. He critiques the lessons and answers questions in a timely fashion. ... I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in selling to magazines; Rob's the expert, he knows what it's all about from the other side of the desk!" -Nancy de Flon in Successful Publication Photography

Sign up today to give yourself greater odds and win the BetterPhoto Summit Contest! You could win a free trip to the Summit, a Deluxe BetterPholio Web site, and more! Each participant can enter one photo per day until October 15th. Learn more about the Summit contest, program schedule, etc.!

Red River Paper is a Trusted Partner and Sponsor of the 4th Annual BetterPhoto Summit.

Featuring do-it-yourself Photo Frame Greeting Cards, Photographer's Edge is a Trusted Partner and Sponsor of this year's BetterPhoto Summit.

Albelli, a top photo book service, is a Trusted Partner and Sponsor of the 4th Annual BetterPhoto Summit.
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 66461 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Framing Your Subjects ... by Brenda Tharp
"Often times we see things that are interesting when traveling, but a standard approach may not always be the right answer for making a good photograph of it," says top pro Brenda Tharp in her excellent Instructor Insights blog. "And just as often, the 'unframed' composition is lacking interest completely. ... Framing opportunities are out there, everywhere, if we get creative about seeing our subjects differently. It just takes a little exploring to find something to offset it nicely." Brenda, by the way, teaches a number of great online courses, including Creating Visual Impact and Travel Photography: Capturing a Sense of Place.

Featured Gallery
Brooklin suspense
© - Joao Martinho

Welcome to the 389th issue of SnapShot!

Our October online school session is off to a great start, but it's not too late to enroll! 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 October 12th. ... In fact, our courses are by far the best way to hone your photographic skills - you'll love the direct interaction with master photographers, the personal feedback, and the flexible method of instruction. See how our classes work... Congratulations to Rhonda Burger for being the latest winner of BetterPhoto's Quick Keyworder Game. Rhonda won 50% off an online photography course or Deluxe BetterPholio Web Site! Next awards ceremony: December 1st. Look for the Win Big Points graphic in your Member Center (note: for BetterPholio owners and student alumni). ...   That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

If you haven't lately, be sure to check out BetterPhoto Instructor Insights. Of particular note is a series of recent blogs by Jim Zuckerman on his Kenyan wildlife photography adventures! Hunt's is a major retailer for photography gear and a trusted BetterPhoto partner. Each month, Hunt's offers specials just for BP members. Now, Hunt's is a sponsor of the upcoming BetterPhoto Summit! Check out the latest deals...

Photo Q&A

1: Lighting Kits
I wanting to buy some lighting equipment and I am not sure what to get. I have been reading up and I am stuck between continuous lighting or strobe. I am looking to get into portrait photography and I need help. Here is the kit I was looking at but have second thoughts.
- Shawn A. Meissner
Greetings, Shawn. I'd recommend that you do a search for lighting and read the threads on the subject you're asking about. It's been discussed here about a million times. Then get back to us with some specific questions once you decide to go with one or the other. Posting some of your work would be nice as well.
- Mark Feldstein
Hi Shawn,
I highly recommend John Siskin's An Introduction to Photographic Lighting 4- week online course. I, like many others, bought light kits (before taking this course) that were unable to fulfill my lighting needs and now sit unused and taking up space. John's course will teach you what you will need to know to make informed decisions about your lighting requirements and provide you with lots of cheap ways of going about it and other tricks/experiences he will share with you. He provides a lot of information that go above and beyond the requirements for this course but are very much appreciated.
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

2: Spot On Pictures
I have noticed a spot on my pictures recently. It appears either as a black spot or a blurred spot. I have swapped lenses and it is still there. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Pamela H. Shumate
Hi Pamela,

Looking at your gallery, I see you own a Canon EOS. I presume it is a 20D. Anyway, this and other digital SLR models feature interchangeable lenses. Likely, you have another lens that you sometimes mount, or if not, likely you have removed your lens because you are inquisitive (that’s good).
In the process of lens removal, we run the risk of dust and the like getting into the interior of our camera. This can also happen even if we never dismount the lens. Exposing the interior runs the risk that dust will settle on the surface of the digital imaging chip at the rear of the camera. This chip has a protective cover glass, likely it is speckled with a dust flake or two or three. You can have the chip’s surface cleaned or you can do it yourself.
Read the camera manual looking of chip cleaning. You will need some supplies if you attempt this yourself. It sounds daunting but its actually not that difficult. First get, at a camera shop, a blower, and try and clear the dust off. Likely a friendly clerk at the camera store will help, but if not, search this Web site for tips on how to do it.
Best of luck.

