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Photofocus Episode 94

Show notes by Bruce Clarke ()

This week we kick things off with a question about converting from Aperture to Lightroom:

Question One – Switching Between Aperture & Lightroom

If I switch from Aperture 3 to the most recent version of Lightroom, will I lose the adjustments, keywords, and edits I did in A3? If I later want to move back from LR to A3, will I then lose my adjustments, etc. that were created in LR? Scott Wu from Alhambra, California.

Scott: Depends on how you do it but generally yes. The changes you make in Aperture and Lightroom are basically a text file with a set of instructions that get applied on export. The best way to do it would be to export a high quality version of the file with the changes you made in Aperture along with the original master file and that way you’ll have both images and won’t lose your changes.

Question Two – Zoom Creep

I’ve major problem with zoom creep. My Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS BOTH extend by themselves whilst pointing downwards, even at a slight angle. While this isn’t a major issue handheld, it’s a pain when using a tripod as just when you think you’ve framed the shot, the lens moves and the shot/focal length and focus all go out of whack. What I want to know is: is this normal?! What can I do to stop it? The problem has gotten worse the more I use these lenses. Jake Williamson, Brisbane, Australia

Scott: Many of the less expensive lenses suffer from zoom creep. All lenses can suffer from it if they are used a lot and may need to be sent in for repair. There is also a product called the Lens Band which is designed to stop zoom creep.

Question Three – Red Eye with Ring Flashes

I always have a red-eye problem when I’m using ring flash for portraits. I know how to remove red-eye with Lightroom or Photoshop, but I would prefer to prevent the red-eye problem to begin with. Do you have an idea of how to make a photo with a ring flash without red-eye ? Ernest

Scott: Depends on the ring flash but that is a standard issue with them and the way they work. Try to change to the angle of the ring flash and that might be enough to avoid the red eye. You can also turn on the pre-flash which will cause the pupil to react before the shot.

Question Four – Traveling with the Sigma 300-800

I know you have the Sigma 300-800. I have one as well and I’m wondering how you travel on a plane with it. I’ve been putting the lens in the case it comes with and then putting that all in a duffel type bag and packing stuff around it and then checking it with the airlines. So far that’s worked, but I’m sure there’s a better, safer way, perhaps a Pelican case. Any ideas? Gary Meyer

Scott: I don’t ship the lens with the airlines. I will send them ahead with Fed Ex or UPS. Another potential solution is to rent gear from somewhere like BorrowLenses. You can also look at cases like the Pelican case but remember that the TSA can and will open all luggage and it putting it in a Pelican case doesn’t guarantee that they won’t knock it around. Always get it insured if you do ship it ahead.

Question Five – Model Releases for Street Photography

I live in Los Angeles so I have access to celebrities on the street all the time, my question is. If I take a picture of a celebrity say at the Zoo, coming out of a restaurant or just walking on the street, can I post these images on my blog, Youtube channel, Facebook, website, etc. Basically I would not have model release forms for these but would I need it? Jorge Araujo

Scott: If I took the photos and I wanted to use them on my own website I would. However if you wanted to use it for advertising purposes then you’ll need a model release and 100% of celebrities aren’t going to sign one for you.

Question Six – Avoiding Camera Shake

I’ve heard that to avoid camera shake, you should shoot with a shutter speed of 1/focal length. Is this a good rule of thumb? Also, how would you factor in any Image Stabilization on the lens, the crop-factor of the camera and the ISO – do those even make a difference? Nick, Manchester, UK

Scott: Yes this has been the rule forever. The ISO makes no difference. The crop factor is a factor. If you have a 100mm lens on a camera with a crop factor of 1.5x then you need to try and stick with a shutter speed of around 1/150. When in doubt, speed it up.

Question Seven – Eliminating Glare on Glasses

I’ve got a family session coming up in a couple of weeks and 3 out of the 4 of them wear glasses. Shooting without them is not an option, and I don’t trust myself to take the lenses out. Maybe I’m getting a little “cute” with this, but would using a Polarizer work for eliminating the glare off their glasses? Any negative things I need to look out for? Scott Segraves

Scott: Polarizer could work but it depends on the angle and you’re going to lose a lot of light. You might have to deal with it in retouching or you can try cheating the glasses down the nose a bit.

Question Eight – Suggestions for a Photo Scanner

I am looking for a photo scanner. The main use will be to scan old photos but I also I have some slides that I would like to scan. I want to keep the cost low. Models I have been looking at are Epson Perfection v300, v330, v600 and Canon CanoScan 5600F, 9000F. Are these adequate? Is digital ICE technology worth looking at? Lou in Phoenix

Scott: All the Epson perfection scanners I have used have all been good. I don’t have any experience with the CanoScan scanners. Digital ICE technology does work although it’s easy to overdo it so use it at it’s lowest settings. It’s can also be easier to send it out to a company that specializes in scanning depending upon how often you will be doing it. You might also look into renting a scanner.

