Fiddling with your selections

After you select part of an image, you can apply all sorts of effects to your selections, including marking the Anti-Aliased box in the Option bar to smooth the edges of freehand or elliptical selections. (Rectangles don't need smoothing.) Type a value into the Feather box to create a selection that fades out over the range of pixels you specify. Add to a selection by holding down the Shift key while you drag with any selection tool to create additional selected area. Subtract from a selection...

Oh Shoot

1km Su fexed roma me dieoider Kncwn as Blurfe which mostttj jusfc affected appaatatice in tfiofcigfeaph . ll those controls What to do with them It's true that digital SLRs give you great control over every camera feature and function. In this part, you find out how to work with those controls, master the use of interchangeable lenses, and work with special features such as image stabilization. In Chapter 5, I explain Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority modes, various programmed exposure...

Freeing yourself from image editors

Digital SLRs do more than change how you take pictures. They change how you make pictures, as well. Perhaps you're a seasoned image editor, accustomed to cropping images in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to mimic the extreme telephoto perspective your previous camera couldn't duplicate. You might have used an image editor's Zoom Blur feature because your digicam's zoom lens didn't zoom fast enough to permit creating that effect in the camera, as shown in Figure 1-8. You've faked fish-eye lens...

Tracking the Ideal dSLR

Factoring in future features and your future needs Looking at camera types and your photography requirements Choosing among key features m if hen you upgrade from your first digital camera to a digital SLR, the stakes increase dramatically. A dSLR generally costs quite a bit more than any point-and-shoot digital camera, so you want to make the right purchase the first time. You also want to buy into a camera product line that has all the accessories you'll want to buy in the future. Owning a...

Making rectangles squares ovals and circles

Normally, you draw a Marquee selection by clicking and dragging to the correct size 1. Simply select one of the Marquee tools from the Tool Palette (the tools are all nested within the same icon), or press M to select the Marquee. 2. Then click and drag in your image, releasing the mouse button when the selection is the size you want. Cancel your selection by clicking outside the selection border when using a selection tool, or by pressing Ctrl+D ( +D on the Mac). Make its borders visible...

Selecting odd shapes

You can use the Lasso tool to make freehand selections of a part of an image 1. Just select the Lasso tool from the Tool palette (or press L). You can choose from three types of Lasso The default lasso sketches in a selection as if you were drawing with a pencil. Click multiple times with the Polygonal Lasso to create odd-shape selections with straight lines. The Magnetic Lasso, at work in Figure 12-3, looks for edges as you drag, and it hugs those edges by using Option bar options such as...

Capturing the Unseen with Infrared Photography

If you're looking for a new type of photography to play with, infrared imaging with digital cameras can easily become your new playground. By ignoring visible light and capturing subjects solely by the infrared light they reflect, you can picture the unseen in more ways than one. That's because, thanks to the magic of the digital SLR, you'll likely be shooting blind. The same techniques that shield your sensor from visible light also keep you from seeing anything through the viewfinder....

News Groupies

Internet newsgroups, known to old-timers as Usenet, is a wonderful, unbridled resource where anything goes. Groups with names like rec.photo.digital, rec.photo.digital.slr-systems, or rec.photo.digital.rangefinder remind you of the Old West, full of gunslingers and common folk, sheep-herders and cattlemen (think Canon users versus Nikon gunslingers). The only law in the land of Usenet anarchy is whoever has the most time to spend posting. Newsgroups are a little like the online forums sponsored...

Accessorizing Your dSLR

Adding memory storage Considering your backup storage options Sifting through filtration considerations Gaining support from tripods Understanding electronic flash Adding additional add-ons t emember how cool it was to pick out your school supplies every August before classes began You got to choose the exact notebook and paper you wanted. You likely selected your pencils and book covers with the greatest of care. If you're younger than I am, you probably spent a lot of time deliberating over...

