The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, February 01, 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Good Action Setti...
Q&A 1: Teleconverters...
Q&A 2: Macro Photograp...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"Great class and instructor! I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn." -Steve Molitor on Better Exposure: How to Meter Light with Sean Arbabi



REDUCING DIGITAL NOISE: A REVIEW OF THE OPTIONS
You may already have your favorite software for reducing digital noise. But if you don't, be sure to read Rob Sheppard's excellent BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog...

HUGE SAVINGS: MVBP REWARDS!
For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more about MVBP Rewards...

GET YOUR OWN WEB SITE!
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
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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Photo Exposure Challenge
by Jim Zuckerman
"One of my primary objectives in recently going to Antarctica was to photograph ice," says BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman. All that ice, though, poses an exposure challenge, and here's what Jim does:

"The way I am handling the digital camera settings is that I underexpose the images by 2/3 f/stop. ... The reason is to protect the highlights from blowing out - i.e., becoming overexposed with no texture or detail. This is the worst thing you can do to a photo besides making it out of focus."

Read more about Jim's exposure techniques...



   
Featured Gallery
White Sands Morning
© - Debra R. Harder

Welcome to the 458th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

What a creative way to kick off February! Our next 4-week online school begins this Wednesday (Feb. 3rd) with an outstanding schedule of photography and Photoshop courses. See the school listings... ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out the work of two top BetterPhoto instructors. In his "Photo Exposure Challenge" Photo Tip, Jim Zuckerman discusses his recent Antarctica adventure. And in "Reducing Digital Noise", Rob Sheppard covers the software options. ... 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

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

BetterPhoto's online courses are by far the best way to hone your photographic skills. You'll love the direct interaction with master photographers, the personal feedback, and the flexible method of instruction. Our 4-week classes begin February 3rd...

Too soon? The next round of 8-week courses starts on March 10th.

Treat yourself to an easy gift-buying experience, while also giving your favorite photographer something really special! Get a BetterPhoto Gift Card. Keep up with the BetterPhoto community! See our What's New page for links to photos, announcements, etc.

Photo Q&A

1: Good Action Setting for a Rodeo
I will be attending a rodeo and want to get some shots. I will not be able to use a flash. It will be an indoor arena. What is a good action setting? I would like to have sharp images. I have a Canon Rebel T1i and still learning about it. I would appreciate any help...
- Misty Blue
ANSWER 1:
Hi Misty,
This will be tough if the lighting is as low as it usually is in indoor arenas. For stop action you need to shoot at 1/250 but to get this speed you may need to open your lens to f/2.8 which wont be as sharp as a couple more stops would give you and you will possibly need to move your ISO up to 400 or higher.
I would set my shutter at 1/250 and use f/5.6 or 7.1 and see what I need to bump my ISO up to to get the exposure correct and if the ISO has to go up as high as 1000, you may decide to start compromising a bit on f/stop & I wouldn't go much below 1/200 for shutter speed if you want stop action shots.
Hope this helps,
Carlton
- Carlton Ward
ANSWER 2:
Hi Misty,
Also, I don't use the sports, landscape or other preset settings on my Canons. I use mostly M (manual) and occasionally TV or AV, although P (program) may also work for you.
TV will allow you to set your shutter speed (to, say, 1/250s) and then the camera will decide what f/stop you will need but you may still need to change your ISO as I don't think the camera will change that automatically.
I like to control everything manually so I can decide what I want to enforce or compromise in the exposure.
Does this help better?
Carlton
- Carlton Ward
ANSWER 3:
Thank you, Carlton. I usually use a Manuel mode. I just play w/ the settings till I get what I’m looking for. I wanted to have some idea of what I should start with, so I don't miss anything - and you have definitely helped w/ that. I plan to carry my tripod for stability, and I did know my ISO would need to be higher due to the fact I cannot use a flash. Thanks so much for your help!!!
- Misty Blue
ANSWER 4:
I have not used the T1i but many of the newer cameras are so much better with higher ISOs now that you may be able to go pretty high without a lot of noise. My 40D does better than my 1Ds in that regard.
Good luck and have fun, Misty!
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:
1: Teleconverters

Is a teleconverter (e.g., 1.4x or 2x) compatible with a Canon EF 70-300 1/4.5-5.6 lens? I know I won't be able to use AF, but will work with MF?

Thanks,

Rob

- Robert, Jr. O. Warwick

ANSWER 1:
It's not compatible with that zoom lens. It's compatible with the 70-200L f/2.8 and the 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 and the L series fixed telephotos of 135mm and above.
You can use autofocus as long as the lens that you put it on has a max aperture of at least f/4 with the 2x extender.
Manual focus will work as long as you can turn the focusing ring.

- Gregory La Grange

ANSWER 2:
Canon's and Sigma's teleconverters will not fit that lens. Their TCs have an extended front element that nests into the rear of a select few compatible lenses.
Kenko and Tamron make teleconverters that will fit and do work with the EF 70-300. AF will be unreliable if it works at all, and the viewfinder gets dim which hinders manual focus, but it can be done.

- Jon Close
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:



2: Macro Photography

I'm thinking of buying a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens for my Rebel. Two questions: Is this a quality lens; and, is a Canon Extension Tube EF25 II compatible?
Thanks for any help.
Rob
- Robert, Jr. O. Warwick

ANSWER 1:
Yes, it is high quality lens, at least optically. It's build and autofocus mechanism are a bit dated, though. It only focuses close enough to produce 1/2 life-size image on the sensor. Yes, it is compatible with the Canon EF extension tubes EF 12 II and EF 25 II. There is also an accessory Life Size Converter EF for this lens that acts as combination extension tube and teleconverter that gives up to 1:1 life size.
If your "Rebel" is a digital Rebel, then the EF-S 60 f/2.8 USM Macro is preferred over the EF 50 f/2.5 Compact Macro in every way.

- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Beware! The Life Size converter costs almost as much as the lens. The lens without the converter is only 1:2, 1/2, life size. I feel you would be better off finding a non 'L' 100mm f2.8 macro for just a little more money. Of course, if you have the money, the 100 f2.8L II IS would be great! If starting in Macro, it is preferred to learn with a longer lens than 50-60mm.
Good ones are in the 90-105mm range. These give you a greater range so you don't spook the bugs or get stung by one.

- Lynn R. Powers

ANSWER 3:
Lynn is correct. A 50mm with a converter (or extension tube) will reach its closest focus point a few inches from the subject. This will work OK for flower close-ups but is not practical for bug photography.
Unless you catch them early in the morning (before they wake up), there are few insects who will sit still long enough for you to get that close.

- Bob Cammarata
Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com

Answer this question:

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