A great photograph begins when you recognize a great scene or
subject. But recognizing a great opportunity isnt enough to capture it; you also
have to be prepared. A large part of being prepared involves understanding your camera
well enough to capture what you see. Getting you prepared to see and capture great
photographs is what this book is all about. It doesnt matter if you are taking
pictures for business or pleasure, theres a lot here to help you get better results
and more satisfaction from your photography.
To get better, and possibly even great photographs, you need to understand both
concepts and procedures; the "whys" and "hows" of photography.
- Concepts of photography are the underlying principles that apply
regardless of the camera you are using. They include such things as how sharpness and
exposure affect your images and the way they are perceived by viewers. Understanding
concepts answers the "why" kinds of questions you might have about photography.
- Procedures are those things specific to one kind of camera, and explain
step-by-step how you set your cameras controls to capture an image just the way you
want to. Understanding procedures gives you the answers to the "how" kinds of
questions you might have.
This on-line book is organized around the concepts of digital photography because
thats how photographers think. You think about scenes and subjects, highlights and
shadows, softness and sharpness, color and tone. Discussions of the procedures you use
with specific cameras are integrated throughout the concepts, appearing in those places
where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of
photography and then see where to look in your camera manual for the specific steps you
use in all kinds of photographic situations. There are even places for you to write in
notes about how you do it with your own camera.
To get more effective, interesting, and creative photographs, you only need to
understand how and when to use a few simple features on your camera such as focus,
exposure controls, and flash. If youve previously avoided understanding these
features and the profound impact they can have on your images, youll be pleased to
know that you can learn them on a weekend afternoon. You can then spend the rest of your
life marveling at how their infinite variety of combinations makes it possible to convey
your own personal view of the world. Youll be ready to keep everything in a scene
sharp for maximum detail or to blur it all for an impressionistic portrayal. Youll
be able to get dramatic close-ups, freeze fast action, create wonderful panoramas, and
capture the beauty and wonder of rainbows, sunsets, fireworks, and nighttime scenes.
As you explore your camera, be sure to have fun. There are no "rules" or
"best" way to make a picture. Great photographs come from using what you know to
experiment and try new approaches. Digital cameras make this especially easy because there
are no film costs or delays. Every experiment is free and you see the results immediately
so you can learn step by step.
This book assumes youve mastered the mechanics of your camera. Its about
getting great pictures, not about installing batteries and connecting your camera to your
computer. That information is well presented in the user guides that came with your