The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, November 23, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Outfit Changes......
Q&A 1: Photographing P...
Q&A 2: Macro Lenses...

"Thanks, John, for your helpful and encouraging comments! I've surprised myself during the last month by learning to see light in a whole new way. ... Thanks for your enthusiastic generosity in sharing your knowledge. You've certainly given us a lot of extra information, in addition to the lessons. I really appreciate your extra effort!" -Jill Hornish, student in John Siskin's An Introduction to Photographic Lighting course

Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are great ways to show - or sell - your photography. Plus, our monthly newsletter for BetterPholio owners offers tips and updates. Compare the options...

There are many awesome reasons to jump into a BetterPhoto online course. Read our Top Ten list...

Gain more satisfaction from your pictures as you take a journey into storytelling photography. Rob Sheppard's excellent 4-week course just got better - expanding from "just" nature subjects to all types of photography. Learn more...

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Capturing Cityscapes at Twilight
The most beautiful time to shoot cities - both large and small - is twilight. So says top pro Jim Zuckerman, who shares tips and a photo in another outstanding Instructor Insights blog.

Featured Gallery
Soft Rain
© - Becky J. Parkinson

Welcome to the 448th issue of SnapShot!

A very happy Thanksgiving to all BetterPhoto members who celebrate this inspirational holiday! ... As November winds down, we at BetterPhoto also turn our attention to December and the next school session. So, if you're ready to take your photography to the next level, or if you wish to learn a new skill, next month is the time to jump into one of our awesome 4-week online photo classes, which kick off on Dec. 2nd. Best yet, you don't have to wait: Enroll now in any online course on photography or Photoshop, and get started today with an early lesson! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Jim Zuckerman's Photo Tip ("Capturing Cityscapes at Twilight") and Ibarionex Perello's Featured Blog ("Commitment to the Craft"). ... That's it now. Enjoy a great week of seasonal photography! Kerry Drager   Newsletter Editor    Where is Jim Miotke? Follow BetterPhoto's founder and president on Twitter: BetterPhotoJim

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Treat yourself to an easy gift-buying experience, while also giving your favorite photographer something really special! Consider a BetterPhoto Gift Card. The only way one gets better as a photographer is by shooting, writes pro instructor Ibarionex Perello. "As I often tell my students," he says, improving your photography is "all about the willingness to go out there and make a lot of bad photos as you explore and try to understand what you are seeing." Read more in Ibarionex's thoughtful - and helpful - Instructor Insights blog. Are you ready for a challenge? Check out Rob Sheppard's awesome new 4-week online course: Composition Boot Camp

Photo Q&A

1: Outfit Changes...
Hi all. I was thinking about an upcoming senior shoot I have and it got me curious about how all of you on-location portrait photographers handle outfit changes. If you have a senior whot wants multiple outfit changes and you're going to be shooting at multiple locations, where do they change? Or do you just limit them to 1 outfit?
- Bobby R. Strange
Each situation is different. If it's a rural location, I afford the model some privacy if needed. To protect myself, I always insist on a parent being along for the shoot. You have to figure out want works best for your location.
- Dennis Flanagan
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1: Photographing People in Motion

I like to photograph people on the move and just did a shoot of kids with special needs riding small ponies. I handheld for all shots. If you had to shoot this, would you use a tripod? Most of my photos are clear, but I think I could have done better
- Roger L. DwyerSee Sample Photo - joy of life>

See Sample Photo - slow walk>

See Sample Photo - nice smile>

A fact that some people don't realize is an image-stabilized lens doesn't correct for subject movement. It is meant to help with camera movement. I would use a minimum of 1.6x your focal length for the shutter speed since this is the factor for the crop sensor in your camera. Other cameras will vary. With a moving subject, I would up the shutter speed even greater than that. Don't be afraid to raise the ISO if you need to to obtain a faster shutter speed. Hope this helps.

- Randy  A. Myers

There's a general rule of thumb for hand-holding... the shutter speed should be at least equal to the inverse of the focal length. For example, if you're shooting a zoom at 200mm focal length, strive for a shutter speed of 1/200th sec or faster. If the focal length is 80mm, then 1/80th sec or faster. As Randy pointed out, however, this is for camera movement only. The faster you can get the shutter, the better to include bumping the ISO. Monopods and tripods will help, especially for stationary subjects.

- Ken Smith
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2: Macro Lenses

I really like shooting macro photos. I have a Canon 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens and I really like it ... but I would like to get even more magnification. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
- Jennifer Dent

Hi Jennifer,
We are having a discussion concerning the new Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens -
Many people like it for its portrait ability along with it being a macro lens. I have the older version 100mm (without IS) but am considering selling this to get the Canon 180mm L macro lens for more working room. The 180mm is bigger and heavier but I have lots of heavy lenses and strong arms as a result of using them so that won't be an issue for me :)
I also use a Macro Ringlight and a good tripod, and I manually focus when shooting macro.

- Carlton Ward

I would recommend extension tubes. Normally they come in three sizes, 12mm, 24/25mm and 36mm. They may be purchased in sets The more mm the closer and larger your subject becomes.
Closer can become problematic in that you may disturb your subject and have them quickly depart, bite you, sting you, all of the above. It is possible to join all of the tubes together also.
Please remember that when shooting this close, a tripod is necessary, a flash may be needed, a cable release or other remote release is desired, small fstops are needed for any DOF that you may need, Manually focus.
After about 10,000 or so shots, you will be pretty good at it. LOL

- Lynn R. Powers

Hello Jennifer,
Please allow me to join in this discussion.
If you want to get closer than 1/2 (1:2) lifesize (...which is the closest your 50mm Canon can focus), you should opt for the extension tubes Lynn recommended to increase your magnification ratio rather than an adaptor, which contains glass elements.
Extension tubes are hollow "spacers" which, when placed between the lens and the camera, will in effect pull the camera body further away from the subject...thus increasing its magnification. (Kind of like how moving a slide projector back further away from the screen makes the projected image larger.).
Since the 'tubes contain no glass elements, there will be nothing to compromise the quality and integrity of your lens.
You should keep in mind, though, that reflected light and depth of field will decrease exponentially the further you extend your lens. Also, camera-shake and subject movement will be amplified. But if you take the time to really get to "know" your bug, you should be able to close that distance and get right into its face.

- Bob Cammarata
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