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Beyond Auto Mode: A Guide to Taking Control of Your Photography

Book Description

Take full advantage of your dSLR camera, and do it with confidence

Many people buy dSLR cameras for their flexibility, but find themselves so intimidated by all the options and controls that they rarely venture beyond the automatic mode. With a friendly tone and clear, understandable instruction, photographer and educator Jen Bebb introduces you to every mode and setting on your sophisticated dSLR. After thoroughly explaining shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, ISO, and basic composition, she offers direction on what each camera mode does and when it should be used. You'll gain the confidence to use the entire feature set you paid for.

  • Beginning dSLR users are often intimidated by the scene, semi-automatic, and fully manual modes on their cameras; this guide gently explains each mode and setting

  • Uses a conversational tone and liberal examples to define and explain basic concepts including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, depth of field, and composition

  • Covers how each camera mode works and when to consider using it

  • Helps those new to dSLR photography to gain confidence and begin taking advantage of all the flexibility a dSLR offers

Written by a professional photographer who is also known for her skill as an instructor, Beyond Auto Mode encourages new and less experienced dSLR users to take the next step toward creative control.

Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. GETTING BEYOND AUTO MODE: MAKING BETTER PICTURES
    2. GETTING IT RIGHT IN THE CAMERA
    3. GUIDE TO USING THIS BOOK
  2. THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MANUAL MODE
    1. LET THERE BE LIGHT
    2. EXPOSURE TRIANGLE
    3. STOPS AND F/STOPS
    4. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
  3. PART 1: UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE
    1. Chapter 1: SHUTTER SPEED
      1. WHAT SHUTTER SPEED MEANS
      2. WHY SHUTTER SPEED MATTERS
      3. SHUTTER SPEED AND LIGHT
      4. WHERE TO FIND THE CONTROL
      5. HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
      6. YOUR TURN
        1. Assignment 1-1: Changing Light
        2. Assignment 1-2: Motion Blur
        3. Assignment 1-3: Using a Very Slow Shutter Speed
    2. Chapter 2: ISO
      1. WHY ISO MATTERS
      2. ISO AND LIGHT
      3. WHERE TO FIND THE CONTROL
      4. AUTO ISO: The Pros and Cons
      5. YOUR TURN
        1. Assignment 2-1: How ISO Affects Exposure
        2. Assignment 2-2: Noise at Different ISO Settings
    3. Chapter 3: APERTURE AND DEPTH OF FIELD
      1. WHAT APERTURE OR F/STOP MEANS
      2. UNDERSTANDING APERTURE
      3. DEPTH OF FIELD AND APERTURE
      4. WHERE TO FIND THE CONTROL
      5. APERTURE AND LIGHT
      6. YOUR TURN
        1. Assignment 3-1: How Aperture Affects Exposure
        2. Assignment 3-2: Finding Minimum and Maximum Aperture
        3. Assignment 3-3: How Aperture Affects Depth of Field
    4. Chapter 4: METERING + LIGHT
      1. HOW YOUR CAMERA “SEES” LIGHT
      2. GETTING THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF LIGHT INTO YOUR CAMERA
      3. METERING MODES AND HOW THEY WORK
      4. DECIDING WHAT MODE TO USE
      5. EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
    5. Chapter 5: USING LIGHT
      1. LIGHT AND WHITE BALANCE
      2. SUNLIGHT
        1. Soft Frontal Light
        2. Backlight
        3. Sidelight
        4. Direct Sun
        5. Shade
        6. Flare
      3. ROOM LIGHT
      4. Exposure Settings in Room Light
  4. PART 2: SEMI-AUTO AND MANUAL MODES
    1. Chapter 6: CHOOSING A CAMERA MODE
      1. AUTOMATIC MODES
      2. CREATIVE OR SEMI-AUTO MODES
      3. MANUAL MODE
    2. Chapter 7: APERTURE PRIORITY
      1. WHEN AND WHERE TO USE APERTURE PRIORITY
        1. Changing Light Conditions
        2. Controlling Depth of Field (DOF)
        3. Using Variable Aperture Zoom Lenses
      2. MAXIMIZING CONTROL
      3. APERTURE PRIORITY AND MOTION BLUR
    3. Chapter 8: SHUTTER PRIORITY
      1. WHEN AND WHERE TO USE SHUTTER PRIORITY
      2. MAXIMIZING CONTROL
      3. SHUTTER PRIORITY AND DEPTH OF FIELD
    4. Chapter 9: MANUAL MODE BASICS
      1. CHOOSING MANUAL MODE
      2. HOW TO USE MANUAL MODE
      3. USING MANUAL MODE IN REAL LIFE
  5. PART 3: Going Beyond Auto Mode in the Real World
    1. Chapter 10: COMPOSING IMAGES
      1. THE RULES
        1. The Rule of Thirds
        2. Diagonal Lines
        3. Leading Lines
        4. Fill the Frame
        5. Neutral Backgrounds
        6. Negative Space
        7. Balance and Symmetry
        8. Cutting Off Body Parts in Your Images
      2. BREAKING THE RULES
    2. Chapter 11: PORTRAITS AND LIFE EVENTS
      1. PORTRAITS
        1. The Single Portrait: Headshot to Full Length
        2. The Group Shot
        3. The Environmental and Lifestyle Shots
      2. LIFE EVENTS
        1. Sporting Events
        2. Plays, Recitals, and Parties
        3. Everyday Images
      3. TROUBLESHOOTING
    3. Chapter 12: PLACES AND THINGS
      1. NATURE AND LANDSCAPES
        1. Sunsets
        2. Landscapes and Interesting Places
        3. Nature Items
        4. Water
      2. OBJECTS
        1. Food
        2. Pets
        3. Objects
      3. TROUBLESHOOTING COMMON PROBLEMS
    4. Chapter 13: ADDING FLASH AND OTHER GEAR
      1. ADDING FLASH
      2. THE POP-UP FLASH AND HOW IT WORKS
      3. CONTROLLING THE POP-UP FLASH
      4. USING FLASH IN REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS
        1. Sunsets and Other Interesting Backdrops
        2. Sunshine
      5. ADDING A CAMERA-MOUNTED FLASH
      6. ADDING OTHER GEAR
        1. Lenses
        2. Stabilizers
        3. Camera Bags
        4. Digital Media Cards
        5. Card Wallets
        6. Card Readers
        7. Filters
  6. Glossary
  7. Appendix: THE MAKING OF AN IMAGE