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The Essential Guide to Digital Photography

59 Pages · 2010 · 2.85 MB · English

  • The Essential Guide to Digital Photography

    THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DIGITAL


    PHOTOGRAPHY





















    By: Bakari Chavanu


    http://macphotographytips.net/





    This manual is intellectual property of MakeUseOf. It must only be published in its original


    form. Using parts or republishing altered parts of this guide is prohibited.


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    Table of Contents


    Introduction: The Digital Photography Revolution .......................................................... 5


    Section 1 ................................................................................................................................... 7


    Part 1: What Type of Digital Camera Should I Buy? ........................................................ 8


    Choosing a Camera ........................................................................................................ 8


    Point-and-shoot Cameras ............................................................................................... 9


    Advantages................................................................................................................... 9


    Disadvantages ............................................................................................................ 10


    Compact Cameras ....................................................................................................... 10


    Advantages................................................................................................................. 11


    Disadvantages ............................................................................................................ 11


    DSLR Cameras ................................................................................................................ 11


    Advantages................................................................................................................. 12


    Disadvantages ............................................................................................................ 12


    Resources ........................................................................................................................ 12


    Flickr.com Camera Groups ....................................................................................... 13


    Part 2: Basic Features to Consider When Buying a Camera ....................................... 14


    Megapixel/Memory Size ................................................................................................ 14


    Image Stabilization ......................................................................................................... 14


    Menu Controls ................................................................................................................ 14


    Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom ..................................................................................... 15


    Manual Exposure Features ............................................................................................ 16


    RAW Capabilities ............................................................................................................ 16


    Resources ........................................................................................................................ 17


    Part 3: Essential Accessories for Your Digital Camera ................................................... 18


    Additional Media Card ................................................................................................. 18


    Backup Battery ............................................................................................................... 20


    A Tripod ............................................................................................................................ 21


    External Flash ................................................................................................................... 22


    Extra Lenses ..................................................................................................................... 22


    Camera Bag ................................................................................................................... 24


    Memory Drives ................................................................................................................ 24


    Resources for Photo Sharing Sites: ............................................................................... 25


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    Part 4: 10 Features You Should Know About Your Camera ......................................... 26


    Basic Settings .................................................................................................................. 26


    Setup Menu ................................................................................................................. 26


    Date and Time Stamp ................................................................................................ 27


    Review Time ................................................................................................................. 28


    Picture Count .............................................................................................................. 28


    Format Your Media Card........................................................................................... 28


    Advanced Tips ................................................................................................................ 29


    Turn the Flash On/Off ................................................................................................. 29


    Shooting Beyond Automatic .................................................................................... 30


    Program Mode ............................................................................................................ 30


    Exposure Compensation ........................................................................................... 31


    Continuous Shooting .................................................................................................. 32


    Self-Timer ...................................................................................................................... 33


    Section 2 ................................................................................................................................. 34


    Part 5: Basic Exercises for Beginning Photographers ..................................................... 35


    Exercise1: Shooting Close.............................................................................................. 35


    Exercise 2: Learn Exposure Compensation ................................................................. 36


    Exercise 3: Take Candid Shots ..................................................................................... 36


    Exercise 4: Shoot for Exciting Color .............................................................................. 37


    Exercise 5: Night Photography ..................................................................................... 38


    Part 6: Software for Editing Your Photos .......................................................................... 39


    Camera Manufacture Software .................................................................................. 39


    Online Editing Software ................................................................................................. 40


    Popular Editing Software ............................................................................................... 40


    Photo Management and Editing Workflow ................................................................ 42


    Section 3 ................................................................................................................................. 47


    Part 7: Learning More ........................................................................................................ 48


    Part 8: Other Resources ..................................................................................................... 49


    Part 9: Glossary ................................................................................................................... 50





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    Introduction: The Digital


    Photography Revolution


    I took my first photography class in high school, in the late 1970s, two or three


    decades before the emergence of digital photography. The difference between


    learning photography in the film-based age as compared to the digital-based era


    of today is like the difference between listening to songs a vinyl record player and


    playing them on a 40-gig iPod.



    Thus, in 2002, I revitalized my interests in photography, buying my first compact


    digital camera, an Olympus Camedia C-720. About the same time, Apple came out


    with its first image management and editing software, iPhoto 1.0. Finally, I could


    afford to study photography and learn it in ways that I never could in high school.





    A few years later, I purchased a Canon Rebel XT and a little later, a Canon 30D,


    which enabled me to start shooting weddings and other events on a professional


    level. For me, getting paid to take photos most certainly would not have happened


    if not for the advent of digital photography.



    The digital age has changed the entire scope, possibilities, and profession of


    photography. With the ability to shoot and instantly review images as they are taken,


    photographers are able to learn and explore image making in powerful new ways.


