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Cameras and lenses explained
Easy tips for great photos
Using software to make shots shine
Apply effects
Add mood to your portraits
in a fewsimple steps
Master exposure
Howto get perfect light
in your landscapes
Capture the action
Techniques to make sure
you dont miss the moment
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John Lewis, Park Cameras and all good Olympus photographic retailers.
Go to for details and examples of the still images and HD Movie quality possible with a PEN.
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Davld Pearon, Ldltor
herehavebeenfewcreatlverevolutlons as masslveas theadvent
of dlgltal photography. Pemember when most people used to
wleld a camera only to take annual hollday snaps! Those who
keep track of such thlngs say that ln 2009, around 55 bllllon
dlgltal photos were takenworldwlde. Andthat number ls lncreaslngby a few
bllllon a year. Thanks to dlgltal, anyone can now take photos, anytlme.
Thls gulde ls for everyone - no matter what thelr level of experlence - who
wants lnslde lnformatlon and ldeas on howto enhance and retouch photos
on a PC, plus advlce on technlques beyond slmply polntlng the camera
and presslng the shutter button. we'll showyou the dlnerences between the
varlous types of dlgltal camera, take you on a crash course ln photographlc
theory and howto compose your shots, gulde you through PC setup on
wlndows 7, vlsta and XP, and glve you technlques on uslng photo-edltlng
software to lmprove your shots. There's no polnt ln taklng photos lf you don't
showthem, so you'll also nd advlce on howto prlnt and share themonllne.
whatever type of camera you use, lt's easy to lmprove your photography
through belng aware of some slmple prlnclples that you'll nd wlthln these
pages and - far more lmportant - gettlng out there and practlslng them.
Havlng good baslc klt ls lncredlbly helpful, but wlth the rlght knowledge
even the most baslc dlgltal camera can capture great shots.
|n short, thls ls the only dlgltal camera gulde you'll ever need to buy. 8ut
remember, there's no substltute for gettlng out there and taklng photos of
absolutelyeverythlng. |gnoretheoddlooks as yougrabthat shot of thelnslde
of a dustbln, and have fun wlth your photography.
Tho o|g|lu| cumoru mur|ol cun soom |||o u m|noo|o.
Ool your bour|ngs by rouo|ng our |nlrooucl|on lo lho
mu|n lypos o cumoru uno lho|r o|oroncos.
A crush courso |n lho ubso|ulo ossonl|u|s you nooo lo
|now. Slurl goll|ng lho mosl oul o your cumoru uno
proouc|ng croul|vo shols.
Thoro uro muny lypos o o|g|lu| SLP on lho mur|ol.
Th|s chuplor lu|os you lhrough lho bosl|nown
munuuclurors uno whul ouluros lhoy huvo lo oor.

You cun |mprovo your pholos no ono by |ourn|ng lho
bus|cs o compos|l|on. A ow s|mp|o pr|nc|p|os w||| |ol
you soo uno grub shols you'o novor huvo nol|coo.
Tho mooorn cumoru |s sluoo w|lh ouluros uno
soll|ngs, somo o wh|ch uro moro usou| lhun olhors.
ln lh|s chuplor, wo'|| ocus on lho onos lhul mullor.
Moro uovuncoo mooo|s, purl|cu|ur|y o|g|lu| SLPs, moun
moro uovuncoo opl|ons uno cuslom mooos. Wo lu|o
u |oo| ul lho onos phologruphors cons|oor usou|.
W|lh o|g|lu| phologruphy, you'ro |n churgo o lho
procoss|ng o your p|cluros uno your PC |s lho
oovo|opmonl |ub. ll's v|lu| lo sol |l up corrocl|y.
Tho ub|||ly lo procoss, rolouch uno onhunco your
pholos us|ng your PC |s u unlusl|c bonol o go|ng
o|g|lu|. Horo's un ovorv|ow o lho solwuro uvu||ub|o.
Onco you'vo sorloo your PC hurowuro uno solwuro, o|g
|nlo our comprohons|vo so|ocl|on o lochn|quos, h|nls
uno l|ps on onhunc|ng uno rolouch|ng your shols.
Thoro's on|y ono prob|om w|lh o|g|lu| phologruphy:
you'|| soon uccumu|ulo hunoroos or ovon lhousunos
o pholos on your compulor. Don'l |oso lruc| o lhoml
Thoro's no po|nl |n spono|ng hours uno ouys lu||ng
p|cluros | lhoy jusl s|l on your huro o|s|. Lourn how
lo croulo porocl pr|nls uno shuro |mugos on||no.

wlth confuslng [argon and exaggerated marketlng clalms, the huge
range of cameras on the market can seem lntlmldatlng. |n thls
chapter, we'll lntroduceyoutothemalntypes, what thelr benets and
dlsadvantages are, and thoroughly dlssect each onerlng to see what
features they can oner the buddlng dlgltal photography enthuslast.
Don't dlsmlss any of the optlons out of hand: eachcategory of camera
has somethlng to oner a photographer.
What sort of camera
do I need?
Slurl horo or ho|p on unruvo|||ng
lho o|oroncos bolwoon lho urruy
o cumorus |n lho shops.
Anatomy of a digitaI
compact camera
ll's lho wor|o's mosl popu|ur lypo
o cumoru, bul whul cun u o|g|lu|
compucl oor?
Anatomy of a digitaI
SLR camera
Tho cho|co o lho mujor|ly o
umulour phologruphy onlhus|usls
uno muny prooss|onu|s.
Superzooms and
advanced compacts
A hu|wuy houso bolwoon lho
convon|onco o u compucl uno
lho powor o un SLP.
memory cards
Choos|ng lho r|ghl lypo o momory
curo cun bo u m|noo|o - wo
nuv|gulo |l or you.

what sort of camera do| need!
There's a bewllderlng range of cameras on the market,
but lf you followsome slmple guldellnes you can narrow
down the cholce. The rst thlng ls that lf you're conslderlng
spendlng a couple of hundred pounds or more on a
camera, we'd always recommend buylng froma physlcal
shop rather than the lnternet. Many shops can come wlthln
a fewpounds of the onllne prlce, and lt's well worth lt to be
able to handle the camera before you buy. |mage quallty ls
more dlmcult to scrutlnlse, but there are plenty of ways to
ndout whether a partlcular camera takes great plctures or
not. Magazlne and lnternet revlews, forums and photo-
sharlng websltes such as Pllckr (see pl74) can oner both
advlce andproof of a camera's quallty. Some manufacturers
also have sample photos on thelr websltes.
However, before thlnklng about speclc models, you
needtodecldewhat typeof camerals golngtosult youbest.
The cholce can be broken down lnto three maln groups:
compacts, superzooms and DSLPs.
COMPACTS Compacts are exactly what they sound llke
- small, llght and easlly portable. There's a wlder cholce
of compact dlgltal cameras than any other type, and
prlces vary from50 to around 250. The more expenslve
models are smaller, wlth longer-lastlng batterles and
hlgher megaplxel ratlngs. There's also a falrly dlstlnct class
of hlgh-end dlgltal compact, whlch ls more expenslve
stlll and oners more manual control for the serlous
photographer (see pl6).
A mld-range compact such as the Canon Dlgltal |xus
belowls a good cholce lf you want to shoot a varlety of
sub[ects: people, landscapes and macro (extreme close-up
shots). Most oner a modest 3x zoomlens. A huge benet
compacts en[oy ls doubllng up as a vldeo camera, lettlng
you shoot near-Tv-quallty cllps wlth sound. |n the world of
dlgltal SLPs, vldeo recordlng ls a feature currently restrlcted
to a handful of models.
And whlle DSLPs need a speclal lens to shoot ln macro,
most compacts slmply take lt ln thelr strlde. whether you
want photosof nowersor moreabstract shots, slmplyswltch
to macro mode and press the shutter, most compacts wlll
focus down to [ust a fewcentlmetres fromyour sub[ect.
Compacts have thelr llmltatlons, though. Many don't
oner full control over settlngs such as aperture (see p22) or
shutter speed(seep24), andtheactual rangeof eachsettlng
ls llmlted compared to DSLPs, partlcularly when lt comes
to aperture. Thls means that certaln types of shots are very
dlmcult to take wlth a compact.
Take waterfalls (see p5l), for example. wlth a DSLP,
you can choose to freeze the water or turn lt lnto a soft blur,
but wlth a compact ln brlght condltlons you'll only be able
to achleve the rst enect because of the llmlted aperture
range. Slmllarly, lf youwant totakelong-exposureshots (see
p44), you mlght be frustrated by the shutter speed range.
Of course, lf you're not fussed about belng able to take
these klnds of creatlve photos and prefer a pocketable
camera that you can carry around wlth you everywhere,
a compact ls ldeal.
SUPERZOOMS Superzooms, not surprlslngly, have much
longer zoomlenses. Although they often look slmllar
to DSLPs, thelr lnternal deslgn ls more akln to a dlgltal
compact. Superzoomlenses vary ln magnlcatlon from
Compacts such as
thls Canon Dlglta| Ixus
take good plctures and
s|lp lnto a pocket.
A|lhough pr|cos uro
usuu||y |owor |n on||no
sloros, lho o|oronco
|s olon on|y u mullor
o u ow pounos. ll's
worlhwh||o puy|ng u
||ll|o moro |n rolurn or
bo|ng ub|o lo ho|o lho
cumoru booro you buy.
around 7x to l8x, but whlle these let you take shots that are
lmposslbletoachlevewltha compact camera, they canoften
leave shots blurred due to camera shake (see p25) when
uslng maxlmumzoom, especlally ln poor llght. Some have
lmage-stablllsatlonsystems totry toellmlnatecamera shake,
but a trlpod ls the only guaranteed path to sharp photos
ln lowllght.
Superzooms also share the very small lmage sensor
deslgns of compact models, whlch means the absolute
quallty sometlmes lsn't as hlgh as lt could be, partlcularly
at hlgh |SOlevels (see p64 for an explanatlon of |SO).
Most superzooms oner more control than compacts,
though, allowlng you full manual control over shutter and
aperture settlngs. The ma[orlty also have more advanced
features lncludlng manual whlte balance (see p66) and
hlstograms (see p70), all of whlch help you to take better
photos. Por more on superzooms, see pl6.
DlGlTAL SLRS |f you don't mlnd carrylng a larger, heavler
camera around wlth you, a dlgltal SLP (dlgltal slngle-lens
renex - also known slmply as a DSLP) ls the best tool for
taklnggreat plctures. Stunnlngsunsets, llghtnlngor reworks
can all be captured easlly wlth a DSLP.
A ma[or dlnerence of DSLPs ls that they have
lnterchangeable lenses. Usually, the lens bundled wlth
an entry-level model such as the Nlkon D90 shown above
(referred to as the klt lens) ls good quallty but not brllllant,
and ls llmlted ln lts zoomrange. Por each manufacturer's
lens-ttlng standard (they vary accordlng to brand), there
are dozens of thlrd-party lenses onerlng hlgher lmage
quallty, better bulld, dlnerent focal lengths (see p26) or a
comblnatlon of all three, compared to the klt lens. That
means a DSLP ls hugely upgradeable. The starkest example
of thls ls the enormous telephoto lenses you see attached to
sportsphotographers'cameras. Speclallstlensessuchasthese
costseveralthousandpounds, butupgradlngtoabetter-than-
klt lens can easlly be achleved for less than 200.
There are more advantages to DSLPs. They turn on ln
a fractlon of a second and can lmmedlately start shootlng
several frames per second. Thelr superlor autofocus systems
can also keep a movlng sub[ect ln sharp focus where a
compact would struggle. Large batterles allowthemto take
hundreds of shots beforeneedlngarecharge, andmost allow
you to attach extra battery packs for extended shootlng. All
DSLPs have a hot-shoe for attachlng a better nash - see p25
for an explanatlon of why thls can be a good ldea.
Last, but by no means least, DSLPs have larger,
hlgher-quallty dlgltal lmage sensors than elther compacts
or superzooms. They produce more detalled plctures, wlth
fewer dlgltal artefacts suchas nolse or chromatlc aberratlons
(see pl22). They also have a hlgher dynamlc range, meanlng
they can capture more subtle tonal varlatlon ln the llght -
thls can have a huge lmpact on the resultlng photo. |f you're
frustrated by the quallty of your plctures, a DSLP ls for you.
WHAT ABOUT MEGAPlXELS? ou'll notlce that we haven't
made a blg deal of the megaplxel ratlng ln your cholce of
camera. That's because these days lt's baslcally lrrelevant.
There are very fewcameras on the market wlth a ratlng
of below6 megaplxels - that ls, 6 mllllon lndlvldual dots
maklngupeachplcture. Most cameras are now8megaplxels
or hlgher. Salesmen and adverts may try to convlnce you
otherwlse, but unless you're plannlng on prlntlng your
plctures at poster slze, anythlng over 6 megaplxels ls ne.
Thls Nlkon
superzoom has
a 26x zoom and
a we||bul|t body.
The lnterchangeab|e
|ens of a DSLP such
as thls Nlkon D90 ls
a huge benet.

Tho ru|o o lhumb |s

s|mp|o: | you jusl wunl
lo lu|o snups, go or
u o|g|lu| compucl. For
moro sor|ous ho||ouy
shols, u suporzoom
|s no. Buoo|ng
prooss|onu|s uno
sor|ous umulours, us
wo|| us lhoso who
s|mp|y wunl lho mosl
ox|b|o opl|on, shou|o
u|wuys go or u DSLP.
Anatomy of a dlgltal compact
No prlzes for guesslng how dlgltal compact cameras got
thelr name: they're generally small enough to sllp lnto a
pocket and can travel wlth you anywhere. After a shaky
start a few years back, thelr quallty ls now as good as lm
compacts of thepast. Don't worryabout megaplxel ratlngs:
look for other features such as a good zoom range.
Tho |nlogruloo ush
un|l g|vos u bursl o
onough ||ghl or |nooor
shols ul n|ghl, or
|nooors |n |ow ||ghl.
Th|s |s un AF (uuloocus) uss|sl |ump - |l ||ghls up
lo ho|p lho cumoru lo ocus |n |ow||ghl cono|l|ons.
Bocuuso o|g|lu| compucls' uuloocus wor|s by
oolocl|ng lho conlrusl o oogos, w|lhoul lho AF |ump
lho ocus w||| lono lo 'hunl' uno nol bo ub|o lo |oc| on.
Th|s cumoru hus u 5x zoom
|ons, u||ow|ng or l|ghl rum|ng
o o|slunl subjocls. For u
groulor rungo, lh|n| uboul u
suporzoom - soo p16.
Thoso numbors ro|ulo lo
lho mux|mum uporluro
o lho |ons uno |ls
ocu||onglh rungo - soo
Chuplor 2.
A|| o|g|lu| cumorus huvo
u lwoslop shullor
bullon. Hu|pross |l uno
lho cumoru w||| ussoss
lho scono uno ocus:
pross |l u|| lho wuy oown
lo lu|o lho shol.
Mosl compucls
nooo lo oxlono
lho|r |ons w|lh
un |nlornu| molor
whon you sw|lch
on. Th|s cun lu|o u
socono or lwo - u
o|suovunlugo or
cuplur|ng ool|ng
pholo opporlun|l|os.
A SB connocl|on |s
lho un|vorsu| molhoo
or lrunsorr|ng your
shols lo your PC.
Somo mooo|s u|so
oor un oulpul or
v|ow|ng your p|cluros
on u Tv, o|rocl|y rom
lho cumoru.
A|| cumorus huvo u slunouro
lhrouo on lho bollom or
ulluch|ng lho cumoru lo u
lr|poo lo slouoy your shols.
A|lhough somo mooo|s huvo u corlu|n umounl
o |nlornu| momory, you'|| nooo u sopurulo
momory curo lo bo ub|o lo lu|o u sons|b|o
numbor o shols - soo p18.
M|orungo mooo|s uno ubovo huvo |ols
o o|oronl |ncumoru ouluros, |nc|uo|ng
s||ooshows uno roooyo corrocl|on. You cun ovon
chungo lho lypo o uoo oocl or s||ooshows.
Tho mooo o|u| u||ows you
lo sw|lch bolwoon p|cluro
p|uybuc|, u||y uulo uno
munuu| mooos, us wo|| us
spoc|u| scono mooos such
us snow uno sporls.
Mosl compucls huvo u
lhumbpuo such us lh|s
lhul |ols you sol mucro
mooo, orco lho ush on
or o, uno sol lho cumoru
on so|l|mor.
Tho mov|o mooo o muny
compucls |s now ur bollor
lhun cumcoroors o u ow
yours ugo.
Anatomy of a DSLP
Once the preserve of seml-professlonals because of thelr
outrageously hlgh prlce, ln the past year or two the cost
of dlgltal SLPs has plummeted to anordable levels. A
rash of entry-level models deslgned to entlce users away
from hlgh-end compacts and superzooms has appeared.
And there's absolutely nothlng wrong wlth the entry-level
onerlngs: they're good value as they come wlth thelr stock
klt lenses. Partner one wlth a better-quallty lens, however,
and you can take shots that come wlthln a halr's breadth
of the quallty of a shot from a model costlng ten tlmes as
much. More expenslve models wlll glve even more control
wlth a blgger cholce of meterlng modes, for example (see
p68). As well as that you'll get more megaplxels and faster
burst modes for capturlng actlon.
Th|s mooo| hus u
ooo|culoo LED
ocususs|sl |ump or
|ow||ghl ocus|ng,
somo olhor DSLPs
uso lho ush |nslouo.
lns|oo lho conlru| bu|go o lho
v|ownoor hous|ng |s u pr|sm
lhul ucls |||o u por|scopo lo
o|rocl lho v|ow rom lho |ons lo
lho phologruphor's oyo.
Tho m|rror roocls lho |mugo rom lho |ons up
|nlo lho v|ownoor pr|sm. Whon lho shullor
|s prossoo lo lu|o u shol, lho m|rror |ps up
uno lho ||ghl u||s o|rocl|y on lo lho o|oclron|c
|mugo sonsor lo cupluro lho shol.
DSLPs w||| u|wuys huvo
ul |ousl ono rolury conlro|
lhul u||s unoor lho lhumb
or |noox ngor or u|lor|ng
soll|ngs w|lhoul lu||ng your
oyo rom lho v|ownoor.
Th|s |uyoul o bullons
lo lho |ol o lho scroon
|s u|r|y slunouro, w|lh
shol prov|ow, oruso uno
monu bullons.
Tho uncl|on o lhoso
lhroo bullons chungos
uccoro|ng lo wholhor
you'ro |n p|uybuc|
or shool|ng mooo. ln
shool|ng, lhoy u||ow
lho usor lo o|rocl|y sol
wh|lo bu|unco (p66), lSO
sons|l|v|ly (p64) uno
quu||ly uno |o ormul o
cupluroo shols (p74).
A|| DSLP zoom |onsos
huvo bolh u munuu|
ocus|ng r|ng uno
munuu| zoom conlro|.
Tho AE uno AF |oc| bullon u||ows you
lo |oc| lho oxposuro lomporur||y uno
rocomposo lho shol (soo p69).
For mux|mum conlro|,
you cun |p lo munuu|
ocus|ng uno uso
lho mochun|cu| |ons
ocus|ng r|ng. ll's
ur ous|or lhun lho
monubusoo o|oclron|c
munuu|ocus mooos
o o|g|lu| compucls
uno suporzooms.
Tho u|||mporlunl mooo
o|u| u||ows lho usor lo |p
bolwoon mujor mooos |n
soconos. Soo p62 or moro.
Th|s |s lho holshoo or mounl|ng
un oxlornu| ush gun. Tho ll|ng
|s comp|olo|y slunouro uno w|||
uccommooulo uny ush.
Th|s m|orungo mooo| sporls u lop
mounloo LCD lo show u|| shool|ng
soll|ngs ul u g|unco. Enlry|ovo| DSLPs
lono lo huvo on|y rour scroons.
W|lh lho|r |urgor boo|os, DSLPs cun oor b|g scroons
lhul oon'l comp|olo|y oom|nulo lho buc| o lho cumoru
|n lho wuy lhoy oo w|lh compucl mooo|s. 3|n scroons
uro now slunouro on now mooo|s.
A soc|ol or un
oxlornu| shullor
ro|ouso u||ows
lho usor lo lu|o
u shol w|lhoul
louch|ng - uno
polonl|u||y jogg|ng
- lho cumoru.
Enlry|ovo| lo
m|orungo mooo|s
huvo u bu||l|n
popup ush normu||y
h|ooon |n lho
v|ownoor hous|ng
(lurn lo p128 lo
soo ono poppoo
up). H|ghono
mooo|s oos|gnoo or
prooss|onu|s on|y
huvo u holshoo.
Th|s mooo| hus ooo|culoo
bullons lo orco lho ush
uno onub|o oxposuro
bruc|ol|ng mooo (soo p78).
As wo|| us SB
uno Tv oulpuls,
lh|s mooo| hus u
DC powor |npul
or bolh lolhoroo
shool|ng |n u
sluo|o uno qu|c|
oown|ouo|ng o
shols ovon | lho
bullory's nour|y ul.
Superzooms andhlgh-end
dlgltal compacts
Compact dlgltal cameras are great when you want to polnt
and shoot, but there are occaslons when you'll want extra
control, and most compacts won't be able to dellver.
HlGHEND DlGlTAL COMPACTS |f you crave control over
shutter speed, aperture and other exposure controls, yet
stlll want a small camera, there ls an answer. Look further
up manufacturers' ranges and you'll nd hlgh-end dlgltal
compacts that usually have such controls. The Nlkon
Coolplx P6000 (shown here) and Canon PowerShot G
serles (currently up to the Gll) are such examples, and
cost roughly 320 and 400 respectlvely.
8oth oner aperture- and shutter-prlorlty modes (see
p62), so whlchever you choose to set the camera wlll
a correct exposure. |t means you can force the camera to
use a fast shutter speedtofreeze motlon, or a slowspeedto
lnduce artlstlc blur. They also glve you full manual control
over both settlngs, although you need to knowwhat you're
dolng before you can extract perfect exposures.
Most hlgh-end compacts glve you control over other
settlngs, too. Manual whlte balance ls useful. Auto whlte
balance mechanlsms can be fooled ln extreme condltlons
(partlcularly when there are varlous types of llght source
on a sub[ect), but a manual control lets you overcome
thls, allowlng you to achleve a perfect whlte balance ln
any scene (see p66). Lxpect to see manual focus control,
too. Usually, thls ls cumbersome, because you have to use
an onscreen sllder or menu to set the focus dlstance. Due
to the relatlvely lowresolutlon of most LCD screens, lt's
then dlmcult to tell whether your sub[ect ls ln sharp focus.
However, as wlth the auto whlte balance, autofocus can be
fooled and a manual control can let you take a great shot.
Onscreen hlstograms can be a useful gulde, too (see
p70), and a llve, constantly updatlng hlstogramcan help
you knowwhether a shot wlll be good or not, even before
you've pressed the shutter.
Hlgh-end compacts sometlmes oner hlgher-resolutlon
sensors than those avallable lower down ln the range.
ou tend to nd better-quallty lenses on more expenslve
A h|ghono mooo| w|||
usuu||y bo |urgor lhun
mosl olhor compucls, bul
sl||| ur smu||or uno moro
o|scrool lhun u bu||y SLP.
Tho lruo|l|onu| rolury
mooo o|u| lhul muny
sor|ous umulours oxpocl
w||| u|wuys bo ouno on
u h|ghono compucl.
An opl|cu| v|ownoor |s
u|so somolh|ng lhul's
u|wuys prosonl lo culor or
lruo|l|onu||sls who rouso
lo uso u co|our scroon.
As wo|| us |nlogruloo
ush, h|ghono compucls
u|wuys ouluro u holshoo
lo ulluch un oxlornu|
l you |now you'|| wunl
lo uso u suporzoom |n u
s|m||ur wuy lo u DSLP
- us|ng lho v|ownoor
lo lu|o p|cluros rulhor
lhun lho mu|n LCD
- |oo| curou||y ul
lho roso|ul|on o lho
E|oclron|c v|owF|noor
(EvF). Somo uro h|ghor
lhun olhors, uno you
shou|o lry lo go or lho
h|ghosl roso|ul|on you
cun no, so lhul you
cun soo moro oolu||
uno wholhor or nol your
subjocl |s |n ocus.
compacts as well, whlch means sharper photos wlth less
dlstortlon. Cheaper lenses canlntroducewhat's calledbarrel
dlstortlon when the zoomls at lts wldest-angle posltlon.
Thls makes the edges of the lmage look curved lnstead of
stralght. Llkewlse, you're less llkely to see purple frlnglng on
a hlgher-quallty lens (see pl22). Often, whenthere are hlgh-
contrast edges ln a scene - such as the sun shlnlng through
the branches of a tree - the resultlng photo wlll have thln
purple llnes between the branches and the sky.
Usablllty ls another factor that's often overlooked. |t's
all very well havlng all these advanced controls on tap, but
lf you have to cllck through pages of menu optlons before
you get to them, you're unllkely to bother uslng them. 8ut
cameras that have dedlcated buttons for themmean you
can qulckly change the |SOsettlng, for example, or nlck
between aperture- and shutter-prlorlty modes.
SUPERZOOMS Hlgh-end compacts and superzooms can
occaslonally t lnto the same category, but lf you want a
l0x or greater optlcal zoomyou'll have to settle for a blgger
camera. |t's also worth notlng that not all superzooms have
hlgh-end features. Olympus, for example, always has an
anordable superzoomln lts range, the sensor may not be
the hlghest resolutlon around, but you'll get a blg zoom
lens for gettlng really close to the actlon.
OPTlCAL ZOOM when looklng at the speclcatlons of a
zoomlens, make sure lt's the optlcal zoomand not the
dlgltal zoom. Por the best quallty, you should dlsable a
dlgltal zoom, slnce lt works by enlarglng the centre portlon
of the lmage. Addlng plxels ln thls way makes everythlng
look blgger, but lt doesn't add detall, so dlgltally zoomed
lmages are easy to spot slnce they're blocky or blurry close
up. Thls ls the last thlng you want for a hlgh-quallty photo.
Most superzooms share the advanced controls of the
hlgh-end compacts. They usually have a command dlal
that has aperture-prlorlty, shutter-prlorlty, full manual
and programme auto modes to choose from(see p62).
Some have a manual focus rlng on the lens barrel, whlch
ls qulcker to use than a gauge on the rear screen. 8ut
these are usually electronlc, so you may nd they're not
as responslve as a real manual focus rlng on a DSLP lens.
ou'll also stlll have the problemof checklng preclse focus
on the LCD, although some cameras do enlarge the centre
sectlon of the prevlewto ald ln thls.
|f you knowyou'll be taklng lots of photos at full zoom
where llght ls llmlted, use a trlpod or look for a camera
wlth lmage stablllsatlon. There are varlous types, lncludlng
optlcal systems that compensate for camera shake, sensor-
shlft systems that move the sensor to ellmlnate blur, and
electronlc systems that lncreasethesensltlvlty of thesensor
solt works wlthfaster shutter speeds. Somehlgh-enddlgltal
compacts also have optlcal or electronlc stablllsatlon.
The dlnerent systems aren't all as enectlve as each other
(hlgher sensltlvltles lead to gralnler photos) and none wlll
compensate for serlous movement. Trylngtoholda camera
stlll when the zoomls set to l2x or l8x ls dlmcult, so lt's
best to use a trlpod as well as a stablllsatlon system.
Tho booy sly||ng o u
suporzoom w||| olon
upo DSLP oos|gns, w|lh
u chun|y hunogr|p or
slouoy|ng your shols.
L||o u h|ghono compucl,
suporzooms u|wuys huvo
u lopmounloo mooo o|u|.
Th|s mooo| u|so hus u
popup ush.
A suporzoom's pr|mury
uovunlugo: lho |ons. ll w|||
oor u vory w|oo zoom
rungo rom w|oo ung|o lo
oxlromo lo|opholo.
About memory cards
SD curos
uro by ur lho
mosl popu|ur
lypo or o|g|lu|
Tho unous|b|y l|ny
microSD uno miniSD
ormuls cun bo usoo w|lh
u slunouro SD uouplor.
Memory Stick |s
u propr|olury Sony
ormul nol usoo |n
olhor mooo|s.
There are four ma[or types of memory card used by
dlgltal cameras: CompactPlash, Secure Dlgltal, xD-Plcture
card and Memory Stlck. The rst two are by far the most
common, and because of thls are cheaper to buy.
COMPACTFLASH The rst CompactPlash cards were made
by SanDlsk ln l994, and because of the format's large slze
(43 x 36mm) lt's qulckly becomlng unfashlonable wlth
camera manufacturers. Pew compact dlgltal cameras use
lt any more, leavlng only hlgh-end DSLPs to persevere
wlth the format.
There are two types, Type | belng 3.3mm thlck and
Type || belng 5mm thlck. Type || cards aren't generally
used for memory, although |8M's Mlcrodrlve used thls
format to house a tlny lln hard dlsk to boost capacltles
up to 8G8. However, solld-state memory technology has
overtaken mechanlcal dlsks at thls slze, and you can now
buy CompactPlash cards ln capacltles up to 48G8.
SECURE DlGlTAL SD ls the most popular format for
dlgltal cameras, and was born from the collaboratlon
of Panasonlc, SanDlsk and Toshlba back ln l999.
The cards measure 24 x 32 x 2.lmm, maklng them
conslderably smaller than CompactPlash.
MMC (multl-medla card) already exlsted uslng
the same physlcal format, but lt dldn't have the
hardware encryptlon of SD, a feature that was needed
to try to prevent muslc plracy. 8ut, although that's the
reason behlnd the Secure ln the tltle, SD cards were
never really used for storlng muslc, lnstead, dlgltal
camera manufacturers reallsed thelr advantages over
CompactPlash cards: they were smaller and had the
potentlal for greater capacltles.
However, the orlglnal SD l.0 speclcatlon reached
only 2G8 before a new type of card was lntroduced:
SDHC, the HC standlng for hlgh capaclty. SDHC cards
aren't supported by all cameras wlth SD slots, so look for
the SDHC logo lf you want to use cards wlth capacltles
larger than 2G8. Currently the maxlmum capaclty of the
SDHC format ls 32G8.
Also watch out for camera and medla card reader
compatlblllty wlth large non-SDHC cards. Older models
are especlally unllkely to support 2G8 or 4G8 cards,
regardless of whether they're SD or SDHC.
The SD format has spawned other formats, too.
MlnlSD cards are almost the same wldth, but only
2l.5mm tall. Pew dlgltal cameras use thls format, but a
mlnlSDcard can be plugged lnto an SDadapter to be used
ln any SD slot. A much more popular format ls mlcroSD,
whlch measures only ll x l5mm. Thls slze makes them
ldeal for moblle phones and MP3 players, but no dlgltal
cameras can accept thls format wlthout an adapter.
MEMORY STlCK Thls was launched by Sony ln l998,
and only Sony dlgltal cameras have taken advantage of
the format. The orlglnal slze was 50 x 2l.5 x 2.8mm, and
CompactFIash |s
lho o|oosl uno |urgosl
ormul, now ouno
on|y |n o|g|lu| SLPs.
Tho xD-Picture card
ormul |s usoo on|y
|n O|ympus uno
Fuj||m cumorus.
Pomombor lhul lho vory
h|ghosl cupuc|ly curos
uvu||ub|o u|wuys so||
or u prom|um. You cun
usuu||y gol much bollor
vu|uo by go|ng or u
s||ghl|y |owor cupuc|ly.
allowed capacltles only up to l28M8. Naturally, thls had
to be xed ln order to compete wlth other formats, and
current Memory Stlcks have capacltles up to 8G8.
The latest Sony dlgltal cameras use Memory Stlck
Pro Duo cards, whlch measure 3l x 20mm, slmllar to an
SD card. The largest Duo currently avallable ls l6G8.
Llke mlcroSD, there's also a Memory Stlck M2, whlch
measures l5 x l2.5mm. Agaln, no dlgltal cameras use thls
format, posslbly because of the tlny physlcal slze.
Memory Stlcks cost more than the equlvalent SD or
CompactPlash card, sometlmes up to twlce as much,
whlch ls worth bearlng ln mlnd lf you're conslderlng
buylng a Sony compact dlgltal camera.
XDPlCTURE CARD Thls ls the latest format to be used
by dlgltal cameras, although lt's only been used by
lts two collaborators: Olympus and Pu[llm. Orlglnal
cards, whlch were launched ln 2002, varled ln capaclty
from l6M8 to 5l2M8. Newer Type M cards allow
for capacltles up to 8G8, but the largest capaclty to
date ls 2G8.
The other problem that's faced the 20 x 25mm cards
ls slow transfer speeds. Thls has llmlted the number
of lmages that can be taken ln a camera's contlnuous
shootlng mode, as well as maklng lt slower to transfer
lmages to a PC. AType H card was released to counter
thls, ln theory onerlng up to three tlmes the performance,
but ln practlce thls speed has never materlallsed.
As wlth SD cards over 2G8, there may be compatlblllty
lssues between some cameras and the newer Type M
and H cards. Some card readers may also be lncompatlble
wlth them.
NEED FOR SPEED |t lsn't only xD-Plcture cards that are
avallable wlth dlnerent speed grades. Often, you'll see
packaglng marked wlth 80x or l33x, referrlng to multlples
of l50K8/sec - a throwback to the CD, where a lx CD
drlve was capable of transferrlngl50K8of data per second.
Sadly, these gures are usually an unrellable gulde, as
the actual speed can be llmlted by the electronlcs ln your
medla card reader or camera. |n extenslve testlng of 2G8
cards, we've found that the xD-Plcture format ls by far the
slowest at bothreadlngandwrltlng. Onaverage, cards were
able to read at around 4.5M8/sec and wrlte at l.5-2M8/sec.
Memory Stlck Duos were much better at readlng (over
8M8/sec) but poor at wrltlng (3M8/sec). 8y contrast,
almost all standard SD cards can wrlte at 4M8/sec,
readlng at well over 8M8/sec. |f you're prepared to spend
extra on a fast SD card, expect wrlte speeds to lncrease to
between 6M8/sec and 8M8/sec, read speeds wlll remaln
slmllar at around 8-9M8/sec.
Dependlng on what you prefer, you could elther buy
several small-capaclty cards or fewer hlgh-capaclty cards.
|t's senslble to have at least two wlth you ln case one
should fall, so you can carry on shootlng. The table below
shows approxlmatelyhowmany1PLGphotosyoucanexpect
to t on memory cards of dlnerent capacltles dependlng on
the sensor resolutlon.
5 megapixels 400 800 1,600 3,200
6 megapixels 340 680 1,360 2,?20
8 megapixels 280 560 1,120 2,240
12 megapixels 200 400 800 1,600
14 megapixels 1?0 340 680 1,360
A mu|tlformat memory
card reader such as
thls connects to your
PC vla USB and |ets
you dlrect|y transfer
plctures from a|most
any type of card by
slmp|y dragglng and
dropplng to a fo|der
ln Wlndows.
Thls ls a rough gulde to the number of 1PLG photos you'll be able to store on
dlnerent capacltles of memory card wlth varlous camera megaplxel ratlngs.
Don'l buy momory
curos |n lho sloros -
lhoy so|| ul u muss|vo|y
|nuloo pr|co. A|wuys
shop on||no or your
slorugo curos.
Technologymaychange, but thebaslcs of taklngaphotoarethesame
as they were l00 years ago. There are plenty of textbooks crammed
wlthequatlons onphotographlcandlens theory, but thegoodnews ls
that you only need to get to grlps wlth a fewbaslc concepts, over the
next fewpages, we'll glveyoua crashcourselnwhat youshouldknow
about aperture and shutter speed, and the enect they'll have on your
photos. Knowlng a llttle can go a very long way.
Probub|y lho mosl |mporlunl soll|ng
or uny pholo |s lho uporluro you uso.
Lourn how |l cun uocl your shols.
shutter speed
For lhoso |oo||ng lo cupluro ucl|on
or proouco oul|uno|sh croul|vo
oocls, shullor spooo |s |oy.
focaI Iength
A qu|c| |oo| ul whul lhoso numbors
lhul u|| |onsos soom lo bo osloonoo
w|lh ucluu||y moun |n prucl|co.

