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Shooting Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera

Book Description

A unique, full-color guide to the art of taking amazing photos with a digital camera

Aimed at photographers of all levels and ranges of interest, this new edition of Aaland's popular guide takes readers beyond the technology of the latest cameras and equipment to teach them the unique aesthetics of the digital image. Helpful examples explain how to take full advantage of RAW file formats, JPEG 2000, panorama automation, and more.

Mikkel Aaland (San Francisco, CA) is an award-winning photographer and author whose photography has been published in magazines and exhibited around the world.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction
  5. 1. Before You Shoot
    1. 1.1. Bridging the Film/Digital Gap
      1. 1.1.1. Capturing Light: Electronic vs. Chemical
        1. 1.1.1.1. The Digital Capture and Storage Process
        2. 1.1.1.2. Comparing Resolution
        3. 1.1.1.3. Considering Exposure Latitude
      2. 1.1.2. Lenses: Getting the Numbers Right
        1. 1.1.2.1. Aperture and Depth of Field
      3. 1.1.3. Shutters: Another Way to Control Light
      4. 1.1.4. Metadata
      5. 1.1.5. Beyond Film
    2. 1.2. The Right Digital Camera
      1. 1.2.1. Matching Your Needs to a Camera
        1. 1.2.1.1. Shooting RAW—Chapter 2
        2. 1.2.1.2. Important Features for Shooting Portraits—Chapter 3
        3. 1.2.1.3. Important Features for Photographing Children and Events—Chapter 4
        4. 1.2.1.4. Important Features for Shooting Fast-Moving Action—Chapter 5
        5. 1.2.1.5. Important Features for Travel Photography—Chapter 6
        6. 1.2.1.6. Important Features for Architecture and Landscape Photography—Chapters 7 and 8
        7. 1.2.1.7. Considerations for Shooting Black and White—Chapter 9
        8. 1.2.1.8. Important Features for Tabletop and Close-up Photography—Chapter 10
        9. 1.2.1.9. Important Features for Shooting Minimovies and Panoramas—Chapter 11
    3. 1.3. Knowing Your Digital Camera
    4. 1.4. Software Solutions
    5. 1.5. Accessories That Make a Difference
    6. 1.6. Finding Up-to-Date Information and Support
  6. 2. Shooting RAW
    1. 2.1. When to Shoot RAW
      1. 2.1.1. A RAW vs. JPEG Example
    2. 2.2. Critical—and Less Critical—Digital Camera Settings
      1. 2.2.1. Critical Digital Camera Settings
        1. 2.2.1.1. File Format
        2. 2.2.1.2. Exposure
        3. 2.2.1.3. ISO
      2. 2.2.2. Less Critical Camera Settings
        1. 2.2.2.1. White Balance
        2. 2.2.2.2. Sharpening
        3. 2.2.2.3. Color Space
    3. 2.3. Getting the Correct Exposure for RAW
      1. 2.3.1. LCD Preview
      2. 2.3.2. Histogram
      3. 2.3.3. Over- and Underexposure Warnings
      4. 2.3.4. Including a Target
    4. 2.4. RAW Data Revealed
      1. 2.4.1. Processing Compared
    5. 2.5. Optimizing a Raw Image with Software
      1. 2.5.1. Using Adobe Camera Raw Auto Adjustments
      2. 2.5.2. Advanced Optimizing Technique
    6. 2.6. Preparing RAW to Share
      1. 2.6.1. Applying Custom Settings to Multiple Images
      2. 2.6.2. Using Image Processor to Make JPEGs and TIFFs
  7. 3. Shooting Great Portraits
    1. 3.1. The Digital Photographer and the Subject
    2. 3.2. Preparing for Your Shoot
      1. 3.2.1. Your Camera and Equipment
      2. 3.2.2. The Location
      3. 3.2.3. Preparing Your Subject
    3. 3.3. Working with Your Subject During the Shoot
      1. 3.3.1. What You Can and Cannot Fix
