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Photofocus Episode 42

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Chase Jarvis (www.chasejarvis.com or www.creativelive.com or www.twitter.com/chasejarvis)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 42 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest Chase Jarvis. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about exposing for backlit subjects:

Question One – Exposing for Backlit Subjects

I sit in the shade on my front porch, and if I try to take anyone’s picture in the shade with me, they’re so dark because of the bright light in the yard behind them. I try to counter the issue with the built-in flash on my D200, but it’s just not looking right. How do you properly expose for the shadows when your subject’s back-lit? Matt – Chicago, IL

Chase: The meter is getting tricked by the bright light in the background. The easiest approach is to switch to center weighted metering which will meter for their face and you should get a great exposure of the person.

Scott: You could add some exposure compensation or add some flash. Center or spot metering will also do the trick as well. Continue reading

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NOTE: This show contains a slight editing mistake that I couldn’t fix because I am in Vegas and the intern couldn’t get my voice on tape to replace the error. If you can ignore that bump in the road it’s an otherwise good show. I’ll fix it when I come back from Vegas. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

Photofocus Episode 38

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Tamara Lackey (www.tamaralackeyblog.com or http://twitter.com/TamaraLackey).

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 38 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Tamara Lackey. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about canvas prints.

Question One – Canvas Prints

Scot Thomas from Silverdale, WA asks: I have always hated framing and mounting prints. I recently had a print done on canvas instead of paper and I really loved to be able to just hang right away as is. In your experience, do you think certain subjects make better canvas prints than others or do you think canvas is as versatile as paper?

Tamara: We offer our clients a variety of printing options but I like to use canvas prints for really emotional images. We recently did a shoot for a hospital and produced all the images on canvas and I love how they turned out for their emotive qualities. You can also use lower quality images when trying to go bigger on canvas.

Scott: You do lose some detail when using canvas so if your photograph has a lot of detail that you’re proud of, you may lose some of that. Things like fields of wheat which have great texture already, look great on canvas. Overall paper is more versatile because there are more types but I think canvas is just as versatile.

Question Two – Rights Managed vs. Royalty Free

Audio question from Tony – What is the difference in the stock world between rights managed and royalty free business models?

Scott: Rights managed means that the user pays a license fee for a very specific use of the photograph. In a royalty free scenario, the user will pay a single one-time license fee that gives them irrevocable full-time use of the image in a non-commercial use (e.g. they can’t resell it).

Continue reading

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Photofocus Episode 37

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Syl Arena (www.pixsylated.com or www.twitter.com/sylarena)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 37 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Syl Arena. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about exposure and ISO.

Question One – Exposure or Higher ISO in Low Light Situations

Livi asks: In low light situations is it better to higher the ISO or adjust the exposure? Could you go through the pros and cons for both?

Syl: Creatively I am always most concerned with Aperture because I want to choose an aperture that will give me the depth of field that I want. ISO is the last thing I think about.

Scott: If you’re making really long exposures, there is a comparison between high ISO vs. a really long exposure but short of that, my advice would be the same as Syl. Continue reading

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Photofocus Episode 36

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Tamara Lackey (www.tamaralackeyblog.com or http://twitter.com/TamaraLackey).

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 36 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Tamara Lackey. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about getting kids to settle down for a decent picture:

Question One – Working with Children

Betty Allison from Columbus Ohio asks: How do you get children to “settle down” for a decent picture? I’ve been trying to photograph my neighbor’s kids but they won’t sit still. I am accomplished at adult portraiture but having little luck with kids.

Tamara: With children, the question is really to recognize the personality types of the children you are photographing both individually and in groups. With some children, if you are looking for a calm photo, that might happen right at the beginning when they are just warming up to you. With other children, you just have to wait them out so that’s why I don’t normally set an end time for a shoot. Sometimes it will only take one hour but at the extreme end I have shoots last for six hours.

Scott: You could be a wildlife photographer with that kind of patience! When I photograph wildlife, I will often focus on the group leader who controls the rest of the pack and try to get their attention.