- Alan N. Marcus
Thanks for the advice. This was the assumption I had, just wanted a little verification. I'm actually making a trip to the camera store today. Thanks again!
- Pamela H. Shumate
Dust on the sensor is a recurrent problem but is easily remedied as Alan described. A simple software program (like Paint) can easily zapp out those pesky specks your cleaning might have missed.
Note: Never use compressed air canisters to clean your sensor. Use a blower-bulb (...without the brush).
- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:
1: Litepanel Micro?

Has anyone out there used a Litepanel Micro attached to their camera for added light? I know that they are traditionally used on video cameras, but I thought that they might be good for portrait photographers.
- Margot P.

I was in Baltimore a few months ago on assignment for one of my publishers and ran into a photojournalist from Dallas also on the same assignment. He was using the Litepanel and when asked about the results, he was less than enthusiastic. According to him, it works well if you're shooting close and have plenty of ambient light, but the Litepro is better suited for video and not stills.

- Raymond H. Kemp
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

2: Selective Color in B&W Photo

I've seen pictures that are in black and white, but something in the photo is in color. What is an easy software to do this in for a beginner? Thanks.
- Cheryl K. Satterly

I use Photoshop Elements and do this successfully using layers. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but here is my method:
Create an adjustment layer (in the "Layers" menu). Choose "hue/saturation". Next desaturate the "master" on that layer. The next step is to paint over the areas you want to retain color with the paintbrush tool, using black as the color. That will remove the layer effect from those areas, returning them to their original color. Easy...

- Dorean Beattie

A 'History Brush' is easier:

1) desaturate the image to B/W
2) choose "History Brush" and paint where you want the color back in.
I know $600 CS3 Photoshop has it. And $85 Photoshop Elements. Fellow board members want to suggest others?
Have fun!

- W. Smith VIIISee Sample Photo - The world is your oyster

Will, I see your point, but I'm not sure that is 'easier' to work with the History brush. Dorean's solution seems more flexible as you can make adjustments because it is in layers and uses masks. Certainly the latter two are more advanced concepts, but I think they are more core (and I teach some basics with them in the Photoshop 101 class I teach here at BP.
In your method, how do you make adjustments if your brush goes off? It isn't obvious to most, I think, who are familiar with the tool (you have to switch states, of course). You also assume people know how to use the History Brush (e.g., that selecting a prior state is obvious), perhaps that there are no other layers in the image (i.e., that the image is flattened), that they know which method to use to desaturate (e.g., desaturating as Dorean describes will not work for your solution), and perhaps assume they won't change their mind later (layers allows mind changing, History Brush will become obsolete after 20 steps or so unless you use snapshots...and there another concept to learn). Dorean's solution can work on a multi-layer image and requires tools common to both Elements 7 and Photoshop. As a beginner, Cheryl, you will likely do fine with Elements.
Understanding both ideas is something I recommend, but delving into the History brush as a first tool for a new user may not be easiest.
I am posting a third variation ... not because it is outright easier, but because conceptually it may make more sense to a new user as to what is going on:

1. Open the image and save by another name (effectively makes sure you are working on a duplicate of the original).
2. Set the foreground color to 50% gray. Just click the foreground color swatch in the toolbar, and set HSB values to H:0, S:0, B:50.
3. Create a new layer (Layer>New>Layer), and fill with the foreground color (created in the previous step) Edit>Fill, and choose Foreground as the Source. The image will turn gray.
4. Set the layer mode to Color. To do this open the Layers palette (Window>Layers), click Normal and choose Color from the list that pops up. The image will turn grayscale because you are applying gray as a color to the whole image. Now you are all set to make the effect happen by letting the color come through the gray.
5. Remove gray over the area where you want the color to come through. To do this, choose the Eraser tool (press E) and erase the areas of gray in your layer where you want color to come through. If you make a mistake, switch to the Brush tool (press B) and paint the gray back in.

The advantage here: no masking. This can work on multiple layers, requires very simple concepts, simple shortcuts, and simple tools. Menus may be somewhat different in different versions of Photoshop and Elements.
I hope that helps!
Richard Lynch

- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Basic BetterPholio™:

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

Thanks for the detailed explanation Richard! I'm excited to have a new method to try!

- Dorean Beattie
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

Unsubscribe | Change Email Address | SnapShot Archives | Recommend to a Friend

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding to your Allow List.
The sender of this email is the®, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

Copyright 2008® - All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.
BetterPhoto is a trademark of®, Inc.