DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BIBLE PDF
Digital. Photography. Bible. Desktop Edition. Dan Simon. Wiley Publishing, Inc mids—an early Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography. Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography InfoWorld, and others, and was a contributing editor Some of his books include Windows 10 Bible. Read more · Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques · Read more · Shoot Like a Pro! Digital photography bible · Read more · The Digital.
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Get Free Read & Download Files Digital Photography Bible Desktop Edition PDF. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BIBLE DESKTOP EDITION. Download: Digital. Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more. The Photography Bible: A Complete Guide for the 21st Century Photographer to subjects and techniques, printing and processing and, of course, digital work.
Dan has more than 25 years experience as a journalist and photographer. I was one of about a half dozen students at my high school introduced to this desk-sized apparatus in the school basement. Little did I know I was looking at a piece of world-changing technology.
At the time, the contraption seemed like one of those interesting but not terribly useful gizmos high school science teachers were fond of getting us to try and learn. Computers have gone from room-filling multimillion-dollar leviathans to tiny chips that can fit on your fingertip.
The revolution from mainframe to home computer, led by people such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, has made the home PC as ubiquitous as the toaster. Even more amazing has been the revolution in digital photography. The speed at which the current change is happening is almost frightening, for it means that photographers constantly have to adapt to new technology. What stops this transition from being completely terrifying is the payoff in increased capability.
Although film photography diehards bemoan the impact that digital has had on the medium, the reality is that digital photography has rekindled interest in photography for many people.
Even better, in the hands of dedicated users, the technology provides incredible potential for learning and improvement. The ability to review an image immediately after its creation while there is time to analyze it and improve upon it is immensely valuable. This alone is worth the price of admission.
Digital photography is for everybody. When you get right down to it, digital photography is still photography.
There are some differences in making pictures with a digital camera and making them with a film camera, but the real sea change in photography has occurred in the processing end of the equation. This is in part because while lots of people make pictures, a much smaller number have ever processed their film. The advent of the digital process has made image processing possible or necessary for many people who would never have entered a conventional darkroom.
A basic computer with a way to move images from your camera to the computer, in addition to a CD-burner for making file backups, is more than enough. More than anything else, you need a camera. Beyond that, it would be nice if your computer had some kind of image-editing software such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and cataloging software such as ACDsee or iView.
As long as your computer was purchased in the last two or three years, you should have more than enough processing power to manipulate and manage digital files. When in doubt, adding RAM more computer memory provides a low-cost alternative to buying a new machine. If you want to use the latest version of PhotoShop PhotoShop CS , Adobe says your system should meet the requirements described in the following sections.
Like most instructional books, this one starts out with simple concepts and then moves to the more advanced. Here you find information to help you understand the features digital cameras offer and what you need to know to either buy and operate a digital camera. Here I cover the methods photographers use to make images people want to look at. The information in this part helps you take better pictures no matter how simple or sophisticated your equipment.
Here I share techniques that can help you get better shots, regardless of what you are shooting. If your goal is to grow as a photographer, trying new forms of photography is a good way to stretch your abilities and learn new tricks.
You learn the techniques pros use to optimize their photos and correct image imperfections. This part is a primer on how to use your computer to make your pictures better. It examines color correcting, spotting and image repair, and how to sharpen a photo and fix exposure problems. Part IV also introduces the idea of masking and selecting areas of a photograph so you can apply an effect to just that one spot.
This part also lays out a step-by-step image management process. This digital road map provides a clear path for how to handle your images from the time you create them until you safely back them up.
Digital Photography Bible Free PDF
Since many professions require their practitioners to take pictures, I wanted to provide you with some detailed advice on how to make the best of your photographic opportunities. You can find some valuable additional information in the four appendixes that appear in this book. The following list explains what each of these special elements means so that you can choose the ones you want to stop and read along the way: I use this icon when I want to call your attention to an important idea or observation.
Some techniques or situations present hazards the photographer needs to be aware of. The Caution icon gives you information to help you decide whether getting a photo is worth the risks involved. This icon refers you to another section of the book that contains pertinent or more detailed information about the subject at hand. On The Web. Sidebars frequently provide insight into how you can actually use a technique; or they show an alternative method or comment in more detail on a potential problem.
Please remember that my copyright still applies to the images provided on the web site. Feel free to download these images to experiment with; just remember that they are not available to sell or give away. When applicable, I provide before and after versions of the images so you can see what I started with and what I ended up with. Further Information The web is a gold mine of valuable information and advice, and manufacturer and software developer web sites are often excellent places to start when searching for the latest online advice.
Adobe maintains a very useful PhotoShop web site you can access from the Help menu of the program itself. This site contains tutorials and links to user forums.
