Interpolation and Sampling

The tools for resizing pictures that you'll find in various photo-editing programs are remarkably easy to use. But don't let their simplicity fool you. These are powerful commands that alter the very fabric of your pictures. Sampling changes the number of pixels that define your photos. Subsampling reduces the number of pixels. Therefore, if you have a photo that is 3MB in size, for example, and you want to email it, you might subsample it down (throwing away data) to about 350K. Interpolation...

Camera Bags

Camera and gadget bags come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, some of the best camera bags aren't designed for cameras at all, but are all-purpose backpacks, army surplus gas mask bags, sports bags, and the like. You'll want a bag that is large enough to carry your camera and paraphernalia, but isn't so large and heavy that you'll always want to put it down rather than let it rest on your shoulder. Waterproofing is a definite plus. If you use a tripod, you'll want a strong bag with...

Shutter Speeds and Stops a Balancing

Shutter speeds and f-stops work together, like a seesaw, balancing each other out. Figure 6-6 The self-timer function of your camera is usually a button that you activate before pressing the shutter. (A) Unfortunately, where the button is situated varies with every camera model. On some, it isn't even a button but a tool that you access in the control panel of the camera. But it always has the same icon associated with it. (B) On the Canon PowerShot S500 Digital ELPH, the self-timer button is...

Using Your Cameras Exposure Controls

Cameras have four modes for setting exposure, though many models do not offer all of them. Auto mode is the one option that every camera has (except some very high-end studio units). Just point your camera at your subject, lock the exposure and focus, compose, and shoot. Even pros occasionally use auto-exposure, usually with very satisfactory results. Aperture priority mode allows you to choose your f -stop, and your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to give you what it...

The Color of Light An Emotional Tool

The color of light may not always obvious when you are just starting out, but photographers recognize it as one of the defining aspects of their pictures. That's because we tend to respond subliminally and very strongly to color. Two of the more frequently bandied terms used by pros when talking about the color of light are warm and cold. Warm light has a reddish hue to it. You'll often find it at sunrise or sunset, or in candlelight. As humans, we tend to react with, well, warm feelings to it....

Tip Think Big for Web Site Photos

Grant Myre, a Web designer with Corel Corporation, suggests to always think big. In other words, have your subject fill the frame. You don't want a lot of small details that might not translate effectively to the Web, he explained. And be sure yourpicture is colorful enough with good contrast (against the page background) so it is clearly viewable. Shooting the right photo and taking care with it will help you make the sale. Figure 15-5 Selling your car online Drive to an attractive location to...

Basic Printer Maintenance

To help your printer give you satisfactory service for as long as possible, you'll want to practice some basic good printer housekeeping. Inkjet printers work by shooting tiny droplets of ink out of nozzles in the print head. Those nozzles can get clogged, especially if the printer isn't used regularly. Luckily, the printer driver (the software through which you send your photos to your printer) almost always has a very easy to use utility that will clean the nozzles for you in a way that won't...

Do a Test

Since choosing the right site is a very personal matter, we recommend creating a small album before you commit to a site. With the free sites, all you have to do is sign up and you'll have access to their services. Many fee-based photo-sharing sites also offertrial memberships, too. Here are some suggestions for your test Don't spend too much time on the test album only enough to check out what it's like to upload your photos, how the software works, how much customization it allows, and if you...

PC Magazine Guide to Digital Photography Save Time and Effort with Macros Templates and Styles Continued

Use macros to automate any series of edits you tend to repeat. For example, if you have a monthly newsletter in which the lead photo is always edited in the same way same size, color, special effects, and so on that process would be a good candidate for a macro. In those programs that have macros, it is a simple matter of telling the software to record your edits as you do them. Then, when you open a new photo to which you wish to apply the same edits, just replay that macro. Templates are a...

Tip Easily Select Groups of Photos

When working with these programs, you will encounter processes that you will want to do on a series of pictures, such as transferring files, renaming, rotating, correcting exposure, and so on. But first, you'll have to select all the photos in the series. Go into the thumbnail view (which all these programs have) and click on the thumbnail of the first photo in the series. Then, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the thumbnail of the last photo in the series. That selects the...

Sleep and Shutoff Modes Continued

Shutoff mode usually takes over after 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity, turning the camera completely off. When you want to take pictures, you'll have to turn it on again. While we don't recommend it for most users, many cameras allow you to turn off both the sleep and shutoff modes, so you're always instantly ready to shoot that is, if you have any battery power left after keeping the camera on continuously when it should have gone to sleep or been turned off. Figure 3-2 This Canon PowerShot...

Tip Study the Old Masters

Want to better understand the secrets behind great photography Study the greats. We're not just talking about famous photographers, but great artists working in all kinds of media. Go into a bookstore or library and leaf through art books. Better yet, spend some time at a museum, viewing and analyzing just a handful of pictures. Ask yourself what it is about a certain Picasso that makes it one of your favorites. Why are you intrigued by the strange angles of a Chagall What is it about the light...

Sizing Your Photos Correctly

You need to be sure that your photos are the correct size for your purpose. If they are too large, they'll take up too much space, be more difficult to use, and may cause image degradation. If they are too small, they won't provide enough data for good image quality and could lose details and information. Photos that will be inserted into printed documents should be the physical dimensions they will take up in the document (such as 2x3) at about 300 dpi (dots per inch). Photos that will be put...