Only two camera settlngs are key to taklng a photograph.
Desplte modern technology glvlng cameras dozens of
modes, settlngs and add-on features, a camera ls at heart a
box that contalns a llght-sensltlve element (lmln the case
of tradltlonal photography, a sensor ln a dlgltal camera).
The lens dlrects llght on to that element and captures an
lmage. The only compllcatlon ls that you need to control
how much llght reaches the sensor. Thls ls determlned vla
theaperturesettlngandshutterspeed(explalnedoverleaf ).
The aperture - formed by a set of varlable lnterlocklng
blades ln the lens assembly - sets the amount of llght
that reaches the sensor when lt's exposed, the shutter
controls how long lt's exposed for. wlth these settlngs,
you can control the exposure - the llghtness or darkness
of the nal plcture. A correct exposure falthfully recreates
what a human would have percelved the llght levels to
be. An underexposed shot ls too dark, an overexposed
shot ls too brlght.
|n fact, lt's posslble to make a camera that has fewer
controls than that - a plnhole camera, for lnstance, has
no shutter and a very small xed aperture. ou get a
correct exposure slmply by taklng the cover on the hole
ln the front of the camera and tlmlng how long the lm ls
exposed uslng a wrlstwatch. |t works, but lt's very llmltlng.
8ecause of the need to tlme the exposure manually, the
aperture has to be tlny and lsn't practlcal. Addlng a shutter
and an aperture control makes thlngs more controllable.
WHY USE TWO SETTlNGS? Uslng both shutter speed and a
varlable aperture settlng glves you all sorts of advantages.
Por a start, lt lncreases thetotal rangeof llghtlngcondltlons
under whlch you can take a plcture. A fast shutter speed
- ln other words, a short lnterval where the shutter ls open
- comblned wlth a small aperture allows shots to be taken
lnextremely brlght llght, whereas golngthe other way and
uslng the wldest aperture and a slower speed allows shots
ln poor llght and even ln almost total darkness (see p54).
DEPTH OF FlELD 8ut that's not the only reason there are
lndependent shutter and aperture controls on a camera.
Alterlng the two settlngs has dlnerent enects aslde from
the baslc one of controlllng the amount of llght hlttlng the
sensor. |n the case of aperture, that malnly comes down
to what's known as depth of eld. The causes of depth of
eld are complex, but the results and the rule of thumb
aren't. Depth of eld ls also called depth of focus, whlch ls
a more lntultlve way of expresslng lt. The practlcal enect ls
that wlth a small aperture, more of the ob[ects ln a scene
wlll appear to be ln focus than wlth a large aperture. Thls
ls a huge bonus when lt comes to belng creatlve wlth your
Plght. Thls shot was
taken wlth a wlde
aperture, throwlng the
background out of focus.
Far rlght. Thls shot,
on the other hand,
was taken wlth a
sma|| aperture to get
both foreground and
background ln focus.

shots - use a wlde aperture to focus on a partlcular sub[ect

and throwthe background out of focus, thls works well for
portralt photography. Por alandscapeshot, whereyouwant
everythlng ln focus, use a small aperture - say f/l6 - and
your whole scene wlll llkely be pln-sharp.
lMAGE SHARPNESSAperturecansubtly anect other aspects
of your lmage, too, partlcularly lf you're uslng a DSLP.
Por lnstance, the apparent sharpness of a shot can be
anected, even lf technlcally speaklng lt's perfectly focused.
|n general, stopplng down a shot (not uslng the wldest
aperture) wlll lmprove sharpness. Thls ls because lf the
shot ls taken wlde open (at maxlmum aperture), the full
surface area of the lens ls used. The glass of most lenses
ls unlform and free of optlcal lmperfectlons towards the
centre. Decreaslng the aperture means llght from the
nal lmage, reduclng dlstortlons and glvlng a sharper nal
plcture. Stopplng down can also sometlmes reduce the
unpleasant enects of colour frlnglng (see pl22) and can
reduce nare - that star-llke enect that sometlmes shoots
across lmages.
F NUMBERS The actual slze of the aperture ls expressed
ln terms of an f-number, often referred to as f-stops. Por
advanced photography, they're an lmportant concept, but
you don't need to know what they mean. 1ust remember
that the lower the number, the larger the lens aperture.
So a small number means a wlde aperture, whlch means
as much llght as posslble ls enterlng the lens. Thls ls good
for low-llght sltuatlons or where you want a fast shutter
speed to capture sports actlon (see p55). Conversely,
a large number means a small aperture. Thls ls good
for a large depth of eld and a sharp lmage, landscape
photography, for lnstance.
APERTURE AND DlGlTAL COMPACTS |f you own a dlgltal
compact camera, the chances are you'll be llmlted ln
the aperture settlngs you can choose. Lven lf you have
a hlgh-end model wlth manual modes (see pl6), many
dlgltal compacts glve a cholce of only two f-stop settlngs
and rely on alterlng shutter speed to ne-tune exposure.
Also, the actual focal length of a dlgltal compact tends to
be short, typlcally 8mm as opposed to the 35mm or so of
a DSLP at the same zoom settlng. The actual numbers
aren't lmportant, but the upshot ls that a dlgltal compact
naturally has a large depth of eld regardless of aperture
settlng - almost everythlng ls ln focus. That's a good thlng
for casual snaps, but lt does meandellberate depth-of-eld
enects are harder to achleve wlth a dlgltal compact.
APERTURE AND DSLRs wlth a dlgltal SLP, you'll get a
much wlder range of aperture settlngs. The exact range
depends onthe lens you're uslng, but lt's typlcally between
f/4 and f/22. A partlcular lens ls often ldentled ln terms
of lts focal length (see p27) and lts maxlmum aperture.
Thls ls because the maxlmum aperture ls a key aspect that
ldentles the quallty of the lens. Por zoom lenses, a range
of maxlmum apertures ls often specled, thls ls because lt
varles accordlng to whether the lens ls zoomed ln or out.
|n general, the klt lens that comes wlth a standard
SLP klt (for lnstance, the Canon LOS 400D) wlll oner a
maxlmum aperture of f/3.6 to f/5.6 - the smaller aperture
ls at the maxlmum zoom range. A hlgher-quallty and
more expenslve thlrd-party zoom lens may oner a wlde
aperture of f/2.8 across the entlre zoom range. Lenses
wlth wlde maxlmum apertures are often known as fast
lenses. Past lenses are expenslve, but much sought after
by sports and street photographers eager to catch the
actlon ln varylng llght.
Tho uporluro o u |ons |s
ormoo by u sor|os o b|uoos
lhul cun |ncrouso or oocrouso
lho s|zo o lho ho|o lhul
||ghl pussos lhrough.
Th|s lh|ropurly |ons |s
u usl |ons oor|ng u
mux|mum uporluro o
/2.8 ucross lho onl|ro
zoom rungo.
Masterlngshutter speed
Along wlth aperture, the shutter speed ls the second
settlng that needs to be correct for an accurate exposure.
|t's actually sllghtly mlsnamed - the polnt lsn't the actual
speed that the shutter opens or closes, but the length
of tlme lt stays open for. The shutter ltself ls slmply a
mechanlsm that prevents llght reachlng the camera's
sensor, openlng for a predetermlned tlme when you
take a shot. Unllke the trlcky concept of f-numbers wlth
exposure settlngs (see prevlous page), shutter speed ls
slmply expressed ln seconds or, more often, ln fractlons
of a second. Most shots are taken wlth a shutter speed of
two-hundred-and-ftleth) of a second.
Llke the aperture settlng, the shutter speed has
secondary enects on the plcture besldes slmply
determlnlng that the correct amount of llght reaches the
sensor. A photo ls a captured moment ln tlme, but of
course varylng the shutter speed varles the length of the
moment. ou can use that fact to great creatlve enect, but
you also need to be aware of lt to avold problems.
CREATlVE USES OF SHUTTER SPEED varylng the shutter
allows you three dlstlnct creatlve enects: freezlng a
moment lntlme wltha very fast speed, creatlngdream-llke
enects wlth a long exposure of several seconds or more,
and glvlng an lmpresslon of dynamlsm and movement
wlth a medlum settlng. Maklng sure you have a fast
enough speed to freeze the actlon depends on the speed
of the sub[ect, but ln general you can be pretty sure that
a speed of l/250th or faster wlll ensure you capture the
actlon ln sharp rellef wlth no blurrlng. Por a long exposure
of several seconds or more, trlal and error ls usually the
best way-p50/5l/54glvesomeexamples of creatlveuseof
long exposures.
GlVlNG A SENSE OF MOVEMENT The trlcklest shutter settlng
ls one that glves a llttle blt of blur to fast-movlng ob[ects
ln the scene, to convey an lmpresslon of movement, but
wlthout belng so long that lt blurs lnto an lndlstlnct mess
or problems such as camera shake spoll the shot. Try a
settlng of between l/l0th and l/30th. Pemember that to
speclcally set the shutter speed you want and stlll get a
correct exposure, theaperturesettlnghas tobead[ustedto
follow. 8y uslng the shutter-prlorlty mode ln a good dlgltal
compact or DSLP, you can set the shutter speed you want,
and the camera wlll set the aperture for you (see p62).
A very fast shutter
speed wl|| freeze
movement - lt's
partlcu|ar|y effectlve
wlth water, but you need
brlght condltlons.


most dlgltal compacts have almost the same amount of
control over shutter speed as a dlgltal SLP does. |f your
dlgltal compact has a shutter prlorlty or fully manual
mode, you'll generally be able to set the shutter ln very
small lncrements from an extremely fast l/2,000th of a
second up to around 30 seconds. That range ls plenty for
the ma[orlty of shots you'll ever take. Dlgltal SLPs do have
a small advantage - more expenslve models wlll have an
even faster maxlmum speed of anythlng up to l/8,000th
of a second. That can be useful for shootlng ln very brlght
condltlons wlth a wlde aperture for mlnlmum depth of
eld (see p22). More of an advantage for creatlve enects ls
a DSLP's bulb mode, whlch allows you to keep the shutter
open for as long as you want (see p54 for an example of
where thls ls useful). 8ut for many long-exposure shots,
the 30 seconds that a good dlgltal compact wlll oner glves
plenty of scope.
handheld shots - ln other words, not uslng a trlpod or
other means of steadylng the camera - you need to be
aware of the concept of camera shake. |t's slmple enough:
lt's down to the fact that lt's lmposslble to hold the camera
completely stlll. our hands wlll sway sllghtly no matter
how hard you try to keep lt steady. wlth a typlcal shutter
speed ln brlght condltlons of l/l25th second, that doesn't
matter slnce your hands don't have tlme to move far
enough to anect the shot ln such a short space of tlme.
8ut ln lower llght or wlth a small aperture, the shutter
speed needs to be slower. Once lt starts gettlng below
l/60th second or so, blurrlng of the plcture due to the
movement of your hands starts to become a danger.
lSN'T THlS WHAT THE FLASH lS FOR? ou may be puzzled
at thls polnt about why we don't [ust tell you to make sure
the nash ls swltched on ln low-llght shots (as lt wlll be
automatlcally lf the camera ls ln fully auto mode). The
slmple reason ls that when you use the lntegrated nash ln
your camera, you completely obllterate all the subtletles of
natural llghtlng. Try taklng a shot wlth the nash swltched
on and the same shot wlth lt swltched on. The nash shot
wlll be harsh, wlth hard shadows and very llttle sense of
depth. The nash lets you see what's there ln sharp rellef
and wlth no camera shake, but lt won't make a very good
By settlng a shutter
speed of around
1/15th of a second,
the movement of
the ywhee| of thls
steam englne ls made
more obvlous.
Uslng a medlum|ong
shutter speed of 1/10th
second has glven thls
shot of a seagu|| a nlce
abstract qua|lty, but
there's [ust enough detal|
|eft to see at a g|ance that
lt's a seagu||.

photograph. oucanget roundtheproblemtosomeextent
by uslng a dedlcated nash gun wlth a swlvelllng head, to
bounce llght on the celllng. 8ut these are expenslve and
hard to master, as well as belng unwleldy. |t's much better
to shoot wlth natural llght lf you can.
AVOlDlNG CAMERA SHAKE There are several strategles
you can use to mltlgate the posslblllty of your shots belng
rulned because of camera shake. The rst ls pretty obvlous:
hold the camera steady. The three maln ways you do that
are rst, to tuck your arms lnto your sldes when you take
a shot so they naturally act as a prop agalnst your chest.
Then, before you take the shot, breathe out. Plnally,
don't ever stab at the shutter release button. ou should
squeeze lt gently, then follow through by keeplng lt
pressed for half a second or so after the shot's been taken.
Do that and you'll be able to handhold the camera for
much slower shots.
Aslde from that, you can let the camera do some of the
work for you. |f you're ln low llght and you know that the
shutter speedls llkely tobe slow, popthe camera lntoburst
mode. when you take the shot, keep the camera as steady
as you can uslng the advlce above, but when you squeeze
the shutter, keep lt pressed and let the camera reel on
three or four shots. ou'll probably nd that one or two of
themwlll be sharper than the rest slnce the shutter release
wlll have fallen between two heart beats - belleve lt or not,
your pulse can have a slgnlcant enect on camera shake.
The nal plece of advlce ls slmple: zoom out. The
further you're zoomedln, the more pronouncedthe enects
of camera shake become. Thls ls a last resort, though: you
should compose your shots wlth the zoom set to the rlght
level for the composltlon rather than uslng lt as a tool to
avold camera shake lf you can (see p44).
It's a nlce memory, but
uslng the ash glves
a at, bunnylnthe
head|lghts |ook to
lndoor shots. There's
evldence of redeye,
too (see p128 for how
to dea| wlth thls).
Trylng to zoom ln on thls
squlrre| and catch a qulck
shot wlthout a fast enough
shutter speed has |ed
to camera shake and a
spol|ed shot. The hurrled
handhe|d nature of the
shot contrlbuted to the
effect - wlth a |ltt|e more
foreslght the photographer
cou|d have got lnto a more
stab|e posltlon.

THE OY OF lSO One of the thlngs a dlgltal camera can

do that a lm camera can't ls change lts |SO settlng - lts
sensltlvlty to llght. ou can read more about |SO on p64.
The relevant polnt here ls that by lncreaslng the |SO
settlng, youcanget a correct exposure wltha faster shutter
speed. And, of course, a faster shutter speed means less
chance of camera shake.
BRACE YOURSELF Havlng sald all that, one of the slmplest
ways of avoldlng shake ls to nd somethlng to brace
yourself agalnst. Lean up agalnst a doorway, rest your
elbow on the back of a chalr, crouch down and use your
own knee as a support. |f you're propped up agalnst
somethlng you'll nd you can hold the camera much
steadler. Obvlously, the ldeal solutlon ls to use a trlpod,
but they're blg and unwleldy thlngs to carry around wlth
you all the tlme. There are plenty of optlons ln camera
shops that are easler to cope wlth, though, from tlny
tabletop trlpods - whlch you can place on a convenlent
wall or ledge - to beanbag supports. These let you rest
the camera on uneven surfaces but get the shot level
wlth a blt of rearrangement. ou don't need to stlck to
speclc camera accessorles, of course, anythlng that
wlll let you place the camera on lt but re-orlentate to
frame the shot wlll do.
THE RULE OF THUMB One of the problems wlth camera
shake ls that lt's very dlmcult to detect. our shots may
look ne when you look at them on the camera's bullt-ln
monltor. Lven lf you zoom ln to the plcture lt mlght
look okay on the tlny screen on the back of the camera.
8ut then when you get back home and download the
plctures to your PC, the blurrlng ls palnfully obvlous.
what you can do here ls learn the baslc rule of thumb
to avold camera shake. The rule ls that you should
never shoot at less than"one over the equlvalent focal
length". whlch lsn't a terrlbly lntultlve thlng to say, but
bear wlth us, lt's actually pretty slmple. Say you have a
camera or DSLP lens wlth a focal length (zoom) range
of 30-l00mm equlvalent - see the panel to the rlght for
what thls means. The one-over-focal-length rule means
that when you're fully zoomed out you can get away
wlth a handheld shot down to around l/30th of a second.
8ut when fully zoomed ln (at l00mm), you should only
try handholdlng at a maxlmum of around l/l00th of a
second, because of the exacerbatlng enect of zoomlng
ln. Slmllarly, for a lens wlth an equlvalent range of,
say, 70-300mm, when at the wldest 70mm settlng you
can handhold for a mlnlmum of l/70th of second and
at full zoom you shouldn't attempt a handheld shot at
anythlng less than a fast l/300th of a second.
Obvlously, because shutter speed goes ln standard
lncrements, you have to adapt thls sllghtly - there's no
l/70th of a second shutter settlng on most cameras, so
you'd set your mlnlmum to the nearest speed you can
select (probably l/80th of a second ln thls case).
Like aperture, the local length ol a lens is a technical aspect ol camera design that
you don't have to worry about: you just have to know the ellect it has. Simply put, the
higher the local length number, the more magnihcation a lens has. Zoom lenses, ol
course, are specihed in terms ol their maximum and minimum local length (as well as
a simple multiplier rating such as 4x lor digital compacts - see p12). The smaller the
local length, the more wide angle the lens, and the more will ht in the lrame.
But it isn't quite as simple as that, since physical sizes ol camera have dillerent
local lengths lor the same magnihcation lactor. For that reason, to let you compare
the actual magnilying power ol a lens, they're olten specihed in terms ol a common
baseline called the 35mm equivalent local length or, more commonly, just the
equivalent local length. sing this baseline, the actual realworld results lrom a
lens can be expressed. For instance, a common equivalent length lor a wideangle
lens is 28mm. This gives a nice broad held ol view without introducing too many
distortions. Any lens with an equivalent length ol 28mm will give the same held
ol view. An equivalent length ol 50mm gives roughly the same magnihcation as
the human eye. When you get up to 100mm or so you're starting to get into the
highmagnihcation telephoto range, uselul lor sports and wildlile photography. A
popular class ol addon lenses lor digital SLPs is the superzoom 18200mm. The
equivalent length ol these is around 28320mm, giving a lull range lrom wide angle
to very high magnihcation telephoto.
A shot at 320mm equlva|ent.
The same scene at 28mm equlva|ent.
|f you're looklng for the best way lnto taklng hlgh-quallty plctures
wlth the maxlmumnexlblllty and creatlve potentlal, a DSLP ls the
only real cholce. Modern entry-level models are compact and well-
prlced, yet stlll able to oner stacks of features. Thls chapter guldes you
through the ranges avallable fromthe blg makers. One of the ma[or
benets of a DSLP ls lnterchangeable lenses - we'll look at those too.
The Canon EOS series
Cunon |s u xluro on lho
DSLP mur|ol. F|no oul whul |ls
prooucls cun oor phologruphors
|oo||ng or u o|g|lu| cumoru.
The Nikon D series
W|lh p|only o ullrucl|vo
ouluros lo gol lo gr|ps w|lh, o|scovor
whul lho ||on D Sor|os hus gol lhul
olhor DSLPs huvon'l.
The Sony AIpha range
Sony muy bo u ro|ul|vo|y
now numo on lho DSLP scono,
bul |ls cumorus huvo muoo u
hugo sp|ush.
OIympus and Pentax
Thoy muy nol grub u|| lho
houo||nos, bul lhoso slu|wurls o lho
phologruphy |nouslry uro sl||| go|ng
slrong uno uro worlh cons|oor|ng.
Other DSLR systems
A now c|uss o DSLP|||o
cumoru |s bocom|ng |ncrous|ng|y
popu|ur. Wo |oo| ul whul lho now
slunouro oors phologruphors.
Introducing DSLR
Thoro uro u numbor o |onsos you
cun uso lo onhunco your DSLP
urlhor. Lourn how.

The CanonLOS serles
Sales of Canon's dlgltal SLPs outstrlp all other brands, so
lf you're ln the market for a camera lt's the natural rst port
of call. The LOS range ltself has been around slnce l987
- way before dlgltal SLPs came on to the market. |n those
days, LOS cameras were lmcameras, some of whlch, such
as the LOS lv, are stlll belng sold.
The LOS range has one lncredlbly attractlve feature:
the lens mount. Known as the LP mount, lt's remalned
unchanged slnce the lnceptlon of the LOS range. The
advantage! Any LP lens wlll t any Canon LOS camera.
Obvlously you don't maglcally get benets that aren't ln
the lens. |f the lens lsn't autofocus you'll have to focus
manually, even on the most up-to-date LOS DSLP. 8ut
lt does mean that you can plck up old lenses for bargaln
prlces on sltes such as e8ay and experlment wlth them
wlthout havlngtoshell out hundreds of pounds for modern
optlcs. |n partlcular you can plck up old prlme lenses,
whlch have a xed focal length. These are not only cheaper
than zoomlenses, they often oner better quallty, too.
|t's not [ust the prlce of lenses that mlght prod you ln
the dlrectlon of Canon. 8ecause the LP mount has been
around so long and because Canon ls such a popular
brand, there's a huge selectlon of newoptlcs on the market
as well as used ones. These come not only fromCanon
but also thlrd-party manufacturers lncludlng Slgma and
Tamron. They also tend to be sllghtly less expenslve than
equlvalent-quallty lenses for other camera systems.
THE EOS DlGlTAL RANGE Canon can lay clalmto belng
the rst manufacturer to brlng an anordable DSLP to
the masses, back ln 2003. The LOS 300D (branded the
Dlgltal Pebel ln the US) was the rst model to be sold at
under l,000 ln a klt lncludlng a stock lens. That's pretty
expenslve by today's standards, but at the tlme lt was about
three tlmes cheaper thanthe nearest competltor. |t sported
a mere 6 megaplxels and a l.8ln screen. 8ut lts herltage
llves on: after the 300D came a successlon of evolved
models, ln the shape of the 350D, 400D, 450D (see below),
500D and 550D. These lncreased plxel counts to 8, l0 and
l2 megaplxels and beyond, and added automatlc sensor
see p82). The newer models also have larger screens.
Don'l orgol lhul you
cun olon p|c| up lho
prov|ous mooo| |n u
cumoru rungo or qu|lo
somo l|mo ulor u now
ono |s ro|ousoo. Tho
EOS 35CD romu|noo
uvu||ub|o ulor lho 4CCD
uno ovon 45CD woro
|nlrooucoo, uno lho
pr|co oroppoo lo |oss
lhun 3CC. Pomombor
lho mu|n uclor lhul
mu|os u ooconl pholo
|s lho phologruphor:
lho |ulosl uno
groulosl cumoru booy
mu|os ro|ul|vo|y ||ll|o
The predecessors of thls camera,
the EOS 450D, ushered ln the
era of affordab|e SLPs. The 450D
ltse|f makes a ne cholce as a
rst DSLP.
|f you're after a camera wlth a blt more of a professlonal
alr about lt, the'xxD' serles mlght appeal more. Startlng
wlth the LOS l0Dand nowup to the LOS 50D, the
serles lsn't qulte professlonal level, but does have larger,
more robust bodles. The 50Dactually has sllghtly fewer
megaplxels than the cheaper 550D- proof that megaplxels
aren't everythlng - but lts bulld ls much sturdler. |t also has
a much faster burst frame rate at 6.5 frames per second,
whlch ls almost twlce that of the 550D.
THE PROFESSlONAL EOS RANGE Canon cameras are used by
a huge proportlon of professlonal photographers, and very
nearly every sports photographer (take a look at the rowof
lenses onthesldellnes next tlmeyouwatchafootball match
- they're all llkely to have the tell-tale whlte or llght-grey
nlsh of Canon's professlonal 'L' serles). Professlonals are
catered for by the'xD' serles: sports photographers by the
LOS lDand fashlon, landscape and wlldllfe photographers
by the lDs. Currently both are up to Mk |||. The LOS lD
Mk ||| maxlmlses the chances of catchlng the moment
wlth a spectacular maxlmum burst rate of l0 frames per
second for up to ll0 frames. The LOS lDs Mk ||| works
slmllar mlracles on the detall front, onerlng an amazlng 2l
megaplxels. |ts lmage sensor ls also a"full-frame" model,
meanlng lt's the same slze as a frame of tradltlonal 35mm
lm. That's ln comparlson to the much smaller slze of
usual DSLP sensors, whlch are known as APS-C slze slnce
they're the slze of the now-defunct APS lm format. APS-C
sensors are themselves much larger than dlgltal compact
sensors, glvlng them better quallty, and the quallty of full-
frame sensors ls better stlll, wlth a greater ablllty to capture
the nuance of llght. Pull-frame sensors also allow a larger,
clearer vlewthroughthevlewnder, maklnglt conslderably
easler toframe shots andget anldea of howthey're llkely to
turn out once they've been prlnted.
8oth of the lD models have truly professlonal bulld
quallty, wlthlarge, bulky bodles. They're made todothe [ob
rather than looklng dlscreet. The serlous downslde ls the
prlce. Por [ust the body, wlthout a lens, you can expect to
pay more than 2,500 for a lD Mk ||| and an eye-waterlng
5,000+ for a lDs Mk |||.
ODD ONE OUT A strange llttle member of the famlly ls the
LOS 5D Mk ||. |t's a 2l-megaplxel, full-frame DSLP
wlth all the benets that confers, lncludlng great lmage
quallty and a blg vlewnder. |n some ways lt ls to the LOS
50D what the lDs ls to the lD - a camera for the serlous
amateur (you can expect to pay around 2,000 lncludlng a
good-quallty lens for a 5Dand lts successors) who wants to
shoot landscapes andstlll llfe-type shots rather thansports.
started what looks to be a new model llne ln the shape of
the LOS l000D (see above). Almed at beatlng the creeplng
prlce lnnatlon of recent models, the l000Dcomes ln below
the 550Drange, wlth sllghtly lower speclcatlons lncludlng
al0-megaplxel sensor, fewer autofocus polnts (seventothe
prlcler model's nlne) and a smaller 2.5ln screen. |t's also
smaller and llghter, resembllng the older 350D model of a
few years back.
To compete wlth |owercost
mode|s from lts competltors,
Canon has lntroduced the EOS
1000D serles. Its speclcatlons
are a |ltt|e |ower than the 450D
but, as wlth a|| EOS mode|s, the
|ens mount ls the same so you
can trade up |ater.

The NlkonDserles
Nlkon ls posslbly the best-known camera manufacturer ln
the world, wlth an envlable reputatlon. The company has
been maklng cameras slnce [ust after the Secondworld
war, and produced lts rst SLP camera ln l959. Por several
decades Nlkon was essentlally the only SLP cholce for
professlonal photographers and photo-[ournallsts.
Nlkon sunered a llttle durlng the l990s, when Canon
developed the LOS SLP range and LP-serles autofocus
lenses (see p30). The fast autofocus performance from
LP-based Canon SLPs meant that Nlkon lost ground to
Canon, whlch emerged as the most popular brand. Nlkon
ls stlll very popular, though, and the second largest-selllng
DSLP brand after Canon. |t's also been maklng up ground
recently wlth lts hlgh-end DSLPs (see below).
Llke Canon, Nlkon SLPs have a conslstent lens mount.
The P-mount has been around for decades, so there's no
shortage of both Nlkon lenses (usually branded Nlkkor)
and thlrd-party models. The sltuatlon wlth compatlblllty
of modern Nlkon lenses ls more compllcated than wlth
Canon-mount optlcs, however. The problem stems from
the fact that not all Nlkon autofocus lenses have the focus
motors bullt ln - they rely on a mechanlcal focus llnk to the
camera body, whlch drlves the focuslng mechanlsm.
Lenses for LOS cameras, by contrast, always have
separate focuslng motors bullt lnto the lens ltself. Part of
the phllosophy of LOS (whlch stands for Llectro-Optlcal
System) was that there would be only electronlc contact
between lens and body. The upshot ls that some of the
lower-end Nlkon D-serles bodles don't work wlth some
Nlkkor autofocus lenses, because they're not tted wlth
autofocus motors, prlmarlly ln order to keep the body as
compact as posslble.
So, lenses deslgnated AP rather than AP-S wlll be
manual-focus only. |f you're conslderlng a Nlkon D3000,
D5000 or D60, lt's somethlng to bear ln mlnd, although
all new lenses have been AP-S (lndlcatlng that they
lncorporate"sllent wave" autofocus motors) for some tlme,
so lt's not a huge lssue.
W|lh ||on DSLPs, lho
gonoru| ru|o o lhumb |s
lho h|ghor lho mooo|
numbor, lho bollor lho
cumoru. Bul bo curou|
upp|y|ng lho sumo ru|o
lo lho lop ono o lho
spoclrum. From lho D3
upwuros, supor|or
quu||ly ooos nol
corrospono w|lh
numor|cu| vu|uo.
The Nlkon D60 ls perhaps the best
cholce as a rst DSLP. It has Nlkon
qua|lty and lt's as cheap as chlps.
You can plck one up for |ess than 2350
wlth a goodqua|lty 1855mm klt |ens.
THE D SERlES RANGE Nlkon's namlng conventlon for most
of lts D-serles SLPs ls nlcely stralghtforward: the hlgher
the number, the better the camera. At the consumer level,
the Dxx serles conslsts of the D60 up to the D90 (see
pl4). The bottom-end D60 has a baslc speclcatlon, wlth
a l0-megaplxel sensor, but ls a perfectly capable camera
and can be plcked up for very reasonable prlces - less
than 300 lncludlngvAT. The D3000 has better headllne
speclcatlons, such as a l2-megaplxel sensor, and the D90
ls an enthuslast-level camera wlth chunky bulld quallty and
touches lncludlnga dedlcatedexposure-bracketlngbutton
(see p78 for more on bracketlng).
Golng up to the serlous amateur and seml-professlonal
level, the D300 and D300s compete wlth the llkes of
Canon's LOS 50D, onerlng more solld bulld. The newer
D700 goes a step further, comblnlng a full-frame sensor
and fast 5 frames per second burst rate. The prlce ls hlgh,
though, at around 2,000 for the body wlth a klt lens.
rule falters. Plvalllng Canon's LOS lDs ls the D3. Llke the
Canon model, thls features a full-frame sensor, dubbed
the PX format by Nlkon, as opposed to lts DX format,
whlch ls Nlkon's name for the APS-C-slzed sensor used
ln most DSLPs.
The more consumer-orlented Nlkon DSLPs such as the
D60 and D3000 are characterlsed by a chunky feel: many
people nd themeasler to hold and generally"frlendller"
feellng than the consumer-level Canon bodles. They also
have some dlstlnctlve features.
UNlQUE FEATURES Nlkon has ploneered an ln-camera
feature known as Actlve D-Llghtlng. Unllke most ln-camera
edltlng and retouchlng features, Actlve D-Llghtlng can be
very enectlve. |t amounts to a method of lncreaslng the
dynamlc range of a shot by boostlng shadowexposure and
decreaslng exposure ln hlghllghts. That means you can
get a slmllar enect to an HDP lmage (see pl46) wlthout
needlng multlple exposures. ou can't expose for such an
extreme dynamlc range as wlth HDP, but lt certalnly helps
ln llftlng shadowdetall when lt's needed.
Many of the D-serles cameras alsohave a feature unlque
to current DSLPs: the |SOAuto mode. Thls ls more than
[ust an automatlc |SOsettlng (see p64 for more on |SO).
ou can expllcltly programme the maxlmum|SOsensltlvlty
you deemto be acceptable - say, |SO400 - and then
also set the mlnlmumshutter-speed threshold at whlch
the camera wlll start to lncrease the sensltlvlty to keep the
shutter speedhlghenoughtoavoldcamera shake. |f you've
got a good steady hand and decent grlp technlque, you
can set the camera not to start lncreaslng the |SOsettlng
untll the shutter speed ls down to, say, l/l5th of second as
opposed to the l/60th or so that a completely automatlc
auto |SOsettlng wlll use. |t's llke tradltlonal aperture
prlorlty and shutter prlorlty modes (see p62), but for |SO.
The D90 ls a step up from the D60
and offers a more uptodate 12.3
megaplxe|s, sensordust remova|
and a faster burst rate.

The Sony Alpha range
Dlgltal SLPs are easlly the fastest-growlng camera market.
That's led Sony - whlch untll recently had no DSLPs ln
lts range - to [ump on the bandwagon. The company has
lots of experlence wlth dlgltal compacts, ln the formof lts
Cyber-shot range, but had never produced a dlgltal SLP
camera untll 2006.
To combat the establlshed players, Sony acqulred
technology developedby Konlca Mlnolta andbasedlts rst
camera heavlly on the Konlca's exlstlng Maxxumdeslgn.
Sony came ln wlth artlllery blazlng, and ln a bld
to outgun the establlshed players lt onered a feature
lntroduced by Konlca but much-lmproved by Sony's
englneers: lntegrated lmage stablllsatlon. Dubbed
SteadyShot, lt performs the same functlon as lmage-
stablllsed lenses, but by belng lntegrated lnto the body
lt enectlvely makes every lens lmage-stablllsed wlthout
the extra expense. |t works by physlcally movlng the
camera's sensor toaccommodatefor theless-than-perfectly
steady human hand, enectlvely allowlng you to take hand-
held shots around two to three stops slower than would
otherwlse be posslble wlthout lntroduclng vlslble camera
shake (see p26 for more).
The Al00 also brought lmage sensor-cleanlng to the
fray, whlch vlbrates the sensor to shake on dust partlcles.
At the tlme, the competltlon fromCanon and Nlkon dldn't
oner thls at an equlvalent prlce polnt. |t's nowstandard ln
stock klt lenses of both makers, but nelther yet oners the
ln-camera lmage stablllsatlonof Sony. Pentax andOlympus
do have models wlth ln-body stablllsatlon, though.
The lens mount of the Alpha range was also brought
over fromKonlca, glvlng Alpha users access to the range of
pre-exlstlnglenses, andSonyalsolntroducedlts ownrange.
However, the avallablllty of thlrd-party lenses uslng the
Alpha mount ls stlll relatlvely llmlted, and own-brand Sony
lenses tend to be expenslve.
Later Alpha models such as the A330 (below) have
addressed the clunky, utllltarlan looks of the earller Konlca
bodles. There's also an extenslon lnto the hlgher-end
market (although lt's stlll a very long way fromCanon or
Nlkon's professlonal cameras), wlth the A850 onerlng an
advanced 24-megaplxel full-frame CMOS sensor, 9-polnt
autofocus and sensltlvlty up to |SO6400. |ts prlce - about
l,700 - puts lt ln competltlon wlth the llkes of Nlkon's
D700 and Canon's LOS 5D Mk ||.
The Sony A|pha serles ls based on
Konlca's techno|ogy. The rst mode|s kept
the agrlcu|tura| |ooks of the o|d Konlca
cameras, but new bodles such as thls
A330 have a sharper, contemporary |ook.

What's this Live View

I keep hearing about?

A now ouluro on DSLPs,

sporloo by Sony mooo|s
us wo|| us O|ympus,
||on uno Cunon, L|vo
v|ow |ols you lu|o shols
us|ng lho cumoru's
scroon rulhor lhun lho
v|ownoor. ll wor|s by
|pp|ng up lho m|rror,
wh|ch |ols lho sonsor
o|sp|uy whul lho |ons
cun soo |n rou|l|mo.
ll cun bo usou| or
rum|ng uw|wuro
ovorlhohouo shols.
Although they're a blt less vlslble ln the DSLP market than
ln the days of lmSLPs, two of the grand old marques
of SLP photography - Olympus and Pentax - are stlll
very much allve and klcklng. wlth loyal users and some
lnterestlng models, they're worth conslderlng.
Olympus has carved a nlche for ltself by onerlng
exceptlonally compact DSLPs. The L-400 range, whlch
started wlth the L-4l0 and progressed to the L-420 and
L-450, are the llghtest and most compact DSLPs on the
market. Thelr sensor format - known as the Pour Thlrds
system- helps thls. Pour Thlrds cameras have a smaller
sensor than the APS-C of the ma[orlty of DSLPs (or the
full-frame sensors of the llkes of Canon's lDs Mk ||| and
Nlkon's D700). Slnce the sensor ls that much smaller, the
entlre physlcal deslgn of the lens mount and the optlcs that
go wlth lt can be more compact, too. To partner lts L-400
range, as well as a standard l4-42mmklt lens there's also a
compact xed-focal-length25mm"pancake"lens that's only
24mmdeep, maklng for a super-compact travel setup.
The smaller sensor of Pour Thlrds cameras means that
theabsolutelmagequalltyof theresults theoretlcallylsn't as
hlgh as DSLPs wlth APS or full-frame sensors. However, a
Pour Thlrds sensor stlll has a surface area almost ten
tlmes larger than that of a standard dlgltal compact. A Pour
Thlrds sensor measures around l7 x l3mm, compared to
the 6 x 4mmor so of a typlcal compact-camera sensor.
very small DSLPs aren't Olympus's only range. The
hlgher-end L-600 serles caters for more tradltlonal amateur
photographers, whllethedouble-dlglt Lserles caters for the
mld-range. The L-30, for lnstance, ls a capable mld-range
model that trumps some of lts competltors wlth features
such as a 4fps burst mode. Up at the hlgh end, there's less
actlvlty ln Olympus's range, but check over the page for an
lnterestlng newdlrectlon ln lts models.
The name Pentax wlll be famlllar to many, and the
company ls stlll produclng good DSLP cameras wlth
an lndlvldual twlst. The K200D, for lnstance, takes AA
batterles, whlch appeals to travellers ln remote reglons.
Pentax ls also stlll actlve at the lowto mld-range end of
the market, recently releaslng lts cute consumer-focused
K-x model, whlch comes ln a cholce of colours and boasts
HDvldeo recordlng as well as stllls capablllty. Llsewhere, lts
K-mls a low-cost rlval to the llkes of the Nlkon D3000, wlth
a prlce of well under 400.
Tradltlona| marques such as O|ympus have a |oya|
fo||owlng and produce some great cameras. The
O|ympus E420 and E450 can |ay c|alm to belng the
|lghtest, most compact DSLPs around. perfect lf you
want a camera to keep wlth you at a|| tlmes.
Olympus andPentax

Other DSLP-llke systems
|n 2009 a newclass of camera began to appear, and lt's
galnlng ground ln 20l0. |t's an extenslon of the Pour Thlrds
system, ploneered by Olympus and Panasonlc.
Thls newstandard, called Mlcro Pour Thlrds, ls gettlng
a good deal of attentlon, wlth several models nowreleased
by both companles. The denlng characterlstlc of all of
themls that they're very compact, almlng to be as small,
llght and portable as posslble but retalnlng SLP quallty.
|nltlally very expenslve, prlces are startlng to become
more reallstlc, wlth models such as the Olympus L-Pl PLN
system(lnsplredby the orlglnal Olympus Penmodel halllng
fromthe late l950s) nowavallable for around 500. Some
models based on the system, such as Panasonlc's Lumlx
GHl (plctured opposlte), remaln an expenslve optlon slnce
they're deslgned as a replacement for both a stllls camera
and an HDprofesslonal-level camcorder. The GHl comes
wlth a l4-l40mmzoomlens that's far superlor to most klt
lenses, and hence lt's far more expenslve.
THE NEW SYSTEMMlcro Pour Thlrds cameras have a sensor
the same slze as that of Pour Thlrds cameras such as the
Olympus L-450 on the prevlous page. That means the
baslc level of quallty ls closer to a DSLP than a compact
camera, wlth lower nolse levels at hlgh |SO(see p64 for
more on |SO), and much better dynamlc range, whlch
avolds the cllpped hlghllghts of compacts and glves shots
a more natural look. ou also get greater potentlal for the
photographlc creatlvlty that SLP-style lnterchangeable
lenses brlngs. |n fact, you can t Pour Thlrds-standard
lenses to the newsystemwlth an adapter, although some
of the lens functlons may not work - lt's better to use a
dedlcated Mlcro Pour Thlrds lens. Lens cholce ls far more
llmlted than for establlshed standards such as Canon's LP
lenses or Nlkon's P-mount, but there ls the optlon of a few
xed-focal-length models, as well as zooms.
The dlnerence between standard and Mlcro Pour
Thlrds lles ln the mechanlcal speclcatlons relatlng to the
lens mount and dlmenslons, rather than the sensor. Mlcro
Pour Thlrds' dlmenslons are dellberately very compact - so
compact that there's no roomfor the tradltlonal renex
mlrror that denes a true DSLP. The compact specs mean
lt's posslbletoproducecameras that, lntheory, glvethebest
of both worlds: DSLP quallty wlth compact-camera welght
and dlmenslons.
Thls O|ympus EPL1 ls one of the |atest
Mlcro Four Thlrds cameras. Its 350g
welght and compact dlmenslons are far
|ess than a standard DSLP, but lmage
qua|lty ls very much ln the DSLP c|ass.
l you'ro cons|oor|ng ono
o lhoso now mooo|s,
romombor lhul lho
rungo o uccossor|os
such us |onsos uno
|lors |s moro ||m|loo
lhun moro oslub||shoo
cumoru ormuls.
The Mlcro Four Thlrds system a||ows lncredlb|y
compact DSLPsty|e cameras that can a|so record
HD vldeo. The Panasonlc Lumlx GH1 here ls one of
the rst, wlth other manufacturers such as O|ympus
expected to produce thelr own verslons.

