CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs

by Ken Milburn

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs Author Ken Milburn Isbn 9780764586330 File size 1 3MB Year 2000 Pages 128 Language English File format PDF Category Cinema This book provides you with the material you need to make a wise purchasing decision and then to make use of digital photography technology It quickly describes desirable features in equipment what to expect at a given price level and what ihiddeni costs are to be expected for accessories and related software It also explains how to correct problems common to digital i

Publisher :

Author : Ken Milburn

ISBN : 9780764586330

Year : 2000

Language: English

File Size : 1.3MB

Category : Cinema



Taking and
Sharing Digital
Photographs
By Ken Milburn

IN THIS BOOK


Determine the correct lighting indoors and out for taking the
best digital photos



Transfer your photos to your computer and send them to
your friends and family



Post your digital photos on your Web page



Correct problems like red eye with the click of a mouse



Reinforce what you learn with CliffsNotes Review



Find more Digital Photography information in CliffsNotes
Resource Center and online at www.cliffsnotes.com

IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
An International Data Group Company
Foster City, CA • Chicago, IL • Indianapolis, IN • New York, NY

About the Author
Ken Milburn is a digital imaging expert, as well as
an experienced author of many books and articles
on computer graphics. He has decades of experience
as an advertising and editorial photographer who
started working in conventional photography and
now works exclusively in digital media.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments
Editorial
Senior Project Editor: Seta Frantz
Acquisitions Editor: Michael Roney
Editorial Manager, Freelance: Constance Carlisle
Copy Editor: Diana Conover
Proof Editor: Teresa Artman
Technical Editor: Alfred DeBat
Production
Indexer: York Production Services, Inc.
Proofreader: York Production Services, Inc.
IDG Books Indianapolis Production Department



CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
Note: If you purchased this book without a cover you
Published by
should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was
IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher, and
An International Data Group Company
neither the author nor the publisher has received any
919 E. Hillsdale Blvd.
payment for this "stripped book."
Suite 400
Foster City, CA 94404
www.idgbooks.com (IDG Books Worldwide Web site)
www.cliffsnotes.com (CliffsNotes Web site)
Copyright © 2000 IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including interior design, cover design, and icons, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Library of Congress Control Number: 00-102517
ISBN: 0-7645-8633-5
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1O/RV/QZ/QQ/IN
Distributed in the United States by IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
Distributed by CDG Books Canada Inc. for Canada; by Transworld Publishers Limited in the United Kingdom; by IDG Norge Books for Norway; by IDG
Sweden Books for Sweden; by IDG Books Australia Publishing Corporation Pty. Ltd. for Australia and New Zealand; by TransQuest Publishers Pte Ltd. for
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong; by Gotop Information Inc. for Taiwan; by ICG Muse, Inc. for Japan; by Intersoft for South Africa;
by Eyrolles for France; by International Thomson Publishing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland; by Distribuidora Cuspide for Argentina; by LR International for Brazil; by Galileo Libros for Chile; by Ediciones ZETA S.C.R. Ltda. for Peru; by WS Computer Publishing Corporation, Inc., for the Philippines;
by Contemporanea de Ediciones for Venezuela; by Express Computer Distributors for the Caribbean and West Indies; by Micronesia Media Distributor, Inc.
for Micronesia; by Chips Computadoras S.A. de C.V. for Mexico; by Editorial Norma de Panama S.A. for Panama; by American Bookshops for Finland.
For general information on IDG Books Worldwide’s books in the U.S., please call our Consumer Customer Service department at 800-762-2974. For reseller
information, including discounts and premium sales, please call our Reseller Customer Service department at 800-434-3422.
For information on where to purchase IDG Books Worldwide’s books outside the U.S., please contact our International Sales department at 317-575-3993
or fax 317-572-4002.
For consumer information on foreign language translations, please contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-434-3422, fax 317-572-4002, or e-mail
[email protected]
For information on licensing foreign or domestic rights, please phone +1-650-653-7098.
For sales inquiries and special prices for bulk quantities, please contact our Order Services department at 800-434-3422 or write to the address above.
For information on using IDG Books Worldwide’s books in the classroom or for ordering examination copies, please contact our Educational Sales department
at 800-434-2086 or fax 317-572-4005.
For press review copies, author interviews, or other publicity information, please contact our Public Relations department at 650-653-7000 or fax 650-653-7500.
For authorization to photocopy items for corporate, personal, or educational use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers,
MA 01923, or fax 978-750-4470.
LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR HAVE USED THEIR BEST EFFORTS IN
PREPARING THIS BOOK. THE PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE
ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES
OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES WHICH EXTEND BEYOND THE
DESCRIPTIONS CONTAINED IN THIS PARAGRAPH. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES REPRESENTATIVES
OR WRITTEN SALES MATERIALS. THE ACCURACY AND COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HEREIN AND THE
OPINIONS STATED HEREIN ARE NOT GUARANTEED OR WARRANTED TO PRODUCE ANY PARTICULAR RESULTS, AND THE ADVICE
AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR AUTHOR
SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR OTHER DAMAGES.
Note: This book is intended to offer general information on digital photography. The author and publisher are not engaged in rendering legal, tax,
accounting, investment, real estate, or similar professional services. Although legal, tax, accounting, investment, real estate, and similar issues addressed by
this book have been checked with sources believed to be reliable, some material may be affected by changes in the laws and/or interpretation of laws since
the manuscript in this book was completed. Therefore, the accuracy and completeness of the information provided herein and the opinions that have been
generated are not guaranteed or warranted to produce particular results, and the strategies outlined in this book may not be suitable for every individual. If
legal, accounting, tax, investment, real estate, or other expert advice is needed or appropriate, the reader is strongly encouraged to obtain the services of a
professional expert.
Trademarks: Cliffs, CliffsNotes, and all related logos and trade dress are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cliffs Notes, Inc. in the United States and
other countries. All other brand names and product names used in this book are trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their
respective owners. IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. and Cliffs Notes, Inc. are not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
is a registered trademark under exclusive
license to IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
from International Data Group, Inc.

Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Why Do You Need This Book? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
How to Use This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Don’t Miss Our Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Chapter 1: Understanding Your Digital Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
The Benefits of a Digital Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
No film and processing costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
You see your picture quicker than when using a Polaroid camera . . . . . . . . .6
Calculating Your Camera’s Capability to “Capture the Moment” . . . . . . . . . . .6
Understanding How Much Detail Your Camera Can Capture . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Getting the Framing You Expect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Understanding the Advantage of a Zoom Lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Controlling Image Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Using exposure modes and understanding ISO ratings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Understanding aperture and shutter range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Using metering options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Understanding Your Digital Film Card or Onboard Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Ways to Download Images to Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Using Special Camera Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Burst mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Best-shot mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Movie making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Sound recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Chapter 2: Taking Your First Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Getting Ready to Shoot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Understanding the Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Knowing when to use the viewfinder over the LCD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Making point-and-shoot work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Deciding when to use the flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Accessorizing Your Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Choosing lens caps and keepers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Using a lens shade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Purchasing a neck strap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Investing in an LCD hood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Choosing a carrying case or camera bag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

iv

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
Getting extra batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Investing in memory cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Using different types of flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Selecting a tripod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Chapter 3: Shooting Outdoors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Taking Pictures in Existing Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Shooting Pictures When the Light Isn’t Ideal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Balancing Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Getting the Right Exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Making multiple exposures of the same subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Using spot metering mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Using cameras that enable you to choose exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Considering Aperture Priority versus Shutter Priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Controlling Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Using Composition to Add Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Rule of thirds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Direction of implied movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Chapter 4: Shooting Indoors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
What You Need to Know about Shooting in Low Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Balancing Indoor/Outdoor Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Using Light Meters for Indoor and Studio Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Using Incandescent Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Household and workplace lamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Fluorescent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Inexpensive tungsten photo gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Using External Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Determining exposure for external flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Portable electronic flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Studio electronic flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Slave flashes and triggers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Lighting Portraits and Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Incandescent versus electronic flash lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
The most trustworthy arrangement of lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Chapter 5: Transferring Your Photos to a PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Making Sure That Your Computer Is Ready . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
The amount of disk space you need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
The amount of memory you need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
The type of display system you need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53

