The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, January 11, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Raw Processing Pr...
Q&A 1: Strobe Sync Iss...
Q&A 2: Shooting on the...

"This was a GREAT class. Jennifer’s course gave me a new way to increase my awareness of my landscape composition. Her critiques were encouraging, and her willingness to say why she liked or disliked a photo helped me. I am looking forward to another class!" -James Esch in Jennifer Wu's Nature and Landscape Photography: Composition online photography class

With the Super Sale, this is a great time to get your own website, and our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are great ways to show - or sell - your photography. However, there are differences between Deluxe and Pro ... so be sure to compare the options here...

BetterPhoto instructor Rob Sheppard calls Canon's new G11 a "very capable little camera". If you're interested in a sophisticated compact camera or would like to consider an upgrade from your current G10, G9, etc., then read Rob's photo blog here...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 73425 serious photographers.
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How to Take Better Pictures: Previsualize! ... by Brenda Tharp
Ansel Adams talked about previsualization in photography. And, says Brenda Tharp: "I have used this idea for a long time too". See Brenda's fascinating BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog here...

Featured Gallery
Eye on the Mountain
© - Stephen Shoff

Welcome to the 455th issue of SnapShot!

Great news: the website Super Sale is back! For just today and tomorrow (Jan. 12-13th), you can get 2 years of a Deluxe or Pro BetterPholio website for the price of 1 year. That's 2 for 1! Whether you have been considering a new Deluxe or Pro web site, or would like to renew, now's the time to go for it. In fact, even if your website is not up for renewal soon, you might want to take advantage of this super offer now and get two years added to your current expiration date! There are more specifics and details to this offer, so check out the website sale here... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Brenda Tharp's Photo Tip ("How to Take Better Pictures: Previsualize!") and Rob Sheppard's review of Canon's new G11 camera. In addition, we have another fine collection of questions and answers. ... That's it for now. Have fun with your photography!    Kerry Drager   Newsletter Editor    Where is Jim Miotke? Follow BetterPhoto's founder and president on Twitter: BetterPhotoJim

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Updates From BetterPhoto

Want to start using your new camera to make eye-catching digital photos? Our online photography courses are filled with information and inspiration, are fully interactive, and are priced just right. See the school schedule... Go ahead, have a life! That's because, at BetterPhoto, we offer online classes according to YOUR schedule. Find out the details... Good news about BetterPhoto members and instructors. See the Announcements and Anniversaries page!

Photo Q&A

1: Raw Processing Programs
I have an Olympus E510 and my computer is an HP laptop. I want to begin shooting in Raw format but unsure what program I need to manage them once I take them. Any information would be appreciated.
Thank you.
- Brenda Bledsoe
Hello Brenda,
The CD Rom that came with your camera should have a Raw processing software included. I use Photoshop CS3 with ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) to process my Raw files (Canon 1Ds, 40D and 20D), and it does 90% of my editing. ACR has a simple and logical flow from top to bottom where I can change/correct the White Balance, Fill light, brightness, contrast, etc. - and then there are tabs for further editing like curves and selective colors, etc..
Most Canon raw files are .CR2 or .TIF, and once I edit them in ACR, I save them as uncompressed TIFF files, which will make a 11MB raw file about 58MB (at 16 bits). This is preferable for printing and further editing.
I took a BetterPhoto course in the past for Raw processing, and Charlotte Lowry now teaches a Camera Raw course.
Hope this helps.
- Carlton Ward
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1: Strobe Sync Issue

Studio question. After 2 years of using the same strobe lights, I have suddenly developed a of my backlights won't fire about 1/3 of the time. Here's my set-up. I have 2 Photogenic 1250s for my main and fill and 2 Studiomax IIIs for backlight. I angle the backlights so the light streams cross over each other a bit to evenly light my white background. This has been working great until a couple of weeks ago when I realized that the left light wasn't always firing. It has gotten worse. I changed the bulb (no difference).
It works fine when I turn the light "in" to the wall more, thus exposing the sensor more, but now the backlight leaves a gap in the middle of the white paper which turns blue, so that isn't a good option. My husband taped a white piece of paper on the light "case" so that the sensor would hopefully pick up the flash instead of it going by the sensor. This worked perfectly for a few shots, but it doesn't work anymore.
Does anyone have thoughts on this? Thanks.
- Tara R. Swartzendruber

Hi Tara,
Are you connected via a sync cord or using a pocket wizard type transmitter trigger for your lights?
I think it may be the angle of the back light but if you attached a receiver to that light and use a transmitter, it should work.
I have Alien Bees and I bought their transmitter andreceivers for each light and they fire everytime.
John Siskin raves about these cheap radio slaves he gets from China off of eBay. Maybe he will chime in here or look him up and ask him. Until mine quit working, I dont have a need for anything else.
Hope this helps!

- Carlton Ward

I'm connected with a sync cord. I was wondering about needing transmitters/receivers. It's a small studio and I hate to keep tripping over my cord.
Do you think this would help solve the problem? I would like to hear more about the eBay radio slaves. If Mr. Siskin doesn't chime in, I'll e-mail him.

- Tara R. Swartzendruber

Hi Tara andCarlton,
Sorry for the delay in responding. Anyway, first here is the URL to an article on sync: I use the Chinese radio slaves they are cheap and effective. You can get them with several connectors, and now you can get them with multiple receivers. I would get two senders and two receivers if you have two lights. Run a search on eBay for digital radio slaves. Slaves, the thing that triggers your background light, just stop working sometimes. I wish that wasn’t the case. So it is always good to have back-up!

- 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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2: Shooting on the Las Vegas Strip

I'm doing a New Year's eve shoot down on the Las Vegas strip and I haven't done much night photography. Wondering if anyone could impart me with wisdom before going out. Tips or tricks of the trade would be muchly appreciated.
- Wendy Wyatt

Wendy: I have done a lot of shooting there; you can see some of the photos at

The basic approach.
Set the camera to P mode. That will allow you to set the ISO. Set the ISO to 800.

A tripod is not practical on a busy streets, but the camera will often provide an adequately fast shutter speed, when it's set for ISO 800.
Also try bracing the camera against something solid like a light post. To minimize blurring from camera shake.
After that, it's all in the composition.

- 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

Hi Wendy,
I have done some shooting there and agree with Peter. I have also used a tripod when shooting the falls in front of the Mirage and I also like to shoot from up high like a hotel room or many other places to get a different view. Extreme wide-angle shots in front of 4-Queens and other places with distinctive entrances can make the beautiful signs look really cool. I sometimes even lay on the ground and shoot up to get some different POVs. Have fun!

- Carlton Ward
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Answer this question:

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