The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 29, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Pricing for Comme...
Q&A 2: Canon 300mm lens ...
Q&A 3: Nikon 70 - 200mm ...
Q&A 1: Shooting City L...

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Utilizing Effective Framing Elements by Lynne Eodice
Using a foreground element to create a frame within the photo’s frame can be a very effective compositional tool. The framing element not only isolates and emphasizes a subject, but also gives the picture a feeling of depth. It can also serve to obscure distracting details or to create an interesting foreground where none exists.
Some frames, like an overhanging tree branch, seem so natural that we’re not always conscious of their presence, just the pleasing effects. Framing devices work best when they’re somehow thematically related to the subject, such as a tree branch framing an interesting rock formation in the background—both are objects found in nature.
Editor's Note: Check out Lynne Eodice's excellent new BetterPhoto course: Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 427th issue of SnapShot!

For a great photo vacation, check out our online photography courses, which kick off this Wednesday (July 1st). Our 4-week and 8-week courses are affordable and fit right into your busy schedule. Best yet, these classes are taught by top pros and are fully interactive. Learn more... ... More news: The awesome BetterPhoto Summit is less than a month away! At the July 25th BetterPhoto Summit in Seattle, you'll learn new techniques, gain new insights, get inspired, and have a lot of fun too. But that's not all. The optional post-Summit Workshop is a unique event in which you'll spend a memorable day shooting alongside BetterPhoto's pros. See the Summit details ... ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to read instructor Lynne Eodice's excellent Photo Tip ("Utilizing Effective Framing Elements"). ... That's it for now. Enjoy your week of photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Now's your chance to study photography or Photoshop at a more "leisurely" pace. See our July 8-week schedule... If you'd like things fast and fun, then consider BetterPhoto's 4-week school, which includes these exciting new courses:
- Business to Business: Commercial Photography by John Siskin.
- Elements For Nature Photographers with Kevin Moss
- The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Camera with Ibarionex Perello
- Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images with Lynne Eodice
- Digital Infrared Photography with Deborah Sandidge Learn how to be sensitive to light, one of the two main ingredients that go into making great photographs. This outstanding 4-week course - Techniques of Natural Light Photography - begins July 1st!

Photo Q&A

1: Pricing for Commercial Use
I may have my first paying shoot for a commercial use, and don't know how the whole copyright and pricing thing works. I know what to charge to go to the sight and take the picture, but don't have a clue as to what to tell them price wise for using my photo in their advertising. Thanks
- Wendy Wyatt
Hi Wendy,
I don’t like to give prices, especially on a commercial job, because the circumstances of each job can be very different. However, I would say that pricing a commercial job is different from pricing a portrait job. A portrait photographer gives an artificially low price, and expects to make his/her profit on the print order. Consequently, it is vital to retain control of the files.
When you do a job for a business, however, you will have to provide them with a copy of the finished files. They will need it for their advertising, whether on the Web or in print. Most businesses will not understand if you give them a bill that shows fees for the shoot and usage fees. It is easier to maintain a good relationship with the client if you do not try to tack on fees. Having said this, you can charge much more for a commercial shoot than you would get for a portrait. If you work for an ad agency, you have a much better chance of getting usage fees.
Don’t give your work away, but make it easy for the business to pay you.
- 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
Read this Q&A at

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2: Canon 300mm lens 1.5 or .3m?
I have a Canon 300mm f/4L lens and a question for which I cannot find an answer. What is the difference between the 1.5 and .3m settings, and when is each appropriate? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
- Nevia Cashwell
It's the limit on close focus. Set to 3m if your subject is farther than that and the lens will focus a bit faster and not risk a long search from infinity to 1.5m if it loses focus. Use 1.5m setting when your subject is closer.
- Jon Close
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3: Nikon 70 - 200mm f2.8 vs. 200mm f2
I do a lot of sports photograph - some during the day and some "under the lights." I want to upgrade to my lenses to either the 70-200 f2.8 or the 200mm f2. Is there that much difference in .8? Thanks.
- Scott D. Matthews
Both the new lenses have VR (vibration reduction), which will help correct blur from camera shake at slower shutter speeds. But VR doesn't help to freeze subject motion.
The ".8" difference in maximum aperture between f/2.8 and f/2 is one full stop of aperture. f/2 gives twice as much light as f/2.8, allowing 2x higher shutter speed. For example, if you're at ISO 400 f/2.8 and 1/125, then at f/2 you could use 1/250 shutter speed.
The much larger maximum aperture means a much larger/heavier/expensive lens.
- Jon Close
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1: Shooting City Lights/Skyline

How do I shoot a city skyline at night? I don't want to get those "flashes" of light of the lamp post or highway light poles. How do I avoid or get rid of the overpowering lights? Thanks for any help or advice,
- Victoria Huntress

Hi Vicki,
When you shoot city skylines at night, be sure and turn your camera's flash off. Use a tripod or another type of solid support for your camera, since your exposure will be one second or longer. Use aperture priority on your digital camera. Set your aperture to a setting of f/11, 13, 16 or 22. This should help you achieve more of a "star" effect when capturing lights of lamp posts or highway light poles, and these lights should appear more attractive that way. Hope this helps!

All the best,
Lynne Eodice
BetterPhoto Instructor

- Lynne Eodice

See Lynne Eodice's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Lynne Eodice:
4-Week Short Course: Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

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