The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 21, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Shadow with Built...
Q&A 1: Topaz Adjust...

"I could not be happier with what I took from this class. Deb Sandidge’s concise teaching and course assignments were perfect. She answered questions promptly and her critiques were spot on. ... I’ve learned a lot from the course and would recommend it to anyone!" -Wayne R. Wright on Digital Infrared Photography

Check out the Team BetterPhoto blog, in which BP team members share their thoughts, interests, and tips!

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 78234 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Have Fun with Blur Motion Photography
Meaningful experiences make meaningful photographs, points out Brenda Tharp. And in her excellent BetterPhoto Instructor Insights photo blog, she shares her thoughts ... plus technique for capturing movement in photography. Read more here...

Featured Gallery
Spiral staircase inside Vatican Museum in Rome
© - Christine Pentecost

Welcome to the 478th issue of SnapShot!

Want a great photography vacation? Then try a 4-week online escape or an 8-week online adventure. Our courses are affordable, fit right into your busy schedule, and offer feedback by a pro. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to catch the contributions of two top BetterPhoto instructors: Peter Burian ("Great Tips for Using DSLR Camera Settings") and Brenda Tharp ("Have Fun with Blur Motion Photography">. ... That's it for now. Have fun with your photography!    Kerry Drager
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

How do you focus for one subject and expose for another? In his in-depth BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog, Peter Burian explains how. Read all the details here... Get rewarded for your photography efforts with credit and credentials from the worldwide leader in online photography education! Learn more here... BetterPhoto has a "frequent flier" program for courses! For every five online photo classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course. Learn more about MVBP Rewards...

Photo Q&A

1: Shadow with Built-In Flash
I just purchased the Canon 10-22mm Ultra Wide Angle Lens. However, there is a shadow caused by the built-in flash on my Canon T1i. Has anyone else experienced this?
- Robin Chu

Yes, I have a 300D (Rebel), and it is so. It is a great lens but does not work well with built-in flash. One low-tech tip that sometimes helps: Turning the camera upside down will throw this shadow into the sky where you won't see it!

- Bojan Bencic
Hi Bojan - That is a great tip! I'll have to give it a try. Thank you!
- Robin Chu
I am not familiar with that particular lens, but if you are using a lens shade, take it off. I had to with my 17-40mm. The built-in flash on the camera will not cover the entire area of a lens that wide. You will have vignetting along the sides and corners. It will only cover up to about a 28mm lens. and that is probably pushing it. Get a flash that you can use off-camera for best results.
- Lynn R. Powers
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:
1: Topaz Adjust

I see a lot of outstanding images that are HDR or made with Topaz Adjust and similar software. I really like the effects. I've got the Topaz bundle, Photomatix, and trying to learn how to produce the same effects. Most of mine end up too noisy or not sharp enough. Anyone out there willing to share a few tricks or tips on their workflow?
- Robert D. Proctor

Hi Robert,
With both programs, you must play with the sliders a lot to get the effect you want Tony Sweet has a High Dynamic Range course here on Photomatix that is really invaluable to get all you can out of the program. Hope that helps a bit .

- Linda Proctor

I use the LucisArt filter for similar effects. I always run a real strong noise filter on the image before I run the effects filter. That helps a lot. Have fun playing.

- Randy  A. Myers

I'm using Topaz Adjust, and I find the free noise filter (community edition) from works pretty well.

- Carolyn Fletcher

Regardless of the filter being used, I believe the outcome is improved if the filter is NOT applied equally over the entire image. Various elements in any given photo require more or less of the filter effect. Using layers and selective filter strength on foreground, midground or background areas give the photographer more control over the final output. To make your pictures pop, clearly define the main subject but use a more subtle effect on the background and unimportant elements.

- Irene  Colling

Hi Robert,
I have been a user of Topaz Adjust & PhotoMatix for a while and with Adjust, you have to watch closely as you apply various filters as they can make images very noisy. I have become more comfortable using it over the past year and sometimes, I just have to back off on some applications or not use it when it gets too noisy. It can also make images look very graphic which can sometimes look cool but sometimes it just makes images look too cartoonish for my taste. The same can be said using PhotoMatix. When I set up to capture HDR images, I have noise in mind when exposing the series of shots so I usually use ISO100 and I only apply minimal Light Smoothing in Tone-Mapping to make my image look less Graphic/3D-ish and more like a normal photo. Details enhancement with in Topaz can really make an image pop and can also add so much noise that it looks bad. I like the Simplify filter and used delicately can add just a hint of a painted effect which I personally like as I also use Corel Painter X (w/Wacom tablet) software on occasion.
My normal method of operation with any new software is to push it to extremes and then back it off to where I find I like it. I look back at some of my older HDRs and images with Topaz applied and they are terrible and need to be redone or tossed but it's still a fun learning curve :) The Topaz noise filter does a great job but it still has its limits.
My galleries have lots of Topaz/HDR images, and I usually mark them or mention a specific filter used on many of them. If you see "hdr" or "TZ" (Topaz) at the end of my image name, it means I used them on the image.
Hope this helps,

- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - Eagle pair before & after

Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

Unsubscribe | Change Email Address | SnapShot Archives | Recommend to a Friend

If you use a Challenge-Response system for email, please make certain that you can receive our email by adding to your Allow List.
The sender of this email is the®, Inc., 16544 NE 79th St., Redmond, WA 98052

Copyright 2010® - All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be copied or published without prior permission.
BetterPhoto is a trademark of®, Inc.