The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 23, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Take Great...
Q&A 2: Photo Printer...

"I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your course! This was my first foray into using the controls for aperture and shutter speed. I thought the assignments were right on target and you have a wonderful way of critiquing AND encouraging us all to have fun. ... Thanks so much for your patience, and thanks for making my first course with BetterPhoto a positive experience. I'm telling all my friends!" -Laura Heid, student in Sean Arbabi's Better Exposure: How to Meter Light course

Start getting really comfortable - and creative - with your awesome Nikon D90! Our new 4-week course is taught by photographer-author Simon Stafford, and begins April 8th. Read more about the class...

A BetterPhoto membership offers all sorts of great benefits. See the membership options.

Discover the best practices for shooting nature photos, as well as processing those images in Photoshop CS4! Check out Kevin Moss's excellent 4-week course: the updated Photoshop For Nature Photographers. Learn more...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 65747 serious photographers.
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A Formula for Classic Travel Images ...By Jim Zuckerman
The way you can guarantee that you'll get great shots of people when you travel is to set up shots. I do this on all my photo tours for my group. I preconceive the type of image I want (like a model in an arched window, for example), and then I talk to local people about the best way to set it up.

Serendipity is great, and when you are lucky enough to get awesome shots by happenstance, it's a wonderful experience. This doesn't happen often, of course, and therefore I make things happen with a little persistence and a preconceived notion of what I want.

Editor's note: Jim Zuckerman teaches many excellent courses here at BetterPhoto. See Jim's bio and course listings...

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 413th issue of SnapShot!

Springtime at BetterPhoto is shaping up to be an awesome time! Coming up on April 8th is our next online school session, with both 4-week and 8-week courses on tap. Then, on April 19th, it's the next BetterPhoto Summit in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida. But you may want to sign up very soon in order to increase your odds of winning the Summit Contest. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Jim Zuckerman's "Classic Travel" Photo Tip, plus some fine questions and answers. ... That's it for this week. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Learn from the pros, meet fellow members, and give your photography a giant boost ... all at the next BetterPhoto Summit! Join us April 19th, 2009, in St. Augustine, Florida.
- Win your ticket: Sign up today to give yourself greater odds and win the Summit Contest. You could win your ticket to the Summit! Each participant can enter one photo per day until April 1st.
- Learn the Summit details... Our quarterly 8-week online PhotoCourses will be back in action, starting April 8th! BetterPhoto's classes offer great interaction between pro instructor and students, along with all the convenience of the Web. See the 8-week listings...
- Too long? Then check out our 4-week courses, which are fast, fun, to the point, and also begin on April 8th. See the Short Courses schedule... The contest continues to be an important part of everyday BP life. If you are a member, student, or BetterPholio website owner, you can access the contest and upload photos via your Member Center. Good luck!

Photo Q&A

1: How to Take Great Beach Shots
What lens would you make for beach photography? I used 70-200 2.8. The ocean looks too noisy and the photos just are not that good. Help!
- Linda Terranova
Lens choice should be a personal (and secondary) decision and will depend upon many factors like available light, primary subject matter, distance to the subject, intended angle of perspective, etc. Your concentration should be focused on those key elements.
If your scene requires a lot of depth of field, a wide-angle lens will afford a great sharpness range from the foreground to the horizon.
If the light is low, set your ISO low and use a tripod to minimize noise.
- Bob CammarataSee Sample Photo - Shells

Hello Linda,
For landscape/sunset/beach scenic type shots, I generally use my wide angle (Canon 17-40mm).
There are some landscape techniques that may help. Line up the horizon at either 1/3 from the top or 1/3 from the bottom - try setting your tripod/camera at 3 ft height (this is how many old classic landscape photos were done) and use as much DOF as possible if you are wanting detail throughout the photo.
As for shooting your son playing on the beach, if light is harsh and dark shadows are prevalent, use a flash to illuminate your son or whatever may be affected to take away the harsh shadows.
If the lighting is overcast or even, then I would try without the flash, although if you want to make your son stand out from the scene, then try it with a flash.
My .02,
- Carlton Ward
In looking at your photo, your "noisy" ocean is just out of focus due to limited DOF.
It appears that you had plenty of light and could have stopped down to around f-8 and still had a fast-enough shutter to freeze those gulls in flight.
- Bob Cammarata
I'm not seeing noise being an issue in this shot at all! You have a very pinpoint DOF it seems ... that can be a good or bad thing ... it's all in what you want. If you want everything to be in focus, then you are going to have to have plenty of light and a higher F/stop. :~)
- @imee c. eisaman
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2: Photo Printer
My Epson R800 printer just began losing print quality and three head cleanings didn't help. So, can anyone recommend a new printer? Should I change to a Canon, maybe a Pixma 9000, another Epson? I'm looking in the $400 or under range. I do print for sale. 11X14 would be nice but not necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks!
- Donna L. Jones
I wrote a blog on this that takes a different turn than you might expect. See it here:
From your message, I know you sell prints, but I think it is a common error to think that printing at home saves money. There is the cost of the printer for one, but then time in maintenance, endless materials, cutting and mounting supplies, space for the printer and supplies and mounting. As a former pre-press person, I could deal with it, but choose not to and send EVERYTHING out. It ends up costing me less, is less of a hassle, and I print on printers with much more flexibility than any one I could afford to own (the printer I print on currently costs between $60,000-$100,000), and I make laser light prints via chemical process on photographic paper. My service uses and stocks the best materials, and it all costs less than doing it at home. They'll mount on a variety of materials, and do framing as well.
So my suggestion: print with a service. less hassle, less cost, better results, and THEY eat the mistakes...
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
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
I find that if I do a nozzle check, and it's clogged, I'll run one nozzle cleaning cycle, and then a nozzle check again. If it's still clogged, I just let it sit for a while (powered on), then do a nozzle check again. Oftentimes, the new ink that is trying to go out of the clogged printhead will loosen the clog. In the worst cases, another nozzle clean a day later gets the clog out.
I've also found that, if the first nozzle clean doesn't clean it out, additional nozzle clean cycles done immediately after don't help things. It's best to let the printer sit for a while so the new ink can soften the old clog.
Re new printers, the new Epson Clarion ink printers offer the color gamut of dyes and the permanence of inks. The R280 would be somewhat equivalent in terms of capabilities to your R800.

But, I'd try waiting a day between nozzle cleaning cycles, with the occasional nozzle check thrown in to help keep wet ink behind the clogs.
Something else... try to print something at least once a week, even if it's just a nozzle check (uses very little ink).

- John G. Clifford Jr
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