And to some extent lt succeeds. The quallty fromthe

newmodels easlly outstrlps any compact camera, glvlng
the expected DSLP-level lmages, albelt not qulte at the
plnnacle of dlgltal quallty slnce Mlcro Pour Thlrds (and
standard Pour Thlrds) cameras use sllghtly smaller sensors
than the ma[orlty of DSLPs. 8ut for many shots you'd be
hard-pushed to tell the dlnerence, partlcular at low|SO
settlngs below|SO400.
DRAWBACKS One thlng you don't get wlth a Mlcro Pour
Thlrds camera ls the super-fast response and lack of shutter
lag-thedelaybetweenpresslngtheshutter andthecamera
actually taklng the shot. That's because true DSLPs use
a focuslng systemcalled phase-detectlon. Thls ls very fast
- fractlons of a second for a good DSLP - but lt needs a
mlrror, to dlvert some of the llght enterlng the lens on to
a dedlcated autofocus sensor. |nstead, Mlcro Pour Thlrds
cameras use the maln lmage sensor ltself, and focus uslng a
method called contrast detectlon. Thls ls the same as dlgltal
compact cameras, andlt's muchslower - well over a second
ln most cases, whlch ls more than enough to mlss a shot. To
get anythlng llke DSLP performance, you have to resort to
manually pre-focuslng so the autofocus step ls ellmlnated.
|t's anlnterestlngdlsclpllne, but far fromldeal lnmost cases.
A second drawback relates to lens changes. 8ecause
there's no mlrror ln these cameras, when you come to take
one lens on and t another one, you must be extremely
careful: the sensor assembly ls completely exposed and lles
only around l.5cmaway fromyour rulnously olly ngers. |f
you do touch the sensor (or, more accurately, the low-pass
lter dlrectly ln front of lt) a trlp to the repalr shop may well
be ln order. Thus you should try to llmlt the number of lens
changes, and be very wary when you change them.
NEW TERMlNOLOGY 8ecause the newmodels can't be
called DSLPs but have more ln common wlth DSLPs than
standard compacts, many ln the lndustry are nowreferrlng
to"lnterchangeable-lens" cameras as an umbrella termfor
DSLPs and Mlcro Pour Thlrds DSLP-allkes.
Despltethesllght drawbacks, thenewformat hasfounda
lot of favour wlthamateurs whowant anexlble, hlgh-quallty
dlgltal camera that's not as bulky as tradltlonal systems.
|n late 2009 Mlcro Pour Thlrds accounted for l0%of all
lnterchangeable-lens systems sold ln the UK, whlch ls
lmpresslve for such a young system.
ALTERNATlVES Plcoh has recently come fromleft-eld wlth
lts own, completely orlglnal lnterchangeable-lens format.
|ts GXP systemnot only has lnterchangeable lenses but
complete lnterchangeable modules contalnlng both lens
and sensor. |t's an lnterestlng approach but not one we'd
recommend a beglnner - or lndeed anyone - to conslder
untll thls new, very expenslve systemhas been shown to
stand the test of tlme.
Probably the greatest advantage of an SLP camera ls the
enormous rangeof dlnerent lenses youcanuse. At thebaslc
level lt slmply allows dlnerent focal lengths, ranglng from
super-wlde-angle to extreme telephoto (see p27 for more
on focal length). 8ut there's more to conslder than [ust the
length of the camera focus. Maxlmum aperture ls a very
lmportant part of a lens's speclcatlon, and the wlder the
maxlmumthe more expenslve - and heavler - the lens wlll
be (see p22 for more on the enects of aperture).
Swapplng a DSLP lens ln a compatlble camera ls the
workof acoupleof seconds-[ust depressthereleasebutton
on the camera body, twlst to free the old lens and slot the
new one back ln lts place.
DlGlTAL SPEClFlC LENSES Many new lenses for SLPs now
belngreleasedaredescrlbedas belngdlgltal-speclc. There
are two aspects to thls. Many are deslgned speclcally for
cameras wlth APS-C slzed sensors, rather than full-frame
35mm. Thls ls an lmportant llmltatlon slnce they're
deslgned to pro[ect an lmage clrcle that covers only the
smaller slze of an APS sensor. |f you attach a deslgned-for-
dlgltal APS-C lens to a 35mm lm camera, or a full-frame
professlonal-level camera such as the Nlkon D700, the
result wlll be severe'vlgnettlng', wlth darkened corners to
all your lmages. There's a benet to lenses deslgned for
these sensors, though - they can be more compact and
produced more cheaply than full-frame verslons. 8ut you
need to bear ln mlnd your lens cholce lf you're plannlng
ever to upgrade to a full-frame dlgltal camera, whlch may
become more prevalent ln the future.
FLARE AND GHOSTlNG The second reason a lens mlght
be classed as belng deslgned for dlgltal use ls down to the
coatlngs used on the glass. Thls lsn't merely a marketlng
ploy to get you to buy more expenslve lenses, even though
your old lm-camera lenses mlght t perfectly well on your
newdlgltal body. |f you do use your old lm-speclc lenses
you may well nd that ln some llghtlng condltlons your
plctures turn out almost unusable, wlth very low contrast,
plus bloomlng and halo enects around brlght parts of the
lmage. Dlgltal cameras arefar morepronetothebadenects
of llght bounclng around lnslde the lens and the camera
body. Thls ls because of the constructlon of dlgltal sensors.
To maxlmlse the use of all avallable llght, every plxel
element of a sensor ls covered by a tlny mlcrolens. These
tend to plck up lndlrect, stray llght very readlly, leadlng to
llght contamlnatlon and unwanted enects on your lmages.
Dlgltal-speclc coatlngs are deslgned to absorb that stray
llght, masslvely reduclng lts enect.
|f you do use your old, non-dlgltal-speclc lenses wlth
your DSLP, you can reduce these slde-enects by paylng
careful attentlon to the posltlon of llght sources ln your
Thls ls the re|atlve|y cheap, stock 1855mm |ens supp|led wlth
Canon's newer DSLPs, featurlng optlca| lmage stabl|lsatlon.
The aftermarket EFS range ls a step up ln qua|lty. Thls ls the
1022mm EFS mode| for wldeang|e photography.

A|lhough u |ons w|lh

zoom ub|||ly shou|o
lhoorol|cu||y g|vo you
moro cho|co |n how
you shool your subjocl,
|l's oxlromo|y o|cu|l
lo gol |ow o|slorl|on
uno p|nshurpnoss
lhroughoul lho zoom
rungo. Cons|oor |nslouo
u pr|mo |ons, wh|ch w|||
g|vo you on|y ono |onglh
lo worry uboul.
shots. |f the sun or brlght llghts are anywhere ln front
of the lens, try to shleld lt, elther by slmply holdlng an
outstretched hand or by uslng a lens hood.
LENS TYPES Lenses for DSLPs can be spllt lnto two baslc
categorles: prlmes lenses and zooms. The dlnerence ls
slmple: prlme lenses have a xed focal length, zooms can
vary thelr magnlcatlon.
WHY PRlME? The lmmedlate reactlon of most novlces to
the ldea of a lens that doesn't have a zoom ls slmply to ask,
"why!" A zoom ls more versatlle, why would you want an
lnnexlble xed lens! The answer comes down to quallty
and cost. |t's extremely dlmcult to deslgn a zoom lens
wlthlowdlstortlonandpln-sharpness throughout lts zoom
range. And the wlder the zoom range, the more dlmcult
the problem becomes (see superzooms below). wlth a
prlme lens, however, the deslgner has only one focal length
to worry about. That means prlme lenses are often very
sharp lndeed. what's more, wlth fewer glass elements ln a
prlme lens, there's less chance of lnternal renectlons wlth
the elements, whlch reduces nare and lmproves contrast.
Plnally, for a glven level of quallty, the slmpler deslgn and
constructlon of a prlme lens means they're usually cheaper
and llghter as an added bonus.
The top of Canon's range ls the 'L' serles, denoted by the red strlpe
around the barre|. L |enses are the cholce of many professlona|s.
A common slght at sports events ls a sea of the dlstlnctlve
whlte Lserles te|ephoto g|ass.
ZOOM LENSES |t has to be sald, however, that very
few professlonal photographers now use prlme lenses
except ln studlo condltlons. |n recent years the
technology behlnd zooms has meant that the best are
extremely close ln terms of quallty to prlme lenses,
and the convenlence factor means new prlme lenses
are produced only very rarely. That sald, most serlous
amateurs andprofesslonals stlll havethreeor four lenses
ln thelr klt bag. ou'll usually nd a zoom coverlng
the wlde-angle end of the spectrum, perhaps around
l0-22mm, a'mlddllng' zoom that wlll cover most
everyday sltuatlons, typlcally around l8-70mm, and a
telephoto for thlngs suchas wlldllfe photography, the most
common range for these belng 70-200mmor 70-300mm.
SUPERZOOMS A relatlvely newclass of lens ls known
as the superzoom. The almof these ls to replace a bag
full of lenses wlth one that covers the whole range of
focal lengths fromtrue wlde-angle to telephoto. The rst
generatlon of superzooms had a range of l8-200mm
(28mm-320mmequlvalent). Models wlth thls range are
avallable fromCanon, Nlkon, Slgma, Tamron and several
further, the range has become even more extreme - for
example, Tamron nowhas an l8-270mmmodel, whlch ls
equlvalent to a l5x zoomrange.
Superzooms are made posslble for a couple of reasons.
The rst ls contlnulng advances ln optlcs and lens
constructlon technology. The second ls that the ma[orlty of
themare deslgned for APS-C sensors only, whlch helps to
keep thelr bulk and welght down.
whlle a superzoomcan make a great 'carry-around' lens
that's ready for any everyday sltuatlon (they're partlcularly
good for holldays where you're not able to take your whole
klt bag), they have thelr drawbacks. Plrst, they're not usually
especlally fast, averaglngf/3.5at wlde-angletoaroundf/5.6
at maxlmumtelephoto. That means depth-of-eld enects
can be that much more dlmcult to achleve, and low-llght
photography wlthout camera shake can be dlmcult too,
especlally at maxlmumzoomwhere the aperture ls at
lts mlnlmumand camera-shake ls exacerbated by the
magnlcatlon factor. To mltlgate the second of those
enects, superzooms are nowappearlng that feature lmage
stablllsatlon, as wlth the Nlkon l8-200mmmodel ln the
plcture opposlte. 8ecause of the large number of glass
elements lna superzoom, there's morechanceof unwanted
enects such as nare and ghostlng.
lDENTlFYlNG LENSES Unllke most other types of product,
lenses aren't ldentled by model names or numbers. The
prlmary way of dlstlngulshlng themls by focal length and
maxlmumaperture. 8eyond that they often have varlous
prexes and sumxes lndlcatlng thelr relatlve quallty and
features you'll learn as you go along.
ou should bear ln mlnd that lens names are very
preclse, andsomearesoslmllar lt's easy toget confused. Por
example, Canonuntll recently hadtwodlnerent 70-300mm
zoomlenses. One was called the 70-300mmf/4.5-5.6 |S
USM, the other the 70-300mmf/4.5-5.6 DO|S USM. The
DOverslon was roughly twlce the slze and twlce the prlce.
Canon also has four dlnerent 70-200mmprofesslonal 'L'
serles lenses, wlthandwlthout lmage stablllsatlonandwlth
elther f/4 or f/2.8 maxlmumaperture.
manufacturers all have a wlde range of thelr own lenses
to t thelr cameras. Nlkon and Canon ln partlcular have
a very large range of thelr own optlcs. 8elleve lt or not,
Canon has over 70 dlnerent models ln lts current LP lens
range. Desplte thls, there's stlll a healthy market from
thlrd-party lens manufacturers, wlth the two blggest belng
Tamron and Slgma. The latter manufacturer does ln fact
make lts own cameras but lts lens dlvlslon ls a much blgger
part of lts buslness. The maln thlng that the thlrd-party
manufacturers oner ls value: havlng a manufacturer-
branded lens commands a prlce premlum.
whllemost professlonalsprlmarllytendtochooselenses
made by thelr camera manufacturer, Slgma andTamron
both make some excellent models. To take one example,
Tamron's 28-75mmf/2.8 XP Dl lens (see the rlght-hand
lmage on p23) has users who swear lt's as sharp as any
professlonal-level lens, for a fractlon of the prlce. The thlrd-
partymanufacturers alsotendtobemoreadventurous wlth
brlnglng out newclasses of lens - they spearheaded the
superzoomrevolutlon, for lnstance.
A nal polnt to remember ls that when buylng a
thlrd-party lens, lt's lmportant to speclfy the correct mount.
Lach lens ls usually produced ln several dlnerent verslons
to accommodate dlnerent makes, and a Canon-mount lens
lsn't much use on an Olympus camera.
SPEClALlST LENSES Por speclallst photography, there are
varlous nlche categorles of lens. The most popular of
these are macro lenses. whlle the term'macro' tends to
be applled to any lens wlth the ablllty to focus at a short
dlstance fromthe sub[ect, true macro lenses are dlnerent.
A genulne macro lens ls able to reproduce the ob[ect ln
front of lt at equal to or greater than llfeslze on the lmage
sensor. Thls allows for true close-up work. Genulne macro
Nlkon's stock 1855mm |ens, wlth VP optlca| lmage stabl|lsatlon.
Oua|lty of Nlkon's stock |enses ls above average.

For h|gh|y oolu||oo

c|osoup wor|, u
spoc|u||sl mucro |ons
w||| ucluu||y roproouco
your subjocl ul lho
sumo s|zo or |urgor lhun
||o on lho |mugo sonsor.
Posourch|ng u w|oo
rungo o |onsos cun
u||ow you lo bocomo
vory spoc|c |n how you
chooso lo roprosonl
your subjocl.
lenses tendtobe prlmes, andthe most popular focal length
ls 90-l00mm. They're not cheap, though: expect to pay
around 300 for a true macro prlme lens.
More esoterlc - and more expenslve - are tllt-and-
shlft lenses. These have elements that can be skewed, to
dlstort the perspectlve of an lmage. They're prlmarlly used
ln archltectural photography to"stralghten" the sldes of
bulldlngs ln shots taken from street level.
HlGHEND LENSES There's more to a lens than [ust zoom
range. Sharpness, contrast and colour reproductlon are
all lmportant qualltles. Some lenses have galned almost
legendary status and become hlghly sought-after and
expenslve classlcs when productlon stops. Manufacturers
tend to have hlgh-end ranges for the professlonal, wlth
lmage quallty matched by hefty constructlon deslgned to
take the rough and tumble of heavy use, marked out by
gold nashes and so on. |nternet forums are a great way of
gettlngtogrlps wlththe many folbles andcharacterlstlcs of
varlous hlgh-end lens ranges and types.
BOKEHoumayseethls rather strangewordusedlnrelatlon
to a partlcular lens. |nternet chat forums about lenses ln
partlcular sometlmes seemto be sllghtly obsessedwlththe
sub[ect. whenshootlngwltha narrowdepthof eld, bokeh
ls the quallty of the out-of-focus area of the lmage. Thls
varles a surprlslng amount. Alens that's consldered to have
good bokeh wlll showsoft blurrlng, whereas one that's not
caused by the shape of the aperture blades.
lMAGE STABlLlSATlON A feature that's qulckly galnlng
ground ls lmage stablllsatlon. Once the preserve of
extremely expenslve lenses, lt's recently found lts way
lnto even the cheapest stock lenses sold wlth DSLP klts.
|mage stablllsatlon works by senslng camera shake uslng
gyroscopes, and tlltlng an element ln the lens very qulckly
to compensate. Most of these lenses glve between two and
three stops of leeway. |n other words, lf you can normally
hand-hold a lens down to l/l25th second before camera
shake, a stablllsed lens wlll let you get away wlth an
exposure as slow as l/30th or even l/l5th of a second.
Thls ls an examp|e of a superzoom, wlth a foca||ength range
spannlng from wldeang|e 18mm to te|ephoto 200mm.
For wl|d|lfe shots on a budget, you can plck up the |lkes of thls Nlkon
70300mm lmagestabl|lsed |ens for a few hundred pounds.

your shots
Snupp|ng b||no|y won'l usuu||y
gol you vory ur. P|c| up somo
po|nlors horo.
Thoro's moro lo |unoscupos lhun jusl
no|ng un |oy|||c spol uno po|nl|ng
lho cumoru ul |l. T|m|ng |s cruc|u|.
in macro
C|osoup phologruphy cun lu|o you
lo u prov|ous|y unsoon wor|o. Porocl
or owor uno |nsocl p|cluros.
Th|s |s whoro huv|ng lho pul|onco
o u su|nl cun puy o. Choc| lho
woulhor orocusl, uno gooo |uc|.
Getting the
dream-Iike Iook
Shool|ng wulor cun proouco somo
o lho mosl bouul|u| pholos you cun
|mug|no, uno |l's oouo ousy.
in snow
Evor como buc| rom u w|nlor
puruo|so lo no you woro uppuronl|y
ho||ouy|ng |n s|uogo? Horo's why.
Shooting sunsets
Ono o lho ous|osl wuys
lo gol u n|cobulbor|ng shol |s
snupp|ng u sunsol. Bul you cun
mu|o |l bollorl
at night
Tho joy o |ongoxposuro
phologruphy |s un uoo|cl|vo ono. Ool
your rsl h|l by o||ow|ng our uov|co.
sports and action
E||m|nulo lhoso shols o somoono's
rocoo|ng |ol ool by o||ow|ng our
uov|co on ucl|on pholos.
Obvlously, lf there were three slmple steps to becomlng a master
photographer, everyonewhowantedtocouldbecomeaprofesslonal.
|t lsn't qulte that easy, but what ls easy ls learnlng some well-
establlshedprlnclples of technlque andcomposltlon. As well as dolng
that, ln the followlng pages we'll glve you polnters on how to take
speclctypesof shots. Onceyou'rearmedwlthsomebaslcknowledge,
you'll be amazed at how slmple lt ls to lmprove your photography.

Composlngyour shots
The Prench street and documentary photographer
Henrl Cartler-8resson ls often halled as the greatest
photographer who ever llved. 8ut the bulk of hls most
famous work was takenonthe streets of Parls wltha slmple
black-and-whlte rangender camera (a rangender has a
separate vlewnder, llke the optlcal vlewnder on a dlgltal
compact, as opposed to the through-the-lens vlew of an
SLP). Cartler-8resson used no trlpod, no nash and had
no extra equlpment. what he dld have was an unearthly
knack of seelng a shot before lt happened and snapplng
the shutter at what he called the declslve moment. Thls ls
the moment when presslng the shutter button captures a
shot that embodles thescenearoundyou, eventhoughthe
photo ltself ls a statlc plcture devold of the sounds, smells
and motlon that colour a lot of our everyday experlence.
we can't all be Cartler-8ressons, unfortunately, but we
can learn a lot from hls approach. Decent photography
- partlcularly candld people photography - ls all about
tlmlng and composltlon. The cheapest camera ln the
world wlll stlll glve you a great shot lf you plck your
moment and thlnk about how you've framed the plcture.
That sald, for some types of photo - landscape
photography ls an obvlous one - a sharp, hlgh-quallty
lens and a good camera are pretty much essentlal.
Decent klt never hurts, but don't get obsessed wlth the
latest and greatest. wlth the cost of hlgh-end dlgltal
compacts and dlgltal SLPs gettlng lower almost by the
day, you don't need to spend more than a few hundred
pounds toget yourself equlpment as goodas aprofesslonal
would have used - and pald a few thousand for - three or
four years ago.
TAKE LOTS OF SHOTS ou'll see thls slmple advlce ln
other chapters, too, and we make no apologles for
repeatlng lt. Pemember that lt costs you nothlng to
take a dlgltal photo. So take lots! Por every shot that a
professlonal photographer releases to the world at large,
they wlll have taken dozens that dldn't make the grade.
And lf the pros don't feel bad about taklng lots of plctures
and plcklng the best, nelther should you. Peadlng about
photography ls a good start, but the best thlng to do ls
slmply get out there and start shootlng.
we don't mean you should [ust keep snapplng the
shutter lndlscrlmlnately, though - try to keep thlnklng
about how your shots wlll turn out. ou can easlly ll a
whole book on technlques ln photographlc composltlon,
but read on for some conclse polnters on ways you can
thlnk about lmprovlng your photographlc enorts.
Puttlng the camera on the oor has glven thls shot
more of a sense of geometry and perspectlve.
Changlng ang|es can glve a shot more lnterest.
The ob[ect ln the foreground ls a meta| bench.
Th|s p|cluro
wor|s |nsour
us lho runnor |s
pos|l|onoo so us
lo bo mov|ng |nlo
lho rumo.
...bul lho
spo||s lho shol,
purl|cu|ur|y lho
poop|o sluno|ng
on lho puvomonl
oruw|ng lho oyo
uwuy rom lho
Tho o|slrucl|ng
co|our o lho
lruc cono |s
u|so u prob|om.
DON'T TELL PEOPLE TO SAY CHEESE There aren't many ways
of ensurlng you get a dull plcture that are qulte as certaln
as drawlng attentlon to the fact that you're taklng one. As
soon as you tell people to"smlle!" they'll turn to face the
camera dlrectly, tense up and look as awkward as they're
ever golng to. Added to that, of course, ls the fact that
many people wlll recoll ln horror and you'll get the classlc
hand-ln-front-of-the-face shot.
A candld plcture ls almost always better than a posed
shot, so try practlslng your stealth technlques (Cartler-
8ressonls saldto have wrappedhls camera lnblack tape to
make lt less consplcuous). A common technlque for street
photographers ls tocomeacross asltuatlonwheretheycan
"see" a potentlally lnterestlng shot ln thelr head. They then
pre-focus and preset the exposure settlngs, and walt for
people to enter the frame or naturally move lnto the rlght
posltlon. Then they'll qulckly ralse the camera and re on
the shot. Pemember that once you've taken a couple of
plctures, most people wlll knowyou're there. At that polnt,
lf you really must, you can do the artlclal group shot for
the famlly album.
|t goes wlthout saylng, of course, that people's prlvacy
should be respected. Although there's no law ln the UK
agalnst taklng people's photos ln a publlc place, take lt
from us that people you don't know wlll sometlmes react
badly when they reallse you're taklng thelr plcture.
slngle most common mlstake that photographlc novlces
make ls only to look at thelr sub[ect when taklng a photo.
8ut when people - lncludlng you - come to look at the
results afterwards lt's not [ust the malnsub[ect they'll focus
on, lt's the whole plcture, and unwanted background
clutter can dlstract from the sub[ect enough to spoll the
shot completely. |f you've trled to take a nlce subtle plcture
of a robln on a fence post, for lnstance, a brlght yellow
1C8 dlgger ln the background lsn't golng to help wlth the
mood. And lf you've [ust captured a polgnant shot of your
chlld comlng out of hls or her rst day at school, you don't
want to get lt up on your PC's screen afterwards only to
see another small chlld ln the background wlth hls nger
up hls nose!
Take a look at any professlonal shot and you'll see that
the photographer has arranged themselves so that the
backgroundls elther empty, lnkeeplngwlththetoneof the
maln sub[ect or, lf that wasn't posslble, thrown out of focus
by uslng as wlde an aperture as posslble (see p22). when
you're composlng your shots you should try to alter the
A c|asslc use
of the ru|e of
thlrds. a slng|e
tree ln a e|d.
More over|eaf.

camera angle and framlng to keep unwanted ob[ects out
of the frame. 8rlghtly coloured ob[ects - partlcularly red -
tend to have a serlously detrlmental enect.
RULE OF THlRDS Most people have heard of the rule of
thlrds, and lt lsn't a bad guldellne. |t slmply says that when
you're composlng a plcture, the most conventlonally
attractlve and pleaslng composltlon ls often when you
have the maln sub[ect placed at one-thlrd or two-thlrds of
the way along the frame, ldeally at the lntersectlon of a
horlzontal and vertlcal llne of thlrds. Thls ls as opposed to
plonklng the maln sub[ect slap-bang ln the centre of the
frame, whlch ls the most temptlng thlng to do but often
makes for a dull shot.
The drawback ls that slavlshly followlng the rule of
thlrds wlll leadtoall your plctures belnggoodbut not great.
They'll all followthe same safe method and won't tend to
be very lnsplrlng. That's why the rule of thlrds ls the rst
rule you should break once you have some condence ln
your composltlon abllltles. And, agaln, lt's an area where
the fact that taklng a dlgltal photo costs nothlng ls a boon.
Take a nlce, safe rule-of-thlrds plcture, then do somethlng
unconventlonal wlth the same sub[ect. |t's free!
COMPOSE FOR YOUR SUBECT |t's an obvlous thlng to
say, but not all ways of composlng a plcture work for all
sltuatlons. Agoodshot wlll oftenbecomposedlnsympathy
wlththesub[ect. Perhaps themost obvlous exampleof that
ls when you're taklng a plcture of a movlng sub[ect - say,
a runner. ou can use the rule of thlrds here, but whlch
thlrd! Clearly, lf the runner ls movlng from left to rlght
across the shot, lt's best to frame the plcture so that they're
at the left-hand thlrd. That way, they'll seem to be runnlng
lnto the clear space ln the centre of the shot (see p44).
|f you posltlon them on the rlght lt wlll look as lf they're
about to run lnto the brlck wall of the edge of the frame.
DON'T BE AFRAlD TO CROP Thls ls a hot toplc. Some
taken lt ls a fallure and you should have composed lt
correctly beforehand. 8ut so what! A plcture ls a plcture.
|t can be fun to dlsclpllne yourself never to crop your shots
and always to try to get the composltlon rlght before you
shoot, but cropplngcanoftenmakethedlnerencebetween
a rulned shot wlth someone's nger ln the frame and a
great memory. Get ln there wlth your photo software's
cropplng tool and be done wlth lt. The thlng to bear ln
mlnd ls that lf you go ln for very extreme cropplng and
keep only a small sectlon of the orlglnal frame, your
newly cropped plcture wlll have a much lower resolutlon.
|n other words, you may have chopped an 8-megaplxel
plcture down to, say, 4 megaplxels. Thls wlll llmlt the
slze at whlch you can prlnt the resultlng plcture wlthout
lt gettlng blocky and plxellated (see pl84 for more on
calculatlng how large you can prlnt an lmage).
THlNK ABOUT FOCAL LENGTH The ma[orlty of people
use the zoom lens of thelr camera slmply to ad[ust the
Thls slmp|e shot
works maln|y because
the ru|e of thlrds ls
app|led. If the knot
were ln the centre of
the frame lt wou|d be a
|ot |ess lnterestlng.

number of thlngs that are vlslble ln the shot. Thls ls the

wrong way to use zoom! The focal length of the camera
has a huge lmpact on the way a shot wlll turn out besldes
[ust determlnlng how much you can see of what's there.
Pememberthatataverywlde-anglesettlng, theperspectlve
of ashot wlll seemtobeexaggeratedanddlstorted. Ob[ects
close to the camera wlll seemto be curved, whlch can glve
a sllghtly nlghtmarlsh, hall-of-mlrrors look to people. Thls
mlght be what you want for the shot you have ln mlnd,
but lt certalnly lsn't natterlng. Por the best portralts, the
most popular focal lengthls amedlum-telephotosettlngof
aroundl00mmequlvalent (seep27for moreonequlvalent
focal lengths), and to frame the sub[ect's face for that you'll
need to move back several feet.
Conversely, there are tlmes when you don't want to be
zoomed ln. Settlng the camera to lts maxlmum zoom wlll
nattenperspectlve, sothat evenob[ects separatedby qulte
some dlstance wlll seem close together. Thls ls the last
thlng you want lf you're trylng to get a sense of the scale of
a large sub[ect such as a cathedral. Pather than shootlng
the outslde from half a mlle away as soon as you see lt, try
walklng rlght up to lt, settlng the wldest zoom and then
taklng the shot. |t wlll seemto loommuch more enectlvely
that way.
So, the rlght way to use zoom ls to work out the focal
length that wlll be best for the plcture you're trylng to
get and then move yourself - not the zoom - to compose
the plcture ln terms of what ls and what lsn't captured
ln the frame. our body should do the zoomlng, not the
lens. Occaslonally, of course, you'll be restrlcted ln how
close or how far away you can physlcally move yourself ln
relatlon to the sub[ect. |n that case, you may have to resort
to zoomlng ln or out to frame the plcture correctly, but lt
should be the last resort.
GO WlLD, YOU ANlMAL, YOU Put the camera on the ground
for a worm's perspectlve on the world. Press lt agalnst a
low celllng and hlt the shutter button for a llght-ttlng's
eye vlew. Take a longlsh exposure and zoom ln whlle the
shutter's open for a whacky psychedellc enect. Put your
frlend's plnk sunglasses over the lens, [ust to see what the
shot wlll look llke. Put the camera on self-tlmer, put lt ln
the frldge and close the door. Pemember to take lt out
agaln afterwards. Dellberately overexpose. Dellberately
underexpose. Do whatever the hell you feel llke. |t's all
photography. |t's all good. Most of the whacky shots you
take wlll be absolute dlsasters, but lt won't have cost you
anythlng. ou can also have fun wlth these shots by dolng
extreme amounts of retouchlng ln software to see lf you
can make them more lnterestlng (see Chapter 9). On top
of that, every now and then one of the on-the-wall shots
mlght work. ou'll never know lf you don't take lt.
Far |eft. zoomlng out
and gettlng c|ose
glves |arge bul|dlngs
a far better sense of
lmposlng sca|e.
Left. uslng a wlde
ang|e foca| |ength
for c|oseup portralts
lsn't very atterlng.

