The Textbook of Digital Photography - PhotoCourse

111 Pages · 2007 · 4.48 MB · English

  • The Textbook of Digital Photography - PhotoCourse


    Cover A S h o r t C o u r S e S B o o k

    The Textbook of

    Digital Photography


    SeCond edition

    d P . C

    e n n i S u r t i n

    h t t P : / / w w w . ShortCourSeS. C o m

    httP://www.PhotoCourSe.Com Copyright

    ShortCourSeS And PhotoCourSe PuBliShing ProgrAmS

    Short Courses and its sister site PhotoCourse.com, are the leading

    publishers of digital photography books, textbooks, and easy to follow

    guides to specific cameras. PhotoCourse and Short Courses books are

    used by hundreds of schools, adult and community education pro-

    grams, and in major camera company, police and military training programs.

    If you are an instructor, you should know that special pricing is available for

    classroom use.

    • For camera guides and other digital photography books, visit the Short

    Courses bookstore at http://www.shortcourses.com/bookstore/book.htm.

    • For details on using this and other texts in the classroom, visit

    our textbook Web site at www.photocourse.com or call us at 781-631-8520,

    Boston Massachusetts USA time.

    If you find any errors in this book, would like to make suggestions for im-

    provements, or just want to let me know what you think—I welcome your

    feedback, even though I can’t always respond personally.


    ContACt/FeedBACk inFormAtion

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    document on how ShortCourses.com

    copyright law protects 16 Preston Beach Road

    photographers and

    Marblehead, Massachusetts 01945

    other artists.

    E-mail: [email protected]

    CoPyright notiCe

    © Copyright 2007 by Dennis P. Curtin. All rights reserved. Printed in the

    United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States

    Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication, or the resources to which

    it links, may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or

    stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission

    of the publisher.

    If you are using the

    print edition of this book

    you should know that

    there is a PDF eText

    edition with clickable

    links available.

    ISBN: 1-928873-75-8

    For inFormAtion on ClAssroom use, visit http://www.photoCourse.Com using this text in the ClAssroom

    uSing thiS text in the ClASSroom

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    http://www.photocourse.com/itexpth/toetxotgdriaspch/tye xfotdr ibsoc.thht mclalssroom and independent study. With pho-

    tography texts from traditional publishers exceeding $80, it is time

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    on revisions and ad-

    ditions, go to www. This text introduces the entire panorama of digital photography and includes

    photocourse and sign the following topics:

    up at the bottom of

    the page. We don’t • Digital cameras and digital images (Chapter 1)

    share nor spam the

    • Digital workflow (Chapter 2)


    • Camera controls and creative photography (Chapters 3–6)

    • Special discounts

    • Flash and studio lighting (Chapter 7-8)

    are offered on print-

    ed or eBook copies • Sharing and displaying digital images (Chapter 9–10)

    on CDs shipped to • Exploring beyond the standard still image (Chapter 11)

    school addresses. For

    information e-mail Be sure to frequently visit the PhotoCourse Web site (www.photocourse.com)

    [email protected]

    for an up-to-date listing of what’s available. For additional information on


    digital photography, visit the publisher’s Web site at www.shortcourses.com.

    For inFormAtion on digitAl photogrAphy, visit http://www.shortCourses.Com iii preFACe


    Not long ago the course title “Digital Photography” implied a course

    Try This WiTh on Photoshop. As digital cameras have become increasingly

    Film! popular, the introductory course has also gone digital so you are

    now introduced to photography using a digital camera. As this new

    • In the summer of

    2003, the associated era of digital photography matures, it won’t be long before the “digital” in

    press reported that a “digital photography” becomes redundant. It will be assumed, because that

    15-year-old boy had

    is the way almost all photography will be done. One of the primary reasons

    foiled an abduction

    by using his camera for this rapid movement from film to digital imaging is that photography

    phone to take photos is embedded in a world that has gone digital. To take full advantage of the

    of the man and his

    digital world in which we live, photographs also need to be digital. For awhile,

    car’s license number.

    the man was ar- capturing images on film and then scanning them into a digital format was

    rested the next day. a solution. However, this process is expensive and time consuming. Digital

    • a man stranded cameras remove those impediments and capture images that are already in a

    on an ice floe during universally recognizable digital format that makes them easy to display and

    a solo trek to the

    share. You can insert digital photographs into word processing documents or

    north pole took a

    digital photo of the PowerPoint presentations, print them on almost any material, send them by

    1,000 foot runway e-mail, integrate them into slide shows to be played on the TV, post them on

    he’d dug by hand

    a Web site where anyone in the world can see them—even have them laser-

    and e-mailed it to air

    rescue showing them etched into glass or granite. A digital camera, a computer, and a high-speed

    that a landing was Internet connection make each of us a member of an ever-expanding network


    or community of photographers and viewers.

