The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Friday, March 12, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Infrared Photogra...
Q&A 2: Photo Editing Sof...
Q&A 1: Canon EOS 50D v...
Q&A 2: Focusing on Nat...

"It is amazing how much you can learn in just 8 short weeks! It has been fun. Thank you for your feedback and very helpful comments!" -Sandra Choy, student in Understanding Digital Photography with Susan and Neil Silverman

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Quick Tips for Shooting Great Wildflower Photos!
When it comes to flower photography, any lens can be used to your artistic advantage. Read these two very inspiring BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blogs:

Use a Telephoto Lens for Flower Close-ups by Tony Sweet

Wide Angle Lens Tips for Photographing Wildflowers by Rob Sheppard

Featured Gallery
© - Debbra L. Bailey

Welcome to the 464th issue of SnapShot!

March is shaping up to be such an exciting month! As BetterPhoto's 14th anniversary celebration continues, we have launched a new blog - Team BetterPhoto - in which you'll get a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at the making of BP. Some team members will write about photography, while others will cover an assortment of interesting and diverse topics. Plan on lots of fun and insights from our small but mighty team! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss This Week's Photo Tip, in which two BP instructors offer their insights: Tony Sweet (Use a Telephoto Lens for Flower Close-ups) and Rob Sheppard (Wide Angle Lens Tips for Photographing Wildflowers). ... 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 - and in his blog:

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

There are so many awesome reasons to sign up for a BetterPhoto online course, and here are 10 of them... If you have taken 5 or more classes, you can take advantage of MVBP Rewards Program today. For every five classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course! Learn more...

Photo Q&A

1: Infrared Photography?
Have any of you experimented with infrared photography, and what was the outcome? I find infrared photography very neat and interesting to look at and was curious about the methods, how you liked it, and most of all, how you went about doing this.
- Tammy L. Newcomb
Hi Tammy,
Good questions, and I have the answers for you! Well, not me :-) but Deborah Sandidge, a very creative pro photographer here at BP. Deb actually wrote the book on the subject and also teaches Digital Infrared Photography.

Check out Deb's excellent Instructor Insights blogs:

Have fun, Tammy!
- Kerry Drager

See Kerry Drager's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Kerry Drager:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
Creative Light and Composition
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2: Photo Editing Software
I am a PS Elements 6 user, and I am probably looking to upgrade to Elements 8 if it is really worth it. I do not need the big brother Photoshop CS4, because even though I sell a few prints, my work does not warrant the pro version.
Has any BP member actually made the switch from Elements 6 to 8; and do you find the upgrade substantial?
- Richard Jackson
Elements 8 is like getting an entirely new program compared to 6 and earlier! You would have to have some very serious needs to go up to CS4 from Elements 8. It includes so much and is compatible with most Photoshop plug-ins as well.

I have both Elements and CS4, but I find that I rarely have to go to CS4 for what I'm doing. Adobe Bridge is also now included with the program. Highly recommended update!

- Frank E. Trinkle
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1: Canon EOS 50D vs Full Frame

I am interested in purchasing the Canon EOS 50D with an EF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM for the purpose of mostly landscape photography. This will be my first large investment in equipment. I was wondering if I can achieve the same or similar results using a wide-angle lens as I could achieve if I upgraded to a full-frame camera. Please help as I am somewhat new to this.
- Mary K. Stewart

Hi Mary,
The 50D is a great camera (I own one, along with my 5d MkII Full Frame and a new 7D). The difference between the full frame and the 50D is the sensor. On the 50D, you have to multiply the lens focal length by a factor of 1.6. That means that your effective focal length on the 24-105 using the 50D is actually going to be the equivalent of 38-168mm. That is not really a true "wide angle" ... it is really a normal to medium telephoto zoom.
If your primary focus is on landscapes, I might recommend that if you end up with a 50D and want an "L" lens, that you consider the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, which is a truly awesome wide angle zoom and would give you an effective focal length of 25-56mm on the 50D.
Having said that, the full frame 5D MkII is a phenomenal camera, and if you can afford the premium price, you would be in heaven with it. But the 25-105 matched with it is still barely a true wide-angle, and when I shoot landscapes with my 5D, I am still always using the 16-35. (You might ALSO consider the 7D that has features very similar to the 5D but at the 1.6 focal length multiplier, and it shoots HD movies as well!)
Hope this helps a little.

- Frank E. Trinkle

Mary, another good Canon wide-angle L lens is the 17-40. And I would second Frank's recommendation ... if money isn't a problem, get the 5D-II ... because next year you'll be ready to upgrade anyway. :-)

- Ken Smith
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2: Focusing on Nature & Wildlife

Help! I've access to the great outdoors in the Klamath Basin, and love taking a variety of images. I use the Canon-40D, and must decide what lens to buy. It's either a telephoto zoom or a macro lens, although I hope to eventually own both. I already have the Tamron 18-270, Canon 50-250 & 18-55mm. What would fellow BP'ers suggest for capturing the birds, bees & butterflies?
- Leslie Steinkraus

I would suggest selling the Tamron since its range is already covered with your two Canons. If money is no object, a fast prime super-telephoto in the 400-600 mm range with a matching teleconverter will help to pull in distant birds and other wildlife.
A 100mm macro lens and a set of extension tubes will work well for the bugs. And here's a tip:
For those very skittish butterflies, dragonflies, etc., that won't allow close access, add a few extension tubes to a telephoto lens. You can get full-frame shots of the bugs from well outside their circle of safety.

- Bob Cammarata

Unless you plan on only shooting when light levels are great, you want to pay close attention to the speed of the lens. You'll find a lot of lenses when at their highest zoom are an f5.6 or f6.4 for their widest apertures. You will end up with a lot of dark photos or blurry ones because you had to shoot at a slow shutter speed.

- Dennis Flanagan
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