Question Nine – Camera Clubs

I often hear you make comments about camera clubs that are a bit snarky. I have been part of my local camera club for three years, and greatly enjoy it. But I definitely agree with some of your comments. While we have begun to be more progressive (i.e. using HDR, Topaz, and just Photoshop in general), I would be interested in hearing what you think would improve the camera club experience. Shane Abbitt Ankeny, IA

Scott: Try to have as many interactions in person as you can. Set some ground rules about being helpful rather than attacking folks. There are camera clubs that are valuable but they tend to be small. Try bringing in guests to bring in different perspectives.

Question Ten – Photographs with Santa

I have to photograph some children indoors with Santa and the only gear I have is a D7000 & 18-105mm lens. What gear should I rent and do you have any advice about how to photograph? I don’t want the typical “mall shots”. Jacob Janzen from Belle River, Ontario, Canada

Scott: The only gear you might need would be some lighting like a stand alone strobe, a speedlite, etc. If you don’t want them to look like typical mall shots, don’t shoot them in the mall. If you have a bit more control, slowing things down helps a lot. Kids are usually pretty high strung at events like this so I would try to meet them in advance and come down to their level. This helps them relax and they find it fun. Get close and focus on the expression.

Question Eleven – Altitude Damage to Sensors

I read that you should never take your digital camera on a airplane! Reason being that at high altitude will start to do damage to your sensor. Now I can understand that if you put in your check in baggage. I understand that the cargo area is not pressurized and the pressure difference is what causes the damage. Now if you take it as carry on and in a pressurized area, I would think it would be very safe. What is your thinking on this subject? Jim Salt Lake City, Ut

Scott: I’ve taken digital cameras on airplanes since there were digital cameras and airplanes and I’ve never seen an issue. This sounds like one of those crazy internet memes. Take your camera on the plane and don’t worry about it.

Question Twelve – Photos Coming out Too Bright

Im using an EOS 550d/T2i with the kit 18-55 lens and a 430ex ii but all my pictures are too bright. I dialed the flash comp two stops down and exposure also down by one stop – this seems to work now but what could be the reason that everything is too bright? Doesnt make a difference if I use the flash direct or indirect! Mainly I shoot in Aperture mode with the lens wide open. CVS from Vienna, Austria

Scott: The problem is that your exposure is wrong so you’re not getting the right combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. When you’re using flash and you’re not getting the right exposure, my first thought is that you might want to consider switching to TTL mode or ETTL mode. Try to take the flash off the camera and see if you can make a good exposure then you’ll know it’s a flash issue. If you still get a bad exposure with the flash off, it could be a problem with the meter.

Question Thirteen – Shooting Auto Racing in JPEG

Ive heard you say that when you shoot auto racing you sometimes switch from RAW to JPG. Can you talk a little about that and why you do it? Dave Sanders, San Francisco, CA

Scott: In auto racing we are shooting fast moving cars so the buffer fills very quickly. You want to capture the action so when you shoot in jpeg you can shoot at a higher speed. If I’m shooting portraits or cars then I’ll switch back to RAW.

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Question Fourteen – Best Lens for Shooting Old Buildings

I want to take pictures of historic buildings in Dallas for the historical value of the images. What is the best lens to use when doing so? I have a 24-70 but it is not working as well as I would like for some of the shots of the entire front of the building. Anything else I should look for when shooting older buildings? James Gates, Dallas

Scott: When shooting buildings, one of the problems is that they are often tall and you have to tilt your camera back to fit it in. Consider renting a tilt-shift lens. Most professional architectural photographs will use a view camera with swings and tilts to keep everything straight. If you’re not shooting up, then try to get your hands on a 14-16 mm lens. Canon makes a great 14mm rectilinear corrected lens but they are very expensive.

Question Fifteen – Getting the Flash Off the Camera

What is the difference between European and US versions of cameras? Jean Davis

Scott: The US versions and the European versions are usually different because they are usually different arms of manufacturers. For example, Olympus has a US marketing arm and an Australian marketing arm and they are completely separate with different goals. Some models don’t make it to certain countries because of trade restrictions. Generally speaking, the US has tougher quality controls and the warranties are definitely a bit different.

Wrap Up

We want themes and questions from you. Be sure to visit the blog at for articles, how-to’s, videos and more. E-mail us at [email protected] follow us on Twitter. Don’t just take pictures – make pictures.

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