You can also contact me via e-mail at dgsimagery hotmail. I make an effort to answer all e-mail I receive. While one person may do the bulk of the writing, it takes a team of people to see a book from idea to fruition. Debra Williams Cauley helped guide me through the shaping and planning stages of this project. Jodi has borne the demanding task of dealing with the fairly regular stream of questions, comments, and harebrained ideas I sometimes came up with. Through it all, she has been patient, enthusiastic, supportive, and cheerful.
His efforts have done much to make this book tighter and easier to read. I further benefited from the help of two talented technical editors: These two have been constantly looking over my shoulder, at least figuratively, to help make sure this book was as accurate as possible.
Several organizations provided access and assistance for both research and photography for this work. Certain companies and software makers have been kind enough to provide me with evaluation copies of their software or loan me their product to make this book as comprehensive as possible. One of these companies, iView Multimedia, has been kind enough to offer a discount on their software for readers of this book.
I use their product myself and have no problem recommending it. For me, that person has been my friend, mentor, and colleague, Sherry London, who has my heartfelt thanks for her part in helping me realize a lifelong dream.
Part I: Basic Camera Operation. Taking Interesting Photographs. Part II: Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Chapter Creating Magic with the Right Lens. Aperture and Shutter Speed Magic. Panoramic and Bad Weather Photography.
Part III: Tackling Different Photographic Subjects. Photographing People. Photographing Sports. Photographing Nature. Photographing Landscapes. Photographing Travel Destinations. Telling a Story with Pictures. Part IV: Doing Your Own Image Processing. Introduction to the Digital Darkroom. Part V: Photography for Professionals in Other Fields. Getting It Together: Help for the Occasional Photographer. Putting Digital Photography to Work.
Creating a Digital Presentation. Photographing Business Subjects. Techniques for Unusual Images. Appendix A: Digital Photography Definitions. Digital Photography Techniques. Tools, Solutions, and Emergencies. Chapter 1: Choosing a digital camera.
Digital Photography Bible.pdf
Chapter 2: Setting up a point-and-shoot camera. Chapter 3: Chapter 4: Going to Extremes: Shooting close-ups of flowers with and without lighting improvements.
Expanding Your Horizons: Assembling a high-resolution panoramic image. Chapter 7: Let There Be Light. Chapter 8: Posing your subject for a formal portrait. Setting up a home portrait studio. The window-lit portrait. Chapter 9: King of the sports world. Shooting indoor sports. A way to stay out of sight. Your backyard. Storytelling with a Camera. Image Processing. A nondestructive approach. Increasing Image Resolution. Setting Up a Workflow. Capturing and reviewing the images.
Processing the images. Image Management and Archiving. Setting up a photo drive and master catalog. Setting up a Photoshop action.
Creating a batch processing action. Digital Photography for Realtors. Shooting exteriors. Shooting interiors. Digital Photography for Automobile Sales. Digital Photography for Company Newsletters. Digital Photography for Insurance Adjusters. Digital Photography for Research and Documentation.
Digital Photography for Artists and Graphic Artists. Creating a sepia-toned shot. Digital Photography for Public Relations Specialists. Creating the Elements. For many of us, that means buying our first digital camera and learning how to use it. The chapters in this part of the book introduce you to the basics. In Chapter 3, you also learn some of the fundamentals to better picture-making.
Yet, for many people, these promises of pure ease and simplicity are left unfulfilled. After they bring their high-tech camera home, they find things are more complicated than they thought. What looks and sounds so easy and fun in the camera ads turns out to be more complicated than it first appeared.
My intention in this first chapter is to help bring the fun and excitement back to your digital camera purchase by giving you some tips on choosing the best camera for your needs. The Advantages of Digital Photography Digital photography offers many advantages over film. For one, you can take as many pictures as you want without the burden of buying and processing film.
You can fire off a shot, review it on the LCD screen, and decide whether you should try to take the shot again. Digital images also offer the advantage of perfect reproducibility. You can make as many perfect duplicates of your images as you want without trouble.
This makes sharing photos much easier. You can e-mail pictures to friends, or you can upload them to online photo printers and send folks the URL to the online photo album. That way, they can order whatever prints they want. Getting a Handle on Digital Camera Choices Digital cameras have introduced a new wrinkle to the equipment upgrade issue: The lure of this attractive new technology causes you to want to go out and buy new gear.
But this same technology is changing so quickly that it forces you to face a much faster obsolescence path than you ever witnessed in the past. The current high-end crop of digital cameras hits about 6 megapixels for point-and-shoot cameras and more than 10 megapixels for digital single lens reflex DSLR cameras. So digital camera buyers, much like computer buyers, have become conditioned to upgrading their machines every couple of years.