    Just as digital images make it easy to integrate photos into many of the

    other things we do, digital technology makes it easy to add cameras to other

    devices. One of the current trends is to embed cameras into cell phones

    and other mobile devices. With just a push of a few buttons, you can snap

    a picture and immediately e-mail it or post it on a Web site. It won’t be

    long before there are digital cameras everywhere, all the time. What impact

    this will have on our photography remains to be seen, but if history is any

    indicator, people will soon be discovering practical, creative, and even artistic

    ways to use these new tools.

    Changes in technology always open new opportunities and present

    approaches that change the way images look and are used. For example, the

    introduction of the 35mm Leica in the 1930s was a revolutionary change

    that made it easier to capture fast-moving action. Images became more

    spontaneous and fluid, a far cry from the more formally posed images

    required by much larger and more awkward cameras. Smaller cameras

    allowed photographers to discretely capture life on the street and people in

    motion, without modifying the flow of action by his or her simple presence.

    Reality could be captured unchanged and unposed. With cameras built into

    almost all cell phones in the near future, an even larger impact is possible.

    Signs offering film Although it’s both the immediacy and flexibility of digital photography that

    developing are rapidly

    has made it so popular, there is one aspect that is rarely mentioned. This is

    changing to signs

    offering to make prints the new freedom it gives you to explore creative photography. In the 1870s

    from your digital files. when William Henry Jackson carried 20 x 24 glass plate negatives around

    “From today, painting

    the West on a mule, you can bet he hesitated before he took a photograph.

    is dead!” exclaimed

    painter Paul Delaroche He had to set up a darkroom, coat a glass plate, expose the image, develop

    when he saw the first the negative and then take down and repack all of the gear. We may not

    daguerreotype in 1839.

    be carrying window-sized glass plates, but you and I also hesitate before

    He was wrong, but can

    we revise the sentence taking a picture. We’re always doing a mental calculation “is it worth it?”

    to “From today, film is Subconsciously we’re running down a checklist of costs, times, effort, and so


    on. During that “decisive moment,” the image is often lost or we fail to try

    iv For inFormAtion on ClAssroom use, visit http://www.photoCourse.Com preFACe

    new things. We lose the opportunity for creative growth and choose to stay

    with the familiar that has delivered for us in the past. Surprisingly, Jackson

    had one big advantage we’ve lost over the last century. If an image didn’t

    turn out, or if he was out of glass plates, he could just scrape the emulsion

    off a previously exposed negative, recoat the plate, and try again. Digital

    photography not only eliminates that nagging “is it worth it?” question, it also

    The original Leica returns us to that era of endlessly reusable film (and we don’t need a mule

    changed the way to carry it). Hand the camera to the kids, take weird and unusual angles,

    photographs were

    shoot without looking through the viewfinder, and ignore all previously held

    captured and now, with

    the M8, it too has gone conceptions about how to take photographs. You may be surprised at the

    digital. photos you get if you exploit this new era of uninhibited shooting.

    Digital cameras are only a few years old, and we are only at the dawn of this

    new era. Where it will lead no one really knows, but it’s exciting to play a part

    The virtue of the in this dramatically changing world. As you begin to explore the field, you will

    camera is not be awash in technical jargon. Most of it can be safely ignored. To show how

    the power it has

    some things never change, here is what Jacob Deschin, the photographic edi-

    to transform the

    photographer into tor of the New York Times, wrote in 1952 about the earlier era when the Leica

    an artist, but the im- revolutionized photography:

    pulse it gives him to

    keep on looking—and “When 35mm was in full flower in this country–in the miniature’s golden


    Thirties–photographers in the new medium became “experts” overnight,

    Brooks atkinson full of tall talk about small grain and big enlargements. They had to, in self

    Once Around the Sun

    defence, for in those early days of the miniature it seemed important to be

    technically hep, at least in conversation. Never mind the pictures! In spite

    of much hokum, much good came to the surface, survived the babel and

    exerted an influence that has since benefitted all photography.”