Resources for Learning More about Digital Photography

One of the reasons we're writers is that we love to learn. Regardless of how much we know, we are driven to know even more. As photographers, we enjoy talking with other photography experts, for the new insights and perspectives we always discover from the dialogue. Here are a handful of suggestions for learning more about digital photography Learn insider tips and tricks from top pros like Greg Gorman and Jay Maisel in a series of 12 weekly online videos at the Epson Print Academy Online...

Share

As we discussed in Chapter 19, digital photos are made for sharing. These photo-managing programs, with their focus on organizing entire libraries of pictures, provide a natural conduit for sharing collections of photos as slideshows, Web sites, and albums. Sharing isn't limited only to consumer fun and family memories. After all, the purpose of professional programs is to maintain and leverage an accurate inventory of valuable photos, and sharing with clients, associates, and potential...

Semiprofessional

Semi-professional digital cameras are what you might term pro-lite cameras. These D-SLRs offer just about everything that professional D-SLRs have through-the-lens optical viewing, interchangeable lenses, great image quality, film-like handling and performance, precise control, plus the ability to accommodate system accessories. The user of a semi-professional camera is really serious about her photography and may even make a living with it. She requires top-quality images and every advantage...

Getting to Know Your Digital Camera

From studio apartments to mansions, all share certain features, such as a bathroom, kitchen, a place to sleep, and an area to socialize. But when you walk in the front door, you may not know whether to turn right or left to get to the kitchen, if the door on the wall leads to the garage or the hall closet, or if the nearest bathroom is just up the stairs or down by the recreation room. Every digital camera has an on off switch, a shutter button, and a lens. Most...

Tip Use Selection Tools to Limit the Area Affected by Your Edits

Sometimes, you want to edit only a portion of your photo, such as brighten a face or alter the color of a car, but you don't want anything else in your picture to be changed. Use your software's selection tools to draw a line (a mask) around the area you want to change. Then, when you apply the edit, only the selected area will be affected. (See Figures 18-2a, 18-2b and 18-2c.) These are the same tools you'll use to select portions of images to be copied into a digital collage (see Collaging...

Tip When You Plan to Edit Your Photos on the Computer Rethink Using JPEG

Kevin Connor, Adobe's director of product management for Photoshop, recommends that you don't save your image in JPEG at all if you are going to edit it. That's because you'll keep saving it to protect your work, and every save in JPEG will destroy more pixels. He suggests that you use an uncompressed file format (TIFF) during your editing process then when you have the final version, you can save it as JPEG. If the only file format your camera uses is JPEG, you can convert it to TIFF for the...

Using Rear Curtain Sync Effectively

Michael Lewis (www.michaellewisfoto.com), the National Geographic photographer, told us, I don't do a lot of rear curtain, but it's a great technique for conveying a sense of motion. An effective use of rear curtain sync by Michael Lewis, using an Olympus E-1 (Copyright Michael Lewis.) Michael shared with us how he took this photo for Harley Davidson's 100th anniversary. It's very hard to do something like that with a camera on a tripod, he explains. It's a hand hold situation that works best...

If Your Computer Doesnt Have USB

Older PCs that lack USB, but have an empty PCI expansion slot, can easily and inexpensively be retrofitted by plugging in a readily available generic USB card. However, Windows systems older than Windows 98 Rev B do not support USB and must first be upgraded to a more modern operating system. What's more, older Windows versions may not have the latest drivers, so you'll have to install software first ratherthan use a no-brainer plug-and-play approach. The ease of USB connection, as well as the...

Flash Intensity Mode

Many digital cameras have a menu option that allows users to adjust the intensity, or the amount of light, pumped out by the camera's built-in flash. It works very much like exposure compensation, in that the user can adjust the amount of light two -stops, plus or minus (better cameras have a + -3 -stop range), usually in increments of 1 3 of an -stop. You activate flash intensity mode through the menu, which displays a scale on either the LCD viewfinder or control panel. Then, using either the...

Should I Buy Generic Inks and Papers

It's a fact of our modern life. And it seems that a significant percentage of all that spam is from someone trying to sell you cheap inks and paper for your printer. So cheap that it's almost too good to be true. And in many cases, it is. If you want optimum quality from your printer, you should buy brand-name matching inks and paper. That doesn't necessarily mean that it has to have the same brand name as your printer, but that it should come from a source that...

Tip Hook Your Digital Camera up to Your Television

Looking at your just-shot pictures on a tiny LCD viewfinder is great fun, but for a real blast, attach the video cable that came with your camera to your television set. Then plug it into your camera's Video port (often identified as AV Out), activate the playback mode, and enjoy watching your pictures from your favorite couch or easy chair. A digital camera usually can delete individual frames, mark several or numerous photos for batch deletion, or do a global (complete) deletion of everything...

Understanding Color Temperature Continued

30,000 K depending on the time of day, the month of the year, latitude, altitude, and atmospheric conditions. For instance, sunrise (or sunset) can be 2,000 K. One hour later it might go up to about 3,500 K. Noontime summer skies in Washington, D.C., average about 5,400 K. (Source Kodak.com) Similarly, unless your lights are rated and guaranteed for a specific color temperature, their values will vary. So, all we can talk about are average color temperatures in typical lighting situations....

