Digital Photography Guide - Sample

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Digital Photography Guide - Sample

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  • SECOND EDITION

    DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHYSUPERGUIDE

  • THE MACWORLD DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SUPERGUIDE

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    Table of ContentsHow to Buya DigitalCamera

    6 What Type ofCamera Is Rightfor You? From compact modelsthat fit in your pocketto hefty SLRs that pack professional features, theres no shortageof options when it comes to buying a new digital camera. Wellexplain the differences and help you find your perfect match.

    8 How Many Pixels Do You Need? When it comes to your cameras resolution, more pixels isntalways better. See what you gainand what you losewith allthose pixels.

    10 Which Features Really Matter? Is it worth spending extra money for the latest camera tech-nology? Whether its image stabilization, face detection, or a Wi-Fi connection, see which features help you take better photosand which are just fluff.

    Improve YourCamera Skills

    18 UnderstandingYour CamerasControlsMost cameras offer to dothe difficult photographicwork for you; you simply have to press the shutter. But to getphotos that really stand out, you need to know howandwhento switch out of auto mode and take control of the reins.Learn how shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance affectyour images and how to use them for artistic effect.

    23 Taking Control of Your FlashWant to take great portraits? Wish your party photos didnt lookso gloomy? The secret to these challenges lies in understandingyour cameras flash modes.

    25 Choosing to Shoot in RawAll digital SLRsand even some compact camerasoffer a Rawmode, which lets you work with the cameras raw image data.This gives you greater freedom when shooting and more optionswhen editing. But its not ideal for every situation. See the prosand cons of working in this format, and what software youll needto fine-tune your images.

    28 Troubleshooting Difficult ShotsTired of blurry action shots? Wondering how to photograph fishat the local aquarium? Find the simple solutions to these com-mon photo challenges.

    Scan Printsand Negatives

    32 Selecting aScannerTo add film-era prints andslides to your iPhoto library,youll need a good scanner.Well show you how to find the right one for the taskor betteryet, how to hire someone to do the work for you.

    34 Building Your WorkflowAlthough scanning photos isnt a quick process, it doesnt have tobecome a second job. Follow these steps to safely and efficientlydigitize, catalog, and annotate your photos.

    Manage YourPhotoCollection

    40 UploadingPhotosGet photos off of your digitalcamera and into iPhotoslibrary the smart way.

    41 Working with EventsiPhotos Events pane organizes your photos around lifes bigand smallevents. Learn how to take control of this handy orga-nizational scheme to add order to an unwieldy photo library.

    43 Adding Custom InformationNobody knows your photos like you do. So spend a little timeafter importing your shots to add valuable information like rat-ings and keywords to your images. Later you can use these anno-tations to organize your photos in useful ways.

    46 Finding Photos FastSearching for a needle in a haystack? Unlock the hidden powersof iPhotos search tools.

    Bring Out theBest in YourPhotos

    50 Calibrate YourSystemBefore you edit a single pic-ture, make sure you cantrust what you see on screen by first calibrating your monitor.

    52 Using iPhotos Editing ToolsiPhoto makes it easy to quickly diagnose and fix subtle problemssuch as bad color, dim highlights, and crooked images. Learn howto put the programs editing tools to work on your favorite shots.

  • THE MACWORLD DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SUPERGUIDE

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    79 Create an Online GalleryTo quickly share your photos with far-flung friends and family,skip the paper entirely and post your photos online. Here arethree services that get the job done with ease.

    80 13 Great Photo GiftsFrom coasters to stamps to edible delights, you can put yourphotos on just about anything. Here are a few of our favoriteoptions.

    Protect YourPhotos

    84 Develop aBackup PlanIf your house caught onfire or your hard drive sud-denly died, would your dig-ital photos survive? Wellshow you how to back upyour photo collection and preserve those digital memories.

    87 Back Up Photos While on the RoadDont let a bad memory card ruin your entire vacation. Theresplenty you can do to protect your photos while away from yourcomputer.

    57 When iPhoto Isnt EnoughFor truly troubled photos, you may need more help than iPhotocan offer. Luckily, iPhoto makes it easy to incorporate an externalimage editor into your routine.

    58 4 Fun iPhoto Add-ons Whether you want to create comic books or stunning panora-mas, these inexpensive programs let you do more with theimages in your iPhoto library.

    Print YourPhotos

    60 Buying aPhoto PrinterWith an ink-jet photoprinter, you can turn yourMac into a home printingstudio. Well help you findthe right one.