    Digital photography has taken us out of the darkroom and into the lightroom—


    where we can see more, do more, and learn much, much more.



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    Thus, The Essential Guide to Digital Photography is for readers wanting to learn digital


    photography for first time or build upon existing skills. It‟s for readers who want to


    take photography beyond the simple point-and-shoot experience to more advance


    skills and techniques.



    This guide is by no means comprehensive. Rather, it‟s an introduction to some


    essential things you need to know to get started, and it outlines further resources that


    you can use to grow as a photographer. This guide is based on my own experiences


    and growth as a student of photography, as well as what I have learned from


    teaching workshops to beginning shutterbugs.



    If you haven‟t already done so, I encourage you to print out this document or at


    least read and annotate it your favorite PDF reader. The best way to learn


    photography is hands-on. So have your camera beside you as you read this guide.



    I hope The Essential Guide to Digital Photography will reveal that the craft of


    photography is something almost anyone can learn without it costing a ton of


    money. I try to keep the language as non-technical as possible. I include guidelines


    about choosing a digital camera, learning basic features of your camera, selecting


    image editing software, and basic workflow for processing photos after you take


    them.



    The guide ends with additional resources that will provide you with even more skills


    and techniques that will make digital photography fun, enlightening, and maybe


    even profitable.



    As with all MakeUseOf.com articles and guides, we welcome your feedback,


    questions, and suggestions. We want MakeUseOf.com to be your go-to site for


    learning all things digital.




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    Section 1



    Digital Camera’s



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    Part 1: What Type of Digital


    Camera Should I Buy?





    Choosing a Camera


    With the wide variety of digital cameras on the market today, most beginning


    photographers ask, “Which camera should I buy?” The answer to that question


    usually depends on how much money you can spend and/or what type of


    photography you want to do.



    There are three types of popular consumer-based cameras: basic point-and-shoot,


    compact, and DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras. The biggest difference


    between the first two cameras and a DSLR is that with the latter camera you can


    change lenses, whereas with the former types the lenses are fixed.



    Which camera you buy should be based on your budget and the type of digital


    photography (e.g. nature, wedding and event, portrait, sports, family photography)


    you would like to do.



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    Please note: the images of cameras included in this guide are not necessarily my


    personal or professional recommendations of a particular camera or equipment. My


    experience with digital cameras has largely been with Canon models, so I don’t feel


    qualified to recommend specific models of cameras that I haven’t tried. I suggest


    you use this guide and do some research on the type of camera you would like to


    purchase.



    Point-and-shoot Cameras






    Point-and-shoot cameras are the most widely used of the three types of cameras.


    Most people treat these cameras as they are named in the industry. They pick up


    the camera, compose a shot and shoot. They‟re not too concerned about advance


    features (e.g. White Balance and ISO controls, for instance) and control over manual


    exposure. They shoot largely in Automatic mode, which means the camera sets the


    exposure settings for them.



    (Note: See the Glossary at the end for some basic camera and photo terms used


    and discussed in this article.)



    Here are the advantages and disadvantages of point-and-shoot cameras.



    Advantages



    uf0b7 Relatively inexpensive, ranging from $200-$400.


    uf0b7 Convenient, lightweight and small enough to carry in your pocket or bag.


    uf0b7 The lens of a point-and-shoot usually has a range of focal lengths, from wide


    to medium long.


    uf0b7 Automatic features that help users take photos.




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    Disadvantages



    uf0b7 Can‟t change lenses and sometimes can‟t use other accessories like external


    flash.


    uf0b7 Often slow in operation, which means you might get blurry shots, or you might


    miss shots all together.


    uf0b7 May be limited in exposure features, such wide range of aperture or high ISO


    speeds.


    uf0b7 Small LCD screen for reviewing images.



    Point-and-shoot cameras are your best buy if you‟re not looking to make digital


    photography a serious hobby or profession. If your budget for a camera is limited,


    point-and-shoot cameras are good option.



    If all you can afford is a point-and-shoot camera, don‟t think you can‟t get make


    great photos, because you can. These cameras are great for everyday family and


    vacation photos. If you own a DSLR camera, a point-and-shoot makes for a great


    backup and secondary camera that you can keep in your car or travel bag. Take a


    look at this Flickr Point and Shoot group to see the possibilities of what point-and-


    shoot cameras can do.



    Compact Cameras





    Compact cameras are very similar to point-and-shoots. Some stores and websites


    use the two terms interchangeably. But in my view, I see compact cameras as a little


    larger than point-and-shoots, with maybe a higher zoom and exposure range, and a


    larger LCD screen. Examples of compact cameras are the Canon Powershot G11,


    the Coolpix P100, and the Fujifilm FinePix S2500HD Expect to pay between $400 and


    $800.




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