The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 19, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Get Just O...
Q&A 2: Trouble with Phot...
Q&A 3: Ballroom Dancing ...

"If you want to think about color, which we all should, Lewis Kemper gets you thinking. New to me was thinking about the relationships and power of colors, and choosing color as the subject. Lewis presents this course as essential tools for the photographer. His feedback on the Q&A is so rapid you could be having a personal dialogue with him, and his critiques are timely and always helpful!" -Deborah Lewinson talking about Compose with Color

Learn and grow with your creative visions at the next BetterPhoto Summit! Meet and learn from the pros, make new friends, and indulge your photographic passions. Learn more about the Summit...

"Hummingbird photography is a serious challenge because the wings are moving at 200 beats per second," writes BP instructor Jim Zuckerman, "and the only way to freeze that motion is with a flash". Read all about it in Jim's photo blog.

For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP Rewards...

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Use Light and Composition to Create Artistic Images
"One of the great advantages of returning to a place after a year is that you’ve had time to review and reflect on what photographs you made, and what you would like to do differently", writes top pro Brenda Tharp in her photo blog. "Having crossed that pass four times now, I am certain that the best light is soft, diffused, even foggy light. When the sun comes out, there are still photos to make, but the mood of the fog/mist just adds so much to the place." ... Read more in Brenda's BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 443rd issue of SnapShot!

Exciting times at BetterPhoto as the next Summit will be here soon! This New York photography conference promises to be our best Summit yet, but if you are thinking about attending, sign up now since seating is limited. See the Summit details... ... Also, we are looking ahead to the next 4-week session of online photo courses. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Brenda Tharp's Photo Tip, Jim Zuckerman's thoughts on photographing hummingbirds, an update item on Deborah Sandidge's awesome new class, and a fine collection of questions and answers. ... That's it for this week. Follow me on Twitter - BetterPhotoJim - and enjoy your photography!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Turn your imagination into photographic art in Deborah Sandidge's new 4-week online course. Then try a 4-week online photography adventure! Our courses are affordable and fit right into your busy schedule, and classes start November 4th. Learn more... Would you like to show - or sell - your photos in an extremely sleek and cool way? Our great-looking Web sites - Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios - are quick to set up and easy to maintain!

Photo Q&A

1: How to Get Just One Color in a B/W photo?
I know in Adobe Photoshop you can add one spot of color in a black and white photo, but I don't know how to do it and I can't find anything in the totally unhelpful manual that came with it. Any hints? Thanks in advance!
- Lee-Anne Shortridge
Hi Lee-Anne,
As usual, there are half a dozen ways to do that. Maybe the simplest method is this:

- Convert your picture to black and white (you can use the channel mixer or the black & white tool (CS3 or later))

- Use the history brush tool to recover the color of the object you want to show in color. Select a tool diameter and hardness that is suitable for the object

Hope this helps.

- Rainer and Simone Hoffmann
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

2: Trouble with Photoshop CS3
I don't know what happened, but I opened an image in Photoshop CS3 and I am trying to use the tools. However, no matter what tool I click on, a hand (like the pan symbol) shows up and I can't do any image corrections. Does anyone know what might have happened and how I can get it functioning again?
- Kelly Dickinson
Hi Kelly,
I had that just a few days ago. Since nothing helped, I restarted the computer and CS3 was working again.
- Rainer and Simone Hoffmann
Next time, just press SPACE ... yeah, that big key on your keyboard.
 Should fix your problem!

- Anita N. Hogue
Also check to make sure your caps lock is off. Sometimes that will screw up photoshop.
- Carolyn Fletcher
Read this Q&A at

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3: Ballroom Dancing Photography
I am going to shoot my first ballroom dance competition, and would like advice on lenses. I have a Canon Mark IIN and thought I would use an 85mm f1.8 and no flash. Any other suggestions? I'll probably use a monopod too. Thanks.
- LInda Y. Hughes
Hi Linda,
My wife and I do a lot of shooting at ballroom dance competitions, although it's usually formation dancing.
The choice of lens depends very much on what type of pictures you want to take and how close you get to the dance floor. You'll certainly need a fast lens, so the 85mm f1.8 seems a good choice to me. However, for some types of pictures, 85mm might not be wide enough, especially with the 1.3 crop factor of the Mark IIn. So, if you have anything wider than 85mm, make sure to have it in your bag as well.
Also, you might want a zoom lens, preferably f2.8, since the dancers are moving all the time (I guess you were not aware of that ;-)) ).
Having said all that, my wife and I often use the 300mm f2.8 and the 500mm f4.0. But those pictures are for graphic design and close-ups, sometimes showing just a detail of a dress or the face of a dancer.
For a start, I would suggest a focal length range from 24mm to 200mm.
If you don't want to use flash, I strongly recommend a monopod.
Hope this helps.
- Rainer and Simone Hoffmann
We rarely use flash except for effects like second curtain sync etc. A f2.8 lens is usually OK, however you will probably have to use ISO 1600 to get reasonably fast shutter speeds.
- Rainer and Simone Hoffmann
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

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