The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, August 23, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Best Way to Back ...
Q&A 1: Legal Rights fo...
Q&A 2: How to Avoid Sh...

"Doug Steakley inspires and motivates... What you learn goes far beyond the very valuable tools themselves. The lessons are thorough and detailed, and Doug is incredibly generous with his critiques, with follow-up, and with all Q&A. I very highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to expand their mastery of Photoshop. You get A LOT more than what is officially promised!" -Nancy de Flon, student in Basic Masks In Photoshop

Receive credit and credentials from BetterPhoto - the Web's biggest, best and oldest photography school! Learn more here...

Get word of your product or service out to a rapidly growing list of over 80502 serious photographers.
Learn More...

Creative Portrait Photography - Reflection on Plexiglas!
BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman shows - and describes - how to come up with some artistic portrait shots. Read his photo blog here...

Featured Gallery
Passing Storm
© - Ken Smith

Welcome to the 487th issue of SnapShot!

If you don't have any personal photography projects going on, you should! Self-assignments get you out shooting, help keep your creative vision tuned up, and help prevent your camera skills from getting rusty. And, yes, even top pros use them. For instance, BetterPhoto instructor Brenda Tharp recently undertook a very interesting project. Read all about it here... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Jim Zuckerman's This Week's Tip on creative portrait photography, and also Brian Lobdell's Featured Blog on buying used or new equipment. ... 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
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Enroll in any online course on photography or Photoshop, and get started today with an early lesson! See the school schedule... If you enjoy creatively photographing nature, animals, travel, landscapes, people, etc., then you'll love BetterPhoto's awesome Masterpiece of the Month Membership! Then you'll want to read Brian Lobdell's excellent thoughts and tips in his Team BetterPhoto blog.

Photo Q&A

1: Best Way to Back Up my Photos
For the past 6-8 months, I've taken many thousands of photos (many for the BetterPhoto courses that I've taken). My images are all stored on our MAC desktop computer. What is the best way to back these up? So far I've been lucky, and I haven't had a problem. That said, I want to put a system in place to make sure I don't lose thousands of images. In the past, I had a 4 MP camera, and every few months I'd burn a disk with photos. Now I have a Canon 7D (18 MP), so it is not practical to burn CDs (i.e. I can only fit a small # on a CD). Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
- Joshua A. Friedman
Josh, I have two external hard drives hooked up to my computer. I have a backup program that backs the computer hard drive to the first external drive, then the second external drive backs up the first external drive. I know if I go check the files on the second external drive and they are good, then that means the first external backup is good since that's where the files came from. It takes up no time since it is done automatically. The price of external hard drives is now cheap enough to make this a feasible option. You can also set up a "RAID". Do an Internet search and you can find that info. There are also sites on the Internet that you can automatically back up to. They require a fee, but the advantage is they are off-site and will protect you in a catastrophic loss such as a house fire or tornado. I also burn "special trips or outings" to DVD. Good luck.
- Randy  A. Myers
Hi Josh,
I second Randy's suggestion, and I am currently using (2) 1TB Iomega Firewire external drives and another 500GB external that is dedicated for MAC's Time Machine program. I want to mention Time Machine as once you turn it on and select a drive, it will eat the whole drive unless you partition it and select how much space it can use (it will tell you if it is too little). I made the mistake of using one of my 1TB drives and it eventually took over 400GB of space from that drive, which is why I decided to use an older 500GB drive that would only be for Time Machine. The real problem came when I went to delete the Time Machine files from that 1TB drive, it is very tricky and a headache. After several days, I finally reclaimed the space on that drive and it now uses the dedicated 500GB drive. I have a similar setup with a partitioned portable drive I use for my Macbook Pro.
Since getting my Canon 5D Mk II (with 21MB files), I can relate to the space consumption you have with your 7D.
As Randy stated, external drives are much cheaper now and very much worth the investment. Never trust just 1 drive as they can and do fail. I used to backup to DVDs and have a book of my photos on DVDs that are at a friend's house (in case of fire) and I have a book of his for the same reason. I recently dropped an older 750GB drive with my more recent photos that will sit on his shelf in case I ever need it.
The Iomega 1TB Firewire 400 External drives are about $130 and they are stackable, provide additional firewire and USB ports, and are fast. I have 5 of them I have used for the last 2.5 years and they are all working just fine.
Hope this helps,
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:
1: Legal Rights for Book Cover Photo?

