Your Questions About Investing Tips For Beginners

David asks…

How can I use external flash for fill light?

I have been taking photos with friends lately and was wondering if anyone had any advice about using a flash outside (to avoid harsh shadows on face, etc)? Should I use the external flash or should I invest in reflectors for natural light or something else? Please give me some tips. DIY suggestions also appreciated.Thanks Also, what is the best photography form? that might help…

I am a beginner, so please don’t rag on me. 😀
Thanks everyone.. Just to clarify, I do have an external flash. Will my flash work with an umbrella outside?

John answers:

Today I shot an outside photo assignment for a large company. The sun was beating down on us, and the subjects were going into and out of shade constantly. Answer… Fill flash.

For daytime, set your ISO to a low setting of 100-200 if you are in direct sun, and ISO 400 for shade. Now set your camera to manual mode at the fastest shutter speed possible, whatever aperture is correct for the ambient light, and your flash to auto or ttl mode. Then adjust your flash to -1. You are ready to go.

If your flash is still to bright and unnatural, go to -1.5 or even -2.

That’s what I did.

Lisa asks…

Cleaning fake leather riding boots?

I bought the fake leather paddock boots last year, my feet were still growing so I didn’t want to invest in real. I’m going to a show the first weekend of June and I was wondering if there were any tips for getting them clean other then soap and water. Anything to make them shine, like real leather.
Also, it’s just a fun show, like there’s placings and everything but you don’t win any money, it’s mostly beginner/beginner intermediate riders, so do you think I need a white saddle pad for my hunter/equitation/dressage classes? It doesn’t say anywhere that it’s required, does that mean it’s not?
And how do you braid a long, un-pulled mane? I’m using a friends horse and she doesn’t show her and she doesn’t want her mane pulled but I would still like it braided.
Thanks 😛

John answers:

Is it synthetic?
Find out what material it is and find the specific cleaner for it.
I wouldnt worry about a white pad if it would be a hassle. I always show in a thick black kinda ugly pad and i show in AA shows. The judge doesnt usually worry too much about that. As long as your horse looks clean and professional

Sharon asks…

DSLR Questions…please help?

Okay…i’ve been doing more and more research on what camera to buy, my friend did the same and decided to go for the Sony A300 because with 2 lenses and being in his price range he couldnt go wrong…well i am still kind of researching ( and amongst many other sites) and cant make up my mind, because I am not really a professional by any means, just a beginner, my first DSLR but i would rather pay $100-200 extra if i know im getting a hell of a deal…i like the Nikons a lot personally, i’ve held the D90 and fell in love with it, but i hate the fact that it does not have image stabilization within the body but the lens and its a bit pricey (not as weather resistant as competition either)…so i’ve been looking at the Pentax K20D but heard it does produce a crappy picture at times and the stabilization sensor aint that great once tested…then there is sony which is okay with me as well, just for some reason everything i bought from sony sucked so im a bit skeptical there, there is olympus but it just doesnt appeal to me for some reason…but what is important i guess i should mention is of course how clear and nice the picture can come out without it being the users fault, ill be taking pics mostly with a macro lens and of course scenery and general stuff…i just cant make my damn mind up…my goal would be to spend as somewhere within the $600-$700 range if possible with a lens, but like i said if i am only 100-200 away from having an amazing body then id wait and invest into it…so give me your input if you can, man im dragging on…but personally so far I am looking at Nikon D5000, D3000, D90 and Pentax K20D, K200D…let me know what you think and why, and any other recommendations, tips, etc…

thanks for all the help
information overload indeed…im just the exact opposite of an impulse shopper, ill do wayyy too much research and now i really cant make up my mind…i’ve seen some pics of a guy taking great pics with a D40 and i have a point and shoot which still managed to take some good pics, so i guess it is the user, but personally if the lens is far more important then i guess i should go low on the body and find a great lens for what i need…D90 is just out of my price range, but so far the best camera to hold in my opinion…i like Nikon for some reason, dont know why, so i guess i might be going for the lower Nikons…thanks for everyones help 🙂

John answers:

You are suffering from information overload. Look at the pictures your friend is making with his Sony A300. Do they meet your criteria for image quality? (NOTE: This has more to do with his abilities than it does with the camera. The old saying: “It isn’t the camera its the photographer” is always true.)

The latest DSLR from Pentax, the K-7, offers video and is weather sealed. No, you can’t take it under water but it won’t die if you get caught in a sudden shower. Here is what Rangefinder Magazine said about the K-7: “… It has a high level of weather resistance, dustproof and cold-proof construction. … To get anywhere near this level of weatherproof in a Canon or Nikon you’ve got to spend over $4000.” (Rangefinder Magazine, July 2009, p115) If you click on “Subscribe” you can get a free subscription.

As to the on-going debate over in-lens image stabilization vs in-camera image stabilization, I’ll refer you to the Feb. 2006 issue of Shutterbug. Peter K. Burian tested the Maxxum 5D (a direct ancestor of the current Sony DSLR line). During his test, he took two pictures of a yacht at anchor, hand-held, using a 24mm lens. One picture was taken with the in-camera image stabilization “ON” and one was taken with it “OFF”. When a small section was enlarged, the one with the image stabilization “ON” is much sharper. Http:// Just type maxxum d5 in the Search box.

