Cover image for Digital Photography Hacks

Book description

Your digital camera is more than new incarnation of your old film camera. Yes, it still produces photos, but it also offers new outlets for creativity, including instant gratification of seeing your photos now, the ability to experiment without worrying about expense, the technology to fine-tune your photos with advanced professional techniques, and the means to share your work instantaneously with anyone, anyplace in the world. It's no wonder that digital cameras are outselling traditional cameras for the first time ever. But the question most digital camera users ask is this, "How do I get from taking 'decent' photos to doing the things I'd really like to do? How do I tap into that potential?" Digital Photography Hacks is your passport to taking the kind of digital photos you've always aspired to. Written by Derrick Story, photographer and author of Digital Photography Pocket Guide and other books, it goes beyond the standard fare of most digital photography books--such as camera basics, understanding memory cards, and when to use a flash--to the things that professional photographers have learned through thousands of shots' worth of experience, years of experimentation, and fiddling and hacking. The book includes a foreword by photographer Rick Smolan, author of America 24/7. With exquisite, full-color photos throughout, the book presents a collection of tips, tricks, and techniques for photographers ready to move beyond the basics. And if you don't have the latest in digital camera photography, this book will show you how to extend the life and functionality of your existing camera. All the hacks in the book are platform-agnostic, designed for use on both Mac on Windows-based computers. You'll find 100 proven techniques in the areas of:

  • Daytime and nighttime photo secrets

  • Flash magic

  • Digital camera attachments

  • The computer connection

  • Photoshop magic

  • Fun photo projects

  • Camera phone tricks

This book is for the photographer you are now, and the one you want to be. Digital Photography Hacks is for the creative adventurer who resides in each of us.

