Your ACD Guide To Digital Photography

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Your ACD Guide toDigitalPhotographyTake better photos and enhanceyour digital photographyexperience.

Table of ContentsTable of ContentsForwardIntroduction: The Benefits of Digital PhotographyPart I. Camera and Technology TipsTip 1 - Getting the Right Digital CameraTip 2 - Digital vs. Film (Analog) ResolutionTip 3 - Optical vs. Interpolated ResolutionTip 4 - Reducing Shutter LagTip 5 - Speed Up Click-to-Click ProcessingTip 6 - LCD Viewfinder PointersTip 7 - Improve Your Photos Using MetadataTip 8 - Your Next Digital Camera: Night Sky Photos As Litmus TestTip 9 - Memory Card Care and CorruptionTip 10 - Your Next Digital Camera: Is It Time for a CMOS Image Sensor?Tip 11 - Optical vs. Digital ZoomTip 12 - Digital Focal LengthsTip 13 - Using Digital ZoomTip 14 - ISO SettingsTip 15 - Bulb and Time SettingsTip 16 - Demystifying Large Memory CardsTip 17 - Scanners: Resolution and Bit DepthTip 18 - Scanner CleaningTip 19 - Fast Photo ScanningTip 20 - Batteries in WinterTip 21 - LCD Display and Saving BatteriesTip 22 - BatteriesTip 23 - Converting Negatives and Prints to Digital:Good Reasons and IdeasTip 24 - Alternative Image FormatsTip 25 - Bit DepthTip 26 - What Is Metadata?/Why Is It Helpful?Tip 27 - GIF vs. JPGTip 28 - Hints on Web Sharing Your Digital Photos SuccessfullyTip 29 - Resolution: DPI, Pixels and PrintingTip 30 - Photo Printing Paper: Choosing the BestTip 31 - Resolution for Digital PrintsTip 32 - Upsampling Images for Print1www.

Table of ContentsPart 2. Photography TipsTip 1 - Flash Photos Done RightTip 2 - Translucent ImpressionsTip 3 - Black and White Photography: Good Times to Use ItTip 4 - Using EV Compensation for EffectTip 5 - Portraits in Three LayersTip 6 - Fantastic Urban ForegroundsTip 7 - Impressive Winter Landscape PhotosTip 8 - Special Low-Light Effects: Bulb and Time ModeTip 9 - Night Photography IdeasTip 10 - Phantasmic Fog PhotosTip 11 - Phenomenal Fall PhotosTip 12 - Landscapes and ScaleTip 13 - Mastering Indoor Flash ExposureTip 14 - Group Photos Made EasyTip 15 - Rare Rainy Day PhotosTip 16 - Controlling Color in Indoor PhotosTip 17 - Sharp Action PhotosTip 18 - Landmarking Landscape PhotosTip 19 - Better Digital Photo ColorTip 20 - Portrait Photos that ImpressTip 21 - Flash and Action (Flash Freeze)Tip 22 - Using Depth of FieldTip 23 - Low Light Campfire PhotosTip 24 - Light and Color RichnessTip 25 - Chasing LightningTip 26 - Fabulous FlowersTip 27 - Macro Photos & FramingTip 28 - Sunset TechniquesTip 29 - Detail & Mystery at DuskTip 30 - Moon Shot HintsTip 31 - Mountain ProspectsTip 32 - Sunny Day TechniquesTip 33 - Fantastic Waterfall ShotsTip 34 - Beating Background NoiseTip 35 - Action Panning TechniquesTip 36 - Shutter PriorityTip 37 - Using Lens PerspectiveTip 38 - Take some photos for me? Please?Tip 39 - Falling Light & TextureTip 40 - Tough FocusingTip 41 - Light and ContrastTip 42 - Black and White Photography HintsTip 43 - Lighting Scenarios and EffectsTip 44 - Pre-Focus and Moving SubjectsTip 45 - Pre-Focus and the Rule of ThirdsTip 46 - Alternative Landscapes: 5 IdeasTip 47 - Window Tableauxwww. ACDSYSTEMS.comFrom family fun to office knowhow, you’ll find lots of usefuland time-saving digital photography information righthere.2