Landscape photography ls one of the hardest photographlc
dlsclpllnes to get rlght. As far as the technlcalltles of camera
settlngs are concerned, though, there lsn't too much to the
baslc technlque. To be sure of gettlng a sharp shot wlth
the whole scene ln focus - as wlth the shot below- you
can drop the camera lnto aperture prlorlty mode and select
a small aperture. Pemember that a small aperture means a
largef-number. |nadlgltal compact, themaxlmumavallable
wlll be somethlng around f/5.6, ln a dlgltal SLP, f/ll or f/l6
are good bets. The added benet of a small aperture ls that
most lenses wlll produce sharper results wlth less dlstortlon
at smaller apertures. Pemember that small apertures often
mean a slowshutter speed, so the prlmary weapon ln most
landscape photographers' armoury ls a trlpod.
The second aspect to remember ls that you want to get
as much crlsp detall as posslble, so make sure your camera
ls set to lts lowest |SOsettlng (see p64). Agaln, thls wlll tend
to mean slowshutter speeds, but low|SOwlll produce less
nolse ln your plcture and maxlmumdetall. |n fact, landscape
shots are one of the areas where lt's a real help to have a
DSLP and a decent lens, slnce DSLPs capture detall better.
NO HURRY One of the luxurles of photographlng a
landscape ls that lt lsn't golng anywhere ln a hurry, you
should have plenty of tlme to thlnk about how you want
to frame the shot. |f you want to get lt rlght and you're
not happy wlth the result when you've got the plcture on
your PC, you can potentlally revlslt the spot and take the
plcture agaln. That sald, plenty of professlonal landscape
photographers malntaln that preclse tlmlngls [ust as cruclal
for themas lt ls for the street photographer trylng to catch
neetlng shots that are there one second and gone the next.
The tlme-sensltlve aspect of landscape shots ls the llght.
GET THE TlME OF DAY RlGHT The conventlonal wlsdom ln
landscape photography ls that you should suner for your
art: thefewmlnutes before, durlngandafter dawnareoften
halledas the tlmes of day whenthe llght ls at lts softest and
most natterlng. |f the sky ls brllllantly sunny and clear you
can get that partlcular style of super-vlbrant shot ln the
mlddle of the afternoon, but generally the llght ls harsh.
|f you're forced to shoot ln the mlddle of the day, you
can enhance the vlbrancy of a clear, sunny sky by uslng a
polarlslng lter (see below). Polarlsers have the enect of
deepenlngthecolour of aclear sky andlncreaslngcontrast,
for a more vlbrant plcture. Near the end of the day, the
llght softens agaln as the sun gets lower, glvlng better
condltlons agaln and the llkellhood of dramatlc skles, and
lf you get some mlst lnto the equatlon as the evenlngcools
that's all the better for addlng some atmosphere.
Lunoscupos uro un
|oou| subjocl or lry|ng
HDP (h|gh oynum|c
rungo) |mugos, lo gol
bolh u oolu||oo s|y uno
orogrouno. Soo p146
or moro.
If you can manage to
get up ear|y enough,
you cou|d be rewarded
wlth a sky such as thls.
Bocuuso o lho |uc| o
wh|lo objocls |n muny
|unoscupo sconos,
|ouv|ng lho wh|lo
bu|unco on uulo cun
olon rosu|l |n u nusly
unnuluru| co|our cusl.
ll's wo|| worlh soll|ng
lho wh|lo bu|unco
munuu||y booro you
shool (soo p66).
If you're forced to
shoot ln the afternoon,
try uslng a po|arlslng
|ter on your DSLP to
deepen the co|our of
the sky.
Although the true denltlon of macro ls to take llfe-slze or
greater than llfe-slze photos, most camera manufacturers
use the term falrly loosely, and lt usually slmply means
close-upphotography. However, almosteverycompactand
superzoom has a macro mode that lets lt focus very close
to ob[ects, lettlng you brlng out detall that most people
wlll never otherwlse see. Some cameras have two or more
macro modes, so make sure you try both to nd out how
close each wlll let you shoot.
THE KlT DSLPs usually need a speclal macro lens for true
l:l (llfe-slze) photography, but many standard lenses can
stlll focus very close to sub[ects. These days, even the klt
lens that comes wlth a dlgltal SLP wlll usually let you focus
down as close as l5cm. Por speclallst macro work, there are
avarletyof speclallst lenses onthemarket, but atruel:llens
wlll usually cost upwards of 350, and you shouldn't splash
out on somethlng llke that untll you've experlmented wlth
what your camera's capable of out of the box.
ou can take macro photos of [ust about anythlng,
but nowers and lnsects can produce some of the most
lnterestlngshots. Posslbly the most cruclal aspect of macro
photography ls keeplng the camera - and sub[ect - stlll.
Lven the sllghtest movement wlll be magnled, so a
trlpod ls the best way to avold camera shake. Also, use the
self-tlmer sothat your handdoesn't movethecamerawhen
the shutter res. |f your camera has a shutter prlorlty mode,
uselt andselect thefastest shutter speedyoucan(seep62).
Take some practlce shots to get to know where your
camera's llmlts are. Some autofocus systems wlll tell you
the plcture ls ln focus, but when you magnlfy lt on your
PC screen lt's blurred. Slmply looklng at the scene on the
camera's low-resolutlon screen can often hlde blurrlng.
Also, be aware that the depth of eld ln macro mode ls
extremely narrow, so ensure you know whlch polnt the
camera ls focuslng on - otherwlse, parts of your shot could
be blurred when you lntended them to be sharp.
KEEP lT STEADY Make sure your sub[ect ls stlll. |f you're
shootlng nowers, walt untll there's no breeze or plck one
and take lt lndoors. wlth lnsects, watch where they tend to
landbefore settlngupyour trlpod- you may have to walt a
whlle before somethlng enters the frame.
Don't be afrald to use the nash, elther. when you're
up close to an ob[ect, there's often a lack of llght, but a
nash can x thls problem. |f the nash ls too powerful,
place some opaque plastlc over lt to dlnuse the llght. ou
can also experlment wlth dlnerent angles and helghts.
Por example, place the camera on the ground, looklng
upwards, to get an lnsect's perspectlve on the world.
Macro photography
ls aval|ab|e to a|most
everyone wlth a
modern dlglta|
compact or dlglta|
SLP. For medlum
c|ose shots |lke thls
you won't need any
specla| equlpment.
To gol us c|oso us
poss|b|o lo your
subjocl, lry ocus|ng
|n rovorso. Sol lho
ocus lo |ls m|n|mum
o|slunco soll|ng uno
lhon phys|cu||y movo
lho cumoru lowuros lho
subjocl unl|| |l's |n ocus.
Aovuncoo umulour.
Cumoru w|lh mucro
mooo or mucro |ons.
Lver wondered how people capture those amazlng shots
of bolts of bllndlng whlte llght streaklng across the sky!
well, lt lsn't easy: decent shots of llghtnlng are one of the
trlcklest speclal enects to achleve ln photography. That
sald, lt doesn't take much ln the way of preparatlon and, lf
you know how to do lt beforehand, the next tlme a storm
comes your way you'll be able to glve lt a whlrl.
The maln problem, of course, ls that you never know
exactly where llghtnlng ls golng to strlke. 8esldes luck
and patlence, you'll need to know the technlque, too.
|t's amazlng how many people thlnk that to photograph
llghtnlng you should stand wlth camera ln hand and
qulckly press the shutter when you see a bolt. Thls mlght
work wlth reworks, but lt's hopeless wlth llghtnlng - your
reactlons wlll never be qulck enough.
HOW TO DO lT The key to shootlng llghtnlng ls your
camera's bulbsettlng. Thls ls almost excluslvely the preserve
of more advanced cameras, malnly DSLPs, but some more
advanced dlgltal compacts have lt, too. wlth your camera
set to bulb mode (marked wlth a 8 on the top-mounted
rotary dlal), the shutter stays open for as long as you keep
the shutter-release pressed down. ou should hopefully be
reallslng what the secret ls: you open the shutter before
the llghtnlng strlkes.
Set up the camera on a trlpod. ou'll also need a shutter
release: preferably a wlred cable release, or an lnfrared
remotethat allowspush-open, push-to-releasewhenlnbulb
mode to prevent the battery runnlng down by keeplng the
button pressed. Nowyou need to use your [udgement: look
at where the stormls comlng fromand the approxlmate
delay betweenbolts of llghtnlng. Set the aperture settlngto
a small value - f/l6 or f/22. walt untll you thlnk a llghtnlng
bolt ls about due, then open the shutter. Nowslmply walt!
Andwhena bolt of llghtnlnghlts, release the shutter button
to nlsh the shot. The trlck ls to get the exposure rlght - lf
the shutter ls open too long, the amblent llght ln the sky
fromstreetllghts and so on wlll mean the background
becomes too llght and you'll lose the drama, but conversely
lt's good for the exposure to be long enough to get at least
some detall of the clouds ln the background lf you can.
KEEP TRYlNG Shootlng llghtnlng ls one of those sltuatlons
ln whlch a dlgltal camera ls a huge advantage over
tradltlonal lmphotography. 8yrevlewlngeachshot as you
takelt youcanseelf you'regettlngoverexposedblown-out
skles, ln whlch case you shouldtry to decrease the tlme the
shutter ls open. And, of course, lf you have a decent-slzed
memory card you can do what the pros do: take loads and
loads of shots.
TRY lT WlTH FlREWORKS, TOO Although you can use a more
baslc technlque for reworks - slmply polnt and shoot wlth
your camera ln lts reworks scene mode lf lt has one - you
canget better results wlththls technlque. |f the background
sky lsn't pollutedby toomany spurlous llght sources suchas
streetllghts, you can keep the shutter open for the duratlon
of several bangs and get a superb pyrotechnlc montage.
Taklng a |lghtnlng
shot as good as
thls ls trlcky. But
who knows, you
may get |ucky.
Aovuncoo umulour
lo oxporl.
Cumoru w|lh
u bu|b mooo,
lr|poo, cub|o or
romolo ro|ouso.
Pulhor lhun po|nl|ng
your cumoru o|rocl|y ul
lho s|y, |nc|uoo somo
o lho surrouno|ng
bu||o|ngs or counlrys|oo
|n lho shol lo g|vo
||ghln|ng pholos moro
|nlorosl. You'|| nooo lo
mu|o suro you |oop
lho shullor opon |ong
onough or lhom lo bo
su|lub|y wo|| oxposoo.
Gettlngthe dream-llke look
One of the most fasclnatlng enects you can achleve ls a
shot of a waterfall or stream, where the water looks llke lt's
melted lnto one smooth cotton-llke mass, whlle the rocks
and scenery around the water look perfectly normal. The
way thls enect ls achleved ls slmple: lt's a long exposure.
HOW TO DO lT The baslc technlque ls slmple, but, ldeally,
you need a DSLP and a trlpod, unless by some mlracle
there's a rock you can put the camera down on and stlll
get the angle you want. Set the |SO sensltlvlty to lts
mlnlmum (usually |SO l00 or 50 - see p64), and set
the shootlng mode to shutter-prlorlty mode (marked S
or Tv on the mode dlal - see p62). Now set the shutter
speed to around ve seconds and place the camera ln
self-tlmer mode. Compose the shot the way you want lt,
then press the shutter. Havlng the camera ln self-tlmer
mode ensures that once the shutter release has been
pressed, the camera has tlme to settle from belng [ogged
by your hand. Alternatlvely, you can use a cable release
or lnfrared remote.
PlTFALLS There's a dlmculty that doesn't come wlth
shootlng long-exposure nlght-tlme scenes (see opposlte).
The problem ls too much llght. To get a perfectly smooth
dream-llke enect, the shutter needs to stay open for long
enough that the water ls completely blurred, that usually
means 5-l0 seconds or even longer. The trouble ls, even
wlth the aperture of your camera set to mlnlmum, you
can end up wlth an overexposed lmage - too much llght
wlll enter the camera over the requlred ten seconds or
so, and you'll elther end up wlth a completely blank,
whlte lmage, or the camera wlll refuse to take the shot
slnce lt knows the lmage wlll be overexposed. Thls ls
prlmarlly why a DSLP ls essentlal for rellable waterfall
shots: the aperture of a DSLP can go down as small as
f/22 or even f/32, allowlng an absolute mlnlmum amount
of llght to enter the camera. Thls ls as opposed to the
mlnlmumaperture of f/8 or f/ll for most dlgltal compacts
and superzooms.
However, lt's stlll posslble that ln normal dayllght you
slmply won't be able to achleve a small enough aperture
to allow for a long enough exposure. |n thls case, you can
elther compromlseandgofor thelongest exposureyoucan
achleve - a fewseconds wlll stlll glve pleasant blurrlng - or
you can use lters, another advantage of a dlgltal SLP.
|n thls case, you need what's called a neutral denslty, or
ND, lter. Thls ls slmply a hlgh-quallty plece of glass that's
sllghtly tlnted, reduclng the amount of llght golng lnto the
lens and thus allowlng for a longer exposure.
ND lters are specled ln terms of stops. A l-stop ND
lter means one stop of llght reductlon. |n other words, lt
wlll halve the amount of llght golng lnto the lens, so lf you
couldachleveonlyaten-secondexposurewlthout one, you
can achleve 20 seconds wlth one. Llkewlse, a 2-stop ND
lter wlll slow the camera by two stops, meanlng your ten
seconds cannowbe40seconds (thespeedls halvedtwlce).
They're not cheap, but a two- or three-stop ND lter ln
your klt bag can be lnvaluable.
Use |ong exposures to
get the characterlstlc
dream|lke effect of
fastowlng waterfa||s.
D|g|lu| SLP,
D |lor.
As wo|| us lho |ongosl
poss|b|o oxposuro l|mo,
lry un oxposuro o
jusl hu| u socono lo u
socono. You'|| sl||| gol
b|ur, bul lho rosu|l w|||
bo moro oynum|c lhun
Almost all compacts have dlnerent scene modes, often
selected vla the top-mounted rotary control. These can be
useful, but you can often get the same enect manually lf
you know what you're dolng. The snow scene mode ls one
of these. |f you've ever taken photos on a skllng hollday,
you'll probably knowwhy lt's there. |n standard Auto scene
mode, shots come out wlth the whlte snow looklng grey.
why does thls happen! |t's because the camera has no
way of telllng that lt's ln the unusual llghtlng condltlons
that snowand sunshlne produce. The reason that cameras
get lt wrongls thesamereasonpeopleget snow-bllndness:
the brlghtness of wlnter sunshlne renectlng on snowleads
to lots of llght bounclng around.
EXPOSURESAstandardauto-exposuremodemeansthat the
camera expects an average level of llght renectlvlty from
ob[ects ln a scene. |n normal condltlons, thls ls around
l3%, but ln snowlt can be much, much hlgher. The very
hlgh level of renected llght fromsnowmeans the camera
gets confused. |t trles to compensate for what lt thlnks
ls extreme brlghtness by automatlcally underexposlng
(decreaslng shutter speed). And when brlght whlte snow
ls underexposed, lt ends up looklng llke grey slush. when
lt underexposes the snow, lt underexposes everythlng else,
people's faces look too dark. |f you've already got a shot llke
thls, you can compensate by uslng the levels control ln your
photo-edltlngsoftware(seepll5). 8ut lt's far better toavold
the sltuatlon ln the rst place.
BRlGHT SHOTS There are essentlally two ways to avold
gettlng dull snow shots. One optlon, lf your camera has lt,
ls slmply to pop lt lnto lts snow scene mode. Here lt wlll
know to expect a much hlgher llght level than normal.
So what the snow scene mode does ls up the exposure
compensatlon: you can achleve exactly the same enect
by uslng manual exposure compensatlon and dlalllng
ln +lLv of overexposure. The way to do thls varles by
camera, but all dlgltal cameras wlll glve you the optlon lf
you're ln any mode other than fully automatlc.
A llttle exposure compensatlon wlll usually do the
trlck. |f you want to ensure thls lsn't too much, check the
hlstogram dlsplay (see p70), but brleny all you have to
do ls make sure your lmage hlstogram doesn't abruptly
cut on at the rlght-hand slde of the graph, lf lt does,
you're overexposlng and you need to reduce the exposure
compensatlon - try a half-stop lnstead. 8ear ln mlnd,
though, that lf the snow ls very brlght, to expose for the
other ob[ects ln the scene correctly wlll mean that the
snow may necessarlly have to be overexposed and blown
out to whlte.
If you know how,
lt's easy to cure the
dreaded greys|ush
Cumoru w|lh oxposuro
componsul|on conlro|
- u|mosl ovory mooo|
hus ono.
Tho sumo pr|nc|p|o
upp||os |n rovorso | you'ro
shool|ng u prooom|nunl|y
our| scono, or u smu||
objocl ugu|nsl u mosl|y
our| or b|uc| buc|grouno.
To slop lho |mugo
or subjocl bo|ng
ovoroxposoo, lry upp|y|ng
nogul|vo oxposuro
componsul|on o uboul
ono slop (1Ev).
A sunset ls such a great slght that lt's temptlng [ust to walt
untll passers-by are out of the frame, plonk the sun ln the
centre of the shot and hlt the shutter. |f you do that you'll
end up wlth a shot everyone's seen a mllllon tlmes - pretty
but dull, and when you come to look at lt a year later you'll
struggle to remember where lt was taken. To capture the
atmosphere of a great hollday, you need to lnclude some
clues to the scene. Photos can't capture the warm sand
between your toes or the feellng that the omce ls 2,000
mlles away. Llke the plcture below, thlnk about what
makes the evenlng lnterestlng, and try to frame the scene
so lt captures some of that.
THE TECHNlCAL SlDE The maln characterlstlc that glves
sunset shots thelr look ls the foreground ls usually ln
sllhouette. Thls ls because the sun ls such a domlnant
llght source, and lf your camera ls set to fully automatlc
lt wlll dlal the exposure rlght down to compensate,
resultlng ln the dark moody foreground. Thls can be very
enectlve, but you can potentlally achleve a less cllched
and more lnterestlng plcture by applylng some exposure
compensatlon, thls wlll llft gures ln the foreground from
pure shadow. Try dlalllng ln +lLv - almost every camera
can do thls, lncludlng dlgltal compacts. |f you're uslng
a dlgltal SLP, you can try bracketlng the exposure, too
(see p78 for more on bracketlng). Golng a step further
lnto more advanced terrltory to get more detall ln the
foreground whlle keeplng the full rlchness of a blood-red
sky, you could try to take an HDP sequence (see pl46),
but bear ln mlnd that lt wlll compllcate matters lf there are
people ln the shot movlng as you shoot the sequence.
what you can do lnstead, of course, ls avold shootlng
the sun altogether - make sure lt's out of the frame or
obscured by an ob[ect or person. That wlll glve your shot
less extreme llghtlng for the camera to cope wlth and
you should end up wlth a more even transltlon between
foreground and background.
|f you're taklng portralt shots of frlends and famlly wlth
the sunset as a backdrop, remember that they'll tend to
come out elther ln pure sllhouette or wlth very dark faces.
|n thls case, you can try swltchlng the nash on to llft the
foreground - thls ls known as ll-ln nash.
ou should also thlnk about the whlte-balance settlng.
|f you manually set the whlte balance to dayllght, you can
make sure you'll get the warm tones of the sun (see p66
for more on whlte balance). |f you rely on the automatlc
settlng, note that many cameras tend to set the balance a
llttle on the cool slde to compensate for what seems to be
too much red and yellow ln the lmage, but, of course, the
reds and yellows are exactly what you want.
A |ltt|e tweak can turn
a good sunset lnto a
great photo.
A cumorul
Munuu| wh|lo
bu|unco conlro|,
un |oy|||c |ocul|on.
Pomombor lhul suno
uno cumorus oon'l m|x.
Mu|o suro you |oop
lhom upurl, uno | you'ro
us|ng u o|g|lu| SLP
novor chungo |onsos
on lho bouch: ono gusl
o w|no cun ronoor lho
cumoru uso|oss.
Shootlngat nlght
There's one sure-re way to get really lnterestlng plctures
wlthout havlng to go much further than the nearest road:
nlght-tlme photography. we're not talklng about uslng the
nashhere, we'retalklngaboutlongexposures, compensatlng
for the lack of llght by leavlngthe shutter openfor far longer
than usual - sometlmes as long as four or ve mlnutes.
HOW TO DO lT A trlpod ls your frlend when lt comes to
nlght shots. ou'll also need a cable-release or remote
control, as well as a wrlstwatch. Some dlgltal compacts have
long-exposure modes of up to 30 seconds, whlch ls enough
for some nlght-tlme shots, but what you really need ls a
DSLP wlth a bulb mode. Manual control ls the best way to
do nlght-tlme photography, slnce the automatlc exposure
controls of most cameras get confused when confronted
wlth a nlght scene.
Part of the fun of nlght shots ls the experlmentlng. Get
out wlth your trlpod, set up the camera and choose the
bulb mode (see p50 for more). Set a medlum aperture of
about f/8 to glve a reasonable depth of eld. Pocuslng at
nlght lsn't easy, and most cameras' autofocus systemwon't
work ln the dark so you'll have to focus manually. wlth
an aperture of f/8 the depth of eld means focus shouldn't
be too crltlcal, but lt won't be so small that you'll need to
leave the shutter open for ages to get decent results. Now
slmply have a go at taklng a shot: press the shutter and use
your watchtokeeplt openfor 30 seconds. Nowhave a look
at the result on the camera's monltor. Anythlng! |f not, try
doubllng the exposure tlme to a mlnute, and so on.
That's all there ls to lt - because the camera's
electronlcs can't rellably meter a nlght-tlme scene,
long-exposure photography ls a fasclnatlngprocess of trlal
and error, even for professlonal photographers. The fun
part ls seelng how famlllar nlght scenes are rendered lnto
unfamlllar dream-llke landscapes.
POTENTlAL PROBLEMS Dlgltal cameras can be prone
to lmage nolse, whlch normally manlfests ltself as a
conslstent speckllng or mottllng enect on the lmage
(see p65 for more). wlth exposures of more than a few
seconds, however, another type of nolse comes lnto
play. ou may nd you get "hotspots" - random brlght
slngle-plxel splodges of red, green or blue. Some cameras
are more prone to lt than others, but lf you do nd
excesslve hotspot nolse, check to see your camera's
long-exposure nolse reductlon ls swltched on (see
Speclallst SLP settlngs on p8l).
ou can also deal wlth hotspots ln your photo-edltlng
software, ln the same way you deal wlth dust and other
specks ln your lmages - turn to pl40 to see how.
Longexposure shots
of trafc are easy to
do and the resu|ts can
|ook great.
Cumoru w|lh bu|b
uno munuu| ocus
mooos, lr|poo.
Cub|o ro|ouso or
|nruroo romolo,
wr|slwulch or
Try|ng lo sol up u shol
|n lho our| cun bo u
pu|n. Br|ng u lorch
uno orgun|so yourso|
so you oon'l ono up
|ouv|ng lh|ngs boh|no
by m|slu|o ulor
you'vo n|shoo.
Shootlngsports andactlon
llkethechlef attrlbutes of thesub[ects themselves, speed. To
freeze a moment ln tlme wlthout blurrlng you need to have
a shutter speed of at least l/l25th of a second. That means
the key to good sports photography ls good, brlght llght.
|f condltlons aren't ldeal, all ls not lost, but you or your
camera have to make some compromlses. ou'll need a
wlde aperture to get enough llght to the camera's sensor.
ou'll also need to lncrease the camera's sensltlvlty to llght
by upplng the |SOsettlng. The drawback ls, as you'll see on
p64, hlgher |SOsensltlvlty brlngs wlth lt nolsler lmages.
A wlde aperture by ltself lsn't necessarlly a bad thlng: lf
you're capturlng a sportlng moment, the narrowdepth of
eld a wlde aperture glves wlll throwthe background out
of focus, lettlng the sub[ect stand out. The drawback ls that
wlth a fast-movlng sub[ect and a narrowdepth of eld you
havenoleeway -lf thefocus ls less thanperfect your sub[ect
wlll be frustratlngly blurred.
Portunately, thls ls often an area where you don't have
to worry too much about manual control, dropplng your
camera lnto lts sports mode puts lt lnto the equlvalent of
shutter prlorlty (see p62), and wlll enable lts burst-shootlng
mode. 8urst modes are becomlng very good, and many can
keep taklng a fewshots a second for as long as you hold the
shutter down, untll the memory card lls up.
TlPS AND TRlCKS |f you nd your camera lsn't focuslng
qulckly enough when you take actlon shots, there's a
slmple way to solve the problem. |t works on dlgltal
compacts [ust as well as DSLPs, as long as they have a
manual focus mode. what you need to do ls pre-focus on
a partlcular polnt you [udge wlll glve a good composltlon,
and then walt for the sub[ect to reach that polnt. ou can
do lt by focuslng on the ground at the polnt you want to
capture the actlon. |t's a technlque that works partlcularly
well when you know your sub[ect ls golng to be at a
partlcular place: motor races, athletlcs events and so on.
|t's more dlmcult wlth more open events such as football
matches, but lf you make sure the camera ls ln burst mode,
youcanget a decent shot by a process of attrltlon: [ust take
lots and lots of plctures and chances are you'll get a decent
one among the fallures. Thls ls exactly what professlonal
sports photographers do.
The second maln trlck ls learnlng the art of pannlng
the camera: lf you keep lt stlll and stab at the shutter when
the sub[ect ls ln the frame, you're more llkely to get a
blurred shot. 8y keeplng a fast-movlng sub[ect ln vlewand
smoothly pannlng the camera, squeezlng the shutter as
the sub[ect hlts the correct polnt, you'll get a sharp sub[ect
and the background wlll be blurred, glvlng the shot an
lmpresslon of dynamlsm and movement.
By pannlng the camera
wlth the sub[ect you
can create a great
lmpresslon of speed.
A cumorul
Munuu| ocus mooo,
u usl bursl mooo,
br|ghl cono|l|ons.
Don'l pos|l|on yourso|
so your subjocl |s
mov|ng o|rocl|y lowuros
or uwuy rom you - |l
mu|os |l huro or you
or lho cumoru lo ocus.
Try lo urrungo yourso|
so lho subjocl |s mov|ng
pusl you lo |oop lho|r
o|slunco us conslunl
us poss|b|o. Th|s u|so
mu|os punn|ng moro
Lvery consumer-level camera, from compact dlgltals to
DSLPs, has an lntegrated nash. |n fully automatlc mode,
the nash doesn't need a second thought - lf the shutter
speedwlll betooslowtoget a steady, well-exposedplcture,
the nash res, addlng llght to the scene. Some cameras,
such as Canon's LOS range, have nashes that pop up
when needed, whlle others are manually sprung, but
the enect ls the same.
The rst thlng to appreclate ls that uslng an automatlc
pop-up nash wlll have a detrlmental enect on your lmages
more often than not. |n a dark room, rlng a nash dlrectly
lnto someone's face wlll result ln a ghostly appearance,
complete wlth shadows and red eyes. |t all leads to a
dlstlnctly unnatterlng photo, and whlle the nash wlll have
allowedyoutocapturevltal extralnformatlonthat wouldn't
otherwlsebevlslble, your sub[ect probably won't thank you
for the harsh deplctlon.
|nstead of slmply uslng a nash ln all low-llght sltuatlons,
try gettlng to grlps wlth your camera's hlgh-|SO abllltles
(see p64). Many DSLPs produce good results rlght up to
|SO l600, whlch ls enough for a reasonable shutter speed
ln most lndoor condltlons.
stopped uslng your nash lndoors, lt's tlme to start uslng lt
outslde. Agaln, thls ls rather counter-lntultlve: the outslde
world ls brllllantly llt, so why would you need a nash!
The key ls control: the sun can cast all klnds of dlstractlng
shadows over someone's face. Uslng your nash to ll ln
those shadows can actually make your shots look more
Thls shot has been
taken wlth skl|fu|
use of ash. It |ooks
natura| but ash
has been used to |lft
the mode| and the
horse out from the
background and soften
harsh shadows from
the brlght sun|lght.

natural, ln contrast to the general perceptlon that nash ls

best used for addlng an artlclal llght to lndoor condltlons
and darkened surroundlngs.
EXTERNAL FLASH The nash bullt lnto your camera wlll only
get you so far, and before long you'll want more control,
whlch ls where a standalone nashgun comes ln. Ahotshoe-
mounted nash slts on top of a DSLP, and the camera relays
meterlng and lens lnformatlon to the nash. Not only does
thls make themeasy to use, lt also allows plenty of room
for you to growas a photographer and get more out of the
equlpment as you become lncreaslngly experlenced.
Plashguns are far more powerful than lntegrated nash
unlts. A nash's power ls expressed as lts Gulde Number,
whlch ls a measure of the furthest dlstance lts burst of llght
wlll reach, multlplled by the aperture settlng at |SOl00.
ou can work out a nash's maxlmumrange by dlvldlng lts
gulde number by your lntended aperture settlng. Acamera
such as the Nlkon D40 has a nash wlth a range of up to ll
feet at |SO200, whlle Nlkon's top-end S8 900 nash has a
gulde number of l57.5 at the same |SO. Thls represents
a maxlmumrange, at f/3.5, of 45ft - more than four tlmes
that of the D40's lntegrated nash. All external nash unlts
oner ad[ustable power output - ln automatlc mode the
power of the nash ls set by the lnformatlon lt recelves from
your camera's llght meter. Some newer entry-level nashes,
and all hlgh-end unlts, oner a manual mode ln whlch
you can set the nash power yourself. Plash photography ls

Somo ushos cun bo

sol lo lr|ggor by olhors
r|ng. Comb|n|ng lh|s
ouluro w|lh uoo|l|onu|
ushos lr|ggoroo
romolo|y on s|uvo mooo
cun bo lho rsl slop |n
croul|ng u prooss|onu|
mu|l|ush sluo|o.
somethlng that soon becomes addlctlve,
andwe'dsuggest buylngas nexlble a nash
unlt as you can anord. |f you own an
entry-level DSLP you'll probably nd your
nashgun outllves your camera body.
ou don't [ust get more power froman
external nash. The ma[orlty of nashguns
have ad[ustable heads, whlch can be plvoted
away fromyour sub[ect. Thls solves the blggest problem
of lntegrated nash unlts - that they shlne a harsh, brlght
llght rlght at your sub[ect, leadlng to sharp shadows,
an unnatterlng lmage and complalnts of temporary
bllndness fromyour model. |f you can polnt a nash gun
at a wall, the llght fromyour nash wlll bounce on lt.
The renected llght fromthe nash ls then softened and
more wldely spread.
Almost all standalone nash guns also have a
zoomable head - the bulb slts on a motorlsed platform
lnslde the nash, and your camera relays lnformatlon
about your lens settlng to the nash. |f your lens ls set
at 24mm, for lnstance, you get a wlde spread of llght.
|f your lens ls at l05mm, the nash head zooms ln and
produces a sharper, narrower beam, ln order that the
Thls hlghend ash from Nlkon a||ows you to
ang|e the head to bounce |lght off wa||s or other
ob[ects. The |arge lnfrared pane| on the front ls for
accurate focuslng, as we|| as for lntegratlng the
ash lnto a comp|ex mu|tlash system.
Thls ls a mldrange ash from
Canon's Speed|lte range. It has a
manua| mode. enter the dlstance
from your sub[ect, your ISO, your
camera's aperture or the power
your ash shou|d use and the LCD
||s ln the rest of the data.
nash lsn't wastlng lts energy lllumlnatlng parts of a room
that aren't ln the frame.
A nal reason to buy a nash ls that lt's the rst step on
the road to bulldlng a photographlc studlo, and produclng
plctures wlth professlonal-looklng llghtlng. Most nashes
have a slave mode, whlch means they can be trlggered
remotely. Some nashes, when they detect another nash
rlng, can re themselves. Havlng thls avallable means lt
ls no great step to turn a dlmly llt space lnto a photo studlo
that's nooded wlth llght, wlth all angles of your sub[ect
well llt. |f you're lnterested ln ndlng out the klnd of enect
thls technology can have on your plctures, there are some
spectacular uses of multlple-nash onllne - a good place to
start ls
HOWMUCH TO SPEND? Lntry-level nashguns start at around
l50. Thls wlll buy you an ad[ustable-head, ad[ustable-
power nash wlth an lnfrared recelver for use ln remote
slave mode. Most nashes at thls prlce wlll oner a manual
mode ln whlch you can set the nash's power yourself -
many cheaper ones oner automatlc-only modes, whlch
can cause problems ln compllcated multl-nash studlo
setups. Cheaper nashes are also lncapable of worklng as
master nashes, so you can't bulld a studlo fromcut-prlce
nashguns alone.
Hlgh-end nashes, such as Nlkon's S8-900, cost around
300, but you get a much longer feature llst. Plashguns
chewthrough AA batterles at an astonlshlng rate, and
cheap batterles can cause a nash to take a long tlme to
recycle - that ls, charge ltself enough to provlde another
nash. Hlgh-end nashes have power ports that allowyou to
connect hlgh-voltage power packs whlch, whlle expenslve
and heavy, are rechargeable, provlde far shorter recycle
tlmes and, most lmportantly, provldemoreshots onaslngle
charge. |n terms of slmple economlcs, lf you're plannlng
on uslng a nashgun extenslvely, you'll have to welgh the
cost of replaclng all those batterles wlth the extra money
needed to buy a hlgher-quallty unlt that recharges.
Typlcally, a more expenslve nash ls also more powerful
than cheaper verslons.
Another good use of ||ln ash
to reduce harsh |lght. If lt hadn't
been used, the sun shlnlng from
the |efthand slde of the frame
wou|d have meant most of the
rlght slde of the |ltt|e boy's face
wou|d be ln shadow.

Lxpenslve nash unlts can also be used as master

nashguns, transmlttlngmeterlnglnformatlontoslaveunlts.
|n addltlon, they tend to support lenses wlth longer focal
length. So where Canon's cheap 420LX Speedllte supports
lenses up to l05mm, for example, the top-end Nlkon S8
900 supports lenses up to 200mm.
camera nash ls one of photography's more technlcal
aspects. To get lt rlght you need to be mlndful of a number
of factors, lncludlng your nash's power, your camera
settlngs, the dlstance fromyour camera toyour sub[ect and
howyour nash's llght wlll behave once lt's red.
lNDOORS The rules about uslng a bullt-ln nash apply to
a certaln extent: most professlonal photographers would
rather dle than use an on-camera nashgun to re lnto
someone's face, so look for more creatlve ways to get llght
fromyour nash on to your sub[ect.
8ounclng your nash's llght ls the way to go, and ln
recognltlon, almost all standalone nashes allowyou to do
thls. Toget lt rlght, posltlonyour sub[ect relatlvely close toa
wall (wlthln ve feet should be an adequate dlstance), and
polnt your nash's head at the wall. when lt res, the llght
wlll bounce on the wall and dlsperse.
OUTDOORS Outslde, you can forget about bounclng your
nash on nearby ob[ects, but then you also don't need to
worry about red-eye or about the nash provldlng the only
lllumlnatlon ln your shot: the sun does the hard work
(durlng the day, at least), and your nash ls slmply lllng ln
the shadows that the sun casts.
get trlcky, or at least a llttle mathematlcal. when you're
startlng out wlth an external nash, the best thlng to do ls
to set your camera to automatlc and allowlt to set lts own
shutter and aperture speeds. Thls way you can focus on the
technlcal slde of gettlng the dlrectlon of your nash rlght.
when you're ready to move on to manual exposures, you
can use some falrly standard formulas - and an exposure
meter (see p69) lsn't a bad ldea elther.
Plrst, forget about shutter speed. A nash emlts llght for
an lncredlbly short perlod of tlme - at mlnlmumpower
expect a duratlon of l/28,000th, and at best l/840th of a
second - so you'll almost always be uslng a longer shutter
speed (your camera's aperture controls exposure lnstead).
After that, lt's a slmple - or complex - matter of maths to
knowyour nash's enectlve range.
|f you already knowyour camera's aperture, you can
work out your nash's enectlve range by dlvldlng the gulde
number by your camera's aperture. |f your nash has a gulde
number of l50 (ln feet), and you're uslng an aperture of
f/8, your nash has a maxlmumrange of [ust under l9ft.
Alternatlvely, to calculate the aperture needed, dlvlde your
nash's gulde number by the dlstance to your sub[ect. So,
lf your nash has a gulde number of l50 ln feet and your
Agalnst the brlght sky, the boy on the skateboard wou|d have been
vlrtua||y ln sl|houette wlthout the use of ash.
sub[ect ls l0ft away, you should set your aperture to f/l5.
Thls assumes you're shootlng at |SOl00 wlth your nash
elther at full power or set to automatlc.
More expenslve nashes have a full manual mode. Uslng
thls ls a matter of patlence, perseverance and practlce, but
as you become more experlenced lt wlll become second
nature. Hlgh-end nash unlts have a power calculator on
the back, ln whlch you set a varlable - elther dlstance, nash
power, aperture or |SO- and the nash dlsplays the other
three. All bets are on lf you're uslng the nash to bounce
llght on a wall or celllng, though: a nash has no hope of
successfullymeterlnglts power, soyou'rebest onpractlslng.

Mastering camera
Your o|g|lu| cumoru muy huvo u
coup|o o oozon o|oronl p|cluro
lu||ng mooos: lhroo or our uro |oy.
ISO sensitivity
Bo|ng ub|o lo uojusl how sons|l|vo
lho cumoru |s lo ||ghl |s u hugo
bonol o o|g|lu|. Horo's why.
white baIance
Anolhor unoumonlu| uovunlugo o
o|g|lu| cumorus - uojusl lho|r co|our
rosponso whonovor you |||ol
metering modes
You cun'l lu|o u p|cluro un|oss you
cun mousuro how much ||ghl lhoro |s.
Cumorus huvo sovoru| molhoos.
Tho o|g|lu| phologruphor's socrol
woupon. so lhoso r|ghl uno you'||
novor lu|o u buo oxposuro ugu|n.
Modern dlgltal cameras tend to have stacks of dlnerent modes,
controls, menus and settlngs. ou shouldn't see thls as a drawback -
lt's a boonthat stems fromthe nexlblllty of dlgltal photography. Some
settlngs are far more useful than others, though, and ln thls chapter
we'll go through the plcture-taklng settlngs that you absolutely have
to knowabout, and the enect they'll have on your shots. Learn the
concepts here and you'll be well armed for your next photo foray.

|f you're only uslng your camera on fully automatlc mode,

you're mlsslng out. All dlgltal SLP cameras and many of
the better-quallty compact models have a varlety of seml-
manual andmanual modes toallowyoutobemorecreatlve
and dlrect shots yourself, rather than lettlng the camera
declde what lt thlnks ls best. Here, we'll go through the
ma[or modes that most cameras have.
|n the lmage below, you'll see a top vlew of a typlcal
dlgltal camera's mode dlal. The fundamental modes
avallable to you, aslde from fully auto (usually lndlcated by
a green camera symbol), are P, A, S and M.
P stands for program mode, A for aperture prlorlty, S
(sometlmes labelledTv) for shutter prlorlty, and M for fully
manual mode. Por someone not used to all these modes lt
canbe hardtosee the polnt of havlngsomany, but there's a
reason for all of them.
PROGRAM MODE Once you've reached the llmltatlons of
your camera's fully automatlc mode, program mode ls the
rst place to vlslt. Program doesn't glve you the full-on
responslbllltles of settlng both aperture and shutter speed,
but lt opens all the menu optlons that are closed to you
ln fully automatlc mode. |n DSLPs, thls means you can
shoot ln PAw mode (see p74) and select your own |SO
settlng (see p64). |f you make changes that wlll anect your
exposure, such as ralslng your |SO to make your camera
more sensltlve to llght, the shutter speed wlll be decreased
soyouget shorter exposures. oualsoget morecontrol over
focus modes. ou can make llmlted changes to exposure,
and the camera wlll slmultaneously ad[ust other settlngs
to try to keep your shots usable.
SHUTTER PRlORlTY Thls mode ls favoured by sports
photographers and anyone who wants to catch movement
or actlon (see p55). Shutter prlorlty ls actually very slmple:
all you have to set ls the shutter speed you want - ln other
words, the length of tlme you want the shutter to be open
for (see p24 for an ln-depth explanatlon of shutter speed).
Once you've set the approprlate speed, the camera decldes
on the other key factor: the correct aperture to get a good
exposure. why ls thls useful! 8ecause lf you're trylng to
capture fast actlon then lt's cruclal that the shutter speed
Masterlngcamera modes
P: program mode. A |urgo oogroo o conlro|
ovor cumoru soll|ngs, bul lho cumoru w|||
uulomul|cu||y provonl you rom us|ng soll|ngs
lhul rosu|l |n ovor or unooroxposuro.
S: shutter priority.
A|so |nown us Tv. You
so|ocl how |ong lho
shullor romu|ns opon. Tho
cumoru uojusls uporluro
s|zo lo cupluro u corrocl|y
oxposoo |mugo.
A: aperture priority.
A|so |nown us Av. Th|s
u||ows you lo sol lho s|zo
o lho uporluro, subjocl
lo lho cupub|||l|os o
your |ons. Tho cumoru
sols lho shullor spooo
oopono|ng on lho
uporluro s|zo you so|ocl.
M: manuaI mode.
You'ro |n comp|olo
conlro| o bolh shullor
uno uporluro.
Your camera |s |||o|y
lo huvo u o|u| lhul
|oo|s |||o lh|s. Horo's
whul lho our mujor
so|ocl|ons moun.
Evon | your cumoru
ooosn'l huvo u lop
mounloo mooo o|u|
|||o lho ono shown
horo, you muy bo ub|o
lo sol mooos such
us uporluro pr|or|ly
by o|gg|ng |nlo lho
onscroon monu syslom.
ls as fast as posslble - other conslderatlons such as depth
of eld (see p22) or a low |SO settlng (see p64) aren't
as lmportant. 8y expllcltly settlng the shutter speed, the
cameracanworryabout gettlngtheother settlngs rlght and
you can concentrate on shootlng the actlon.
APERTURE PRlORlTY Aperture prlorlty ls the opposlte of
shutter prlorlty, and a favourlte mode of a great many
portralt, candldandlandscapephotographers. As thename
suggests, you set the aperture you need, and the camera's
electronlcs workout thecorrect shutter speedtoget agood
exposure. Pemember that aperture doesn't only control
the amount of llght falllng on the camera's sensor, lt also
controls depth of eld (see p22 for more). when shootlng
portralt shots, lt's often deslrable to set as large an aperture
as posslble, glvlng a short depth of eld and throwlng the
background out of focus. Thls makes your sub[ect stand
out. Conversely, for landscapephotography, youoftenwant
as much of the scene as posslble ln focus. what you'd do
then ls set a small aperture, glvlng a large depth of eld,
andthecamerawlll sort out theshutter speedapproprlately.
MANUAL MODE Not for the falnthearted, manual mode glves
you full control. ou set all of the camera's menu functlons,
and your aperture andshutter speedare set lndependently
of one another. Thls means that unless you know what
you're dolng lt's entlrely posslble to get your exposure
completely wrong, and the camera won't make any
ad[ustments for your mlstakes. Manual control ls trlcky
to use, and you need to have put ln plenty of practlce
before taklng your camera out to photograph sportlng
events or wlldllfe ln manual mode. 8ut once you get the
hangof lt, lt's themost rewardlngway of uslngyour camera,
besldes belng one of the best reasons to buy a dlgltal SLP.
OTHER MODES Many modern dlgltal cameras are festooned
wlth a glut of modes beyond the baslc PASM cholce. Many
oftheseareforveryspeclcsltuatlons, suchasphotographlng
ln snow. A sports mode ls common, whlch wlll glve
shutter-speed prlorlty over other settlngs but won't allow
you to set the shutter expllcltly. Thls can be a good thlng lf
you'relnexperlenced, slncelf youset theshutter toofast the
camera won't be able to lncrease lts aperture enough to
compensate, andyou'll endupwlthunderexposedplctures.
Other modes lncludereworks andlandscapemodes. whlle
these can be useful, by uslng one of the standard manual
modes you'll obtaln more control over the results, and
learn more ln the process, as demonstrated ln Chapter 3.
PlTFALLS |f you're uslng a dlgltal compact camera, you
should bear ln mlnd that many compacts glve you a cholce
of only two aperture settlngs (typlcally somethlng llke f/2.8
and f/5.6). Thls ls ln contrast to a dlgltal SLP, whlch wlll
oner aperture fromf/2.8 all the way to f/22, wltheverythlng
ln between. Also, because they have a very short focal
length, lt can be hard to get depth-of-eld enects uslng a
dlgltal compact - almost everythlngwlll tendtobe lnfocus.
Por that reason, your rst forays lnto aperture prlorlty and
depth of eld are llkely to be more successful lf you have a
dlgltal SLP. wlth shutter prlorlty, however, you can achleve
some great results wlth elther a compact or a dlgltal SLP,
slnce both oner the same level of control.
Set to automatlc, most cameras wl|| try to get everythlng ln focus.
That works for |andscapes |lke thls, but lsn't so great for c|oseups.
Wlth aperture prlorlty, you can set a |arge aperture to b|ur the
background for a more strlklng shot.

