The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, December 21, 2009
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How to Shoot a Ba...
Q&A 1: Injet Printer N...
Q&A 2: Halo Effect Pro...

"This was a very informative class. It was challenging, and I learned a lot. It made me get out of my comfort zone and try to make better images. I loved this class!" - Nancy Blades on Tony Sweet's Fine Art Flower Photography course

Brenda Tharp loves to pan her camera on non-moving objects - like trees, flower gardens, meadows, and even boats in a harbor. But, she says, "I’ve noticed is that in many of my favorite abstract pictures and panned images, there is some depth expressed." Read more in Brenda's excellent Instructor Insights blog...

Take your photography or Photoshop to the next level! Our outstanding 8-week courses return January 6th. See our 8-week school...

Too long? Our short 4-week course listings keep getting better and better. Check out the 4-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.

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Create Holiday Art with Photoshop!
Get into the holiday spirit and make your own ornaments, Photoshop style! In her BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog, Deborah Sandidge shares fun tips and techniques. Read all about it here...

Featured Gallery
Snow Filled Santa
© - Linda L. Ruiz

Welcome to the 452nd issue of SnapShot!

First off, I would like to wish you all a terrific holiday season. And, for everyone who celebrates it, "Merry Christmas"! ... While all of us at BetterPhoto are involved in holiday preparations, we also are looking forward to a fantastic 2010. Out popular ClassTracks program kicks off again in January, as does our Winter session of both 8-week and 4-week courses. In addition, Jim Miotke is hosting what promises to be a memorable series of Creative Confidence Weekend Workshops. See the details below. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the excellent contributions of two BP instructors - Deborah Sandidge's Photo Tip on creating holiday art and Brenda Tharp's thoughts on shooting abstracts. And, as always, we have a nice selection of questions and answers too. ... That's it for now. Enjoy the week, and keep your camera handy for recording those holiday memories!    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

Make 2010 a year to remember: Enroll in our awesome yearlong ClassTracks program! Learn all about ClassTracks here... If you'd like to gain the mindset of the successful creative photographer as you grow in confidence, then Jim Miotke's exciting weekend workshop is the perfect solution. Read the exciting details here... Good news about BetterPhoto members and instructors. See the Announcements and Anniversaries page!

Photo Q&A

1: How to Shoot a Basketball Game
Hello !
I am trying to shoot my son's (12 yr old) basketball game. From what I read, flash could be a distraction, so I am not using flash. I have a Nikon D80 and I am using a Tamron 70-200 2.8 lens. I still get a lot of blur. Any suggestions ???
Thanks so much.
- Sharon M. Kamholz
Whatever you do Sharon, don't use an automatic mode. I shoot a lot of sports with pretty good luck. Are you shooting from the floor or the stands? If from the floor, the 70mm could make things hard. With the 1.5X magnification factor, 70mm is equivalent to a 100mm lens. It's works for full court, but tough if they are close by.

First, shoot in Camera Raw.
Second, ISO 800
and shutter 1/250. It will come out a little dark but can be corrected in Photoshop.
One variable I don't know about is the gym lighting. If it's dimly lit, the above steps might not help.

- Dennis Flanagan
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1: Injet Printer Needed

My Epson R800 that has given me years of faithful service has died. Any recommendations on ink jet photo printers. Have seen mixed reviews on Epson 1400 and Epson 1900.
- Stephanie Halstead

Hi Stephanie,
I decided against the Epson 1400 and bought the Canon Pixma Pro 9000 because my previous Epson was costing me so much $$ in ink refills & worked sporadically. The Canon worked good (with an occasional streak on a 13x19 print) for a couple of months and then died (the paper feeder would not work). I thought about getting it fixed but with the cost of quality paper and constant ink refills & factoring in the throw aways of prints with streaks, I decided to just have my stuff printed by MPIX. Their printers blow away any printer I could afford and I am very happy with their quality & service.
I would like to get another printer but will not go for one that prints 13 x 19 as I want a smaller footprint than these require to save some work space.
I have heard some positive things about both Epson printers. Let me know what you decide on and if you have a recomendation for a smaller printer.
Thank you.

- Carlton Ward

I have a friend - also a member here - who just went through the same dilemma. His Epson 1280 was dying, and he had decided on getting the Epson 1900 but wanted my opinion. I suggested he get the Epson 2880. It costs more but I think it's worth it. He called me the other day and thanked me for talking him into the 2880. He said the 2880 is very easy on ink usuage, which is one of the problems people keep reporting on the 1400 and 1900. I'm sure they are both very good printers, but I don't think you would regret spending the extra money for the 2880 in the long run. This is what I would buy at this time if I were buying. I have an Epson 2200, a HP 8750 and a Hp 130 that I use. Good luck in your choice.

- Randy  A. Myers

Stephanie: I would strongly reccomend the Epson R1900. I have had one for a year now and am constantly amazed at the fabulous quality. I bought it after testing printers for HERE'S HOW magazine. Cheers!

- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
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2: Halo Effect Problem

What am I doing wrong or how can I correct the problem of having to much of this halo effect when editing. I am knocking out the background or actually just editing the background.
- Clayton T. Williams

Well, I tried to upload a photo showing what I am talking about but it didn't really work so I will just explain it. After editing, I am getting a halo, so to speak, around whatever I selected and I think it has to do with the feathering. I have my feathering usually set at around 3 but if I take it any lower than this then the selection looks too "cut-out" but at 3 or more it gives to much of a "photoshopped" or "halo" effect for what I like. Any comments or suggestions?

- Clayton T. Williams

The halo is probably some of the old background. You have to cut into the cutout a little to make it blend with the new background.
And if it's the magic wand your using, it's also probably selecting some of the old background with the cutout.
I've always used layer mask and brush tool for something like this. But there might be some other reasons for your problems that I can't comment about without a picture.

- Gregory La Grange
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