The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, May 31, 2010
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Welcome Note
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Q&A 1: Blown-Out Sky: ...
Q&A 2: Fine Art Photog...

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Digital Infrared Photography: Expand Your Creativity!
Our visual experience is limited to the world in color, points out Deborah Sandidge. But just beyond what our eyes can see is the incredible world of infrared. Read Deb's BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog about this exciting technique...

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Welcome to the 475th issue of SnapShot!

Today's the last chance to catch BetterPhoto's biggest Super Sale ever! Get a free 4-week online photo course* when you sign up for Jim Miotke's Creative Confidence: Photograph with Power workshop (*select courses only). And get two years for the price of one for a Deluxe, Pro, or Basic BetterPholio. But you need to act fast, since this sale ends tonight (Tuesday). ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Deborah Sandidge's Photo Tip ("Digital Infrared Photography: Expand Your Creativity") and Tony Sweet's Featured Blog ("Macro Photography Close to Home"). ... That's it for now. Have fun with your photography!  Kerry Drager  Newsletter Editor  Where is Jim Miotke? Listen to BetterPhoto's founder and president on Martha Stewart Living Radio this Wednesday (June 2nd) at 2pm EST. Also, follow him on Twitter - BetterPhotoJim - and in his blog:

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Updates From BetterPhoto

Our online photo courses offer personal interaction with top professionals! The next 4-week session kicks off next week - June 9th. But sign up and get started now with an early lesson! ... Too soon? BetterPhoto's 8-week course session begins July 7th. Check out BP instructor Tony Sweet's excellent photo blog on how he captured a beautiful macro image right outside his home office!

Photo Q&A

1: Blown-Out Sky: How to Prevent It

I took some family photos outside this past weekend and the sky should have been gorgeous. It was really blue with just a few white clouds in the sky. However, it didn't show up this way on the camera. When the family was exposed correctly the sky is blown out. How do you get beautiful exposure on subjects as well as the sky at the same time? I was shooting at about 6:00 in the evening so I don't know if this had anything to do with it.
- Clayton T. Williams

Hello Clayton,
The time of day has a lot to do with it. This is why many photographers prefer to shoot early am or late pm - to avoid direct overhead sunlight as it can be harsh and makes proper exposures much harder. The human eye is way smarter than a film slide or sensor. The human eye can see details in the dark areas and see details in light areas at the same time. The camera cannot, so we have a few techniques that assist with this shortcoming such as HDR imaging or using fill flash on the subject while exposing for the background but this doesn't always work either if the contrast is too great.
HDR enables us to photograph scenes that more closely resembles what we see in that you can underexpose to keep more color & detail in blown out areas and over-expose to allow more detail/color in the darker areas. I use PhotoMatix by HDRSoft and love this software for generating HDRs.
Hope this helps,

- Carlton Ward

Thanks Carlton,

I have been meaning to try some HDR and just haven't gotten around to it. however, HDR would be difficult with people in the photo esp families with small children that just won't stay still. Next time I will have to do it later in the evening or first thing in the morning. Thanks again for the info.

- Clayton T. Williams

You can also use a graduated neutral density filter... it reduces exposure on the sky.

- Ken Smith

Pose your subjects with the sun at your back.
The background may still over-expose a little but if you meter their sun-lit faces, the exposure setting will be closer to that of the distant blue sky.

- Bob Cammarata
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2: Fine Art Photography

To all of you professionals out there, I would like some feedback. I am interested in selling some of my work and I was just wondering if it can really be classified as "fine art" photography. I have done some research but have not really found a solid definition of what "fine art photography" really means. Any help I can get would be much appreciated. THANKS :)
- Tammy J. Bradley

Pretty much anything can be called fine art if it's an image that can be sold outside of some personal involvement between the buyer and the subject. For instance, a portrait of a family member or girlfriend will be bought because it's the buyer's family member or girlfriend. But if it's bought by somebody who has no direct relation to the subject in the photo, then it becomes "fine art".

- Gregory La Grange

Printing is important for selling fine art photography. It should be printed on archival paper, Giclee printing, and acid free matting etc. It should last a long time when framed. Have it done professionally.

- Jessica Jenney
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