The number of megaplxels a camera can produce

was once the only tool of dlgltal camera marketlng,
but these days you're llkely to see mentlon of |SO,
followed by a number llke l600, 3200 or even 6400.
Slmply put, the hlgher the maxlmum |SO number of
a camera, the less llght lt needs to take plctures before
havlng to resort to the nash. why does that matter!
well, nash often lsn't the ldeal solutlon to throwlng
more llght on to a scene. where natural llght tends to
be soft and natterlng, a nash wlll produce harsh
shadows ln all the wrong places. Por a portralt plcture,
lt can leave even the most attractlve sub[ect looklng as lf
they've been out on the tlles every day for a month.
why ls the nash ever needed! |t's because to get
a correct exposure ln low llght condltlons needs
a longer shutter speed than the same shot ln brlght
llght. As the llght level drops and the shutter has to
stay open for longer, there's less chance you'll be able
to hold the camera steady enough to avold camera
shake and a rulned, blurry shot. At very low llght
levels, a camera set to conventlonal |SO levels of
between l00 and 400 mlght need the shutter to stay
open for a few seconds. That's completely useless for
a candld, spontaneous shot of your frlends - all you'll
end up wlth ls an lncomprehenslble blurry mess. That's
when hlgh |SO can come lnto lts own. Double the
|SO sensltlvlty and you'll halve the shutter speed
you'll need for a shot. |t's easy for a dlgltal camera to
lncrease lts sensltlvlty - lt slmply electronlcally turns
up the volume on the dlgltal slgnals comlng from lts
lmage sensor.
Here's an example: lf you're lndoors at a party wlth a
camera set to |SOl00, you mlght well need a shutter speed
of a blur-lnduclng half a second. |ncrease the sensltlvlty
to 400 (whlch most compacts wlll do automatlcally ln low
llght) andthat reduces to l/8th of a second. ou mlght now
[ust get away wltha usable shot lf you're very lucky (see p26
for more advlce on keeplng your camera steady to lmprove
your chances).
8ut lf your camera has an |SO 3200 settlng, under
the same condltlons the shutter speed can be a
moderately fast l/60th of a second, and you're pretty
llkely to get a sharp lmage, especlally lf you put the
camera lnto burst mode and take several shots (see p26).
A hlgh ISO settlng
means you can capture
|ow|lght shots such as
thls wlthout a trlpod.

THE DOWNSlDE So why do dlgltal cameras even bother

wlth low |SO settlngs such as |SO l00! |t's because the
downslde of settlng a camera to a hlgh |SO ls lmage
nolse. |t manlfests ltself ln your plctures as coloured
speckles and gralnlness. Thls ls because when the camera
electronlcally amplles the dlgltal slgnal from lts sensor,
lt amplles the nolse lnherent ln all electronlcs - the
enect ls exactly the same as the lncreased hlss you hear
when you turn a televlslon or hl- up loud. The hlgher
the |SO ratlng, the hlgher the volume and the worse the
nolse gets. |t gets so bad, ln fact, that untll recently, most
dlgltal compact cameras couldn't be set above |SO 400
because the resultlng plctures were absolutely terrlble.
Portunately, the sltuatlon ls lmprovlng, whlch ls why
dlgltal compacts now have settlngs up to |SO 6400.
8ut don't be fooled lnto thlnklng that [ust because your
camera has a settlng of |SO l600, 3200 or 6400 the shots
wlll be usable at that level. ou need to experlment to
nd the acceptable level. Pemember, also, that what's
acceptable wlll vary accordlng to the sub[ect.
automatlc mode, a dlgltal compact camera wlll usually
try to keep the |SO settlng as low as posslble to ensure the
plctures look clean and detalled. Pather than upplng lts
|SO settlng lt wlll resort to uslng the nash, whlch lsn't
necessarlly what you want. So pop the camera lnto one
of lts more advanced modes, such as aperture prlorlty or
program. Then dlve lnto the menu system and look for the
|SO settlngs menu. |n most cases, thls wlll let you manually
congure the |SO settlng to sult what you're dolng.
Pemember that thls can work both ways: lf you're outdoors
taklng a plcture of a beautlful landscape ln low llght and
the camera's held very steady or you're uslng a trlpod, you
can make sure the camera captures maxlmum detall by
forclng lt to use lts lowest |SO settlng (usually |SO 50 or
l00). |n lower llght, where you don't want the harshness
and dlstractlon of nash but you're taklng qulck snapshots
of your frlends, set the |SO up hlgh to capture candld
moments. |f your snaps are malnly golng to be uploaded
to websltes such as Pacebook, you can get away wlth a
hlgh |SO settlng, slnce the enects of nolse aren't nearly as
obvlous when plctures are scaled down for web use.
For |ow|lght lndoor shots, lncrease the ISO ratlng to get subt|e
plctures wlthout harsh and dlstractlng ash. The lmage nolse can
sometlmes even add to the atmosphere of the shot.
In brlght condltlons where there's p|enty of |lght, make sure you set
your ISO |eve| as |ow as posslb|e for c|ean, nolsefree lmages.
Wlth |ots of |lght you don't have to worry about camera shake.
The downslde of hlgh
ISO sensltlvlty ls
lmage nolse, as you
can see here.

The |eft ha|f of thls
photo shows lncorrect
whlte ba|ance caused
by the uorescent
|lghtlng, the rlght ha|f
ls corrected.
Shols w|lh lho wrong
wh|lo bu|unco uron'l
|osl. A|lhough |l's u|wuys
bollor lo gol |l r|ghl
|n lho rsl p|uco, you
cun x |ncorrocl wh|lo
bu|unco |n solwuro -
lurn lo p12C lo soo how
lo oo |l.
Llke |SO sensltlvlty (see p64), the whlte balance settlng
on your camera ls somethlng that automatlc cameras
shleld you from by settlng lt for you. They usually get lt
more or less correct, but they rarely get lt spot on, and
sometlmes they get lt spectacularly wrong. Por general
snapshots, lt's safe to leave lt set to automatlc, but for a
shot you really want to get rlght lt takes only a fewseconds
to set the whlte balance manually to make sure your nal
plctures have great colour.
WHAT lS WHlTE BALANCE? The only reason you can see
ob[ects ls because they renect llght. Ob[ects appear to be
dlnerent colours because they absorb and renect dlnerent
llght wavelengths. A whlte ob[ect - say, a plece of paper -
looks whltebecauselt renects most of thespectrumequally.
8ut lf the llght falllng on a scene lsn't whlte ltself, then, of
course, a"whlte" ob[ect ln fact lsn't whlte. Slnce human
perceptlon ls very clever, your braln normally compensates
for thls fact, andob[ects that youknowtobewhlteappear to
be so. A camera lsn't that clever, so ln order to make whlte
thlngs look whlte - and get the colour balance for the
rest of a scene correct - lt applles compensatlon by
guesslng the type of llght falllng on the scene and
ad[ustlng the lmage approprlately.
Sunllght has a stronger blue tlnt than the llght from a
tungstenbulb(the lament lna standardllght bulbls made
of tungsten). |f you're outdoors and the camera correctly
guesses you're ln sunllght, lt wlll reduce the blue ln the
scene and the colours wlll look neutral. |f lt gets lt wrong
and thlnks you're lnslde under artlclal llght, lt wlll boost
blues, glvlng your outdoor shot a blue cast.
MAKlNG SURE YOU GET lT RlGHT To avold the camera
havlng to guess, you can expllcltly tell lt what sort of
llghtlng condltlons you're ln by settlng lts whlte balance
(often referred to slmply as w8 ln camera menus). There
are two ways to do thls - one ls qulck and usually qulte
accurate. The second ls only sllghtly less qulck and wlll
always glve you spot-on accuracy lf you do lt rlght. See
opposlte for the low-down.
Masterlngwhlte balance
THE REALLY EASY WAY The quick method is
very quick: just manually select one ol the
camera's preexisting settings to tell it what
sort ol light you're shooting in. There's usually a choice ol
at least hve. For indoor shots, there's tungsten (in other
words, standard incandescent room lighting), huorescent
lighting or hash. ll you're outdoors, there'll be two or
three choices - olten sunny, cloudy or overcast. Some
digital cameras will allow you to set the white balance
even in lully automatic mode; others need you to be in a
semimanual or manual mode such as aperture priority.
Once you're in the right mode, just select the appropriate
one and that's it. The only thing to remember is to reset it
(or set it back to automatic) il the conditions change.
THE FAl RLY EASY WAY The notquiteas
quick method is usually in the WB menus
as either manual or preset. ln this mode, you
can inlorm the camera exactly what the conditions are
by allowing it to see a white surlace under the current
lighting conditions.
Fl ND SOME PAPER To set the white balance
manually, simply hold a piece ol white paper or
card - or any other neutral, hat object - in lront
ol the camera, so it hlls the held ol view. By neutral we
mean pure white or grey, with no hint ol any other colour.
lt can be quite tricky working out il a colour is neutral
when you're not used to it, but il it looks warm or cool it
isn't neutral. Make sure you arrange things so that the
object is directly lit and there are no shadows across it.
HlT THE BUTTON Now go into the camera's
menu and select the manual or preset option.
You'll get a display similar to the one here,
telling you to arrange your white object in the held ol
view. Press the shutter or hit the OK button (depending
on your model) and the camera will record the scene.
From analysing the colour ol this neutral view, it can work
out what the colour balance should be and record the
scene laithlully. Your shots should turn out neutral with
no lalse warmth or, more annoyingly, no
shotruining colour casts.
Ol course, there are times when you might want
colours that are dillerent to the real ones - you might
want more warmth. Don't worry: the joy ol digital
photography is that all those things can be achieved later
on when you transler the pictures to your PC. lt's almost
always best to start with a laithlul reproduction and use
that as a basis lor enhancement in soltware.
|t's strangetothlnk that therearedlnerent denltlons of"whlte", slnceyour braln
normally compensates for the dlnerence lncolour balance of thlngs aroundyou
causedbydlnerlngcondltlons. our cameraneeds helplndecldlng-here's how.
S|mp|o, onco you
|now how.
A p|oco o wh|lo
pupor or noulru| groy
curo or olhor objocl.
Photography ls all about llght, and you can't take a
decent photograph wlthout worklng out how much
of lt there ls falllng on the scene you're trylng to
photograph. |t's almost lmposslble to guess correctly at
the level of llght ln the scene, slnce your vlslon system
ls constantly alterlng lts own exposure settlngs to
compensate for amblent llght. ou'll need to rely on
the camera's bullt-ln meterlng system to get the correct
exposure settlngs. 8ut there are several ways for
your camera to assess the llght.
Pemember that settlng exposure - the rlght
comblnatlon of shutter speed and aperture to capture a
scene correctly - ls often a compromlse, slnce a
camera can't fully record the whole range of llght
lntenslty ln a scene (see pl46 for more on thls). So lt
comes down to a compromlse: whether you want to
expose correctly for a certaln part of the scene and accept
that other parts wlll be elther ln shadow (see below) or
conversely blown out to whlte, whether slmply to go
for an average level that wlll get most of the scene
mostly correct, or whether to go for a mlx between those
two, wlth a blas toward the part of the frame you're more
lnterested ln. These three cholces are essentlally what
dlnerent meterlng modes allow you to select.
MATRlX METERlNG Matrlx meterlng, also known as
evaluatlve and glven all sorts of other posh names for
marketlng purposes, ls the default meterlng mode for
any camera when lt's set to automatlc. Thls ls where the
camera takes advantage of the power of sophlstlcated
modern mlcroprocessors and lntelllgently assesses the
whole frame. |t then trles to guess what sort of scene
you're looklng at, settlng the exposure approprlately.
The method of decldlng varles - some have bullt-ln
statlstlcal models or databases to help them declde - but
modern cameras now have very sophlstlcated computer
algorlthms for settlng exposure uslng thls method. They
rarely get lt very wrong, and you'll usually nd you only
need to overrlde matrlx meterlng when you want to
achleve a speclc enect.
DSLPs usua||y have an
AE |ock button to a||ow
you to take contro| of
spot meterlng.
The brlght |lght ln the
foreground ls [ust the
klnd of condltlon that
can foo| tradltlona|
meterlng, but modern
matrlx meterlng
systems usua||y cope
wlth lt very we||.
Bour |n m|no lhul
molor|ng mooos uro
cons|ooroo by cumoru
munuuclurors lo bo un
uovuncoo ouluro, uno
consoquonl|y you'|| on|y
lono lo no u u|| rungo
on moro oxpons|vo
cumoru mooo|s,
u|lhough somo w||ocuro
|oworono cumorus
(ovon compucls) sporl
lho u|| rungo.
SPOT METERlNGThe drawback of matrlx meterlng ls that,
whlle lt's enectlve, the camera doesn't know what your
lntentlons are. |f you're taklng a shot of someone's face
lllumlnated ln a shaft of llght, for lnstance, the camera
ls llkely to set a mlddllng exposure to try to get both the
area lllumlnated by the strong llght and the rest of the
scene exposed correctly. Thls completely loses the
drama of the shot - you wanted only to expose for the
area of the face ln the brlght llght, leavlng the rest of
the shot ln shadow, as ln the shot on the rlght.
Thls ls where spot meterlng comes ln. |t meters
the llght from a very small polnt ln the centre of the
frame, allowlng you to home ln and expose for exactly the
part of the frame you want. Of course, unless the sub[ect
you want to expose for really ls ln the centre of the frame,
you'll need to use thls ln con[unctlon wlth the AL lock
(auto-exposure lock) feature that all cameras have. |n a
DSLP, lt's usually a dedlcated button marked AL-L
(see opposlte). Presslng that wlll lock the exposure
for that frame (or x lt for a few seconds), so you can
alm the centre of the frame at the part of the sub[ect
you want to expose for, hlt the AL lock button and then
recompose the shot.
PARTlAL METERlNGThls ls a safer verslon of spot
meterlng, used by Canon ln some of lts models. |t's llke
spot meterlng ln that lt takes the llght readlng from a
small portlon of the centre of the frame, but lt's a
sllghtly larger area than usual - around 9%. Thls
mltlgates one of the dangers of spot meterlng, whlch
ls lf you meter from sllghtly the wrong part of the
frame - by happenlng to have the spot centred, for
lnstance, on a renectlon hlghllght - the exposure
can be wlldly wrong. Partlal meterlng means you get
most of the benet of a spot-meterlng scheme but
wlthout the danger.
CENTREWElGHTED AVERAGE Thls ls the type of meterlng
that was used by SLP cameras before mlcroprocessor-
based meterlng was posslble. As the name suggests, lt
slmply means that the camera measures the llght
from the whole scene and sets the exposure based on
that average, but wlll glve a llttle more prlorlty to the
centre portlon of the frame.
Centre-welghted averaglng ls stlll lncluded on many
dlgltal SLPs, but ls mostly there to keep tradltlonal lm
photographers who've grown accustomed to lt happy.
There's llttle reason to use lt when matrlx-meterlng ls
avallable. A few dlgltal cameras also have a stralght,
non-centre-welghted averaglng mode. Agaln, lt's
pretty much obsolete.
Pemember that the type ol metering the camera does isn't always accurate. This is
because a camera's meter has to be a rehective light meter. That means it looks at the
scene and tries to guess the light lalling on the objects by the light being rehected oll
them. The reason lor unreliability is simple: dillerent objects rehect dillerent amounts
ol light. Say you're trying to photograph two cats: a black one and a white one. ll you
place them both in the same location one alter the other, under the same lighting and
then take shots ol them with the camera's metering set to auto, the camera will almost
certainly set a longer shutter speed lor the black cat. Clearly, that's nonsense - the
black cat isn't any less visible to the human eye than the white one and doesn't need
dillerent exposure settings. But the dumb camera sees less light being rehected lrom
the black cat, so assumes it needs to set a longer shutter time, a wider aperture or
a combination ol both. The only way to eliminate such a metering error is to use a
handheld exposure meter. This lets you measure the light lalling on the object you're
trying to shoot, and it will give you a readout ol the right shutter speed and aperture
lor a correct exposure. You then need to drop the camera into manual mode and dial
in the settings yoursell. The drawbacks are that they're useless lor quick action shots;
they're one more piece ol kit to lug around; and they're expensive - about 100 lor
an easytoread digital one. But you can easily get away without one and still achieve
great exposures by paying attention to the histogram (see p?0).
Thls ls the type of
shot where spot
meterlng ls an
abso|ute must to get
the dramatlc contrast.
A dlglta| exposure
meter such as thls wl||
cost around 2100.
Masterlngthe hlstogram
ou mlght have encountered hlstograms ln maths
lessons at school, where they seemed to serve no
useful purpose. The opposlte ls true ln cameras.
That's because they can show you exactly how well
your lmage ls exposed.
|t's a slmple bar graph (albelt one wlth a lot of bars),
showlng the dlstrlbutlon of llght across a shot, and a
typlcal one looks llke some sort of cross-sectlon of a hlll
or mountaln. Almost all dlgltal compacts have the faclllty to
show lt, and every dlgltal SLP wlthout exceptlon wlll have
lt ln lts menu systemsomewhere. Look lt up ln the lndex of
the camera's manual lf you can't nd lt.
|n a dlgltal compact, you'll often nd a real-tlme
hlstogram prevlew mode. wlth a dlgltal SLP thls lsn't
posslble, slnce the sensor ls obscured untll the mlrror nlps
up when you take the shot, lt wlll generate the hlstogram
for the shot afterwards.
WHY DO l NEED CORRECT EXPOSURE? A correctly exposed
lmage ls absolutely key to gettlng a decent plcture,
especlally ln the world of dlgltal. At the baslc level, lf your
plcture ls underexposed, llght areas wlll be dull and dark
areas wlll slmply be black. An overexposed lmage can be
evenworse: because of the way dlgltal lmage sensors work,
they have more of a tendency to blow out llght areas of
lmages than tradltlonal lm cameras do. 8lown-out areas
appear as solld whlte and look terrlble - what's more, no
amount of dlgltal [lggery-pokery lnsoftware once the shots
are downloaded to your PC wlll help. There's no detall ln
blown-out areas, and you can't enhance or get back detall
that slmply lsn't there.
HOW THE HlSTOGRAM WORKS The hlstogram dlsplay
represents the dlstrlbutlon of llght and dark plxels across
the tonal range of your lmage. The extreme left-hand edge
of the hlstogram represents completely black plxels, whlle
the extreme rlght-hand edge represents completely whlte,
and the rest represents all the lntenslty levels ln between.
The hlgher the llne at a glven polnt across the bottom of
the graph, the more plxels there are of that lntenslty lnyour
photo. So, an lmage that's predomlnantly dark ln nature
wlll show a hlll that rlses from nothlng to a blg peak on
the left of the hlstogram, tralllng on towards the mlddle
and wlth llttle or nothlng on the rlght. Conversely, a brlght
lmage wlll show the opposlte, wlth the ma[orlty of plxels
belng llght and thus the maln hump of the hlstogram wlll
be on the rlght.
hlstogram ls that lt's easy to detect when your exposure
settlngs aren't optlmal, leadlng to under- or overexposed
photos. Slnce anoverexposedlmage has a large proportlon
of blown-out plxels, whlch are solld whlte, the hlstogram
dlsplay wlll look very dlstlnctlve. |t wlll start wlth nothlng
on the left, rlse sharply once lt gets past the mld-polnt, and
the very peak of your hlstogram mountaln wlll be at the
extreme rlght of the dlsplay. The malntell-tale ls that there's
no gentle roll-on: the graph wlll be abruptly cut on wlth a
clln on the rlght-hand slde. |f you get an lmage such as thls
you're almost certalnly overexposlng: slmply dlal ln some
manual negatlve exposure compensatlon to reduce the
exposure level. Start wlth -0.3Lv and take the shot agaln.
|f you stlll have cut-on on the rlght, reduce the exposure
agaln untll you have all your plxels nlcely contalned
wlthln the hlstogram range.
The hlstograms
correspondlng to
the three lmages
opposlte. Note that
the hlstogram for the
correct|y exposed
|eftmost shot lsn't
c|umped to one slde or
the other, whereas the
lncorrect|y exposed
shots are abrupt|y cut
off to one slde.

Conversely, lf you're serlously underexposlng, the

hlstogram wlll be the mlrror lmage, wlth a clln on the left-
handslde lndlcatlnga large number of black or nearly black
plxels that contaln almost no lnformatlon and hence no
detall. |n that sltuatlon, you need to add posltlve exposure
compensatlonuntll the plxels are all shlftedtothe rlght and
there's no left-hand cut-on.
photographlc sub[ects, you'll be almlng for a hlstogram
that resembles a symmetrlcal hlll, rlslng gently from the
left to peak roughly ln the mlddle and talllng on gently to
the rlght. That's because most scenes conslst prlmarlly of a
rangeof mld-level tones andarenelther verybrlght nor very
dark. |ndeed, ln many correctly exposed shots, there'll be
no plxels at all on the extreme left or extreme rlght - [ust a
hump ln the mlddle.
There are exceptlons to thls, though, whlch you need to
be aware of. Por lnstance, lf you're taklng a shot of someone
wlth thelr back to the sun, a correct exposure wlll probably
have a hlll ln the mlddle, but wlth a second blg splke on the
rlght. The reason for thls ls slmple - you (or the camera's
auto-exposure) have exposed for thelr relatlvely dark face,
representedby thecentral hlstogramhump. That means the
brlght sky lnthe backgroundls llkely tobe overexposedand
blown out to whlte, hence the splke. when you're assesslng
your hlstogram, keep ln mlnd that lf you're ln a sltuatlon
such as thls you may have to assess the curve dlnerently.
lN PRACTlCE |n practlcal terms, you don't need to check the
hlstogram after every shot. what you should do ls check lt
every so often and try to learn lf there are sltuatlons when
your camera's auto-exposure gets lt wrong. And, of course,
lf you're taklng a shot you really thlnk ls golng to turn out
great, glve the hlstogram a qulck once-over to make sure
all ls well. |t wlll tell you a lot more than slmply looklng at
the shot ltself on your camera's screen, slnce lt's very hard
to determlne correct from lncorrect exposure on a tlny 2ln
monltor, partlcularly lf you're ln brlght sunllght.
The |efthand lmage ls
correct|y exposed, the
mldd|e overexposed
and rlghthand
Checklng the
hlstogram of
your shot wl||
lnstant|y show lf lt's
correct|y exposed.

hIe formats
F|no? Suporno? PAW mooo? Whul
uro lhoso lh|ngs o wh|ch you spou|?
ll puys lo no oul, so rouo on.
exposure bracketing
l you'ro worr|oo uboul your boslovor
pholo opporlun|ly bo|ng ru|noo by
buo oxposuro, rol nol.
DSLR settings
Thoro uro |ols o soll|ngs |n mosl
DSLPs lhul cun ho|p your shols.
Wo oxp|u|n somo o lhom horo.
Dust and how to
deaI with it
Tho buno o muny u o|g|lu| SLP usor,
orlunulo|y lho prob|om o |nlornu|
ousl |s ous||y oou|l w|lh.
Many photographers go through thelr whole llves wlthout knowlng
verymuchabout thespeclallsedsettlngs of thelr camera, andtheystlll
manage totake superbplctures. 8ut that doesn't meanlt won't pay to
learn about and understand some of the more advanced features ln
your dlgltal camera, partlcularly whenlt comes tothe format yousave
your shots ln. Andlf you have strange specks of somethlngappearlng
ln your photos, read on to see howto ellmlnate them.

|f you want to be an accompllshed dlgltal photographer,
you need to know somethlng about how your photos
are stored when you take a shot and the camera transfers
lt to the memory card. That's because the way your
shots are processed and stored on the card anect the
quallty of the nal plcture to a much greater extent
than you mlght lmaglne.
PEG AND HOW lT WORKS Por all but a tlny proportlon
of hlgh-end models, every dlgltal camera uses 1PLG
(whlch stands for 1olnt Photographlc Lxpert Group, the
consortlum that developed lt) as lts default le format for
storlngplctures. |t wasn't speclcally developedfor camera
use - the 1PLG format was orlglnally conned to storlng
and reproduclng plctures and scans on computers. 8ut lt's
speclcally deslgnedfor storlngphotographlc lmages, and
lt excels at what lt does.
The prlmary functlon of a 1PLG le ls what's known as
compresslon: taklng the dlgltal lnformatlon that makes up
an lmage and manlpulatlng lt so lt takes up as llttle space
on your memory card as posslble. Thls compresslon means
you can t far more lmages on to a card than lf lt were
stored completely uncompressed. To get the maxlmum
amount of compresslon, 1PLG ls what's known as a lossy
compresslon format, whlch means that ln the process of
compresslng the le lt throws away some of the lmage
data. |t does thls wlthout apparently anectlng the quallty
of anlmage by taklngadvantage of humanperceptlon. Por
lnstance, human vlslon ls much less sensltlve to colour
than lt ls to brlghtness, so some of the colour data can be
dlscarded wlthout anectlng the appearance.
COMPRESSlON LEVELS ou'll notlce that your camera
has several quallty settlngs, usually called Standard, Plne
and Superne, or Low, Medlumand 8est. Thls anects the
compresslon level of the resultlng lmage - ln other words,
howmuch data ls thrown away to reduce the le slze: the
hlgher the compresslonlevel, the more data ls thrownaway,
and the smaller the le. The downslde ls that at hlgh levels
of compresslon, the quallty starts to degrade. Characterlstlc
artefacts of an overly compressed 1PLGare notlceable
blocks and fuzzlness at the edges of ob[ects. Photo-edltlng
software almost lnvarlably glves ll levels of compresslon,
one ls the lowest quallty but smallest, whlle ll has
compresslonthat's almost lmposslble todetect but wlll glve
a le slze of 3 or 4M8 for a typlcal 8-megaplxel lmage.
lNCAMERA SETTlNGS |f you thlnk about lt for a moment,
lt should be obvlous that lf a camera has to convert raw
lmage data lnto a 1PLG lmage lt needs to apply some
processlng. |t's a slde enect of the way dlgltal sensors work
that the results from a dlgltal camera lmage, once lt's
Masterlngflle formats
A pholo convorloo rom
PAW uno suvoo us
|oss|oss TIFF.
Tho sumo shol suvoo ul medium
IPEG quu||ly. Tho o|oronco |n
uppuronl shurpnoss |s murg|nu|.
ow ul Iow IPEG soll|ng
or u l|ny |o s|zo. olo lho
obv|ous b|oc| urloucls.
Tho quu||ly o lho PAW
|o convors|on solwuro
lhul munuuclurors
prov|oo w|lh lho|r
cumorus vur|os w||o|y.
l yours |s bo|ow pur,
lhoro's p|only o lh|ro
purly solwuro lhul w|||
oo lho job.
been processed out of the raw domaln and turned lnto a
recognlsable photo, are usually qulte"soft", and look llke
the lmage lsn't perfectly lnfocus. To compensate, a process
known as sharpenlng needs to be applled (see pll4). Also,
to glve lmages a llttle more punch, the camera wlll tend
to lncrease the contrast and boost the colour saturatlon so
that lmages look more vlvld.
Thls ls all very well and makes for 1PLGs that most
people wlll llke. The trouble ls you have no control
over lt, and lf you're serlous about gettlng the best from
your lmages lt's better to start wlth an lmage that's as
unprocessed as posslble. Por that reason, lf you declde
to shoot ln 1PLG (or your camera doesn't oner a PAw
mode), you should go lnto the menu settlngs and reduce
the level of processlng. Thls does vary between cameras,
but almost all decent dlgltal compacts wlll glve you the
optlon to alter the sharpness, saturatlon and contrast.
Often there's a three-level cholce of -l, 0 or +l, wlth +l
belng the default. The only dlmculty may be worklng out
whether the"real" neutral settlng ls -l or 0 - sometlmes,
the -l settlng ls artlclally low. The best bet here ls to
consult the camera's manual, they're often surprlslngly
comprehenslve on subtle technlcal polnts.
RAW FlLES PAw les are also compressed ln a way, slnce
they're not a complete lmage - they need to be processed
lnsoftware(seebelow) andthecolour lnformatlonfor each
plxel reconstructed. Por that reason, although a PAw le
ls larger than a 1PLG le of the same photo, the dlnerence
lsn't huge. Por a typlcal 8-megaplxel camera, the standard
best-quallty 1PLG slze wlll be around 3M8, whlle a PAw
le wlll be about 7M8. |f you're trylng to squeeze as many
shots as posslble on to a card lt wlll have an lmpact, but
wlth storage so cheap these days (see pl8), there's llttle
reason to avold PAw shootlng on grounds of thelr slze.
REASONS TO SHOOT lN RAW MODE There are several
very good reasons for shootlng ln PAw. A PAw le ls
the unadulterated data that comes stralght from the
camera's sensor - lt means very llttle untll some extremely
a nal lmage. And slnce lt's the data before processlng, the
whlte-balance correctlon hasn't been applled (see p66).
That means lf the camera's automatlc settlngs were wrong
- or you'd accldentally left lt on a manual settlng of dayllght
when you were shootlng ln a basement - lt doesn't matter.
ou can slmply cllck a button ln your PAwle-converter
software and change lt to the correct settlng. |f you'd done
the same thlng wlth your camera set to 1PLGmode, you'd
have toalter lt manually, whlchls a tlme-consumlngprocess
(turn to pl2l to see howlt's done).
Second on the llst of advantages ls somethlng known
as exposure latltude. |t comes as a result of the fact that
the data for each plxel ln a PAw le ls usually stored uslng
l2 dlgltal blts. Those l2 blts allow the le to record 4,096
posslble levels of varlatlon ln each colour. A 1PLG lmage,
on the other hand, stores each colour uslng only 8 blts.
|t doesn't sound much dlnerent but, because of the way
blnary maths works, the upshot ls you can have only 256
dlnerent levels of brlghtness for each colour.
That becomes an lssue lf you need to rescue an lmage
that, for lnstance, lsn't correctly exposed. |f you have to
make large brlghtness changes, you'll qulckly nd that an
8-blt 1PLGhasn't stored enough detall ln each plxel: you'll
get what's calledposterlsatlonenects, andhorrlblestepplng
of colours where there should be smooth graduatlons. wlth
a PAwle, the extra detall stored ln the le means you
get far more leeway to make blg changes to the brlghtness
levels of an lmage (uslng, for lnstance, the levels and
curves controls - see pll5) before the enects of stepplng
start to become vlslble. |n technlcal terms, you can correct
the exposure of a PAwlmage by up to one"stop". |f, for
lnstance, the shutter speed was set to l/l25th second and
lt should have been l/60th second, you stand a chance of
belng able to retrleve a usable plcture ln software. wlth a
1PLGlmage, you'll be lucky to get half a stop's correctlon
before horrlble artefacts start to make thelr presence felt.
Lven lf you've perfectly exposed your 1PLGshot, a PAw
le ls stlll superlor. The extra blts mean more ne detall can
be extracted that mlght be lost durlng 1PLGcompresslon.
Overdo your processlng
and nasty posterlsatlon
wl|| set ln.

And there's one more advantage. The process of
convertlng a PAw le to an lmage that a person can
understand ls complex, and the lnternal processlng power
of a camera ls llmlted ln what lt can do ln the second or so
lt has to process a plcture lnto a 1PLG and store lt ln the
camera. wlth the power of a desktop PC, the converslon
algorlthms can be more sophlstlcated. |n addltlon to that,
converslon algorlthms are stlll evolvlng, so ln the future
you may well be able to extract even hlgher-quallty nal
lmages from your PAw les.
PlTFALLS There's no denylng, though, that shootlng ln
PAw ls less convenlent than 1PLG, and there are some
problems. Although they're generlcally referred to as
PAw les, there's no slngle format - every camera stores
lts PAw lmages dlnerently and, unllke 1PLG lmages,
there are few apps that can open PAw les from any
camera. |n the past, there's also been some reslstance
to manufacturers maklng the detalls of thelr PAw
le formats publlc, whlch leads to your dlgltal photos
potentlally becomlng obsolete and unreadable lf a
manufacturer drops support for them. ou can guard
agalnst that, though, and stlll store your photos ln thelr
orlglnal raw form, by convertlng them to Adobe's DNG
(dlgltal negatlve) format. Thls doesn't decode your les toa
normal format - lt preserves the"rawness"but converts the
data to a conslstent PAwformat, wlth an openly publlshed
speclcatlon that allows software wrlters to lncorporate
standard DNG support ln thelr software. The converter ls
free, too: see the walkthrough opposlte for more.
THE TlFF FlLE FORMAT The nal ma[or le format ln whlch
dlgltal photos tend be stored ls T|PP (Tagged |mage Plle
Pormat). The one great strength of T|PP over 1PLG ls that
lt's a lossless format - T|PP lmages can be compressed,
but the compresslon doesn't throw away any data. A
second strength ls the fact that T|PP les can have a plxel
depth of up to l6 blts per colour channel, as opposed
to l2 blts for PAw and 8 blts for 1PLG. That means
that all the detall from a PAw le wlll happlly
"t lnto" a T|PP lmage wlth no loss of data, maklng
T|PP a perfect le format ln whlch to save your PAw
les once they've been converted and you've made
ad[ustments to them. |t also means that lf you export
from your PAw le converslon software lnto another
photo edltor for extra processlng, there's lots of leeway
to make sweeplng changes - for lnstance, styllslng the
shot by hugely lncreaslng the contrast - wlthout
posterlsatlon and stepplng creeplng ln.
The downslde ls that the lossless compresslon of a
T|PP le ls less enectlve than that of 1PLG - far less so,
ln fact. Lxpect a T|PP lmage from an 8-megaplxel photo
to occupy as much as 40M8 on your hard dlsk - that's
20 tlmes that of the equlvalent 1PLG. A good way to work
ls to use T|PP as an lntermedlate format. Convert from
PAw to T|PP, then make your nal tweaks and edlts
and, when you're completely nlshed, save the result as
a 1PLG and delete the T|PP. That way, you'll stlll have
the orlglnal PAw le plus the nlshed result of your
labours, wlthout the drawback of loslng huge amounts
of dlsk space to bloated T|PPs.
The same photo
saved ln three
formats. 1PEG, PAW
(wlth Canon's .CP2
extenslon for PAW
|es) and TIFF. Note
the huge dlfferences
ln |e slze, ranglng
from around 3MB
(3,461KB) for the
1PEG to near|y
30MB (29,106KB)
for the TIFF.