Adding New Backgrounds

You can't always count on having a background that's as interesting as your main subject. If you catch Ren e Zellweger or Hugh Grant sneaking out the back door of a restaurant and the background is a pile of garbage cans, you end up with a photo that isn't worth a mention in Bridget Jones' diary. Go to work in Photoshop and replace those cans with, say, Central Park, and you might have something. Adding a new background is easy, particularly if the existing background can be easily selected...

Index

AC power source, time-lapse shots, 278 ACR (Adobe Camera RAW), RAW format support, 149 action pictures, manual focus, 95 adapter rings, homemade special effect filters, 282-283 additive primary colors, 301 Adobe Digital Negative Converter, 135 DNG (digital negative) format, 135 TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), 134,136-137 Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), RAW format support, 149 Adobe Photoshop Add Noise filter, 271 adding subtracting image elements, 232-235 Auto Color tool, 215 Auto Contrast tool, 211...

A dSLR Works tike a camera

Another reason why digital SLRs have improved performance is that they're easier to use, so you, as the photographer, can work faster as you shoot. Most point-and-shoot cameras have to be configured for consumers who are more interested in grabbing a quick snapshot than investing some artistry in creating a photograph. Moreover, point-and-shoot cameras tend to be designed by an engineer who did a really, really good job adding photo capabilities to the vendor's cell phone line last year, and...

Composing a Photo The Basics

Good composition is a little like good art. Even when people aren't consciously aware of all the components that go into great compositions, they still know what they like. That's because the very essence of composition is to arrange subject matter in a way that is both pleasing and which communicates the message the photographer is trying to get across. That communication can be very subtle. Once, I was watching one of my favorite films by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa with the DVD commentary...

Part h shoot

Fine-Tuning Exposure with the Metering System Your camera's exposure metering system is a tireless friend that keeps plugging away, calculating its reckoning of the correct exposure (based on parameters you set) regardless of whether you choose to pay attention. It's available whether you're setting exposure manually or using one of the programmed or priority modes. You can't really turn off the exposure meter completely when the camera is on although it might go to sleep after a few seconds of...

Shooting individual portraits

Portraits of individuals are theoretically easier than pictures of groups because you have only one subject to worry about. Of course, you have to please that subject with your results. Everyone wants to be portrayed in a flattering way, and it's the photographer's job to see that a subject looks the way he or she imagines himself or herself or better 1 Make sure your subject is relaxed and comfortable. Seated is better than standing for anything short of a full-length portrait, and a stool is...

Performing everyday changes with selections

After you successfully select part of your image, you can do lots of things with the selection. These include 1 Copying the selected area to an area of memory called the Clipboard, where it sort of sits around waiting (until you copy something new to replace it) so you can paste it down into a new layer of its own. The copied portion is surrounded by transparency, so it floats over the image area in the layers below it. Press Ctrl+C (or on the Mac) to copy a selected area. i Cutting the...

Selecting pixels

The Magic Wand tool, as used in Figure 12-4, selects pixels that are similar in hue and value to the pixel you first clicked on. The Magic Wand is a good tool for selecting plain areas with few contrasting details, such as the sky, blank walls, or solid colors. After you select this tool, use the Option bar to set how the tools should work i You can set the Magic Wand tool to select only pixels that touch each other (contiguous) or similar pixels anywhere in the image (noncontiguous). Select...

Flash in the Pan Other Keys to Good Flash Photography

Actually, you can use flash while panning (or when your subject is moving) to produce an interesting effect, but I save that for a bit later in this section. First, it helps to understand a few concepts about using flash, whether you're applying this tool to action photography or other types. In the following sections, I help you understand how flash works at different distances, how to sync flash and shutter to get the effect you want, as well as other techniques that can help you improve your...

Combining and Reorganizing Your Images

Removing and replacing objects in your photos Replacing boring backgrounds Compositing images ou gotta love those eye-catching magazine covers. National Geographic Magazine moved the Great Pyramid to create an improved composition. TV Guide gifted Oprah Winfrey with Ann-Margret's figure literally. More recently, Newsweek featured a full-length photo of Martha Stewart based on a head shot of the home economics queen grafted onto the body of a model. It's been estimated that someone creates a new...