Table of Contents

v

Buying Worthwhile Additions for Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Removable storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Color printer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
Digitizing pad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Wide-band Internet connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Transferring the Photo Files to Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
Understanding the Use of Image File Formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58
JPEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
GIF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
TIF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
PSD (Photoshop) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
Chapter 6: Fixing Your Photos Digitally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
What Image-Processing Software Can Do for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Using Your Camera’s Bundled Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Working with PhotoDeluxe Image-Processing Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
Downloading Photos from Your Camera to Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
Installing and Getting Started in PhotoDeluxe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Correcting and Enhancing Your Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Repairing photos and getting rid of artifacts and noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67
Changing the overall color tint of your photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
Correcting bad exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69
Eliminating Red Eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
Cropping for Better Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
Getting Rid of the Unsightly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Chapter 7: Printing Your Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
Getting Prints That Look Like You Expected Them to Look . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
Printing from the Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Things you should know about printing a photograph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Choosing a printer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Choosing inks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Choosing paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Printing Directly from the Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
Making Prints That Last . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
Sending Images Out for Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Using Online Printing Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Understanding the Quality Requirements for Prints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

vi

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs

Chapter 8: Sharing Photos over the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
Optimizing Images for Top Web Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
Small dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
Optimizing JPEGs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
What’s this about PNG? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89
E-Mailing Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90
Creating Online Albums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Posting Images to Your Own Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92
Protecting Your Copyrights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Making Virtual Reality Panoramas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
Animating Photographs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Chapter 9: Organizing Your Digital Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
Working with What You’ve Got . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
Naming Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
Organizing file folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99
Printing proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Making Thumbnails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Using what comes with your camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101
Using ThumbsPlus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
Using Extensis Portfolio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
CliffsNotes Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
Visual Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107
Consider This . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
Practice Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
CliffsNotes Resource Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
Magazines on Digital Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112
Send Us Your Favorite Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115

INTRODUCTION
The combination of digital cameras, computers, and software that lets you enhance, perfect, and personalize photographs has revolutionized the art and practice of photography.
Ironically, this has been especially true since affordable and
easy-to-use digital cameras have become plentiful — and that
has only happened over the course of the last couple of years.
Yet despite the fact that digital photography has become both
accessible and easy to use, few people are aware of the extent
to which digital photography has gained in popularity and
functionality. One of the reasons for this is that digital images
can be hard to distinguish in quality from ordinary photographs, so most of us haven’t been aware that more and more
of the photos we see are produced without film or film processing. Digital photography also means instant gratification.
You can see what you photographed within seconds of taking the picture. This book brings you an overview of affordable digital photography: What you can expect from it, what
you need to know, and what you might consider buying in
order to enhance your experience.

Why Do You Need This Book?
Can you answer yes to any of these questions?


Need to know about using consumer grade digital cameras and how to get prints from them fast?



Don’t have time to read 500 pages on advanced techniques for digital photography?



Need to know the basic rules for taking good pictures?



Want to know how to get your digital photos onto
the Web?



Need to know what to expect from the equipment
you’ve got?

2

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
If so, then CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
is for you!

How to Use This Book
You’re the boss here. You get to decide how to use this book.
You can either read the book from cover to cover or just look
for the information you want and put it back on the shelf for
later. However, I’ll tell you about a few ways I recommend
to search for your topics:


Use the index in the back of the book to find what you’re
looking for.



Flip through the book looking for your topic in the running heads.



Look for your topic in the Table of Contents in the front
of the book.



Look at the In This Chapter list at the beginning of each
chapter.



Look for additional information in the Resource Center,
or test your knowledge in the Review section.



Or flip through the book until you find what you’re
looking for — because we organized the book in a logical, task-oriented way.

Also, to find important information quickly, you can look
for icons strategically placed in the text. Here is a description
of the icons you’ll find in this book:
If you see a Remember icon, make a mental note of this text —
it’s worth keeping in mind.
If you see a Tip icon, you’ll know that you’ve run across a
helpful hint, uncovered a secret, or received good advice.