Download Adobe's DNG converter
ou'll nd lt ln Adobe's Camera PAwupdate for Photoshop package as
a slmple LXL le - [ust drag lt to the desktop and double-cllck to launch lt.
The too| ls deslgned as a oneshot" automated batch
converter. Se|ect source |ocatlon and the converter works
through and nondestructlve|y converts every PAW |e lt
nds, as |ong as that format ls supported.
Hlt the Se|ect Fo|der button and navlgate to the fo|der
contalnlng your PAW |es for converslon. Note that you
can se|ect your parent" fo|der contalnlng subfo|ders
wlth a|| your lndlvldua| photo sesslons' lmages ln them.
Now se|ect a destlnatlon fo|der for the converted DNG
|es to |lve ln. You can a|so create subfo|ders ln the
destlnatlon fo|der that match subfo|ders at the source,
or slmp|y save a|| lmages at lnto the destlnatlon fo|der.
Adobe Dlglta| Negatlve Converter glves a raft of optlons for
automatlc |e namlng. It |ooks confuslng at rst, but lf you
se|ect a coup|e of optlons at random then the Name
Examp|e e|d changes to show you what the resu|t wl|| be.
Hlt the Change Preferences button. The settlng of most
concern ls Image Converslon Method. Preserve Paw
Image malntalns the orlglna| plxe| pattern of your PAW
|e, Convert to Llnear turns lt lnto a more standard format.
Now hlt the Convert button. Note that lf you've se|ected
the optlon to embed the orlglna| PAW |e ln the DNG |e,
you can use the converter too| to reextract the orlglna|
|e by uslng the Extract functlon at a |ater date.
bul somo o|omonls
cun bo oo|y.
2 1
4 S
l you opon u JPEO uno
rosuvo |l, lho quu||ly
w||| oogruoo. Tho moro
olon you oo lh|s, lho
worso lho oogruoul|on
w||| bo. l you'ro oo|l|ng
u pholo, onco you'vo
oponoo |l up suvo |l
lo TlFF ormul, wh|ch
|s |oss|oss, uno on|y
suvo lo JPEO or nu|
slorugo | you nooo lo.
A common technlque ln the days when tradltlonal
lm photography was stlll klng was somethlng called
exposure bracketlng. The name sounds horrendously
complex, but ln fact the concept ls slmple. The ldea ls
that lf you're ln trlcky llght condltlons, where you thlnk
the camera's automatlc exposure settlngs mlght be fooled
and get lt wrong - when you're shootlng wlth brlght llght
ln the background, for lnstance, or shootlng a very dark
sub[ect - you take more than one exposure. Plrst, you
take the one the camera thlnks ls correct, then usually
two more - one wlth negatlve exposure compensatlon
applled, and one wlth posltlve compensatlon. The ldea
ls that, unless the camera really has thlngs wlldly wrong,
by spreadlng the rlsk over three exposures one of them ls
llkely to be correct (or close enough that lt's salvageable).
Most dlgltal SLPs - wlth the exceptlon of the least
expenslve entry-level models - have an automatlc
exposure bracketlng mode. ou set the amount of
compensatlon for each shot vla the menu system and put
the camera lnto burst mode. Now, when you hold down
the shutter, lnstead of contlnuously rlng, the camera
wlll take three shots, automatlcally settlng the exposure
compensatlon to bracket the exposures. Some DSLPs
(such as the Nlkon D80 shown here) also allow you to
take [ust two shots - one uncompensated and one
elther under or over. ou can also usually comblne
bracketlng wlth exposure compensatlon, to bump up
the whole set of three exposures. That means you can
take three shots, all of whlch can be elther under- or
overexposed. Thls can be useful lf you want to reel on
a qulck sequence to use ln a composlte HDP shot (see
pl46). |f you use exposure bracketlng frequently, lt's worth
checklng out whlch cameras have a dedlcated exposure
bracketlng button, so you can engage bracketlng mode
slmply by hlttlng the button and turnlng the selector
dlal to set the amount of compensatlon - the Nlkon D80,
for lnstance, has one.
for employlng exposure bracketlng ls ln sltuatlons where
you won't necessarlly have tlme to check your exposure
between each shot, such as candld photography and
Masterlngexposure bracketlng
Thls squlrre| monkey stayed
stl|| |ong enough for us to
get a bracketed sequence.
It's [ust as we||, as the
camera became confused
and overexposed the mldd|e,
uncompensated exposure.
The 1EV frame (|eft) turned
out correct|y exposed
wlth p|enty of detal|. If we
hadn't taken the bracketlng
sequence, the shot wou|d
have been dlfcu|t to save.
The uncompensated frame
(|eft) shows b|ownout
hlgh|lghts, and the +1EV
frame (above) ls c|ear|y
much worse.

outdoor events. |t's a useful safety net to stop you gettlng

home wlth what you hoped was the shot of your llfe, only
to nd that lt was exposed lncorrectly.
use exposure bracketlng ln"safety net"mode, you're
essentlallytrylngtoguardagalnst thecameragettlngthlngs
pretty wrong. That means your bracketed exposures should
be a long way fromwhat the camera [udges ls correct. A
good base settlng ls to go +lLv (plus one"stop") and -lLv
(mlnus one"stop") over and under. There's a benet to
thls: lf the underexposure ls falrly extreme, lt can also help
wlth shots ln lowllght, when you're busy [ust trylng to get
the shot and not looklng at the exposure tlmes, sometlmes
the"correct"exposure ls too slowto handhold the camera,
but theunderexposedshot ls [ust fast enoughtocapturethe
shot wlthout too much camera shake. |n thls sltuatlon, even
though the exposure lsn't ldeal, you may be able to rescue
the underexposed frame ln software (partlcularly lf you're
shootlng ln PAwmode - see p74), and get a better end
result that's free of camera shake. Thls ls equlvalent to the
lmphotographers' old trlck of underexposlng to catch the
shot andlnstructlngthedevelopers tocompensatewlththe
chemlcal process when produclng the negatlves.
THE DRAWBACKS The obvlous sltuatlon where exposure
bracketlng lsn't ldeal ls wlth sports or actlon photography.
|f you're uslng burst mode to try to get as many shots
as posslble to capture that maglc moment, exposure
bracketlng wlll [ust get ln the way. |f you have llmlted
space on your memory card, you also won't want to use
exposure bracketlng - at least not habltually - slnce taklng
three exposures for every composltlon, only one of whlch
you'll ever use, enectlvely cuts your storage space by
two-thlrds. |t can also be annoylng lf you forget you're ln
bracketlng mode and take [ust one shot, then move on.
The next shot you take wlll be wrongly exposed, slnce the
camera wlll stlll be ln the mlddle of a bracketlng sequence.
OTHER TYPES OF BRACKETlNG Lxposure lsn't the
only settlng you can bracket: most cameras that have
exposure bracketlng have a whlte-balance bracketlng
faclllty, too, although lt lsn't usually posslble to comblne
the two. wlth whlte-balance bracketlng, rather than
under- or overexposlng the shot, the two shots elther slde
wlll be wlth the whlte balance set to a warmer (more
yellowlsh) settlng, and to a cooler (more bluelsh) one.
|f shootlng ln 1PLG mode thls can be a useful feature,
slnce once the whlte balance ls set ln a 1PLG shot
lt's hard to correct (see pl2l). |t's less useful lf you're
shootlng ln PAw mode, as you can ad[ust whlte balance
ln a PAw le ln a completely nexlble way (see p74).
Llther way, lf you're ln doubt about your exposure, lt's
always better to go for exposure bracketlng than whlte
bracketlng slnce you can't get back detall that's lost when
a shot ls lncorrectly exposed.
D|g|lu| SLPs somol|mos
oor u ooo|culoo
bullon lo sol oxposuro
bruc|ol|ng w|lhoul
rosorl|ng lo monus.
A lopmounloo
LCD puno| shows
ul u g|unco lhul
bruc|ol|ng |s
sw|lchoo on.
DSLPs, h|ghono
compucl mooo|s
uno suporzooms
w||| u|| usuu||y oor
oxposuro bruc|ol|ng.
As well as provldlng the benets of lnterchangeable lenses
and generally better lmage quallty, dlgltal SLPs also tend
to provlde more ln the way of speclallst custom settlngs.
MlRROR LOCKUP 8urled ln the menus of many DSLPs
ls thls obscure-soundlng settlng. |ts functlon ls perfectly
stralghtforward, but pretty speclallsed. |f you're dolng
close-up macro photography lt's worth looklng at, though.
All that mlrror lock-up does ls nlp up the mlrror ln an SLP
a whlle before actually taklng the exposure, rather than
nlpplng lt up and lmmedlately taklng the shot. The mlrror
ln an SLP has to nlp up fast and lt's relatlvely heavy, whlch
means for very preclse shots the vlbratlon lt causes can
decrease the sharpness of the lmage. Some SLPs' lock-up
slmply nlps the mlrror two seconds before maklng the
exposure, whlle others requlre two presses of the shutter
(or, more llkely, the remote release) - one to nlp the
mlrror, one to take the shot. |n all honesty, though, you
have to be taklng extremely demandlng speclallst shots
for mlrror lock-up to be of any use at all, and even then lt
makes only the smallest dlnerence.
COLOUR SPACE An lncreaslng number of cameras allow
you to select the colour space prole that's tagged lnto a
shot. Colour space ls a complex concept, but ln essence lt
denes the gamut of an lmaglng devlce, whether that be
a monltor, prlnter or camera. The gamut ls the maxlmum
range of hues a devlce canreproduce. The larger the gamut,
the better able a devlce ls to reproduce the colours ln
an lmage correctly.
Tradltlonally, dlgltal devlces have used a colour space
known as sPG8. The trouble ls sPG8 was developed over a
decadeagotoglveconslstent colour reproductlonbetween
devlces of the tlme. |t's a lowest-common-denomlnator
colour space that's pretty llmlted ln lts gamut. wlth every
passlngyear lt becomes further out of date, as evenlow-end
Speclallst SLPsettlngs
Vlbratlon can be a prob|em
wlth extreme c|oseup macro
photography. You can reduce
lt lf your DSLP has a mlrror
|ockup functlon.

devlces can exceed the llmlts of sPG8. That's why many

new DSLPs glve the optlon to use the Adobe PG8 colour
space, whlch ls a far wlder space and glves better colour
reproductlon: ln partlcular, lt allows for rlcher and deeper
greens (see dlagrams above). 8y selectlng Adobe PG8,
you can ensure your shots aren't artlclally llmlted ln thelr
colour range by equlpment further down the reproductlon
plpellne. ou should always select lt lf lt's avallable.
AUTOFOCUS MODE The default autofocus settlng for dlgltal
SLPs ls often contlnuous (or servo) mode. Thls contlnually
trles to keep the sub[ect of your shot ln focus, reassesslng
and refocuslng lf lt moves. There are two problems wlth
thls: rst of all, lt doesn't do your camera's battery llfe
any favours slnce autofocus requlres a motor, and motors
need large amounts of power. More slgnlcant ls that lt
doesn't allowyou to focus on a sub[ect by polntlng dlrectly
at lt and then recomposlng the shot - the servo focus
wlll lmmedlately refocus on what you're now polntlng
the camera at, whlch can be lnfurlatlng. Dependlng on
how the focus area ls set, lt can also become confused by
other ob[ects movlng ln the frame and refocus on them
apparently at random.
The solutlon ls to drop the camera lnto slngle-shot
focus mode. Thls means that when you half-press the
shutter, the camera wlll focus on whatever falls lnto the
sensltlvlty zone of lts focus area and, thereafter, as long as
you keep the shutter half-pressed the focus wlll remaln
locked. ou can then reframe your shot condent ln the
knowledge that the focus won't change. DSLPs also
oner a hybrld of slngle-shot and servo focus, whereby
the focus wlll remaln locked unless the camera detects
slgnlcant movement, ln whlch case lt wlll drop lnto
servo mode and attempt to track the sub[ect. we've
had llmlted success wlth thls mode, as cameras slmply
don't have the lntelllgence to determlne what the sub[ect
really ls, but lt can be useful for sports and wlldllfe
photography (see p55).
LONGEXPOSURE NOlSE REDUCTlON Most dlgltal compacts
and DSLPs oner a long-exposure nolse-reductlon settlng.
Long exposures suner more fromnolse slmply because
there's more tlme for nolse to bulld ln the lmage. Nolse
reductlon ln thls context lsn't applled ln software. The
camera takes the shot, then closes the shutter and captures
another frame (whlch lsn't saved) over the same perlod. |t
then subtracts the nolse fromthls"dark"frame fromthe
lmage proper. |n most cases, you'll want to leave thls on,
but lf you're taklng very long exposures lt can be a problem.
An exposure of a mlnute ls lnconvenlent enough, another
mlnute tagged on to the end of that ls even worse. ou may
nd that you can get away wlth turnlng on nolse reductlon,
the maln problemwlth long-exposure shots ls often
"hotspots"of nolse - lsolated brlght plxels. These can be
cleaned up uslng software on your PC (see pl40).
SHUTTER CURTAlN SYNC Curtaln sync ls an lmportant
settlnglf you'relntonashphotography. |t makes lts presence
felt lf you're taklng shots of movlng ob[ects such as cars at
nlght, uslng long exposures to get lnterestlng llght tralls
along wlth ll-ln nash to capture the car, blke or person ln
questlon. wlth standard curtaln sync ln a long exposure
uslng nash, the nash wlll re as the shutter opens, then stay
open for, say, half a second to capture the llght tralls. 8ut
thls wlll mean that the tralls wlll precede the movlng ob[ect
- they won't look llke tralls at all.
Many DSLPs glvetheoptlontochangethls standardsetup.
The two optlons are known as"rst curtaln"and"second
curtaln"after the actual mechanlsmof some cameras, whlch
conslsts of a palr of nexlble curtalns. To open the shutter, the
rst curtalnslldes across, exposlngthe llght sensor. Toclose, a
second curtaln slldes back over, shuttlng out the llght.
8y settlng the curtaln sync to second curtaln rather than
rst, you'll get the enect you're looklngfor lnnlght-trall shots.
The shutter wlll open for the deslgnated tlme, capturlng
the llght tralls. The nash wlll re only as the shutter closes,
lllumlnatlng the sub[ect at the end of the llght trall.
The trlang|e lnslde the co|our graph above represents the |lmlts
of the modern Adobe PGB co|our space.
Thls dlagram shows sPGB. It's sma||er and covers a more
restrlcted range of hues, partlcu|ar|y ln the deep greens.

Thoro's no po|nl |n
us|ng m|rror |oc|up
un|oss you u|so huvo
u romolo shullor
ro|ouso, s|nco pross|ng
lho shullor w|lh your
ngor w||| proouco
ur moro v|brul|on.
Pomolo ro|ousos
uro uvu||ub|o or u||
DSLPs uno usuu||y
cosl urouno 2C.
8elng able to change the lens on a dlgltal SLP ls one of the
ma[or benets of ownlng one, but frequent lens changlng
brlngs wlth lt lts own problems. Lach tlme you take the
lens on the body of your camera, dust can enter the body
and nd lts way on to the sensor. wlth lm cameras lt
was rarely a problem, slnce after every exposure the lm
was wound on so lt could only ever anect one frame. 8ut
a dlgltal sensor ls always ln there, and after a whlle lt wlll
start accumulatlng muck. A few specks you won't notlce,
but over the years you mlght ndthat areas of your lmages
are dlsgured by tlny black specks and shadows. The
problem ls exacerbated by the fact that the sensor ln your
camera ls statlcally charged, so even lf dust slmply falls to
the bottom of the mlrror chamber there's a chance lt wlll
be plcked up and stlck to the sensor durlng normal use.
MlNlMlSlNG THE PROBLEM Plrst, make sure the problem
youhave ls actually dust andnot some other problemsuch
as lmage nolse caused by shootlng at hlgh |SO (see p64).
The way to tell for sure lf specks and blotches on your
lmages are caused by dust ls to look at a serles of shots.
Dust marks wlll look the same and appear ln the same
place ln each shot - lmage nolse won't. Second, dust wlll
usually be more vlslble (and sometlmes only vlslble) ln
shots that were taken wlth a small aperture (say, f/l6 or
smaller). Thls ls down to the same optlcal enects that glve
a deeper depthof eldat small apertures (see p22 for more
on depth of eld). |f you have specks on your lmage at
small apertures but not at large ones, you can practlcally
guarantee the problem ls caused by dust.
Havlng establlshed you have dust on your sensor, don't
accept dust problems as a fact of llfe, there are plenty of
steps you can take to avold lt when swltchlng lenses. The
rst rule ls locatlon: ldeally, you'll be lnslde, away from any
opendoors or wlndows, andaway fromcontamlnants such
as anlmals and other people. |f you slmply must change
lenses outslde, make sure you shleld the camera from
the wlnd. And take care - never allow your ngers to get
lnslde your camera. The best-case scenarlo ls you leavlng
a dlrty ngerprlnt on the mlrror that renects the lmage ln
the vlewnder. At worst, your tlny sllp mlght permanently
damage the sensor.
ou can enllst gravlty's help by keeplng the camera
polntlng down to make sure nothlng falls ln lt. Thls goes
double lf you're changlng lenses outslde: never polnt your
camera at the sun.
Plnally, make sure you're ready to swap lenses. Don't
remove the unwanted lens before spendlng ve mlnutes
rummaglng ln your camera bag for the one you want.
Have the secondary lens out, uncapped and ready to go.
wlth a steady hand and a blt of practlce (and, ldeally, a
wllllng asslstant) you should be able to go fromone lens to
another ln less than 20 seconds.
SOLVlNG THE PROBLEM Once you've found dust on your
lens, don't panlc - professlonal photographers have been
deallng wlth thls problem for years and, ln most cases,
gettlng rld of dust ls slmple and safe.
8ut removlng dust does lnvolve worklng on your
camera wlth lts sensor exposed. Lven though you won't
be worklng dlrectly wlth the sensor (there's a lter over lt),
you'll stlll be gettlng lntlmate wlth an extremely sensltlve
mechanlcal and optlcal system. Damaglng your camera
ln an expenslve or even permanent fashlon ls easy, so you
should bear ln mlnd some lmportant tlps.
Plrst of all, never touch the sensor wlth anythlng not
speclcally deslgned for the [ob. Thls advlce goes for
ngers and promlslng-looklng tools such as cotton-wool
buds. Desplte belng good at plcklng up dust, they also
leave tlny bres ln thelr wake, so you'll end up wlth more
debrls on your sensor than you started wlth.
So what should you do! Plrst, you need to lnvest
ln some purpose-bullt tools. A manual alr blower wlth
a nozzle and bulb ls the only klnd of alr you should
lntroduce to your camera. Any hlgh-street camera retaller
wlll have a couple of optlons, and lt shouldn't cost you
more than about 8. Compressed alr canlsters mlght look
temptlngly professlonal, but lt can be dlmcult to control
the strength of the alrnow, and they use propellants that
can contamlnate the alrnow.
FlND THE RlGHT MODE Pead your camera's lnstructlons to
nd out how to enable lts sensor-cleanlng mode, whlch
wlll nlp up the mlrror to expose the sensor. Don't [ust try to
use a long-exposure mode: lf the mlrror snaps down, lt wlll
trap any tools you have lnslde the camera and very llkely
cause permanent damage.
Por more stubborn dust you can buy purpose-bullt
cleanlng brushes. ou statlcally charge the brush by
blowlng a few puns of alr on to lt, and then gently pull
the brush across the sensor. The statlc charge pulls on
dust welded on to your sensor. Thls technlque requlres
extreme cautlon and should only be used lnfrequently
as a last resort. |f you're ln any doubt, there are plenty of
manufacturer-approved workshops out there that wlll do
the [ob for you.
Plnally, lf you've already taken photos that exhlblt dust,
gettlng rld of lt ls slmple, partlcularly lf the partlcles are
small. Most photo-edltlng appllcatlons have a Clone tool,
wlth whlch you can qulckly drawover areas of your lmages
by sampllng nearby plxels. See pl40-l4l for more detall
on gettlng rld of lmperfectlons ln software.
Dust andhowtodeal wlthlt
Muny prooss|onu|
rocommono molhuno|
busoo so|ul|ons lo
c|oun sonsors lhul huvo
purl|cu|ur|y slubborn
spoc|s o ousl or -
worso sl||| - ngorpr|nls
on lhom. Wh||o lhoso
uro corlu|n|y oocl|vo,
bour |n m|no lhul
molhuno| |s oxlromo|y
ummub|o, uno so |sn'l
somolh|ng you'|| bo ub|o
lo lu|o ubrouo w|lh you
un|oss you |nlono lo
uvo|o p|unos.
1 2
4 S
|f dust and specks of muck nd thelr way lnto your DSLP, lt's posslble to deal
wlththelssueyourself -youmaynot needtosendonyour cameratoberepalred.
8ut you need to be very careful: read every step before you start.
3 1
PREPARE YOURSELF This process requires
great care and attention, so make sure you've
lound somewhere you won't be interrupted.
You'll need to work on a stable desk, where there's no
breeze, so close the windows and turn oll any nearby
lans or airconditioning units. You also need plenty ol
indirect light - you should to be able to see exactly what
you're doing, without exposing your sensor directly to
bright light. se the camera's menu system to enable the
sensorcleaning mode; this hips up the mirror out ol the
way so you can reach the sensor. lt doesn't hurt to make
sure your camera has plenty ol battery lile lelt - il it runs
out midclean, the mirror could unexpectedly hip down.
TAKE OFF THE LENS Next, you'll need to
remove the lens. Find somewhere sale to
put it and make sure you put the cap on
the sensor end to prevent your lens getting grubby
while it's out ol the way. Your camera's sensor is now
exposed, which is bad news il you make a mistake.
You should bear in mind lrom here on in that your
camera is in an extremely lragile state, and any signihcant
mistakes could result in a huge repair bill. ll you're in
any doubt, close everything back up and take the camera
to a prolessional.
GlVE lT A BLOW Take your manual air blower
and give it a lew experimental squeezes away
lrom the camera to get rid ol any dust that's
accumulated in the bulb. Once you're happy you're
getting nothing but clean air, hold it level with the
camera's lens mount and gently blow around the sides
ol the sensor. Then - gently - blow air across the sensor
itsell. Each time you rehll the blower, remove it lrom the
camera hrst - you don't want to suck up dust only to
redeposit it in the body. This should shilt all but the most
stubborn particles. ll any visible specks remain, resist
the temptation to blow much harder or - worse still -
attempt to dislodge them with a hngernail.
PUT lT BACK TOGETHER Peplace the lens and
disable the sensorcleaning mode. The mirror
will hip down and your camera should be as
good as new. To check, take a picture ol a solid color
with your lens zoomed all the way out, at a small aperture.
view the image at 100% in your photoediting application
- any specks remaining will be prominent. ll there are any
visible, use the brushing technique described opposite.
Finally, don't make cleaning your camera's sensor a
regular habit. Occasionally, perlorm a check lor dust, and
clean the sensor only when absolutely necessary.
A s|mp|o procoss, bul
ono lhul nooos curo
uno conconlrul|on.
Hunoho|o u|r b|owor,
nol un uoroso|.
Th|s procoouro cou|o
oumugo your cumoru's
sonsor. l |n uny ooubl,
uso u munuucluror
upprovoo wor|shop.
Mastering your
An ol|gnoroo s|oo o u PC's
spoc|cul|on, or pholo oo|l|ng |l's lho
mosl |mporlunl compononl lhoro |s.
Mastering monitor
Sponl hunoroo o pounos on u uncy
scroon uno nol bolhoroo lo cu||brulo
|l? T|mo lo corrocl lh|s orror.
your PC
Horo's lho |normul|on you nooo lo
mu|o suro your PC |s up lo lho lus|
o pholo oo|l|ng.
How much memory and
hard disk space?
Thoso uro lho lwo |oy uclors whon
|l comos lo pholo upp||cul|ons.
Choc| you huvo |l r|ghl.
a hard disk
l you'ro runn|ng oul o o|s| spuco,
lry uoo|ng un oxlru o|s|. ll |sn'l us
huro us |l sooms.
There's a lot of talk regardlng the speclcatlons your PC requlres ln
order toget startedwlthphotoedltlng. |nternet forumsareawashwlth
people boastlng about thelr quad-core computers wlth 8G8 of PAM
and 30ln monltors, and howyou absolutely must have somethlng
slmllar. |t's all nonsense. The good news ls that almost any modern
PC ls well up to the task. Over the next fewpages, we'll explaln whlch
speclcatlons matter and showyou the ldeal spec for a photo PC.

Masterlngyour monltor
The varlables lnvolved ln chooslng a monltor lnclude
screen slze and resolutlon, lnputs and connectlons and,
most of all, budget.
SlZE AND RESOLUTlON whlle many standard monltors
remaln ln homes and omces, today's TPTs are
predomlnantly wldescreen. A l9ln screen ls the mlnlmum
you should be looklng for, wlth a resolutlon of l,440 x 900.
The next step up ls 20ln and l,680 x l,050, but beyond
that thlngs become a llttle confuslng. The resolutlon on
22ln TPTs has tradltlonally been l,680 x l,050, but newer
models have made the leap to l080p (l,920 x l,080). At
24ln and 26ln, the cholce ls between l080p and the more
useful l,920 x l,200, whlle there are a few 30ln models
wlth 2,560 x l,600. Generally, more llnes of plxels are
better for edltlng, but a l080p dlsplay may appeal lf you
also lntend to watch or edlt hlgh-denltlon vldeo. To plck
the rlght model, read revlews such as those ln PC Pro and
look out for comments about colour accuracy.
CONNECTlONS A monltor usually connects to your PC vla
vGA (analogue) or Dv| (dlgltal) ports. The vGA port was
orlglnally deslgned to work wlth CPTs, as the scannlng
beam moves from llne to llne ln the lmage, the voltage
ls varled to represent the deslred brlghtness at each plxel.
wlth TPTs thls ls trlcky slnce there's no longer a scannlng
beam, so the decodlng process can result ln dlstortlon ln
the nal lmage. wlth Dv|, each plxel comlng from the
graphlcs card corresponds to one plxel on the dlsplay, so
the resultlng plcture ls accurate and sharp at all tlmes.
Newer TPTs may also oner HDM|, whlch carrles both
audloandvldeoandls commonlyfoundonhlgh-denltlon
devlces and games consoles.
MAKlNG ADUSTMENTS A few monltors allow you to
make ad[ustments to the plcture through software, but
most make use of the onscreen dlsplay, or OSD. 8efore
youedlt your photos, lt's lmportant totweakyour monltor's
settlngs to ensure as accurate a plcture as posslble. ou'll
need to use some test patterns as a gulde, and there are all
sorts of utllltles that provlde them, such as DlsplayMate
( 8ut lf youdon't want tospendany
moremoney, youcanalways createthetest lmages yourself
by followlng the steps opposlte.
Monltors haveanumber of colour temperaturesettlngs.
|f your monltor has a 6,500K settlng, you should use thls
as a base, and lt helps to put a black-and-whlte lmage on
the screen to see lf there's any colour tlntlng. |f there ls,
you should be able to ad[ust the red, green and blue levels
on the monltor lndlvldually to ellmlnate the enect.
A wldescreen TFT
monltor such as thls ls
ldea| for photo edltlng,
a||owlng you to see the
who|e photo and your
software too| pa|ettes
at the same tlme.