    A mule carries William

    Henry Jackson’s

    photographic outfit.

    Courtesy of the Library

    of Congress.


    Click to view a PDF

    glossary of terms you

    may encounter in digital


    For inFormAtion on digitAl photogrAphy, visit http://www.shortCourses.Com v Contents


    Chapter 4


    Controlling sharpness...112

    shortCourses and PhotoCourse Publishing Programs...ii

    Eliminating Blur From Camera movement...113

    Using this Text in the Classroom...iii

    image stabilization...115


    increasing sensitivity (isO)...116


    sharpness isn’t Everything...117

    list of Animations & Extensions...viii

    How to Photograph Motion Sharply...118

    Focusing—The Plane of Critical Focus...120

    Chapter 1

    Focusing—Focus Areas...121

    Digital Cameras & images...9 Focus—Techniques...122

    in the Beginning...10 Depth of Field...125

    What is a Digital Photograph?...11 Circles of Confusion...126

    Digital Photography—The Past and the Future...12 Controlling Depth of Field...127

    Why Go Digital? ...14 Using maximum Depth of Field...128

    Types of Digital Cameras...15 Using Shallow Depth of Field...130

    Jump Start—Taking Photos with Full Auto Mode...19 Conveying the Feeling of motion...131

    Camera Controls...21

    Composing images...22 Chapter 5

    Capturing images...25

    Capturing light & Color...132

    Continuous Photography...26

    Where Does Color Come From?...133

    Playback mode...27

    White Balance...134

    When Things Go Wrong...28

    Color Balance and Time of Day...138

    image sensors—introduction...29

    sunsets and sunrises...139

    image sensors—Types...30


    image sensors—image size...31

    Photographing at Night...143

    image sensors—sizes and Aspect ratios...35

    The Direction of light...145

    image sensors—sensitivity and Noise...37

    The Quality of light...147

    image sensors—it’s All Black and White After All...38

    image sensors—Cleaning...41 Chapter 6

    Chapter 2 unDerstanDing lenses...149

    introduction to lenses...150

    Digital WorkfloW...42 Understanding Focal lengths...151

    Digital Workflow...43

    Zoom lenses...154

    image Formats...44

    Normal Focal lengths...155

    in-Camera image storage Devices...48

    short Focal lengths...156

    How Photos Are Stored in your Camera and

    long Focal lengths...158


    Portraits and Focal length...160

    Transferring images...53

    macro mode and macro lenses...161

    storing images—On your system...56

    Perspective in a Photograph...163

    storing images—On the road...59

    lens Accessories...164

    Organizing your Photo Files...60

    image managers...61 Chapter 7

    Evaluating your images—Basics...66

    on-Camera flash photography...165

    Evaluating your images—histograms...69

    Flash Power and Range...166

    Photo-editing—Global Editing...73

    Flash sync and shutter speeds...167

    Photo-editing—local Editing...78


    Color management–Color models and Color spaces...80

    redeye reduction...169

    Color Management—The Workflow...82

    Using Fill Flash...170

    Chapter 3 Flash Off...171

    Using Slow Sync Flash...172

    Controlling exposure...85 Controlling Flash Exposures...173

    The importance of Exposure...86

    Using External Flash...175

    How Exposure Affects Your Images...87

    External Flash Accessories...177

    Exposure Controls—The shutter and Aperture...88

    Exposure Controls—Why so many Choices?...89

    Exposure modes...90

    Using Scene Specific Exposure Modes...91

    The shutter Controls light and motion...92

    The Aperture Controls light and Depth of Field...95

    Using shutter speed and Aperture Together...97

    How Your Exposure System Works...99

    When Automatic Exposure Works Well...103

    When to Override Automatic Exposure...104

    How Overriding Autoexposure Works...108

    How to Override Automatic Exposure...109

    vi For inFormAtion on ClAssroom use, visit http://www.photoCourse.Com Contents

    Chapter 8 Chapter 10

    stuDio photography...178 Displaying & sharing printeD photos...241

    Using Continuous lights...179 How Color Photographs are Printed...242

    Using strobes...181 making Prints—On-line...244

    Connecting the Camera and studio lights...182 Making Prints—for Profit...246

    Understanding hard and soft light...183 making Prints—locally...247

    Using Fill Cards and Reflectors...185 making Prints—Do-it-yourself...248

    Using Diffusers...187 Inkjets—Printing Paper...252

    Other lighting Controls...189 Inkjets—Inks...257

    Putting it All Together—Exposure and White Inkjets—Archival Issues...258

    Balance...190 mating & mounting Prints...259

    Choosing a Background...192 Framing, hanging & storing Prints...261

    Positioning the Camera...194 Photo Books—Do it yourself...263

    Portrait and Product Photography—introduction...197 Photo Books—having Them Done...265