Introduction

3

The Warning icon alerts you to something that could be dangerous, requires special caution, or should be avoided.

Don’t Miss Our Web Site
Keep up with the dynamically changing world of digital photography by visiting the CliffsNotes Web site at
www.cliffsnotes.com. Here’s what you find:


Interactive tools that are fun and informative.



Links to interesting Web sites.



Additional resources to help you continue your learning.

At www.cliffsnotes.com, you can even register for a
new feature called CliffsNote-A-Day, which offers you
newsletters on a variety of topics, delivered right to your
e-mail in-box each business day.
If you haven’t yet discovered the Internet and are wondering
how to get online, pick up CliffsNotes Getting On the Internet, new from CliffsNotes. You’ll learn just what you need to
make your online connection quickly and easily. See you at
www.cliffsnotes.com!

4

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs

CHAPTER 1

UNDERSTANDING YOUR
DIGITAL CAMERA
I N T H I S C HAPT E R


Finding out what your digital camera can do



Calculating your camera’s ability to “capture the
moment”



Understanding how much detail your camera can capture



Understanding the advantage of a zoom lens



Controlling image quality



Using your digital film card or onboard memory



Using special camera functions

The Benefits of a Digital Camera
I’m assuming that you’ve already bought your camera. You’ll
have a better idea of what to expect from your camera if you
understand the essential benefits of digital photography:


Film costs nothing.



You see your pictures even quicker than when using a
Polaroid camera.

No film and processing costs
Digital cameras record the image onto rerecordable memory
chips that can be erased after the pictures have been transferred
to a computer. You can then use the same memory chips
to record more pictures. You can repeat this shoot-recordtransfer-erase cycle as often as you like.

6

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs

You see your picture quicker than when
using a Polaroid camera
All but the very lowest-priced digital cameras enable you to
“play back” pictures on the camera’s display screen as soon as
you’ve taken them. You can even erase the pictures you don’t
like. Your camera may also give you an option to preview the
picture while you shoot.

Calculating Your Camera’s Capability
to “Capture the Moment”
One of the major differences between regular cameras and their
digital counterparts is that regular cameras take the picture at
the exact instant when the shutter button hits bottom. Digital
cameras have a delay between the instant you fully depress the
shutter release button and the instant the picture is recorded.
This delay is called shutter lag. Less shutter lag means that you’re
more likely to capture the exact intended moment. Older and
less-expensive digital cameras tend to have more shutter lag and
are better suited to photographing more inanimate subjects.
If your camera has an option to make the shutter-click audible (usually a Sound On command), you can practice anticipating the moment of shutter click. Your ability to capture
the exact moment intended will improve greatly.

Understanding How Much Detail Your
Camera Can Capture
The degree to which your camera is able to faithfully reproduce fine detail is dependent on the number of pixels (picture
elements — dots of a single color and brightness) contained
in a single frame. This number is called the camera’s resolution, and it is usually expressed as megapixels (millions of pixels). Lower-resolution cameras use the equivalent of computer
screen resolution standards, such as VGA (640 pixels wide

Chapter 1: Understanding Your Digital Camera

7

by 480 pixels high), EGA (800 x 600 pixels), or XGA (1024
x 768 pixels). A correlation exists between these numbers and
the size print you can expect to produce at the quality you’ve
come to expect from a photograph, as shown in Table 1-1.
Table 1-1: Camera Resolution and
Maximum Print Size
Resolution

Print Size

VGA (640 x 480 pixels)

3’ x 2’

EGA (800 x 600 pixels)

3.5’ x 2.5’

XGA (1024 x 768 pixels)

4.25’ x 3.25’

One megapixel

6’ x 4’

Two megapixel

8’ x 10’

Three megapixel

11’ x 14’

If you are shooting for Web use, having a choice of shooting
at resolutions as low as 640 x 480 pixels has benefits: more
images on a storage card and less time spent preparing images
for Web publication.
Some cameras are advertised as producing a higher resolution
image than their image capture devices are actually capable of
recording. In fact, the camera has internally re-sized (interpolated) the image. When reading the camera’s literature, look
for “optical resolution” on the camera’s specification sheet.

