The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 29, 2010
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Q&A 1: Photo Enhanceme...
Q&A 2: Framing Large P...

"I was a little uneasy about taking an online class, but I am very glad I did. I really enjoyed the commitment it required. I learned more than I bargained for!" -Crista Holland, student in Introduction to Your Canon Flash

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Want to Take Better Photos? Don't Forget Your Camera!
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Dancing Sunbeams
© - Randall J. Scholten

Welcome to the 466th issue of SnapShot!

As we wrap up one outstanding month at BetterPhoto, we are looking forward to embarking on another fine one! Our April session of 4-week online courses will be fast, fun, to the point, and kicking off on April 7th. Too soon? Not long enough? :) See our May 5th schedule of 8-week classes. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Rob Sheppard's excellent feature: "Adobe Lightroom Tutorial: Color Control Workflow". ... 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:

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Updates From BetterPhoto

The actual color of a photograph is an important part of color photography, says pro shooter and Outdoor Photographer columnist Rob Sheppard. "Unfortunately, the camera doesn't see the world the same way that we do and often gives you compromised color. Lightroom offers some great controls to enable you to get the most from color in your images." Read Rob's BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog here... There are many awesome reasons to jump into a BetterPhoto online course. See our Top Ten list... For more info on our online photography school: "Destroying Fear by Getting Clear" is the inspiring topic of Jim Miotke's 2-Day Creative Confidence weekend workshop. Read the details here...

Photo Q&A

1: Photo Enhancements: CS4 Vs. Elements 8

I have been shooting pics for a long time, and I pride myself on not enhancing my images with Photoshop or other programs. But it seems like lately that most all professionals are "popping" the color on their pictures or tinkering with the natural lighting somehow. I am slowly getting an "if you can't beat them, join them" attitude.
What are the fastest and easiest ways to produce this "hyper-colored" look?
- Lori Hohenstein

Hello Lori,
I know there are many "purists" in regards to photography & digital editing but the fact is that even film images were also processed for color, saturation, brightness, etc.. Many of the tools that Photoshop includes, came from the film editors processing tools & techniques. Its just easier to do these processes with digital software. If you shoot a raw + jpg as many cameras will do, the raw image may look a bit flat as it is just unprocessed raw data, where as a jpg is processed in the camera and will come out of the camera looking better than the raw image. The raw image needs to be processed to make it come to life. This is a great advantage especially for things like correcting white balance and adjusting exposure.
Doing our own digital editing also allows us to edit an image the way we want it to look and gives us a lot of control from simple edits to extreme manipulations. Its all a matter of taste when it comes to editing, and I have tried many extreme edits just to see how far I can go. If I dont like the end result, I just go back to the original & start it over again.
I don't know what software you have, but Adobe Photoshop is what many people use. It has more tools than you may ever need and something like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Elements may fill all your editing needs. I have the Canon software that is included with my cameras but I started using Photoshop years before I bought my first Canon, so I never really explored that software.
There are free software programs like GIMP and Picassa. Other choices are Corel Paintshop Pro and Apple Aperture as well.
If you don't have any of these and are looking for a place to start, I would recommend Adobe Elements 8, which is under $100 and will do most anything you will ever need.
I also recommend taking a class as many books will include so many things that will not pertain to what you want to do, but the classes here will focus on exactly the tools you will need & want.
Hope this helps.

- Carlton Ward

HI Carlton - thanks for the help. I do have Photoshop 8.0 and it overwhelms me! Is Lightroom an extra program? I am going to check out the others too.

- Lori Hohenstein

Hi Lori,
What you have is Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE8), since PS 7 was the last professional program before they started the CS (Creative Suite) series. They are now up to CS4, and CS5 will probably come out during this calender year. These are $700 programs. PSE8 is the one to keep using since it has many of the same tools that are found in the more advanced programs. Lightroom is less expensive than CS4 but considerably more advanced than PSE8. It is not necessary to upgrade each time Adobe comes out with a new version unless you have such an advanced camera that your program will not read it. I have friends who still use PSE2, and they have Canon 1Ds Mark II cameras. However, the RAW processor in PSE 7 and 8 is much better. Take a course from BP to learn how to use it properly and you will be delighted on how your photos look after 5 minutes of work or less. You are correct that when you do not know how to use it it is overwhelming but the instructors take out all the mystery.
Some people used VS, Very Saturated, film when taking photos. It was their style and what they preferred. Many of us didn't. How the colors turn out now is up to you. And the programs let you adjust it any way that you want. You can even make a B&W print if you so desire. As Carlton pointed out, we are doing the same thing that was done in the lab, just the method has changed.
Here is a photo that is as natural as I could get it. But it did take a little work. It had to be cropped, since neither 35mm film or the same format with digital can naturally be enlarged to 8X10, I made it a little brighter, sharpened it so that detail on the rock was visible, burned in the out of focus rock behind his head, added a bit of saturation to enhance the colors slightly and that was it. I just noticed that I should have made his left hand a little darker because it is too light for his complexion. Does this look unnatural to you?

You will often find dust bunnies on your sensor. These are easily removed and less time-consuming than working with film.
Best of luck, and TAKE a course. You won't be sorry.

- Lynn R. Powers

Richard Lynch teaches a 4-week course (Photoshop 101) and there are a couple of other ones as well. Like Lynn stated, a short course will make a huge difference and get you on your way. It is actually a lot of fun playing with all the editing tools but to be able to make the image look how you want it to makes the learning curve and effort so worth it.

- Carlton Ward

If you are not a Pro, you will find PSE8 is all you need. Yes, there are things in PS CS3 and CS4 that PSE8 cannot do. But PSE8 is a lot of program. Learn that first before even thinking about any other program. :O)

- Dr. Silly
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2: Framing Large Pictures

I am hoping I might get some insight on prints and framing. I have what I think is an incredible shot that I want to frame big. Do any of you have any suggestions on great framers - and a reasonable cost is also something I'm trying to find. I usually use MPIX, but they don't have super large framing. I have the 5D Mark II, so quality is good enough to go big. I'm not sure what I mean by big, but I am thinking gallery type. I had even thought about the metal prints. But at least 40x60. Maybe I can get some opinions from some of you... Thanks in advance.
- Dee Haugen

Hi Dee,
I wrote an article a while ago about framing. It might help: I think you are going to have to find a local supplier if you want to go that large, since shipping a piece of glass in that size would add a lot of cost. I use a wholesale outfit: Valley Moulding and Frame. They are good, but you need to buy in some quantity to really get a good price.

- John H. Siskin

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