Question Two – How Do You Know When You’re Good Enough

Dan asks: How do I know whether I’m good enough to start making money from my photography, and how the heck could I possibly get started? To put it another way, what am I worth, and who else can I convince to believe it?

Scott: You are ready to make money when people start offering it to you. Getting started is as simple as taking photographs and taking every opportunity to show the work. If you’re ready, people will start coming to you. The more preparation you put into being ready will also help.

Tamara: Education will lead to confidence which helps convince others to believe it. Continue reading

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Photofocus Episode 35

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest David duChemin (http://www.pixelatedimage.com/ or http://twitter.com/pixelatedimage). David has also been working a new site offering fantastic photography resources in the form of eBooks for just $5. Be sure to check out www.craftandvision.com for more information.

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 35 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host David duChemin. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about capturing the true personality of a subject:

Question One – Capturing the Personality of the Subject

Ben from Illinois wants to know: When shooting portraits, can you give me any tips that will help me capture the true personality of a subject?

David: Getting your subject to drop that wall can be really hard. It’s a matter of engaging all of your people skills to make them feel comfortable. Be curious, be patient, and be interested in people. Being calm and knowing your camera is also important so that you can engage with your subject rather than fiddling with your knobs and looking at your LCD. Also go into it open to the experience.

Scott: Getting out from behind the camera really helps with this. If you can get a camera release, that’s a great way from getting out from behind the camera. The camera does look both ways so if you’re having fun then your subject will too. Whether you are photographing people or birds, learn as much as you can about your subject as that will always lead to better photos.

Question Two – Rear Curtain Shutter Sync

Andrew Shaw from Whitburn, South Tyneside, England. How do you use rear-curtain shutter sync?

Scott: If you have a modern camera and flash, you can do rear-curtain sync. It’s a manner that allows the flash to fire just before the shutter closes. If you want to illustrate a moving car or animal for example, you would want to use rear-curtain sync so that the flash freezes the subject as it passes through the frame and not when it enters the frame. That way you’ll get the streak or light or movement behind the subject rather than the subject frozen in front and the movement in front of it. Read you camera’s manual and it will explain how to setup rear-curtain sync.

David: It’s useful because it changes the aesthetic of the image. Light has logic to it so there are times when you want rear-curtain sync. Even on my G9 there is a night setting which uses rear-curtain sync. Continue reading

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Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

Photofocus Episode 34

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Kevin Kubota (www.kevinkubotablog.com or www.twitter.com/kevinkubota)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 34 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Kevin Kubota. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about getting your pictures noticed on Flickr

Question One – Getting Found on Flickr

Brian from Anchorage, AK wrote to us to ask: Just a quick question about getting my photos seen on Flickr. I have quite a few photos on Flickr and seem to get relatively low views & comments. I use what I consider good tagging/keywords and have interesting subject matter. What can I do to get more exposure on Flickr?

Kevin: Try to get in as many groups as possible. Try to incorporate your Flickr feed in all of your social networking sites to get the multiplication effect and more traffic to your stream.

Scott: Participate in groups and be active in commenting on other people’s photos.

Question Two – Beach Wedding at High Noon

Adam Marin writes: I got hired to photograph a wedding on the beach in Jacksonville FL. What tips would you offer to get the best photos on the beach. Unfortunately, the wedding is at noon, so I am mostly wondering how to get good photographs with the high hot sun. I know that you have recommended shooting at ISO 800 and f/2.8 inside say a church, but what about outside?

Kevin: If it’s possible, try to suggest that they move the time of the ceremony up a few hours when the light will be better. Sometimes they are flexible and just didn’t think about the sun factor. If possible, see if they can put up some kind of a cover or canopy over the bride and groom. Try using a diffuser or some other type of scrim to block or soften the light.

Scott: My old friend Dean Collins taught me about subtractive lighting. Try working with L-shaped objects in the natural environment to block the sun. If you’re going to be on a beach, see if there are any palm trees that you can use as a natural scrim. If you use a diffuser, try getting it as close to the subject as possible without it being in the frame. If you hold far from the subject then it turns into a scrim.