Table of ContentsIdeas to inspire and techniquesto take you there.3Tip 48 Tip 49 Tip 50 Tip 51 Tip 52 Tip 53 Tip 54 Tip 55 Tip 56 Tip 57 Tip 58 Tip 59 Tip 60 Tip 61 Tip 62 Tip 63 Tip 64 Tip 65 Tip 66 Tip 67 Tip 68 Tip 69 Tip 70 Tip 71 Tip 72 Tip 73 Tip 74 Tip 75 -Fixing Indoor Light with White BalanceWatch Those WindowsWhy Zoom? Four Good ReasonsWhat's Your Angle?Don't Forget Those LegsFestive Photos I: Glittering LightsHoliday Posed Portraits: Steps to SuccessThe Art of SunstarsAperture: Light and FocusLong Exposures -- The Art of BlurLow Light ExperimentsIntrepid Hiking PhotosCool ActionSeasonal ReflectionsBug PortraitsSports Photos – The Defining MomentArchitecture I: Perspective and ColorArchitecture II: Night ShotsSilhouettesPet Portrait TricksFill Flash and RangeWater Photography I – At the BeachWater Photography II – ReflectionsWater Photography III – Morning SteamCool MacroLock and ShootFestive Photos II – Preparing for Group ShotsLandscapes in Perspectivewww.

ForwardForwardCreditsWriter and EditorKris Butler, ACD Newsletters EditorContributing WritersRobert Cooper, Charles Edwards,Stephen Canning, and FrederickKristjansonGraphic DesignerSteve SchmidtWhether you are a seasoned digital photography enthusiast or a new digitalcamera owner, this guide offers you tips and tricks for taking better photosand using your digital camera to its full potential.To receive ongoing articles on digital photography, as well as related softwareand equipment, you can sign up for ACD E-Mail Newsletters in the ACDCommunity s/Signup/indexTo enter any ACD photo contest, simply sign up for a newsletter, check thedetails on the Enter Contests page in the ACD Community, and send in yourphotos. Contest details can be found /indexWe hope you’ll find this guide useful and fun to read.Thank you for usingACD digital photo software.On behalf of all the staff at ACD Systems,Production AssistantChristopher CorbettKris ButlerACD Newsletters EditorCopyright ACD Systems 2004.All rights reserved.4www.

IntroductionIntroduction:The Benefits of DigitalPhotographyHave you explored all the benefits of digital photography? While filmphotography still has much to offer, digital photography has becomeeasier and more cost effective than ever.The fact you have a digitalcamera means you already recognize some of the key advantages.However, the list below includes details and insights you may not haveconsidered yet.No FilmOnce you have made your investment, you can forget about the continuing cost of film, as well as the concern that the roll will run out at thewrong time. Although memory cards do fill up, they can be changedquicker than film. Plus, if you run out of space, you can always delete afew shots that are not that great and make room for more.Instant PreviewsShare the moment that you just captured right away. By looking at thepreview screen on your camera, you immediately know if the shot hasgenerally worked out or not. Is uncle Ted’s head partially cut off becausehe’s so tall? Simply try again and delete that shot to save memory cardsave. (See note.)New Sharing OptionsA good rule of thumb is to delete onlythose photos that have clearly not workedout. Why? First off, even the biggest cameraLCD screens are small compared to a computer screen, so it can be hard to distinguish important details in photos that arenot obviously flawed.Also, the light levels on your LCD screen arenot an accurate depiction of the actuallight levels in the photo – it may look toodark or light, but wait until it’s on your computer to be sure.Finally, many “OK”photoscan be made to look great with a little helpfrom photo editing software.When you switch to digital photography, a whole new set of electronicsharing options opens up to you.With the right digital photo software,such as ACDSee , you can choose to send images by e-mail, sharethem free online using ACD SendPix , or if you are computer savvyand have you own website, generate HTML photo albums for quickweb posting.Environmental BenefitsWithout traditional developing, the use and disposal of photographicchemicals is reduced substantially.For more information on ACD SendPix free online photo sharing, go SavingsWhen you go digital you can pick and choose the photos you’d like toprint. So, while digital prints can be more expensive than traditionalprints, you don’t pay for prints you don’t want.www. ACDSYSTEMS.com5

IntroductionLicense to ExperimentSince you no longer have to worry about paying for shots that don’twork out, you can experiment to your heart’s content.At-Home Printing ConvenienceIn addition to getting your digital shots printed through traditional labs,there are many home printers that provide brilliant quality.With a fairlymodest investment in a high quality inkjet printer, you can literally makeprints within minutes of taking a shot. Also, software packages like ACDFotoSlate let you print out great album sheets (no cutting) or professional-style portrait sheets, just like the ones you get at the studios.Video ClipsMany digital cameras now come with the ability to take short video clips,usually of 1 to 2 minutes in length. If you pick up a larger memory card (agood idea anyway), then you should be able to take several clips on acard.Video clips can be a lot of fun and in many cases if they are compressed well enough, they can even be shared with friends by e-mail.SummaryThese are just the most prominent benefits of digital photography. Asyou get into it and become familiar with your camera and software, you’llbe constantly surprised by the change in the way you think about photos and in the amount of new and convenient things you can do.6www.

