The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 16, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Soft-Focused Phot...
Q&A 1: Shooting Outdoo...
Q&A 2: Depth of Field ...

"Successful Publication Photography was a great course! Rob Sheppard was professional and a very knowledgeable instructor. I learned a lot from the course that I know will help me in the future. His lessons were well designed, and his comments were clear, concise and helpful. I highly recommend this course with Rob Sheppard!" -Ronald Zincone

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Sports Tip: Shoot from a Low Perspective!
by Newman Lowrance
One important aspect of shooting sports is to shoot from a low perspective. This is especially important while photographing youth sports. By kneeling or sitting, your subjects will look taller and appear to jump or leap higher from this low perspective. Give it a try!
Editor's Note: Newman Lowrance teaches an outstanding online course here at BetterPhoto: Basics of Sports Photography

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 412th issue of SnapShot!

Learn from top pros, meet other members, and give your photography a huge boost at the next BetterPhoto Summit! Join us April 19th, 2009, in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida. The Summit is always an inspirational time, but don't take it from me :) Here's what a previous Summit participant (Cindy Burrell) has to say: "I have done many photo workshops given by different organizations that cost 5x more than the BetterPhoto Summits, and I feel I not only learned more from BetterPhoto but there was more personal attention given to each participant." Thanks for kind words, Cindy! Learn the Summit details... ... Do you like to shoot action, including youth sports? Then don't miss Newman Lowrance's excellent Photo Tip in this issue of SnapShot. ... That's it for this week. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Our quarterly 8-week online photography classes are back in session, beginning April 8th! BetterPhoto's courses offer excellent interaction between pro instructor and students, plus the convenience of the Web. See our 8-week schedule... BetterPhoto's 4-week Short Courses cover a wide range of subjects for all skill levels. See our 4-week course listings... Acclaimed photographer Art Wolfe is leading four of his exciting Travels to the Edge Field Seminars this spring - Big Sur Coast, Yosemite, Acadia, and Zion. Learn the details...

Photo Q&A

1: Soft-Focused Photos
I have a Olympus Evolt-510 but my shots often seem soft even when I use a tripod . I read on a previous thread that someone suggested leaving the image stabilizer off all the time but I'm not sure about that. Twice (both times out in the cold), the autofocus did not work and I had to turn the camera off and on again for it to focus. Could this be a problem with the camera? Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Julianna J. Collett
Downfall of this camera is you need to turn off the noise reduction. By turning it off, that will help a lot. The built-in noise reduction is just too strong at times on this camera. Autofocus problems sometimes occur in the connections when you put on a lens. Just take the lens off and put it back on quickly. I have had the same problem at times.
- Vicki Day
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1: Shooting Outdoor Wedding at 3pm

I will be shooting an outdoor wedding at 3pm in Florida. Any suggestions? I know it will be the bright time of the day. We will be on the riverfront. Thanks for any and all advice.
- Becky Eastham

Hi Becky,
You will need your flash, as bright sunlight will have harsh shadows and contrast and using fill light will help alleviate this. You will have to pay attention closely to the light direction and shadows. Keep in mind the sunny 16 rule but you will have to adjust your exposure for what the light is giving you.
You don't want a half dark face and the fill flash will help. As the sun gets lower, you may be able to use the warmer lighting for more artistic effects but 3pm sunlight can be challenging.
Good luck!

- Carlton Ward

Hi again Becky,
Silhouettes are another cool effect you may take advantage of. If the bride has a thin dress, you could get some sensual/beautiful shots with the light passing through the dress. Sunset silhouettes with the couple would also be very special shots. Walking away toward the sun hand in hand on the beach type of shots. Think about this beforehand and make a list to carry with you for the shoot. I carry a list of all the formal bride/groom and family portrait shots, and you should have one as well unless you have done this enough to have it memorized. Get a few wide-angle shots that show off the surrounding area and use what landscaping you can to enhance the captures.
Go to the site beforehand at 3pm and see what the lighting conditions are, and take a few practice shots with whoever may be hanging out.
A good challenge can inspire great imagination so adapt, adjust andshine :)

- Carlton Ward
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2: Depth of Field with Studio Lights

One problem I seem to be having with my studio shots is that my DOF is very deep. I have these wrinkled backdrops, and even with my kid 4 to 5 feet in front of them, I'm seeing them clear as a bell. I'm shooting in manual mode with ISO 200, shutter speed 1/100 sec, F/14, focal length-55mm. I'm using an 18-55mm lens. I'm thinking I need to be shooting at a lower F-stop, but I can't seem to find the balance between that and my shutter speed to get correct exposure. I'll include a few examples of originals I have with these settings!
- @imee c. eisamanSee Sample Photo - 5>

See Sample Photo - 4>

See Sample Photo - 3>

See Sample Photo - 2>

See Sample Photo - 1>

Hi Aimee,
Sorry I didn’t notice this thread earlier. Your shutter speed has nothing to do with exposure with strobes! The strobe has a duration of about 1/1000th of a second, which your shutter can’t control. However, if your shutter is in front of the sensor when the strobe goes off you get a partially black picture. The highest shutter speed you can use with strobes is called your sync speed; it is different for different camera models. Check your instructions. You can use a longer speed if you want to add light from other sources, such as daylight.
If you want to reduce the light from your strobe further than you can with the controls on the strobes, you can use neutral density filters or use metal window screen over the strobes. Most monolights will reduce power output to 1/32nd power, which gives you more control. You might also want to check out this article on making light panels:
Thanks, John

- 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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