Even though you may be tempted to upgrade more frequently, you also get increasingly more bang for your buck as the price-to-power comparison becomes more pronounced. The 2. Plus, this newer model corrects some flaws in the previous version and tacks on some extra features, such as the capability to record audio or video.
So suddenly, that expensive camera is a much more attractive and affordable purchase. Answering this question properly, more than anything else, will determine how happy you are with your digital camera. So the first step in figuring out what kind of camera you should buy is to determine your photographic needs. The following list can help you make this determination: What kind of output are you looking for?
Most people prefer 4 x 6 prints. The average person takes a bunch of pictures, gets 4 x 6 prints, and puts them in a photo album designed to hold 4 x 6 prints. If you fall into the normal category, a camera capable of creating 2 to 3 megapixel images will meet your needs just fine.
In fact, it will give you some quality to spare, just in case you do decide you want to get an enlargement made. See Chapter 15 for some advice on how you can stretch those pixels even further. So why all the hype about 4, 5, and 6 megapixel cameras? Well, it helps manufacturers sell cameras, for one thing. And there are some people who really do want to make big prints.
If your budget allows for the extra money, buying a higher resolution camera can offer you practical advantages over one with the minimum requirements. On the other hand, if your budget is tight, save a few bucks and skimp a little on resolution. If you are one of the few who expect to regularly produce quality enlargements, then by all means look toward the higher resolution cameras. Decisions, Decisions: How big an advantage are interchangeable lenses, and are there any other advantages to using a DSLR over a point-and-shoot camera?
The following sections compare the two so that you can make the right decision for your situation. Point-and-shoot cameras Most people find that a good point-and-shoot does an adequate job. Even sophisticated amateurs can find high-end point-and-shoot digital cameras, such as the Canon G series and the Nikon Coolpix, that are capable of delivering professional quality images and giant enlargements. Many of these cameras also accept add-on lenses to extend their wide-angle and telephoto range and have powerful accessory flash units available.
These cameras pack a lot of photographic power into small, lightweight packages that are easy to carry and use. This can be a real boon for older photographers. The weight of a heavy camera bag and the stress of handholding a big lens and camera combination can aggravate joint pains and afflictions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Through their use of interchangeable lenses, DSLRs provide you with a huge range of options. Most camera manufacturers offer not only a variety of focal lengths, but also provide multiple choices for the most popular lens types. Third-party lens makers such as Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina provide even more options with their lens lines.
With the many lens choices offered by DSLR manufacturers, you can tailor your camera bag to meet the needs of a particular shoot. If your passion is close-up photography, you can choose from close focusing and macro lenses, as well as a whole range of other tools, such as extension tubes, bellows, and add-on close-up lenses not to be confused with filters, even though they look like filters. All these tools mean that you can take your photography beyond the norm, one of the secrets to producing memorable images.
I was out photographing the flowers in a springtime display at a botanical garden. Wanting to try something different, I brought out a mm telephoto lens normally used for sports and wildlife photography and a set of extension tubes.
Mastering Digital Photography
By using an extreme telephoto as a close-up lens made possible by the extension tubes , I was able to create an entirely different look for these daffodils. Such an image would have been impossible for most point-and-shoot cameras, but a DSLR handled the challenge fairly easily. Figure Close-ups are usually made with modest focal lengths. As this picture shows, you can make a striking close-up image with a long telephoto lens.
Choosing a digital camera Choosing the right digital camera can be a challenge. All too often, camera buyers obsess more over what brand to choose than what features they need. The first step is to think about how you plan to use your camera. For most people, a general-purpose camera will do quite nicely. There are, however, some uses that cry out for more specialized equipment.
To help you determine what type of camera best fits your photography needs, work through the following steps: Consider the kind of photography you will use the camera for most of the time. The following list explains some of the types of photography you may want to consider: Taking photographs of sporting events. Although you can create memorable Continued. The Fujifilm FinePix S Z has a 5fps motor drive and mm focal length at the long end of its zoom.
Photographing birds in flight and animals. Wildlife pros rely on top-of-the-line cameras and lenses costing thousands of dollars. Keep in mind, another option popular with amateur wildlife photographers is something known as digiscoping. Digiscoping involves mating a camera and spotting scope to greatly boost the reach of the camera lens. To find out Appendix B. These cameras are either built to be watertight or come with their own custom housings. One thing to watch out for is the distressingly low maximum resolutions 1.
You can find more information about pixelstretching options in Chapter These programs can be. Keep in mind, however, that photographing skyscrapers on crowded city blocks calls for very wide-angle lenses. Even more important, the lens needs to be wide enough to provide the necessary extra space around the building in order to correct the keystone effect.