Getting the Framing You Expect
Most digital cameras have optical viewfinders that permit you
to view and frame the subject through an optical “window”
in the camera. If you choose a camera with a zoom lens, the
optical viewfinder should zoom to show the proper picture
area at all zoom lens settings. However, optical viewfinders
are not directly in line with the camera lens, so close-ups are
likely to be misframed. Also, because most optical viewfinders don’t focus, judging the nearest and farthest objects in the
image that are in sharp focus (depth of field ) is impossible.

8

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
If you are taking close-up pictures within four or five feet of
your subject, use the camera’s preview screen (called the LCD,
for Liquid Crystal Display) as your viewfinder. If you are
shooting outdoors, you may need to throw a jacket over your
head and the camera (but not the lens) so that the image on
the LCD isn’t washed out by the sun.
Digital cameras use batteries much faster when the LCD is
turned on. Carry an extra set of batteries.
If you wear glasses, a built-in diopter adjustment on your
optical viewfinder will allow you to adjust the optics to your
prescription so that you can see a sharp image.

Understanding the Advantage
of a Zoom Lens
Zoom lenses make it possible to frame your image in the
camera, rather than having to throw away resolution by
cropping it afterwards in an image-processing program.
Because consumer and prosumer (short for professional-level
consumer — the hip new way of saying “serious hobbyist”)
digital cameras have only a fraction of the resolution of film,
excessive trimming (cropping) results in unacceptable print
quality.
Most of the fixed-focal-length digital cameras have wide-angle
lenses that make filling the frame with a portrait or product
shot nearly impossible without dramatically exaggerating
perspective.
Some cameras claim to have a “Digital Zoom.” “Digital
Zoom” provides little benefit. The term is marketing speak
for saying that the camera can resize your image internally.
You simply enlarge pixels in the digital-zoom resizing process,
but your image-processing software can do a much better job
of resizing images.

Chapter 1: Understanding Your Digital Camera

9

Controlling Image Quality
Exposure refers to the amount of light used to record images,
which is a factor of the length of time and the intensity of
light that strikes the image sensor (film). Exposure determines
the overall lightness or darkness of a given image. Your camera may determine exposure with or without enabling you to
intervene. If exposure is fully automatic, you’ll have to make
any adjustments in your image-editing program. If your camera offers other exposure modes (see your camera’s manual),
the following table will help you to understand their purpose.
Table 1-2: When to Use an Exposure Mode
Mode

Purpose

Auto

Insures that you get a viewable (if less
than perfect) picture with no
forethought needed as to settings.

Aperture priority

When you want to throw the
background out of focus. You specify
the aperture; the camera sets the
shutter speed.

Shutter priority

When you want to freeze or blur motion.
You choose the shutter speed; the
camera sets the appropriate aperture.

Over/under

You augment or subtract the amount of
light reaching the sensor in whatever
increments the camera allows. Digital
cameras typically allow + or - 3 f-stops
(the numbers designating the size of the
aperture) in half-stop increments. Camera
chooses aperture and shutter speed.

Program

Exposure is adjusted according to
considerations typical for common
shooting situations. For instance,
snowscapes, nightshots, and sports.

Manual

You choose the specific aperture and
shutter settings according to the
dictates of your experience in dealing
with a given situation. All pros will insist
on this.

10

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs

Using exposure modes and
understanding ISO ratings
A camera’s ISO rating indicates the camera (or film’s) sensitivity to light according to international standards. If you’re lucky,
you will be able to choose from a range of possible ISO settings.
Most digital cameras have an ISO rating of about 100. Some
cameras let you choose one or more higher ISO ratings —
usually at the cost of slightly compromised image detail.
You should use the lowest ISO rating consistent with getting
an acceptable image given the situation you’re working in.
Higher ISO settings almost invariably mean “grainier” images.

Understanding aperture and
shutter range
You will have a much easier time determining correct exposure if you understand the meaning and purpose of aperture
(f-stop) and shutter speed.
Aperture controls the overall amount of light entering the lens
while the shutter controls that amount of time that light is
allowed to expose the film. It is the combination of aperture
and shutter speed that determine the following:


Exposure: This is the overall brightness of the recorded
image, as determined by the combination of aperture setting (f-stop) and shutter speed used when the image is
being photographed.