Finding Your Way Around

We've divided this book into four parts. Go to Part I Understanding your Digital Camera to find out how digital cameras work (including understanding what megapixels really are). It also gives advice on xix choosing the right model for your next (or first) digital camera, a primer on the basics of how to use your digital camera, and a discussion of what accessories you may need or want (and how to distinguish between the two). Turn to Part II Photography The Play of Light and Color on the Human...

What Is the Right Printer for

Now that you understand the basic technologies, let's step back and analyze what kind of printer you really want and or need. Consider the following questions Do you want your photo printer to also do text and general documents If yes, then steer clear of dedicated photo printers. Instead, consider a general-purpose inkjet or color laser printer. How big are the pictures and documents you plan to print Snapshot printers are great for making traditional 4x6 photos. But if you want a variety of...

Control Panel

Usually found only on higher-end cameras or, conversely, very inexpensive models that don't have an LCD viewfinder, the control panel (see Figure 3-6) is a small grey screen on the top of your camera (or sometimes on the back above the LCD), which continuously displays lots of information, such as exposure settings, the battery status, the flash mode, the number of frames left, and so on. Most of the same info is also displayed on the LCD (when it's turned on and in the proper mode), but it's...

Laser Printers

A laser printer is practical for an office environment in which several people are using the same printer via a network. Many units can have multiple trays with different kinds of paper in it, so you can print out a photo and then a document by selecting the correct tray in software. (You can use inexpensive plain paper for laser photos, but you'll get better quality photo prints using premium or glossy paper.) When considering a using a color laser instead of an inkjet printer, you should be...

Tip Your Calibrated Monitor Wont Look as Bright

Most monitors have a factory default setting of about 9,300 degrees Kelvin. This means they're bright and colorful, greatfor displaying text and computer graphics. Unfortunately, bright and colorful isn't whatyou want or need if you want a display that will look much more like what your photos will look like when you print them out. Typically, the colortemperature of a calibrated monitor is about 6,500 degrees Kelvin (also known as D65), which is significantly duller and more subdued than the...

Tip Try Before You

Many software companies offer free trial versions of their software on their Web sites. We can think of no better way to find out if a program fits your needs and personality than actually having it on your computer and trying it on your own photos. However, important features (such as the ability to print or sometimes even save) may be disabled until you actually buy. Even those companies that don't offer free trial versions usually provide features tours or even tutorials on their Web sites,...

Beyond the Basic TV Slideshow

If you want to do more with your photos when you display them on your TV, consider purchasing a digital photo viewer, or set top box, which connects to your television and, well, sits on top of it. Devices like Visioneer PhotoPort TV 100 can take input from your digital camera and or your memory card to give you more control over how the photos play and display on your TV You can customize the slideshow, often adding captions, controlling transition times and effects, and other options. Then,...

Understanding Your Zoom Lens

Zoom lenses are wonderful for bringing what's distant closer or including more of the subject in your picture. However, you should be aware of two issues when using one Zooming will change image perspective. In other words, wide angle tends to push foreground and background areas and subjects further apart, and telephoto compresses them closer together. Perspective can add to or subtract from the quality, interest, and appeal ofyour photographs. When you want to get closer to the subject or...

Preparing And Uploading Your Photos

Putting your photos up on the Web may be done in several ways The simplest process is to go to the Web site and follow their instructions. After you indicate whether you want it put onto one of your existing albums or a new one (which you can name, such as Jane's birthday party or our Hawaiian vacation), they'll take it from there. Some sites offer basic photo editing, such as rotation, red-eye reduction, cropping, some exposure correction, and so forth. In fact, the extent and ease of photo...

Sharpen and Contrast Controls Continued

Lucikly, the sharpness and contrast controls on all of the cameras we've tested tend to be very lightweight. In fact, many people can't really see much difference between photos taken with increased or decreased sharpness or contrast. But that doesn't mean they aren't affecting the very structure of your photos. We never use either, preferring to capture and maintain the highest quality, true detail in our original photos. Then, we may alter copies of our originals either using the RAW format...

Tip When Digital Outshines Film

Peter Read Miller, the Sports Illustrated photographer, has found that the transition to digital has been great for the day-in, day-out shooting of sporting events. I now have much more freedom from technical concerns and can concentrate on the shooting. And the pictures of night games are amazing the kind of shots we never really could get with film. In fact, every pro we know acknowledges that digital has given them more latitude to get many of the photos that used to be so difficult if not...

Beware of SPIFS

Our friend Howard had his heart set on buying the digital camera we recommended based on his personal interests, needs, and budget the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. But when he visited one camera and two electronics superstores in an attemptto buy it, the salesclerks all disparaged that model in particular and Kodak in general and tried to steer him to another make and model that they personally recommended and endorsed. Howard was upset because the salespeople sounded very persuasive. He asked us...

Choosing the Right Photo Editing Software

The field of photo-editing software can seem as crowded as that of digital cameras, and it's often more confusing. In this section, we'll discuss several different kinds of programs, providing specific examples. Our purpose here isn't to provide a comprehensive list, but to help you better understand how to differentiate among the many programs available and choose the right one for you. Essentially, there are five categories of photo-editing programs Other high-powered imaging programs...