To find out more about the keystone effect, see Chapters 15 and Think about what, if any, extra features you want your digital camera to have. Even if the camera can record video, how good is the quality, and how likely is it that you will ever do anything with that video?
Using your camera to play MP3s ties up memory capacity, drains batteries, and is all too frequently a more complicated process than the average person wants to be bothered with. Determine some of the other requirements you have for your digital camera. Here are some of the most important items to consider: Point-and-shoot digital cameras come with a.
Low-end cameras may have only a fixed focal length lens or a basic 3-to-1 zoom, which means that the longest telephoto setting is three times the focal length of the widest wide-angle setting. The optical zoom is the actual physical zoom range of the lens and is what you should really be concerned with. Choosing a camera based on the kind of memory it.
When you figure that you might change cameras every two or three years, amassing a collection of Continued. Compact Flash cards are the most popular and least expensive, so picking a camera that uses this type of memory is worth considering.
Some types of memory cards, such as Smart Media cards, require the camera to provide the card controller. If you buy a card that has a larger capacity than your camera is aware of, you have to send the camera back to the manufacturer for a firmware upgrade in order for the camera to recognize your media.
A buffer is a form of temporary parking for images that. Without a memory buffer, the camera has to finish writing the image to the memory card before you can take another photo. Does the camera use a convenient type of battery,. DSLRs frequently rely on specialized batteries that only the manufacturer makes, although third-party equivalents are sometimes available that are cheaper and offer more power. Low-end cameras frequently come without an LCD. Save money somewhere else—this is one feature you really have to have.
Using the criteria presented in the preceding steps, you should be narrowing down your requirements and getting a handle on the features you really need in a digital camera.
Next, you need to be sure that your home computer can handle its end of the process. You can just pull your memory card out of the camera and take it to many of the photo processing centers or home printers that can make prints directly from the media. Still, that approach limits the benefits of digital photography.
Using your home computer to manage your digital images makes the full power of the digital process possible. Your home computer lets you edit, manage, and manipulate your images in a way never possible with film. Here are some things to consider as you evaluate whether your home computer is up to the digital processing task: Photo editing programs such as Photoshop benefit from.
Image files start adding up after a while, and. You need some kind of removable storage. CDs and the various flavors of DVD can offer dependable storage if properly cared for. They need to be kept in a fairly cool environment away from exposure to the sun. Never leave a CD lying out in sunlight for extended periods of time. Try to buy good quality CDs rather than the cheapest media you can find. Make more than one backup copy of important images. You can transfer images from your camera to.
One of the easiest is through a card reader that plugs into your machine via either a USB port version 1 or 2. A card reader reads the images off your memory card. Serial and parallel ports can also be serviceable if you can find the right adapters or an older card reader to work with these ports.
Are card readers the best option? I think so. This is also a good option provided you have a laptop computer that can use these adapters. There are lots of other nice gadgets. The truth is, any of the big name camera makers produce a number of high-quality cameras capable of making great photographs. Then, your purchase decision involves a bit more of a commitment. Once you start buying lenses and accessories, it becomes harder to switch to a different line later. So be sure to take the time you need upfront to determine whether a point-and-click or DSLR camera is right for you!
Best of all, they free you from the cost of film and processing. This chapter looked at the basics of choosing a digital camera and tried to help you understand the features that make a camera useful.
The bottom line is to choose a camera that is easy to work with and gives you the options you need to shoot the kind of photos you most often want to take. Sometimes people obsess too much about what brand of camera to buy. Look for one that feels right and will help you make good digital pictures. In this chapter, I help you get things set up correctly so that you can begin taking memorable pictures right from the start.
Prepping the Camera Fortunately, the list of adjustments you have to make to your new camera is relatively manageable. Batteries Gone are the days when a camera could function without any battery power at all. Not only do cameras require power to drive zoom lenses, auto-focus, and auto-exposure, but those LCD screens suck up juice, too.
All digital cameras require some form of power supply, most commonly AA batteries. Because these cameras tend to drain batteries quickly, I always recommend taking along a supply of rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones.
Rechargeable batteries come in several forms, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. An Internet search for digital camera batteries provides a long list of battery. The simplest and easiest answer is to go with a set of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries Ni-Cads , but there are other viable battery options. In other words, your mileage may vary. Heavy users may need multiple sets of batteries to get them through the day recharging them at night , whereas casual photographers who only fire off a few frames a day might go a couple of days between battery charges.
An inexpensive and easy solution to digital camera battery concerns. Two sets of Ni-Cads plus a back-up set of alkaline AAs will usually get the hobbyist photographer through a family outing, event, or vacation day. Another form of rechargeable AA battery. Lithium-ion batteries constitute another form of rechargeable power supply. Li-Ion batteries generally store more power with less storage loss when idle than the other two types but are more expensive to manufacture.
