The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 08, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Get More S...
Q&A 2: Adobe Lightroom v...
Q&A 1: Macro Photograp...

"This class was so fun, and I learned a lot. Susan and Neil Silverman are wonderful instructors, and I hope I end up in another of their classes in the future. Absolutely a wonderful learning experience! I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about digital photography." -Heather Johnson, student in Understanding Digital Photography.
Note: The Silvermans also teach Tips and Tricks for Digital Photographers.

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Going 'Auto' with Aperture Priority ... by Rob Sheppard
Aperture priority is a fine way to use auto exposure. Many pros do exactly that (including me). I know some photographers would have you always do manual exposure. I used to feel that way years ago, but having worked with so many great camera models over my years at Outdoor Photographer magazine, I don’t feel that way at all.
You can use auto exposure just as effectively as manual exposure if you pay attention to such things as highlight warnings and histograms. You can be just as accurate as manual exposure and faster in many cases. This is not a case for quitting using manual exposure if that works for you, but for feeling guilt-free if you don’t use manual exposure.
Editor's Note: This Photo Tip has been adapted from Rob Sheppard's blog. Learn more about Rob and his excellent online courses.

Featured Gallery
Two Crests
© - David W. Orias

Welcome to the 424th issue of SnapShot!

With June well under way, things are going great here at BetterPhoto, with the latest session of 4-week courses off to a grand start. Still, we can't help looking ahead to July, which will feature two awesome events. ... First, our quarterly 8-week classes return on July 1st. ... Second, the BetterPhoto Summit takes place July 25th in Seattle, WA. At this photo conference, you'll learn new techniques, gain new insights, get inspired, and just plain have fun. In addition, the optional post-Summit Workshop offers a memorable day shooting alongside BetterPhoto's pros. Learn more about the Seattle and NYC Summits... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Rob Sheppard's take on exposure: "Going 'Auto' with Aperture Priority". Also check out a fine collection of questions and answers, as well as two other interesting items: What's New at BetterPhoto? and Looking for Inspiration? ... That's it for this week. Enjoy 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? BetterPhoto's quarterly 8-week classes will begin July 1st. Receive a FREE Polaroid Guide book with your order of Kathleen Carr's inspiring 8-week course: Polaroid/Fuji Image & Emulsion Transfer. Supplies limited - enroll soon! Learn more... If you've been hitting a wall lately, then we have some great ways to get inspired! For example, for BetterPhoto's daily dose of visual inspiration, check out our free Photo of the Day newsletter at the subscription page. ... In addition, check out the past contest winners of our monthly contest.

Photo Q&A

1: How to Get More Sharpness?
Okay. I'm still not getting the sharpness I want. I can't seem to get it right. Am I too far away?
- Wendy WyattSee Sample Photo - Sharpen Me!

You're going to have to up the shutter speed to stop the action quick enough to get the sharpness you're looking for. JMHO
- Ann J. Przyojski
Also, at F2.8, you have a shallow depth of field, which could cause some blurriness. The only other option is to bump the ISO, which will give you faster SS (as Ann P has suggested). But higher ISOs yield higher grain. You should definitely have a noise program, like Noise Ninja...
- Ken Smith
Your noise is coming from being slightly under-exposed.
Your blur is from what the others said about slow shutter speed. The barrel and the front foot of the horse are clear.
You should start at least ISO800 and 1/250 for the shutter speed if you shoot in that same arena.
You'll also have to pan better and use better technique of timing your shots so you won't get as much blur.
- gregory la grange
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2: Adobe Lightroom vs. Adobe Bridge
I'm a bit confused about Lightroom and Bridge. As far as I can tell, they both do pretty much the same thing (only in different ways) as far as organizing photos and editing. If I have Lightroom do I still need to use Bridge? Or does one program replace the other?
- Teresa H. Hunt
Hi Teresa,
Bridge is part of Photoshop and is used more for organizational and as an interface to PS. Lightroom also organizes but also has the ability to edit images (including raw) without needing to open PS.
Lightroom is not as robust as PS but for white balance, levels, curves, color, contrast, etc., it does these edits without needing to open PS. If you still need to edit with layers and filters/plug ins, you will still need to use PS for these type edits.
I have just started using Lightroom, and so far, it is easy and functional. I don't think you can really compare Bridge vs. Lightroom because they are different, and Bridge is free with Photoshop but Lightroom is about $299.
Hope this helps.
- Carlton Ward
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1: Macro Photography

I have a Canon EOS 40D and am seriously considering getting a macro lens but have no idea which one to consider. Does anyone have any suggestions?
- B9th Spencer

Actually, there are several possibilities. The Canon 500D diopter lens will convert any good lens into a great macro lens. It is a lot cheaper than a dedicated macro. I have a Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro, and it takes wonderful images.

- Stan Schretter

Hello B9th,
I have the Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and a macro ringlight. This combo will get you great butterfly, flower, and other macro shots. I get a lot of use out of mine and the most important thing about macro photography is to use a tripod. With a macro lens, even a 1/4-inch movement will change the area of focus and you may not like your results. The tripod will make everything much easier to manage. I also recommend using manual focus and manual camera setting so you can set the DOF you want and focus on the specific area of the subject. There are a couple of macro classes here at BetterPhoto, and once you learn a few basic techniques for shooting macro photography, you will be getting great captures. Another big plus for macro photography is that there is a whole world to explore as close as your backyard :)

- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - 100mm with Macro Ring Flash

Brenda Tharp teaches a couple of Macro classes, including Mastering Macro Nature Photography. I haven't taken her Macro class but I have taken her "Creating Visual Impact" class. It was a wonderful class, and she is a great instructor.
Good luck,

- Carlton Ward

I have the Canon 40D, 50D and 5D MK II, and have both the Canon 100mm and the 180mm macro lenses. Both are excellent. I use the 180 when shooting butterflies and dragonflies, things that get spooked when you get too close. You can't go wrong with either. Good Luck.

- Richard M. Waas
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