The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, February 21, 2011
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Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Wedding Photograp...
Q&A 2: Which Macro Lens?...

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Focusing on Graphic Design
By Jim Zuckerman
Finding strong graphic design when you are shooting architecture and cityscapes is a lot easier than when photographing nature and wildlife. Architects are very much aware of beautiful lines and shapes and they design their buildings.
Indeed, architects work to incorporate strong graphic design in the doors, the windows, the facade, and the overall shape of the structure. Buildings built on a tight budget usually have to sacrifice the beauty of an elegant or captivating design, but many older works of architecture as well as modern engineering marvels are truly stunning.
Even though a building or skyline is graphically dynamic, the way you compose the photograph still has to be carefully considered. You don't want to include distracting elements like power lines, out-of-focus trees in the foreground, and unattractive shadows. I feel that too much concrete or asphalt is a problem as well. Don't include a lot of the street in the foreground so it dominates the picture. Our attention should be drawn to the lines of the building.

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Huntington Beach, CA
© - Alejandro Cerutti

Welcome to the 513th issue of SnapShot!

We have a terrific $20-Off Sale going on at BetterPhoto's digital photography school! Select an online class from our schedule - 4 week courses and 8-week courses - and get your $20 discount today. Just enter Course11 into the "Gift Card Code" field on the Checkout Page. You must hurry, since this sale ends soon! ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss the awesome advice from two top BetterPhoto instructors: Deb Sandidge ("Sunrise Photography: A New Day, A New Beginning") and Jim Zuckerman ("Focusing on Graphic Design"). ... 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

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Updates From BetterPhoto

"Watching the sunrise makes anything seem possible. It's a brand new day - you own it!' Those are the words of pro instructor Deborah Sandidge, who provides great insights and tips on sunrise photography. 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: Wedding Photography
In May, I have a wedding to shoot. I always get some shadows in my pictures. How can I get rid of the shadow in back of the bride, groom, etc.? Any reference in wedding photography will help. Also, I have a lot of equipment and have shot weddings in the past but it has been one year since I shot a wedding. Any info will help. Thank you.
- Janice M. Borodezt
Hi Janice,
Outside - fill flash... I use my 580EX or 430EX speedlights for outdoor daytime shots because it cuts down on light shining between the leaves and other objects that create harsh shadows.
For shadows behind the subject, a large softbox, beauty dish, or ringlight will help to wrap the light around the subject which will cut down on background shadows. You may also try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling or walls but keep in mind that the light may pickup the wall color and cast that color onto your subject. This can be fixed with Raw editing programs or by using a white balance card at the shoot but make sure you are shooting in Raw format so you can more easily correct the white balance. Keep the bride/groom a distance away from background walls, which is my preference but too far away can cause other problems - distractions like people walking behind them while you are shooting. If you section off a space to do these shots, you can better control the light, background and distractions.
I try to scope out shooting locations at the venue and envision my shoot beforehand so I can better anticipate the challenges that may arise. So when you make your pre-shoot check at the venue, play it out in your mind where you want to take the portraits and what the lighting you have available to work with and what you will need to do to compensate. Good luck & have fun...
My .02,
- Carlton Ward
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2: Which Macro Lens?
I'm interested in investing in a macro lens. I have a canon 50D. Which lens is recommended and why? How are macro lenses different from regular utility / ano lenses? Just to make sure I'm investing in the right type of lens!
Many thanks
Jodi Jones
- Jodi-Ann Jones
If you have the money I would get the Canon 100mm f2.8 with the image stabilizer Jodi-Ann. I have the Canon 50D and that's the one I want to get.
- Patricia Seidler
I've got the Canon EF100 f/2.8 lens, although it's too old to have IS like the newer one does. It's about $560 at compared to the one with IS, which is $969 (which of course I'd love to have also, but it's just too pricey). I also use mine as a telephoto lens on occasion and it works quite well. I wouldn't part with mine for the world, and I'm sure the IS version is much better still.
- Monnie Ryan
Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro

1. It is recommended that people new to macro photography start with a lens in the 90mm-105mm range. It allows you to work at a comfortable distance from your subject and get a 1:1 image on your sensor.
2. It is designed for your camera whereas even Canon recommends it over their 180mm Macro which is designed more for the FF cameras. (mainly for balance) With the 50-60mm macros you have to be almost on top of the subject.
3. It has internal focusing, i.e. the lens does not get longer the closer you get to the subject.
4. It focuses faster on your camera than the other brands.
5. The IS is unable to detect camera movement at the short distance used in macro photography. However the IS does work well when using the lens as a short telephoto. But it also cost $400 more.
6. The front of the lens, outside casing, is ready to add the Canon flash attachments(optional) to give the subject additional light.

1. ALL macro lenses are the best lens that the individual manufacturers make.
They are sharper and have better contrast as well as color. You will have to purchase 'Crazy Harry's Super Duper Macro Lens'* that cost $55.99 in order to get a bad one. LOL
*- only available on Craiglist and/or eBay.
2.Only true macros will let you focus from a 1:1 ratio to infinity with the exception of Canon's MP-E 65mm which starts at 1:1 and goes to 5:1.(1X to5X times life size on your sensor. Only experienced macro photographers should use this lens.)

You will also need a good STURDY tripod and a cable release. If the 50D has live view you may find it easier to use for composing your photo but manual focus through the viewfinder.

Beware! Zoom lenses marked with "Macro" are not true macro lenses. They do not allow 1:1 images on the sensor. The best they will do varies from 1:3 - 1:5. That translates to 1/3 - 1/5 life size.

BP has courses on macro photography which I suggest you take to help the learning process.

- Lynn R. Powers
Hi Jodi-Ann,
I recently sold my Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens as I want to get the Canon 180mm f/3.5L macro lens so I dont have to crawl on the ground so much (kidding) - I just want a little more reach. I also have a ringlight and as Lynn noted - tripods are a must :)
I think most all macro lenses are of high quality as far as the Canon 60mm, 100mm or 180mm are concerned.
my .02.
- Carlton Ward
I have the 100mm f/2.8 older non IS version. I just love it. I have used it for portraits as well and it takes great images. Most of the time for macro images, I use a tri-pod so the IS is not a real issue for me. But, if I were in the market today for this lens, I would be very tempted by the IS version because you could use it in other applications as well. Good luck with your decision!
- Leslie J. Morris
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