The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, November 01, 2010
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Q&A 1: Autumn Landscapes...
Q&A 2: How to Shoot Grea...

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Create Nostalgia Images with Black and White!
"As much as I love color photos," says instructor Deborah Sandidge, "black and white holds a timeless appeal. ... With black and white imagery, light, shadow, contrast, textures, patterns all become more important." Read more about black and white...

Featured Gallery
Morning Reflection
© - Graeme  Chow

Welcome to the 497th issue of SnapShot!

Get feedback from a pro in an online course! BetterPhoto's classes are by far the best way to hone your photographic or Photoshop skills - you'll love the direct interaction with master photographers, the personal feedback, and the flexible method of instruction. The next school session starts this Wednesday (Nov. 3rd), but act fast, since courses are starting to fill! See the listings of 4-week courses and 8-week classes. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the contributions of two top BetterPhoto instructors: "Create Nostalgia Images with Black and White!" by Deborah Sandidge and "Wildlife Photography: Portrait of a Lion" by Jim Zuckerman. ... 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

There are many awesome reasons to jump into a BetterPhoto online course. Read our Top Ten list... One of the top stock photographers around - Jim Zuckerman - has captured some remarkable images in Africa. Best yet, this BetterPhoto instructor likes to share his vision ... check out the story behind the making of a great wildlife photo... Check out the What's New and Announcements and Anniversaries pages!

Photo Q&A

1: Autumn Landscapes
What is the best time of day to photograph fall landscapes? I took some photos about 9:30, and they seem to be a little washed out. Maybe the light just was not correct!!
- Dawn Balaban
Usually, it's done in the early morning or evening. Mornings are usually better depending on location, because dust, pollution, wind settles at night and the air is clearer. But "washed out" can come from exposure, hazy day, environmental reasons for the trees not being as colorful as they used to be. A lot of times, northeast fall shots are done with a polarizer. So if you're comparing your shots to someone else's shots, that might be the difference.
- Gregory La Grange
Well, it depends on the direction of the light. In autumn, the sun is not too high in the sky at even 11 am. But are you shooting into the sun? Ideally, you might want to find a position where you can shoot so the sun is at your side. And, yes, a polarizing filter is certainly useful.
- Peter K. Burian

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Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography See Sample Photo - Not much fall color left

I've always preferred overcast days to get better saturation. Time of day doesn't really matter much as long as the light is bright enough to get a shutter speed fast enough to freeze whatever leaves may be blowing in the wind. For that reason, an early start make sense since the wind typically gets stronger later in the day.
One thing to watch, though... When composing autumn scenics on overcast days, you need to be ever cognizant of your distant sky and try to compose the scene to eliminate as much sky as possible.
- Bob Cammarata
Early morning (before 9) or late afternoon (after 3) or better yet, get a very cloudy day. The cloudier, the better... and a polarizer... the colors will pop!
- Carolyn Fletcher
Hello Dawn,
Living near Seattle where the rain season starts on Jan 1st and ends on Dec 31st, I get tired of overcast lighting as it has a tendency to dull the colors and vibrancy a bit. High overhead sun is worse, though, as it can be very harsh and create very contrasting shadows. Late afternoon/early a.m. is the best (as others have mentioned). I have Mt. Si right by me and it is picturesque and looks different every day.
I am attaching two of these type shots I have taken over the last 3 years. I used several images and PhotoMatix to create HDRs and if you notice the shadow line over the foreground grass/lower part of the trees, 5 exposures did the trick. I have another shot where the sun line is going right across the mountain which created a need to use 3 exposures - 1 for foreground, 2 for the mountain and the 3rd for the sky. Think I used a polarizer on the shadow shot, can't remember the other one...
Bracket your shots and see what works for you or create a HDR using several images.
Hope this helps,
- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - Mt. Si HDR w/B&W 77mm circular polarizer

See Sample Photo - Mt. Si at Sunset

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2: How to Shoot Great Portraits?
Hello :)
I'm new to photography, and now I love my life with photography. I got a Canon 450D (really, I'm still learning on it) and I want to have great portraits using it and with 18-55mm lens. Do you have any suggestions regarding about shotting portraits, lens to be use, camera settings, and more? Thank you very much for your time in this matter.
- Henry R. Doctolero, Jr.
A few more tips:
- Use the 55mm end of your lens ... that may require you to move further back from the subject; if so, do it.
- Make sure your camera is set for FINE/LARGE JPEG capture.
- Peter K. Burian

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Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
Hello Henry,
I highly recommend you take a class here on exposure. It is the basis of all that is photography and will teach you what DOF (depth of field) and other settings to capture the images the way you want to capture them. You may skimp on some things about photography but you will be shooting yourself in the foot if you don't learn and know exposure with a knowledge of composition right behind it.
Jim Zuckerman has a book named "Perfect Digital Exposure" and teaches a class here as well. It is a great investment and will remove the mystery of photography.
Now, to expound on your question - I like longer lenses and shoot most portraits with a 70-200mm lens and vary my DOF depending on the background and how much detail I want in the image. Sometimes I use f/2.8 or 3.5 but I often times use f/7.1 as well because that is a sweet spot on 3 of my L lenses. Which brings about another point - "It's all about the glass" . Well, not entirely but quality optics (lenses) have more to do with clarity and sharpness than your camera does.
Take Jim's exposure class and you can thank me later :) - Perfect Digital Exposure
- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - sci10c 0996

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