Question Three – Referencing Images on Multiple Hard Drives

Donald Phelps asks: I have several hard drives of images from the past, and I would like to be able to search through them, add keywords, when needed. I want to keep them on those hard drives. Should I just create separate libraries for Aperture on those hard drives with the corresponding pictures or store the library on my computer referencing the images on the hard drive?

Kevin: I create a separate library in Lightroom for each shoot. There is one other option and it’s called CD Finder and it’s a cataloging software that will let you catalog anything on a drive or disk in one master catalog.

Scott: I used to have one large Aperture library but now I do split them up so that they perform better and have less problems. I create a library for each job. It’s really a personal choice.

Question Four – Getting the Eyes Sharp

Ron in Pittsburgh wrote to us at [email protected] to ask: I often hear the advice to focus on the eyes and try to do that but maybe am not getting the best results possible. For example, 1. I use the center focusing point most of the time. 2. I usually use single focus, sometimes AI Focus, seldom AI Servo. 3. Mostly Manual mode. 4. Almost always AF on.

Kevin: It sounds like Ron is doing most things right. It could be a back focusing issue or perhaps Ron is drinking too much coffee?

Scott: We don’t know the shutter speed or depth of field that Ron is using. There could be subject movement or camera movement. Perhaps if he’s shooting at 1.2 then he can move up to 1.4 or 1.8. Continue reading

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Photofocus Episode 33

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Jules Bianchi www.julesbianchiworkshops.com http://julesbianchi.com/ or www.twitter.com/julesbianchi

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 33 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Jules Bianchi. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about metering modes:

Question One – Metering Modes

Several people wrote in to ask what metering mode they should be using when operating their camera.

Jules: Normally I leave it on average metering and don’t change it since I tend to shoot in manual mode most often. I’ll take one shot in Aperture priority, check the histogram, make my assessment of the scene and then switch back to manual mode.

Scott: I tend to use Matrix metering since I’m usually photographing wildlife and don’t have a lot of time to switch modes as the birds are flying by.

Question Two – Focal Length

Jared in Indiana asks: Will there be any difference taking a photo at 100mm using a 70-200mm lens and a photo taken at 100mm using a 55-135mm lens assuming all other things are equal?

Jules: The answer is no but the thing to think about when choosing a lens are the other features. For example, my 70-200mm has IS and opens up to 2.8 whereas the 55-135 goes wider.

Scott: In terms of composition, 100mm is 100mm is 100mm. The quality of these two images may not be the same due to the quality of the lens (e.g. sharper, brighter, etc.).

Question Three – Un fogging a Camera Viewfinder

Tom Timson asks: How do you un fog a camera viewfinder when you’re shooting outside in bad weather?

Scott: The easiest solution I’ve found is to wrap your mouth around the viewfinder and suck. That will remove all the moisture from the viewfinder and clear it up. There are some solutions that you can put on the viewfinder that are supposed to prevent it from fogging up but I’ve found you have to reapply these solutions often.

Sponsor – White House Custom Color

Photofocus is sponsored by White House Custom Color. I’ve actually sold my printer and they do all of my printing now. Visit http://www.whcc.com/landing/ScottBourne/Blog/ for your five free 8 x 10 prints. They have a great new photo box now which is a great way to package your prints. You can also follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/whccpro Continue reading

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Direct download – Listen to this episode here.

Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

Photofocus Episode 32

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Ara Roselani (http://picasaweb.google.com/aramina/Photofocus#)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 32 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Ara Roselani. Ara was was one of the winners of the Aperture Nature Photography Workshops and is a finalist in the Emerging photographer of the year contest. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about color fringing on less expensive lenses.

Question One – Color Fringing on Less Expensive Lenses

Tom Thomas writes: I find that my less expensive lenses give me photos with color fringing. Is this normal?

Scott: Yes, generally will see this color fringing on less expensive lenses. It’s not the end of the world as you can correct some of these issues in post.

Ara: Yes, I use the hue and saturation channels to pull that down around the edges, particularly if it’s a blue fringe. Continue reading

Sorry for the poor audio quality on this episode. A mic failed during the recording so it’s a bit thin but we will fix it by the next episode.