Fixed Focus and Zone Focus Lenses

Many inexpensive digital cameras, as well as some rather sophisticated underwater models, come equipped with what is called a fixed focus lens. As its name implies, the lens is fixed, or frozen, and cannot be focused. Actually, it doesn't need to be focused because the focal length (size of the lens) is very small and consequently its depth of field typically ranges from a foot or 20 to infinity. Most fixed focus lenses are also fixed focal length lenses, meaning that they aren't optical zooms....

Reality Check Email or Photo Sharing Web Site

The Internet abounds with Web sites for sharing your photos with friends and families. Many of them are free, though some involve some kind of fee. As a rule, your photos are entirely private, viewable only by those people you invite in to see them. Here are some guidelines on choosing between emailing pictures or using one of these sites If you want to send a photo large enough for the recipient to be able to get a decent quality print, seriously consider uploading it to a photo-sharing site....

Size Matters

The other day, a representative of a digital camera manufacturer unwittingly sabotaged our computer network. Anxious to show us what her client's best and newest models looked like, she sent us an email with several photos and a large Acrobat document attached. Because we don't yet have high-speed Internet access out here in the country, it took nearly a half hour for our system to download the pictures and memo. During that time, everything else slowed down to a crawl, and we couldn't send or...

Reality Check If Its Too Good to Be True It Probably Isnt True

The price is fabulous, maybe 100 200 less than any place else you found on the Internet. The company looks legitimate and reliable, and besides, you're going to pay by credit card, just to make sure. But that bargain model might be what is called a gray market camera, which could turn out not to be any bargain. Gray market cameras are units sold in other countries at lower prices and imported into this country privately rather than through the authorized distributor. As such, they aren't...

What Is Gamut and Why Should I Care about It

Gamut is the range of colors that a printer can output. (Actually, it's the range of colors that any digital technology can capture, reproduce, or output.) The wider a printer's gamut, the more colors it can reproduce, which can add up to smoother gradations between shades. In other words, the wider the gamut, the more the printout of your picture will appear photo-realistic. The best printers have a gamut that will create photos that are indistinguishable from traditional film enlargements.

Tip For the Best Photography Platform in the Air Catch a Blimp

Ourfavorite aerial shooting platform is a blimp, with its steady, gentle ride and open windows. The pilot can tilt the airship atwhatever angle we indicate and hold it there, staying in nearly the same spot for long minutes. If you know that a blimp will be in your area, go to the airfield and see if they have room for a photographer. If they have room, and if they like you, you might luck out. When photographing fine art, image quality is paramount. You'll want a camera with at least 5MP...

Tip Understand What Your Camera Is Saying

Unfortunately, camera manufacturers have never agreed to any standard for resolution and compression terms, which can lead to confusion. Some cameras put JPEG compression settings under a menu heading called Quality, while other cameras put resolution and compression settings under the same heading. As we discussed in Chapter 2, resolution does not determine quality so much as it does the quantity of data. On the other hand, as Figure 5-1 demonstrates, compression level relates directly to...

How Long Will My Inkjet Prints Last Continued

To put all this in perspective, look at color photos only a couple of decades old now lying in your family albums, shoebox, or drawer. They too are faded, with colors that have changed. At least with digital, we can now also archive the original files and output new, perfect-looking prints whenever we want them as long as we hold onto the software and computers that can read those files. That's going to be a major problem as the technology evolves. (See Chapter 21 regarding developing an...

Printing from Your Camphone

Analysts predict that five billion prints will be made from camphone photos over the next year. That's a tiny percentage of the tens of billions of camphone photos that they say will be taken, but still an impressive number. It's important to remember that your camphone prints will never be as good as a better than average digital camera print. (See Will Camera Phones Replace Digital Cameras earlier in the chapter.) First of all, the prints from your camphone will be smaller, because the photo...

Large Capacity Highperformance Memory Cards To Save Your Videos

Shoot a brief 60-second recording, and you may consume 17 to 30 megabytes of memory Plus saving them can be a major bottleneck, because you can shoot much quicker than many typical memory cards can save. Ideally, you'll want to have cards with the following attributes For video, your memory cards should be as large as you can afford (256MB or bigger). High-resolution recording video burns megabytes each and every second, which means you will want even higher-capacity...

Organizing Your Photos

The trick to organizing your photos intelligently is using a system that makes sense to you. We can tell you how we do it, and the methods others use, but in the end, what will work for you could be quite individual to your personality and the way you like to work. Generally speaking, photos are organized using three different methods These three methods are not mutually exclusive and can work together to provide even more control over your photo library.

Will Camera Phones Replace Digital Cameras

The short answer is no certainly not any time in the foreseeable future. To make camphones as small and portable as possible, as well as give them long battery life, lots of technical compromises have to be made. For example, the lenses and image sensors are tiny far smaller than those on digital cameras and DV camcorders. That means the optics can't capture as high-quality images as bigger lenses, and the sensors will generate more noise. In addition, camphones lack a superior mechanical...

