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Light and Lens, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Light & Lens: Photography in the Digital Age is a groundbreaking introductory book that clearly and concisely provides the instruction and building blocks necessary to create thought-provoking digitally based photographs. It is an adventurous idea book that features numerous classroom-tested assignments and exercises from leading photographic educators to encourage you to critically explore and make images from the photographers' eye, an aesthetic point of view.

Acquire a basic foundation for digital photography. Light and Lens covers the fundamental concepts of image-making; how to use today's digital technology to create compelling images; and how to output and preserve images in the digital world.
Explore the history, theory and methods of digital image-making. Light and Lens translates the enduring aesthetics of art photography into the digital realm. You'll view, capture and think about images from a new perspective.
Increase your ability to analyze, discuss and write about your own work and the images of others.
Learn with exercises and assignments by leading digital educators. Innovative techniques will train your eye to make the strongest visual statement.
Solve visual problems and overcome image challenges. Whether you use a digital SLR or a point-and-shoot camera, you'll get new strategies to master composition, design and light.
View the full range of the digital terrain with stunning images and commentary by over 190 international artists.

Robert Hirsch is a renowned photographer, educator, historian and writer. His book credits include Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Ideas, Materials and Processes; Exploring Color Photography: From the Darkroom to the Digital Studio; and Seizing the Light: A History of Photography. He has had many one-person shows and curated numerous exhibitions. Hirsch has also conducted many workshops and interviewed eminent photographers of our time. The former executive director of CEPA Gallery, he is now the director of Light Research in Buffalo, New York, and on the Visual Studies faculty of University of Buffalo/The State University of New York.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Dedication
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Artist Contributors
  9. Chapter 1 Why We Make Pictures: A Concise History of Visual Ideas
    1. Not Just Pictures But Photographs
    2. The Grammar of Photography
    3. The Evolution of Photographic Imaging
    4. Full Circle: Some Things Remain the Same
    5. Determining Meaning
    6. BPS: Before Photoshop
      1. Combination Printing
      2. The Advent of Straight Photography
      3. The Pictorialists
      4. The Photo-Secessionists
      5. The Arrival of Straight Photography
      6. Modernistic Approaches
        1. Documentary
        2. Straight Photography and Previsualization
        3. Group f/64 and the Zone System
        4. Postvisualization
        5. Social Landscape and the Snapshot Aesthetic
        6. The Alternative Scene
        7. The Rise of Color Photography
        8. Postmodernism
        9. Electronic Imaging: New Ways of Thinking
    7. The Digital Imaging Revolution
    8. New Media
    9. Questions about Photo-Based Imagemaking
      1. 1. How does one become a photographer?
      2. 2. What traits do good photographers often possess?
      3. 3. Why is photography important?
      4. 4. Why is it important to find an audience for your work?
      5. 5. What can images do that language cannot do?
      6. 6. What makes a photograph interesting?
      7. 7. How is the meaning of a photograph determined?
      8. 8. How can photographers know and define beauty and truth in the twenty-first century?
      9. 9. What are the advantages of digital imaging over silver-based imagemaking?
      10. 10. What are the disadvantages of digital imaging?
      11. 11. How can I find something intriguing to photograph?
      12. 12. Hasn’t it been done before?
      13. 13. What if I’m not in the mood to make photographs?
      14. 14. What happens when I have difficulty photographing a subject?
      15. 15. Why is it important to understand and be proficient in your medium?
      16. 16. Why is it important to make your own photographs?
      17. 17. How much visual information do I need to provide a viewer to sustain meaning?
      18. 18. How much of my output is likely to be “good”?
      19. 19. How do photographers explore subjects like time and space?
      20. 20. Why study the history of photography?
      21. 21. What are the limitations in studying the images of others?
      22. 22. Can too much knowledge interfere with making photographs?
      23. 23. Is it necessary to explain my photographs?
      24. 24. What is the role of critics and critique?
      25. 25. What is the role of theory in relation to contemporary photography?
      26. 26. What do good teachers teach?
      27. 27. How do photographers earn a living?
      28. 28. Which equipment is the best?
      29. 29. Can creative efforts in other fields inspire your work?
      30. 30. Now it is your turn. Add a question and answer to this list.