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Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

Photofocus Episode 31

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) & special guest Syl Arena (www.speedliting.com or www.sylarena.com or www.twitter.com/syl_arena)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 31 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Syl Arena. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about photographic style.

Question One – Photographic Style

Ken Zuk writes: What makes up a photographic style? How do you develop a style?

Syl: To come up with a photographic style, you have to discover yourself first. In my own work, the photographs that I am drawn to make are mostly photographs of light. You’ll find over time that something will call to you and you’ll build up a body of work that define your style.

Scott: First I’ll point you to a blog post we put up last year talking about this very topic: http://photofocus.com/2009/09/01/a-few-thoughts-on-photographic-style/. In my opinion you have to be yourself which is a scary thing for a lot of people. You also have to recognize that not everybody will like what you do and that’s okay.

Question Two – Ring Flash

Gary Fesenbek wants to know about ring flash. If I purchased a long macro like the 200 or 105 would the ring flash still be useful or with those focal lengths?

Syl: I had to look these up because I’m a Canon shooter. I think those are great focal lengths for macro work. With that really long macro, if you use a ring light that slips around the lens, you’ll have some issue with shadows from the lens. You might want to consider Nikon’s great Macro flash unit – the R1C1. The great thing about this device is that with a light on each side you can setup a ratio.

Scott: I was going to suggest the very same thing. I happen to own the 105 and it’s a great lens and it fits fine inside the Ray Flash. Continue reading

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Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

Photofocus Episode 30

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 30 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about photography workshops vs. photowalks.

Question One – Photography Workshops vs. Photowalks

Ryan Harman writes: I am just starting my Career as a photographer and I was wondering what kind of experiences I can expect from attending photography classes at a college or spending a few weekends at photo workshops. What is better to start off with? Is there a difference between photo walks and photography workshops? What are the price points of these options?

Scott: Workshops are a great way to start your career. Workshops are cheaper and less intrusive than college and will give you an idea if this is something you’ll enjoy. Photowalks are typically not teaching situations and typically don’t have an instructor but rather a leader. I think you are better of starting with a workshop. If you have the money, time and interest then you can go to college as well.

Question Two – Photoshop vs. Photoshop Elements

Douglas N Crum asks: I’m going on a cruise to Europe in early March, visiting several countries. However, I think that I will have too much time on my hands on the cruise ship…. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. SO… I want to learn something worthwhile. I am a mac user. I have a A300 Sony SLR. So far, I just use iPhoto but would like to learn more image manipulation/fixing type stuff than iPhoto will do. I am thinking of getting Photoshop Elements, or maybe Aperture. I have looked at some photoshop tutorials online and it looks a little intimidating. Also what is the difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements? What, from your perspective, are the relative merits of those, learning curves, etc.

Scott: Photoshop is much more expensive and much more inclusive then elements but Photoshop Elements includes about 95% of what most photographers need and will use. Certainly it’s a great place to start. You can download trial versions of both products to try them out for yourself. As far as learning Photoshop and Aperture, there are several resources including Sara France, Lynda.com,& Kelby Training.

Question Three – Lens Sweet Spots

Tim from Indiana sent us an email at [email protected] to ask: I’ve heard you talk about the sweet spot for a lens where you can expect to take the sharpest photo. What are the sweet spots for the following Nikon lenses: 50mm 1.4, 17-55mm 2.8, 105mm micro, 70-200mm 2.8, 10.5mm Fisheye?

Scott: Here’s how you can find out the sweet spot for each of those lenses. Set your camera up on a tripod with a newspaper taped to the wall and ensure you have consistent lighting conditions, etc. Then take a picture from wide open to stopped all the way down and decide for yourself where the sweet spot is. In general, the sweet spot on most lenses is going to be between f5.6 – f8.0 in most cases.

Question Four – Prints Under Glass

Eric Vogt writes: I recently received my 5 free 8×10′s from WHCC. They are gorgeous! I put one in a matted frame behind glass and hung it on a wall, not in direct light. It seems darker under glass on the wall. Are there any considerations or tips to processing photos when showing them behind glass, or is there likely not enough light on this photo of mine?

