The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, February 14, 2011
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Q&A 1: Walk-about Lens...

"I found this week's assignment as fulfilling as any I've done in any photography classes I've taken - either online or in the field. Susan and Neil Silverman stimulated me to make use of my own imagination and creativity!" - Eric Schuman, student in Out and About with Your Camera

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More Techniques for Getting Sharper Pictures
By Jim Zuckerman
Here are a few more ways to make sure your photos are as sharp as you want them to be:
- Don't trust the autofocus mechanism in low light situations. Don't be so dependent on automation that you can't take good pictures without it. Switch to manual focus when necessary. Autofocus works on the basis of color and contrast. If there isn't enough contrast in a scene, it can't work well.
- When there is more than one plane of focus in front of your subject (i.e., in scenes with depth - foreground, middle ground and background), the autofocus mechanism can't know which plane should be sharp. Therefore, use manual focus. You have no choice in certain situations.

Featured Gallery
The Boy & Bicycle
© - Nilesh J. Bhange

Welcome to the 512th issue of SnapShot!

More exciting news at BetterPhoto's online photography school! Beginning with the March 2011 session, we have another excellent new course on the schedule: The Creative Use of Shutter Speed by pro instructor Doug Steakley. It's a new, improved, and totally updated version of Doug's previous Photographing Motion class. ... Also new for March is Lewis Kemper's outstanding course, which is completely interactive but includes video lessons: The Photographer’s Toolbox for Photoshop: Exposure and Color. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss instructor John Siskin's Featured Blog ("The Importance of Editing Your Work") and Jim Zuckerman's Photo Tip ("More Techniques for Getting Sharper Pictures"). ... 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
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Some skills are hard to learn, but serious photographers will find a way to learn them. Check out BetterPhoto instructor John Siskin's excellent new photography blog on editing your work... Our online photography courses are truly MOTIVATING! You'll get direct access to REAL PROS. The next school session kicks off March 9th, but you can get started right now with an early lesson. One of the cool benefits of being a Masterpiece or Basic member, a student, or a Deluxe/Pro owner is access to the BetterPhoto Forum. Simply click the "Discussions/Q&A" tab in your Member Center.

Photo Q&A

1: Walk-about Lens for 7D

I only want to pack one lens for an upcoming trip to Europe. I'm considering:
1. Canon 24-105L IS F4
2. Canon 17-85 EF-S IS
3. Tamron 24-75 F2.8 which I already own from my Canon 20D days.

For a one-lens trip, the 24-75 seems a little short on tele reach. My shooting style gravitates toward "longer" more than "wider". Most of the reviews of the 24-105 say it's better suited to full-frame bodies than 1.6x bodies. What are people's favorite walk-about lenses on a 1.6-crop body?

- John W. DeHority

For less money than the 24-105L, EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM would be my pick. The 17-85, if the budget is less than $500. With either, spend extra and get the lens hood (Canon's own or a cheaper clone), since it's not included like it is with the L lens or the Tamron. 24-xx just isn't wide enough for me to use as general purpose/travel.
Your mileage may vary...

- Jon Close

Hi John,
I have a 7D, and the 24-105L is on my camera 90 percent of the time. It would be hard to take just one. I am going to Venice at the end of Feb. and plan to take the above lens and the 10-22 Canon(which I love). As the trip gets closer, I keep thinking I should take a 70-200 but really don't want to carry the weight.
Anyway, have a great time.

- Memoriee G. Sconce

Unless you are going to be traveling in a private auto or a rented van where you can stop anywhere you want, the Canon 17-85 is perfect for Europe. Unless you have the finances, then the Canon 15-85 is better. Seldom will you need to go longer but wide-angle zoom lenses are best for most of your photos. I did use the 100mm f2.8 macro for some scenics though, or to isolate some subjects. Be sure to take plenty of cards, an adapter for your battery charger and extra batteries. Also a lightweight, not cheap, tripod with a ball head and a cable release will be a welcome addition.
Memoriee: Your 24-105 alone will not be wide enough for Venice. So be sure to take along the 10-22mm. There were a couple times I was wishing that I had a little wider lens than what my 18-55 would give me. Make sure you also take the additional equipment that I recommended to John.
Leave the 70-200 at home. I carried the f2.8 version for three weeks and only took about 10 photos with it and they were taken in Switzerland.

Good Luck to both of you!

- Lynn R. Powers
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