Your shooting habits will determine how much battery power you need. Another power option is a portable battery pack. These tend to provide more power than AAs and also last longer, but they are bulkier than regular batteries. A portable battery pack is a nice option, however, if you take a lot of pictures. Memory Some manufacturers offer memory cards that are capable of receiving data from your camera faster than others.
Depending on your particular camera model, this high-speed memory may be an option for you. Is fast memory particularly important? Maybe, maybe not. If your camera falls into this category, then worrying about high-speed memory is unnecessary. So how much memory should you buy for that new digital camera? This is a fiendishly difficult question to answer. Unlike film, where you can just pick up an extra roll or two as needed for special occasions, digital memory costs more and sits around a lot.
Fortunately, you can purchase additional memory in the form of a memory card, as shown in Figure Memory cards come in many different types, including compact flash cards, smart media cards, and memory sticks. Pros and serious hobbyists generally get around this problem by bringing along a laptop computer or portable hard drive such as those offered by Sima, Nixvue, Mindstor, and others.
Certainly a laptop computer is an ideal answer because you not only get storage space to relieve your memory cards, you can also view and edit photos while on vacation. The challenge is greatest for the family photographer who just wants to take some nice vacation photos without having to turn photography into a project that distracts from the fun. If you have a laptop computer, consider bringing it with you on vacation.
This does provide the added advantage of letting you get a good look at your pictures at the end of the day. When possible, I suggest spacing out memory purchases over as long a time as possible rather than buying a full collection of cards all at once. Because memory prices over the long term keep moving downward, this approach can reduce the overall cost of memory.
Waiting until just before your vacation to add capacity will at least save you a little money. One other option that is becoming more common is the photo processing kiosks that offer a CD-ROM archive disc.
Most of these machines accept the most commonly used types of memory compact flash, smart media, memory stick, and xd memory , and cost about the same as photographic reprints. To use one, simply insert your memory card into the appropriate receptacle and follow the directions on the kiosk. Camera Settings Your digital camera has a number of internal settings that help determine your overall image specifications.
Some of these you only have to set once and then can forget about; others you have to consider every time you pick up the camera. Quality settings One of the first things to consider when rigging your new camera is making sure its resolution is set to the quality level you want to use. That maximum may be x for a 2. Why Is Resolution Important? The higher the file resolution, the larger the print you can make. Generally, a 1 megapixel image makes an acceptable 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 photo.
A 2 megapixel file can be printed effectively at 8 x 10 and maybe even 11 x The bar is shifting on print quality too. As printer and sensor technologies improve, it becomes possible to make bigger prints from smaller files. A good general rule is to aim for a x resolution image, which equates to a 2. Thanks to improved printing technology and better match-ups between digital files and photographic printers, a 2. Never mind that you may only want to use the images for your web site or for presentations.
I suggest this for two reasons. Second, a higher resolution gives you the chance to crop your image as needed while still retaining enough image quality for effective use. White balance Ever wonder why certain film is labeled as daylight film?
This designation is used to differentiate between films created for daylight lighting, Tungsten studio lighting, or infrared lighting. Film comes with various light ratings because different types of light have different color casts that can affect the quality of your photos. A classic example is the heavy green cast film prints suffer from when pictures are taken under florescent lighting. It just means that the digital photographer has more control over these lighting situations than his film counterpart.
Most digital. You can experiment with white balance settings to create different colorcasts that may be more in tune with the image you want to create. When in doubt, take two pictures: Because heavy shade has a lot of blue light, digital camera white balance settings for shade will add some red to neutralize that blue light. ISO International Organization for Standards is a measure of how sensitive your film or recording sensor is to light.
One of the great advantages of digital cameras is that you can change the ISO settings on the fly.
Back in the days when film ruled, if your lighting conditions changed, you had to change your film to match. Digital cameras enable you to change ISO settings to adapt to both changing lighting conditions and also to respond to different shooting situations.
Many DSLRs offer even more choices and a greater range of sensitivities. As you change ISO settings to compensate for falling light levels, noise becomes more of an issue.
This problem shows up as individual pixels in the image being the wrong color. Noise becomes most apparent in shadow areas where, instead of a solid black, you find individual red, yellow, and green pixels mixed in with the black ones see Figure Generally, you want to choose the lowest ISO setting that gives you a workable combination of lens opening and shutter speed for the kinds of photos you want to make.
Remember, changes in ISO setting affect the overall exposure needed to expose an image properly. Your lens opening and shutter speed are part of that equation, so changing ISO affects those settings too. Choosing the Exposure Setting Properly exposed photos are the result of the right combination of shutter speed and lens opening aperture.
