The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 26, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Shoot In...
Q&A 2: Taking Night Ph...
Q&A 3: Studio On-Site ...

"Ibarionex Perello can change forever the way you think about photography! Forget all those categories about the 'kinds of photos' you shoot. For him, it is all about the light. ... In this course, you begin to experience how he sees the world and you also will begin to 'pursue the light'. The impact on your images is immediate. My only regret in this course is that it was over too soon, but the impact won't go away!" -Janice LeCocq, student in The Pursuit of Light.

Note: Instructor and pro photographer Ibarionex Perello will join Jim Miotke, George Schaub, and Kerry Drager as a featured speaker and workshop leader at this coming weekend's BetterPhoto Summit.

Learn new techniques, gain great insights, meet the pros, and have a fun time too. But act quickly, since the BetterPhoto Summit is coming up this weekend! Learn more about the Summit...

Discover how to make creative use of fast and slow shutter speeds in an exciting 4-week online photo course - Photographing Motion.

Learn how to make images that grab viewers’ attention - by the creative use of f-stops - in Rob Sheppard's 4-week online photo course. Learn more about f-stops...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 71771 serious photographers.
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Camera and Memory Card Speeds: What It All Means
Outdoor Photographer columnist Rob Sheppard finds that there is "still some confusion as to camera speeds and memory card speeds". In his excellent new blog at BetterPhoto Instructor Insights, Rob clears up the misconceptions. Read about it here...

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 444th issue of SnapShot!

The Summit is almost here! These photo conferences are always exciting - and extremely motivating too. We all need a creative jolt from time to time, and what better place to get inspired than at this weekend's BetterPhoto Summit? After all, it takes place in one of the world's great cities! But you'll need to sign up now, since time is running out. See the New York City Summit details here... ... Looking ahead to next week, the November school session begins, with a great lineup of 4-week online photo courses. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out Rob Sheppard's Photo Tip (on memory card and camera speeds), Deborah Sandidge's blog on Photoshop plugins, and some very fine questions and answers. ... Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in New York City!

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Our online photography courses are truly MOTIVATING! You'll get direct access to REAL PROS.
See the November school schedule...
Find out how our online classes work... "Fall color is magic!", writes pro photographer Deborah Sandidge. In her BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog, she tells - and shows - how the color of a scene was accentuated by fog and "a little help from Topaz Adjust". Read her blog here... Check out our What's New page for links to photos, announcements, etc.

Photo Q&A

1: How to Shoot Interiors of New Homes?

Hi everyone,
I have been asked to shoot some interiors of new homes.I really don’t want to use flash, although I do have a Canon 420EX speedlite that I hardly ever use. I own a Canon 100mm 2.8, 24-105L 70-200 2.8 IS L Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L Canon RebelXT. I would like to shoot in daylight, but is it better shooting at night with the windows dark? I have spent a fair bit on glass for the shooting I do, and this request will not pay much at all (returning a favor). Can anyone suggest the best lens if I were to go buy new or a cheaper new lens that would work good, or how to make my existing equipment work?
Thanks in advance!
- Gord MacEachern

Hello Gord,
I would recommend a 16-35mm, 17-40mm or the 10-22mm lens to get wide enough. Especially with a 1.6 cropped sensor on your Rebel, your 24-105 is really like a 38-168mm - and 38mm is not very wide, especially when you are trying to shoot inside the same room.
You will also need to use more DOF if you want everything in focus. I would use my Alien Bees if there is not enough natural lighting or a couple of speed-lights with large diffusers to spread the light as much as possible. A tripod for slow shutter speeds may be needed. Most homes have very uneven lighting and the Alien Bees are easy to control for how much (power) light to use to get a darker area lit up better to blend with the rest of the room.
John Siskin teaches a very good class - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting - that takes the mystery out of these type of shots. He is very accessible and provides a ton of information in his course.
Good Luck.

- Carlton Ward
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2: Taking Night Photos

I can't figure out what to do when taking night photos, especially as Halloween approaches. We went to the zoo last night, and I am not happy with the grainy-looking photos, I did set the ISO to 1000 and the pictures still didn't turn out very clear. Any suggestions?
- amy choateSee Sample Photo - At the Zoo>

Hi Amy,
The higher you set your ISO, the grainier your images will become. Lower ISO values produce less noise (but also bring slower shutter speeds, which can allow camera shake to blur your images).
If shooting kids at night is the goal, you may not have many options other than flash at reasonably close range, since a longer-exposure, low-ISO shot is probably out of the question, as your subjects won't be sitting still. But, I'm not a photographer of people, so someone else may chime in with more info.

- Christopher J. Budny
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3: Studio On-Site Background Choice

I have agreed to shoot portraits at a hospital event for new mothers and their babies (0-12 months). I have white, taupe and black canvas backgrounds and red, blue, and white paper background. Does anyone have a suggestion for best background choice? Second question is for posing: Is there a quick sure-fire pose that would work well for moms and infants? I am taking studio lights - probably 2 rather than 3. Thanks!
- Susan Wilkins

Hi Susan,
I like a mottled gray and then I can use a light on the gray to change the color or density. Given your choices, I would go with the taupe. I would also take the extra light - not only is it good for the background, it is just good to have back-up. You might want to look at this article on backgrounds:
In terms of posing: mother holding infant to chest is a classic. Used in Western art since there was Western art.
Good luck!

- 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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