    10. References
  10. Chapter 2 Design: Visual Foundations
    1. Learning to See: Communicating with Design
    2. Beginner’s Mind
    3. The Design Process
    4. The Nature of Photography: Subtractive Composition
    5. Departure Point
    6. Attention Span and Staying Power
    7. Photography’s Privilege
    8. The Language of Vision
    9. Photography’s Native Characteristics
    10. Design Principles
      1. Unity and Variety
      2. Emphasis
      3. Scale and Proportion
        1. The Golden Mean: The Rule of Thirds
      4. Balance
    11. Visual Elements
      1. Line
      2. Shape
      3. Space
      4. Texture
      5. Pattern
      6. Symbolism
        1. General Symbol Categories
      7. Shapes and Their General Symbolic Associations
      8. Color Symbolism
      9. Common Symbols and Some Potential Associations
    12. References
  11. Chapter 3 Image Capture: Cameras, Lenses, and Scanners
    1. The Role of a Camera
    2. What Is a Camera?
    3. How a Camera Imaging System Works
    4. Digital Cameras
      1. Digital Observations
      2. Image Sensors: CCD and CMOS
      3. Color Filter Array: Bayer Filter Mosaic
      4. Pixels
      5. Image Resolution
        1. PPI: Pixels per Square Inch and Digital Camera Resolution
        2. DPI: Dots per Square Inch and Printer Resolution
        3. The Differences between PPI and DPI
        4. Visual Acuity and 300 DPI
    5. Types of Cameras
      1. Compact Digital Cameras
      2. Digital Single-Lens Reflex Cameras
      3. Single-Lens Translucent Cameras
      4. Other Camera Types
    6. Choosing a Camera
    7. Camera File Formats
      1. Image Compression Algorithms: Lossless and Lossy
    8. Major Image File Formats
      1. JPEG
      2. TIFF
      3. RAW and Post-Processing
      4. DNG
    9. Opening Files
    10. The Lens System and Exposure
      1. Aperture
      2. Aperture/F-Stop Control/Shutter Control/Exposure Modes
      3. Depth of Field
      4. Lens Focal Length
        1. What Focal Length Establishes
        2. The Focal Length Rule
        3. 35mm Film Camera Equivalencies
        4. Angle of View
        5. Calculating Lens Equivalency for Digital Sensors
      5. Focusing the Image
        1. Autofocus Modes
      6. Types of Lenses
        1. Zoom Lenses
        2. Normal Lens
        3. Wide-Angle Lens
        4. Telephoto Lens
        5. Special-Use Lenses
      7. Shutter
        1. Shutter Speed Control
        2. Shutter Lag
        3. Camera Movement
        4. Shutter Modes
        5. Determining Exposure
    11. Digital Camera Features
      1. Resolution
      2. Monitor
        1. Monitor Playback Mode and Histogram
      3. Metadata/EXIF
      4. Optical and Digital Zoom
      5. Digital ISO/Sensitivity
        1. Digital Aberrations: Noise, Banding, Blooming, and Spots
      6. White Balance
      7. Metering Modes
      8. Aspect Modes
      9. Color Modes
      10. Image Enhancement or Scene Modes
      11. Special Effect Modes
      12. Motion Picture Mode
      13. Sharpening Mode
      14. Guide or Help Mode
      15. Noise Reduction
      16. Image Stabilization
      17. Flash
      18. Memory Buffer
      19. Removable Camera Memory Storage
      20. Firmware
      21. Software: You Press the Button and the Camera Does the Rest
      22. Battery
        1. Battery Choices
        2. Battery Care in Cold Conditions
    12. Camera, Lens, Monitor, and Sensor Care
      1. Protection against the Elements
    13. Scanners
      1. Flatbed and Film Scanners
      2. Drum Scanners
      3. Scanning Guidelines
      4. Scanning Steps
    14. Frame Grabber
      1. Effects on Photojournalists and Event Photographers
    15. Storing Digital Images
      1. Storage Media for Final Image Files
        1. Compact Disc (CD) and Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)
        2. Mechanical Storage
        3. Internal Hard Disk Drives
        4. External Hard Disk Drives
        5. Solid-State Storage: Hard Drives, USB Drives, Jump Drives, and Flash Memory Media
        6. Image Transfer
    16. Living Photography: Authorship, Access, and the World’s Largest Picture Book
  12. Chapter 4 Exposure and Filters
    1. Exposure Basics
      1. Camera Light Meters Are 18 Percent Gray Contrast
      2. Reflective and Incident Light
      3. How a Light Meter Works
      4. How a Histogram Works
      5. Using a Gray Card
      6. Camera Metering Programs
