The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, January 12, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Lens Cap for Filt...
Q&A 2: Lens Flare...
Q&A 3: F-stops for Lense...
Q&A 1: Studio Lighting...
Q&A 2: Did I Ruin My F...

"Thank you so much for your excellent tutelage over the last 8 weeks! Iíve learned a great deal from the Digital Landscape class, and Iím sure Iíll be taking more classes at based on my excellent experience with you. I now feel much more confident that I can make a photograph turn out the way I see it in my head - and that, in my opinion, is an essential skill for a photographer!" -Mary Gilbert, student in The Digital Landscape with Michael Frye

Photographer's Edge - a sponsor of the BetterPhoto Summit - 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...

Hunt's is a trusted BetterPhoto partner and Summit sponsor. Each month, Hunt's offers specials on photo equipment and software just for BP members! Learn more...

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Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are excellent ways to show - or sell - your photography. These Web sites are easy to set up and easy to maintain ... and they look great, too! Plus, our monthly newsletter for BetterPholio owners offers tips and updates. Compare the options...

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Use Flash for People During Day ... by Sean Arbabi
A common misnomer when people take pictures outdoors is they assume there is so much light they donít need to utilize their flash. When photographing their family and friends outside (at a wedding, event, park, function), leave their flash on. The extra light fills in shadows on faces and is not only more flattering for the person being photographed but also allows you to see their faces better in the final result.
NOTE: Sean Arbabi is the author of the awesome new book The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure (just published by Amphoto) and is also the instructor of an awesome course here at BP: Better Exposure: How to Meter Light

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 403rd issue of SnapShot!

The new year is off to a great start at BetterPhoto! Our course Campus Squares now have an exciting new look and feel, and have made our already-excellent online classes even better. Learn more about our photo courses... ... We are also looking ahead to the next BetterPhoto Summit, which takes place February 28th in San Diego, CA. You may already know about this grand event, but did you also know about the Summit Contest? Sign up today to give yourself greater odds of winning a terrific prize, since each participant can enter one photo per day until February 15th. Learn the Summit details... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Sean Arbabi's Photo Tip of the Week, Tony Sweet's new HDR course, and a fine collection of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

In a highly anticipated new online course, pro photographer Tony Sweet shares his tips, techniques, and insights on High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. Tony will demystify HDR and teach you how to have total control over your image. This 4-week course begins with the February session. Learn more... 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). Top score wins 50% off a photography course or BetterPholio! Next award ceremony: February 1st Check out all of the latest happenings in the community! See our What's New page.

Photo Q&A

1: Lens Cap for Filters with No Thread
I just got a great wide-angle lens and a new polarizing filter to fit it. The polarizer is thin so it has no threads on the outside. Does anyone have a recommendation for a lens cap that will fit over the lens and filter?
- Christie Kleinert
Many screw-on filters designed for use on wide-angle lenses do not have front threads. This keeps their depth thin to avoid vignetting. To cover them requires a "push on" lens cap that fits over the outter rim of the filter and lens. Or, since a polarizer is a special-use filter, simply remove it and use the standard lens cap on the lens.
- Jon Close
I have also seen a little cover in photo ads that looks like a little shower cap. They can fit over the lens shade as well. Unsexy but practical. I've seen folks use the little can or jar covers with elastic from the grocery store. Whatever does the job.
- Doug Nelson
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2: Lens Flare
Besides using a lens hood, is there a special filter to reduce lens flare. I love sunrise shots, but always seem to get flare in some of my shots. Most of the time I am using a Canon 5D , with a 70-200 L Ef lens with a Pl-Cir Hoya filter. Any other suggestions??
- Linda Sandbo
If your polarizer is not multicoated, then try another that is. You can also change the framing of your shot so that the flare is less apparent. For example, if the sun is off to the side, the ghosting reflections will angle across the frame, but moving the sun dead center will put the ghosting reflections on top of the sun. Use Depth of Field Preview since the flare will vary with aperture. If you want your final composition to have the sun off to the side, then zoom out - center the sun - then crop in post-processing to get the framing desired.
Otherwise, any zoom with 15 to 20+ lens elements (each surface a source of reflection/flare) is going to be problematic shooting into the sun, even a Canon L. Prime lenses (eg. EF 100 f/2 USM or EF 200 f/2.8L II USM) have 1/2 as many elements and are more flare resistant.
- Jon Close
Shooting into the fireball when it's low on the horizon can be one way to avoid flare, but only if the sun is like a big orange tomato. If it comes up hot (really bright), flare is going to happen. No filter will fix it and nothing else can help you avoid it. Actually, the light 30 minutes before and after sunrise/sunset is more interesting if there are clouds. Aside from using the depth of field preview, which is tough to see at times, an easier way is to just look at the front of the lens. If you see a bright pin spot, you have flare. BUT, shooting in an area with some atmosphere: blowing sand or water (mist), like at the ocean, can suppress flare and look good.
- Tony Sweet

See Tony Sweet's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Tony Sweet:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Nature/Outdoor Photos with Lensbabies
4-Week Short Course: High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Nikon D200 and D2X/D2Xs
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Nikon D3 and D700
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Nikon D300
Fine Art Flower Photography
Image Design: Revealing Your Personal Vision
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3: F-stops for Lenses?
What does the f/stop mean on lenses? For exsample, if you have a 85mm-200mm f4 lens, does the f4 mean that f4 is the widest aperture you will be able to use with that lens? Thanks!
- Candace L. Carrillo
Yes, the f-stop number given on the lens is the maximum (largest) aperture that the lens provides. For instance, a 70-200/4 has a maximum aperture of f/4, and a 70-200/3.5-4.5 has a maximum aperture at 70mm of f/3.5, decreasing to a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at 200mm.
- John G. Clifford Jr
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1: Studio Lighting

I am in the process of setting up a home portrait studio. I have a 20-ft by 15-ft room I am completely turning into a studio. I know I will need backdrops, a backdrop stand, props and lighting. I have a Canon Rebel XSi digital with a Canon speedlight 430EX and four different lenses. I am not sure what kind of lighting to get. What do I need to get me started and to learn about indoor lighting? I am an outdoors portrait photographer and I have shot some indoors using just my flash, but I want something that looks a little more professional. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
- Emily M. Rosson

Hello Emily,
This is s common question and if you do a search for "studio lighting" on the BP search window, you will get a bunch of threads to read through.
John Siskin has a great course for getting started -
. John is a great instructor, and he provides a ton of information and lots of tips and& tricks to get started on a budget, etc.
Don't do what I did and buy a cheap set of lights that will ultimately only take up space and never be used. Start with a good strobe and build from that. I went with Alien Bees and am very happy with their lights and company.
Good Luck Emily!

- Carlton Ward

Hi Emily,
Thanks Carlton! I really appreciate it. Emily, the key is to start with a limited amount of good equipment, like the Alien Bees or Calumet Travelites. It is much easier to understand one light than two or three, and why get something youíll need to replace later? I do teach a couple of lighting classes here that might help. You might also be interested in this article about setting up a home studio: There are other articles at my web site too:

- 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
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2: Did I Ruin My Film?

Oops! I opened the back of the camera with film in it. I shot 2 exposures before opening it so most of the film is hidden inside the canister. Did I ruin all or some of the film?
- Sherri McGee

Hi Sherri,
You probably ruined the first two shots. Also shots 3 and 4 will probably be no good. Shots from 5 to the end of the roll should be OK, if you keep the back closed. Remember, the counter will reset when you opened the back, so when the roll is over the count will be off.

- 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
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

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