The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 08, 2010
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Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Flash Issues in L...
Q&A 2: Image-Editing Sof...

"If you are looking for an inspirational and fun way to spend four weeks, Doug Steakley can provide that in Photographing Motion! He teaches you exciting and creative ways to photograph motion at all times of day, even under the moonlight. Doug is a pleasure to work with and is willing to answer questions in a prompt manner. I totally enjoyed the course!" -Judi Bailey

Top nature pro Tony Sweet shares his thoughts - and photo - on close-up photography using very beautiful and pleasing window light. Check out his Instructor Insights blog...

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Photography Special Effects by Zooming
A zoom lens is so versatile - enabling you to change the focal length quickly and easily between exposures. But zoom lenses also let you create some very cool in-camera special effects. One creative technique is done by zooming during an exposure. BetterPhoto instructor Lynne Eodice has written an awesome article on the subject: Photography Special Effects by Zooming

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 463rd issue of SnapShot!

What an awesome month at BetterPhoto! First, we celebrate today's 2000th edition of the Photo of the Day newsletter. Next, our March online photography school kicks off this Wednesday (March 10th) with an awesome lineup of photography and Photoshop courses. And, lastly, March marks BetterPhoto's 14th anniversary as the Web's hot spot for photographic education! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the work of two top BetterPhoto instructors: Lynne Eodice's Photo Tip (Use Window Light for Macro). ... 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

Then try a 4-week or 8-week online photography adventure! Our Spring school session gets under way Wednesday, so sign up now, since some classes have already filled and others are filling fast. These online courses are affordable and fit right into your busy life. See our school schedule... John Siskin is a top pro and his terrific course (formerly titled Business to Business) has a new name: Getting Started in Commercial Photography There's also a new name for the excellent "Tips and Tricks for Digital Photographers" course taught by the popular instructor team of Susan and Neil Silverman: Understanding Digital Photography: Beyond the Basics

Photo Q&A

1: Flash Issues in Low Light
I have a Canon G10 which I carry around when I do not want to lug my D50. More times than not when I use the flash for low light at late day, I seem to get kind of "sun spot"-looking circles, ghosts or dots. My lens is clean so it is not the lens. If it matters, I often have the camera in "scn" mode set to sunsets. But it also does it when I am in Av mode. What is this from, and how do I prevent it? Thanks.
- Daryl R. Lucarelli
Most likely it's the flash reflecting off dust on the lens or floating in the air close to the lens. Point-and-shoot cameras have a much higher depth of field than regular SLR cameras, so it's more likely to show up with point-and-shoot cameras. You see them when you use a flash with a dark background. They come out white and blurry.
- Gregory La Grange
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2: Image-Editing Software Suggestions
I am still new to this and have done very little photo processing, but I am now looking to purchase software to enhance my photos. I am currently using the Mac and have considered the Aperture software. But I have also been reading a lot on Adobe and Photomatix. Could anyone offer a bit of guidance on what would be best?
- Rett Dean
Hi Rett,
If you are still "new to this", I would strongly recommend AGAINST Aperture or Photomatix, as they really do require a significant amount of knowledge in order to use them effectively.

Being that you are on a Mac, I would recommend that you learn iPhoto first very well. It has a tremendous number of features for a program that is included with the computer. (Are you using Snow Leopard yet? If not, you should if you have an Intel-based Mac).

The next recommendation is Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac (about $99), which is a new edition and has a TON of features, but is easy to use as a basic tool and expand later. It will also give you a basis from which to eventually move to the full Photoshop CS4 if you need to at some point. PS Elements also comes with Adobe Bridge, which you can use to process Raw images, though not as nicely as Adobe's Lightroom or Aperture 3.

Photomatix is a dedicated program for High Dynamic Range (HDR) work. It is NOT for general use as a tool to enhance regular or everyday photos. It requires that you take a number of shots of the same scene with different exposures and then blends those pictures for dynamic ranging. It is primarily used for Raw or TIFF images, though it will sort of work on JPEGS, but not well. Hydra is another HDR program specifically for Macs, though not as powerful as Photmatix.

So, I would recommend iPhoto first, then Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 next, then perhaps Aperture 3, Lightroom, and/or Photoshop CS4 when you're ready.
Hope this all is helpful to you.


- Frank E. Trinkle
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