BLACK POl NT TEST We're using the Gimp
(www.gimp.otg) lor this example, as it's lree.
Create a new image with the same dimensions
as your desktop and hll it with black, then create a new
square somewhere within the image, out ol the way ol
your monitor's OSD. With this square selected, open the
Color Curves dialog and drag the starting point ol the
line lrom the bottomlelt (0,0) position up to the (0,5)
position. Click OK - the colour ol your box will change
to a slightly lighter colour, although this may not be
visible at this point. Save the image. Open your monitor's
OSD, reset to lactory settings and choose the colour
temperature 6,500K, or choose Native, Natural or your
monitor's equivalent. Set the contrast level to 100% and
then gradually decrease the brightness until the coloured
box is only just visible over the black background.
WHlTE POl NT TEST Open the Gimp again and
create another canvas the size ol your desktop,
but this time colour it grey. Create a medium
sized box within the image and colour it white. Then
create a smaller box inside it, open the Color Curves
dialog and drag the right end ol the line lrom (255,255)
down to (255,250). Click OK and maximise the image
across your desktop. You should be able to distinguish
between the shades ol the two boxes; il you can't,
decrease the contrast ol your monitor in the OSD.
GO BACK AND READ UST ll you had to change
your contrast level, this will have thrown the
black test out a little. Go back to the black test
image again and readjust the brightness until you can
just make out the lighter box over the black background.
Open the white test again to check that it hasn't altered
results at the top end; il it has, readjust the contrast and
keep going back and lorth between the two tests until
the results lor both are satislactory. ll you have the time,
it may be simpler to combine the two in one image, as
shown below.
USE QUl CKGAMMA Download the lree
OuickGamma tool (
indexen.hIml), install and run it. Adjust the
gamma level using the up and down arrows at the top
right. The ideal is to have the patterns indicating a
gamma ol around 2 - that is, the patterns on the lelt
converge at around that point on the scale, and the
Black A bar only becomes visible over the black
background at around that point. You can also adjust
the gamma lor each individual colour.
|f you don't have any professlonal callbratlon tools or a copy of Photoshop,
lt's stlll posslble to callbrate your monltor vlsually uslng free tools and your
own created test lmages.
S|mp|o onough, bul
|l cun bo oo|y lo gol
ubso|ulo|y r|ghl.
Don'l gol loo
obsossoo - hu|
un hour |s no.
The human eye ls phenomenally good at correctlng
whlte balance: lf you see a whlte wall ln shadow, you
don't lnterpret lt as a dark shade of grey, but as what
you knowlt to be: whlte. |n the same way, thls makes lt
lmposslble to tell by eye lf your TPT ls dlsplaylng truly
accurate colours. Lven the most subtle of varlatlons ln
colour can mean the dlnerence between a llfellke skln
tone and one that looks wrong.
The lnstructlons on the prevlous pages don't cost a
penny and wlll serve most users ne, but lf absolute colour
accuracy ls requlred, there are ways of properly callbratlng
your monltor. The slmplest ls to buy a callbratlon tool,
such as the DataColor Spyder3 (, whlch
ls avallable ln several verslons to sult the home amateur
rlght up to the photography professlonal. A devlce such as
the Spyder3 ellmlnates the human eye completely from
the callbratlon process, somethlng software callbratlon
utllltles such as Adobe Gamma slmply can't do. |nstead, the
Spyder3usesltsowntest patternsandacolourlmeter sensor
toad[ust thebrlghtness, contrast, gamma andcolour tones.
HOME BASlC As wlth all commerclal hardware, you
get what you pay for wlth the Spyder range. The baslc
Spyder3express has certaln llmltatlons, such as xed
gamma and temperature settlngs, plus a lack of multlple
monltor and pro[ector support and PG8 pre-callbratlon.
8ut at around 77, lt should more than meet the needs of
the average home photographer wlth a slngle PC and a
hard dlsk's worth of lmages.
The mld-range Spyder3Pro ls nearer to ll4, but
oners four cholces of monltor gamma and four of
colour temperature. Thls makes lt more accurate
than Spyder3express, and lt also supports PG8
pre-callbratlon, comes wlth an embedded amblent llght
sensor, and can be used on more than one dlsplay.
THE TOP CHOlCE Keen amateur photographers may want to
splash out l60 or more on Spyder3Lllte for the ultlmate
ln monltor callbratlon. |t oners unllmlted cholce of monltor
gamma and temperature, supports multlple monltors and
pro[ectors (lncludlng a pro[ector-mountlng adapter), and
oners Colorvlslon's Amblent PreclseLlght functlon for
lncreased accuracy.
|f you need to callbrate only a slngle monltor, the
prlce may make the Spyder3 overklll, partlcularly
lf you're slmply tweaklng your photo collectlon at home
for your own en[oyment. 8ut lf colour accuracy ls
cruclal, we recommend at least optlng for the anordable
Spyder3express verslon, especlally lf you lntend to prlnt
your photos wlth any degree of colour accuracy.
Masterlngmonltor callbratlon
Any mon|lor w||| bonol rom
cu||brul|on, no mullor how o|o.
Tho cu||brulor |s
supp||oo w|lh cuslom
wr|llon solwuro uno
commun|culos w|lh
lho oov|co |lso|
our|ng lho procoss. Dur|ng lho cu||brul|on
procoss, lho hurowuro
cu||brulor |s pos|l|onoo
ovor lho mon|lor
lo o|rocl|y mousuro
lho co|ours.
Hurowuro cu||brul|on
oov|cos connocl lo u
SB porl on your PC,
uno lu|o lho|r powor
rom lho porl, loo.
4 S
Make sure the colours you see on your TPT screen match those you see ln real
llfe by uslng a hardware monltor-callbratlon devlce. we show you how, uslng
the Spyder range from DataColor.
accurate results, make sure there are no light
sources shining directly on the screen, so turn
oll all desk lamps and close the blinds. Other than that,
try to keep lighting conditions similar to how you usually
view the monitor. Belore you begin, reset your display
to lactory settings by going into the onscreen menu,
using the buttons on your monitor. On your PC or laptop,
disable any thirdparty monitorcalibration soltware you
have running at startup (look in the Start menu [ Startup
lolder il you're not sure), set the resolution to a minimum
ol 1,024 x ?68 and colours to a minimum ol 16 million
(24bit). lnsert the CD, install the soltware, then plug
the Spyder in via SB and run the application lrom
the icon on the desktop.
CHOOSE THE DESl RED PROFl LE lt will give you
a lew preparation notes to lollow, much as in
Step 1, and allow you to select your display il
you have more than one. Depending on your version ol
Spyder, you may then need to choose a desired colour
prohle: lor most purposes, 226500 is the most suitable
so, unless you have a particular prohle in mind, select
this and conhrm all the settings when presented with
the summary screen.
monitors have dillerent settings in the OSD.
Tick the boxes to match yours, choosing
lrom brightness, contrast and backlight. You'll then be
presented with two screens allowing you to tweak your
white and black balance il necessary. ll you can't see lour
distinct shades ol black or white you may want to tweak
your brightness and contrast as instructed. Again, you'll
be given tickboxes lor your monitor's colour settings:
select lrom PGB sliders, Kelvin slider or Kelvin presets. ll
you have Kelvin presets, it's prelerable to use those and
leave the PGB box unchecked.
RUN THE CALl BRATl ON Choose the
temperature or PGB settings closest to the
example given and hang the Spyder over the
top ol your monitor. Line it up with the onscreen example
and click Continue to begin the calibration process.
ll you ticked the PGB slider box, you'll be presented
with a readout ol the best way to alter your colours;
tweak them as instructed, then keep clicking pdate to
recalibrate and see how close you are to the ideal. Once
the process is complete, you'll be shown a beloreand
alter demonstration, then prompted to save the prohle,
at which point it will become your delault colour prohle.
A hurowuro cu||brul|on
oov|co - soo mu|n loxl.
|f your PC ls less than four years old, chances are lt has the
power to run photo-edltlng appllcatlons wlthout breaklng
much of a sweat. Take the systemrequlrements for the
latest verslon of Adobe Photoshop Llements, for example:
Mlcrosoft wlndows 7, vlsta or XP, a 2GHz processor,
lG8 of memory, l.5G8 of hard dlsk space, a l6-blt colour
monltor wlth a resolutlon of l,024 x 768, a DlrectX
9-compatlble graphlcs card and a CD-POMdrlve.
Those are the lowest posslble speclcatlons, and
naturally you'll see much better performance as your
system's speclcatlonoutstrlps themlnlmumrequlrements.
Look at the requlrements for Photoshop CS4 and there
are preclous fewchanges: a l.8GHz processor and at least
5l2M8 of PAM, although Adobe recommends twlce that
for reasonable performance.
YOUR PC Compare your PC agalnst thls llst and lt's llkely
that the hardware exceeds lt ln most areas. The hard dlsk ls
llkely to oner scores of glgabytes rather than [ust a handful,
and that wlll prove useful slnce you'll be able to store [ust
about every lmage you shoot lnstead of only belng able to
keep the best ones.
8ear ln mlnd that - as mentloned on p74-77 - PAw
les takeupconslderablymoredlskspacethancompressed
1PLG les, usually around four to ve tlmes as much. |f
you're shootlng ln PAwand 1PLG formats slmultaneously,
you'll qulckly ll a glgabyte of dlsk space.
However, ln terms of processlng and edltlng photos on
a PC, lt lsn't the capaclty of a hard dlsk that really matters:
lt's the speed. As a rule of thumb, the newer the hard dlsk,
the faster lt wlll be. Thls ls because data ls packed more
tlghtly on to the dlsk and can be read and wrltten faster.
That becomes lmportant when you're openlng multlple
les ln Photoshop - a faster dlsk wlll make thls process
much qulcker.
Splndle speed plays a blg part ln hard dlsk speed, and
thls ls partlcularly lmportant lf you have a laptop. whlle
vlrtually all desktop PC hard dlsks spln at 7,200rpm,
laptop hard dlsks vary between 4,200rpm, 5,400rpmand
7,200rpm. |f you're buylng a newlaptop for edltlng photos,
go for the fastest splndle speed.
Plnally, don't belleve anyone who tells you that a Serlal
ATA (SATA) hard dlsk ls lnherently faster than a Parallel
ATA (PATA, or L|DL) verslon. The lnterface has absolutely
Tho umounl o RAM you huvo |s cruc|u|
- lho moro you huvo, lho moro rospons|vo
your pholooo|l|ng upp||cul|on |s |||o|y lo bo.
A|m or 1OB or moro.
You muy no lhul you oon'l huvo u sopurulo
graphics card - somo choupor PCs huvo u
graphics chip |nlogruloo |nlo lho molhorbouro,
bul lh|s won'l ho|o your syslom buc|.
|nslde your PC
Your hard disk |s |||o|y lo bo p|only b|g
onough lo sloro u|| your pholos, bul | you'ro
runn|ng |ow on spuco you cun uoo un oxlru
ono - soo p94 or moro.
Tho processor |s u v|lu| purl o u PC
syslom, bul u|mosl uny PC so|o |n lho
pusl coup|o o yours w||| huvo moro lhun
onough procoss|ng powor.
l you'o rulhor uso
u |uplop, lho sumo
pr|nc|p|os upp|y: |ols
o PAM, u b|g huro
o|s| uno u ouu|coro
procossor uro u||
oos|rub|o. Cons|oor
uoo|ng un oxlornu|
huro o|s| lo sloro your
pholo co||ocl|on.
on your photo-edltlng appllcatlon, the rest of your system
wlll slowdown as well.
PROCESSOR our PC's processor becomes an lmportant
factor when you want to apply enects to lmages. whether
lt's a saturatlon ad[ustment or a complex blur, there's a lot
of number crunchlng that goes on behlnd the scenes to
calculate what the colour of each plxel should be once the
enect has been applled. when there are l0 mllllon plxels
ln an lmage, there's more to do than you mlght at rst
lmaglne. Lucklly, modern processors are hugely capable.
The best processors aroundat the moment for a reasonable
amount of money are AMD's PhenomX4 range. These
havefour processlngcores, whlchmeans anappllcatloncan
run ln one core whlle the rest of the OS and apps run ln
another. Lven the low-end models have more than enough
poke to keep your photo-edltlng software happy.
GRAPHlCS CARD There's a popular myth ln some quarters
that for photo-edltlng work you need a hlgh-end graphlcs
card ln your PC. Thls lsn't true. A decade ago lt made a
dlnerence, but for 2D work lnwlndows absolutely any
modern graphlcs card wlll do. what's deslrable ls a card
wlth a dlgltal Dv|-| or newer HDM| connector. Thls allows
youtoconnect lt dlrectly toa nat-panel dlsplay wlthout any
loss ln quallty (see p86 for more). The only practlcal benet
between a low-end graphlcs card (or one that's lntegrated
dlrectly lnto your PC's motherboard) and a hlgh-end one
ls a fewfeatures ln Photoshop CS4 and CS5 -- otherwlse,
you'll see a performance lncrease only ln 3D games.
Mooorn procossors uro
|mmonso|y poworu|,
uno AMD's Phonom X4
rungo |s bolh usl uno
|ncroo|b|y |noxpons|vo.
A o|g|lu| Dvl connoclor
(r|ghl) |s proorub|o lo
unu|oguo vOA (conlro) or
connocl|ng lo u ulpuno|
TFT o|sp|uy. Tho nowor
HDMl o|g|lu| connoclor
(|ol) |s u|so u gooo
cho|co | your gruph|cs
curo hus ono.
no lmpact on performance - the only reason a SATA dlsk
mlght be qulcker ls slmply because lt's a newer model.
MEMORY when you open a photo that's stored on the hard
dlsk, lt's loaded lnto the PC's memory - lt lsn't manlpulated
dlrectly fromthe hard dlsk. Thls lsn't [ust an lntenslve
process for your hard dlsk: lt's also extremely demandlng
on your system's memory.
Memory technology has advanced qulcker than
hard dlsks, so you mlght nd anythlng fromDDP to DDP2
or even DDP3 PAMlnslde your PC. However, rather
than worrylng about the technlcal detalls of howfast your
memory ls (naturally, faster ls better), be more concerned
wlth howmuch of lt you have.
Adobe recommends lG8 of memory for Photoshop
Llements, but lt's advlsable to have l.5G8 or more lf
posslble. Once wlndows, your lmage-edltlng programand
varlous other appllcatlons are runnlng, the amount of free
memory on a PC wlth 5l2M8 of PAMcould be as llttle
as 200M8. That mlght sound as though lt wlll be enough
based on a 3M8 1PLG lmage, but don't forget that thls ls
a hlghly compressed le format. when an lmage-edltlng
programopens a 1PLG le, lt has to decompress lt: the
real slze ls closer to 50 or 60M8. 8y the tlme you've
opened three les you could easlly nd that your
systemhas run out of memory.
when thls happens, the hard dlsk ls used
as an overnowarea, but slnce hard dlsks are
several dozentlmes slower at transferrlngdata
than PAM, lt wlll lead to long waltlng tlmes lf
you try to open too many lmages.
Punnlng out of PAMls the cause of your
PC"thrashlng", when the hard dlsk llght seems
to be permanently llt and dolng anythlng takes
forever, asdatalsfrantlcallyswappedbetweenyour
PAMand the hard dlsk. Thls doesn't [ust lmpact
Howmuchmemory and
harddlsk space wlll | need!
8efore shelllng out on extra memory and a new hard
dlsk, lt's worth conslderlng whether you actually need
them. |f your PC has only 256M8 of PAM, you'll nd
that wlndows runs slugglshly, never mlnd photo-edltlng
appllcatlons. Generally, 5l2M8 ls the mlnlmum you'll
need to keep a wlndows XP PC runnlng smoothly, and
lG8 ls preferable to glve you breathlng space. |f you use
wlndows vlsta or wlndows 7, double those gures.
|f you nd yourself waltlng around for your edltlng
appllcatlon to redraw the photo after you've applled an
enect or dragged lt to a new posltlon, you mlght benet
frommore memory. Slugglshness can be caused by a slow
processor as well, so addlng lots of PAM to a PC wlth a
l.3GHz processor won't necessarlly help. Although you
can never have too much PAM, golng beyond 2G8 wlll
usually help only lf you're plannlng on havlng several
lmages open at once or addlng more than two or three
layers ln your lmage-edltlng appllcatlon of cholce.
|f you need more memory, the good news ls that
lt's easy to add to most PCs. Most motherboards have
four memory sockets, and two are usually free. All you
need to do ls nd out exactly what type of memory you
already have so you can match the new PAM to lt. A vlslt
to can help here, as there's a System
Scanner that can advlse you of recommended upgrades.
Also vlslt Cruclal's slte lf you have a laptop - the System
Scanner wlll tell you how many sockets you have free.
HARD DlSK SPACE |f your PC ls less than three years old,
lt's llkely you'll have enough hard dlsk space to store all the
photos you'll ever take. Although lndlvldual photos vary
ln slze dependlng on what you're shootlng, 1PLGs rarely
exceed 5M8, even wlth the latest l2-megaplxel cameras. |f
an average 1PLG ls 3M8, a modest 250G8 hard dlsk wlth
l00G8 of free space can store more than 30,000 photos.
Lven lf you took 20 photos per day, lt would take more
than two years to ll 50G8.
Assumlng you want to shoot ln PAw mode (see p74)
and store every slngle photo you take, a blgger dlsk ls
obvlously better. |n addltlon, newer dlsks are generally
faster than older models, so you could benet from faster
loadlngtlmes lf youdoupgrade. As wlthmemory, addlnga
secondharddlsk ls relatlvely stralghtforward-youcannd
a gulde over the page.
An alternatlve ls to archlve your photos, or only those
that dldn't qulte make the grade, to an external hard dlsk.
These can cost well under l00 for hundreds of glgabytes
of storage, and have the bonus of belng portable.
For W|noows XP,
1OB o PAM |s lho
swool spol. l you
huvo W|noows v|slu or
W|noows 7, howovor,
you shou|o lh|n| uboul
goll|ng 2OB |n your PC.
Addlnga harddlsk
|f you've never taken the slde panel on your PC, lnstalllng
a second hard dlsk may seema dauntlng prospect. 8ut
the reallty ls that the [ob can be done ln less than 20
mlnutes, and you'll galn glgabytes of fast-access storage
for all your photos.
Most PCs are bullt so that you can access everythlng
after removlng the left slde panel (when looklng from
the front of the computer). Usually, two screws at the
rear are all that holds thls panel ln place, and some
PCs may not even requlre a screwdrlver to remove them
as they can be unscrewed by hand. Other deslgns may
requlre you to pull on the entlre front panel (a good
pull fromthe bottomusually does the trlck) before the
screws are accesslble. Pewer stlll may have a key lock
at the rear or slde.
HEAD lNSlDE Once the screws are out, slmply sllde on
the panel (elther rearwards or frontwards dependlng on
where the screws were) and you'll have a good vlewof
the parts that make your PC tlck (see photo on p90). The
large clrcult boardmountedontheopposltesldeof thecase
ls the motherboard, and all the other components connect
to thls ln some way. At the top of most cases ls the power
supply, belowlt ls llkely to be a large, nned metal block
wlth a fan on top - thls ls to cool the processor.
The long, thln clrcult board(s) are the maln memory,
and usually at the lower front ls the hard dlsk - a
rectangular box around lln hlgh. There are two types:
parallel and serlal (or SATA). Thls slmply refers to
the lnterface by whlch the dlsk ls connected to the
motherboard. |f your dlsk ls connected by a wlde rlbbon
cable, lt's a parallel dlsk. |f lt has a thln cable around 20mm
wlde, lt's a SATA dlsk. |f your PC ls less than four years old,
lt's llkely to have a SATA dlsk.
TlME TO EXPAND Most PCs have spare bays to lnstall two,
three or even four hard dlsks, but you'll also need to check
lf there are spare power connectors on the power supply.
And even lf your PC has a parallel dlsk lnstalled, the
motherboard may have SATA connectors so you can lnstall
a more modern second hard dlsk.
Capacltles and prlces vary proportlonately (see p93 to
see howmuch space you'll need for photos), but expect to
pay about 40 for a 500G8 dlsk, 60 for 750G8 and about
70 for a lT8 drlve (lT8 l,000G8). Currently, 2T8 ls
the largest capaclty avallable ln a slngle dlsk.
Tho cus|ng cun bocomo
qu|lo hol, you shou|o
lry lo mu|o suro lhoro's
p|only o spuco urouno
lho or|vo or u|row.
lnlornu| or|vos huvo
s|x scrow ho|os or
socur|ng lhom |ns|oo
lho PC. You oon'l nooo
lo uso u|| o lhom, bul
lry lo uso lwo
on ouch s|oo.
Th|s |s u puru||o| ATA
huro o|s|. To |ls r|ghl
|s u SATA mooo|.
Puru||o| ATA or|vos huvo
u w|oo oulu connoclor,
wh|ch |s normu||y nolchoo
lo provonl lho cub|o bo|ng
|nsorloo lho wrong wuy up.
Puru||o| ATA or|vos
huvo u slunouro Mo|ox
powor connoclor.
SATA o|s|s huvo o|lhor
u spoc|u| SATA powor
connoclor, or bolh u
SATA connoclor uno
slunouro Mo|ox or
convon|onco. ovor
connocl bolh ul
lho sumo l|mol
l you wunl lo |nslu||
u SATA o|s| bul your
powor supp|y ooosn'l
huvo uny SATA powor
connoclors, you cun buy
|noxpons|vo uouplors
rom u|| gooo compulor
Huro o|s|s uro oo||culo.
Huno|o lhom w|lh us
much curo us poss|b|o
uno novor, ovor orop,
|noc| or bush lhom.
1 2
4 S
3 1
The slmplest way to lncrease your storage ls by addlng an external US8
hard dlsk, but you'll get better performance and less clutter by lnstalllng an
lnternal drlve. |t's also cheaper than an external dlsk of the same capaclty.
TURN OFF YOUR PC Belore you start, switch oll
your PC, remove the power cable and press the
power button a couple ol times to discharge any
residual electricity. Pemove the side panel and identily a
space lor the new hard disk to be mounted in. Also locate
an empty SATA or parallel connector (the SATA connector
is red in the picture, and parallel is turquoise). Even il
there's no empty parallel connector, there may be a spare
connector on one ol the ribbon cables that's plugged in -
each one can support up to two devices. Follow the route
ol the cable to hnd out.
MASTER AND SLAVE ll you're installing a
parallel disk, you'll need to set it as a "master" or
a "slave". This is done using jumpers: little clips
that you slide on to pins lound on the back ol all parallel
hard disks. lt's best to do this belore sliding the disk into
position, partly because it may be dilhcult to reach them
once the disk is inside the PC, but also because the
jumper settings guide may be printed on top ol the disk,
and this is even harder to read inside a PC. Assuming
your PC already has a parallel hard disk installed, you'll
want to connect the new disk to the same cable using the
spare connector on it. The existing disk is probably set as
"master", so the new one must be set as "slave".
screwed in the new disk, connect the power
and data cables. Parallel cables take a
bit ol lorce to push them home, but make sure you
have the connector the right way round hrst. The
general rule is that the red wire should be closest
to the power socket on the back ol the disk, but
there's usually a protrusion on the connector that
slots into a notch on the hard disk's socket. Again,
lor SATA disks, note that the cable will ht only one
way round. Since it's a male connector on the hard
disk that hts into a lemale connector on the cable,
be carelul not to exert vertical lorce, otherwise you
could break the hard disk's connector and render it
useless. The same goes lor the SATA connector on
the motherboard.
FORMAT YOUR Dl SK Once Windows has
booted, rightclick on the My Computer
icon and go to Manage. ln the Computer
Management console, click Disk Management. Your
new disk will be unlormatted and the space labelled
as nallocated. Pightclick on it and choose New
Partition. Pun through the wizard to make it ready lor
use in Windows.
ol u lus| or lhoso
who uro worr|oo uboul
opon|ng up lho|r PC.
Crosshouo scrowor|vor
uno mounl|ng scrows
(lhoso shou|o bo
supp||oo w|lh lho o|s|).
the Gimp
lnlroouc|ng lho whul? Yos, |l hus u
unny numo, bul |l's poworu| uno -
bosl o u|| - |l's roo.
Thoro uro sluc|s o pholooo|l|ng
upp||cul|ons oul lhoro. Wh|ch ono
shou|o you chooso?
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Expons|vo uno comp|ox,
bul lhoro uro p|only o rousons why
Pholoshop |s lho wor|o numbor ono.
Adobe Photoshop
EIements 8
Pholoshop's ||ll|o brolhor, bul |l
prov|oos u|| lho powor mosl poop|o
w||| nooo or u |ol |oss cush.
Picasa 3
You muy huvo houro o u ||ll|o |nlornol
sourch ong|no cu||oo Ooog|o. ll ooos
oxco||onl pholo solwuro, loo.
PaintShop Photo Pro
X3IAdobe Lightroom 2
Onco lho mosl popu|ur o oo|l|ng loo|s,
Pu|nlShop Pholo Pro |s sl||| u v|ub|o
u|lornul|vo lo Pholoshop E|omonls.
Photoshop Express
Eo|l uno shuro pholos or roo on||no -
our ourpugo gu|oo rovou|s how.
Not so many years ago, the concept of edltlng hlgh-resolutlon dlgltal
photographs was conned to sclence ctlon and the realms of
mllllon-dollar supercomputers. Nowyoucanwalklntoanyhlgh-street
software retaller and plck up a photo-edltlng package to run on your
home PC. The market ls a erce one, wlth plenty of heavy hltters
ghtlng to try to get you to use thelr software to edlt your photos.
|s lt worth paylng for or should you use one of the free optlons!

|ntroduclngthe Glmp
The lnterestlngly named Glmp - whlch stands for the
GNU |mage Manlpulatlon Program - ls one of the
heavywelghts of the open-source software movement.
Open-source software ls free for anyone to download
and use, and the Glmp ls no exceptlon. |n many
respects, lt's the match of the commerclal packages
you'll nd on pl02 onwards, and lt has many of the
same features.
Some people absolutely swear by the Glmp and
wouldn't use anythlng else. |t's been ln development
for more than a decade, and many of lts features - for
lnstance, lts undo faclllty - were way ahead of thelr tlme
when orlglnally lncorporated lnto earller verslons.
The drawback, however, ls that lts lnterface ls a llttle
ldlosyncratlc and not terrlbly easy to get to grlps wlth.
8ut slnce lt's free, you may as well glve lt a whlrl before
you conslder splashlng out on a pald-for package.
lNSTALLlNG The rst hurdle ls lnstallatlon, whlch lsn't
qulte a one-cllck analr. Although Mac or Llnux users can
download the Glmp from, wlndows users
need to download a dlnerent lnstallatlon package. Head
to lnstead
and download from there. The good news ls that the
lnstallatlon routlne has been masslvely rened ln recent
years, and where lnstalllng the Glmp was once falrly
compllcated, lt's now pretty stralghtforward.
Once lnstalled, when you rst start up the Glmp
lt wlll feel odd: lt doesn't partlcularly look or behave
llke a normal wlndows appllcatlon. ou're presented
wlth a free-noatlng toolbar palette and a noatlng wlndow
- known as a"dlalogue" ln Glmp terms (whlch ls at
odds wlth the usual denltlon ln the world of wlndows).
There lsn't the blg, blank lmage wlndow you'd expect
and whlch you get from other lmage edltors. 8ut
persevere: once you get used to the Glmp's unusual
presentatlon and occaslonally qulrky menu behavlour,
you'll qulckly come to llke the huge amount of power
lt has on tap.
OPENlNG AN lMAGE |f you cllcked through and accepted
the defaults durlng lnstallatlon, you won't be able to [ust
double-cllck on an lmage to open lt, slnce the Glmp ls
so well behaved lt doesn't reasslgn le-type assoclatlons.
So, to open an lmage you should cllck on Plle and select
Open. ou'll nd that even thls seems a llttle allen and
doesn't look at all llke a standard wlndows dlalog. Thls
strange presentatlon and non-standard look and feel
betray the fact that the Glmp's orlglns weren't ln the
wlndows world - lt was orlglnally wrltten for Llnux and has
The Glmp offers a
fu|| range of edltlng
too|s, exact|y as
you'd expect from
a package to rlva|
Photoshop. There's
very |ltt|e mlsslng.

been ported across. To some extent that's the prlce you

have to pay for a powerful lmage edltor that's free.
Persevere for a whlle, though, and you'll get used to lt.
|t has lts benets, too, you'll notlce ln the Open
|mage dlalog that the standard wlndows XP locatlons
such as My Documents and My Plctures that you'd
normally nd ln the tree on the left aren't there, but a
useful feature ls the Add button beneath the left-hand
devlce llst. Thls lets you bookmark any folder, lncludlng
My Plctures, so lt wlll always appear ln the left-hand
pane from then on. Notlce, also, that there are left-
and rlght-hand scrolllng arrow buttons, folders you're
navlgatlng to appear at the top and you can go dlrectly
to them uslng these buttons.
BASlC OPERATlON Now try openlng a photo by uslng
the Plle | Open |mage dlalog. 8y default, the Glmp
scales the plcture to t neatly lnto the wlndow. The
qulckest way to zoom ln and out ls by holdlng down the
Ctrl key and uslng your mouse's scroll wheel. ou can
also rlght-cllck on the lmage and select vlew | Zoom, or
select the Zoom tool (the magnlfylng-glass lcon) from the
maln toolbar palette. ou can then elther drag a zoombox,
left-cllck to zoom ln a step, or hold down the Ctrl key
and left-cllck to zoom out a step.
Now that you actually have an lmage open, you'll
see a range of menu optlons ln the top menu bar of the
lmage wlndow, thls ls where thlngs become more famlllar
to users of standard wlndows appllcatlons. One of the
advantages of gettlng to grlps wlth the Glmp before
you move on to more expenslve photo-edltlng software
ls that, lf you do upgrade to the llkes of Photoshop,
you'll nd that the Glmp's menu optlons, toolbars and
features are very slmllar.
LAYERS The Glmp ls a fully layer-aware app. |f you haven't
encountered the concept of layers before, they're a very
powerful way of dolng advanced lmage manlpulatlon.
Por lnstance, lf you load two photos together and asslgn
them to dlnerent layers ln the same overall lmage, you
can then easlly ad[ust the opaclty of the top-most lmage
so the bottom lmage shows through. Thls mlmlcs the old
technlque from lm photography of double-exposure,
where two plctures were taken on the same plece of lm,
leadlng to a ghostly merglng of the two. As well as alterlng
opaclty, you can also blend layers together uslng any of 20
dlnerent plxel-evaluatlon schemes, the advantage of that
may not be lmmedlately obvlous, but turn to pl34 and
you'll see how blend modes can be used, for lnstance, to
help produce lnterestlng cross-processed photos.
There are dozens of other uses for layers, too, whlch
you'll dlscover as your experlence ln photo edltlng
progresses. Layeredlmages canconslst of as many layers as
you have the memory and hard dlsk space for, although
remember that every layer you add to an lmage doubles the
memory lt requlres - lf you really start golng to town wlth
your layers, you may well need an extra helplng of PAM ln
your system (see p93). The Glmp's layer features are
nexlble - by default, the Layers tab ls open ln the standard
layout (see screenshot above). oucancllck anddraglayers
to change thelr stacklng order, or drag a layer across to
another openlmage to copy lt lnto that lmage's layer stack.
HlSTORY To the rlght of the Layers tab, you'll see a tab wlth
a yellow arrow. Cllck thls and you'll see Undo Hlstory.
Lvery tlme you make a change to an lmage, the hlstory ls
updated, wlth a small thumbnall lmage of the result of the
change. To go back to a prevlous polnt ln tlme and undo
a change you don't want, all you have to do ls cllck on
The Glmp fu||y supports |ayers for advanced edltlng tasks.

one of thethumbnalls andthelmagelmmedlatelyreverts to
howlt looked after that step. Golng forward agaln to where
you [ust were ls a slmple matter of cllcklng back on the
thumbnall at the bottomof the llst.
MODULES One of the key features of the Glmp ls lts plug-lns
- software modules that extend lts features and functlons.
|n fact, almost all the features ln the baslc lnstallatlon are
provlded by plug-lns wrltten by varlous thlrd partles ln the
splrlt of open-source software. ou're not restrlcted to the
plug-lns that come wlth the Glmp by default, though - there
are dozens more avallable for free fromhttp://reglstry.glmp.
org. |f you have a photo open, you can get a gllmpse of the
power and range of operatlons on oner by selectlng Pllters
fromthe lmage's menu. They range fromslmple but essentlal
enhancements, such as Sharpen, to obscure speclallst
operatlons such as Max PG8. Thls ls where the Glmp beglns
tolook llke a vlable free alternatlve toPhotoshop- practlcally
every optlonavallable toa Photoshopuser ls alsoavallable ln
the Glmp. 8ut lter modules can be far more than slmple
enects. Try, for lnstance, golng to the Pllters menu and
selectlng Pender | Gg. Thls obscure module ls ln fact almost
a complete appllcatlon by ltself, allowlng you to do vector
drawlng(drawlnggeometrlcshapes andllnes). SelectlngGg
produces the Gg lnterface, allowlng you to drawa range of
vector ob[ectsontoyour lmage. Thlslsanother exampleof the
power of layers, slnce the ob[ects are lncorporatedlntoa new
layer of thelr own, anddon't anect theplxelsof layersbeneath,
allowlng you to qulckly return to your orlglnal lmage.
SCRlPTlNG One menu optlon the Glmp oners that you
won't see ln any other photo appllcatlon ls the Scrlpt-Pu
entry. Thls range of tools are, as the name suggests,
automated scrlpts, agaln wrltten by thlrd partles and
automatlcally abletodoany number of clever thlngs toyour
photos that wouldnormally take some tlme todomanually.
Por lnstance, wlth a photo open, try openlng the Pllters
menu llst and selectlng Decor | Old Photo. Thls produces
a small optlons wlndowthat lets you select a varlety of
operatlons and lters, all of whlch anect the lmage ln
certaln ways to glve a photo an aged feel. Pun the scrlpt on
one of your photos (cllck work on a Copy rst) and you'll
see lt worklngsequentlally througha number of operatlons,
whlch lt lnvokes one by one to get the end enect. All you
have to do ls slt back and watch. The number of operatlons
avallable ls extenslve - fancy a conee staln on your photo
to make lt look as lf lt's been lylng around for a whlle! Lasy,
[ust select Conee Staln and on lt wlll go.
SAVlNG YOUR WORK |t goes wlthout saylngthat whenyou're
labourlng over a photo to enhance lt, you should regularly
save your work (but always remember to make a backup of
theorlglnal, sothat nomatter what happensyoualwayshave
the unretouched"dlgltal negatlve"). ou can't slmply save
an lmage that's had layers added as a standard 1PLGphoto,
as the 1PLGformat doesn't support lt. |nstead, the Glmp
has lts own le format for savlng work ln progress. These
les have a XCP le extenslon, and save everythlng about
your current edltlng sesslon, rlght down to the posltlons
of your wlndows. The only thlng that lsn't saved ls the
undo wlndows, so you can't save an lmage, come back to lt
later and return to a prevlous polnt. Once you've nlshed
retouchlng your plcture, you can then save lt as a nal 1PLG
by"nattenlng"the layers lnto one and chooslng the 1PLG
format when you save. As wlth the Open dlalog, the Glmp's
Save dlalog ls lnltlally cryptlc to anyone used towlndows
XP's"Save As"box. ou need to cllck on the Select Plle Type
label to make lt dlsplay the le-type optlons.
Even openlng an lmage can lnltla||y be confuslng when uslng the Glmp. A blt of practlce wl|| go a |ong way.

l you cun oown|ouo
uno |nslu|| un
upp||cul|on, you
cun oo lh|s.
As |ong us you huvo
l|mo lo oxp|oro - |l's u
b|g upp||cul|onl
The prlce of a powerful plece of free photo-edltlng software ls that the Glmp's
presentatlon and operatlon ls a llttle qulrky. 8ut don't glve up - you'll soon nd
your way around.
2 1
4 S
Down|oad the Glmp from http://gimp-win.sourceforge.
net/stable.html. Insta||atlon ls slml|ar to most other
Wlndows app|lcatlons. 1ust plck your lnsta||atlon dlrectory
and you're done.
Thls ls what you'|| see when you rst open the Glmp, and
lf you thlnk lt lsn't partlcu|ar|y frlend|y, you'|| nd p|enty of
peop|e to agree wlth you. The b|ank s|ate approach can
be a blt offputtlng, but you'|| soon get used to lt.
C|lck on the Fl|e menu and choose Open, whlch wl||
produce the Glmp's very nonstandard |echooser dla|og
box. It doesn't have shortcuts to the |lkes of your My
Plctures fo|der, but you can add those manua||y.
Once your photo ls open, you'|| see a more faml|lar set of
menu entrles ln the top |lne of the lmage wlndow ltse|f.
It's falr|y standard stuff, wlth some of the Glmp's more
esoterlc features hldden beneath the surface.
Baslc operatlons are slmp|e. For lnstance, to crop an
lmage, c|lck Too|s | Transform Too|s | Crop. Then slmp|y
c|lck and drag a box. A dla|og box wl|| pop up, but you
can stl|| use the mouse to drag your crop area.
Now hlt the Crop button ln the popup dla|og. If you
don't |lke the resu|t, [ust undo the operatlon by c|lcklng
Edlt | Undo Crop Image from the top menu, or uslng the
shortcut <Ctr|Z>.
Adobe Photoshop (opposlte) may be the leader of the
pack when lt comes to hlgh-end photo edltlng, but for
many non-professlonal users lt's too expenslve and oners
hundreds of features they'll never use. we've therefore
rounded up the most anordable, easy-to-use software to
help you make the most of your dlgltal camera.
value for money lsn't [ust welcome, lt's essentlal.
whlle software can rescue poor lmages, lt's ultlmately
your camera that determlnes end quallty, and money you
save here can be put towards a better camera and lenses.
Lase of use lsn't a luxury, elther: you need to do what
needs to be done as qulckly and emclently as posslble. |f
thls process can be made en[oyable, that's a bonus.
Deallng wlth potentlally thousands of lmages also
makes speclal demands ln terms of features. Por a
successful PC photography worknow, lmage management
ls key, and your software should put you ln full control of
your collectlon. Slmple and enectlve edltlng ls also cruclal,
especlally the ablllty to correct any glarlng defects qulckly
and to brlng out the best ln each photo. Plnally, for most
users, the whole polnt of photography ls to share your
lmages wlth others.
TESTlNG TlMES we've looked at how each of the packages
perform ln the three key areas of photo management,
photo edltlng and photo sharlng. |n each category, we've
consldered how the appllcatlons handle the baslcs, and
then what they oner over andabove that. we've also noted
any speclal features, especlally those that could save you
hours over the course of a year. Most lmportant, though,
ls the overall end-user experlence.
PHOTO MANAGEMENT our PC photography software
needs to be able to handle any number of lmages, and
we've lnvestlgated how each appllcatlon coped wlth a
collectlon of more than l0,000 photos. we've also looked
to see how easy lt ls to add a typlcal batch of l00 new
photos to the collectlon. Core features we've looked for
lnclude thumbnall handllng, the dlnerent vlews on oner
of your lmages, howeasy lt ls to nd lmages and howeasy
lt ls to tag and manage photos based on keywords. More
advanced features lnclude the ablllty to vlewand edlt LX|P
data, apply geographlcal tags, set up watched folders and
automatlcally rename and convert les.
PHOTO EDlTlNG Photo edltlng needs to be stralghtforward
and enectlve. Core features lnclude cropplng,
stralghtenlng, red-eye removal and emclent colour
correctlon. More advanced edltlng features lnclude
professlonal photographlc correctlons, the ablllty to apply
ad[ustments non-destructlvely, sophlstlcated retouchlng
tools, layer-based composltlng and creatlve optlons,
lncludlng the ablllty to apply artlstlc enects and brushes.
PHOTO SHARlNG 8elng able to show on your photos at
thelr best ls fundamental, and starts wlth prlnt and emall
support. More creatlve optlons lnclude photo-based
pro[ects for prlnt, and slldeshows ready for output to vldeo
and burnlng to CD or DvD. Plnally, the use of the web
for sharlng ls lmportant, and could well determlne your
cholce of software. The best software ls lntegrated wlth a
web servlce, so you can upload your lmages stralght from
your software.
1ust |lke a physlca|
artlst's too|box, when
lt comes to retouchlng
you need to choose
the rlght too| for
the [ob.
Thoro's ubso|ulo|y no
po|nl |n sp|ush|ng oul
sovoru| hunoroo pounos
- or ovon 5C - on u
pholooo|l|ng puc|ugo
slru|ghl uwuy. ll won'l
mu|o you u bollor
phologruphor. l you'ro
now lo phologruphy,
go w|lh ono o lho roo
opl|ons unl|| you'vo
ouno your ool.
lt says something about Adobe Photoshop's
universal recognition that its name has become a
generic term lor photoediting: this is the most powerlul
photoediting soltware available. At over 400 lor the
lull version, however, only the most wellheeled and
ambitious photographers need apply.
But, even given Photoshop's incredible power, it has
to justily its high price, particularly compared to superb
lree ollerings such as Google's Picasa 3 (see p105).
Even Adobe's own cutprice photoediting soltware,
Photoshop Elements 8 (see p104) poses a threat.
The major dillerences start with the interlace, which
has been designed make the most ol your screen
realestate. lmages open in tabs (like websites in your
browser), and there's no Windows title bar. ln its place
Photoshop CS5 sports an Application bar alongside the
Menu bar, providing instant access to zoom controls,
the Workspace switcher, a range ol workspace presets
and the Arrange Documents dropdown, where you can
quickly choose lrom a selection ol window layouts.
BRlDGlNG THE GAP Photoshop CS5's Application bar also
provides quick access to the separate Bridge application
lor dealing with your image library. lt's enormously
powerlul, allowing you to hlter by such details as lSO
rating, aperture setting and local length. CS5 also adds
a new Mini Bridge app which is less lussy lor quickly
viewing your shots, and is clearly aimed at rivals such as
Picasa's image library lor quick and simple use.
Bridge CS5 has just as much to oller when opening
single images in Photoshop, allowing you to open them
in the dedicated Camera Paw 6 utility supporting over
2?5 PAW hle lormats. Camera Paw 6 gives enhanced
control over vignetting and sharpening, and excellent
control over noise reduction.
For creating HDP photos automatically (see p146 lor
more on HDP) CS5 has arguably the most powerlul tool
anywhere. The new Merge to HDP Pro command has
highly sophisticated alignment algorithms and the ability
to remove "ghosts" such as people in the background
who've moved between shots. Camera Paw 6 also has
the ability to localise adjustments to particular areas ol
the image with its Adjustment Brush, which creates
nondestructive and reeditable masks.
ll you're concerned about getting the most accurate,
distortionlree photos, Photoshop CS5 has a new
automated lenscorrection tool that will attempt to
remove colour lringes (see p122), geometric distortions
and vignetting (dark corners). Adobe has also released a
lens prohle creation tool: print out its special test pattern,
take a photo ol it and leed it into the tool and you can
prohle each ol your lenses, allowing the lenscorrection
leature to give ol its best.
NONDESTRUCTlVE EDlTlNG With Photoshop CS5, the
emphasis is on nondestructive editing - making
changes to your images without allecting the underlying
hle. lnstead, each time you make a change, a new layer
is created. An Adjustments panel provides instant, icon
based access to each layer type: there are over a dozen
in all, including a vibrance option, which ollers greater
control over colour saturation while preserving delicate
tones such as skin colours.
HlGHLlGHTS Photoshop CS5 also provides a couple ol
jawdroppers that are eerily ellective. First is its Content
Aware lmage Scaling. sing this, you can drag to resize
your image in realtime and, while you do so, Photoshop
CS5 automatically removes just the "uninteresting"
areas. When you hrst see this, the ellect is magical,
leaving you wondering just how Photoshop manages it.
Even more amazing is CS5's ContentAware
Fill option. ll you've removed a distracting object -
particularly a large one - lrom a photo, hlling in the
remaining area so that it blends with the background and
isn't visible is a timeconsuming task. Not so in CS5:
just select ContentAware Fill, click on the gap and CS5
analyses the surrounding area, ellectively generating a
new area ol the photograph. lt's amazing to watch and
works well even lor large areas ol a shot.
|t's expenslve andoccaslonally over-compllcated, but there's a goodreasonlt's the
cholceof professlonalstheworldover. |f youwant todeal wlthmorecomplexlmage
manlpulatlon, Photoshop has power by the bucketload.
Photoshop can lmport
PAW |es vla a
dedlcated modu|e.

An enormously appeallng all-ln-one package for organlslng and edltlng your

and temptlng for those on a budget.
There are plenty ol choices lor those who don't want
to splash out the better part ol 500 on Photoshop.
The likes ol Lightroom and Aperture (on Macs) are ideal
prolessional tools lor managing and editing a lot ol
photos, while lree applications such as Picasa make a
good hst ol handling large image libraries and applying
basic changes. Photoshop Elements occupies the
middle ol the range, costing around 55. But don't let
that lool you into thinking this is a crippled editor riding
on Photoshop's coattails: there are plenty ol tools in
here that prolessionals would be happy to use, and a
topnotch library tool to boot.
GET ORGANlSED Photoshop Elements is ellectively two
applications in one. The hrst is an advanced image library
that is quick and responsive even with a library consisting
ol thousands ol pictures. You can add tags to your
images, which makes organisation easier.
The good thing about using Elements to hick through
your pictures is that you'll never need to worry about
your lolder structure again. For instance, you can choose
to "watch" a lolder and, whenever new pictures are
added, Elements automatically includes them in your
library. Alternatively, you can import images directly lrom
a camera. Once done, you can rate your photos, or drag
them on to a world map to organise them by place.
The Organizer also allows you to share your photos.
lt can email pictures, automatically resizing them so they
won't clog up people's inboxes, or you can upload to
sites such as Flickr (see p1?4).
Elements also includes lace detection and can
automatically wade through your shots, picking out laces
lor you to name later. lts automatic picture recognition
doesn't stop there; it even promises to pick out low
quality images based on things such as blurriness and
contrast. These lacilities don't always measure up to their
promise; laces are missed and Elements' idea ol good
and bad photos won't always match yours. However,
the ability to add tags to your images and browse them
quickly using the textbased search bar is enormously
powerlul, and a tool you'll hnd more and more uselul as
your photo library grows.
EDlTlNG The second part ol Elements is its superbly
leatured editing lunction. The three options - Full, Ouick
and Guided - are incredibly powerlul. lndeed, in terms
ol what you can do to a photo, Photoshop Elements
matches the lull version ol Photoshop very closely. ln
Guided mode you're asked, "What would you like to
do?", then given a series ol choices such as "Enhance
colors". Pick one and changes will be made to your
picture with a single click. The next step up, Ouick, gives
you a series ol sliders with which to edit your photos,
which is great il you're not sure exactly how to hx a
picture but want a degree ol control over it. Finally, the
Full option hands the reins to you entirely.
Two other major enhancements have been ported
down lrom Photoshop. ll you've taken multiple bracketed
shots (see p?8), the Exposure mode lor Photo Merge
analyses the images in the series and combines them
to produce a "bestol" picture. Even more impressive
is the new Pecompose command. This lets you resize
an image, leaving loreground subjects undistorted,
while unwanted background areas are seamlessly
removed. lt works brilliantly, providing realtime cropping
with a builtin sense ol aesthetics. Otherwise, most ol
Photoshop's brushes and tools are included, and many
ol the walkthroughs in chapter 9 that use the lull version
ol Photoshop are just as applicable to Elements, despite
the steep drop in price.
lt isn't just its raw power or organisational capabilities
that make Elements such a great choice, though. The
ability to access a wealth ol editing tools so easily makes
it a standout application particularly lor photographers
who are still learning the ropes - beginners will hnd
correcting red eye or whitening teeth is a breeze, and you
can graduate to tools such as the curves control as you
become more conhdent. lt's a superb tool lor learning, as
you can progress through the levels ol complexity in the
editor as you become more conhdent. At this price, it's
hugely appealing.
E|ements can be
a|| thlngs to a||
photographers - from
the most baslc, slng|e
c|lck xes to far more
comp|ex [obs.

