The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, June 28, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Aspect Ratios and...
Q&A 2: How to Shoot in a...

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Wide-Angle Flower Photography: Environmental Nature Portraits!
Environmental portraits are an important part of photographing people, and they can be an important part of photographing nature, too. BetterPhoto instructor Rob Sheppard tells - and shows - how in an excellent photo blog: Read all the details here...

Featured Gallery
Inside Out 2
© - Mark Stevens

Welcome to the 479th issue of SnapShot!

Have a little spare time? Then catch up with the goings-on of BetterPhoto's team members - including myself! - at the Team BP blog... ... Great news! Our 8-week online courses return next week, as do our 4-week classes. But while the next school session kicks off on July 7th, you can get started today by enrolling right now. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the contributions of two BP instructors: Peter Burian (Camera Exposure Settings) and Rob Sheppard (Environmental Nature Portaits). ... 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

Why does my camera blink in red and yellow over some images? Peter Burian provides the answers and tips in his new BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog! Check out things here... Tell us how a BP online course has improved your photography, and you might win a free 8-week online photography course! But you must hurry, since the contest's deadline is June 30, 2010. Read the details here... We are very proud of our virtual classroom, in which you get feedback, answers, and genuine back-and-forth with famous pro photographers. Take a quick tour here...

Photo Q&A

1: Aspect Ratios and Sizing
What is the aspect ratio of the CCD in a Nikon D70? Can the ratios be changed in this camera or in others like the D300? Can anyone explain why we take pictures with an aspect ratio of 4:3 if paper size is 3:2 - something doesn't compute for me, thanks!
- Laura J. Smith
The aspect ratio is actually 3:2. The actual size of the sensor may not come out to be that, but the picture you get from it will be 3:2, which is the same as any other 35mm-type camera, film and digital. It's the same as 4x6 size prints. 8.5x11 paper is close to the 4:3 ratio. Don't know why, but it's always been that. Medium-format cameras can change aspect ratios because you can change the back of it for different film sizes, or sensor sizes.
- Gregory La Grange
Your Nikon has a 3:2 aspect ratio as do most cameras. The notable exceptions are Olympus, Panasonic, and a couple of the early models of Leica, except the M8 and M9.
The 4:5 (8x10) and 5:7 ratios were popular with the first view cameras and most prints were contact printed or enlarged to twice their size (4x in area covered). But that was in the USA and the papers were made to fit those formats. If I wanted an 8X12 print made from a 35mm negative I would have to pay for an 11X14 print. And if I wanted a 12x12 print for a full frame from my 2 1/4 square negative I would have to pay for a 16x20. When digital photography became popular the papers were cut to different formats to not only include the American standard but also the standards of the rest of the world which use the metric system.
When making your final image crop it to the way it looks best not to the paper sizes. I print my own photos up to 12x18 and found that paper is cheap and ink is expensive. Also, some photos look well when at 12x 18 while others look best at 5x16 or square.
One way to insure that the photo can be cropped to "standard" size is to leave room around your subject so that you can crop the image to 5x7 or 8x10. When you took your 35mm film in to the local drug store the machines automatically cropped your images so this is nothing new. Photographers have been doing it in dark rooms for a century and magazines probably longer.
When matting a photo the matte will cover any extra and if the excess paper is larger than the matte they trim it to a size that is easier for them to work with.
- Lynn R. Powers
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2: How to Shoot in a Dark Club
I have a Nikon D90. I took it with me to an event at a Jazz Club. I was using an 18-105mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED lens and the camera’s built-in flash. I was able to get several shots of the band because of the lighting on the stage. However, when it came to the crowd, the lighting was VERY low and the camera wouldn’t fire at all.
I am headed there again this weekend and will be taking more photos. I have a 50mm 1:1.8D lens and a SB600 Speedlight; should I use this lens instead? If so, what settings would you suggest? Should I put it in Manual, Shutter or Aperture Priority mode? I know I should set the ISO to 2500 or 3200. Correct? What about the flash? Can I continue to use the built-in flash? Even though I have permission to use flash and take photos, I would prefer not to use the flash if that’s at all possible.
Your help is TRULY appreciated. Thank you!
- Carla Jenkins
Hello Carla,
I do quite a bit of low light club/concert photography and I use my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens with no flash, ISO up to 3200 (my Canon 5D Mark II has low noise at high ISO's) or I use my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS which is sharp at f/2.8 and the IS (VR) allows me to shoot at 1/20s hand holding to keep my ISO lower.
I always shoot manually as I like to adjust everything as I go for my preferred DOF & shutter speeds.
Some clubs are just terrible and I have a real dislike of stage lights with red gels as they are rarely flattering. Blues, yellows, pinks, purples all seem to work better. I will occasionally set my custom white balance before I start shooting but usually just set my WB to auto and make corrections in PS/ACR afterwards since setting a custom WB is not always a good option when the lighting is constantly changing during the show.
I rarely take crowd shots when a show is ongoing since it is usually too dark and if I did attempt this, I would most likely use a speedlight, though I never use one for shooting musicians on stage.
Hope this helps.
- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - Jeff - New Monsoon

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