The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Friday, May 15, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Which Zoom Lens...
Q&A 1: Lighting for Ma...

"This was only my second course at BetterPhoto, but it was fantastic. ... Jim Zuckerman pushed me to achieve more, and even corrected my photos to demonstrate his concepts. ... I am now able to identify common faults in my photos - even before I click the shutter! Loved it!" -Amy Horn, student in Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision

We offer two fine 8-week courses taught by top pros: Wedding Photography Techniques: An Introduction and Digital Wedding Photography.

Treat yourself to an easy gift-buying experience, while also giving your favorite photographer something really special! Consider a BetterPhoto Gift Card.

Being a BP student means that you have access to all things BetterPhoto, including the monthly contest and Forum! Learn more about our classes...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 67239 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Use the LCD to Your Creative Advantage ... by Rob Sheppard
Some thoughts from BetterPhoto instructor Rob Sheppard's "PhotoDigitary blog":
I believe that the LCD is one of the most important new tools that we have for digital cameras. It is like an instant Polaroid. You can use it to check composition, sharpness, flash exposure, color balance, regular exposure and more. ... A few specifics:
-Learn to interpret it. This means paying attention to how it displays images then comparing that display to how the images look on the computer.
-Shield it from direct sunlight. Turn your body or use a hat to block the sun.
-Look at the LCD as a little picture, not just a view of your image file. Do you like that picture? Would you change it?
-Scan the edges of the LCD to be sure the photo works there as well as in the center and other key points.
-For exposure, check highlight and shadow detail, as well as the histogram.
-If you are shooting action, avoid checking the LCD constantly as this will take you away from the action. Do your checking when there are breaks in that action.
Editor's Note: Rob Sheppard teaches many courses here at BetterPhoto, including Guaranteed Better Photography and Successful Publication Photography

Featured Gallery
Fight Season
© - Mark Oxley

Welcome to the 421st issue of SnapShot!

Awesome news to kick off the new week: Our two-day 2-for-1 Super Sale starts today (May 18th)! Get two years for the price of one on a Deluxe or Pro BetterPholio. This offer is good for both new sign-ups and renewals. Having your own web site is such a great way to showcase your photography. But act now, since this sale comes and goes so quickly - also, please feel free to tell your friends so no one misses out on this special offer. More details here... In other news, we've just posted the June schedule of 4-week online courses. See the school listings here... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Rob Sheppard's excellent Photo Tip on getting the most out of your digital camera's LCD monitor. That's it for now. Have an outstanding week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Don't miss this great bargain! For two days only (today and Tuesday, May 18-19), you can get two years for the price of one! Whether you have been considering a new Deluxe website or need to renew, get two years for just $199. In addition, our Pro website or renewal is also on sale ... two years for just $349. This offer applies only to those orders paid in full, and this sale cannot be used in combination with any other discount. Learn more... A 4-week or 8-week online photography course is very affordable and fits right into your busy schedule. Learn more about BetterPhoto's online school... Make 2009 a year to remember: Attend one of our inspirational, and enlightening, BetterPhoto Summits! Join us in Seattle (July 25th) or New York City (Oct. 31st). Sign up now to get early-bird pricing and to have a better shot at winning the Summit Contest.

Photo Q&A

1: Which Zoom Lens
I am shooting action photography (lots of horses) with a Sigma 80-200mm lens. I'm wondering if there would be a better lens for when I'm not allowed in the arena with my subjects. I have a Canon EOS 30D. Thanks.
- Wendy Wyatt
Hi Wendy,
You may consider a 1.4 or 2.0 extender to give your 80-200 lens more reach, or consider a longer lens. The extenders will cost you 1 & 2 stops, respectively, but if it's a f/2.8 lens, you will be fine with this.
I have the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, and it needs decent lighting but it is sharp. There are lots more options as Sigma and Tamron both make longer lenses you may like.
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:
1: Lighting for Macro

What type of flash equipment have you found effective in shooting macro? Ring light flash? Currently I have a Canon 20D and the 100mm macro lens. Can't afford the $600 or so price tag now. Any suggestions? I already have the 430 flash.
- Stephanie Halstead

I purchased the MR-14EX TTL Macro Ring Lite Flash by accident, for my 100mm macro f2.8 lens. This model was meant for dental work, but it works really well for even lighting with macros, plus allows lighting ratios to be set, which I use all the time. B&H sells this flash for only $420.00 new and currently has a 9+ (condition) used model for $329.00. Of course, the better one, which I should have purchased, is the MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Ringlite Flash, which is $615.00 after rebate.
Keep the 430EX. You may be able to use it with the ring light as a slave unit out of the hot shoe.

- Bunny  . Snow

Hi Stephanie,
There are several options. First, there are still ring lights that are not dedicated, starting at less than $80 at B&H. You will need to set the camera manually in order to use this.
If you shoot with a static subject, you can use other strobes or a quartz light for this work. I also noticed that someone had modified a bundt pan for this kind of lighting. This link ( will take you to an article I did about micro photography with a microscope. You can get a decent scope and accessories for about $150.00. Thanks.

- 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 See Sample Photo - Adverb

Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

Unsubscribe | Change Email Address | SnapShot Archives | Recommend to a Friend

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding to your Allow List.
The sender of this email is the BetterPhoto.comŽ, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

Copyright 2009 BetterPhoto.comŽ - All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.
BetterPhoto is a trademark of BetterPhoto.comŽ, Inc.