The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, January 24, 2011
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Copyright/water...
Q&A 2: Pocket Wizards...

"I really enjoyed this class! ... I think it is the perfect class for a beginner. Lynne Eodice is a wonderful instructor and gave great suggestions. She was always positive and encouraging, and helped me know what to change to make my pictures better. I am looking forward to taking other courses!" -Danae Romrell, student in Learning to Shoot Inspiring Images


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Pro Tips on Getting Sharp Pictures
By Jim Zuckerman
Here are thoughts on ensuring that your photos are just as sharp as you want them to be:
- When you are forced to shoot in a low-light situation without a tripod, hold your breath as you very gently push the shutter button. Don't pounce on the shutter with enthusiasm and end up with a blurred image. Lean against a wall or brace yourself against a rock - anything you can find - for stability. That will help you get sharp images.
- Don't use an ISO that is inappropriately reduced for low lighting situations. We all should be shooting at 100 or 200 ISO to minimize digital noise. But ... there is no point in going this low if your pictures won't be sharp. If you are not using a tripod, you have to adjust your ISO until your shutter speed is fast enough to hand-hold the camera. Making your pictures noise-free is irrelevant if they will be blurred.

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 509th issue of SnapShot!

Want a great photo adventure but can't afford the time off? Then try a 4-week or 8-week online photography adventure! Our courses are affordable, interactive with pro instructors, and fit right into your busy schedule. Our next school session officially starts February 2nd, but if you enroll in any online course on photography or Photoshop, you can get started today with an early lesson! See the February course schedule... ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor Peter Burian's terrific new article. The issue of kit lenses - when buying a new DSLR camera - is always a "hot" topic. Thanks to his review work for photo magazines, Peter is able to break things down in a knowledgeable and practical way. ... 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

Jim Miotke
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Updates From BetterPhoto

Besides being a longtime BetterPhoto instructor, Peter Burian also reviews equipment for photo magazines. He provides lots of insights and suggestions in an excellent new article on DSLR kit lenses... Would you like to show - or sell - your photos in an extremely sleek and cool way? Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are easy to set up, easy to maintain, and look great!

Photo Q&A

1: Copyright/watermark

I am a photographer just starting up my business and I was wondering if someone could clarify copyright and watermark?
- Rachel M. Enge

Could you be more specific? Are you looking for steps on how to add a watermark-style copyright text mark/logo to your photos? Or are you looking for clarification on copyright law, etc.?

- Christopher J. Budny

Clarification on what a watermark is? Is it just your logo, and do you copyright your logo? And is that considered your copyright, or am I just confusing myself?

- Rachel M. Enge

Hello Rachel,

Copyright Symbols
When you capture a photo, the picture exclusively belongs to you and you are the only person who can authorize somebody else to reproduce it or use it. The best way to let others know about it is by attaching a copyright notice to your pictures. Using the copyright symbol "©" or writing the word "copyright" along with the year and name is enough to let others know that they cannot use the picture without permission.
I attach my © 2010 Carlton Ward to my images when I download them using Adobe Photo Downloader. It is attached to the metadata :)
To type the © symbol, hold the cntrl/alt key and type 0169 on a PC; on a MAC, it's a simple Option G.

To Watermark your pictures with a copyright notice is even a stronger strategy to protect your pictures than to just copyright them.
The question may arise as to what a watermark is and how can I watermark my pictures with the copyright notice?
A semi-transparent image which is placed over an image is called watermark. If one copies the picture, the watermark is copied with it. So it can deter the intentions of image stealers to quite an extent.
You would be required to decide the size and placement of the watermark on your images.
Rule of thumb is that the more intrusive the watermark image is, the harder the picture becomes to be stolen. The disadvantage is that it becomes difficult to view the image. You would need to find a balance between the two.
Watermarks can be of different types like generic or specific text, image, date or copyright. You are required to have the right software to do this job.
Once you have added the watermark, your image becomes much more difficult for others to steal.

my .02

- Carlton Ward
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2: Pocket Wizards

I'm in the market to buy Pocket Wizards (I've been advised to go for the Flex TT5's). I have a Canon 5D MK II and 3 x 580EX's. Do I need to buy 3 wizards or 3 sets, or how does it work? Thanks!
- Robyn Gwilt

It's a transceiver, so you can buy one unit for your camera and for each light you intend on using. Or you can go for a minimum of two, and use optic slaves or some other means to trigger any other lights.

- Gregory La Grange

Hi Robyn,
I have the Canon STE2 transmitter, and it will trigger both my 580 and 430 (set as slave) flashes, or I can mount the 580 and set it as master and set my 430 as slave and trigger them that way. I have yet to try this with a third speedlight but I think it will trigger all of them that are set as slave.
I use the Carl Buff transmitters and receivers for my Alien Bees, and although I anticipated buying Pocket Wizards, so far I have not seen it as a necessity as my current ones work fine for my limited usage. If you are doing a lot more studio shooting, I think the Pocket Wizards would be a worthwhile investment. BTW, if I was to buy wizards, I would go for the TT5's as well :)

- Carlton Ward

Thanks, Greg and Carlton... So maybe I start with 2 of them... and take it from there. Thanks for your assistance - always on the button, you two! :)

- Robyn Gwilt

I also have the ST E2 transmitter, which I almost didn't buy because of bad reviews, but I bought it anyway and it works like a charm. I have a 580EX and two 430's - if you set them as slaves, the transmitter will fire them every time. I went with the ST E2 simply because it was cheaper, but it works great.

- Dayna Cain
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