    64 Solving Common Printing ProblemsMissing colors? Streaky lines? Use these troubleshooting tips toavoid the most common problems when putting ink to paper.

    67 Printing on Fabric, Canvas, and MoreWhether youre looking for interesting textures, richer colors, orbudget-minded media, theres a world of alternative papers toexperiment with.

    69 Using an Online Printing ServiceIf you dont want to print photos yourself, plenty of online photoservices will be happy to take the job off your hands.

    Fun PhotoProjects

    72 Design Books,Calendars, andCards in iPhotoYou dont even have toleave iPhoto to createbeautifully designed photoprojects. Our tips and tricks will help you sail through the processand unlock hidden features.

    75 Turn Photos into PostersFor photos that really impress, think big. Thanks to online print-ers and high-resolution cameras, its easier than you think to getposter-sized prints from your digital photos.

    77 Build a Better Slide ShowPut your favorite images into motion with iPhotos slide-showtools. When youre done, you can burn your multimedia creationto a professional-quality DVD for others to enjoy.

    Digital Photography Superguide

    Editor Kelly Turner

    President and CEO Mike KisseberthVP, Editorial Director Jason Snell

    Managing Editor Jennifer WernerCopy Editors Peggy Nauts

    Gail Nelson-Bonebrake

    Art Director Rob SchultzDesigners Lori Flynn,

    Carli MorgensteinProduction Director Steve Spingola

    Prepress Manager Tamara Gargus

    Macworld is a publication of Mac Publishing, L.L.C., and International Data Group, Inc. Macworldis an independent journal not affiliated with Apple Computer, Inc. Copyright 2006, MacPublishing, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Macworld, the Macworld logo, Macworld Lab, the mouse-ratingslogo, MacCentral.com, PriceGrabber, and Mac Developer Journal are registered trademarks ofInternational Data Group, Inc., and used under license by Mac Publishing, L.L.C. Apple, theApple logo, Mac, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Printed in theUnited States of America.

  • How to Buy a Digital CameraGet the Features You Need and a Model Youll Love

    hether youre buying your first digitalcamera or are looking to upgrade to anewer, lighter, or more capable model,

    theres never been a better time to go shopping. Butwith so many choices, how do you find the right camerafor you? You might be tempted to base your buyingdecision on looks alone. But beneath those sleek exteriors are features that determine whether you havea camera you love or one that collects dust on a shelf.

    In this chapter, well show you what to look forwhen comparing cameras, and explain which featuresare truly essentialand which are just hype.

    THE MACWORLD DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SUPERGUIDE

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    W TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S6 What Type of Camera Is Right for You?

    8 How Many Pixels Do YouNeed?

    10 Which Features ReallyMatter?

  • Improve Your Camera SkillsHowtoTakeAdvantageof YourCameras Controls toGetBetter Photos

    hanks to the advanced technology inmost digital cameras, you dont need toknow anything about photography to

    get decent shots. You just point and shoot. But ifyou want to go beyond decentto get trulybeautiful and unique shotsyoull need tounderstand how your camera sees the world.That means delving into its menus and settingsto make some smart choices about light, expo-sure, and focus.

    THE MACWORLD DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SUPERGUIDE

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    T TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S18 Understanding YourCameras Controls

    23 Taking Control of Your Flash

    25 Choosing to Shoot in Raw

    28 Troubleshooting Difficult Shots

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    ject at an angle, creating harsh shadows. If you have only one light,

    make sure its coming from in front of your subjectideally from

    your cameras flash.

    REFLECT YOUR LIGHT Side lighting is worrisome mainly

    when its the only light source. But when combined with a second,

    softer light source from the opposite side of the subject, side

    lighting actually becomes more flattering.

    The easiestand least-expensiveway to accomplish this

    balancing act is to position a reflector opposite the main light. If

    you dont mind spending a few bucks, you can pick up a collapsible

    22-inch Photoflex LiteDisc online for around $27. If youre not in

    the spending mood, then white cardboard or foam core works

    just as well. For a more portable option, pick up a foldable sun-

    shade from your local auto supply store. Youll need a second pair

    of hands for this technique. If youre going solo, you may want to

    consider investing in a LiteDisc Holder (around $50) or building

    your own rig (see DIY Reflector).

    Say youre shooting a portrait indoors with window lighting

    from the right. You would position the reflector on the left so the

    light is bouncing right into the subjects face (see Bounce the

    Light). The nice thing about reflectors is that they provide a soft

    fill light without your having to invest in a second flash and deal

    with lighting ratios, dead batteries, and other flash-related annoy-

    ances. With a reflector, you just get it positioned and shoot away.

