The Complete Idiot's Guide to Photography Essentials


Don't be camera shy!

The focus is on the basics.

Presented in concise, intuitive style, this guide has everything amateur photographers need to know to produce great images—whether shooting in digital or film. Best of all, each chapter includes FAQs and full-color visual examples to turn good shots into great shots. Professional photographer Mark Jenkinson shares tips and ...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Photography Essentials

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Don't be camera shy!

The focus is on the basics.

Presented in concise, intuitive style, this guide has everything amateur photographers need to know to produce great images—whether shooting in digital or film. Best of all, each chapter includes FAQs and full-color visual examples to turn good shots into great shots. Professional photographer Mark Jenkinson shares tips and tricks for:

• Understanding how the features and controls affect Photographs
• Making the best use of manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority settings
• Shooting moving objects
• Shooting in bright light or nighttime settings
• Adjusting depth of field
• Improving composition and lighting
• Choosing the best format for storing digital images

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592577521
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 5/6/2008
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 789,683
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Jenkinson is an award-winning photographer and the author of over 30 photojournalistic feature stories for such magazines as Men's Journal, Fortune, Town & Country, Men's Health, and Discovery, as well as human interest and celebrity/business personality profiles. He's published an estimated 30,000 photographs in virtually every major magazine in the world and teaches photography at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His fine art photography is represented by Andrea Meislin Gallery.

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Table of Contents

Getting Started: Basic Camera Equipment and Essentials     3
Camera 101     3
Getting to Know Your Camera     6
Anatomy of a Single-Lens Reflex Camera     8
The Lens     9
The Viewing and Focusing System     9
The Focal Plane Shutter     11
The Light Meter     12
Pros and Cons of SLRs     12
Setting Up Your Camera     13
Camera Accessories     15
Tripods     15
Quick Releases     18
Gaffer Tape     19
Cable Releases and Remotes     19
Filters and Lens Hoods     19
Skylight and Ultraviolet Haze Filters     21
Polarizing Filters     22
Card Readers     23
Digital Storage Devices     24
Point-and-Shoot Cameras     24
Exploring Photographic Optics     27
The 50 mm Normal Lens     28
Focal Length and Angle of View     30
Aperture and F-stop     32
How Aperture Is Determined     32
How Aperture Controls Exposure     33
Lens Aperture and Depth of Field     34
Here's How It Works     34
How to Use,See, and Predict Depth of Field     36
Depth of Field: Inherent to Focal Length     37
Why Should We Care?     38
Depth of Field and Distance     39
Focal Length, Angle of View, and Composition     39
Autofocus: What It Is and How to Use It     40
Other Lenses     43
Prime Lenses     44
Long Zooms     44
Ultra Wide-Angle Zoom Lenses     45
Lensbabies     46
Teleconverters     48
Understanding Photographic Exposure     55
How Exposure Works     55
The Basic Exposure Controls     58
Aperture (F-stop) and Exposure     58
Shutter Speed     59
ISO Setting (Film Speed)     59
How It All Goes Together     60
Choosing Film Speed     60
Shutter Speed Decisions     61
Setting Aperture     61
How Light Meters Work     63
Your Light Meter     65
Verifying Proper Exposure     67
Other Metering Modes on Your Camera     68
Spot Metering     69
Handheld Light Meters     70
Formats: Digital Sensors and Traditional Film      77
All Megapixels Are Not Created Equal     78
A Note About ISO Settings and Digital Noise     79
Capture Format: JPEG     81
Pros and Cons of JPEGs     84
Capture Format: RAW     84
Wait! Why Not Just Shoot a JPEG?     86
Pros and Cons of RAW Files     87
Film     88
Film Speed and Grain     88
Types of Film     89
Black-and-White Negative Film     89
Pros and Cons of Black-and-White Film     91
Color Slide/Transparency Film     91
Pros and Cons of Color Transparencies/Slide Films     93
Color Negative Films     94
Pros and Cons of Color Negative Films     96
Format FAQs     96
Photography Rules and Conventions     99
Some Conventions of Composition     100
The Rule of Thirds     101
The Spiral     102
Diagonals, Zigzags, and S-Curves     103
Dynamic Symmetry     104
Negative/Positive Space     105
The Dutch Angle/Lasso     106
The Frame Within a Frame and the Dirty Frame     109
Watch the Background     110
Talent vs. Practice      112
Practice the Rules     112
Break the Rules     112
Move, Don't Zoom!     113
Invent Pressure and Goals     114
Reinvent the Everyday     114
Go Someplace New     116
Shoot Digital Endlessly     116
Light Is Color, and Color Is Light     121
Color Perception     123
How We See Color     123
Proportions of Color in Light Sources     125
Black Body Light Sources     125
How Film Sees Color     126
Non-Black Body Sources     128
Flash and LEDs     129
Digital Photography and Color Balance     132
Creating a Custom White Balance     134
Learning to See in Color     135
Turn Off Auto White Balance     136
Assignment: Seeing Color     136
Looking at Light     136
The Sun     137
Other Common Sources     139
Light Direction     141
Shadow Quality     143
Flash: Lightning in a Bottle     145
Shoe-Mounted Flash     145
Multiple and Wireless Flash Setups     146
Learning Lighting: The Strobist Blog and Flickr Group      152
Photographing People     155
Portraits     156
The Bathroom Mirror as a Camera     156
Why We Look Different in Photos     157
The Psychology of Portraiture     157
How to See Others the Way They See Themselves     158
Lens Selection     159
Lighting for Portraits     160
A Primer on Three-Point Lighting     161
Context     165
Candid Photographs of People     170
Point of View in Candid Photography     171
People FAQs     171
Shooting Events     179
Weddings     180
Your Role at a Wedding     180
Scouting the Location     183
Technique     185
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs     186
Sports     187
Outdoors     188
Indoor Sports     189
Hidden Knowledge     190
Recitals and Performances     192
Thinking Cinematically and Editorially     193
Event FAQs     194
Planning Ahead     195
Rent or Borrow Extra Equipment     196
What to Bring     196
Travel and Landscape Photography      199
Travel Photography Is Hard     200
It's All About Being There     201
The Vantage Point of Space     201
The Vantage Point of Time     202
The Vantage Point of Identity     203
Think Ahead: What Do You Need?     206
A Travel Appraoch     208
An Assignment     208
Travel FAQs     211
Painting with Light     212
Shooting at Night     213
Shooting RAW     215
Mindful Travel with Cameras and Gear     217
The Least You Need to Know     217
Shooting Still Lifes: The Secret Life of Things     219
Thinking About Still Lifes     220
Lighting for Still Lifes     223
Incandescent Light Bulbs     224
Lighting with LEDs     225
Flash     226
Controlling the Quality of Light     227
Still-Life FAQs     230
A Simple Lighting Setup for Soft Light     230
Lighting with Purpose     233
Digital Imaging, Archiving, and Printing     237
Computer Equipment: Who Said Digital Was Cheap?     238
Monitors     238
Printers      239
Using the Right Printer Paper     240
Kiosks and the Internet     240
Archiving Your Work     241
iPhoto     242
Adobe Photoshop Elements     243
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom     244
The Least You Need to Know     245
Be On Your Way Now     247
Taking Next Steps     248
Using Photo-Sharing Web Sites     248
Making Custom Photo Books     249
Maintaining Your Portfolio     250
Online Photography Resources     251
Internships and Assisting     253
Workshops and Classes     254
Glossary     256
An Overview of Photoshop Editing Tools     266
Index     278
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