What are my rights as the photographer for a book cover? I was asked to do a photo shoot and to sell the copyright. Then after I gave a price, they told me it was for a book cover. Do I have any right for them to at least give me credits in the book?
- Hannah J. Ellis

Your rights are what you negotiate or choose to give up. You can be hired just to do the shoot and not have rights to future usage of the photos, or you can negotiate on the terms of the usage of the photos.
It's getting more and more common with the influence of microstock, the Internet, and other things that people are wanting and expecting the use of photos to be pay the photographer one time (if at all), give up all photos, and don't offer any input.
Think of it as allowing them to use the photo, and how it gets used. If you want, you can negotiate to use the photo just for the cover and for promotion of the book. And you can add stipulations on other payment, such as if the book comes out in a 2nd edition. Or something like the initial publication amount is 10,000, then if it sells better than expected and they want to add another 10,00,0 then you get paid more.
You always have a right to get credit, but even in a case where you, as an example, gave up all rights to a photo that you took, you wouldn't see a credit line with some other person's name like photo by Joe Smoe. What you'd see is instead of photo by Hannah E., you'd see copyright belongs to Joe Smoe.

- Gregory La Grange
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

2: How to Avoid Shadows Behind Subjects

Am just a beginner w/an Olympus E-620 and recently took some pics at my nephews wedding both in the chapel and at the reception. I used an additional electronic flash (FL-36), but still had trouble w/shadows behind the subjects? Pics shot in Program mode. What do I do to avoid shadows and is there an easy way to clean up the shadows after the fact in Photoshop Elements or some other photo program?

- Julie A. Tamblin

Hi Julie,
Bounce the flash off the ceiling or walls if you can, this will make a huge difference in your shadows.

- Carlton Ward

Tis me again, Carlton,
Neglected to state in my question that I did try to bounce the flash off the ceiling and walls. Sometimes it seemed to work and others not?? J

- Julie A. Tamblin

Hello Julie,
This is a common problem, which is why LARGE softboxes and ringflashes are so popular, they do a better job of wrapping the light around the subject and diminishing shadows. Every place you shoot will have their challenges and bouncing is always the simplest solution if it works but depending on ceiling height, etc - this can be problematic as well. Also when you bounce the flash, it will pick up the color of the wall/ceiling you are bouncing it off of and cast that color onto your subject. I always carry a white balance card as well and use it when I am shooting several shots in the same light. I have the 14" one which folds up and fits easily in my case.

John Siskin is a teacher here and has a blog - - that is loaded with information. I took one of his lighting classes and highly recommend it as he covers a lot of ground and is an endless resource of information.

I wish there was a one-size-fits-all answer but there isn't, so we just have to keep learning, experimenting & practicing ;)
Love in Light,

- Carlton Ward

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Think I know what my next photog class will be!

Have a great week!


- Julie A. Tamblin

Jennifer, I'm guessing that you shot your photos with the camera sideways to get a vertical aspect to it. If that is so, a flash unit is to the side slightly? A flash bracket that lets you tile the camera yet keep the flash over above the camera works great to reduce the harsh shadow. With the flash above the camera, the shadows are hidden for the most part. Another thing do to is try keeping your subject from being too close to a background. That way the shadow is on the floor and hidden.

- Dennis Flanagan

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks, Carlton!! The key aspect of a light that defines the way the light makes shadows in the size of the light source. Consider a table lamp in a living room. If you take off the lampshade the light makes harder shadows. The transition from light to shadow will be sharper. If you put the lampshade back on the light will make softer shadows, with more transition. This couldn’t be because the light was spread more by the shade: the bulb is already round and spreads light in all directions. This happens because each point on the surface of the lampshade is lighting the subject. So the subject it lit from points above and below where the bulb lit the same thing. This is the purpose of an umbrella, light panel or a soft box: it lights the subject from more places. If a person’s nose is making a shadow with an on camera strobe and you make the light source larger, perhaps with a device like this:, the shadow will soften or go away. A really big light source, like a 4X6 foot light panel or a 60-inch umbrella will really reduce shadow problems, but it is hard to put one on a flash bracket. Carleton is right bounce flash is the easiest and quickest way of solving lighting problems, but the shoe cover can work and is cheap and easy to fit in the camera bag.
Thanks, John

- 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

Have you tried using wireless off-camera flash? For example: Hold the flash above the subjects so the shadows fall lower than usual.
The owner's manual explains how to use this feature with certain FL series flash units. It's quite easy and can be very useful.

- 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
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.