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David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual

David Pogue has done it again, with his modestly named David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual, part of the Missing Manual series which up to over 90 titles.

This book is chockablock with good, clear, sensible advice, highlighting the things that you need to know about using any digital camera -- taking advantage of useful camera features, taking good shots, editing and enhancing with iPhoto or Picasa, and then printing and sharing your images.

Pogue is especially good at distilling countless features and options into more focused lists, prioritized by their importance for non-pro photographers.

The best bonus is at the end in Appendix B -- "The Top Ten Tips of All Time" -- with simple and common-sense advice and tricks for getting better shots (see them on the O'Reilly site, though without the example photos).

Part 1, The Camera, serves as a buying guide for new users, and a handy reference for part-time photographers. After reviewing the different kinds of cameras (point 'n shoot to digital SLR to cameraphone), Pogue stakes his opinions with a chapter on "The Only Features That Matter" -- explaining what's really important in choosing and using a digital camera -- starting with a big sensor (not just megapixels), image stabilizer, zoom power, and shutter lag.

Part 2, The Shoot, is a course in photography and digital cameras. It starts with coaching on taking the shot, with extensive discussion and examples of composing the frame. It then discusses "The Ten Decisions" -- how to take advantage of camera features including flash, scene modes, white balance, and ISO / sensitivity. Next is "The Anti-Blur Chapter," dedicated to steeping though techniques and assists for getting clear shots.

Pogue then dedicates 40 pages to "How They Did That" -- explaining and demonstrating classic types of professional photos, from frozen action and waterfalls, to dynamic fireworks and car-headlight trails, to classic landscapes and sunsets, to a variety of portrait styles. And for more advanced users, there's "The SLR Chapter," with advice on lenses, compression formats, and useful accessories.

Now that you're shooting good photos, the rest of the book moves into working with your photos on a computer to edit and share them.

Part 3, The Lab, gets you started with your photos on a computer, using Apple iPhoto or Google Picasa. It starts with the basics of transferring and viewing your photos, organizing and searching them, and then techniques to fix and enhance them, from red-eye to color correction to "cheesy effects." These are presented with iPhoto and Picasa side-by-side, so you can see the common approaches in these and other photo applications.

Part 4, The Audience, then is about sharing your photos -- on paper or other printed formats like cards and books, and electronically on the web or in slideshows.

Order Digital Photography: The Missing Manual from Amazon.com

Details ...

David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual

    By David Pogue

    O'Reilly Media, January 2009

    Paperback, 304 pages, ISBN 0596154038

    List $24.99, Street $16.49

Table of Contents

Part I: The Camera

Chapter 1. Camera Kinds
Small, Medium, or Large?
Cameraphones and iPhones
Where to Buy a Camera

Chapter 2. The Only Features That Matter
A Big Sensor
Zoom Power
Shutter Lag
Optical Viewfinder
Manual Controls
Face Recognition
Autofocus Assist Lamp
Flip-Out Screen
Memory Card
Burst Mode
Hi-Def Jack
Scene Modes
Touch Screens
SLR Shopping

Part II: The Shoot

Chapter 3. Taking the Shot
Compose the Shot
Screen Displays
Take the Shot

Chapter 4. The Ten Decisions
Beep On or Off?
Flash On or Off?
Auto or Scene Mode?
Use a Manual Mode?
Burst Mode or One-Shot?
White Balance: Manual or Auto?
How Much Exposure?
Which Focus Mode?
Adjust the Light Sensitivity (ISO)?

Chapter 5. The Anti-Blur Chapter
Shutter Speed and Aperture
Use Stabilization
Speed Up the Shutter
Open the Aperture
Fire the Flash
Set Up a Tripod
Fake a Tripod
Use the Self-Timer
Goose the ISO

Chapter 6. How They Did That
The Frozen Sports Shot
The Speeding Vehicle
The Panorama
The Silky Brook
Trailing Car Lights
The Star-Trails Shot
The Stunning Landscape
The Classic Sunset
The Prize-Winning Kid Shot
Theater Shots
The Undersea Stunner
The Not-Boring Vacation Shot
The Wedding Shot
The Ultra-Closeup
The Blurry-Background Portrait
The Outdoor Portrait
Existing-Light Portraits
The Self-Portrait
The Indoor-Flash Portrait
The Nighttime Portrait
The Exploding Zoom

Chapter 7. The SLR Chapter
Film Equivalents
JPEG Compression
Ten Accessories Worth the Weight

Part III: The Lab

Chapter 8. Camera Meets Computer
Picasa and iPhoto
Transferring the Photos by USB Cable
Transferring Photos with a Card Reader
Importing Pictures on Your Hard Drive
The File Format Factor
The Post-Import Inspection
Instant Slideshow

Chapter 9. The Digital Shoebox
The Source List
Working with Thumbnails
Selecting Photos
Hiding Photos
Smart Albums
Photo Info
Keywords, Titles, and Event Info
Flagging Photos
Searching for Photos by Text
Searching by Calendar or Timeline
Backing Up Your Photos

Chapter 10. Fixing Your Photos
Opening a Photo for Editing
Notes on Zooming and Scrolling
Backing Out, Undoing, and Restoring
Fixing Color
Retouching Scratches and Hairs
Fine-Tuning Exposure
Boosting Contrast
Color Correction
Automatic White-Balance Correction
Cheesy Effects
Copy and Paste for Edits
External Editing Programs
Juicy Bonus Features

Part IV: The Audience

Chapter 11. Photos on Paper—and Everything Else
Making Your Own Prints
Resolution and Shape
Printing from iPhoto, Step by Step
Printing From Picasa, Step by Step
Ordering Prints Online
Calendars, Cards, and Books
Way Beyond Paper

Chapter 12. Electronic Photos
Emailing Photos
Publishing Photos on the Web
The Screen Saver
Photo Wallpaper
From Slideshow to Movie
Slideshow DVDs

Part V: Appendixes

Appendix A. Where to Go From Here
Camera Reviews
The Real World
Beyond the Software Freebies
Appendix B. The Top Ten Tips of All Time
Appendix C. Photo Credits

Manifest Tech Site


This entry posted on March 16, 2009.

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