Measuring the Size of Your Photo

Before we discuss the correct size for photos intended for the Web, here's a quick refresher on how to measure the size of your photo. The size of digital pictures can be described in three different ways The pixels per inch (ppi), which is often also referred to as dots per inch (dpi), plus the actual dimensions of the picture, such as 3x5. When measuring a photo using this scale, you must have both elements how much data are in each inch and how many inches there are. The dimension of the...

Paying for Your Digital Camera

The best way to pay for a digital camera or any other item, for that matter is with a credit card. The transaction is completed immediately, you don't have to pay anything for at least 25 days, and if anything goes wrong, you have some recourse. Credit card companies often intercede on your behalf when you have a problem with the vendor, either withholding or retrieving payment until the issue is settled. The worst way to pay is with cash. Once it's been handed over, you may have difficulty...

External Storage Devices and Viewers

If you shoot lots of images away from your home or office, or travel for days or weeks at a time and don't want to drag along a laptop, you would be well advised to buy either a mobile storage unit or a CD DVD burner. It's cheaper than simply buying more memory cards, and it will provide a bit more security. What makes these devices particularly useful is that they don't require a computer, and some are battery-powered portables that you can take with you literally anywhere in the world (and...

Tip How Many Pictures Can I Take

Every time you take a shot, the frame countdown on the LCD viewfinder (and or control panel) will be reduced by one. However, that's only an approximation of the number of pictures you'll be able to take before your memory card fills up. For several technical reasons, the file size of each image may be different. And once you start playing with the resolution and image quality settings, those numbers will change radically. Still, it is a good approximation of how much longer you can continue to...

Silver Halide

Silver halide has been used for many decades to make film prints. While it is no longer the only viable method for creating great photos from digital cameras, it remains the standard against which all the other technologies are compared. Unless you have your own darkroom (or are using a Polaroid instant printer), the only way you can get silver halide prints is from a commercial photo lab or minilab, drug store, online print service, or other retail operation. Silver halide still has some major...

Roxio Photosuite

PhotoSuite ( 49) doesn't have as many pro-like photo editing tools as Elements, and its paintbrushes are quite limited. However, it does a nice job of guiding the user through photo-editing, template-based projects, and sharing with intelligent tips and guidance. One killer app feature (that is, one component that may be the single reason you might buy this product) is its StoryBoard, which creates highly sophisticated slideshows with still images, video clips, audio tracks or custom narration,...

Understanding Color Temperature

While professional photographers will speak about the coolness (blueness) or warmth (reddishness) of light, they must be more precise when they are setting up a professional photo shoot. That's when they take out their color temperature meter or colorimeter and measure the temperature of light falling on their subject. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). In the mid-nineteenth century, Lord Kelvin sought to establish a temperature scale that would have no negative values....

Understanding Exposure

Light is the essence of both film and digital photography. When light strikes film or an image sensor, it creates a photograph. Too much light, and the picture is blown out (too bright), with no details that you can discern. (See Figure 6-1a.) Too little light, and it's so dark or muddy looking that you can't really see anything. (See Figure 6-1b.) The trick is to get just the right amount of light to the photosensitive element (the film or image sensor) to record the scene accurately. (See...

Cloning

Want to get rid of telephone wires that mar an otherwise beautiful landscape photo, or did a pimple ruin a wedding photo Conversely, perhaps the flowers in your garden picture are looking sparse and you'd like to add a few plants here and there. The clone tool (also called a rubber stamp) is a special kind of digital brush that uses portions of your photo to paint away or add elements in your picture. In other words, it's a type of grafting tool that works so well (when used properly) that you...

Sleep and Shutoff Modes

To conserve power, most cameras have what are called a sleep mode and a shutoff mode. The sleep mode automatically sets the camera in a power-saving state if you don't touch any of the controls or buttons on your camera for 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 5 minutes. (You may be able to selectthe number of minutes in your camera's setup menu. Two minutes is a good numberto start with.) Sleep mode turns almost everything off the image sensor, LCD viewfinder, flash but simply pressing the shutter button...

Tip Relax Enjoy Experiment

You aren't going to breakyour computer oryour software. So have fun with your pictures, experiment with all kinds of edits and special effects by just exploring the various commands and features. If you're not sure what to do, try using any tool at whatever setting at hand. It's the one way to learn how to use software, and the best way to find those fascinating nooks and crannies where your own personal creativity might lurk. However, we do suggest that you save the original version of your...

Tip Onthe Road Data Protection

Digital photos are ephemeral one small glitch in your camera or laptop, and an entire shoot can vanish. You'll want to be sure to develop a backup strategy to use on the road. This may include saving your photos to more than one place, such as multiple memory cards, key drives, your laptop, or so on. One great type of device to consider carrying with you is a portable hard drive or CD DVD burner that will take data from your memory card (without requiring a computer) and save it onto a hard...

Tip Sunlight Therapy Its Great for Photography

In the deep of winter, particularly in northern climes, news commentators often rehash the story of daylight deprivation. The shorterthe days, the less sunlight we get, which some studies have shown to lead to depression and reduced productivity. The answer, they say, is sunlight therapy sitting and working under full-spectrum daylight-balanced light bulbs. We use the same daylight therapy bulbs (which are relatively inexpensive and readily available at hardware superstores such as Lowe's or...

