The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, May 11, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Help: Raw Files...
Q&A 2: Three Key Lenses:...
Q&A 1: Adding Copyrigh...

"Taking Photoshop 101 finally helped me break through the Photoshop wall! I had read other intro material that just did not pull it together as well as this class." -Kevin Burke, student in Richard Lynch's Photoshop 101: The Photoshop Essentials Primer course

For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about our "frequent flier" plan - MVBP Rewards!

Each month, BetterPhoto offers a creative new theme for one of its 10 contest categories. Check out current and previous themes and bookmark the page. ... Incidentally, if you are a member, student, or BetterPholio website owner, you can access the contest and upload photos via your Member Center!

At BetterPhoto, we have an awesome schedule of online PhotoCourses on light and exposure. These interactive online classes are taught by top pros.

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Use the LCD to Your Creative Advantage ... by Rob Sheppard
"I believe that the LCD is one of the most important new tools that we have for digital cameras," writes BP instructor Rob Sheppard in his recent photo blog. "It is like an instant Polaroid. You can use it to check composition, sharpness, flash exposure, color balance, regular exposure and more.
"While it is true that it is not color managed the way your computer monitor is and you are not seeing a complete representation of a Raw file, it is still extremely helpful. You can learn to interpret your camera's LCD so that you know how it responds to images and how that relates to the same images open on your computer monitor.
"LCD monitors are a lot better today and easier to see in bright light, but still, bright light can make them hard to see. You have to 'train' yourself to see the LCD. If you simply decide that you 'can’t' use the LCD, I will guarantee that you won’t. However, if you push yourself to really use the LCD, you can use it for more than just composition checks. Checking sharpness, for example, is an important use. I use the LCD for that all the time. You do need to magnify your image in the LCD to really see focus, however, but that is easy to do on all cameras."
Editor's Note: Learn more about Rob Sheppard and his excellent BetterPhoto courses.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 420th issue of SnapShot!

Great news: We now have two BetterPhoto Summits on the 2009 schedule! With a Summit on each coast, you don't have an excuse for signing up and joining the fun. ;) The events include the just-announced Seattle Summit (July 25th) and the New York City Summit (Oct. 31st). See the Summit details... Want a great photo vacation but can't afford the time off? Then enroll in a 4-week or 8-week online photography course! It's affordable and fits right into your busy schedule. Learn more about our school... In this issue, don't miss Rob Sheppard's excellent Photo Tip, plus a fine batch of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Have fun, learn, and share ... without the expense of an on-location workshop! A 4-week or 8-week online photography course is affordable and fits right into your busy schedule. See the school schedule... Give your photography a creative jolt at the awesome BetterPhoto Summit in Seattle (July 25th) or New York City (Oct. 31st)! Sign up now to take advantage of early-bird pricing and to give yourself greater odds to win the Summit Contest.
Note: The optional post-Summit Workshop is a special opportunity to shoot side by side with a top professional ... while expanding your skills, learning new techniques, and having a lot of fun. If you've been hitting a wall lately, then we have some great ways to get inspired! For example, check out BetterPhoto's free Photo of the Day newsletter at the subscription page.

Photo Q&A

1: Help: Raw Files
I have just purchased a Canon 50D and I shoot in Raw. However, when I try to open the files in Adobe, it is telling me the files are not the correct kind of document. This is a new one on me, and I haven't a clue where to start looking. I don't want to go back to shooting in JPEG. Any help sure would be grateful.
- Lynne Morris
The camera makers' Raw files are proprietary formats, and are updated when each generation of sensor and processor. You need to update to the latest version of Adobe's Camera Raw plug-in. Or use Canon's supplied software for Raw conversion.
- Jon Close
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2: Three Key Lenses: Which Ones?
I recently purchased a Canon 50D (kit) - and am thinking about doing photography full time. I am looking at three recommended lenses to purchase to get started. Looking to do portrait and events primarily, with some sports. Any advice would be appreciated!
- Roberta Esch
Hi Roberta
I do recommend a 24-70mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-5.6, and a macro lens either a 50mm or a 105mm. Depending on your budget, you can go for Sigma lenses or any third party as they are cheaper than Canon lenses and provide a high quality.
What kit lens did you buy? With my 50D, I got the 18-200mm, but was not impressed with it.
Good luck. ka.
- Karim Abiali
Hi Roberta,
I agree with Karim about the 24-70mm f/2.8L and would add the 70-200mm L (Canon makes four different versions of this lens and they are all good), and then for the 3rd lens, I would get specific about what you want to shoot. If you need low light capability, consider the 50mm f/1.4 or the 85mm f/1.8 prime lenses. For macro work, the Canon 100mm is a great lens, and for wildlife/birds, you may consider the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5L IS. If you are wanting to shoot landscapes, the 16-35mm or the 17-40mm are great lenses, or you may consider the 10-22mm (this is an EF-S lens) that will ONLY work on APS-C sensors (1.6 crop) like the 50D, but will not work on full-frame cameras like the 5D or 1DS series. If you consider going full frame, this is something to keep in mind.
Hope this helps,
- Carlton Ward
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1: Adding Copyright to Images

Can you guys let me know who I can add a copyright image/my logo to my digital images? I have Photoshop CS4. Thank you very much in advance!
- Lena Antaramian

Hello Lena,
Select the type tool and then hold the "alt" key while typing 0169 to get the copyright symbol or on a MAC its "Option G" - then type your 2009 Lena A or whatever you wish. You can also select the type font and size. Then by clicking on the right side of the type layer that is created you will get other options to further alter the way the text looks. Embossing, stroke, gradient, satin overlay, etc.
You can also click on the layer and select the color palette and use the eyedropper to select another color. I usually select a color that exists in a specific photo so that it blends better with the image. Then you can use the opacity slider to soften/blend in the image as well.
Hope this helps. I like using the type tool and enjoy experimenting with the enhancement options.
Have fun!

- Carlton Ward
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