Scott: You were right to keep your pictures out of direct sunlight but you need to put some artificial light on them. It’s nothing to adjust in processing, it’s something you adjust in your presentation. Continue reading

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Photofocus Episode 29

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 29 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we kick things off with a question about knowing when you’ve made it as a professional photographer.

Question One – Making it as a Professional Photographer

Patrick Edget writes: When did you know you made it as a photographer? By that I mean, there are a lot of people that can get paid for their photographs, but only a select few who can consider photography their “day job”. When did that transition happen for you? And how did you know you were ready for it?

Scott: For me it was a specific moment. I was assigned to take a photo at the Indy and happened to capture a crash that occurred right in front of me. That picture wound up in papers across the country and at that point I knew I was going to be a professional photographer even though it would be another 2 years before I was paid for a photograph. The way I knew was when somebody offered me a job. Just know that if you do decide to get into photography full-time, it is an extremely competitive industry and most photographers don’t get rich. You have to really love what you do and enjoy taking pictures but recognize that very few get rich doing it.

Question Two – Transporting a Beauty Dish to Exotic Locations

Jeremy Quant asks: I was hoping you’d have some advice on a really slick solution for transporting my 27″ Elinchrom beauty dish to exotic locations.

Scott: I put my gear in a Pelican case. I would recommend these as they come with pluck foam, are waterproof, will float, etc. The only downside is that they are a bit expensive. Another option is to ship it ahead of you in the original box. Continue reading

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Special guest host – Frederick Van Johnson

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Photofocus Episode 28

Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 28 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

Correction. In the last episode I misspoke and said you can’t have an f/1.2 lens on a Nikon due to the narrow width of the mount. In fact, I simply let my mouth get ahead of my brain. I thought I said that you can’t have any NEW 1.2 lenses on Nikon bodies due to the narrow width of the mount – the new electronics won’t fit into that system. The only 1.2 Nikon lens made was launched decades ago. I got this information directly from a Nikon engineer – there cannot be under any circumstances ANY 1.2 lens going forward on a Nikon under any circumstances and unless it’s a manual lens. Those of you who proudly touted the decades old current 1.2 50mm lens rightly pointed out my error.

Also people were looking for suggestions on software for doing panos. A couple of readers wrote in to tell us that Photoshop Elements does panos. There is also a great open source program called Auto Pano Sift.

This week we are starting things off with a question about pressing the shutter button on a DSLR.

Question One – Technique for Pressing the Shutter Button

Mimi Waters asks: Is there a right way and a wrong way to press the shutter button on a DSLR?

Scott: Most people have never been taught how to press the shutter button. There is a best practice – roll your finger from front to back across the shutter button. This minimizes impact on the camera which minimizes shake.

Question Two – Reducing Noise on Long Exposures

Karl Evers from Sweden asks: When I make long exposures – starting at about one minute – I get noisy pictures. Is this normal and is there anything I can do to minimize it?

Scott: There is a setting in your camera called Noise Reduction or Long Exposure Noise Reduction which you can turn on. Another method is to increase your ISO. While you will get more noise, my experience tells me that turning up the ISO is a better trade-off compared to in camera noise reduction. Continue reading

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Special guest host – Frederick Van Johnson

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Thanks to Geoff Smith, the massively-talented musician who created our new custom open for the show.

NOTE: We were having some Skype issues while recording this episode so it’s not perfect but it’s good enough.

Photofocus Episode 27

Hosts: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) and special guest Frederick Van Johnson (www.frederickvan.com or www.twitter.com/frederickvan)

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 27 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Frederick Van Johnson. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are starting things off with a question about tips for working with a new 50mm lens.

Question One – Tips for Dealing with a Shallow Depth of Field

@lcoppa: I just got a great 50mm AF-S for my D90,but I find it a bit difficult to use (very shallow DoF!). Any hints?