        1. Matrix Metering/In-Camera Metering Methods
      7. Using a Camera Monitor
      8. Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
        1. How a Meter Gets Deceived
        2. Exposure Bracketing
        3. Exposure Compensation
        4. Manual Override
      9. Handheld Meters
      10. Brightness Range
        1. Exposing to the Right
        2. High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging
      11. Basic Light Reading Methods
        1. Average Daylight
        2. Brilliant Sunlight
        3. Diffused Light
        4. Dim Light
        5. Contrast Control/Tone Compensation
      12. Light Metering Techniques
        1. Metering for the Subject
        2. Exposing for Tonal Variations
      13. Electronic Flash and Basic Fill Flash
        1. Red Eye
      14. Unusual Lighting Conditions
        1. Subject in Shadow
        2. Subject in Bright Light
        3. Zoom Exposure
        4. Averaging Incident and Reflect Exposures
        5. Scene Mode Exposures
        6. Long Exposures and Digital Noise
      15. Reciprocity Law
    2. Filtering the Light
      1. Our Sun: A Continuous White Light Spectrum
      2. Color Temperature and the Kelvin Scale
      3. The Color of Light
        1. White Balance
      4. Camera Color Modes
        1. Color Saturation Control
        2. Hue Adjustment/RGB Color Mixing
      5. Why a Color May Not Reproduce Correctly
      6. Lens Filters
        1. How Filters Work
        2. Filter Factor
      7. Neutral Density Filters
      8. Dealing with Reflections: Polarized and Unpolarized Light
        1. What a Polarizing Filter Can Do
        2. Using a Polarizer
        3. Linear and Circular Polarizers
      9. Ultraviolet, Skylight, and Haze Filters
      10. Special Effects Filters
      11. Homemade Colored and Diffusion Filters
      12. Digital Filters and Plugins
      13. Fluorescent and Other Gas-Filled Lights
      14. High-Intensity Discharge Lamps/Mercury and Sodium Vapor Sources
  13. Chapter 5 Interpreting the Light
    1. Natural Light
      1. The Thingness of Light
      2. Good Light
      3. Light and the Camera
    2. The Time of Day/Types of Light
      1. The Cycle of Light and Its Basic Characteristics
        1. Before Sunrise
        2. Morning/The Golden Hour
        3. Midday
        4. Afternoon
        5. Twilight/Evening
        6. Night
      2. The Seasons
      3. The Weather and Atmospheric Conditions
        1. Fog and Mist
        2. Rain
        3. Snow
        4. Snow Effects
        5. Dust
        6. Heat and Fire
        7. Beach and Desert
    3. Artificial Light
      1. Add a Light
      2. The Size of the Main or Key Light
      3. The Placement of the Light
      4. Contrast/Brightness Range
    4. Basic Lighting Methods
      1. Front Light
      2. Side Light
      3. High Side Light
      4. Low Side Light
      5. Top Light
      6. Back Light
      7. Under Light
    5. Lighting Accessories
      1. Barn Doors
      2. Diffuser
      3. Gels
      4. Reflector Card
      5. Seamless Paper Backdrops
      6. Snoot
      7. Studio Strobes
      8. References
  14. Chapter 6 Observation: Eyes Wide Open
    1. How We See
      1. Literacy
      2. Learning to Look
        1. The Difference between Artistic and Scientific Methods
      3. Visual Literacy and Decision Making
    2. Why We Make and Respond to Specific Images
      1. Victor Lowenfeld’s Research
      2. Visual-Realists as Imagemakers
        1. Visual-Realist Photographic Working Methods
      3. Haptic-Expressionist Imagemakers
        1. Haptic-Expressionist Photographic Working Methods
    3. The Effects of Digital Imaging
      1. Photography’s Effect on the Arts
      2. Pushing Your Boundaries
    4. Aesthetic Keys for Color and Composition
      1. The Color Key
      2. The Composition Key
      3. Recognizing the Keys
    5. Figure-Ground Relationships
      1. The Importance of Figure-Ground Relationships
  15. Chapter 7 Time, Space, Imagination, and the Camera
    1. In Search of Time
    2. The Perception of Time
    3. Controlling Camera Time
      1. Exploring Shutter Speeds
        1. Extending the Action
        2. Stopping the Action
        3. Stopping Action with Electronic Flash
      2. Blur and Out-of-Focus Images
        1. Motion Blur Filters
        2. Lensbaby
        3. The Pan Shot
        4. Equipment Movement
        5. Free-Form Camera Movement
        6. Flash and Slow Shutter Speed
