The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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Q&A 1: How to Photograph...

"Thank you for your course! Although I still have lots to learn, I feel that each week my photos are getting a little stronger. I am so excited by this new hobby!" -Marcy B. Reman, student in Understanding Digital Photography with Susan and Neil Silverman


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Stormy Palouse
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Welcome to the 590th issue of SnapShot!

This issue of SnapShot includes expert advice to improve your photography. Check out BetterPhoto instructor Jim Zuckerman's Featured Article ("White Balance Choice for Deep Shade") and instructor Rob Sheppard's "Featured Blog" ("Change Your Camera Height for a Creative Perspective"). ... Good news! BetterPhoto's next online school session kicks off September 5th, with many exciting 4-week and 8-week courses. These classes give you personal interaction with successful professionals, combined with the flexibility and convenience of the Web!   That's it for now. Have fun with your photography!    Kerry Drager    Newsletter Editor

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Don't be so fast in using the cloudy white balance setting when shooting in shade, advises BetterPhoto pro photographer Jim Zuckerman. Read more... Want extra visual "pop" in your images? Then start changing the camera perspective, says BetterPhoto pro instructor Rob Sheppard.

Photo Q&A

1: How to Photograph Balloons with Studio Flash
I need some guidance on photographing balloons. In short, I will be shooting a subject against a black background. She will have balloons next to her. I have three strobes at my disposal.
While prepping for the shoot this evening, I took some practice shots using balloons similar to those we'll be using on the day of the shoot. I tried a single light with a beauty dish first - the highlights on the balloons were super hot - way too much. I tried a 46-inch octagonal softbox - still, the highlights are large and blown.
Before I continue with trial-and-error shooting, I thought I should ask the experts here! :-) Any advice? I want to minimize the highlights on the balloons as much as possible.
Thank you,
- William West
Hi Bill,
Balloons are difficult to shoot, as is any shiny spherical object. The key is to use a very large light source, like you were using a tent around a small piece of jewelry. I would bounce a light off of a large piece of white seamless paper, say 9X9 feet. This will give you a large highlight without a hot spot. Because the light source is large, the highlight will be much closer in value to the rest of the balloon. However you do the job, a large light modifier close to the balloons will work much better than a smaller light or a light at a greater distance.
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
Did you experiment with different angles also? You're always going to get a bright highlight, but if your light angle moves the highlight to the side, you might be more satisfied with that than if the highlight is towards the middle.
- Gregory LaGrange
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