Fred: Shallow DOF is the reason why people by these lenses to throw the background out of focus and get your subject to pop – you just have to learn how to control it. You control it with your distance to the subject and your f-stop. The small the number (e.g. 2.8, the larger the aperture and the more shallow the depth of field will be). Experiment with different f-stops and when shooting a portrait, I focus on their eyes.

Scott: I use a lot of fast glass myself. In the movie business they use a tape measure and sometimes that is the best way to do it. I have a 50mm f1.2 for my Canon. On a little side note, you can’t have a 1.2 lens for a Nikon because the mounts will never be wide enough. Continue reading

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PLEASE BE PATIENT – OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH.

Special guest host – Scott Kelby

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Photofocus Episode 24

Hosts: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) and special guest Scott Kelby (http://www.scottkelby.com/ or http://twitter.com/scottkelby).

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 24 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Scott Kelby. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are starting things off with a question about Camera store scams.

Question One – Camera Store Scams

Allen Smith writes: I tried to buy a camera from a store listed in the back of a prominent photo magazine. The price was fantastic. About $200 lower than B&H, but when I called to buy the camera, the store said I had to buy a filter and accessory pack with the camera to get that special price. Is this a scam? Am I missing something?

Scott K: If the price seems to good to be true then it probably is. If you have to buy a filter and accessory pack to get the lower price then you’re not really getting the lower price. I try to stick to the reputable places like B+H Photo, Midwest Photo Exchange, and Adorama.

Scott B: I think you hit it on the head. A lot of those stores advertising in magazines are basically mail drops or some guy in a warehouse. You’re better off sticking with name brand stores like B+H, Adorama, or Amazon. Now just because we didn’t mention a store here doesn’t mean that it’s not reputable, those are just some of the stores that we know of. If the price is way lower than places like B+H then you should think twice about shopping there. Continue reading

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Special guest host – Steve Simon.

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Photofocus Episode 23

Hosts: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) and special guest Steve Simon (www.stevesimonphoto.com or www.twitter.com/stevesimon).

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 23 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Steve Simon. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are starting things off with a question about Nikon lenses

Question One – Nikon Lens Recommendation

Domenico87 writes: I have the money for either Nikon’s 24-70 or 70-200, working w/ D300, shooting weddings and portraits. Which ONE is more versatile?

Steve: Tough question. I have both of those lenses and both are extremely versatile. If you could only have two lenses then those would be the two I’d go with. For me, generally speaking the 24-70 is the most versatile. As a wedding photographer you’ll need to be close to the action and the 24-70 will allow you to do that but also pick a spot that is unobtrusive enough and frame the image the way you want. The 70-200mm does give you that great compressed look and let you get some things you might not be able to get with the 24-70.

Scott: I agree with you on the 24-70 but for a slightly different reason. Working with the D300 he is using a crop sensor lens so he will be working out there at around 100mm with the 24-70mm. The problem with the 70-200mm on a crop sensor body is that it will be tough to get the group shots unless he is standing far back. Continue reading

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Special guest host – Kevin Kubota.

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Direct download – Listen to this episode here.

Photofocus Episode 22

Hosts: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) and special guest Kevin Kubota (www.kubotaimagetools.com/ or www.twitter.com/kevinkubota

Show notes by Bruce Clarke (www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke)

Welcome to Episode Number 22 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Kevin Kubota. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. You can also send your questions via Twitter to Scott. Use the hashtag #photoqa to make sure that we can find them. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are starting things off with a question about converting to DNG.

Question One – Converting to DNG

Erik van Elven from the Netherlands writes: Should I convert all my Canon CR2-files to DNG or do you think that 15 years from now the current RAW-files still can be opened by Lightroom 16.0? Do you lose information when converting to DNG?

Kevin: Yes, they will be supported. They never drop support for a legacy file. As far as image quality, you don’t lose anything but you could lose some of the manufacturer’s proprietary meta data but I haven’t encountered a situation where that’s been a big issue.

Scott: I agree with everything you said. I originally had a bit of a push back against DNG because it was looking like it was going to be an Adobe-only format but now that they have opened up to the open standards committee I’m all behind it.

Kevin: I just got a new Ricoh P&S camera that shoots DNG right out of the camera. Continue reading