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How Digital Photography Works

How Digital Photography Works

5.0 1
by Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs (Illustrator)

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A full-color, illustrated adventure into the high-tech wonders inside your digital camera by the author/illustrator team that created the bestselling How Computers Work.


With clear and simple explanations that say, “You, too, can understand this,” and brilliant,


A full-color, illustrated adventure into the high-tech wonders inside your digital camera by the author/illustrator team that created the bestselling How Computers Work.


With clear and simple explanations that say, “You, too, can understand this,” and brilliant, full-color illustrations, How Digital Photography Works, Second Edition, gives you detailed information on the hidden workings of digital cameras, professional picture-taking techniques, and even photo-editing software. Some of the topics covered in this groundbreaking book include:


·         How Digital Viewfinders Frame Your Pictures

·         How Twin Lens Cameras and Tilt-and-Shift Lenses Change the Rules

·         How Cameras Focus on Moving Targets

·         How Exposure Systems Balance Aperture and Shutter

·         How Electronic Flashes Create a Burst of Light

·         How Studio Lighting Creates a Perfect Lighting Environment

·         How Color Calibration Makes What You See on the Screen Match What You See on Paper

·         How Your Camera’s Microprocessor Manipulates Images

·         How Photoshop Expands a Photographer’s Artistry



Introduction  xii

Part 1: Getting to Know Digital Cameras  2

Chapter 1         The Workings of a Digital Camera  6

Chapter 2         Inside Digital Video Cameras  14

Part 2: How Digital Cameras Capture Images  22

Chapter 3         How Lenses Work  26

Chapter 4         How Light Plays Tricks on Perception  48

Chapter 5         How Digital Exposure Sifts, Measures, and Slices Light  62

Chapter 6         How Technology Lets There Be Light  84

Chapter 7         How Light Becomes Data  98

Chapter 8         How New Tech Changes Photography  118

Part 3: How the Digital Darkroom Works  138

Chapter 9         How Software Changes Pixels by the Numbers  142

Chapter 10       How Digital Retouching Rescues Family Heirlooms  162

Chapter 11       How the Digital Darkroom Makes Good Photos into Great Fantasies  170

Part 4: How Digital Print-Making Works  180

Chapter 12       How Computers and Printers Create Photographs  184

Chapter 13       How Photo-Quality Printers Work  192

Glossary  200

Index  214


Product Details

Publication date:
How It Works
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 10.08(h) x 0.36(d)

Meet the Author

Author Ron White is the author of the award-winning, decade-long best-seller How Computers Work and a dozen other books on digital photography, computers, and underground music. He has been a photojournalist for three decades, both shooting photos and writing for some of the best-known publications in the United States. He gained attention early in his career by leaving the water running in the darkroom at the San Antonio Light, flooding the publisher’s office. He has since acquired drier recognition as a newspaper and magazine executive and as an award-winning writer and publication designer. He has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Robert F. Kennedy Awards for his criticism and investigative reporting and by the National Magazine Awards for his self-effacing humor as a feature writer and columnist at PC Computing. He has been a host on NPR’s Beyond Computing and a frequent guest on television and radio to explain new technology. Currently, he is working on The Daily Digital Digest, a newsletter and Internet blog to expand on the information found in his books. Tim Downs and Ron White have worked together on editorial and advertising technical guides for more than 10 years. Ron lives with his wife, Sue, in San Antonio. He can be reached at ron@ronwhite.com.


Illustrator Timothy Edward Downs is an award-winning magazine designer, a photographer, and the illustrator of the best-seller How Computers Work. He has directed and designed several national consumer business,technology, and lifestyle magazines, always infusing a sense of “How it Works” into every project. By tapping his vast computer system and process knowledge, Tim has developed the richly illustrative style that is unique to the How It Works series. In How Digital Photography Works, Tim has further blurred the lines between informational illustration and photography.


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How Digital Photography Works (How It Works Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Silversage More than 1 year ago
Capturing a photographic image on silver halide film and a digital sensor is pretty much the same; light is admitted for a prescribed amount of time (shutter speed) at a prescribed intensity (F stop). Not really, actually even exposure time and aperture size have far different and often more detrimental effects on the resulting photographic image with a digital imaging sensor than a silver halide emulsion. Likewise, lens and filter coating are much more critical in digital image capture as well. Want to know more? Read this excellent book and learn just how different digital image capture is from silver halide image capture. They are truley worlds apart.