The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, March 14, 2011
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Oil on Water Phot...
Q&A 1: White Studio Ba...

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Focusing on the Details
By Susan and Neil Silverman
Details are important in photography. There are times when you are lucky just to "get the shot" and capture the moment, and that is great. However, we will often point out small details in our critiques and we are doing this to help everyone develop a better eye for seeing small parts of an image. Paying attention to details is what can bring a snapshot a step higher and more into being a good image. At first, the thought of being the "Detail Police" may be overwhelming to some of you. But as you become more experienced and pay attention to these small details in your own photos as well as other images, it will pay off with some different and exciting photos.
Editor's Note: For more details on the Silvermans, check out their Pro BetterPholio website.

Featured Gallery
© - Thandar Soe

Welcome to the 516th issue of SnapShot!

Get inspired at BetterPhoto! Our online photo courses offer personal interaction with top professionals! Also, check out our very beautiful and very motivating photography ebooks: Inspirations, Seascapes, and Cute Babies. ... In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss Peter Burian's Featured Article ("How Do GPS Devices for Digital Cameras Work?") and Susan and Neil Silverman's Photo Tip ("Focusing on the Details"). ... 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

Is GPS for photography a really useful option? In his new article on GPS devices for digital cameras, BetterPhoto instructor Peter K. Burian provides expert thoughts and insights... Each month, BetterPhoto offers a fun new theme for one of its 10 contest categories. Check out current and previous themes and bookmark the page! Our Deluxe and Pro BetterPholios are great ways to show - or sell - your photography. Plus, our monthly newsletter for BetterPholio owners offers tips and updates.

Photo Q&A

1: Oil on Water Photography Notes Available
Not really a question - just wanted to let folks know that if you have never tried photographing Oil on Water, I have put together a Microsoft Word document describing my recent experimentation with this and will send it to anyone who sends me their email address using the BPMail.
- Robert JensenSee Sample Photo - Sample 2

See Sample Photo - Sample 1

Very cool. I will send you my e-mail address. And thanks. That is very kind of you!
- Mary Iacofano
If only we could turn that oil into a little gasoline!! :) I checked out your website, Robert, and it appears that you could give us a few lessons on insect photography as well! Your work is really top-shelf!
- Bob Cammarata
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1: White Studio Background

Hi - I have a white background in my makeshift studio at home. I also have two Alien Bee lights with umbrellas and scrims. The problem is with my white balance. When I get to processing my pics, my white background always looks off - not white. I know I need to "fix" something so I don't have to do it afterwards. I have a gray card that I thought would help, but it might be user error that I cannot get that to work. Do I not fill up the entire frame with the card? Or what white balance is recommended? I really just want all to be "white" When I process. Thanks! And I have a Sony A850.
- Rhonda Bartz-Royse

Does "looking off" mean a little darker than white - a bit gray? Or does it mean slightly tinted? Like slightly brown, a little pink, or blue?
If it looks a little darker than white, you're not getting enough light on the background. You need to do more than just have something stand in front of a white background and light just the subject. You need to light the background, and light it 1 and 1/2 stops more than the subject to get white without detail. Maybe 1 stop more, but you'd need a very smooth surface to avoid seeing any texture or detail in the background.
Trying to get a white background with just the subject standing close to the background is very difficult because you'd need to have even light across the background. Doable with sunlight, hard to impossible with studio light.

- Gregory LaGrange

Thanks. Well - sometimes it looks a bit gray and it is fabric. As much as I try to keep it flat and not wrinkled, I get that distortion. So what it sounds like is that I need a third light that shines only on the backdrop and that might help with the darker color? And when you talk about stops more - higher wattage or power - yes? Sorry, I think of stops only on my camera and am having a hard time associating it with the lights. Thank you!

- Rhonda Bartz-Royse

You really should have two lights on the background so you can light it evenly. Evenly across whatever section appears in the viewfinder. If you use one light, the opposite side of where the light is will be darker than the other side with the light. That will require some Photoshop work to remove any parts that aren't white.
Stops with lights means you measure the light on something to get an f/stop. So you measure the light on a different area, like the background, and see what that f/stop is. If the first measurement is f/8 and the measurement on the background is f/11, the light on the background is one stop more (one stop brighter) than what's on the subject.

- Gregory LaGrange
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