IntroductionCapturing PhotosA world of imagination and artistry has opened up to anyone who takesup photography and this world has only grown with the dawn of digitalphotos.The tips in this guide will lead you into that imaginative worldwith a practical exploration of many photography ideas and concepts, aswell as concrete pointers on how to use your equipment to your bestadvantage.You will also get sound advice on what to look for if you are thinking ofbuying a new digital camera. Of course, since digital photography is sonew, you will likely already have a large film photo collection and otheruseful equipment, such as a scanner. Lots of great ideas await you on howto get the most from your entire collection as well as all your equipment.www. ACDSYSTEMS.com7

Part I. Camera and Technology TipsTip 1Getting the Right Digital CameraThinking of buying a new digital camera? Here are the key areas toconsider when making your move from film to digital or whenupgrading to your next digital camera. Specific articles that exploreeach of the areas listed below are also included in this section.ResolutionThis term refers to the quality and clarity of an image. In the digitalworld, it is generally measured in pixels. For printing, pixels per inch isthe standard measurement (sometimes called “dots per inch,”thoughthe two are not identical in meaning). In the case of cameras, resolution is measured in megapixels. Resolution is the one of the mostimportant aspects of any digital camera purchase.When it comes to deciding on the right level of resolution, the mostimportant question you need to ask yourself is:“Am I going to wantto print enlargements and/or crop and edit my photos before printing them at regular size?”If you never print anything other than 4”x 6”pictures, a 2 megapixelcamera should serve you just fine. However, if you would like to havethe option to enlarge your pictures to 5”x7”, 8”x10”or larger, consider a3, 4 or 5 megapixel camera.This also holds true if you want the optionto perform significant edits on your digital photos, such as croppingand resizing.Basically, bigger is better when it comes to megapixels. Although,when shooting at higher resolutions, you will need more storagecapacity as your image file sizes will be significantly larger.Lenses (Optical Zoom)Beware of the term “interpolated resolution.”Itrefers to the camera’s software adding pixelsto the image after it is captured. Interpolatedresolution is useful in some cases, but“effective resolution,”which reflects the actualnumber of pixels in the camera’s image sensor,it the most important for determiningmaximum print size and editing flexibility.Be sure you’re comparing “effective resolution”when shopping for a camera or you may notget what you are really looking for.8Most mid-level and higher digital cameras have great zoom lenses.On digital cameras, optical zooms are measured by their magnification factor: 2x, 3x, etc. For comparison purposes, it is often easier toask what the 35mm equivalent is.This is because the magnificationmeasurements don’t specify what size lens it is that’s zooming.For instance, a 2x zoom lens could mean a 28mm-56mm zoom, a35mm-70mm zoom, or a 50mm-100mm zoom (expressed in 35mmequivalents).These lenses would all have different properties, so it isworth asking for 35mm equivalents to be sure you understand whatyou’re getting.www.

Part I. Camera and Technology TipsExposure ModesWill the basic “automatic”mode suit your needs? Do you want shutterpriority for sports? Aperture priority for portraits? Spot metering fordifficult light? There’s a real range of available features in this area,even on cameras of similar prices. Since exposure is the most important aspect of any photograph, you will want to get as many exposure options as you can afford. Here are some key features to look for: Shutter Priority- Including fastest and longest speeds and whether bulb and timemodes are offered Aperture Priority- Including widest and narrowest Spot Metering Exposure Value Compensation ISO Settings Black and White Mode Noise Reduction- This can be a critical feature for anyone considering long exposures and high ISO settings as important White BalanceBe sure to look for the “optical zoom”ratingon a camera and not for the “digital zoom”rating, which can be much higher. Digitalzoom merely crops away photo informationand resizes the image, leaving you with alower quality end product. Also, to get themost flexible zoom options, it is best to lookfor at least 4x optical zoom and then ask for35mm equivalents.BatteriesDigital cameras consume batteries quicker than film cameras.This isbecause film cameras only need to open and close a shutter, advancefilm and occasionally charge a flash bulb. Digital cameras, on theother hand, must operate an electronic image sensor, LCD viewfinder,and image processor and it is a lot of fun to regularly review photosonscreen after taking them, which requires a lot of power.This means you should give serious thought to the type of batteries acamera requires, whether they are AA’s or a battery pack unique toyour camera. Some pros and cons to consider include that standardAA batteries are readily available but require you to carry two sets ofspares and throw more batteries out.In contrast, camera-specific rechargeable battery packs usually lastmuch longer, and you won’t be adding more batteries to a landfill.However, you will need to purchase at least one back up battery andperhaps a more sophisticated charger than comes with the camera.Shutter LagUnless you are spending a significant amount of money on a digitalSLR camera, you will likely notice a brief pause between when youpress the shutter release button and when the picture is taken.This pause is known as “shutter lag”and it can vary widely betweendifferent digital cameras. If you take sports shots or other action shots,try out a few cameras to make sure you’ll be happy with the shutterresponsiveness when shooting.www. ACDSYSTEMS.com9