Playing the Angles

Good composition often involves playing all the angles all of them. Don't be satisfied with the different perspectives you get with a 360-degree walk-around. Climb up on a nearby rock or ladder, stand on a chair, or experiment with the view from a handy balcony. Or, stoop down low, lay on the ground, or get under your subject to see what a worm's-eye view looks like. Everybody shoots flowers from above the blossoms you can take a picture down at the flower's level, as shown in Figure 14-3. You...

Designing Your Landscape Photos

Landscape photography is another photographic pursuit that benefits from the dSLR's ability to use wide-angle lenses. Landscapes also happen to be, after portraits, one type of photography that is most likely to be blown up to huge sizes and displayed on the wall. As much as people love their loved ones, they are also fond of Mother Earth, and enjoy sharing photographs of each. Like architectural photography, landscapes lend themselves to contemplative shooting. Scenery changes slowly over long...

Image stabilization The readysteadyshoot technology

Leave it to the techno-wonks to come up with stunning new technologies just because they can. Camera-steadying technology has been around since 1976 in the motion picture industry when the Steadicam was introduced. This device produces gyroscope-like stability through an exquisite application of gimbal-ing and balance. By 1995, Canon had introduced an electronic form of image stabilization (or IS), which is now offered by Nikon, Konica Minolta, Panasonic, and others under names like Vibration...

Photos That Dont Bite

I include BytePhoto because it's a slightly lesser-known site that deserves a little more attention, if only for its quirkiness. It includes lots of features but is especially strong as a portal to other sites. For example, BytePhoto offers online galleries, but you can also find links to sharing services, including SmugMug (www.smugmug.com), which is the strongest competitor to PBase. BytePhoto gives you links to other interesting pages on external sites, a Google search box for combing the...

Dont get TIFFed

This format originated in 1987 with a company called Aldus, which developed pioneering graphics and layout programs such as Freehand and PageMaker. Intended as a standard file format for images, TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) includes the ability to incorporate descriptors called tags, which you can use to provide the parameters for any special features included in the file. Theoretically, an application could include any kind of information it liked in a TIFF file, such as layers, objects,...

Painting selections

Photoshop's Quick Mask mode is a great way to create your selections by painting them with any size and shape brush that you want. While in Quick Mask mode, you can also use other selection tools, such as the Lasso tool or Magic Wand, to select areas that you then fill with the mask color. Here's how 1. To enter Quick Mask mode, just click the Quick Mask icon in the Tool palette or simply press Q. 2. If you double-click the Quick Mask icon, you can set several options, such as the opacity and...

Digital SLR Cameras Photography

Digital SLR Cameras & Photography For Dummies 111 River Street Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 Copyright 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976...

The Digital SLR Difference

Discovering why digital SLRs are the next big thing Finding out how your shoot will change big time Exploring dSLR advantages Looking at downsides What downsides 7oday, the digital SLR (or dSLR) has become such a hot item among people who take pictures that virtually everyone, including your grandmother, probably knows that SLR stands for single lens reflex. However, your Nana or you for that matter might not know precisely what single lens reflex means. It's a camera (film or digital) that...

Salvaging images from RAW files

Your image-editing skills will improve, and with an image saved in RAW format, you can salvage images that weren't usable before you gained new capabilities. Pictures that you didn't think you had any use for might turn out to be worthwhile with the passage of time. For example, take the photo shown in Figure 8-5, which I originally used in Chapter 6 as an example of how you can take photos in dim light without a tripod if you have a lens with a large maximum aperture. It's true that the...

Testing for tremors

Before looking at the latest technological cure for shaky hands, try this exercise to see just how bad you have the affliction 1. Find a scene that contains sharp pinpoints of light, preferably at night so you'll have a dark background, such as a scene with streetlights. 2. Switch your camera to Manual mode so you'll be able to vary both the shutter speed and f-stop independently. 3. Take several pictures at a fixed f-stop but vary the shutter speed for each picture. Use various shutter speeds...

