The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 15, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Lighting/Exposure...
Q&A 2: How To Convert Fr...
Q&A 1: Photo Shoot - W...

"The class that I just finished with you was my 10th with BP. I am hooked! I just wanted to thank you not only for this class(Storytelling Nature Photos), but also for the course (Impact in Your Photographs: The Wow Factor) I took with you 3 years ago. I am grateful that you treated me with respect and gave me good advice. " -Maria Coulson, student in two of Rob Sheppard's online courses

Learn new skills that will enable you to work as a professional photographer for businesses. 4-week course by John Siskin. Note: This is an update of John's previous Assignment Photography class.

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...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 68119 serious photographers.
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Great Light for Outdoor Portraits ... by Ibarionex Perello
The kind of light I often favor is open shade. I don't like the look of direct sunlight in many of my portraits, because the contrast is often too high and you get some harsh shadows on the face particularly beneath the brow, the nose and chin. By finding some open shade, I have the benefit of more diffused and soft light, which produces a more pleasing result. A cloudy or overcast day is an ideal time to be making portraits because it provides the same kind of soft light provided by open shade.
I received a great tip from a great photographer and fellow BetterPhoto instructor, Neil Silverman. While we were walking in San Francisco making photographs, he pointed out that it was a good idea to look at the light reflected off large white surfaces like a building. The light reflected off the wall produced an amazing quality of light, which is just beautiful. It's similar to the quality of light produced by a giant softbox. It's taught me to not only pay attention to where the original light source is coming from, but also what it is reflecting off of.
Editor's Note: Learn more about Ibarionex Perello and his BP online courses.

Featured Gallery
Grand Staircase
© - Leslie McLain

Welcome to the 425th issue of SnapShot!

We are thrilled to welcome two new additions to our talented BetterPhoto Instructors Team! Read about Lynne Eodice and her awesome new 4-week class - Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images. Also, read all about Deborah and her exciting new 4-week course - Digital Infrared Photography. Their classes will join our July school session of 4-week and 8-week courses. ... Also coming up next month is the photographic event of the season: BetterPhoto Summit. July is the best time to visit Seattle and we're thrilled to be holding the next BetterPhoto Summit there. Join us in Seattle, July 25th for a day of learning and inspiration and a special V.I.P. 1-Day Workshop, July 26th. Ask the pros questions and meet people who share your passion for photography. Learn more about the Summit... ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Father's Day is coming right up - June 21st - and do we have some outstanding BetterPhoto gift suggestions. Check them out... Check out the following awesome new 4-week courses that have joined our July lineup:
- Business to Business: Commercial Photography
- Elements For Nature Photographers
- The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Camera
- Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images
- Digital Infrared Photography Check out our What's New page for links to photos, announcements, etc.

Photo Q&A

1: Lighting/Exposure Issues
I take lots of outdoor photos (with Nikon D300), such as the attached photo of my daughter at the beach. If I center-weight my exposure, she looks fine but the backgound is washed out. If I don't center-weight the exposure, the background looks fine and her features are dark, so I need to edit and "fill light" them picture. After that, my contrast and blacks are screwed up, so it takes some time to get the photo looking right. Aside from constantly using a fill flash (which I don't see much of with other outdoor D300 users), what settings can I use to get my daughter and the background to expose better?
- Celeste McWilliamsSee Sample Photo - Lighting Issue

Celeste, you're on the right track to think of fill flash. Try expoisng for the background, even underexposing by a stop or so, then use fill flash at ttl and plus/minus flash exposure as needed. You might have to take one or two test shots to find the right balance, but your photos will be much improved with less editing. I recommend an off-camera flash for the most pleasing results.
- John Rhodes
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2: How To Convert From Color To B&W
I've tried several different ways to convert color images to black and white but the image always looks flat and blah! I want to make the image pop and look nice.
Any suggestions? Thank you!!!
- Tammy J. Russotto
Hello Tammy,
Even though you have converted the original to B&W, the colors are still affecting the look of the image.
I use Photoshop and use the "convert to B&W" tool. I then will play with the color sliders and see how they affect the look of the photo. Contrast and the correct white balance will also affect the look as well as levels and curves.
Hope this helps!
- Carlton Ward
Don't know if it makes a lot of difference, but before I convert, I run an action for enhancing the colors and also adjust for better saturation using the Variance tool or Curves. Then I convert. I feel like it gets the tones better represented and the contrasts amd details more enhanced.
- Jesse C. Plummer
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1: Photo Shoot - What to Charge?

Hello: I work for a manufacturing company, and they have asked me to submit a proposal to do a photo shoot of some equipment for advertising. They will be using images for a brochure and on their web site. Being new at this, I need some advice on how and what to charge? Should I charge for the session and then any individual images or a flat rate? Pleas if anyone could help me it would be of great gratitude Thank you.
- Eric S. Rundle

Hi Eric,
I can’t tell you what to charge. This depends on your market and on the perception of your talent that the client holds. Certainly, a potential client will not have the same perception of an unknown that they might have of an established professional.
What I can tell you is that doing business with a business is very different from working with a portrait wedding business. A portrait/wedding photographer will charge a lower fee for the shoot than would be appropriate for the time involved in the shoot. The photographer will make up for that by selling prints. So you might have a $75.00 sitting fee, and get an additional $300.00 from print sales. That doesn’t work with a business. There will be no significant after-money from the shoot. So I charge a client based on the time involved in the work.
When I do a job for a new company, the first thing I establish is when we will start. If they are not available at this agreed-upon time, I charge them anyway. The primary thing I am selling them is my time. If they try to change the time with less than a day before the start time, I charge them. Have respect for their budget, be on time, be ready to work, do not spend time on the phone. It is important to me to give a client precisely what they wanted. If that means an extra hour in Photoshop, to clean up my oversight, then I do this. I am not looking for a quick profit, but for a long-time business relationship. Currently, I have a client I work for more than once a month. The advantage of a long-term relationship with a client is more important than a few quick dollars.
I would also encourage you to give the client the files for the company to keep. If you have been asked to produce creative art of the company, I can understand licensing the images for a particular usage over a specific time. But if you made product shots, this is more craft than art. Remember, if your client doesn’t make money with your shots, they won’t come back.

- 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: Business to Business: Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
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