Part I. Camera and Technology TipsClick-to-Click ProcessingAnother important speed factor is the time it takes your camera to beready to take another shot.This will vary depending on the photoquality settings you choose, whether you use a flash, and whether thatflash is built in or not. Why the difference in processing speeds? Thereare two main reasons.First, the higher the photo quality, the larger the image file that mustbe processed by the camera. In entry-level to mid-range cameras, it israre to have a processor capable of reading and writing the largestimage files the camera can generate in less than a few to several seconds.These processors are often up to the task of reading your lowestquality photos quite fast, but not usually the largest ones, especially ifthe camera is adding interpolated resolution to the file.Second, built-in flashes often take a few to several seconds torecharge, because of the energy required.When you combine thisenergy requirement with the fact that a lot of energy is also requiredto process photo information and operate the camera’s LCD screen,the delay is not surprising. Often this can be avoided completely byusing a good, off-camera flash that has its own energy source.To takeadvantage of this option, you will need to pick a camera with a flashshoe.ViewfindersWhen it comes to digital camera viewfinders, you should look at thefollowing:i. Does the camera have TTL (Though the Lens) viewfinding?- TTL viewfinders are best because they are most accurate.WithTTL, you get what you see, meaning the camera presents to youwhat is seen as it will be recorded.ii. What is the size and accuracy of the LCD viewfinder on the back?- Larger LCD viewfinder screens are much easier to use and makeit more fun to pass your camera around so photos can be reviewedand shared instantly.That said, they also consume more energy.- On most digital cameras, your final photo will include less thanwhat shows on the LCD viewfinder – anywhere from 2 to 15% lessaround the edges. At the upper limit, you will have to keep thisinaccuracy in mind all the time and not crop photos too closely,which may be hard to remember.iii. What is the accuracy of the standard viewfinder?- Some standard viewfinders on entry-level digital cameras can besignificantly misaligned, while those on more expensive camerasmay still be noticeably off. As with LCD viewfinders, take a fewphotos in the store with marker objects at the edges of theviewfinder and then compare by reviewing the photos on the10www.

Part I. Camera and Technology Tipsscreen to check for accuracy.iv. Is the standard viewfinder optical or a smaller LCD screen?- In many cases you may want to turn off your LCD viewfinder tosave battery power.You will get the best power savings if the standard viewfinder is optical, rather than another LCD screen.- Also, if you simply prefer to use an optical viewfinder rather thanlook at an LCD screen that gets blurry when you move the camera around, check to make sure you will have that option.Image SensorsThere are two main types of image sensor, CCD and CMOS.WhileCMOS is quicker, it is usually associated with lower quality unlessincluded in high-end digital SLR cameras. CMOS is also not widelyavailable yet, so when shopping for entry-level to mid-range cameras,you will likely be comparing CCD’s.The most important questions regarding CCD image sensors involveresolution and physical size. In this segment, we will look at physicalsize.When comparing CCD’s, physically bigger is better for two reasons.First, because of the size of the pixels. Larger CCD’s have larger pixelsand larger pixels mean less noise, due to a better signal to noise ratio.Second, the larger your CCD, the more effective your optical zoommagnification becomes. Magnifying an image on a 1-inch square CCD4 times is better than magnifying an image 4 times on a ?-inch CCD.Typically, CCD size is measured in the following ratios for entry-leveland mid-range digital cameras: 1/1.5-inch CCD or 0.66 inch area 1/1.7-inch CCD or 0.58 inch area 1/1.8-inch CCD or 0.55 inch area 1/2.5-inch CCD or 0.40 inch area 1/2.7-inch CCD or 0.37 inch areaMemory CardsThe card that comes with your camera will be too small.period. Mostcameras ship with an 8MB or 16MB card, while a 32MB card is thesmallest you would want to have to be able to store a reasonablenumber of medium resolution images.Take this into considerationwhen purchasing and keep in mind that you’ll want a larger card rightaway, so you won’t have to stay near to your computer to downloadyour photos when your card fills up.File sizes will vary considerably depending on your camera’s resolutioncapabilities and the quality settings you choose. However, in general,using the small memory card shipped with your camera will limit youto taking the about the equivalent of a

Tip 14 - Group Photos Made Easy Tip 15 - Rare Rainy Day Photos Tip 16 - Controlling Color in Indoor Photos Tip 17 - Sharp Action Photos Tip 18 - Landmarking Landscape Photos Tip 19 - Better Digital Photo Color Tip 20 - Portrait Photos that Impress Tip 21 - Flash and Action (Flash Freeze) Tip 22 - Using Depth of Field