    4. 3.4. Making Head and Shoulders Shots
      1. 3.4.1. Using Window Light with a Reflector
      2. 3.4.2. Reducing Camera-Induced Motion Blur
      3. 3.4.3. Using On-Camera Strobes
      4. 3.4.4. Using Continuous Light Sources
      5. 3.4.5. Working with a Soft Box and Reflector
    5. 3.5. Environmental Portraits
      1. 3.5.1. Daylight with Camera Strobe Fill
      2. 3.5.2. Beauty from Window Light and Reflector
      3. 3.5.3. Shooting in the Bright Light of Day
    6. 3.6. Group Portraits
  8. 4. Photographing Children, Pets, and Social Events
    1. 4.1. Beating the Odds
    2. 4.2. Overcoming Camera Lag
      1. 4.2.1. Other Performance Issues
    3. 4.3. Photographing Children
      1. 4.3.1. Zooming for Emotion
      2. 4.3.2. Focusing in Low Light
      3. 4.3.3. Shooting from a Different Perspective
      4. 4.3.4. Overriding the Flash
      5. 4.3.5. Kids Photographing Kids
        1. 4.3.5.1. Keeping the Cost Down
    4. 4.4. Photographing Pets
      1. 4.4.1. Digital Cats
      2. 4.4.2. Digital Dogs
    5. 4.5. Photographing Social Events
      1. 4.5.1. Anticipating Gestures and Mannerisms
      2. 4.5.2. Shooting Grips (or Hugs) and Grins
      3. 4.5.3. Digital Weddings
        1. 4.5.3.1. A Professional Approach
        2. 4.5.3.2. A Candid Approach
  9. 5. Shooting Action
    1. 5.1. The Zen of Shooting Action
    2. 5.2. Optimal Digital Camera Settings for Speed
      1. 5.2.1. Shutter Speed
      2. 5.2.2. Increase (or Decrease) ISO
      3. 5.2.3. Burst Mode
      4. 5.2.4. Resolution
      5. 5.2.5. File Format
      6. 5.2.6. Movie Mode
    3. 5.3. An Ideal Digital Camera for Action Shots
    4. 5.4. Panning for Action
    5. 5.5. Composition and Motion
    6. 5.6. Capturing the Decisive Moment
    7. 5.7. Focus on Reaction
  10. 6. Shooting Digital on the Road
    1. 6.1. Packing Digital for the Road
      1. 6.1.1. Chester Simpson
      2. 6.1.2. John Isaac
      3. 6.1.3. Bruce Avera Hunter
    2. 6.2. Storage and Archiving on the Road
    3. 6.3. Shooting Digital Candids
    4. 6.4. A Digital Road Trip
    5. 6.5. Shooting in the Cold
    6. 6.6. Shooting in Heat and Humidity
    7. 6.7. Using the Movie Mode
  11. 7. Shooting Interiors and Exteriors
    1. 7.1. A Different Approach
    2. 7.2. Choosing Light and Location
      1. 7.2.1. Light
      2. 7.2.2. Location
    3. 7.3. Maximizing Image Quality
      1. 7.3.1. Pixel Resolution and File Format Settings
        1. 7.3.1.1. Check Your Settings
      2. 7.3.2. Sharpness Settings
      3. 7.3.3. Color Space
      4. 7.3.4. Proper Exposure
      5. 7.3.5. Setting White Balance
      6. 7.3.6. Other Quality Considerations
    4. 7.4. Playing with Scale
    5. 7.5. Adding Motion
    6. 7.6. Considering Keystoning
    7. 7.7. Composing the Shot
    8. 7.8. Interior and Exterior Light
    9. 7.9. Mixing Interior and Exterior Light
    10. 7.10. Attention to Detail
  12. 8. Shooting Beautiful Landscapes
    1. 8.1. What Makes a Good Landscape?
    2. 8.2. Maximizing Image Quality
      1. 8.2.1. Three Approaches to Correct Exposure
        1. 8.2.1.1. Reading the Histogram
        2. 8.2.1.2. Bracketing the Heck Out of the Exposure
        3. 8.2.1.3. Extending Dynamic Range Through Blending Images
      2. 8.2.2. Maximizing Depth of Field
      3. 8.2.3. Control Through ISO
      4. 8.2.4. Using Neutral Density Filters
    3. 8.3. Composition and Content
  13. 9. Shooting Black and White
    1. 9.1. Black-and-White Shooting Considerations
    2. 9.2. When to Convert: Camera or Computer?
