Site search Web search

Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online
Advanced Questions
by Chuck McKern

With over 12 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions.

Is there a Nikon F-6 body in plan for the near future? or any other film camera to replace the great F-5?


There have been many rumors kicking around the Internet about a replacement to the F-5. At this time, I haven't been able to find any real evidence of it, nor do my contacts at Nikon have any information on it. It took Nikon nine years to replace the F-4 with the F-5 and sales are still brisk, so I don't believe it's likely to be replaced for several more years.

How many photographs should one have in his or her portfolio, and what sizes. How many black & white photographs, and how many color photographs.

thank you,

When it comes to a portfolio, quality is more important than quantity. Usually about ten to twelve images is enough. 

As far what to include, if your specialty is black and white then it should have more black and white than color. If you only work in color than don't include any black and white. Depending on what kind of work you do, 8x10 will probably be the size to go with. You can however mix sizes for variety and 11x14 portfolios have become more common due the availability of wide carriage photo printers.

Be sure to start strong and finish strong. The first and last shots in the portfolio are usually the ones that will stick in peoples minds the most, so you want use your strongest one in those two spots.

For more details on planning a portfolio, read "Portfolio Design, Second Edition" by Harold Linton, Steven Rost (Photographer), Cesar Pelli. Hardcover - 160 pages 2nd edition (September 2000) W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 039373059X.

I've been using a gray card lately to try to get more consistent exposures when using both B&W and colour film. So far the results have been encouraging.

What puzzles me though, is do you use a gray card when the lighting is behind or behind and off to the side of your subject?

Any suggestions in this matter?

John Round

Gray cards are used to gain a more accurate exposure reading. They can be used with any direction of light. When taking an exposure reading when the light source is behind the subject/gray card, be sure that the reading is not including any of the light coming from behind. 

Kenko extension tubes - what advantage in photography does this give me. I read about this in Moose's article this month but don't understand what it does or what its purpose is. I use a N90S Nikon with a variety of lenses.

Mike Melycher

Extension tubes are used between the camera body and the lens for macro photography. They are designed to increase the focal distance allowing you to focus closer than the minimum focusing distance of the lens that is being used. Extension tubes can be used individually or in combination with other extension tubes. This is an inexpensive alternative to expensive close-up lenses and they can be used with any lens.


Subscribe to Vivid Light 
Photography by email 



Banner 10000006


   Banner 10000143



Vivid Light Photography, monthly photography magazine online

Site search Web search

Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online