Depth of field: This is the distance between the closest
and most distant objects in sharp focus. The smaller the
aperture, the greater the depth of field.



Whether action is frozen: The smaller the fraction of a
second the shutter is open, the more likely action will be
frozen.

Chapter 1: Understanding Your Digital Camera

11

Using metering options
How you use the light meter in your camera (all under-$1000
digital cameras have automatic built-in light meters) will
determine what information your camera uses to guess at the
appropriate exposure settings. The more you pay for your
camera, the more metering options you’re likely to have.
What the various options are and what they can do for you
are outlined in Table 1-3:
Table 1-3: Metering Options and
When to Choose Them
Option

Purpose

Auto

Quick and Dirty: Camera averages the
brightness of all the light it sees over a
wide-angle field-of-view.

Center-weighted

Better suited to typical shooting situations
where the center of interest is closest to
the center of the picture. Bases about 75
percent of exposure on the central 30
percent (or so) of the image in the
viewfinder.

Spot

Best for portraits, still lifes, and night
shots, where only small areas contain the
important details (such as skin tones in the
highlight areas). Measures only about 3
percent of the image from its center.

Matrix

Best for landscapes, crowd scenes, and
scenes that have areas of exceptional
brightness or darkness. Divides the screen
into various light-sensitive areas; then uses
a complex formula to determine how
much each of these areas influences the
final exposure.

If you want to use center-weighted or spot metering on an area
that won’t be in the center of the picture, follow these steps:
1. Start by placing that object in the center of the frame.

12

CliffsNotes Taking and Sharing Digital Photographs
2. Depress and hold the shutter button partway to lock the

exposure.
3. Then reframe the image and finish depressing the shut-

ter button.

Understanding Your Digital Film Card
or Onboard Memory
A few digital cameras (usually the very least expensive) have
only their built-in memory. Most digital cameras have one
of four types of removable memory cards (measured in
megabytes, often abbreviated as MB), as shown in Table 1-4:
Table 1-4: Memory Card Types, Capacities,
and Advantages
Type

Current
Maximum
Capacity

Advantages

CompactFlash

256MB

Small; rugged; highcapacity; programmable;
also used in some PDAs
and MP3 players.

CompactFlash II

360MB

Slightly thicker than
CompactFlash; even higher
capacity; backwardscompatible with
CompactFlash; can hold
small hard drives.

SmartMedia

128MB

Smallest and least
expensive but more easily
damaged.

Memory Stick

128MB

Smallest of all. Purposely
designed by Sony to be
used in a very wide range of
personal electronics and
computing devices. So far,
Sony is the only maker of
digital cameras that use the
Memory Stick.

Chapter 1: Understanding Your Digital Camera

13

Ways to Download Images
to Your Computer
You can download the images from your camera to your
computer in two different ways: Directly through a cable, or
by using a separate external card reader to read your removable memory cards. Direct downloading can be very slow if
your connection is limited to serial ports. Many newer cameras have USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, which are several
times faster (4MB per second) than serial ports. If your camera has a USB connection, it will be loudly advertised by your
camera’s manufacturer.
USB is a relatively new peripheral interface that has been
implemented on recent models of both Macintosh and Windows-based computers. It affords several advantages over the
old serial, parallel, and SCSI port alternatives:


Faster data transfer (except for advanced versions of SCSI).



Cross-platform adaptability of most devices.



Up to 127 devices can be connected to the same computer.



Devices can be attached and detached without quitting
a program or turning off the computer.



Attached devices can be turned off and on at any time
without affecting the performance of the computer or
other USB attached devices.

External card readers download images from your camera
much faster than you can download images via a cable. In
order of speed of transfer, card readers can be attached to the
following types of I/O (input/output) ports: parallel port
(compatible only with Windows computers), USB (very fast
and works with both Mac and Windows USB-equipped
computers), and SCSI (speed depends on specific class of
technology, but cross-platform compatible).

© 2018-2019 uberlabel.com. All rights reserved