Tip If Youre Really into Painting Get a Pressure Sensitive Tablet

The best digital paintbrushes react to your hand like real world artist's brushes. When you bear down, it will put more paint on the canvas. Or you can control the flow by varying your speed and direction. But to take advantage of that ability, you'll need to use a pressure-sensitive tablet with a stylus instead of a mouse for all your painting. We use Wacom tablets, as do most other serious digital artists (www.Wacom.com). Figure 18-7 A large number of professional digital artists use Corel...

What to Look for in a Camphone

For better or worse, the camphones being sold in the United States are several generations behind those used by many millions in Japan and Europe. We're still dealing with somewhat primitive, low-resolution camphones, relatively slow communications, and limited wireless digital imaging services and can only dream, hope, and wait until we catch up with our Asian and European counterparts. But improvements will be coming to our shores faster than any other technology When you shop for your...

Choosing Your Service Provider

As we all well know, the price of a phone is only the beginning. The real cost to you will be related to how much your wireless carrier charges you for sharing your photos. Every major wireless carrier now offers some sort of camera cell phone service. What service you choose shouldn't depend entirely upon how well or poorly it supports photo taking and transmission, but it is an important issue. Here are some things you should keep in mind when you're thinking about selecting a phone service...

Digital Cameras Are Similar to Film but Different

Like a film camera, the digital camera consists of a light-proof box with a lens, diaphragm, and shutter. The key difference is that in a digital camera the light is focused not onto film, but onto a photosensitive silicon chip or semiconductor, called an image sensor (see Figure 1-4). Having an image sensor instead of film entirely changes things on the camera's back end. With film, once you capture the image, the only job left for the camera is to advance the film roll or cassette to the next...

Tip Give Your Kids Their Own Digital Cameras and Let Them Loose

An inexpensive, but good-quality digital camera can cost about the same as an Xbox game system. However, while gamesfocus kids' minds inward into the box, a camera will have them looking outward beyond themselves, exploring new ideas. John Larish, the author and consultant, gave his granddaughter a digital camera to see what she might do with it. She created a great scrapbook of her junior year in high school, a collection of her memories in a very attractive composition, he told us. Doing it,...

Tip Getting Good Sound

Most still digital cameras have a tiny microphone on the front of the camera, near the lens, although some have it located on the top or even on the side. Wherever it is, you can be reasonably certain that the sound quality will be soft and tinny. There's no way to adjust the recording quality or sensitivity, so the only way you can improve the sound is to get closer to your subject. Ask your subjects to speak directly into the camera. And try to minimize background noise, such as turning off...

Note JPEG Compression Can Be Great

Just because JPEG compression is lossy doesn't mean thatyou should avoid it. Limited compression can be visually imperceptible in most situations, and the resulting smaller file is quite valuable in terms of saved time, easier sharing, and reduced storage needs. BALANCING JPEG COMPRESSION WITH IMAGE QUALITY The trick is to balance image quality and file size according to the scene, the subject, and what you plan to do with your photos. Here are some guidelines to help you make intelligent...

Slaves

Except for those single dramatic light side dark side high-contrast photographs, the best kind of flash illumination is created by simultaneously firing two or more strobelights, thus providing light from multiple sources. This helps reduce harsh shadows, provides more even illumination, covers a greater area, and can be used to create interesting effects. The best, easiest way to network those strobelights together is to use one or more inexpensive slave units or slave strobelights. Slaves can...

Web Photo Sharing

As we discuss in Chapter 19, online photo sites like Shutterfly.com, dotPhoto.com, Ofoto.com, and so on provide great venues for photo sharing with friends and family And, yes, you can send photos directly from your camphone to your online photo albums, in one of two ways Through your phone's Internet browser, emulating the computer experience we discuss in Chapter 19 At the time of this writing, not all photo-sharing Web sites support email uploads, and of those that do support it, each do it...

Determining the Correct Exposure

When Daniel was in high school, one of his most precious possessions was a cigarette-pack-sized Weston III light meter. It was a very expensive professional photographer's tool for reading the light of a scene and determining the appropriate exposure so expensive for a 15-year old kid that he bought it used. Daniel carried that Weston meter everywhere he went, whether or not he had a camera along with him. At every opportunity, in good weather or bad, sunrise or twilight, he would whip it out...

Macros and Close Ups

Taking close-up photos has its own challenges with regard to focusing. Here are a few tips on using macros easily and effectively Be aware of what your camera's normal focusing range is. By that we mean how close can it focus without going into the macro mode Don't press the macro button until you're certain that you are too close for normal focus to work. When you press the macro button or initiate the macro command in the menu, you will probably hear the autofocus motor move the lens out into...

Principles behind Great Photography

B I ere's a trick question for you What camera will give me great pictures M. .M. The answer is none. Truly great photos are created by talented, skilled photographers, not by In the past, when we shot film, our equipment consisted of Leicas, Nikons, and Hasselblads top-notch systems indeed. We traveled around the world on assignment, taking photographs that appeared in numerous glossy magazines, often with our own articles. But from time to time, we didn't have one of our professional units...

