The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, January 26, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Converting Raw to...
Q&A 2: Problem with Shoo...

"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this course. ... I had been so intimidated by lighting - especially flash and studio lights - and this online course opened up the possibilities for me. Thank you!" - Merrell Wreden, student in Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio with John Siskin

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It’s all About the Angles ... by Sean Arbabi
Photography really is all about finding the best point of view. Sometimes creating a quality image means getting out of our five-to-six foot eye level - dropping down low or finding a higher perspective to take a photo. Both, on occasion, can provide cleaner backgrounds, a unique perspective that most don’t see everyday, and often give you a better composition.
Note: Check out Sean Arbabi's Better Exposure: How to Meter Light course here at BetterPhoto.

Featured Gallery
© - Peter Appelbaum

Welcome to the 405th issue of SnapShot!

At BetterPhoto, we are celebrating the start of our 13th year. And what a way to begin! January has been such a thrilling month as we launched a new sleek site design, plus the Masterpiece Membership, in which members are encouraged - and motivated - to get out and make photos with "WOW!" impact! Learn more... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss This Week's Photo Tip, along with a selection of featured questions and answers from the Forum. ... That's it for now. Have fun with your 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? Then join us for an inspiring online PhotoCourse! Our next 4-week session kicks off February 4th. Learn more... Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are great ways to show - or sell - your photography. Plus, our monthly newsletter for BetterPholio owners offers tips and updates. Compare the options... Have some spare time? Check out our Instructor Insights photography blogs, which show some excellent recent entries by Sean Arbabi and Jim Zuckerman!

Photo Q&A

1: Converting Raw to JPEG
If an image is shot in Raw, can it later be converted to JPEG?
- Rachel Larson
Every answer here including 'yes' is helpful. To fill in just a little more:
Ultimately you will have to convert the Raw file to save it: though you could, potentially, always open it from the Raw file to print, you'll have to save a file to upload to BP or for printing at a service. After you open a Raw file you can save it as anything you want, so long as the file type supports the content...and in the cases that it doesn't, you may lose some things. For example, if you open an image and correct with layers and then save to a JPEG, on opening you'll find the layers are gone. JPEG, as Carlton suggests, also do not support 16-bit. Usually I suggest the following:
1. Archive the Raw file.
2. Open the Raw file and save as a working version of the file in PSD, TIFF or PDF, as these will save full-featured image files that retain layers, paths, masks, and all other file components.
3. Save off JPEG files from the working version of the file as needed, and delete the JPEGs as you would after using a temp file. This way you always have one working version of the image, only one version to track, and an archived original to return to in case of disaster.
I hope that helps!
- Richard Lynch

See Richard Lynch's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Richard Lynch:
4-Week Short Course: Correct and Enhance Your Images
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2: Problem with Shooting Red Flowers
When I shoot red roses on my Canon 40D or on my Canon XTi, with a tripod, the color seems difficult to capture. I can be in diffused natural light, and the white balance set correctly, but the capture still isn't that great. The detail of the flower petal seems to be overwhelmed by the intensity of the color. Does anyone else have this problem?
- Rachel Larson
I have two suggestions.
1. Use a black background.
or 2. Use backlighting and get in really close.
Good luck.
- Ariel Lepor
There is nothing wrong with your camera, Rachel.
ALL digital sensors on DSLRs suffer from over-saturation in the red channel to some extent. Yellow is another tough one for a digital sensor.
What you are seeing are blown highlights in these color channels when referenced to a RGB value of grey or (128 in the RGB system). In other words, when exposing properly for the entire scene (i.e., matrix or evaluative metering), the inherent limitations of digital sensors will over-saturate the reds ... yellow too.
Sparing you the calculus as to why, you have a couple of options to overcome this.
1) Reduce the f/stop by 1 to 1.5 .. This is great if you are only shooting, let's say, a RED flower. If you want to shoot a frame with red, blue, green and yellow flowers, you will have to exercise some trickery to balance the image for color and tonality.
The easiest way is to underexpose the entire image by a stop to a stop and a half. Raw will produce better results in this scenario. (Another discussion for another time).
Using your image editor, mask off the RED flowers which should be properly exposed, and now use "levels" to raise the remaining exposure.
2) Shoot B&W, although even B&W will suffer from this problem.
3) HDR (High Dynamic Range).
Some will advocate simply reducing the red channel saturation in post-processing. This is flawed advice. Just like white, once the red channel is maxed out at a RGB value of 255, there is nothing left to recover.
Hope this helped a bit.
All the best...
- Pete H
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