    The main light...198 scrapbooks...268

    The Fill light...199 Photos on Fabrics...269

    The Background light...200 Photos on smooth surfaces...271

    The rim light...201 Photo Gifts and Novelties...272

    Thinking About your Photograph...202 laser-Etching and Fired Ceramics...274

    Chapter 9 Chapter 11

    Displaying & sharing photos on-sCreen ...204 BeyonD the still image...275

    sending Photos to Others—E-mail...205 Panoramic Photography...276

    sending Photos to Others—instant messenger...207 stereo Photography...279

    sending Photos to Others—Peer-to-peer Photo Animations...282

    sharing...208 shooting movies...284

    Slide Shows—On the TV...209 Panning & Zooming still Photographs...285

    Slide Shows—On the Computer Screen...212 morphing...286

    Slide Shows—Editing & Polishing...213 lenticular Photography—Prints that move...287

    File Formats—The Final Payoff...217 Flipbooks—handheld Animations...289

    Slide Shows—Digital Projectors...218 Photographing in Black & White and infrared...290

    Slide Shows—Digital Picture Frames...220 Night Vision...292

    Publishing your Photos—eBooks...224 Pin hole Photography...294

    Publishing your Photos—Photo sharing sites...227

    Publishing Your Photos—Your Own Web Site...231

    Publishing your Photos—Photo Blogs...233

    Publishing your Photos—rss...235

    Entertaining yourself—Wallpaper or Desktop

    Background managers...236

    Entertaining yourself—screen savers...237

    mapping your Photos...238

    For inFormAtion on digitAl photogrAphy, visit http://www.shortCourses.Com vii list oF AnimAtions & extensions