Tip An Amateur Takes a Photo a Pro Makes a Photo

What is the essential difference between an amateur and a professional photographer An amateur sees something appealing, puts his camera up to his eye and presses the shutter button. A pro considers a scene, walking, bending, or even climbing to get just the right angle. Then, he puts his camera up to his eye, and adjusts his position once again to getthe composition just right. When he is satisfied with everything he sees in the viewfinder, based upon his sense of aesthetics, expertise, and...

Tips for Capturing Good Video

All the rules of proper exposure and good composition for photography (see Chapters 6 and 12) apply to video, too. But other tips are particular to movies The key to taking good videos is to be as smooth as possible, and that means panning the camera s-l-o-w-l-y when you are moving position. Always try to keep the camera parallel to the ground, so you don't get off-angles that people have to tilt their necks to view properly. Pace your clips. Long, continuous videos are usually very boring....

Can My Digital Camera Replace My Camcorder

Like many things in life, that's a somewhat ambiguous question that can be answered with a yes, no, and maybe. It all depends on What kind of videos or movies you shoot Where and how your videos are seen or displayed What your personal expectations and definition of quality happen to be The answer will be yes when you're shooting home-type movies for the Web, since it's likely that your digital camera has the capability to record serviceable clips that will look and sound okay. On the other...

Executive Portraits

While most photographic portraits involve the full cooperation of the subject, executives often view sitting for a portrait as a necessary evil, something to be put up with because of orders from above or the situation requires it. They want to get it over with quickly so they can get on with their real work. On the other hand, shooting a really good portrait can be time-consuming. You need to get the lighting just right. Hair (and makeup, if it is used) must be just perfect or appealing....

Getting the Right Business Photo

A good business photo must convey and support the meaning you need and intend, without adding any unwelcomed subtext. Everything in your photo should have a purpose, or it shouldn't be there. Here are some guidelines for creating successful business photos Pay attention the basics of good photography as described in Chapter 12. Keep the composition simple and unambiguous. Clarity of concept is much more important than artistic expression. The background should be uncluttered or even empty. Or...

Tip Be Zen Like with Your Photography

John Isaac, the renowned photojournalist (www.JohnIsaac.com), told us his understanding of the Zen lesson of stop, look, listen is one of the keys to his successful pictures. Now when I do my photography, I look back to see what I've missed. Turn back and look, he told us. When I went to the Grand Canyon two years ago, every two seconds everything was changing, the light, the clouds, the movement of people and animals. You have to sit and wait and create your own picture.

Types of Inkjets

Inkjet are by far the most common printers, with the widest range of prices and capabilities. Essentially, the many models fall into three distinct types of inkjet printers Dual-purpose inkjets are usually the least expensive. In fact, like the traditional razor and razor blade sales strategy, the manufacturers of these printers are often willing to lose money on the printers themselves because they'll make their profit from selling the consumables. Great for families who need business...

Tip Dont Forget to Physically Transfer Your photos to Your Computer

When you use direct connect, a dock or a memory card reader, it's so easy to view, edit, and use your photos directly that you can forget that they may not have been physically transferred to your computer. Be sure to either use a Save As command in the program you're using or do a physical transfer if you don't want to lose the pictures. Figure 17-6 One of the easiest ways to preview, transfer and organize your image files is to use a digital asset management program such as ACDSee. On the...

Color Management The Art of Controlling Print Colors

Often as not, when people are disappointed in their digital photo prints, the problem is that the colors they got weren't the colors they were expecting. Everything looked great on their computer monitor, but when the photo came out of the printer, they were dull or had a color shift or just didn't look right. The two technologies (the monitor and the printer) simply don't understand color in the same way. As we explained in Chapter 8, scientists, artists, and philosophers have struggled for...

Different Qualities of Available Light

While there are many ways of describing the quality of light, the following are the most important to photographers Soft, diffused, or low contrast light Fog is probably the most dramatic and best-known type of diffused light, but it's actually any light where there is no strong differentiation or contrast between light and dark, where everything seems gray, ethereal, indistinct. Soft lighting can be good for portraits and special effects, but for many other subjects, it tends to produce flat,...

Where and How to Buy Your Digital Camera

Time was when you wanted to buy a new camera, you made a visit to your local camera store. Nowadays, full-service camera shops are all but extinct, having been done in by superstores, warehouse clubs, electronic boutiques, and of course, the Internet. With so many different sources available, where should you shop for your next camera Let's review some of the places you can buy digital cameras and accessories, along with the pros and cons of each Local camera stores Although few and far...

Eye Catching Singles Portraits

Matchmaking has gone digital in a big way, with online registries (like www.AmericanSingles .com or www.JDate.com) that offer to help you find Mr. or Ms. Right. They all work similarly, giving you the opportunity to describe yourself and what you seek in a mate. Thousands of other singles will look the page over, and decide if they like what they see. And that's the rub you have to post a photo. Quite a number of our unattached friends have asked our advice about the kind of photo they should...

Hard Soft and Other Types of Focus

Photographers feel very strongly about focus and will use very emotive words to describe it. Hard focus is increased contrast between areas of color. Sometimes, focus may be too hard, minimizing or even eliminating natural gradients and tonality so the photo looks like a poster rather than a print (which is why it's often called posterization). It's an effect that should be used sparingly if you want a realistic, life-like photo. (See Figure 7-3.) However, it's exactly what you want if you are...

