Several of your questions get answered on this months Q&A with Scott Bourne and Richard Harrington.

Q&A Podcast Questions

1. From Brian in Alberta, Canada

What is a stepping motor lens (Canon) and how is one of these different from Canon’s USM lenses?

2. From Ann in Seattle, WA

What are some of your favorite photography books?

3. From Mike in Tampa, FL

I know that this is easy for some people but I am new at photography and am interested in learning the best way to convert a color photo into B&W.

4. From Justin in Anchorage, AK

Have you ever used a monopod rather than a tripod and if so why and what are the advantages?

5. From Henry in London, UK

Are those panos you can make with your smartphone any good? Do I still need to use my DSLR and stitch or will the phone pics work?

6. From Chandler in Brooklyn, NY

What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a battery grip for your camera?

7. From Jane in Evansville, IN

My father got into bird photography after attending a seminar with Scott Bourne. I know he doesn’t have a long enough lens and has talked about teleconverters. I also know they come in two sizes, 1.4 and 2X. Is there a reason to pick one over the other and can you use the two together at the same time?

8. From Elliot in Fayetteville, AR

I am interested in knowing if there are alternatives to Lightroom and/or Photoshop that you would consider good enough to use as a replacement for one or both. I am not necessarily thinking of switching but want to do some research just in case.

9. From Joe in Topeka, KS

I’ve heard you both talk about neutral density filters. I get that they are used to darken a scene but I guess I don’t know why you would want to do that.

10. From Oliver in Cheyenne, WY

What is the advantage of setting my DSLR’s backbutten focus to acquire AF over the half-press shutter method?

11. From Marvin in Pittsburgh, PA

I have seen some cool shots of cars at night with long trails from their headlights and tail lights. How do I get that effect and do I need any special gear for that?

12. From Jeff in Houston, TX

I want to photograph zoo animals and then possibly create paintings from those photographs. Do I need to get any special permission from the zoo to take pictures and then turn them into paintings?