The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, October 18, 2010
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Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Looking to upgr...
Q&A 2: Photographing W...

"I learned a lot from this class and felt that my confidence level has gone way up. No more guessing on 'correct' exposure as I've learned from the best. ... I highly, highly recommend this class!" -Jon A. Reiswig on Perfect Digital Exposure

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How to find inspiration and subjects to shoot...
Running into a creativity blank wall can hit any photographer. "Figuring out what to shoot is a challenge for sure... especially when you're feeling stuck in a rut", says BetterPhoto President Jim Miotke. "The key is movement... activity. When I find myself stuck, thinking about what to shoot, the answer is always to either go out for a walk or take a little photo excursion trip. Without thinking about what to shoot, I just go out... and raise that camera to my eye. Keep the body and the shutter in action... that's the secret. When I take the steps, the inspiration and answers always come."

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 495th issue of SnapShot!

Learn how to take your website to the next level! In Jim Miotke's online marketing mega-course, you'll discover tried-and-true techniques for getting more visitors, viewers, and customers. But you'll need to sign up fast. There's a 4-day-only sale going on, but it ends this Thursday (October 21st). See all the mega-course details... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the article by Jim Zuckerman ("Mastering Light in Photography: Contrast") and the Photo Tip by Jim Miotke ("How to find inspiration and subjects to shoot"). ... 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

Take your photography or Photoshop to the next level! Our outstanding 8-week classes return March 10th. See the course schedule... The issue of lighting contrast - scenes with bright highlights and deep shadows - comes up a lot. And BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman shares his tips and thoughts. Read this blog on contrast in photography...

Photo Q&A

1: Looking to upgrade from kit lens

I'm interested in hearing your opinions about what lens(es) would help me upgrade from the kit 18-55mm IS kit lens that came with my Canon EOS Rebel XS. Since this is all new to me, I'd really like to buy a decent lens that won't break the bank but will carry me along while I figure out how serious I'm going to get about my new hobby. Paying for an "L-" lens doesn't make sense for me now - I'm not worthy! I've been looking at the 28-135mm IS USM lens. Would that be a decent place to begin? Typically I photograph landscapes and people; I'd also like to be able to take macro shots somewhere down the line ... Thanks.
- Judy L. McKelvey

There's a 55-250 EF-S that's $200 less. The optics look a little better than the 28-135 (based on the MTF chart on Canon's site). If you're looking to carry only one lens, then the 28-135 is in the middle.

- Gregory La Grange

Hi Judy,
My friend Rick has the 28-135mm lens and likes it but he did eventually upgrade to a 24-105 f/4L IS lens.
When I started with digital in 2005, I bought a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 ($400) and the Canon 70-200mm f/4 non-IS ($600) so I got 2 good lenses for $1000, which was my goal at that time. The 70-200 f/4L is one of the very best lenses around for $600. I eventually sold both lenses to buy the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lenses. My point is to get what you really want if you can to skip the upgrading process but we have to do what we can as we go.
I am leery of lenses like the 18-200mm as I feel they are trying to cover too much range but I have never tried one either.
Hope this helps,

- Carlton Ward

Thanks to you both! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts. I think I've decided to go ahead and buy the 28-135mm now because I've found a good used one locally for $250, which seems like a decent price for this now. I'll use it a lot and see what seems to be lacking, and then go for something better when I know more about myself as a photographer. In the meantime, I'll use the information you've provided to start my own list of good candidates for future consideration. Thanks again, very much!

- Judy L. McKelvey

Make sure that you keep the 18-55mm lens.
It is a better lens than it's given credit. No, it is not as good as a 17-40L but it does the job that it was designed for very well. Also, it will be better at 17-35mm than the 28-135mm but the longer lens will be better from there on up. You will find that there are times that you will want the wider angle focal length. I am using a 40D with an 18-85mm IS and a 70-200 f4L IS along with an 1.4x TE. The 15-85mm IS lens is better but more expensive.
Good luck!

- Lynn R. Powers
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2: Photographing White!

I have been taking pictures this weekend of my son in a white shirt - indoors with mono lights and outdoors with just my camera. In all of them, the white shirt is so completely overpowering that it looks very unnatural and makes your eyes drawn to the shirt - not the person. Any hints? I toned down my mono lights indoors, and outside, I was shooting in shade in AV mode. When I compensate the exposure outdoors, the overall picture turns out too dark(just not enough light for that).
- Rhonda Royse

Hi Rhonda,
Remember whiter whites? White fabrics and white papers often have optical brighteners in them. These are chemicals that work like the coating of a fluorescent tube: if they are exposed to ultraviolet light they fluoresce in visible light. So the shirt could be unnaturally bright. The simplest way to fix this is to adjust the Recovery slider when you convert the images from Raw to JPEG in Adobe Camera Raw. The problem can be worse in the shade, because the light in shadows is bluer and more ultraviolet in the shadows compared to the amount of visible light. Some strobes have more ultraviolet than others. If this is a problem you can get ultraviolet filters to put over your LIGHTS to reduce the problem. The filter needs to be over the light because the light is converted into visible light by the brighteners, so you can’t filter this problem at the lens.

- 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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