    The results are usually quite flattering.

    USE TWO LIGHT SOURCES For the greatest amount of

    control over your indoor portraits, use two different light

    sources. This will let you customize the lighting to best flatter

    your subject.

    If your camera has a hot-shoe for an external flash, you can

    quickly set up professional portrait lighting just about anywhere,

    with the help of wireless flashes. Both Canon and Nikon offer

    great wireless flash systems.

    Insert the transmitter into the cameras hot-shoe and position

    the two flashes anywhere youd like. When you press the shutter

    button, the transmitter causes the flashes to fire until just the

    right amount of light has exposed the subject, and then it turns

    them off.

    How you arrange the flashes will depend on your subject

    many times, having the same amount of light on both sides can

    cause a persons face to look too full. A little graduation is good,

    and it can be slimming. To create this effect, place your main

    flash at a slight angle about five feet from your subject.

    Then use the second flash as a fill light by placing it far-

    ther away on the other sideperhaps eight feet.

    On the other hand, if the subject has a very narrow

    face, you might want to position the flashes at equal

    distances and angles to broaden his or her features.

    IMPROVE YOUR CAMERA SKILLS

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    DIY REFLECTORDont have a photography assistant to hold your reflec-

    tor? Create your own with just a few basic supplies.

    For this project, youll need a piece of foam core or

    sturdy white cardboard cut to 18 inches by 18 inches

    and a few A-clamps, available at any local hardware

    store. You can find light stands online for around $30. If

    you dont feel like investing even that much, then hit

    the swap meets, garage sales, and classifieds.

    To assemble your reflector rig, extend the legs on

    the light stand, then pull up the midsection of the cen-

    ter pole to about six feet. Attach one A-clamp towards

    the top of the pole to serve as your crosspiece. Then

    attach the cardboard or foam reflector to the cross-

    piece with the second A-clamp.

    Position the reflector so its bouncing light

    on to the models face. If you need to change

    the vertical angle of your

    reflector, add a third A-clamp

    to the pole near the bottom of

    the reflector. Swivel the clamp

    toward the reflector to push

    the bottom of the board far-

    ther away from the stand as

    needed. Set your camera bag

    on one of the legs of the light

    stand to keep the setup from

    blowing over.

    Bounce the Light

    Here, the main light

    is coming from the

    right. A reflector

    positioned on the

    left bounces light

    onto the subjects

    face for a more

    pleasing portrait.

  • Scan Prints and NegativesHow to Digitize, Organize, and Enhance Old Photos

    any of us used a film camera before making theswitch to digital, leaving us with stacks of old printsand negatives stashed around the house. By scanning

    old photos and film into your Mac, youll be able to stop the agingprocess and preserve irreplaceable photos. And once your pho-tos are digitized, you can take advantage of all the benefits digitalphotography affordssearching your collection with a fewclicks of the mouse button, and using your favorites to createcalendars, books, slide shows, family histories, and more.

    Although scanning old photos isnt a quick process, it doesnthave to become a second job. With the right tools and an effi-cient workflow, you can safely scan, catalog, and annotate yourold photos, negatives, and slides in your spare time.

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    M TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S32 Selecting a Scanner 34 Building Your Workflow

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  • Bring Out the Best in Your PhotosSimple Editing Tricks That Give Photos Professional Polish

    lmost all images can benefit from some tweakingwhether its done with a simple sharpening filter orfull-fledged color correction. These minor nips and

    tucks can mean the difference between just another hum-drum vacation photo and a frame-worthy work of art.

    If youre not sure where to start, begin with your monitor,making sure you can trust the colors you see. Then wellshow you how to take on some of the most common imageproblems using iPhotos built-in editing tools. Youll be sur-prised by how easy it is to turn a bland photo into somethingyou can be proud of.

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    A TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S50 Calibrate Your System52 Using iPhotos Editing

    Tools57 When iPhoto Isnt

    Enough58 4 Fun iPhoto Add-ons

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    ith your monitor calibrated, its now time to take

    your best pictures and make them better. iPhoto

    offers many of the tools youd find in a dedicated

    image editor such as Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

    The programs Adjust palette lets you quickly diagnose and fix

    subtle image problems such a bad color, dim highlights, and

    crooked imagesall without ever leaving iPhoto.

    Setting Up Your WorkspaceBy default, when you select a photo and click on the Edit icon,iPhoto opens the image in the programs main window. But ifyoud like to get a larger view...

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