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Buying the Right Photo Equipment

Book Description

We've all heard the saying, "Clothes make the man"; but does the photographic equipment make the photographer? One might think so when looking at new advanced cameras, dream lenses, and all the editing software out there. Others might disagree after admiring the wonderful photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson or Edward Weston, which were taken with relatively simple cameras and lenses.

The real questions to ask yourself are: What kind of images would I like to make? And what are all these things that I see advertised as indispensable photo equipment really for?

Geared toward the beginning to intermediate photographer, this book teaches about the variety of photographic tools available and what each is meant to accomplish. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of various pieces of equipment and discover what kind of gear you need to realize your creative ambitions. The book is filled with beautiful images that illustrate how the type of equipment discussed can affect an image.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. CHOOSING A LENS
    1. 1 Bringing distant subjects closer Using telephoto lenses
    2. 2 Increasing the feeling of space Using wide-angle lenses
    3. 3 Be prepared Using standard lenses
    4. 4 Maximize your flexibility Using zoom lenses
    5. 5 Discover new worlds Using macro lenses
    6. 6 Keeping things sharp Using fixed focal length lenses
    7. 7 Adjusting the closest focusing distance Using extension tubes
    8. 8 Increasing telephoto range Using teleconverters
    9. 9 Shooting in low light Using wide-aperture lenses
    10. 10 Producing extreme spatial effects Using fisheye lenses
    11. 11 Architects like straight lines Perspective control (PC) lenses
    12. 12 Fantastic landscapes Using a 24 mm lens
    13. 13 The perfect focal length for travel photos Using a 50 mm lens
    14. 14 Minimizing distortion in portraits Using a 105 mm lens
    15. 15 Long lenses for getting right up close Using a 300 mm lens
    16. 16 Preventing unwanted reflections Using a lens hood
    17. 17 Creative images with variable focus Using Lensbaby lenses
  7. FILTER KNOW-HOW
    1. 18 Consistent exposure throughout the frame Using a graduated gray (ND) filter
    2. 19 Lengthening your exposure time Using a gray (ND) filter
    3. 20 No more fingerprints on the lens Thanks to skylight filters
    4. 21 Photographing through glass without reflections Using a polarizing filter
    5. 22 Intensifying colors Using a UV filter
    6. 23 Shooting in mixed light Using a white balance filter
    7. 24 Adjusting a compact camera’s lens range Using telephoto and wide-angle accessory lenses
    8. 25 Shooting close-ups without an expensive specialty lens Using close-up lenses
  8. USING A TRIPOD TO KEEP THINGS STEADY
    1. 26 A stable base for your camera Tripods
    2. 27 Preventing camera shake Using a remote shutter release
    3. 28 Flexible tripod heads Ball heads
    4. 29 Support for heavy lenses Using a monopod
    5. 30 Constructing panorama images Using a panorama head
  9. THE WORLD OF FLASH
    1. 31 Freezing movement Using portable accessory flash
    2. 32 Simulating daylight in a studio Using studio flash
    3. 33 Adjusting flash to provide the right effect Using a swivel flash unit
    4. 34 Controlling contrast Using portable reflectors
    5. 35 Making flash softer Using a diffuser
    6. 36 Keeping control of flash Using a flash bracket
    7. 37 Reducing flash contrast Using ring flash
  10. PROTECTING YOUR GEAR
    1. 38 Safely stowed on the road Bags and more
    2. 39 Protecting your lenses Using lens bags
    3. 40 Both hands free With a photo backpack
    4. 41 Diving with your camera Using an underwater housing
    5. 42 Keeping your equipment clean Using a camera cleaning kit
    6. 43 Outdoor camouflage Using a purpose-built hide
    7. 44 Braving the weather Using a rain cover
    8. 45 Don’t forget your tripod Tripod bags
  11. OTHER USEFUL ACCESSORIES
    1. 46 Mastering difficult lighting Using a light meter
    2. 47 Controlling color rendition Using a color meter
    3. 48 Helping a “confused” camera meter Using a gray card
    4. 49 Setting white balance manually Using a white card as a reference
    5. 50 Creating a neutral background Using your own props
    6. 51 Protecting your batteries from the cold Always carry spares
    7. 52 Keep your batteries ready for action Using a charger
    8. 53 Back up your photos regularly Using a portable hard disk or card reader
    9. 54 Extra power for your camera Using a battery grip
    10. 55 Retaining a clear view Using a viewfinder eyecup
    11. 56 Always keep some memory in reserve Using a spare memory card
    12. 57 Constant companions Compact cameras for everyday use
    13. 58 Keeping the horizon straight Using a spirit level
    14. 59 Viewing the monitor image on a computer Using a wireless transmitter
  12. THE DIGITAL DARKROOM
    1. 60 The computer—mankind’s new best friend Image processing software
    2. 61 Digitizing your negatives Using a scanner
    3. 62 Controlling the entire digital image-processing workflow Using a RAW converter
    4. 63 Papering the walls with panoramas Using stitching software
    5. 64 Increasing the dynamic range of an image Using HDR software
    6. 65 Organizing your images Using image management software
    7. 66 Creating digital archives Using external storage media
    8. 67 Presenting your images on the Internet In a web gallery
    9. 68 Color matching your monitor and your prints Using monitor calibration hard-and software
    10. 69 Choosing a photo printer Inkjet technology is improving fast
    11. 70 Choosing your paper carefully Normal and art grade photo paper
  13. What Equipment Do the Pros Use?
  14. Afterword
  15. Photo Credits
  16. Index
  17. Footnote