Focus and Filter: Professional Techniques for Mastering Digital Photography and Capturing the Perfect Shot

Focus and Filter: Professional Techniques for Mastering Digital Photography and Capturing the Perfect Shot

by Andrew Darlow


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Indispensable tricks and techniques for great photos in any situation.

Free yourself from Auto mode! Revealing insider secrets and easy-to-learn techniques for stunning photos, this book teaches you how to take beautiful, professional-quality images anywhere with DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Focus & Filter , a must-have guide by award-winning photographer Andrew Darlow, features 50 techniques, 50 Pro Assignments and more than 250 color photographs that show you how to capture:


Whether you are advancing a hobby or a career in photography, Focus & Filter includes all the technical advice you need to hone your skills, from choosing your equipment and setting up your studio to mastering camera settings, working in the field, and building rapport with your models.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612436135
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 777,511
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Andrew Darlow is a photographer, writer and digital imaging coach based in the New York city metro area. His passion is helping passionate photographers of all levels capture, print and protect their photos. He has lectured and conducted seminars and workshops around the world at photo-related conferences and for photography organizations, including: Professional Photographers of America (PPA); PhotoPlus expo, the Arles Photo Festival (France); Columbia University; and the international center of Photography (icP).

His photography has been exhibited in many group and solo shows, and his prints are held in numerous private collections. His articles, tips and images have been included in many publications, websites, books and on-air programs, including American Photo , Animal Planet, People Magazine , Photo District News ,,, Popular Photography , Rangefinder and Women’s World Magazine. He’s the editor of and is the author of three award-winning photo-related books. For more information, free video and e-book training, and links to his books and websites, visit the book’s companion site at

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Section 1 Master Your DSLR 2

TIP 1 Mastering Aperture Priority 6

TIP 2 Mastering Hyperfocal Distance with Aperture Priority 10

TIP 3 Mastering Shutter Priority Mode 13

TIP 4 Mastering Manual Mode and Auto ISO 16

TIP 5 Creating a Photo Checklist 19

TIP 6 Mastering Auto Exposure Bracketing 24

TIP 7 Carrying Your Gear Comfortably 27

TIP 8 Focusing with Live View 33

TIP 9 Controlling Color with White Balance 36

TIP 10 Mastering Back Button Focus 41

TIP 11 Mastering Both Button Focus 44

TIP 12 Mastering Motion Photography with Still Plus Zoom 46

TIP 13 Mastering Motion Photography with Rocking or Swinging 48

TIP 14 Reducing and Using Flare Creatively 50

TIP 15 Capturing Glare-Free Pictures through Windows 53

TIP 16 How to Get the Most Out of Cropping and Zooming In 56

TIP 17 How to Utilize Natural and Man-Made Frames 60

TIP 18 Creating a Sense of Scale 63

TIP 19 Using Repetition Effectively 65

Section 2 Shopping Smart 67

TIP 20 Finding the Right Lenses 68

TIP 21 Making and Using Reflectors 74

TIP 22 Finding and Using Commercially Available Reflectors 77

TIP 23 Choosing and Using a Monopod 83

TIP 24 Choosing and Using a Tripod and Wired/Wireless Shuttei Release 86

TIP 25 Carrying a Tripod and/or Monopod 94

TIP 26 Organizing Your Gear and Accessories 96

TIP 27 Utilizing and Organizing Rechargeable Batteries 101

Section 3 Studio Mastery 104

TIP 28 Setting Up Continuous Lighting for Photography 105

TIP 29 Wirelessly Controlling Lighting Units 110

TIP 30 Creating a "Grid System" for Under $300 112

TIP 31 Making and Using Sandbags 114

TIP 32 Creating Window/less "Window-Light" Portraits and Still Lifes 118

TIP 33 Using On-Camera TTL Flash for Portraits and Event Photos 121

TIP 34 Using Portable Flash Units Off Camera Wirelessly 126

TIP 35 Selecting Solid Backgrounds 133

TIP 36 Selecting Patterned and Digitally Printed Backgrounds 136

TIP 37 Hanging Backgrounds and Creating Sets Quickly and Easily 139

TIP 38 How to Dress Your People and Pets with Style 144

TIP 39 How to Talk to Your Models to Get the Most Natural Images 147

Section 4 Shooting in the Field 153

TIP 40 Mastering Ground-Level Photos (While Staying Clean!) 154

TIP 41 Photographing Miniature Worlds 157

TIP 42 Taking Safari-Quality Photos at the Zoo 160

TIP 43 Photographing Life on a Farm 166

TIP 44 Mastering Food Photography at Events and Restaurants 168

TIP 45 Mastering Food Photography at Home 171

TIP 46 Taking Stunning Photos at an Aquarium 174

Tip 47 Taking Beautiful Bird Photos 177

TIP 48 Taking Festival and County/State Fair Photos 182

TIP 49 Getting Great Beach Photographs 186

TIP 50 Taking Photos of Fireworks that Jump off the Screen 190

Conclusion 193

Acknowledgements 193

About the Author 194

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Focus and Filter: Professional Techniques for Mastering Digital Photography and Capturing the Perfect Shot 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NatoshaM More than 1 year ago
Focus and Filter by Andrew Darlow is a book that makes you want to start taking photos! If you're interested in photography, want to challenge yourself or learn to take better photos, then this is something that might help you get up and go snap some photos. The book is a step by step book of projects and tips to help you gain experience and achieve wonderful photos every time. Of course, practice is always the first step and then you'll be ready to be a professional, with the helpful tips and secrets you can find inside this book. Really, what you get with this book is something most books don't cover and that is the types of tricks that helped the author achieve wonderful photos. So a real experience photographer and his helpful tips or tricks to get you to have success with every photo you take! Sometimes we don't think about the ways that we can take a photo or even how to do so during certain conditions, whether it be the weather, distance, lighting, and the location either indoors or out. So this book really makes it seem easier, now that there is guidance and for a beginner or one who never took a class in photography, well this can really provide excellent help to guide that person to great photos every time. Throughout the book is beautiful photos. I find them just gorgeous and lovely! Plus you get not only the realistic photos of good photography but the examples of mistakes that most beginners take, which helps you understand what to avoid and also how too! Finally, this is an excellent book, very well written and explains photography for a beginner to understand and achieve what they want from their cameras, better photos!