Another plus for in-camera stabilization is that every lens used will have its benefit. So you can buy a 24 year old Minolta Maxxum AF 70-210mm f4 zoom lens, mount it on a Sony DSLR and have an image stabilized lens. The same is true of the Pentax DSLR line.

I think you should use your friend’s A300 for a day and then test the K-7 (perhaps you can rent it for a day) and compare the images from each camera. Just remember “Its not the camera its the photographer”.

NOTE: Although the processors are different, the $8,000.00 (body-only) Nikon D3x uses the same sensor as the Sony A900.

NOTE: Back before image stabilization was even a dream we hand-held 300mm, 400mm lenses by using good camera holding techniques and knowing to keep the shutter speed equal to or greater than the focal length.

NOTE: The Sony DSLR line can use every Minolta Maxxum AF lens made since 1985. The Pentax DSLR line can use every K-mount lens made since 1975.

Betty asks…

Portrait Posing Ideas?

I am an amature photographer that is just getting started. I have had a returning client from last year come to me recently asking me to do portraits of her family, with a new family member: A baby. She is due in august and wants pictures shortly after the baby is born. I have never done baby shots, let alone a newborn, but I have to sometime.

So, any baby portrait tips for me?
What lighting? (I have a on camera one as well as a Nikon SB-400)

Since I am a beginner (Also happen to be a teenager that has already gotten clients) I currently do not have a backdrop. Should I invest in one for the shoot or what?

What do I tell the clients to wear?

Thanks sooo much in advance!

John answers:

I am an amature teen photographer and have taken some portraits for people, for the newborn try natural light near a window, as for posing the newborn try the baby wearing just a nappy with the mother or father holding it in their hands and zoom in on the baby, or you could do the same thing with the father holding baby to chest with mother leaning over and kissing the baby. Or have the father or mother hold the baby and a sibling kissing the baby gently on the forehead or back of the baby’s head, then later in photo-shop or whatever program you have convert it to black and white or a light sepia tone.
For the family shoots try to find a space that is a block colour preferably a light colour white is best and yes it is a good idea to invest in a back drop if you are planning on doing portrait’s fairly often.
Try to set the family up on different levels and close together because the camera can sometimes makes people look further apart then they really are.
Tell them to bring a couple of different outfits, preferably one matching outfit, (jeans and a t-shirt) another outfit could be formal, and what ever else they family would like.
Also if there is another child other then the baby get some photo’s of the child holding the baby sitting down crossed legged with baby in lap.
And try for minimal makeup for casual looks and light makeup for formal looks.
Hope this helped.
You could try a website:

Robert asks…

Best tips for making money on stock Market?

Just general tips and hints for making money on the stock Market as a beginner.such as how much do I use for investing? How many shares do I buy? How do I know which company to buy shares from. Also sources and links to pages with info on will be very helpful and much appreciated. Thankyou

P.s. (I am a beginner to th stock Market and don’t know much on how the stock Market works and terminology etc.)
Are there any other money making methods which you would recommend or are better?

John answers:

Being an investor for over 60 years and working on Wall Street for over 40 years, the best advice I can give you is before you spend $0.01 of your money, make sure you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how to do it.

Before you invest in any security, the first investment you should make is in yourself, and the best investment you can make is by educating yourself.

Start your education by learning why you should invest and the importance of being able to make your own decisions or how the pro’s make theirs.
Here is some reading material that can get you started in the right direction,
Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered, by Gallea
From Riches to Rags, by I.C. Freeley
Millionaire Traders, Lein & Schlosberg
How to Make Money in Stocks” by William O’Neil
24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success by William O’Neil
The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham
Common Stocks, Uncommon Profits, by Philip A. Fisher
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Stocks for the Long Run, by Jeremy Siegel
The Interpretation of Financial Statements by Benjamin Graham
The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing by Paul B. Farrell
The Warren Buffett Way by Robert Hagstrom
Trading for a Living, by Alexander Elder
Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits by Joel Greenblatt.
What Works on Wall Street by James O’Shaunessey
You Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt
Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig

Get into the habit of making daily visits to some websites like MSN Money and Yahoo Finance. ( ,

Other website that can provide instructions and help with procedures and terminology are Investopedia –
Visit some of the more professional websites like Zacks Research – Smart Money – Schaeffer’s Some of these web sites will have advertisers who are worth looking into also. And remember, if they offer free information, get it. Or you can meet others who are trading at

Attend all the free seminars you can, just be careful and don’t get pressured into anything you really don’t want or need. Most schools offer courses in finance and economics, but very few will have courses on the mechanics of the investment markets, if they do try taking the course. You may want to consider on-line courses, the New York Institute of Finance use to have such courses. Try to get some fee information from the stocks exchanges they all have (had) free booklets, SIAC and some of the regulators (FINRA SEC MSRB CBOE) may provide some free literature.

And when you think you want to invest/trade, try some paper trading to test your skills without spending you money and/or

You at least have made the right decision to start investing, this is the first big step and it won’t be your last. Keep taking those steps forward and along the way never take the advice from people that are not in the market or try to tell you not to invest.

Good luck on your journey, study hard and you’ll invest well.

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