The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, August 17, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Contest Entries: ...
Q&A 2: Indoors with Flas...
Q&A 3: New Compact Camer...
Q&A 4: How to Add Photos...

"Tony Sweet is one of the most creative instructors in the BP lineup. ... The classes are fun, and his examples are inspirational. ... I've taken his Lensbaby class, which was great; this one was equally enjoyable. I strongly recommend him!" - Janice LeCocq, student in High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography

Learn new techniques, gain great insights, get inspired, and have a fun time too. The next BetterPhoto Summit takes place Oct. 31st in one of the world's most visually exciting cities. But that's not all. The optional post-Summit Workshop (Nov. 1st) is a unique event in which you'll spend a memorable day shooting alongside BP's pros. Learn more...

What an exciting goal that Ansel Adams had: Create a masterpiece every month! Now BetterPhoto is paying homage to this legendary photographer with our Masterpiece of the Month Membership. As a Masterpiece member, you'll receive monthly assignments, private newsletters, and be eligible for rewards not offered with a basic membership. How cool is that!?! Learn more...

Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are easy to set up, easy to maintain, look great, and with the streaming music option, sound great too! Buy a Web site for you or for the photographer in your life. Learn more...

Check out our popular What's New page for links to photos, announcements, etc.

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 70095 serious photographers.
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The Impact of Black-and-White by Rob Sheppard
"Black-and-white photography has gained a resurgence of interest that is well-deserved", writes BetterPhoto instructor Rob Sheppard in a recent photo blog. "But it has to be good. The simple conversion of color to black-and-white through any program using one option such as Grayscale or Desaturate is often disappointing. The key to a good conversion is to think of it as a translation of color to specific shades of gray. The wrong shades of gray will make a photo look bad, yet the right shades of gray will make it look great.

"The latest versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have good black-and-white conversion features that can be helpful if you really play with the controls rather than simply accepting the first look you see. This can definitely mean some playing around with those adjustments, seeing bad black-and-white and good. I like the controls in Lightroom 2, which are similar to those in Photoshop CS4 in that you can create an 'activated cursor' where you click the cursor on something in the photo, the program finds the right color for you, and you drag the cursor up and down (Lightroom) or left and right (CS4) to get the color the right shade of gray.

"I also think very highly of Nik Software Silver Efex if you are really serious about black-and-white. This is a plug-in for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. It has a lot of presets that can quickly get you a look you like, plus it has a lot of control over how colors are changed to gray as well as quickly giving you overall control of the tonality and contrast of the image."

Editor's Note: Learn more about Rob Sheppard and his excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto!

Featured Gallery
Laguna Beach After Sunset HDR
© - Thomas J. Sebourn

Welcome to the 434th issue of SnapShot!

If you're still waiting for a good reason to enroll in one of our famous online courses, then you've come to the right place. We have 10 awesome reasons why you should be jumping into class and taking your photography to the next level. Read our Top Ten list here... ... Besides eagerly anticipating our September school session, we are also looking ahead to the informational and inspirational photo event of the season: this fall's BetterPhoto Summit in New York City. See the Summit details... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Rob Sheppard's Photo Tip on B&W photography, plus a fine selection of questions and answers. ... Also, are you following me on Twitter? If not, you should be ;) - check out BetterPhotoJim ... That's it for this week. Enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Learn how to take your photography to the next level by discovering how to see, control and use light. Read the details about this exciting new 4-week class by top pro Ibarionex Perello. Class kicks off on Sept. 2nd. Then try a 4-week online photography adventure! Our courses are affordable and fit right into your busy schedule. See the September listings...

Too soon? Our quarterly 8-week courses return on Oct. 7th. Check out the 8-week schedule...

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, view the past contest winners of our monthly contest.

Photo Q&A

1: Contest Entries: How to Find them?
Can anyone tell me how to keep up with the photos that I have entered into the daily contest? I would like to be able to go to a particular page to see all the photos I have entered and whether they have won anything or not. Help? Thanks in advance!
- Jennifer Dent
You can always pull up your contest entries for the current month. In your Member Center, click on the "Better Photos" tab. Look on the left-hand side, and you'll see a link called "Contest Entries." All of your entries will be right there and you can click on them to see if they have an Editor's Pick.
- Ken Smith
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

2: Indoors with Flash and Fluorescent Lighting
I have been asked to shoot some images in a nursing home facility of residents and staff. Each image will only have 2 people in the composition. The lighting would be under fluorescent lights. I have a Canon 5d and the Canon 550EX flash. I usually shoot landscapes/floral images and avoid using flash. Any advice regarding settings to use on the camera and flash would be helpful. I usually shoot aperture priority.
- Beverly Burke
Hello Beverly,
I have had to do the same before and shooting raw will give you a lot of latitude for adjusting your White Balance Temp in ACR with post processing.
Do a couple of test shots and be aware of walls and shadows. I would try to keep the people away from the walls but still try to find a nice background. You may also look for an open window for more natural lighting to get away from the fluorescent lighting. Try bouncing your flash off the ceiling as it should help cut down harsh shadows but you have to also beware of the walls/ceilings color as this can cast their color onto your subjects.
Hope this helps!
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

3: New Compact Camera: What to Get?
I would like information about suggestions for purchasing a new compact digital camera for travel purposes. I am currently using a Canon PowerShot A710 IS. Thank you for any suggestions that you give me.
- Dalne M. Dola
For my travel camera - the one I always have with me - I look for the following:
1. Must use common batteries as a power source. Likely, batteries expire at inconvenient times and locations. I elect to pop in new AA batteries that can be purchased anywhere as apposed to recharge devices and their batteries.
2. An eye lever viewfinder because LCD viewing screens fail me in bright light; however, I do want both.
3. Sufficient image density to allow 8x10 and perhaps 11x14 even if cropped.
4. A reasonable zoom and close-up capability.
5. Fits in my pocket.
6. Image viewing on LCD with a slideshow. Plus, outputs to a TV for viewing.
7. SD memory chip.
8. Cost reasonably low - quality high.
9. Auto point-and-shoot with plenty of assist modes.
Canon A1000 IS - my choice.
- Alan N. Marcus
Thank you! You understood the need, and I will certainly look at it. The one I have has served me well, but think I would like something else. Again, many thanks!
- Dalne M. Dola
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4: How to Add Photos in a Discussion Thread
I have seen several people who have added an alternate view of a picture they have taken in the comment portion of the picture. How do you do this?
- Brad Harding
At the end of the discussion thread - below the box where you input your comment - you'll see the Upload Image Option area. A small select box lets you choose the number of photos for uploading. From there, click on Submit and follow the prompts for uploading.
- Jessica Jenney
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