Colour fringes are one of those annoying artefacts that wont show up on your cameras screen but are gratingly obvious

Colour fringes are the curse of digital photography, showing up as blue, red or purple fringes. Our swan picture is prime territory for this. At first glance, reproduced as a small image here it looks fine. But when the image is printed at 100 , you'll see the fringes at the edges of the neck, and around the droplets of water falling from the swan's beak. Using the Gimp, we can reduce them so they're almost impossible to see. The basic method is to use the hue saturation tool. But since the...

Mastering the basics

Over the next few pages, we'll introduce you to digital photography manipulation with the three mainstays of basic image improvement sharpening, levels and curves. Bear in mind that digital photos, like conventional film photos, need to be processed. This means the image as captured by the camera isn't the end of the story you can significantly enhance the results with just a little work. digital capture It's tempting to imagine that when a digital camera captures an image, what's recorded is...

If youve never encountered it before the levels control will amaze you with its ability to make a flat lifeless shot

It's often the case that a shot you thought was going to come out looking great will end up with a net-curtain effect The reason for this is a lack of contrast Fortunately, it's easy to correct using the levels control. Any half-decent photo-editing package includes a levels tool. Here, we're using the free, open-source package the Gimp. First of all, select the levels tools from Tools Colour Tools Levels. The histogram that appears represents the distribution of pixel intensity in your image....

Photoediting software

Adobe Photoshop (opposite) may be the leader of the pack when it comes to high-end photo editing, but for many non-professional users it's too expensive and offers hundreds of features they'll never use. We've therefore rounded up the most affordable, easy-to-use software to help you make the most of your digital camera. Value for money isn't just welcome, it's essential. While software can rescue poor images, it's ultimately your camera that determines end quality, and money you save here can...

The price of a powerful piece of free photoediting software is that the Gimps presentation and operation is a little

Download the Gimp from http gimp-win.sourceforge. net stable.html. Installation is similar to most other Windows applications. Just pick your installation directory and you're done. This is what you'll see when you first open the Gimp, and if you think it isnt particularly friendly, you'll find plenty of people to agree with you. The blank slate approach can be a bit off-putting, but youll soon get used to it Click on the File menu and choose Open, which will produce the Gimp's very...

Shooting lightning

Ever wondered how people capture those amazing shots of bolts of blinding white light streaking across the sky Well, it isn't easy decent shots of lightning are one of the trickiest special effects to achieve in photography. That said, it doesn't take much in the way of preparation and, if you know how to do it beforehand, the next time a storm comes your way you'll be able to give it a whirl. The main problem, of course, is that you never know exactly where lightning is going to strike....

Introducing the Gimp

The interestingly named Gimp - which stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program - is one of the heavyweights of the open-source software movement. Open-source software is free for anyone to download and use, and the Gimp is no exception. In many respects, it's the match of the commercial packages you'll find on p102 onwards, and it has many of the same features. Some people absolutely swear by the Gimp and wouldn't use anything else. It's been in development for more than a decade, and many...

Its expensive and occasionally overcomplicated but theres a good reason its the

Bridging the gap Photoshop CS5's Application bar also provides quick access to the separate Bridge application for dealing with your image library. It's enormously powerful, allowing you to filter by such details as ISO rating, aperture setting and focal length. CS5 also adds a new Mini Bridge app which is less fussy for quickly viewing your shots, and is clearly aimed at rivals such as Picasa's image library for quick and simple use. Bridge CS5 has just as much to offer when opening single...

Mastering exposure bracketing

A common technique in the days when traditional film photography was still king was something called exposure bracketing.The name sounds horrendously complex, but in fact the concept is simple.The idea is that if you're in tricky light conditions, where you think the camera's automatic exposure settings might be fooled and get it wrong - when you're shooting with bright light in the background, for instance, or shooting a very dark subject - you take more than one exposure. First, you take the...

Shooting sunsets

A sunset is such a great sight that it's tempting just to wait until passers-by are out of the frame, plonk the sun in the centre of the shot and hit the shutter. If you do that you'll end up with a shot everyone's seen a million times - pretty but dull, and when you come to look at it a year later you'll struggle to remember where it was taken. To capture the atmosphere of a great holiday, you need to include some clues to the scene. Photos can't capture the warm sand between your toes or the...

Shooting sports and action

The key tocapturing sports shotsandfast moving subjectsis, like the chief attributes of the subjects themselves, speed. To freeze a moment in time without blurring you need to have a shutter speed of at least 1 125th of a second. That means the key to good sports photography is good, bright light. If conditions aren't ideal, all is not lost, but you or your camera have to make some compromises. You'll need a wide aperture to get enough light to the camera's sensor. You'll also need to increase...

Introducing Photoshop Express

It used to be the case that decent photo-editing software would cost you hundreds of pounds and hundreds of megabytes of hard disk space. Photoshop Express isn't only one of the best in the business, it takes up hardly any disk space on your computer and, best of all, it's free. what it is and does Adobe Photoshop is one of the most venerable names in photography speak to any professional photographer and they'll tell you how they couldn't live without it. But for all Photoshop's undisputed...

The Nikon D series

WITH A PRESTIGE REPUTATION AND GREAT-HANDLING CAMERAS, NIKON IS FAR FROM PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE TO CANON. Nikon is possibly the best-known camera manufacturer in the world, with an enviable reputation. The company has been making cameras since just after the Second World War, and produced its first SLR camera in 1959. For several decades Nikon was essentially the only SLR choice for professional photographers and photo-journalists. Nikon suffered a little during the 1990s, when Canon developed...

Contents

The digital camera market can seem like a minefield. Get your bearings by reading our introduction to the main types of camera and their differences. A crash course in the absolute essentials you need to know. Start getting the most out of your camera and producing creative shots. There are many types of digital SLR on the market. This chapter takes you through the best-known manufacturers and what features they have to offer. A O CHAPTER 4 LrZ. TAKING BETTER PICTURES You can improve your...

Anatomy of a digital compact

No prizes for guessing how digital compact cameras got their name they're generally small enough to slip into a pocket and can travel with you anywhere. After a shaky start a few years back, their quality is now as good as film compactsof the past. Don't worry about megapixel ratings look for other features such as a good zoom range. The integrated Hash This is an AF autofocus assist lamp - it lights up unit gives a burst of to help the camera to focus in low-tight conditions, enough light for...

Anatomy of a DSLR

Once the preserve of semi-professionals because of their outrageously high price, in the past year or two the cost of digital SLRs has plummeted to affordable levels. A rash of entry-level models designed to entice users away from high-end compacts and superzooms has appeared. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with the entry-level offerings they're good value as they come with their stock kit lenses. Partner one with a better-quality lens, however, and you can take shots that come within a...