The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 22, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Mountain Photogra...
Q&A 1: Metering with a...
Q&A 2: Rates for Shoot...

"This was an excellent course... Jennifer Wu had fresh ideas and techniques that I had not read or learned in other courses. You will be glad you took this course as it will bring you new skills that you can employ immediately!"-Doug Solis, student in Nature and Landscape Photography: Composition

Discover how to successfully use your Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera in this new 4-week course by Ibarionex Perello.

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Finding Great Locations When Traveling ... by Jim Zuckerman
The key to finding great places when I travel is the Internet. In the past, I used travel books, calendars, magazine articles, and post cards to give me ideas of what to shoot in foreign countries – or even in the U.S. when I left home. With the all-encompassing Internet, I now use this incredible resource to find natural and man-made subjects anywhere on earth.
An example is a photo I took in Piran, Slovenia, a beautiful coastal town in what used to be Yugoslavia. It is almost due east of Venice, Italy. I found a picture of this place online, and I thought it was so pretty that I planned a stop there on my five-week European stock shoot. I had never heard of this city before, but I was glad I took the time to shoot it!
Editor's Note: Learn more about Jim Zuckerman and his outstanding BetterPhoto courses

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 426th issue of SnapShot!

Our quarterly 8-week courses are returning next week! Now's your chance to study photography or Photoshop at a more "leisurely" pace. See our July 8-week schedule. ... But if you'd like things fast and fun, then check out our 4-week classes, which also kick off on July 1st. ... In addition, July is the best time to visit Seattle, so sign up and join us July 25th for a day of learning and inspiration and a special V.I.P. 1-Day Workshop on July 26th! Read all about the Summit... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Jim Zuckerman's excellent Photo Tip, plus a fine group of questions and enlightening answers. ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Then take a 4-week or 8-week online photography course! It's affordable and fits right into your busy schedule. Best yet, these courses are taught by top pros and are fully interactive. Learn more... SnapShot is just one of four free newsletters that BetterPhoto publishes on photography and Photoshop. For details and to subscribe... 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.

Photo Q&A

1: Mountain Photography
We are planning a trip to CA and NV next month and would like to get advice from others about taking pictures of the mountains. I have several pictures of my trip to Yellowstone last year on my website, but was not prepared for the problems. I would like to know what is the best gear to have when taking pictures of mountains? Thanks for any help.
Hello Misty,
You need a wide-angle lens, a tripod, and you will want to use as much depth of field as possible like f/22 or f/36 (if your lens allows it). Ansel Adams used to shoot at f/94 in Yosemite. You may also consider shooting for HDR if you have a contrasting foreground, mountain and sky.
My example shot of Mt. Si was done in late afternoon with a hard shadow line from the setting sun. The foreground with the grass/red barn, the mountain & the sky all required different exposures so I bracketed the shots and combined them as an HDR image.
If you are going to Yosemite, there is a bridge that has a nice view of Half Dome and as the sun is setting, you can get some great colors and beautiful shots. There will be several photographers set up there, so its hard to miss the spot.
Have fun!
- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - Mt. Si at Sunset

You might also consider a graduated neutral density filter to keep exposure on the sky, especially during sunrise/sunset, or if it's cloudy.
- Ken Smith
If you want foreground flowers in your shot to be in focus, as well as the distant landscape, by all means go for a deep depth of field, meaning small f-stops. If everything of importance is distant, go for the aperture two or three stops smaller than your maximum aperture. Most lenses are at their sharpest a couple of f-stops down.
Digital SLR's (and a few compacts) give you Raw capability. If it seems you blew out some highlights, you might recover some detail in your Raw processing.
- Doug Nelson
Picturesque mountain vistas are like any other scenics. It's all about available light, composition, point of perspective and one's own inner-vision.
As others have mentioned, wide-angle lenses can fill those foregrounds and backgrounds with grandiose splendor. Getting low to the ground and stopping down the lens to focus on those bright flowers or other objects at your feet can create a point of interest ... which is augmented by the towering peaks of that far-away mountain range and a picturesque distant sky. This is how many great landscape photographs are created (but one must be ever cognizant of cliche).
One may also contemplate a different perspective - for example, one that implements the use of long telephoto lenses to compress the scene and focus interest upon a small portion of the mountainscape.
Perhaps one may opt to portray how a particularly interesting single tree or bush contrasts its rugged surroundings... or how those near and distant peaks and hillsides interact to create dramatic "folds" of light and shadow.
Or, one may decide upon the "naked eye view" and select a standard lens perspective (35-60 mm) to portray the scene exactly as they perceived it.
No matter what lens or angle of perspective one chooses, shooting at sunrise or sunset will accentuate the mountainscape far beyond what midday light will yield.
- Bob Cammarata
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1: Metering with a Polarizing Filter

I just added a Circular Polarizing filter to my 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron on my Canon 40D. Is there any need to modify the metering mode of the camera? Most of the time I'm using the Evaluative mode. Should I go more to a center-weighted mode? Or does it matter?
- Dan W. Dooley

Hello Dan,
I love my CP filter. I do quite a bit of waterfall/landscape shots, and it really helps with water reflections, the sky and allowing more detail of darker areas of a scene. I had a cheaper one but opted for the B&W Kaeseman polarizing filter, which isn't cheap but my thought is that I shoot with L glass and do not want to place a cheap optic over my quality lens.
Since I am usually shooting a landscape scene, I use EV a lot (although I don't think it matters too much), but I also manually focus my lens and use a lot of DOF like f/22 or f/32 so that as much of the image is in focus as possible. I rotate the filter to where I like the look of the scene, then check my exposure and adjust for how the CP filter is affecting the exposure.
I always use a tripod/remote shutter release and have lately been doing more multiple exposures for HDR imaging.
Have fun Dan!

- Carlton Ward
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2: Rates for Shooting Real Estate, Restaurants?

I have been approached about taking photos of local real estate and restaurant buildings. I have never done this type of work before and am seeking advice on how to price this type of work. There are approximately 20 locations within a 30-mile radius and then about 30 more locations statewide. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.
- Jaime Finseth

Hi Jaime,
I can’t tell you what to charge. I don’t know what your market will accept. What I can tell you is that before you assign a price, you should define the level of quality you need to achieve. For instance, I have done the quick-and-dirty method, on-camera flash and walk through the site. Then the client might need something more - I’ve done work with two lights and the camera on a tripod. This takes more time, so the client needs to pay more. Finally there are times when I show up with more than half a dozen lights and spend hours getting the shot just right. All of this depends on the kind of image the client needs. With the quick-and-dirty method - the first one I described - I might shoot 10 sites in a day. Obviously, this is much less expensive than method 3. However, if the client only has one site for me to shoot on a day, I have to charge more than if there are several sites, even if the site doesn’t take a long time. I hope this helps!

- 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
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