Most cameras give you a series of choices for settings that achieve different exposure goals. These choices range from ones in which the camera does everything for you, all the way down to full manual control by the user. This image was created using a very high ISO setting The camera produced a very noisy image, as you can tell by the color degradation in the dark background. Here are some of the modes you may have available, along with an example of text that may appear on the camera to identify the mode: Manual mode: You control both shutter speed and aperture.
This mode gives you complete control over the image-making process, but you have to keep a close eye on changing light conditions. Program mode: The camera makes all the choices for you.
Most cameras follow an algorithm designed to create the best chance of an acceptable image. Indeed, even in this day and age of high-speed auto-focus, many apparently out-of-focus images are actually blurred from camera shake and not out-of-focus from poor focusing technique.
As light levels increase, the algorithm chooses faster and faster shutter speeds until it reaches a speed that avoids blur from camera shake. The program then starts closing down the lens opening, which increases the area of sharpness throughout the image.
Program mode is a nice, easy way of ensuring acceptable pictures. If you just want to grab a photo and go back to having fun, this is the right mode for you. Shutter Priority mode: This mode lets the user pick the shutter speed and then the camera chooses the appropriate lens opening for proper exposure. There are a couple of ways to use this mode. One way is to use it to set a minimum shutter speed necessary to freeze action. The other is to set the camera to the slowest shutter speed necessary to prevent camera shake so that the camera stops the lens down to the smallest opening possible.
Aperture Priority mode AV: This mode is the reverse of the previous mode. Here the user chooses the lens setting and the camera sets the shutter speed. Aperture Priority is useful for stopping action because the user can set the lens wide open so the camera chooses the fastest possible shutter speed.
This mode can also work when you want to have exact control over the range of sharpness throughout the image such as for portraiture or landscape photography.
DEP mode: A mode offered by some cameras. This setting is for situations where you need to keep an exact area in sharp focus. DEP modes call for the user to select the near and distant focus points and then the camera picks an aperture lens opening setting that will keep everything within those two points sharp. Using a tripod or setting the camera on a solid surface may be necessary. Many cameras also offer little icons such as a running person, mountain, flower, and head and shoulders view of a person.
As explained in the following list, each of these symbols is a code for a certain type of automated exposure: Sports mode: Represented by the icon of a person running. When you press this button, the camera chooses a shutter speed and aperture combination designed to freeze the motion of fast-moving athletes. Landscape mode: Represented by the mountain icon. It also produces a sharp overall image without worrying about fast shutter speeds because there is little motion to worry about stopping.
Portrait mode: Represented by the head-and-shoulders icon. This program opens the camera lens to create shallow depth of field and throws distracting backgrounds out of focus. Macro mode: Represented by the flower icon. Aiming for Technical Quality Your goal at this point is to create a technically good photograph.
By setting up your new digital camera with some thought, you can put yourself into position to achieve this goal. Proper exposure A technically good exposure means your image has a complete tonal range from black to white with discernable detail in the shadow and highlight areas. Most people making the switch to a digital camera do so from color negative film. Generally, digital sensors compare more closely to transparency film slide film than color negative.
You can always bring out the shadow detail in the digital darkroom using the information provided later in this book.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Exposure compensation One camera control that helps you deal with such a situation is the exposure compensation feature. This option lets you dial in a certain amount of compensation depending on your lighting conditions. Manufacturers most commonly provide this feature as a control button, or you can find it by navigating through the LCD menu. Choosing negative compensation cuts exposure increases shutter speed or aperture while choosing positive compensation boosts it reduces shutter speed or lens opening.
This way, the photographer was ready to just grab the camera and shoot without having to worry about focusing or setting controls. In fact, under such discipline a photographer of 40 years ago could still get off a shot faster today than someone using a point-and-shoot digital camera or all but the best digital SLRs. To set up your point-and-shoot camera, follow these steps.
Select an appropriate ISO setting for your anticipated shooting conditions. Set an exposure priority. Most of us get comfortable with a particular setting that meets our needs and rely on that. Shutter priority TV is a good choice because you can set it for a minimum speed that prevents blur from camera shake. Set the exposure compensation. The setting depends on lighting conditions, as follows: No compensation required. Better still, use flash either accessory or built in to help balance the light between foreground and background.
Choose motor drive or continuous shooting mode, if available. Many cameras offer a continuous shooting capability. For at least a few, the camera provides this option by dropping your resolution to a lower setting. If your camera does, you may also have to pick a particular. If your camera provides this capability without lowering resolution, consider whether you have enough memory to use this feature.
