The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 13, 2008
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Cleaning the Sens...
Q&A 1: Group Pictures...
Q&A 2: Save Pictures t...

"Thank you for inspiring me to accomplish so much more than I ever dreamed I could! I think the class notes were just about as perfect as I can imagine. I've recommended the class to lots of my family and friends ... thanks again!" -Sandy Parker in Jumping into Digital Photography with Susan and Neil Silverman

With the Composer, Lensbaby introduces a completely new lens, based on a ball and socket configuration that delivers smooth selective focus photography with unparalleled ease. The new Composer retains its position after being bent and is easy to use even with one hand.

Albelli, a major photo book service, 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.

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 66430 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Autumn Color Riot! ... by Tony Sweet
Fall colors and water reflections just seem to go together, as pro instructor Tony Sweet points out in his photo blog. On a recent trip, "we had a totally blue sky day, which is perfect for hours of amazing reflection shooting. As the sun got brighter, the reflections got stronger and stronger with more vivid colors (for example, the deep blues are the result of the water being in the shaded area under a bright sun). The vivid (unbelievable) color was a function of a 1-2 stop underexposure and minimal software tweaking (saturation, contrast, white balance). I started out shooting on the bank and as the color got better and better, I got lower and lower."
Editor's Note: Tony teaches many excellent courses here at BetterPhoto, including: Image Design: Revealing Your Personal Vision.

Featured Gallery
Parking is Full
© - Dominick M. Dimacale

Welcome to the 390th issue of SnapShot!

What thrilling times at BetterPhoto! Our 4th Annual Summit is coming right up - October 25th in beautiful Monterey, CA - and it promises to be our best ever. In fact, we're even offering a discount to the Summit for groups. Get a trio of your best photo friends together, and you'll receive the third admission for FREE! Learn more about the Summit... ... Looking ahead to November, we have an excellent lineup of online photography courses. But this alert: Our 8-week courses will be taking a break in December, before kicking off again in January 2009. So if you want to get in on the 8-week fun in '08, November is your last opportunity! BetterPhoto's 4-week courses, however, will be offered both in November and December. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Have a few extra minutes? Check out BetterPhoto's Instructor Insights photography blogs! This 8-week online class, by pro shooter Michael Frye, will teach you a new, streamlined approach to landscape photography. Learn more about landscapes... Learn how to make a part-time or full-time income through a stock photo agency! Jim Zuckerman's exciting new 4-week class launches Nov. 5th. Learn more about stock...

Photo Q&A

1: Cleaning the Sensor
Hi Guys,
To clean my D-200 and my D-70 sensors, I have been looking at the Delkin Sensor Scope, swabs, a blower and cleaning fluid. The whole lot comes in a kit, and you can buy them separately. Has anyone used these products? If so, would you please let me know what you think and who has the best price? Many thanks ahead of time. "ps"
- Paul S. Fleming
Paul, I use Pec pads and Eclipse fluid (from, along with the Visible Dust brand Arctic Butterfly brush and Sensor Loupe. The Loupe is the same basic thing as the Delkin, it's just made a bit better (and costs a litle less, I believe). I also have a bulb blower to get out the particles that will blow away before attempting the "washdown".
As for pricing - you can check around. I don't know who else carries Eclipse (besides Photosol); the other stuff is pretty much available.
- Bob Fately
Paul, I don't know how Copper Hill Products compares to what Bob has used, but I bought one of their sensor cleaning kits and I'm pleased.
- Todd Bennett
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1: Group Pictures

I have been asked to photograph a group of about 25 people at our church for an 80th birthday party. I am wondering if the camera and flash that I have will work. I have a Canon Rebel XT, Canon Speedlite 430ex, Canon EFS 18-55mm lens, and a Canon Zoom Lens EFS 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS. They were thinking about having me stand in the balcony with them in the pews looking up or something like that. Do you think I need a different lens or flash? Keep in mind, I'm just beginning with photography and don't have a lot of experience. Thank you.
- Mandy Kopitzke

Hi Mandy,
The camera can do the job, the on-camera flash canít. Unless the church is extremely well lit, you would need at least two strobes with over 300 watt-seconds each from above and to the sides. There are a lot of things you can do if you have real strobe power, but not much you can do with the 430. Sorry.

- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio

Hi Mandy,
While your camera and lens will work for the indoor group picture, your flash will prove to be a little weak for this task. The strength of a flash falls rapidly with distance. Shooting from the balcony will help even out the light from the flash. Consider fiddling with groupís location. The idea is to place them as close as possible to you; this might place them on the floor in front of the stage. Try both locations (on and off stage).
If closeness is not possible, use a slow shutter speed. A flash in combination with a slow shutter speed (1/30 - 1/60) gives better penetration in a large open room, especially if room lights are on. From a technical standpoint, you donít want to mix artificial light and electronic flash. However, sometimes you have no choice; so you take the shot and live with the color balance mismatch. If the shot is taken during daylight hours, the flash and the daylight likely commingle, thatís good.
Try to place the subjects using three or even four rows to keep the row length short. Short rows allow you to work in close. Focus not on the center row, but on the next row closer to you. Depth-of-field extents further to the rear this technique results in all rows in focus. Again, flash does not carry for great distances so set the rows in a semicircular pattern. This causes the flash to be more even center-to- periphery.
Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)

- Alan N. Marcus

Hello Mandy,
Also a tripod will make a huge difference, especially when there's not much light.

- Bernard 

If you can find a location OUTdoors, during daylight hours, to shoot down onto the group, then you won't need flash for the main lighting. The 430EX could still be useful as fill, though. Especially if the group have their backs to the sun.
Have fun!

- W. Smith VIII
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2: Save Pictures to CD as Read Only

How do you save your images to a CD in a format that will NOT allow the client to download or copy them? I'd like something like a Read-Only format where they can only view the photographs. Can anyone help? Thanks!
- Jonna R. Young

If you right click to open up the properties of the file that's on the CD, I think you'll see that the file is already read only. The box at the bottom of the properties window.
This doesn't prevent copying of the file, only that your computer without the use of a cd burner will not save over the file.
For what you want to do, I don't know of a way to do that. Maybe there's some kind of encryption code writing that can be done.
Don't give clients full-sized, unmarked files.

- gregory la grange

If it is visible on someone's screen, it can either be saved to disk, or 'screen grabbed'. Same difference.
So if you post images NOT exceeding 800x600 (at 72dpi), they will be useless for printing at true photo quality. This also makes defacing your own precious images with (copyright) graffiti unnecessary.
Have fun!

- W. Smith VIII
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