Should I Use Photoshops Camera RAW or the Camera Companys RAW Converter

The problem for Adobe (and other software companies) is that camera manufacturers don't publish their source code. Given the heightened competition among camera brands, that isn't surprising. But it means that to be able to import RAW files into Photoshop, Adobe had to reverse engineer the code for each and every digital camera RAW file format they wanted to support. This unenviable, painstaking job fell to Thomas Knoll, the original creator of Photoshop. Since so much of the camera's inner...

The Basics of Good Photography

Before we talk about great photography, let's look at the common sense basics of good photography. The number one problem that mars many amateur pictures is that the photographer is so intent on the central subject he doesn't pay attention to other details. You need to be aware that everything you see in your viewfinder will likely be in your photo. Particularly, be sure to look for the following Are objects sprouting from your child's head, such as a telephone pole Do other lines and objects...

Tip Dont Use Your Best Paper for Your First Print

When you output your first photo, use inexpensive paper and a smaller size, just to see what your print will look like. Then, when you're satisfied, you can switch to better paper and a larger photo. Most 82 x11 photo-quality prints on good paper will cost 1 and up in consumables. That is certainly cheaper than a traditional silver halide print of comparable size, but it can add up if you end up throwing away your first few attempts until you get it the way you want. Figure 20-1 This Canon...

Tip Check the Software You Own before Buying a Slideshow Program

Many photo-editing programs and media asset databases include slideshow functions. So, before you buy new software, go into the Help menu of your current programs to see what they offer. Figure 19-3 For precision control over the relative timing of various elements in a slideshow, advanced hobbyists and professionals use timelines, like this one in PhotoSuite (www.Roxio.com). (A) This is the timeline that defines when everything occurs in this slideshow. (B) The photos are placed in the upper...

Tip Experiment with Shutter Speeds and Stops

As we explained in Chapter 6, the f-stop and shutter speed combination you choose will define how much of your photo is in sharp focus and whether or not the picture stops or blurs action. Play with the camera's controls, taking the same portrait or scene using different settings. Then, once you have the photos in your computer, study both the ones that you love and those that failed, checking their metadata (see Chapter 5) to see what shutter speed and f-stop were used for the capture. By...

Tip How Pros Capture the Sense of Speed

If you want to convey a great deal of energy and speed, move the camera at the same rate as the moving object (called tracking). It will take some practice to get your timing just right, but the result can be a dynamic image of everything in the photo being a blur of motion with only portions of the central object (such as a car or a running athlete) clearly defined. (See Figure 6-5.) Better cameras will have rear and front curtain sync (see Chapter 9), which creates yet another type of dynamic...

Tip Never Trust an Uncalibrated Monitor

Unless you use at least the most basic color management to create and save a profile for your computer screen, never believe the colors, brightness, or contrast you see on your monitor. Instead, do a print to see whatyou'll really get when you edityour photo. But if you don't want to buy and use a calibrator, go into your monitor settings and turn down the colortemperature to 6,500 degrees Kelvin. It will help by displaying colors closer to what your printer will output, though not as close as...

What Your Answers Say about the Best Digital Camera for

The previous questionnaire gives us a beginning point to help zero in on possible digital cameras to fit your needs, budget and personality. If you scored from 8-14 You are definitely a point-and-shoot user. Point-and-shoot digital cameras are designed to let you capture good pictures without requiring you to learn any controls or fuss with any features. 15-23 You 're probably a candidate for an intermediate consumer camera. It may in fact be the same point-and-shoot camera that novices and...

Display Show and Share

Photography has always been about communications showing others way you see the world. But until the digital age, sharing your photographic vision was rooted to the physical printed page. Now, with the Internet, email, CDs, DVDs, and other digital innovations, we are handling, capturing, and sharing electrons and pixels, which means that all the barriers have been pulled down. In this chapter, we cover sharing your pictures with folks near and far, by displaying your photos on the TV, creating...

Connecting Your Digital Camera to Your TV

Displaying your photos on your TV is almost as easy as reviewing them on your digital camera's LCD viewfinder. Here's how Most digital cameras have a Video Out port, also called the AV port (see Figure 19-1). Plug the RCA video cord (which came with your camera) into its AV port. Plug the other end of the cord into the Video In port of your TV (You can also plug it into the Video In port of your DVD or VCR player, which is attached to the TV). Turn on the camera and then the television. In some...

Studio Digital Cameras and Backs

Used only by professional photographers, studio digital cameras and backs are devices designed to yield the absolutely best possible image quality. Many are digital backs that attach to a conventional professional studio camera as the front end, either a medium-format camera like a Hasselblad or Fujifilm, or a 4x5 view camera like a Sinar or Rollei. A high-quality studio digital camera or back can deliver higher resolution than film, with a more extended dynamic range to boot. For example,...

Big Screen Photo Shows

Of all the electronic marvels in our homes, the one that has held our interest and attention the longest and continues to fill more hours of the day than anything else outside of work is the television. We all know, love, and sometimes loathe the TV, with its big screen and bright colors. Perhaps, one reason computers were so readily accepted by the public was that their monitors looked like souped-up TVs. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the more convenient and popular ways of...