The way you change this setting varies from camera to camera. Having a continuous shooting capability is handy for many types of photography, including sports and action. Although it would be fun to write about all the useful photographic accessories the marketplace offers, this is only a page book and it is supposed to provide information about making your photography better and more enjoyable, not necessarily more expensive.
The next few pages are limited to some basic accessories that will help most photographers. Those wishing for more detailed information about the many items, can have some fun by visiting eBay and checking out the many categories of photographic accessories offered there.
Because even a basic point-and-shoot camera in the hands of the most casual photographer needs extra batteries, lens cleaning cloth and possibly extra memory cards, some kind of carrying bag is a good idea. There are tons of good camera bags on the market.
Lowepro, Tamrac, Tenba, Billingham, and Domke are just a few companies that make great camera bags, but there are plenty of others. Choices include shoulder bags, fanny packs, backpacks,. Oh yeah, you can even get a camera vest that looks sort of like a fishing vest. These items can be quite handy because they have plenty of pockets for gear and distribute the weight more evenly over your body than an over the shoulder bag. Tamrac and Kineses are two other manufacturers who make such modular systems.
Lowepro has also come out with a waterproof camera backpack called the Dryzone see Figure This bag has a watertight main compartment that enables you to keep your gear dry even when in deep water—provided you seal the bag properly! Try to stay with name-brand bags. Characteristics of a Good Camera Bag Here are some key things to look for when shopping for a camera bag:.
Make sure that the flap extends down beyond the main compartment to cover the side of the bag at least an inch or two. This is a very strong type of stitching that adds extra reinforcement.
You should expect this type of stitching at the important weight-bearing junctures of the bag. Is the shoulder strap merely tacked on where the bag meets the strap or does it extend down the sides and under the bottom of the bag? The latter type is much stronger and safer. Good quality nylon can be durable and handle the elements well.
There are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to protecting camera gear. Most bag designers pad the bag everywhere to provide the maximum protection. A few such as Domke provide padded compartments for the lenses, but no extra padding for the rest of the bag. Even though your camera may already have a built in flash unit, most of these are under-powered and inconveniently located close to the lens.
Pro photographers try to get their flash units up high and positioned at an angle to their subjects. This technique not only provides a more natural looking lighting, but it also reduces the likelihood of red eye. Children are particularly prone to this problem because their eyes contain more pigment than adult eyes. For some cameras this is easy. The manufacturer has already considered the problem and included a hot shoe mount plus designed an accessory flash for use with your specific camera.
DSLRs certainly provide this feature. Still, adding a flash unit can do a lot to improve your photography for a relatively modest increase in cost.
One choice is a line of flash unit by Digi-Slave. These are slaved flash units designed specifically for digital cameras. Slaved flashes are units triggered by other flash units firing one reason why smart wedding photographers now use wireless setups instead of photoelectric ones. If you try to use a regular slaved flash unit on a digital camera, the flash fires before the shutter opens and its light is wasted.
This is an electronic connection between a camera and flash unit that surmounts this problem. PC connections are actually provided so these cameras can be used with studio lighting setups, but many older flashes such as the venerable Vivitar and models can be fired the same way.
A flash bracket provides a good solid grip for your camera and flash combination and also provides a way for you to lift your flash high enough off the camera to eliminate red-eye and create a more pleasing style of lighting. The flash bracket is also handy with a Digi-Slave style flash unit. As cameras get smaller and lighter, it becomes increasingly more difficult to hold them steady while you trip the shutter.
Some people are steadier than others. What might be an acceptably fast shutter speed for one photographer to avoid blur from camera shake, might not be enough for another. Tripods Professional photographers obsess about tripods. A good tripod will make for a sharper image and give you the option of maximizing your depth of field.
This is important for landscape and scenic photography and absolutely vital for close-up work where shifting your body back and forth an inch two is enough to throw your image in and out-of-focus.
Tripods make all the difference for nature and scenic photographers trying to capture the beauty of the great outdoors. There are several things to consider when looking for a good tripod: Just like people, cameras vary greatly in how much they weigh.
A tripod that works just fine supporting a point-and-shoot digital camera is likely not to have the rigidity necessary to hold a pro-level DSLR with a heavy lens. Tripods come in several different types of construction.
Most are machined from aluminum, but some the more expensive kind are made from carbon fiber composites. Both types of tripod can be good if made properly, but the carbon fiber tripods are a bit lighter than their aluminum counterparts.
This can be an important consideration if you do a lot of photography in the back country. Most tripods are built to be collapsible so that they take up less room when not in use. Many manufacturers offer the same basic design in threeand four-section models. Tripods generally come in two parts, the legs usually with a center column that can extend upward , and the head, where the camera mounts.