      3. Extended Time Exposures
      4. Drawing with Light
        1. Projection
      5. Multiple Images
        1. Sandwiching/Overlapping Transparencies
        2. Rephotography
      6. Post-Camera Visualization
        1. Sequences
        2. Using a Grid
        3. Many Make One
        4. Contact Sheet Sequence
        5. Joiners
        6. Slices of Time
        7. Compound Pictures/Photomontage
        8. Photographic Collage
      7. Three-Dimensional Images: Physical and Virtual
      8. Image-Based Installations
        1. Public Art
        2. Social Media
    4. Imaging Software Solutions
      1. Recomposing Reality
    5. Animation (Timeline)
    6. Getting Started: Making Your Animation (Timeline)
      1. Preparing the Still Image Files
      2. Steps for Importing Still Images, Sound, and Working with the Timeline
    7. References
  16. Chapter 8 Digital Studio: Where the Virtual Meets the Material World
    1. The Megapixel Myth
    2. Displaying the Image File: Transferring Image Files for Display, Web, or Print
      1. The Display
      2. Image Output: Display and Print
        1. The Web: Pixels per Inch (PPI)
        2. Print Resolution: Pixels per Inch and Dots per Inch (Embedded Resolution)
        3. Properly Adjusting Image Size and Unchecking Resample Image
        4. The Importance of Keeping Equivalent Pixel Dimensions
        5. Sizing a Digital File
        6. Resampling or Interpolation
    3. Working with a Digital Negative: The Original Capture
      1. Working with RAW File Formats
      2. Resampling/Interpolation and the Digital Negative
    4. True Resolution and the Real World
      1. Default Image Preview Confusion
      2. Digital Post-Production and Cataloging
      3. The Image Window
      4. The Bottom Line: The Best Setting to Get the Desired Results
    5. Making Photographic-Quality Prints
      1. Inkjet Printers: Converting PPI to DPI to Dots
      2. Droplet Size: Picoliters
      3. Paper: Uncoated and Coated
      4. Inks: Dye and Pigment Based
      5. Print Permanence
      6. Printing Systems and Output Concerns
        1. Thermal/Dye-Sublimation Printing
        2. Desktop Inkjet Printers
        3. Iris Print
        4. Giclée Printing
        5. LightJet
        6. Mural-Size Prints
        7. Unusual Printing Materials: Mixing Media
        8. Preparing a Digital Print for Mixed Media
        9. Service Bureaus
    6. Images and the Computer Workstation
      1. The Color Monitor
        1. How Monitors Display Color
        2. Bit Color
        3. Comparing 8-bit and 16-bit Modes
      2. Color Management (ICC Profiles)
        1. Controlling Color Space: Profiles and Lights
        2. WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get
        3. Lighting in the Work Space
    7. Digital Colors: CMYK and RGB
    8. Digital Memory
      1. RAM
      2. ROM
      3. Hard Disk
    9. Software and Imaging Applications
      1. Raster/Bitmapped Software
      2. Vector Graphics Software
    10. Basic Digital Imaging Categories and Tools
      1. Top Main Menu Options
        1. Cut/Copy and Paste Functions
        2. Scale and Distort Functions
        3. Digital Filter Function
        4. Toolbar Icons for Additional Photo Editing
    11. Common Toolbar Icons from Photoshop
      1. Finding Tools
        1. Black Arrow
      2. Select and Move Tools
        1. Marquee Tools
        2. Move Tool
        3. Lasso Tools
        4. Magic Wand Tools
        5. Quick Selection Tool
        6. Crop Tool
      3. Drawing Tools
        1. Brush and Pencil Tools
      4. The Retouching Tools
        1. Healing Brush and Patch Tools
        2. Clone Stamp Tool
        3. History Brush Tool
        4. Eraser Tools
        5. Fill Tools
        6. Dodge and Burn Tools
        7. Type Tools
        8. Eyedropper (Color Picker) Tools
        9. 3D Tools
        10. Zoom Tool
      5. Additional Photoshop Tools
        1. Masks
        2. Layers
        3. Changing Mouse Pointer
        4. Option/Shift/Command Keys
    12. The Computer as a Multimedia Stage: Moving Images
    13. The Internet and the World Wide Web
      1. Information Sharing: Search Engines and Weblogs
        1. Digital Galleries
    14. The Digital Future
    15. References
  17. Chapter 9 Presentation and Preservation
    1. Digital Retouching and Repair
    2. Archival Presentation
      1. Presentation Materials
        1. Mat Board Selection