    liSt oF AnimAtionS & extenSionS

    front matter Chapter 4 Controlling sharpness

    Copyright Booklet ii Tripods 113

    Using this eText™ and Animations iii image stabilization 115

    Glossary v isO and Noise 116

    Distance and sharpness 119

    Chapter 1. Digital Cameras & images shutter speed Effect on motion 119

    Cameras are Dark Boxes 11 The Plane of Critical Focus 120

    Dots on an Inkjet Print 11 Focus Areas 121

    manual for DC 40 13 servo AF Focus 122

    Buying a Digital Camera 15 Focus lock 123

    Canon lenses 16 Aperture and Depth of Field 127

    Camera straps and Bags 17 selective Focus 130

    Caring for your Camera 18

    Camera icons 21 Chapter 5 Capturing light & Color

    The light Path Through an slr 23 The Color of light 133

    Parallax in an Optical Viewfinder 23 Adjusting White Balance 134

    Continuous mode 26 hard and soft light 147

    Understanding Exposure 29

    Where “Charge-Coupled” Comes From 30 Chapter 6 using lenses

    Canon lenses 150

    Calculating image sizes 31

    Focal Length and Angle of View 151

    Pixels and Curves 31

    Focal length Factors 152

    Pixelization 32

    image stabilization 153

    Calculating Print sizes 32

    Optical and Digital Zoom 157

    Output Devices Determine image sizes 33

    360-Degree VR Panorama 156

    The Big lie 34

    Wide-angle lens Distortion 160

    resolution—The Original meaning 34

    Macro Magnifications 161

    image sensor sizes 35

    Parallax in an Optical Viewfinder 162

    Calculating Aspect ratios 35

    Perspective in a Photograph 163

    isO and Noise 37

    Noise, Example from Cadillac ranch 37

    Chapter 7 on-Camera flash photography

    rGB Color 38

    The Inverse Square Law 166

    Dust on your image sensor 41

    Calculating Guide Numbers 166

    Flash sync 167

    Chapter 2. Digital WorkfloW

    red-eye 169

    scanning 43

    Fill Flash 170

    rAW vs JPEG image Quality 44

    First and second Curtain sync 172

    The Effects of Compression 45

    Flash Exposure Compensation 173

    Color Depth 46

    high speed sync 174

    Exploring Folders 51

    high speed stroboscopic Photography 174

    Dragging and Dropping Files and Folders 53

    External Flash 176

    you have Asset management 62

    Adjusting an Image’s Tonal Range 66 Chapter 8 stuDio photography

    Print sizes 66

    hard and soft light 183

    Adjust Hue, Saturation and Lightness 67

    The main light 198

    sharpening an image 68

    The Fill light 199

    Understanding histograms 70

    The Background light 200

    highlight Warnings 70

    The rim light 201

    Editing can be used to improve images 73

    Editing Can be Used to Change Pictures 73 Chapter 9 Displaying & sharing photos on-

    Adjusting Perspective 78


    Changing Color spaces 80

    Animated Gif 212

    rGB Color 80

    Flash Slide Show 215

    CmyK Colors 80

    PDF Slideshow 215

    A PDF Coffee Table eBook 226

    Chapter 3 Controlling exposure

    A PDF eBook on Monarch Butterflies 226

    Understanding Exposure 86

    Visit a Photo Blog 233

    Changing Exposure modes 90

    mapping Photos 240

    shutter speed Effect on Exposure 92

    shutter speed Effect on motion 93 Chapter 10 Displaying & sharing printeD photos

    Type of shutters 94 CmyK Colors 242

    Aperture settings and Exposure 95

    Aperture and Depth of Field 96 Chapter 11 BeyonD the still image

    Aperture-shutter speed Equivalents 98 360-Degree VR Panorama 276

    How Your Meter Sees 99 Object Photography 282

    Exposure Compensation 109 Continuous mode 283

    Exposure lock 110 Time-lapse Photography 283

    Autoexposure Bracketing 111 movie mode 284

    viii For inFormAtion on ClAssroom use, visit http://www.photoCourse.Com ChApter 1. digitAl CAmerAs & imAges

    Chapter 1

    Digital Cameras & Images

    A snow fence in the Digital images are formed from tiny dots of color. The dots, usu-

    middle distance almost ally many millions per image, are so small and close together they

    perfectly aligns with

    blend into the smooth continuous tones we’re so familiar with

    the horizon at the

    Washington Monument, from film. These images are captured directly with digital cameras,

    Washington, D.C. or by scanning a transparency, negative, or print. The end result is an image

    in a universally recognized format that can be easily manipulated, distrib-

    uted, and used. This digital format for images, and the development of the In-

    ternet in particular, have opened exciting new vistas for photography which

    we’ll explore in this text. To begin, we first look at digital cameras and digital

    images. This chapter lays the foundation for your understanding of digital


    For more on digitAl photogrAphy, visit http://www.shortCourses.Com x18 ChApter 1. digitAl CAmerAs & imAges

    in the Beginning

    Long before photography was discovered, artists used camera obscuras—


    “dark chambers” in Italian. Light entering the chamber through a small open-

    ing, called a pinhole, projected an image of the scene onto the opposite wall.

    Click to see how all

    cameras are just dark At first special rooms were designed to display this “magical” phenomenon

    boxes. but in the sixteenth century, Italian artists shrunk the large chamber to a por-

    table box, replaced the pinhole opening with a lens, added a mirror to invert

    the image and a translucent ground glass screen to display it. They traced

    the projected image by hand, and it was the desire of Henry Fox Talbot and

    others to capture the image directly that led to the invention of photography.

    Despite the dramatic changes in technology over the years, the dark box and

    the lens still form the foundation of modern photography.

    Interestingly, cameras

    were discovered

    before photography.

    People were seeing

    the projected image

    hundreds of years

    before they could

    capture it.

    Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-

    Haitham, also known as

    Alhazen, is shown here

    on a new Iraqi 10,000

    Dinar note. He gave the

    first correct explanation

    of vision, showing that

    light is reflected from

    an object into the eye.

    He is said to have

    ‘invented’ the camera


    Here is a modern Wista

    view camera. With

    its flexible bellows

    removed, you can

    see the ground glass

    focusing screen that

    is replaced by film or

    a digital back when a

    photo is taken. A lens

    projects a scene onto

    this screen upside

    down. Courtesy of HP

    Marketing Corp at www.


    10 For more on textbooks in digitAl photogrAphy, visit http://www.photoCourse.Com

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