The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, February 28, 2011
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Upgrade to Canon ...
Q&A 2: Nikon 200mm micro...

"This course is jam-packed full of information. The lessons were thorough, step by step how to's. Kevin Moss is a great instructor, responding thoroughly to questions with even more good information and tips.... I would recommend this course for all nature photographers who want to take their digital darkroom skills to a higher level!" -Kayla D. Stevenson, student in Elements For Nature Photographers


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On Being Close...
By Susan and Neil Silverman
There's an old saying that "if your photos are not interesting enough, you are not close enough".; However, always remember that sometimes you want to have some distance from your subject. But if you take a picture of something and it seems a bit boring, think about coming in really close and taking another photo.
Editor's Note: For more details on the Silvermans, check out their Pro BetterPholio website!

Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 514th issue of SnapShot!

With the new month, we are looking forward to next week's start of the March online photography school session! Our 8-week classes return to action on March 9th, and so do our our fun, fast, and to-the-point 4-week courses. Enroll now, so you can get started with an early lesson. ... In this issue of SnapShot, some of BetterPhoto's top instructors share their expertise in the following: Photo Tip ("On Being Close") by our ace instructor team, Susan and Neil Silverman; and Featured Blog ("How to Capture a Dramatic Night Scene"). ... 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

The March online school session launches on the 9th, and we have two excellent new classes on tap:
- The Creative Use of Shutter Speed with Doug Steakley
- The Photographer’s Toolbox for Photoshop: Exposure and Color with Lewis Kemper.
Twilight is a wonderful time to take pictures, and BetterPhoto instructor Deborah Sandidge offers great tips for photographing passing cars with streaks of color.

Photo Q&A

1: Upgrade to Canon D7: Which Lens?
Hi All,
I am currently using a Canon D50 with a Canon 28-135 USM IS lens as a walk-around zoom. I am planning to change from the D50 to D7, though I am not sure whether to use the same lens or change to a 24-70 f2.8 or a Sigma 28-70 f2.8 - or should I continue with the old lens? Need your help on this! Thanks.
- Gagan S. Matharoo
Hi Gagan, The 28-135 is a lens of very old design. The 24-70mm is one of the best zooms Canon makes. If the price is in your budget, you will be thrilled with it. The 24-105mm is pretty decent too.
28mm is not very wide angle with the D7. (24mm is wider but still not very wide unless you get the EOS 5D II). That's why most people get a zoom with a shorter focal length too, like the 10-22mm ultrawide.
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
Read this Q&A at

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2: Nikon 200mm micro lens & 70-200 lens
I have both of these lenses on my wish list:
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens
- Nikon Telephoto AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF Autofocus Lens
Do I need both? I really enjoy macro and close-up photography, so the second lens above is first on my wish list. If I get it, do I really need the other? Or will the macro lens meet some or much of the need that the 70-200 would cover?
I have a Nikon 18 - 135 kit lens, but I don't really like it. So I don't want to consider it as an alternative.
I also have this lens on my wish list:
- Nikon Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
But my thought on that one is to wait until I get a full-frame camera. I have the Nikon D80 now, but plan to move to the D700. I thought I would hold off on the wide-angle lens until I had a full-frame camera. Is my reasoning logical? If so, I'll get the 200mm macro lens first, then the D700, then the wide angle.
- Pat Harry
There wasn't any logic in why you got a camera in the first place. You loved it, so you did it. Just think about what kind of pictures you usually take or want to take. How often you need to go from 200mm down to 70mm? Or do you find yourself doing things that require you to stay in the 200mm range one day, and some other day you stay in the 70mm range with a different subject?
- Gregory LaGrange
Hi, Gregory. Very good points. I guess I was wondering if the 200mm macro and the 200mm range on the 70 - 200 function the same. Or is there something unique about the macro that makes it different at 200? I assume not. I have a 60mm macro and it makes wonderful pictures, macro or not.
- Pat Harry
Hi Pat,
What a long macro lens does is allow you to work at a greater distance form a small subject. It also tends to flatten the image, simply because you are farther from the subject. A telephoto lens flattens subjects like faces for the same reason. The 70-200 is the basic portrait range for a full-frame camera, and most of the portrait range for a smaller chip. The fast aperture allows you to isolate your subject, which can be very helpful. If you feel you have to be too close to a macro subject, you might consider getting a tele-extender instead of the 200 micro.
I really like wide-angle lenses, and an 18-35mm lens is on my full-frame camera most of the time. You could certainly get the 17-55 and use it with your current camera, but it will be more fun when you get the full-frame camera.
- John H. Siskin

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Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Lots of good advice here, Pat. Here's my take on it: Most people prefer a shorter macro lens like the 105mm, although John explains the benefits of the 200mm for serious nature photography.
The 70-200mm is a fabulous lens but really does not focus close at all. So you would never use it for that purpose.
The VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED is very good and a bargain at around $600 but it also does not focus very close. (Unless you routinely make prints larger than 13x19 inches, I think this lens would be ideal. Not very wide maximum apertures but very good in all other respects.)
So, I think you will want a macro lens and one of the telephoto zooms for more distant subjects.
If you buy the D700, you will definitely want a short zoom too. Fine with your current camera till then. The 17-55 is a very fine lens.
- Peter K. Burian

See Peter Burian's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Peter Burian:
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

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