        2. Window Mat
      2. Dry and Wet Mounting
        1. The Dry-Mounting Process
        2. Cold Mounting
      3. Floating a Print
      4. Frames
        1. Unusual Frames and Presentations
      5. Portfolios
      6. Books: Print on Demand
      7. Images on a Screen: Web Sharing
      8. Website Design/HTML
    3. Factors Affecting Print Preservation
      1. Materials to Avoid
      2. Factors Affecting Print Stability
      3. Color Print Life Span
      4. Print Display Environment
      5. Storage Environment
    4. Digital Archives
      1. Transferring Film-Based Images to a Digital Format
      2. Long-Term Storage and Migrating Digital Archives
      3. Post-Production Software
      4. Cataloging Your Image Files
    5. References for Digital Archives
    6. Digital Print Stability
      1. Dye-Based Inks
      2. Pigmented Inks
      3. Printing Media
      4. Protecting Pigment Prints
    7. Camera Copy Work
      1. Lens Selection: Macro Lens/Mode
      2. Copy Lighting
      3. Exposure
    8. Presenting Work on a Disk
      1. Ensuring a Good Welcome
      2. Shipping
      3. Copyright of Your Own Work
      4. Where to Send Work
    9. References
  18. Chapter 10 Seeing with a Camera
    1. The Framing Effect: Viewpoint
      1. Seeing Dynamically
      2. Working Methods
      3. Effectively Using Angles of View
    2. Selective Focus
    3. Contrast
      1. Complementary Colors
      2. Warm and Cool Colors
      3. Creating Color Contrast
    4. Dominant Color
      1. Be Straightforward
      2. Sustain Compelling Composition
    5. Harmonic Color
      1. Effective Harmony
    6. Isolated Color
      1. Chance Favors the Prepared Mind
    7. Monochrome Images
      1. The Personal Nature of Monochrome
      2. Color Contamination
      3. Aerial Perspective
    8. Perspective
      1. Basic Methods of Perspective Control
      2. Converging Lines
    9. Subdued Color
      1. Operational Procedures
    10. Highlights and Shadows
    11. Attraction and Repulsion
      1. Surmounting Preconceptions
    12. Counterpoints and Opposites
  19. Chapter 11 Solutions: Thinking and Writing about Images
    1. Thinking Structure: A Process for Discovery and Problem Solving
    2. A Thinking Model
      1. Stage 1: Thinking Time
        1. Getting Ideas
        2. Challenging Fear
        3. Source Notebook and Journal Keeping
        4. The Success Game
      2. Stage 2: Search for Form
        1. The Possibility Scale
      3. Stage 3: Definition and Approach
      4. Stage 4: Bringing It Together
      5. Stage 5: Operations Review
      6. Stage 6: Evaluation
    3. The Photograph as a Matrix
    4. Size Matters
    5. Communicating Cultural Knowledge
    6. The Image Experience: Photographic Meaning Is Unstable
    7. Writing about Images
      1. Writing an Artist’s Statement
    8. Essentials of Image Discussion
    9. John Cage’s Rules
    10. References
  20. Chapter 12 Photographer on Assignment
    1. Making Portraits: Who Am I and Who Are You?
      1. Self-Portrait Research
      2. Self-Portraits
      3. Portrait of Another Person
      4. Environmental Portrait
    2. Fauxtography: Photography’s Subjective Nature
      1. Truthiness and Wikiality
    3. Picturing Social Identity
      1. Depicting Social Customs
      2. Who Can Represent Us?
    4. Interior Experience: The Significance of Daily Life
      1. Philosophical Belief: Optimism, Pessimism, and Existentialism
      2. Psychological Drama
      3. Social Issues
    5. Fabrication for the Camera: Directorial Mode
      1. The Social Landscape
    6. Still Life
      1. Still-Life Deliberations
    7. The Human Form
    8. The Display: Another Picture Reality
      1. Alternative Approaches
    9. Text and Images
    10. Artists’ Books and Albums
    11. Artists’ and Photographic Books: References
    12. Self-Assignment: Creation and Evaluation
      1. Evaluation Guide—Before Making Images
      2. Guide to Evaluation—After Photographing
  21. Addendum 1: Safety: Protecting Yourself and Your Digital Imaging Equipment
    1. Ergonomic Workstations
    2. Monitor Emissions: ELF/VLF
    3. Eyestrain
    4. Proper Posture/Lower Back Problems
    5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    6. Taking Breaks
    7. Neutral Body Positioning
    8. Change Your Working Position
  22. Addendum 2: Careers
    1. The Working Photographer
    2. Getting Started
    3. References
  23. Index