Cheaper versions usually come with a basic head of some type, whereas better ones are usually sold as two distinct units because more serious photographers have their own preferences. There are all sorts of heads available, so try to check out a variety of them to see which style you find most comfortable. For many photographers, the ball head is a favorite because you can adjust it many ways while only having to turn one knob. These come standard with most tripods but there are some things to look for when considering a new unit.
Does the extension post have a camera mounting screw on the bottom so you can mount your camera for low-angle shots? Is it removable so you can replace it with a shorter or longer post? Can it take a hook on the bottom so you can hang a camera bag or weight from it to make the tripod steadier? Monopods A monopod is a kind of tripod lite. The device is a single frequently collapsible support that provides some steadiness for a camera.
More often, photographers use monopods to help support the weight of heavy telephoto lenses. A variant of the monopod is the hiking stick with a built in lens screw hidden under a screw-off cap. These rigs are perhaps an f-stop better than nothing. Still, a good solid wall, rock or boulder, will provide an even better support. Although using a monopod is not especially difficult, it does take a little thought.
Position the bottom of the monopod so that it is braced against your left foot. Your foreleg below the knee should also brace against the monopod to help hold it steady.
Brace the back of the camera against your forehead, making sure that your own balance is comfortable. Use your left hand as a brace underneath the camera lens if possible , tucking your left elbow against your chest. Part of your wrist or forearm should also help hold the monopod taut. Other supports Many other types of camera supports are available, ranging from bean bags to mini table top tripods, to clamps, to suction mounted devices that mount the camera on a window or sheet of glass.
Some of these devices work very well.
Others are little more than gimmicks. Many of these devices are simply too small to properly support a camera for a long exposure. Additionally, I covered some important accessories and gear. In the next chapter, I build on the skills you learned here, showing you how to compose interesting photographs and manipulate your camera so that you get the results you want. One of the simplest tricks—and a major trade secret of professional photographers—is to take lots and lots of pictures.
In , for example, I shot more than 50, images, a not especially noteworthy number for a working pro. When you also consider that professionals carefully review their images and ask themselves how they could have made them better, you start to understand why their images may look a little bit different than yours. The great thing about a digital camera is that it enables you to take lots of photos without the cost of buying a ton of film.
Photographers rely on a variety of artistic tools and rules to create interesting images. In this chapter, I examine some of those rules. Instead, just remember that all too often, the mistake novice photographers make is in trying to crowd too much into a scene. Effective composition is more often about refining an image to its most basic element and then making that element leap to the forefront of the photograph.
Over time, some basic rules of composition have been developed to help make it easier for artists to learn the secrets of effective composition, which I examine in this chapter. You can see one example in Figure One of the most basic compositional tools is the rule of thirds, which divides a photograph into equal thirds horizontally and vertically, creating intersections that are key points for positioning important elements in your photograph.
The rule of thirds helps you figure out where to place moving subjects to give them room to move within the image without falling off the edge of the frame. Following this rule also helps you avoid common mistakes, such as placing the horizon line in the exact center of the photograph.
In Figure the subjects are moving from right to left. Placing the runner at the vertical third at the right end of the photo fills space effectively and gives the runner room to move through the picture.
Check out Figure to see what I mean. Using the rule of thirds helps you arrange elements within an image. Rules, however, are made to be broken. One interesting way to break the rule of thirds is to position your subject so she is moving out of the frame. Although this is normally a compositional no-no, positioning your subject in such a way creates tension with the viewer and makes the image look a little different.
By adding emotional content to your composition, your photos take on a more professional quality and rise above the pack. Your subject becomes much more obvious if you find a naturally occurring frame within your scene. Figure illustrates how a frame can be something concrete, such as the. Right Tree branches and foreground bushes can create frames that draw the eye into your main subject. The human mind has a tendency to fill in gaps, which photographers can use to great advantage.
Leading Lines Leading lines are lines in the image that lead the eye in a certain direction. They are a powerful tool for directing the eye through a photograph. In addition, certain types of lines can create a mood or feeling. If you place a line in a photo, the eye is drawn to it and tends to follow the course that the line takes. In Figure , notice how the lines seem to point to the two men walking toward the camera. I shot Figure for a magazine cover.Experienced photographers turn to longer focal lengths for a variety of creative uses: Summary Creating pleasing photographic compositions can be easy, yet exasperatingly difficult at the same time: Automatic Exposure Bracketing AEB — this feature is another of those often unexplored settings that many cameras have built into them that will allow you to get well exposed shots in even the trickiest of lighting situations.
Further Information The web is a gold mine of valuable information and advice, and manufacturer and software developer web sites are often excellent places to start when searching for the latest online advice. A basic computer with a way to move images from your camera to the computer, in addition to a CD-burner for making file backups, is more than enough.
Next, you need to be sure that your home computer can handle its end of the process.