DSLR Next Great Digital Camera

If you've already made the jump to a digital SLR, you've discovered that the dSLR lets you take pictures the way they were meant to be taken. After using other film or digital cameras, anyone interested in taking professional-looking photos notices why dSLRs stand out You can view a big, bright image that represents (almost) exactly what you'll see in the final picture. No peering through a tiny window at a miniature version of your subject. No squinting to compose your image on an LCD...

Matching pixels to print sizes and printers

If nice-looking prints are important to you, you need to pay as much attention to your printer as the number of pixels in your digital SLR. In truth, printers with lower resolution don't benefit much from digital shots with high megapixel counts. They might produce worse results because they're forced to discard lots of that precious detail to squeeze the picture information into their available output pixels. You need a printer with lots of resolution to do the best job with a high-resolution...

Touring Through a Digital SLR

Film Camera Components

Now is the time to explore the innards of your digital SLR as a way to better understand how to use all the nifty features your digital shooter includes. At best, these sections give you a better handle on why, sometimes, the results you get when you press the shutter release aren't exactly what you expected. At worst, you can find more convincing excuses to give when you goof. In some ways, the basics of a dSLR have a lot in common with the conventional film SLR, or indeed, any film camera....

A fast tens or not

As you discover in Chapter 6, a lens with a large maximum aperture (generally, anything faster than f2.8) is a must only if you're hand-holding (that is, shooting without a tripod) your night photos or, perhaps if you want to shoot with flash and need your speedlight's illumination to reach as far as possible. An f2 or f1.4 lens might let you take some night pictures at > 30 of a second hand-held or, with image stabilization (which I discuss in the next section), at slightly slower shutter...

That syncing feeling Coordinating flash and shutter

Many new SLR owners become confused over the options for synchronizing electronic flash with their camera's shutters. This section clears up that confusion. As you might know, digital SLRs can use a combination of electronic and mechanical shutters to control the length of time the sensor is exposed. An electronic shutter is just that The sensor is controlled electronically to allow it to capture photons for a fixed period of time. The electronic shutter is used for very brief exposures. The...

Finding RAW imageediting applications

Dust Reference Photo Nikon

Remember, to work with RAW files, you need an application that can read them. A variety of RAW converters are at your disposal. Some of these are provided by your camera's vendor and, as you might expect, work only with the RAW files for that line of camera. Unless you own several different digital cameras from different manufacturers that can produce RAW files, these proprietary converters might be all you need. Or, you can check out third-party RAW applications if you prefer. The following...

Creative use of telephoto tenses

Telephoto lenses have their own set of creative strengths and dangerous pitfalls. Keep these tempting applications in mind when working with your longer lenses and tele-zooms 1 Compression Telephoto lenses compress the apparent distance between objects, making that row of fence posts appear as if each post is only a foot or two distant from the next. Moviemakers use this effect all the time to make the hero appear to be racing bravely between speeding cars while crossing the street, when...

Taking night shots at short shutter speeds

You might want to avoid very long shutter speeds and prefer the shorter shutter intervals a higher sensitivity higher ISO setting affords for any number of valid reasons Perhaps you don't want to spend 30 seconds or more making a single exposure because of time constraints or physical conditions rain, muggers, and so forth . You might want to take as many photos as possible in available darkness. Or, you'd rather avoid the light streaks from moving cars or other illuminated objects that a long...

Reducing noise in your photos

Noise is that grainy look digital photos sometimes get, usually noticeable as multi-colored speckles most visible in the dark or shadow areas of an image Although you can sometimes use noise as a creative effect, it's generally a bad thing that destroys detail in your image and might limit how much you can enlarge a photo before the graininess becomes obtrusive. The most common types of noise are produced at higher sensitivity settings. That's because cameras achieve the loftier ISO numbers by...

Improving Your Photography with a dSLR

The differences between digital SLRs and the camera you were using before you saw the light will depend on where you're coming from. If your most recent camera was a point-and-shoot digital model, you know the advantages of being able to review your photos on an LCD an instant after you took them, and you also know the benefits of fine-tuning them in an image editor. If you're switching to a digital SLR from a film SLR, you are likely a photo enthusiast already and well aware that a single lens...