The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, January 04, 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Tripod Buying Tip...
Q&A 2: SD Card Recommend...
Q&A 3: Underwater Point ...
Q&A 1: Backdrops for P...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Doug Steakley is a consummate professional who answered all questions in a timely manner. He was artful in his delivery of pointed, on-target critiques, while maintaining appropriate diplomacy. He provides many great images that serve well as both examples, and goals. ... You will end up well on your way to mastering skills that are typically reserved for the pros and the most advanced amateurs. I highly recommend this course. Enjoy!" -Ron Jordan on the Photographing Motion online course



TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: OPPORTUNITIES MISSED
Top pro Jim Zuckerman learned a long time ago that when you see a travel photo opportunity, don't pass it up thinking you'll come back to it later and take the picture. Almost certainly, he says, it won't be there. Read Jim's excellent BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog here...


GET YOUR OWN WEB SITE: IT'S EASY!
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...

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN SNAPSHOT
Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 73298 serious photographers.
Learn More...

THIS WEEK'S TIP
Fisheye Lens Photography: Get Creative!
Try something new and different in 2010! So says BetterPhoto pro Deborah Sandidge. The fisheye look can literally "round out" your photography. Read Deb's Instructor Insights blog here...


   
Featured Gallery
flirty eyes
© - LESTER A. GARCIA

Welcome to the 454th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Happy New Year! Make 2010 a photographic year to remember by joining one of BetterPhoto's online courses! Each class is focused on teaching you how to improve your understanding of photography or Photoshop through exciting weekly assignments and helpful critiques by top pros. You must act fast, though, since classes start Wednesday, and many courses are filling up fast! See our school schedule... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the excellent contributions of four top BetterPhoto instructors: Jim Zuckerman (Travel Photography Tip), Deborah Sandidge (Fisheye Lens Photography), and Peter Burian and John Siskin (in the Q&A). ... That's it for this week. Enjoy your 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

Want to start using your new camera to make great digital photos? Our 4-week courses are filled with information and inspiration, are fully interactive, and are priced just right. See our entire 4-week school schedule... Take your photography or Photoshop to the next level! Our outstanding 8-week courses return January 6th. See the 8-week course listings...



Photo Q&A

1: Tripod Buying Tips
Someone told me I shouldn't be attaching my camera directly to the tripod - that I should buy a piece to attach to the top so I don't wear out the top of my tripod. What is this piece called, and is it really necessary? How often would the tripod wear out without using the special piece.
- Kathy Radford
ANSWER 1:
Hi Kathy,
I have tripods that are well over fifty years old. Made of wood, an early form of carbon fiber. The tripod doesn't wear out, if it is good to begin with. Cheap ones do wear out. The tripod head can break, as tripods do get some rough treatment, and the heads can't always take it. Tripod heads are especially fragile on cheap tripods. I do like to have quick release plates for connecting the camera to the tripod. These can be attached to some tripod heads, or are built-in to other heads. These make it easier and faster to put the camera on and off the tripod. I don't think they affect how long the tripod will last. Buy a good tripod, the money you spend in front will pay off in the years you own it.
Thanks.
- 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
ANSWER 2:
Kathy, to piggy back on John's response... If you do get another tripod, get the kind that allows you to attach a ballhead. Manfrotto is a good manufacturer. You purchase the base (the three legs), then purchase the ball head and there are different options. I have the 322RC2 ballhead.
I then have the attaching gizmo already screwed into my camera body so when I want to pop the camera on the ballhead, it's a very quick thing to do. And the ball head is so easy to use. You don't need multiple levers. You just grip the handle and rotate to whatever position you like.
- Ken Smith
ANSWER 3:
Thanks John and Ken for your info, that is very helpful. I don't know what I would do without all the help I have received from BP over the years I have been a member!
- Kathy Radford
ANSWER 4:
Those quick-disconnect plates John mentioned can save valuable time during a shoot. If you get several of the plates, one can be affixed to each of your camera bodies and your telephoto lenses with tripod collars. And if you have a bellows or a macro focusing rail, a plate can be attached to it as well. This makes it easy to switch things around in a hurry.
- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: SD Card Recommendation
I just received a Canon Rebel Tli and need to buy a memory stick. What do you recommend?
- Cheryl Miller
ANSWER 1:
Your camera takes SDHC memory cards. They're square. For the full speed that your camera can provide, buy a fast card ... i.e., Class 6 rated. SanDisk is an excellent brand, and their Extreme or Ultra cards are very reliable. A 2 GB card should have adequate capacity.
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=69365

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

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3: Underwater Point and Shoot
Hi!
I currently own a Nikon D70 and a Nikon D2xs. I have a five month old baby, and find that it would be really nice to have a point and shoot to get pictures when it is not convenient to get out the big camera. I have been reading reviews online, and think that I want to go with one that is waterproof and shockproof. I am sure that it will take a beating, and we have him in swim lessons, and it would be nice to take some underwater pics in the pool. I have narrowed it down to two different cameras. Does anyone have advice? Is there a different camera that I should look at?
1. Canon PowerShot D10 (this is the one I am leaning towards)
2. Olymbus Stylus Tough - 8000
- Jen L. Cresse
ANSWER 1:
Jen: Of those too, yes, the Canon model. However, the best waterproof cameras that I have tested are the Panasonic Lumix models.
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=69365

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
ANSWER 2:
Thanks Peter! Can I ask why you like the Panasonic better?
- Jen L. Cresse
ANSWER 3:
Jen: Because they take sharper, crisper photos than the other brands. Yes, they may be more expensive, but the image quality is really nice.
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/mg.asp?id=69365

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Backdrops for Portraits

I need to be able to shoot 15 to 20 people on a backdrop for a ballet studio. What is the best size backdrop needed for this? do you recommend seamless paper or muslin? Or is it preference?
- Kellie M. Moats

ANSWER 1:
Hi Kellie,
You aren't going to fit 15 people on a 9 foot or even a 12 foot wide background. I would get a roll of 9 foot wide seamless and use it sideways, so it is 9 foot tall and 30 feet long. This takes a lot of stands to set up. I usually need help. Either you will show the floor of the studio or cut off the feet. For groups this size, theatrical curtains are also a good choice, just hard to find.
Thanks.

- 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

ANSWER 2:
Hi Kellie,
John gave me an idea - can you shoot them at a theater in front of the curtains ? If they are performing at a local theater, they usually have off-hour access for rehearsals, stage prop setups, etc. Plus, a theater will give you some cool angles to shoot from. If you do any single or small groups try some low angle captures of dancer(s) flying through the air & high angles looking down from directly above of the dancers spinning below type of shots.
Just tossing some ideas around. Have fun and good luck with your shoot.

- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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