The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, January 05, 2009
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Photographyng Gla...
Q&A 2: Problem with Batc...
Q&A 3: Studio Lighting K...
Q&A 4: Function of a Mon...
Q&A 1: How to Get a Co...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I really recommend this class! The lessons are well-thought-out with clear assignments. Most importantly, I was impressed by the detail provided by Rob Sheppard's instructive feedback. Several times he made the extra effort to touch up a photo to show how it can be improved. I learned how to go beyond the usual and take pictures to gain attention!" -Michael Heward, student in Impact in Your Photographs: The Wow Factor


PHOTOGRAPHY SUMMIT: FEB. 28TH!
BetterPhoto is taking its Summit to San Diego, CA! Get inspired, learn from the BP pros, and grow with your creative visions. Sign up now to give yourself greater odds to win the Summit Contest! Find out the Summit details...

CREATE YOUR OWN BEAUTIFUL CARDS!
Photographer's Edge features a complete line of do-it-yourself Photo Frame Greeting Cards for all types of photographers and subjects. Turn your photos into eye-catching cards for any occasion! Learn more...

PLAN YOUR PHOTO GET-AWAY ...
... with BetterPhoto's terrific - and helpful - Trip Planner!

LEARN TO MASTER LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
At BetterPhoto, we have some great courses on landscape photography, including:
- Nature and Landscape Photography: Composition
- Creating Depth in Landscape Photography
- The Digital Landscape.

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 66160 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Backgrounds: They Can Make or Break a Photo ... by Jim Zuckerman
Backgrounds are more important than many photographers realize, says top pro Zuckerman. To learn more, check out his excellent Instructor Insights blog. Jim teaches many courses here at BP, including: Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography and Perfect Digital Exposure


   
Featured Gallery
Distance of A Day
© - Alex T. Mizuno

Welcome to the 402nd issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

I trust that you are enjoying the opening days of this new year! At BetterPhoto, we are excited about the first day of school this Wednesday (Jan. 7th). We have a terrific lineup of 8-week and 4-week online course listings (see below), with classes on all subjects and for all skill levels. See our courses by category... ... If you haven't lately, be sure to check out the BetterPhoto Quick Keyworder Game! Look for the Win Big Points graphic in your Member Center (note: for BetterPholio owners or student alumni). ... That's it for this week. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Starting this new year, our awesome 8-week classes will return to a quarterly schedule. So sign up now for the Winter session, which begins Jan. 7th, or you'll have to wait until April for the next 8-week session! Our online photo courses give you personal interaction with successful pros and the great convenience of the Web. Four-week courses are offered each month, with the next session coming up this Wednesday (Jan. 7th)!
See the course listings... BP instructor Ibarionex Perello hosts an outstanding photography podcast: The Candid Frame. Check out his excellent Dec. 31st interview with BetterPhoto Founder Jim Miotke: http://www.thecandidframe.com/

Photo Q&A

1: Photographyng Glassware with a Strobe
Hi!
Is it true that we cannot photography glass ware with a strobe? Personnally, I tried with my strobe attached to my camera and there was reflection. I tried then witout my flash and there were not reflections. Thanks!
- Denise Ms Goulet
ANSWER 1:
Hi Denise,
I went to a glass museum last summer and was able to use my tripod. Because of the in-house lighting, I had to position my camera at an angle where the reflections were minimal but using a tripod, I was able to take longer exposures which allowed me to get the capture. I didn't use any flash, just the lighting the museum was providing.
On my website/galleries/glass album - I have some of these photos posted.
A light tent or diffuser would help immensely.
Good Luck,
Carlton
- Carlton Ward
ANSWER 2:
Hi Denise,
Just to expand on what has been said. Glass transmits a significant amount of the light that hits it, often on the order of 90%. It is the reflected part that causes trouble. We have similar problems with camera lenses, which is why we use coatings that reduce reflection. In order to get a good shot of or through glass, the light should be at 30º to 45º to the line from the camera to the subject. Depending on the piece of glass a large light source would work better than the small light source of an on camera strobe. You might find this article interesting: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/Projector.pdf.
Thanks, John Siskin
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Problem with Batch Rename in Bridge
I have used the "Batch Rename" feature in Adobe Bridge about a million times. I always use it to rename my Raw images before changing them to JPEGs. ... this time instead of leaving the file extension as .NEF, it changed them all to unix executable files that cannot be opened in Photoshop. I had backups so I can recover, but I still need to rename the files, and I really don't want to do it manually. Has this happened to anyone else? I didn't change anything before renaming ... any advice would be greatly appreciated!
- Jen L. Cresse
ANSWER 1:
You never really want to change the extensions on an image file. If you do something like change a .TIF to .JPEG, it is still a .TIF and Photoshop will try and read it as a JPEG and fail to do so. In your example, you rename to something other than NEF, which Photoshop will be using to identify the files, and you will likely not be able to open them. Why not just rename them all back to [whatever].NEF?
If there are other identifiers you need there, add them in sequence, like:
[whatever]_[identifier].NEF
or
[whatever].[identifier].NEF
I think you can have 4 "." before Photoshop or elements starts choking on them (on mac or PC, I can't remember). Underscores you can have more of but there is a file name limitation for cross compatibility of 30 characters.
The only reason I can think that Adobe uses the extension rather than a more sophisticated means of IDing a file type (there used to be a great program for this, but it was expensive, and pretty much all it did was identify and open poorly stored image files) is that it is easier and less expensive for them.
But what is the purpose of renaming the Raw file? You might want to open and then save as something else ... but renaming you are just making a copy of the same thing, and you already have backups from what you say. What is the goal of renaming
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Basic 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:



