The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 07, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Software for Nois...
Q&A 2: Charging for Phot...
Q&A 3: Storing Digital i...

"I have learned so much from your class ... have been great, Doug! Your input is very instructional, encouraging, affirming and really helps to "turn the lights on". You are also very approachable and down to earth, which I find to be a real asset in the learning experience. Thank you so much!" -Joan E. Herwig, student in Basic Masks In Photoshop

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Learning Black and White Photography - Toning
When BP instructor Jim Zuckerman finds a subject that he feels will look good as a B&W image, his first impulse is to add a tone to it. Read his fascinating photo blog on the subject...

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 476th issue of SnapShot!

The next 4-week session of our awesome online photography courses is coming right up - this Wed. June 9th! These short courses are fast, fun and to the point. See the schedule here... Too soon? The next round of 8-week courses launches on July 7th. ... Still not sure? Our classes are truly motivating, and you get direct access to real pros! Also, we are very proud of our virtual classroom. Get a quick overview of how our courses work... ... Have a few minutes? Then check out the Team BetterPhoto blog, in which BP team members share their thoughts, interests, and tips! .... Need an inspiration lift? Subscribe to our free Photo of the Day newsletter at the subscription page. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to catch the contributions of several BP instructors, including Jim Zuckerman (B&W toning), Lynne Eodice (aquarium photography), and John Siskin (photography as an art form). ... 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
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Updates From BetterPhoto

Get rewarded for your photography efforts with credit and credentials from the worldwide leader in online photography education! Learn more here... There are rare and wonderful sea creatures available to be photographed at your local aquarium - ranging from shallow tide pools to giant kelp forests. BetterPhoto instructor Lynne Eodice shares photo tips to keep in mind before an aquarium visit. Read her BP article here... Read John Siskin's interesting thoughts in his recent BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog...

Photo Q&A

1: Software for Noise Removal
Any recommendations for good noise removal software? I've used Topaz Denoise but not sure if there's anything better. Thanks.
- Jodi M. Walsh
I like Imagenomic's Noiseware Community Edition...and it's free!
- Carolyn Fletcher
Noise Ninja is another popular one.
- Ken Smith
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2: Charging for Photos?
I have never charged for doing any type of photography work. Lately, I have had quite a few people ask me what I charge. I have done several senior photos for friends and family. Today I had a request from a co-worker to photograph her family reunion and was wonder what I would charge. I am not even sure if I feel right charging someone to take pictures. I am not a professional and have always just took them for fun. Does anyone have any advice? Can a non-professional person even charge?
- Jane A. Myers
Hi Jane,
One of the differences between amateur and professional work is that a pro has to come back with useable images and an amateur can walk away from a bad day. So, if you want to do a professional job, one question to ask yourself is, "Am I prepared for trouble?"
Regarding what to charge, the first question is how much time will I spend on the job? This should include the time getting to and from the event, any appointments before or after the event, and, of course, how much time will I spend in post-production? I don’t know how much value you put on your time, but if you figure to have 20 hours tied up in shooting an event, you should make some money. I can tell you that shooting any event is a lot more work than fun. Sometimes people try to get an amateur to shoot an event to save money. These people will probably be difficult to deal with as they value price over quality. I generally work for businesses because they are much more upfront about money. You can charge for your work when you tell yourself you can. I teach a number of classes here at BetterPhoto designed for the emerging professional. Thanks.
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
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3: Storing Digital images in 2010
I am looking for a reliable way to save images. I have a 10 month old son, and since he was born I have managed to accumulate over 100 GB of photos.... I know it's a little crazy. I have been saving the RAW files in addition to the JPEGs. I currently backup to an external hard drive and leave the files on my computer. However, I keep filling my laptop hard drive! I searched for posts on this topic, and they were all from 2004-2007, and I am hoping that there are new theories on this.
My thought is to save to an external hard drive and burn to DVD. I would be devastated to lose these images.
- Jennifer Cresse
I'm no expert, but my husband Jack and I DO have lots of photos! Here's the "process" I try to stick with:
1) Download photos from each outing to our PC. Before deleting anything on the media card, I copy them to an external hard drive (I have a 500G Western Digital MyBook and am about to get a second 1TB).
2) If I've downloaded them to a laptop, as soon as I get back home I transfer them to the PC and then the external HD. Then, I know I can delete them from the laptop when it gets too full without worrying about losing them.
3) There's room on our PC for maybe three years' worth of photos, and I have at least three years' worth on the external HD. At the end of every year, I burn DVDs from the earliest-year photos on the external HD, ID and store them. When that external HD gets full, I'll delete the earliest year or years of photos because they're stored on DVDs.
4) It works in similar fashion with the PC; at the end of the year, I double-check to make sure all the earliest-year photos also are on the external HD; then I can delete as them needed to free up space on the PC.
5) For the first time this year, to further protect against losing any of those precious photos, we subscribed to an online backup storage site (Carbonite). For about $50 a year, photos and other documents are automatically backed up and storage is unlimited. If losing any of your photos is absolutely unthinkable, it's an option that might be worth looking into.
Admittedly, it takes some time for a couple of days at the end of each year to make the whole thing work, but the process has worked well for us. Hope that helps a little.
- Monnie S. Ryan
Hi Jen,
I have an older MacBook Pro that only has 120GB internal storage so I carry a 320GB Iomega firewire drive in my laptop case. I have 2 1TB Iomega hard drives that I actively work off at home on my IMAC and keep everything backed up to 2 drives because I dont trust hard drives. I have several more HDs that I have accumulated over the years that once full, get placed on a shelf. I also burn my Raw images to DVD (that I keep at a photographer friend's house in case of fire, etc.) and I have a book of his photo DVDs to cover him as well. We do trust each other :)
The 320GB and the 1TB hard drives sell for about $100, which is reasonable for the amount of storage space you get.
I looked at the online storage places but uploading 8GB blocks of raw images for each CF card seems a bit laborsome to me and I don't have complete trust of these type of sites as it only takes one bad employee that could take advantage of the stored images. You see all kinds of photo thieves on Flickr, etc..
thats my .02
- Carlton Ward
A few additional random thoughts about backups.

Automating backup is important since it is easy to put it off or forget. On MACs, you have Time Machine ( and on PCs there are a number of good applications like Allways Sync ( both of which can be configured to automate backups.

As far as online backups, most are not really backups in the same sense of Moby or Carbonite. Moby and Carbonite encrypt your data before it is archived so image theft is not really an issue.
Online backup is good for redundancy and it obviously fits the bill for "offsite" backups. But if you have huge amounts of data the low-cost "home" solutions are probably not going work well due to bandwidth issues. Also, Moby and Carbonite have separate plans for commercial use, which includes professional photographers.
JungleDisk and AmazonWS are cost-effective solutions for really critical stuff you want "offsite."
For redundancy, there are now "home" RAID drives that offer nearly risk-free storage. If you are considering RAID, RAID-10 is the most fail-safe and it is important to note that some RAID configurations are no more safe than a single drive.
Another option is dual 1TB drives with one as a backup to the backup.

- R.K Stephenson
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