The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, August 02, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Painted Backgroun...
Q&A 2: Canon 300IS USM o...
Q&A 3: Battery Life Expe...

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Outdoor Portraits: Beware of the Background
It's easy to get so wrapped up in composing your shot that you miss the extra things that can slip into an image. In fact, portrait shooters consider the background just as important as the subject. Read instructor Kerry Drager's blog...

Featured Gallery
Little Windows
© - Marilyn K. Lincecum

Welcome to the 484th issue of SnapShot!

Our online photography courses are really motivating! You'll receive direct access to real pros. But here's more great news: There's a BIG COURSE SALE going on right now, but you'll need to hurry since it ends Wednesday! Also on August 4th, the new school session kicks off with a terrific lineup of 4-week online classes. Too soon? The next 8-week course session launches on September 8th. ... If you have a few minutes, be sure to stop by Team BetterPhoto - in which team members share their thoughts, interests, and tips. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Brenda Tharp's excellent article on multiple exposures, plus my own This Week's Tip on backgrounds for outdoor portraits. ... 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

While Nikon cameras have always seemed to have a lock on the creation of multiple exposures, Brenda points out: "No matter what DSLR camera you use, you can create cool multiple exposures!" Read Brenda's BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog here... There are two quick tips that will solve 99% of all issues you might encounter when using BetterPhoto's drag-and-drop uploader. Read all about it here... BetterPhoto's monthly photography contest is one of the many cool benefits of membership. And we are delighted to have B&H Photo on board as a sponsor!

Photo Q&A

1: Painted Background for Studio
I have a 12x17 room that I use for a studio in my home. I have used mostly a white, high-key background and a black one. I now painted the back wall of my room a mottled brown and want to use that with my wood floor. The problem is that I see shadows behind the people. Should I light that background like I do the white (although much less)? Or what can I do about that? I can't really turn down my main and fill too much or the subject will be underexposed. I didn't think about this and am not sure what to do about it. Thanks!!
- Tara R. Swartzendruber
Hi Tara,
Two things will help: First, move the subject further from the background. Second, use larger light modifiers or use them closer to the subject. The larger your umbrella, soft box or light panel the less shadow you’ll get. The bigger the light source the more points light the subject, and so the softer the shadows. You can light the background, but it will then photograph lighter, which might not be your intention. It rarely works to try and light a shadow away, unless you are making things white.
- 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
Read this Q&A at

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2: Canon 300IS USM or 100-400IS USM
After nearly a year, I'm prepared to purchase an "L" lens and must decide between the 2 for outdoor shooting. It's either the 300mm 4/0 w/1.4 ext or the 100-400 zoom for wildlife shots. Which would be best suited for my 40D???
- Leslie Steinkraus
Yhe 100-400 gives you more options. I own it, great lens!!
- Bob Cournoyer
2nd for the 100-400 - I have had mine for about 6 years and it is one of my sharpest.
- Carlton Ward
They'd both work with your 40d, but you gain much greater flexibility with the 100-400. I also have that lens ... get it!! :-)
- Ken Smith
Thank you, guys, I really do appreciate your input, I'll be looking forward to
getting that 100-400 asap. Keep up the great work! Sincerely, LLS
- Leslie Steinkraus
Hi Leslie,
Yes, the 100-400mm is extremely versatile, but in terms of image quality, I prefer the 300mm f/4 L IS USM ... with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter for use when a longer focal length is necessary. (The lens plus converter costs about the same as the 100-400mm zoom.)

**It's not as versatile as the 100-400mm zoom ** ... but the 300mm f/4L IS USM is a really superb lens.

- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
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3: Battery Life Expectancy
How long does a Nikon EN-EL3e Battery Pack typically last? What I mean many re-charges can it handle before it completely dies?
I bought two at the same time around two years ago. One still works fine but the other one won't hold a charge.
I've already ordered a replacement but I was just wondering if this is the normal life span or if I had a defective one.
- Bob Cammarata
I haven't found a consistent life span for camera batteries. I think temperature, fully draining, partial charging, and all the other variables make the life span too inconsistent. At some point, you notice they don't work as well. So you replace them.
- Gregory La Grange
Read this Q&A at

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