The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, November 30, 2009
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Eye Wrinkles: Rem...
Q&A 2: Flash Photography...
Q&A 1: ST-E2 vs. Pocke...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"The course was both stimulating and satisfying because Bill provided lots of useful information and personal support as well as challenging assignments. Bill's own photographs are very inspiring and his responsiveness as a teacher was very encouraging and tailored to a variety of interests and experience." -Roy Money, student in Portfolio Development



FEATURED BLOG: EXPOSURE VS. NOISE
One thing you donít hear too much about in terms of noise (that annoying sand-like texture in a digital photo) is how exposure is still a limiting factor. In fact, writes Rob Sheppard, exposure becomes more critical with higher ISO settings. Read Rob's Instructor Insights blog...

UPDATED COURSE! CREATING STORYTELLING PHOTOS
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 nature subjects to all types of photography. Learn more...

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 72642 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
It's All About the Light! ... by Brenda Tharp
Iíve had many times like this where the light is what really made the picture - not the subject, necessarily, but the light and the way it defined the subject. Read more here...


   
Featured Gallery
Patterns at Boardwalk
© - Girish Vaghela

Welcome to the 449th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

The holiday season is always a wonderful time for photography - snapping photos of family and friends, of course, but also for learning new techniques. And for December, we have an excellent lineup of 4-week online courses that cover all sorts of photography and Photoshop subjects. But act now, since some December classes are full and others are filling up fast. Too soon? In January, our outstanding 8-week courses return, and what a lineup! See the 8-week listings... ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out the contributions of two top BetterPhoto instructors: Brenda Tharp (Photo Tip: "It's All About the Light!" and Rob Sheppard (Featured Blog: "Exposure Vs. Noise"). ... 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

Learning how to use your Canon TTL flash has never been easier thanks to the system of using your camera with flash as taught by award-winning photographer Paul F. Gero. Check out the details of this excellent 4-week online class.

For another course option: Jim Zuckerman's Taking the Mystery Out of Flash Photography (which covers any make or model of flash)

Treat yourself to an easy gift-buying experience, while also giving your favorite photographer something really special! A BetterPhoto Gift Card is good for an online course, or a Deluxe or Pro website. There are many awesome reasons to jump into a BetterPhoto online course. Read our Top Ten list...

Photo Q&A

1: Eye Wrinkles: Remove or Soften?
When taking photos of seniors and adults, do you take the eye wrinkles out in processing? Do you soften them? I'm wondering what people do or if you could share any techniques. Thanks!!
- Tara R. Swartzendruber
ANSWER 1:
Hi Tara...
I don't remove them entirely, but I certainly do soften them. I want the image to look believable and yet better, if that makes sense. There are many ways to soften wrinkles - from cloning to the healing brush, to layers and blurs. :-)
- Sandy Hawkins
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Flash Photography Help
I went out with friends last night and we were in a dimly lit bar. All my pictures come out blurry. I tried not to use flash because I prefer pictures without it. I had the ISO as high as it would go. So, against my better wishes, I tried to use the flash on my camera (Canon Rebel Xti), but I don't like it ... it is so harsh and people made comments about how bright it was. What other flashes do you suggest? Thanks in advance.
- Jennifer Dent
ANSWER 1:
Hi Jennifer,
You could buy a dozen camera mount flashes and not solve your problem. It is not the flash. It is how you use it. If you light a room with a little tiny light source just above your eyes, it will always look bad. Now the built-in flash canít really do anything else, but if you get something like a Canon 580ex II, you will have some of the same problems.
Several things can help:
- First, you could bounce the flash off the ceiling. This means that the light will come from above and from a lot larger area, looks way better. This wonít work with a dark or colored ceiling, however.
- Alternatively, you could put a device on the flash that would make the light source larger and spread the light around more of the room. Spreading the light causes some of it to bounce back to the subject, so you get a lot of fill. This means the light is less harsh. I have recommended many devices for this over the years, but I am now suggesting a shoe cover. You can get a couple of these at Lowe's or other hardware or home improvement store for less than $5. If you use these, or devices like the Lumiquest or Cloud, both cost more than my shoe cover, be sure not to cover your sensor.
I wrote about the shoe cover at my blog a couple of weeks ago; check out www.siskinphoto.com/blog
Thanks,
John
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

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 See Sample Photo - As a Strobe Accessory


ANSWER 2:
Hi! Thanks for responding!

Would this fit on the tiny flash on top of my camera? I have a slave flash I can mount on my camera, but the shoe cover looks pretty big. I'm not sure that would work ... or would it?

- Jennifer Dent
ANSWER 3:
Hi Jennifer,
It wouldn't fit on the built-in unit. There are some covers for that unit, but they don't improve the light very much. I believe that Gary Fong makes one. You could tailor the shoe cover to any flash it didn't fit, so it would probably work with the slaved unit. The cover would work with most camera mount strobes.
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

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 BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: ST-E2 vs. Pocket Wizard system

Hi. I've got studio lights, and 2 x 580 EX flashes, which I quite enjoy using in a smaller environment and would like to do more 'strobism'.... I'm looking at the ST-E2 vs. the Pocket Wizard system and wondering what is the difference? Can I use the ST-E2 to fire my 2 studio lights, or will I outgrow it if I add more lights/580Ex's, or do I spend more on the Pocket Wizard, and use it on the lights and the 580s? It seems the Pocket Wizard can get quite complicated, in that the more lights you have the more Pocket Wizards you need? Can anyone 'throw some light' on this for me?
Thanks
- Robyn Gwilt

ANSWER 1:
Hi Robyn,
Ok, so maybe I am some sort of a throwback here. All I need a device to do is trigger the strobe. I donít need it to exchange information about exposure with the strobe. I set the strobe manually. I use cheap radio slaves from China. The last set I bought off eBay was $45 for one sender and 4 receivers. You can search digital radio slaves at eBay and see a bunch of these things. They do the job and donít break the bank.
Thanks,
John

- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=158091

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 BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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