Table of Contents

  1. Digital Photography Hacks
    1. Credits
      1. About the Author
      2. Contributors
      3. Acknowledgments
    2. Foreword
      1. Why Push the Envelope?
    3. Preface
      1. Why Digital Photography Hacks?
      2. How to Use This Book
      3. How This Book Is Organized
      4. Conventions Used in This Book
      5. How to Contact O’Reilly
      6. Got a Hack?
    4. 1. Digital Camera Attachments
      1. Introduction
      2. Pocket Tripods on the Go
      3. Travel Tripod: A Happy Compromise
      4. Walking-Stick Mount
      5. Convert Your Monopod into a Makeshift Tripod
      6. Steady Shots from the Comfort of Your Car
      7. Attach Your Camera to Bicycle Handlebars
      8. Flash Brackets for Pro Lighting
      9. A Flexible Arm to Hold Accessories
      10. Bubble Levels to Keep Things Straight
      11. Battle the Sun with an LCD Hood
      12. Convert Your Digicam to a Digital SLR
      13. T-Mounts and Other Threaded Tricks
        1. Adapters Made by Scope Manufacturers
        2. The Simple Reversing Ring
        3. Extension Tubes
      14. Double-Strapping on the Trail
      15. Stay in Charge of Your Batteries
        1. Car Chargers for Road Trips
        2. Solar Chargers in the Middle of Nowhere
      16. Gaffer’s Tape When All Else Fails
    5. 2. Daytime Photo Secrets
      1. Introduction
      2. Pantyhose Diffusion Filter for Flattering Portraits
      3. Capture Kids Without Going Crazy
        1. Choosing a DSLR Camera
        2. Hacking the Point-and-Shoot Camera
      4. Use Sunglasses as a Polarizing Filter
      5. Get the Big Picture with a Panorama
      6. Secrets of Whiteboard Photography
      7. Make Your Own Passport Photo
      8. Get Super Close
        1. Get the Glass
        2. Mount the Camera for Best Results
        3. White Balance for Good Color Tone
        4. Flash Versus Available Light
        5. Final Thoughts
      9. Multiple Exposures, Digital Style
        1. Assembling Multiple Images into a Montage
        2. Creating Multiple-Exposure-Like Effects
        3. Working in a Truly Digital Darkroom
      10. Go Low-Rez
      11. Painless Infrared Photography
      12. Create the Maximum Depth of Field
        1. Focal Length: The Wider the Better
        2. Lens Aperture: The Smaller the Better
        3. Set Your Focus Manually
        4. Final Thoughts
      13. Create Soft Background Portraits
        1. Why Soft Backgrounds?
        2. Final Touches
      14. Analyze Metadata to Improve Your Shots
        1. What Is EXIF?
        2. Why Would I Want to Read EXIF Data?
        3. What Should I Use to View EXIF Data?
        4. Final Thoughts
    6. 3. Nighttime Photo Hacks
      1. Introduction
      2. Nighttime Portraits with Scenic Backgrounds
      3. Street Shooting at Night
      4. Capture the Nighttime Mood and Leave the Red Eye at Home
        1. Pocketable Party Shots
        2. Advanced Techniques
      5. Take Flash Shots of People Who Blink
      6. Auto Headlamps and Other Streaming Lights
        1. Your Equipment
        2. No Need to Increase the ISO
        3. Time to Shoot
      7. Starlight Effects for Candles and Lights
        1. Shooting Technique
      8. Light Painting and Colored Gels
        1. The Setup
      9. Secrets of Fireworks Photography
        1. What to Bring with You
        2. Location, Location, Location
        3. Setting Up Your Camera
        4. Taking the Shots
        5. Final Thoughts
      10. Night Landscapes and the Moon
        1. Obstacle 1: The Moon Is Brighter Than Everything Else
        2. Obstacle 2: The Shrinking Moon
        3. The Cheat
        4. A Few Camera Tips
        5. Final Thoughts
      11. Colorful Star Trails
        1. There’s More to Stars Than Science
        2. Get Your Equipment Together
        3. A Few More Tips
    7. 4. Magic with Flash
      1. Introduction
      2. Outdoor Fill Flash
      3. Prevent Red Eye
      4. Add External Flash to Point and Shoots
        1. A Simple Wireless Setup
        2. Final Thoughts
      5. Bounce Flash for Softer Light
        1. One Important Catch for Digicam Users
        2. A More Modern Approach
        3. No Hot Shoe, No Problem! (Well, Sort Of)
        4. A Few Bounce-Flash Tips
      6. Pro Portraits with Just Two Flashes
        1. Get Your Lighting Together
        2. The Setup
        3. Alternative Equipment
        4. Final Thoughts
      7. Eliminate Glare in Reflective Surfaces
      8. Freeze Action with Electronic Flash
      9. Second-Curtain Flash for Cool Effects
        1. How to Create the Magic
    8. 5. The Computer Connection
      1. Introduction
      2. Judge Image Sharpness by File Size
      3. Unerase the Lost
        1. How They Don’t Work
        2. The Secret to Unerasing
        3. To the Rescue
        4. What Can and Can’t Be Done
        5. Safe Practices
        6. Final Thoughts
      4. Name Folders to Organize Your Images
        1. Filenames
        2. Organizing by Filename
        3. Real-World Example
        4. Auto Keywords
        5. Image Root Names
        6. Final Thoughts
      5. Create a Web Photo Gallery
      6. Amazing B&W Prints from Your Inkjet Printer
      7. Great Color Prints from Your Inkjet Printer
        1. Measure Me
        2. Print Me
        3. Lighting
      8. Pro-Quality Prints from Your Digicam
        1. Professional Photofinishers for Fine-Art Photography
        2. Different Types of Output
        3. Final Thoughts
      9. Take Your Slideshow on the Road
      10. Virtual-Reality Movies from Your Digicam
        1. Creating Your Own VR
      11. Digicam Movie Editing Made Easy
      12. Rotate Your Movie from Horizontal to Vertical
      13. Create a Rolling Movie Title
        1. Using Text Tracks
        2. Customizing Your Title
        3. Final Thoughts
      14. Add Music to Movies and Slideshows
      15. Voiceovers for That Professional Touch
        1. Creating the Voiceover
        2. Adding the Voiceover to the Presentation
      16. Store Pictures and Movies on an iPod
    9. 6. Photoshop Magic
      1. Introduction
      2. Match Resolution to Output
        1. Your Camera’s Resolution
        2. Working with Image Size
        3. A Final Photo Tip
      3. Secrets of Sharpening
      4. Sample Down for Email Attachments
      5. Crop and Resample in One Step
      6. Level That Dipping Horizon
      7. Power-Line Vanishing Trick
      8. Combine Two Pictures
      9. Sponge Out Red Eye
        1. Why Desaturate?
        2. How to Desaturate
      10. Brighten Teeth
      11. Intelligent Auto Color Correction
      12. Soften Facial Lines
      13. Fix Flash Falloff
      14. Hand-Color with the History Brush
    10. 7. Camera-Phone Tricks
      1. Introduction
      2. Live with a Less-Than-Perfect Camera
        1. How Photos from Camera Phones Are Different
        2. Ways to Improve Your Camera-Phone Photographs
        3. The Techniques in Action
      3. Send Snapshots to the Desktop
        1. File-Transfer Options
        2. Final Thoughts
      4. Transfer Images Via Email
      5. Send a Paper Text Message
      6. Communicate in a Foreign Country
      7. Create a Home Inventory
      8. Rental-Car Tips and Other Auto Hacks
        1. Rental-Car Checkout
        2. Fender-Bender Documentation
        3. Timestamp
      9. Get the Big Picture with a Little Camera Phone
      10. Photo Moblogging
      11. Capture Life’s Little Moments with Camera-Phone Video
      12. Use Your Camera Phone as a Slideshow Viewer
    11. 8. Weekend Photo Projects
      1. Introduction
      2. Create a Coffeetable Photo Book
        1. A Look at iPhoto
        2. MyPublisher for Windows
        3. Book-Making Tips
      3. Create Custom Greeting Cards
      4. Keep a Digital Diary
      5. Capture Pictures of Your TV Screen
      6. Fax from Your Digital Camera
        1. Photographing the Document
        2. Processing the Document
        3. Final Steps
      7. Copy Slides with Your Digicam
        1. Using the Right Camera
        2. Coolpix 990 with Slide Copier
        3. Technique with the Coolpix
        4. Extending the Density Range
        5. Copying Color Negatives
        6. Final Thoughts
      8. Preview Film Pictures with Your Digital Camera
      9. Photograph Zoo Animals Without Bars
      10. Get Close with Digiscoping
        1. Digiscoping on the Cheap
        2. See Also
      11. Advanced Panorama Technique
        1. Avoiding Parallax
        2. Expert Hand-held Panorama Technique
        3. The Cardboard-Tube Cradle
      12. Shoot the Moon
        1. Getting Your Glass Together
        2. Making the Correct Exposure
        3. Postprocessing Your Pictures
        4. Get Outta Town!
        5. Try a Telescope
        6. Final Thoughts
      13. Remote-Control Camera
      14. Show Who’s Who in Group Shots
      15. Rename Photos Automatically in Windows XP
      16. Stack Images to Remove Noise
        1. Processing on the Computer
        2. Other Things to Consider
        3. Final Thoughts
    12. Index
    13. Colophon