    3. 9.3. Using Photoshop's Channel Mixer
    4. 9.4. Advanced Localized Black-and-White Control with RAW
  14. 10. Shooting Your Stuff
    1. 10.1. Using Indirect Natural Light
    2. 10.2. Shooting Loose with Software in Mind
    3. 10.3. A Basic Digital Photography Studio
      1. 10.3.1. Digital Camera
      2. 10.3.2. Studio Lighting
        1. 10.3.2.1. Light Diffusion
        2. 10.3.2.2. Strobe Meters
      3. 10.3.3. Backgrounds
      4. 10.3.4. Tripods
      5. 10.3.5. Supplies
    4. 10.4. A Digital Studio in a Box
    5. 10.5. Studio Lighting Techniques
      1. 10.5.1. Revealing Shape and Form
        1. 10.5.1.1. Shooting a Cube-Like Object
        2. 10.5.1.2. Shooting a Cylindrical Object
      2. 10.5.2. Revealing Texture
      3. 10.5.3. Controlling the Quality of Light
    6. 10.6. The Art of Composition
    7. 10.7. Pushing the Envelope
    8. 10.8. Shooting Flat Objects with Lights
  15. 11. Shooting Past the Boundaries
    1. 11.1. Shooting Beyond Visible Light
    2. 11.2. Shooting Digital Underwater
    3. 11.3. Shooting Digital from the Sky
    4. 11.4. Night Shots
    5. 11.5. Digital Grid Photos
    6. 11.6. Shooting Digital Minimovies
      1. 11.6.1. General Shooting Tips
      2. 11.6.2. Minimovie Case Studies
        1. 11.6.2.1. Minimovie Training Clips
        2. 11.6.2.2. Minimovie Portraits
        3. 11.6.2.3. Minimovie Documentaries
    7. 11.7. Shooting Simple Panoramas
      1. 11.7.1. Use a Tripod
      2. 11.7.2. Use Consistent Exposure, Focus, and Focal Length
      3. 11.7.3. Keep the Camera Level
      4. 11.7.4. Turn the Camera Vertically to Increase Your Field of View
      5. 11.7.5. Pan the Camera an Equal Amount between Shots
      6. 11.7.6. Be Consistent
      7. 11.7.7. Avoid Filters
      8. 11.7.8. Shoot from Left to Right
      9. 11.7.9. Allow the Frames to Overlap
  16. 12. Organizing and Sharing Digital Photos
    1. 12.1. Direct to Print
      1. 12.1.1. Direct from Memory Card to Desktop Printer
    2. 12.2. Digital Camera to Computer
      1. 12.2.1. Direct from Camera to Computer Using a Connecting Cable
      2. 12.2.2. Card Reader
      3. 12.2.3. Direct from Camera to Computer Using a Docking Station
      4. 12.2.4. Direct from Camera to Computer Using a Wireless Connection
      5. 12.2.5. PCMCIA
    3. 12.3. Organizing and Managing Digital Photos
      1. 12.3.1. The Big Pot Method
      2. 12.3.2. Organizing by Folder and Date
      3. 12.3.3. Using Image-Management Software
    4. 12.4. Sharing Digital Photos
      1. 12.4.1. Viewing on the LCD or a TV
      2. 12.4.2. Desktop Printing
        1. 12.4.2.1. Getting the Most from a Desktop Printer
      3. 12.4.3. Using Online Photo Services
      4. 12.4.4. Using Peer-to-Peer Sharing Applications
      5. 12.4.5. Using Portable Storage and Display Devices
        1. 12.4.5.1. Using USB Flash Drives
        2. 12.4.5.2. Using Portable Players
        3. 12.4.5.3. Using Portable Download and Display Devices
      6. 12.4.6. E-mailing Your Digital Photos
      7. 12.4.7. Creating Slide Shows
      8. 12.4.8. Posting to Personal Websites
      9. 12.4.9. Blogging
      10. 12.4.10. Creating Albums
      11. 12.4.11. Offset Printing
      12. 12.4.12. FTPing Your Digital Photos
      13. 12.4.13. Digital Frames
  17. A. Zooming In: An In-Depth Look at Digital Technologies and Procedures
    1. A.1. Reading the Histogram
    2. A.2. Fine-Tuning White Balance
    3. A.3. Sensors Expanded
    4. A.4. Extending Exposure Latitude with Software
      1. A.4.1. Using Merge to HDR to Extend Latitude
        1. A.4.1.1. Shooting for HDR
  18. Contributors