3: Studio Lighting Kit
Hey Guys,
I'm thinking of buying some studio lighting. I'm a beginner, but would like something that I can do some portrait photos in my basement. I have the backdrop, but the simple light that I put together doesn't have a lot of power. It's a 300w bulb (incandescent), but my shutter speed has to be at 1/50 with the aperture set at 5.3 for anything to turn out. Could someone take a look at the link below and give me your thoughts? I don't have a lot of money and I think this would be a good start, but would like some advice before I buy it.http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/301600680.htm?bct=t13031003%3Bcidigital-cameras-and-accessories%3Bcistudio-lighting%3Bcistudio-light-kits
Thanks so much.
Rich
- Richard Hogg
ANSWER 1:
Hi Richard,
This is not very powerful, but you could do some decent work with it. There are two and a half important things about lighting. The first is color, and this will give you decent color, unlike fluorescent lights. The second is the size of the light source, a small light produces hard shadows and a large light produces softer shadows or no shadow. The problem is that it takes more power to make a soft light: spreading the light on a umbrella or other reflector reduces your light. The half thing is position, it’s much more important with a small light than a large light. I usually recommend people get a strobe with at least 500 real watt-seconds. It gives you more options. It might be good to start with just one light and see how that works for you. Thanks, John
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

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
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



4: Function of a Monopod?
I received a monopod for Christmas. I've never used one and am curious about how they work. I assume you have to hold onto it while taking a photo. Is that a correct assumption? Do they work for very slow shutter speeds?
- Teresa H. Hunt
ANSWER 1:
Teresa,
While not as stable a platform as a tripod, the monopod serves a purpose.

1) Lighter than a Tripod
2) Easier to move the camera around
3) Easier to carry (smaller)
4) Support for heavy lenses

"Very slow" shutter speeds is relative.

You will be able to shoot slower speeds compared to hand held, but to a point.
How slow you can shoot will depend how ingenius you are. I've seen people prop the monopod against a structure or even wedge it in a rock crack. LOL
Sports photographers primarily use them to support those heavy lenses.

- Pete H
ANSWER 2:
Just to add:
I use a monopod frequently - and in certain situations, more often than a tripod depending on what I am shooting. Mostly I use them walking around where a tripod is impractical but I know I'll still want support. A good example would be shooting a parade from the crowd - it would be silly to try and get a tripod set up ("excuse me, pardon my tripod leg a moment, won't you?"). I also like using them in some situations where I shoot with a short DOF with a manual fixed-focus lens where moving the camera is easier and quicker than focusing, yet I still want some support. But that's a personal preference.
Some monopods come with a base that can make them free standing, but I have not ever let go of my camera when it was on a monopod (Pete's examples are interesting). Instead, I have both tripod and monopod available with the same head and quick-release so I can change to one or the other as necessary.
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Basic 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:
A monopod will provide only vertical (up and down) support of the camera and lens during exposure. The front-to-back and side-to-side stability will depend upon your own steadiness.
It's wise to prop your monopod up against something sturdy like a rock, tree or fence post to increase stability.
- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: How to Get a Copyright Symbol

How do you create the copyright logo in Photoshop on a laptop/notebook computer that doesn't have the ten key pad? Thanks!
- Gaylen Bicking

ANSWER 1:
See my BetterPhoto article on how to add a copyright symbol:
http://www.betterphoto.com/digital/allTips.asp#tip75
Hope that helps!

- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Basic 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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