Google's expertise may be in web search rather than

photo handling, but this latest release ol Picasa is
designed to take the challenge directly to Adobe
Photoshop Elements.
ll it cost 50, Picasa 3 would still be incredibly
appealing. lt makes a great impression right lrom the
oll. The interlace is modern, smooth and responsive,
even with a library ol thousands ol images. Adding new
images happens virtually instantaneously, making Picasa
ideal lor those who regularly add photos.
Folders and albums provide the backbone lor
Picasa's image management, but you can also add
multipleword tags to specihc images. A new Face Filter
allows you to display only photos with clear, headon
laces, which makes it easier to tag people. Finding
specihc images is easy as well: begin typing a term
into the search box and the results narrow as you type;
Picasa also shows you all the possible matching search
term options. Most importantly, because Picasa doesn't
just search by tags but on caption, metadata and lolder
name, postimport tagging is optional - not mandatory.
ln Picasa's central Library view, where the previews
are smoothly resizable up to lullscreen, you can use the
Loupe tool to get a closer look at individual thumbnails.
There are new options lor creating and moving lolders,
which make the lolder location view more practical.
CORE EDlTlNG CONTROLS Picasa 3 makes Photoshop
Elements' search capabilities look underpowered, but
how does it lare in terms ol photo editing? lt doesn't
oller anything like Elements' lullblown editor, but what
it does do is put the core commands that you need to
bring the best out ol your images at your hngertips. The
massive advantage this brings is that you can simply hit
the cursor keys to move through your images, enhancing
as you go.
Many ol Picasa's core editing controls have been
improved, with the Crop and Ped Eye Peduction tools
now making suggestions based on analysis ol the current
image; you can even batchapply redeye reduction. As
with all Picasa's tools, edits are nondestructive, meaning
that you can always undo or rehne them later - unless
you choose to save the changes.
Once you've enhanced your images, you'll want to
show them oll. Picasa's onscreen slideshow capability
has been improved lrom previous versions, with greater
control over transitions and zoom, and support lor
videos. The new Movie command allows you to turn
your slideshows into videos and upload them directly to
YouTube. However, with no pan and zoom handling, the
power and results on oller are pretty basic.
Far more remarkable is the revamped Collage
command, which lets you automatically create grid
based and randomised layouts ol multiple images
ready lor print. There are now six collage types to
choose lrom, as well as control over grid spacing
and background colour or image. What takes the
Collage leature to a new level is the ability to
customise Picture Pile layouts interactively, quickly
moving, rotating and resizing images. And lor general
printing you can now output captions and hlenames
alongside your images.
ONLlNE SHARlNG Picasa's print output is impressive, but
what really makes the program stand out is its online
sharing. This has always been a massive strength,
with Picasa letting you quickly upload selected hles to
Google's Web Albums, which provides 1GB ol lree
online storage. Once uploaded, you can then visit the
site to invite lriends and lamily to view your images.
Alternatively, you can invite or email images, using the
new streamlined Share command.
More powerlul than this is the ability to sync
your lolders so that whenever you make changes to
images locally these are automatically updated online.
And you can also set it up so that only starred images
are synchronised.
|t's a pleasure to use and surprlslngly powerful - and lncredlbly, Google Plcasa
doesn't cost apenny. |ts greatest strengths arelts photomanagement andbrllllant
web-based photo-sharlng capabllltles.
Plcasa 3's most
lmpresslve feature
ls lts Web A|bums.

A reasonable attempt at an all-ln-one appllcatlon for organlslng, edltlng and
sharlng your prlnts, but other appllcatlons are slgnlcantly easler to use.
Like Photoshop Elements 8, PaintShop Photo Pro
X3 (which costs around 69) divides its ellorts into
organising your shots and helping you edit them. lt may
cost around the same as Photoshop Elements, but its
organisational talents are much less advanced. The
Organiser allows you to add tags to your shots, but
you can lorget about potentially handy touches such
as geotagging or lace recognition.
The editor is lar more lully leatured, as the rather
cluttered interlace suggests. There are a number ol
automatic tools, such as the HDP merge leature,
which creates a high dynamic range image lrom a
lew bracketed exposures.
The Smart Carver leature allows you to resize an
image by adding or removing the background while
preserving loreground areas. You can also mark up
areas you want to keep or remove, and while it isn't
as hexible as Elements' magical Pecompose lunction,
it's uselul nonetheless.
PaintShop Photo Pro X3 comes with PaintShop
Photo Project Creator, which lets you create projects
such as cards, photo books and collages, and share
your photos with a range ol popular websites, including
Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
nlortunately, PaintShop Photo Pro is hard to use.
The interlace is a conlusing mess ol icons and text, and
it can be very slow when dealing with large libraries - a
problem you don't need to worry about with Elements.
Despite the Photoshop name in the title, Lightroom is a
totally separate application to Adobe's hagship image
editing soltware. The dillerence is instantly noticeable:
where Photoshop is an editor designed to make small,
perpixel changes to your images, Lightroom is all about
the big picture.
The program is split into hve modules: Library,
Develop, Slideshow, Print and Web. Library and Develop
are where you'll spend most ol your time. As the name
implies, Library allows you to organise your shots.
You can organise by date, lolder, keyword or camera
metadata such as local length. lt also supports multiple
hard disks, and allows you to tag your pictures en masse
as they're imported. Because you can import pictures
straight lrom your camera, you don't need to worry about
manually creating lolders in Windows.
The Develop module is where all the hard image
editing work is done. All the usual imageediting tools
are there, and the latest version adds gradient masks
to add punch to your landscape shots. There's also
a very last redeye removal tool and an even better
dustremoval tool. lt's extremely intuitive and it's possible
to go lrom a mediocrelooking shot to a great one
in just a lew minutes, and certainly laster than il you
were to attempt the same in Photoshop. The problem
with Lightroom is price: at more than 200 it's more
expensive than Elements 8, although it provides better
workhow management.
Llghtroom ls an all-ln-one organlsatlonal and edltlng tool. |t's expenslve, but
those who take hundreds of shots wlll love lt.
Llghtroom ls a onestop shop for a|| thlngs dlglta| photography.
PalntShop Photo Pro X3 offers a huge amount of edltlng power, but
lt's a falr|y baslc organlsatlona| too|.

|t used to be the case that decent photo-edltlng software

would cost you hundreds of pounds and hundreds of
megabytes of hard dlsk space. Photoshop Lxpress lsn't only
one of the best ln the buslness, lt takes up hardly any dlsk
space on your computer and, best of all, lt's free.
WHAT lT lS AND DOES Adobe Photoshop ls one of the most
venerablenames lnphotography: speaktoanyprofesslonal
photographer and they'll tell you how they couldn't llve
wlthout lt. 8ut for all Photoshop's undlsputed power,
most people wlll only ever scratch the surface of thls
professlonal's tool. |nstead, you need access to Photoshop's
core tools: the ablllty to retouch photos and perform tasks
such as removlng red-eye. Software such as Photoshop
Llements glves you these klnds of features, but why pay for
lt when you can have lt for free! Lnter Photoshop Lxpress,
whlch glves you core features at no cost.
Photoshop Lxpress uses Adobe's Plash technology to
runa well-featuredphotoedltor fromyour browser. |ts chlef
benets are that lt's fast, has the klnds of features that you'd
expect fromexpenslve software and, because lt runs froma
browser, you can access your edltlng software - and up to
2G8 of your photos - from anywhere ln the world.
Gettlng started could hardly be easler. Head to and set up a free account.
Accounts come wlth 2G8 of storage, whlch ls enough
for a few thousand photos, and are actlvated wlthln a few
mlnutes. Once that's done, grab a few photos (see Create
and share your photos, plll), and you'll see them ln
your thumbnall gallery ready to access.
THE GOOD BlTS Photoshop Lxpress's blggest selllng polnt
ls lts power. Plre lt up and send lt lnto full-screen mode
(uslng the button ln the top-rlght corner) and you'll
l you oon'l up|ouo pholos rom your PC, lho
Other Sites bur cun bo usoo lo gol your
|mugos |nlo PSE. ll cun connocl lo Fucoboo|,
F||c|r, Pholobuc|ol uno P|cusu.
Pomombor lhul oosp|lo
Expross's convon|onco,
or lho bosl rosu|ls
poss|b|o you shou|o
sl||| go or u slunou|ono
puc|ugo such us
Pholoshop or lho O|mp
(soo p98).
Your Iibrary |s whoro your |mugos go onco
lhoy'vo boon |mporloo |nlo Pholoshop
Expross. You cun oo|l uny pholo lhul
Pholoshop Expross cun uccoss, bul on|y
lhoso |n your ||brury cun bo shuroo.
Thoso uro lho thumbnaiI-size
buttons. W|lh lhom you cun chungo
how b|g your lhumbnu||s uppour,
oopono|ng on wholhor you wunl lo
soo oolu|| or un ovorv|ow.
Tho show button oolorm|nos wh|ch |normul|on
|s shown u|ongs|oo your pholos, wh||o lho
sort by bullon oolorm|nos lho oroor |n wh|ch
lhoy'ro o|sp|uyoo.
Th|s |s lho fuII-screen button. Push
|l uno lho boroors o your |nlornol
browsor vun|sh, |ouv|ng PSE moro
or |oss |no|sl|ngu|shub|o rom u u||y
b|own oos|lop upp||cul|on.
be hard-pressed to tell you're uslng an appllcatlon that
exlsts only ln your web browser. Once your lmages have
been uploaded you're presented wlth a scalable set of
thumbnalls, from whlch you can launch any lndlvldual
lmage for edltlng. The tools avallable are wldespread: you
can alter the saturatlon of your lmage, crop and rotate
lt, reslze lt and alter the exposure. There are also red-eye
removal and touch-up tools that are useful for removlng
blemlshes from your photos: for dust spots, the latter ls
even easler than uslng the clone stamp ln Photoshop.
ou can also change the whlte balance of your photos or
convert them to black and whlte.
8est of all, the changes you make to your lmages are
non-destructlve, so lf you return to a photo the day after
you've changed lt, you can undo all your edlts wlthout
alterlng the orlglnal le.
Another of Photoshop Lxpress's ma[or draws ls lts
ease of use. Lverythlng ls attractlvely lald out and easy to
reach, and even lnexperlenced users wlll nd thelr way
between the gallery and edltlng modules wlth no fuss.
|n comparlson, the full verslon of Photoshop can take
some tlme to get your head around. Those wlth a good
worklng knowledge of Adobe Llghtroom(see pl06) wlll
be ln heaven.
Photoshop Lxpress also supports a wealth of onllne
photo servlces, lncludlng Pllckr (see pl74), Pacebook,
Photobucket and Plcasa (see pl76). |f you already have
lmages hosted on these sltes, you can lmport themlnto
Photoshop Lxpress wlthout needlng to go through the
hassle of uploadlng themtwlce.
Plnally, once your lmages are uploaded and edlted,
sharlng themls slmple. Photoshop Lxpress allows you
to create a sllck onllne gallery that you can lnvlte your
frlends to, or evencreatea slldeshowthat youcanembedln
your own webslte. |f you want people to drop by and
see what's newln your photo gallerles, Photoshop
Lxpress even glves you your own UPL, ln the format
Some would say that the ldea of a free onllne
photo edltor ls too good to be true, and to an extent those
people are rlght. Thls ls partlcularly so for users who want
to prlnt thelr photos: Photoshop Lxpress doesn't oner any
way to prlnt your shots locally, although you can opt to
have them professlonally prlnted.
The lack of prlnter support mlght be a blesslng ln
dlsgulse, though, slnce Photoshop Lxpress's other falllng
ls lts handllng of hlgh-resolutlon lmages. ou can't upload
lmages larger than 25M8 or 6,000 plxels x 6,000 plxels.
Thls doesn't preclude shots frommost cameras, but mlght
stopyouuploadlngstltchedtogetherpanoramlcphotos, for
lnstance. what's more, photos larger than 2,880 x 2,880
wlll be shrunk after edltlng. Photographers who use thelr
camera's PAw mode (see p74) wlll also be dlsappolnted:
Photoshop Lxpress works only wlth 1PLGs.
A complalnt more advanced users wlll have ls that
PhotoshopLxpress doesn't allowyoumuchnexlbllltywhen
lt comes to ad[ustlng your lmages. |n full-blown edltors, for
lnstance, youcanmake elther extremely large or extremely
small changes to your lmages: Photoshop Lxpress allows
only medlum-slzed correctlons, so lf you're a perfectlonlst
and want to make the very small change that turns an
lmage from very good to perfect, lt won't be for you. The
nal drawback ls speed. On a qulck broadband connectlon
- 2Mblts/sec or faster - PhotoshopLxpress works superbly.
|f you have a slower broadband connectlon, however,
you'll nd lt frustratlng. Uploadlng take hours, and
although the processlng ls all done on Adobe's servers,
downloadlng the results wlll take a long tlme. |t goes
wlthout saylng that dlal-up users needn't apply.
Photoshop Express's lmageedltlng abl|ltles are surprlslng|y fu||y featured for a free on|lne app|lcatlon.

Pomombor nol lo ro|y
loo houv||y on |nlornol
busoo loo|s or slor|ng
your shols. You shou|o
u|wuys |oop buc|ups o
lho or|g|nu|s somowhoro
suo - soo p164 or
moro on buc|up
PhotoshopLxpressglvesyouanamazlngnumberofedltlngtools. Herearethekey
features and how to use them.
CHOP AND CROP Selecting Crop & Potate
produces a grid that sits over the top ol your
image. Grab the handles on one ol the edges
and drag to cut out extra bits ol the image. sing the
Aspect dropdown box in the lowerlelt, you can make
sure your image retains its original proportions, which is
a must il you intend to send your images to be printed.
AD UST COLOUR The ability to alter a shot's
saturation makes it stand out more, particularly
when viewed on a PC screen. Clicking the
saturation command produces a hlmstrip ol seven
dillerent versions ol your image, ranging lrom totally
desaturated (black and white), to a rather oversaturated
version. When you hover your mouse over one ol the
images, the main image changes to show what the results
will be when you click.
GO MONO The same goes lor Photoshop
Express' powerlul Black & White option. These
don't just desaturate your image, they adjust
the contrast to give the hnal monochrome shot more pop.
Again, move your mouse over each ol the available
variations lor a live preview.
THERE'S MORE Photoshop Express can even
handle lairly advanced jobs such as touching up
an image. ll you spot a blemish on an image,
choose "Touchup" lrom the Basic menu and click on it.
The soltware will choose a nearby piece ol the photo and
replicate it over the top ol your problem area. This works
particularly well lor irritating dust spots (see p140). You'll
also see some tools located at the topright ol any image
you're editing. The blue buttons control zoom: the plus
and minus zoom in and out ol your image, while the
zoomtoht button centres your image and zooms it to ht
your screen, no matter what your resolution. lt's a great
help when reviewing your changes lrom alar. The pink and
green buttons are ndo and Pedo controls. Elsewhere,
the circular orange arrow at the lowerright is lor resetting
your image: use this il you're unhappy with your changes
and want to start alresh. The big green Finish button
accepts your changes, saves your photo and returns you
to the image library. Alternatively, click My Library at any
time and you'll be prompted to save or discard your
changes. Finally, click on Save Copy in the lower right ol
the Photoshop Express window to create a copy ol your
image, should you wish to keep both the original image
and your modihed version.
4 S
2 1
Eusy. Tho loo|s uro
u|moo ul nov|cos
Aboul 3C soconos
por pholo
Therearelotsof waystoshareyour lmageswlthfrlendsandfamllyonllne, but few
do lt wlth as much plzzazz as Photoshop Lxpress.
GET STARTED Once you've uploaded your
images into Photoshop Express, create a new
album. ll you're importing images lrom another
website such as Flickr, you don't need to import your
images hrst.
SELECT YOUR SHOTS ln the My Photos
pane, select the images you want in your
slideshow and drag them on to your new
album. nless you have Photoshop Express in lull
screen mode, standard Windows commands such
as <ShiltClick> and <CtrlClick> to select multiple
photos will work.
PREVl EW Once you've chosen your images,
select the album in the lelthand toolbar. This
gives you an overview ol your slideshowtobe.
Pemember that you can zoom in or out ol each shot with
the slider in the top centre ol the screen, and that you can
change the order in which your images will appear. You
can do this either by dragging them around manually, or
by the date they were taken. Alternatively, il you've taken
the time to rate your photos, you can sort them by how
many stars you've given them.
CHOOSE YOUR POl SON Once you've picked
your images, there are a lew ways to share them
with the world. By delault, Photoshop Express
assumes that you want your images to remain private,
which is why a tiny padlock icon appears next to your
shots. To turn it oll and allow the Photoshop Express
community to see your work, head to My Gallery. Then,
click the padlock to the side ol your latest album. The
options are sellexplanatory: you can make your album
available to people you've nominated as either lriends or
lamily, or make them private, which means only people
logged in to your user account can look at them. You can
also choose whether others can download your image, or
send them to be printed. But that's not all: lor the truly
ostentatious, you can host a slideshow ol your new album
on other sites, so il you have your own blog you can host
a slideshow there without needing to use any ol your
webspace. Step one is easy: with your album visible in My
Photos, click on the Embed Album button at the bottom
ol the screen. This will copy a chunk ol HTML to your
PC's clipboard. When writing your blog's next post, just
rightclick and select Paste, and the HTML will appear.
Once your entry is published, your album will load
automatically in its own player and start playing.
A pooo|o cou|o oo |l
Hu| un hour lo un
hour | you'ro shur|ng
u |ol o pholos
4 S
2 1
the basics
lmprovo your shols w|lh lho lhroo
unoumonlu|s o pholo onhuncomonl:
|ovo|s, curvos uno shurpon|ng.
coIour baIance
Shols como oul |oo||ng u b|l ooo?
Your co|our bu|unco |s probub|y
uwry. Horo's how lo x |l.
DeaIing with coIour
D|g|lu| pholos cun show somo nusly
co|our urloucls, bul you cun copo
w|lh lhom us|ng solwuro.
Creating photographic
Proouc|ng ono p|cluro by sl|lch|ng
logolhor sovoru| shols cun g|vo
spoclucu|ur rosu|ls, uno |l's groul un.
with red eye
ll's lho curso o purly snups lho
wor|o ovor, bul your pholooo|l|ng
solwuro cun ho|p.
The power of
bIack and white
ll's u co|ouru| wor|o, bul somol|mos
u pholo cun huvo ur moro |mpucl |n
b|uc| uno wh|lo.
Having fun
with effects
Occus|onu||y |l's gooo lo lhrow
subl|oly oul o lho w|noow uno upp|y
somo oxlruvugunl oocls.
Ouunlum ucluul|ons cun |ouo lo
unp|ousunl spoc||os |n your |mugos,
bul lhoro uro wuys lo roouco lhom.
DeaIing with
Whon you monl|on pholo rolouch|ng,
lh|s |s whul mosl poop|o lh|n| o:
goll|ng r|o o b||ps uno b|olchos.
Remove an
object compIeteIy
ll's mug|cl W|lh u b|l o pul|onco uno
prucl|co, you cun o||m|nulo who|o
urous lhul uro spo|||ng your p|cluro.
Enhancing coIour
O|vo your pholos oxlru punch by
mu||ng lho|r co|ours moro v|v|o, or
g|vo lhom u moro moooy ulmosphoro.
High Dynamic
Range photos
ll's somolh|ng on|y o|g|lu|
phologruphors cun oo, |ourn how
lo croulo slunn|ng rosu|ls.
SimuIating depth
of heId
Croul|ng ooplh o o|o |n u pholo
lu|os |ols o p|unn|ng. Horo's whul lo
oo | you m|ss lho momonl.
Vignette effects
A wo||oxoculoo v|gnollo
oocl cun |ouo lho oyo |nlo un |mugo.
l your |ons ooosn'l croulo lho oocl,
you cun oo |l munuu||y.
Soft focus portraits
ll's un oocl lhul nooos
lo bo usoo curou||y, bul u sol ocus
cun |ono un omol|onu| lono lo u
porlru|l shol.
The world of photo retouchlng may seem to be a realm only
computer experts can master. Portunately, that's nonsense: any
modern - and not so modern - PC can easlly cope wlth photo
enhancement and retouchlng ln software, and the software lsn't
partlcularly dlmcult to get to grlps wlth. |t takes tlme to become a
photo-edltlngexpert, butmerehourstogettogrlpswlththebaslcsand
lmprove your shots. And you can do lt wlthout spendlng a penny.
the basics
lmprovo your shols w|lh lho lhroo
unoumonlu|s o pholo onhuncomonl:
|ovo|s, curvos uno shurpon|ng.
coIour baIance
Shols como oul |oo||ng u b|l ooo?
Your co|our bu|unco |s probub|y
uwry. Horo's how lo x |l.
DeaIing with coIour
D|g|lu| pholos cun show somo nusly
co|our urloucls, bul you cun copo
w|lh lhom us|ng solwuro.
Creating photographic
Proouc|ng ono p|cluro by sl|lch|ng
logolhor sovoru| shols cun g|vo
spoclucu|ur rosu|ls, uno |l's groul un.
with red eye
ll's lho curso o purly snups lho
wor|o ovor, bul your pholooo|l|ng
solwuro cun ho|p.
The power of
bIack and white
ll's u co|ouru| wor|o, bul somol|mos
u pholo cun huvo ur moro |mpucl |n
b|uc| uno wh|lo.
Having fun
with effects
Occus|onu||y |l's gooo lo lhrow
subl|oly oul o lho w|noow uno upp|y
somo oxlruvugunl oocls.
Ouunlum ucluul|ons cun |ouo lo
unp|ousunl spoc||os |n your |mugos,
bul lhoro uro wuys lo roouco lhom.
DeaIing with
Whon you monl|on pholo rolouch|ng,
lh|s |s whul mosl poop|o lh|n| o:
goll|ng r|o o b||ps uno b|olchos.
Remove an
object compIeteIy
ll's mug|cl W|lh u b|l o pul|onco uno
prucl|co, you cun o||m|nulo who|o
urous lhul uro spo|||ng your p|cluro.
Enhancing coIour
O|vo your pholos oxlru punch by
mu||ng lho|r co|ours moro v|v|o, or
g|vo lhom u moro moooy ulmosphoro.
High Dynamic
Range photos
ll's somolh|ng on|y o|g|lu|
phologruphors cun oo, |ourn how
lo croulo slunn|ng rosu|ls.
SimuIating depth
of heId
Croul|ng ooplh o o|o |n u pholo
lu|os |ols o p|unn|ng. Horo's whul lo
oo | you m|ss lho momonl.
Vignette effects
A wo||oxoculoo v|gnollo
oocl cun |ouo lho oyo |nlo un |mugo.
l your |ons ooosn'l croulo lho oocl,
you cun oo |l munuu||y.
Soft focus portraits
ll's un oocl lhul nooos
lo bo usoo curou||y, bul u sol ocus
cun |ono un omol|onu| lono lo u
porlru|l shol.
The world of photo retouchlng may seem to be a realm only
computer experts can master. Portunately, that's nonsense: any
modern - and not so modern - PC can easlly cope wlth photo
enhancement and retouchlng ln software, and the software lsn't
partlcularly dlmcult to get to grlps wlth. |t takes tlme to become a
photo-edltlngexpert, butmerehourstogettogrlpswlththebaslcsand
lmprove your shots. And you can do lt wlthout spendlng a penny.

Over the next few pages, we'll lntroduce you to dlgltal
photography manlpulatlon wlth the three malnstays of
baslc lmage lmprovement: sharpenlng, levels and curves.
8ear ln mlnd that dlgltal photos, llke conventlonal lm
photos, need to be processed. Thls means the lmage as
captured by the camera lsn't the end of the story, you can
slgnlcantly enhance the results wlth [ust a llttle work.
DlGlTAL CAPTURE |t's temptlng to lmaglne that when a
dlgltal camera captures an lmage, what's recorded ls
an absolute record of what was there. |n fact, the data
captured by the sensor ls llttle more than a dlgltal mess.
To extract an lmage that approxlmates what you've seen
takes much processlng - thls ls why, untll a couple of years
ago, most dlgltal cameras suneredfromlagbetweenshots,
they couldn't take another one untll the camera's lnternals
had nlshed processlng the last lmage, whlch typlcally
took several seconds. New cameras stlll have [ust as much
processlng to do - they slmply do lt faster.
lNCAMERA PROCESSlNG Camera manufacturers don't tend
to advertlse the fact that a camera wlth, say, a 6-megaplxel
ratlng doesn't have 6 megaplxels at all. |t would be
more accurate to descrlbe lt as havlng 6 mega-subplxels.
Although there are slx mllllon photo-receptlve sltes ln the
sensor, each one ls covered by a lter, so lt's sensltlve to
elther red, green or blue llght. Thls means that for each
plxel locatlon, the other two colours are guessed, based
on the values of lts nelghbors. Consequently, the raw data
from the sensor ls no more an lmage than the raw data
that hlts your eyes before belng processed by your braln.
Cameras apply default processlng that works for most
lmages, but by spendlng a few mlnutes lnsertlng human
lntelllgence lnto the equatlon you can correct these
guesses and lmprove an lmage no end.
SHARPENlNG 8y default, the lmages that come from a
standard dlgltal camera are relatlvely soft. That means the
edges are poorly dened for a number of reasons relatlng
to the camera's optlcs, the way the sensor converts llght
energylntoelectrlcal energy, andlnteractlons betweenthe
optlcs and the sensor. To overcome thls, most consumer
dlgltal cameras apply a software technlque called
sharpenlng. To sharpen an lmage, the camera applles
an algorlthm that compares the lntenslty and colour of
ad[acent plxels. |f the dlnerence ls over a certaln threshold,
the camera guesses that lt must represent the edge of
somethlng, solt alters thelntenslty of theplxels toenhance
the edge, lncreaslng the apparent sharpness of the lmage.
Thevast ma[orlty of cameras havea settlnglnthelr menu
systemto control the amount of sharpenlng that's applled.
However, you can apply sharpenlng more enectlvely at the
PC once you've downloaded the plctures, slnce you can use
a more sophlstlcated algorlthmknown as Unsharp Mask.
Thls ls a technlque whereby the lmage ls spllt lnto two
layers: one contalnlng colour data and one only brlghtness
data (ln other words, a black-and-whlte lmage).
Sharpenlng only the brlghtness-based lmage and then
recomblnlng wlth the colour layer ls more enectlve than
slmple ln-camera sharpenlng, brlnglng out ne detall and
reduclng the whlte halo enect that ln-camera processlng
causes. Slnce camera manufacturers assume you won't
want the burden of a few mlnutes' post-processlng,
sharpenlng ls often set too hlgh by default. |f you want the
best quallty from your new camera, tweak the sharpenlng
settlngs downa notchandthenfollowthe walkthroughon
pll8 to apply the Unsharp Mask lter uslng PC software.
The exact levels of ln-camera sharpenlng wlll vary, so take
a few experlmental shots of the same sub[ect at varlous
sharpenlng settlngs, then have a play on the PC to see
whlch glves the best results.
Masterlngthe baslcs
Photos fresh from your camera can be lmproved from thls. .to thls ln a few seconds.
How Iong wiII
preparing my
shots take?
W|lh prucl|co, lho bus|c
slops you nooo lo
onhunco u p|cluro us|ng
lho lochn|quos on lho
noxl ow pugos w||| lu|o
on|y u ow soconos. Moro
uovuncoo oporul|ons
such us romov|ng un
objocl (soo p142) cun
consumo sovoru| hours lo
gol u rou||y gooo rosu|l.
|f you've never encountered lt before, the levels control wlll amaze you wlth
lts ablllty to make a nat, llfeless shot suddenly sprlng to llfe. Not only ls lt
one of the most enectlve tools to use, lt's also one of the qulckest.

It's often the case that a shot you thought was golng to
come out |ooklng great wl|| end up wlth a netcurtaln effect.
The reason for thls ls a |ack of contrast. Fortunate|y, lt's
easy to correct uslng the |eve|s contro|.
Any ha|fdecent photoedltlng package lnc|udes a |eve|s
too|. Here, we're uslng the free, opensource package
the Glmp. Flrst of a||, se|ect the |eve|s too|s from Too|s |
Co|our Too|s | Leve|s.
The hlstogram that appears represents the dlstrlbutlon of
plxe| lntenslty ln your lmage. A |owcontrast shot wl|| have
most of the plxe|s c|umped together. We can use the
|eve|s too| to remap them.
1ust drag the |efthand s|lder beneath the graph lnwards
untl| you reach the polnt on the hlstogram at whlch the
concentratlon of plxe|s lncreases. Thls remaps what were
dark greys down to b|ack, lmmedlate|y boostlng contrast.
Now try the same wlth the rlghthand s|lder, a|though you
may nd that when you start pu||lng lt to the |eft, overa||
lmage brlghtness lncreases too much. If that's the case,
s|lde lt back untl| the unwanted effects dlsappear.
That's a|| there ls to lt. The |eve|s too| works wonders for
some lmages, but wl|| lmprove a|most every shot you use
lt on, whlch ls why you shou|d app|y lt to every photo you
want to prlnt or dlsp|ay on the web.

HlSTOGRAMS AND TONAL RANGE |t's easy to swltch on as
soon as people start mentlonlng concepts such as tone,
but expandlng an lmage's tone to cover the full dynamlc
range avallable ls the most lmportant overall ad[ustment
you can make. The concept of tonal range ls, ln fact,
slmple: lt means the darkest plxel levels of an lmage ln
comparlson to the brlghtest.
ou can assess the tonal range of an lmage by uslng the
hlstogramdlsplay. Llke the levels and curves controls, any
decent photo-edltlngpackagewlll let youseethehlstogram
(see plcture below). |t's a bar graph showlng the number
of plxels at each lntenslty, fromtotally black to maxlmum
whlte. A standard 1PLGls what's known as an 8-blt lmage,
thls means the lowest plxel lntenslty value ls 0, whlle the
hlghest ls 255 (representlng brlght whlte). l28 ls mld-grey.
Typlcally, the lntenslty of a shot as lt comes out of the
camera wlll be clumped ln a central part of the range,
assumlng lt's properly exposed (see p70). |f lt lsn't, the
hlstogramwlll have most of the plxels clumpedtothe rlght
for an overexposed (overly brlght) plcture, and to the left
for an underexposed (overly dark) one. |n a typlcal lmage,
most of the plxels may be ln the range 70-l80, for lnstance.
That means the lmage lsn't taklng advantage of the full
range of plxel values and, when lt's rendered onscreen or
prlnted, the hlghllghts and whlte areas wlll look greylsh.
|n short, the lmage wlll lack contrast. So we need to
expand the tonal range, so that (ln our example) plxels
wlth a value of 70 ln the orlglnal lmage are brought down
to 0, and plxels wlth a value of l80 are lncreased to 255
(the maxlmum value ln a standard 8-blt lmage such as
1PLG). Then the plxels ln between are redlstrlbuted
proportlonately. The upshot lsn't only an lncrease ln
rlchness and lmpact: detall that may not have been
obvlous ls alsobrought out, slnce plxels that were clumped
together are separated. The result ls a much-lmproved
lmage, whlch can be achleved ln [ust a few seconds.
Slnce the tonal range and lts ad[ustment are so
lmportant, there are two standard tools to ad[ust lt that
are avallable ln any decent photo-edltlng appllcatlon:
thls lncludes the free open-source Glmp, Palnt Shop Pro
Photo and Photoshop. The slmplest and qulckest ls called
the levels control. |ts prlmary purpose ls expandlng the
tonal range evenly across the full wldth avallable. At lts
slmplest, lt requlres that you ad[ust only two sllders. See
the walkthrough on pll5 for how to use lt. ou'll note
that we've only talked about the overall lntenslty of plxels
here: ln fact, an 8-blt colour lmage ls made up of three
8-blt values between 0 and 255 to represent red, green
and blue components of the plcture. ou can alter the
levels lndlvldually ln most software, but usually you'll end
up wlth a hldeous mess, slnce the colour balance wlll
lmmedlately be thrown completely out of whack.
CURVES The second and most powerful tonal control ls
called the curves tool. Thls can elther replace the levels
control or be used ln con[unctlon wlth lt. The advantage
over the levels tool ls that, as well as expandlng the
dynamlc range of an lmage, lt can manlpulate the tonal
response across the whole range. whlle levels slmply
expand the response evenly across the lmage, wlth curves
you can control the response so that, for lnstance, shadow
detall ls reduced to black, whlle hlghllghts are lncreased,
but mldrange tones remaln unanected. |n fact, thls ls the
classlc use of the curves control, known as the S-curve. |t
boosts contrast and lncreases the lmpact and mood of a
shot. Curves ls often the rst ad[ustment any professlonal
or serlous amateur photographer wlll make to an lmage.
See the walkthrough opposlte for more. The hlstogram shows the tona| range of a photo.
It's a c|lchd shot that every vlsltor to Austra|la takes. .but you can make lt stand out from the crowd.

2 1
4 S
Once you're condent wlth the levels control, you can try uslng the curves tool
lnstead. |t achleves the same baslc enect but wlth more power and preclslon,
and glves you a lot more creatlve control over the mood of a photo.
A|though the |eve|s too| glves great resu|ts, you can
achleve better contro| over your plctures by uslng curves,
and potentla||y rescue dodgy shots such as thls Great
Wa|| of Chlna effort. Agaln, we're uslng the Glmp here.
Se|ect the curves too| from the Too|s | Co|our Too|s menu.
You'|| be presented wlth a stralght dlagona| |lne over a
hlstogram, slml|ar to that from the |eve|s too|. The |lne wl||
short|y become a curve, hence the name of the too|.
To make the |lne a curve, c|lck once beneath the |lne.
Thls creates a contro| polnt and ls the rst step ln the
Scurve ad[ustment. It serves to boost contrast ln a
slml|ar manner to |eve|s, but wlth more contro|.
Now c|lck above the |lne ln the topthlrd of the too|. The
Scurve appears. Thls ls now pu||lng down the lntenslty
of dark areas of the lmage and boostlng nearwhltes.
The resu|t ls lncreased contrast and a moodler plcture.
The advantage over the |eve|s too| ls that you can c|lck
and drag the two contro| polnts to netune the mapplng
of plxe| lntensltles. You can slmu|ate the functlon of |eve|s
by dragglng the toprlght and bottom|eft outwards.
Our na| lmage has more lmpact and better tona|lty.
You can comblne curves wlth |eve|s, too - do |eve|s rst.
You don't need to do an Scurve, and you can have any
number of contro| polnts.
Tho nour|nn|lo
poss|b|||l|os o lho
curvos conlro| moun
|l lu|os somo prucl|co
lo gol usoo lo |l.
Tho bus|c uojuslmonl
horo lu|os jusl
soconos. Bul no
lun|ng lho rosu|ls
cun bocomo l|mo
consum|ng|y uoo|cl|vo.
|t's essentlal to apply dlgltal sharpenlng to your photos to get them
looklng as crlsp as conventlonal lm photos. The trlck ls to strlke the
rlght balance between enectlve sharpenlng and overdolng lt.
Sharpenlng ls usua||y done lncamera when you take a
shot, but ls more effectlve lf you do lt afterwards uslng
Unsharp Mask. Here, we have a shot taken wlth lncamera
sharpenlng swltched off, ready to be sharpened up.
Wlth the photo open ln the Glmp, se|ect Fl|ters | Enhance
| Unsharp Mask. A dla|og box wl|| appear wlth four maln
components. an lmage prevlew box and s|lders |abe||ed
Padlus, Amount and Thresho|d.
The operatlon of Unsharp Mask ls comp|ex, but wlth
on|y three parameters to tweak you can't go far wrong ln
practlce. However, at defau|t settlngs of 5.0, 0.5 and 0, the
detal| ln your lmage may not |ook very good.
Drag the dla|og box's corner to en|arge the prevlew, then
try ad[ustlng the Padlus contro| down to 1.0. Thls shou|d
reduce any ha|o effects, whlch ls the who|e polnt of uslng
software rather than re|ylng on the camera.
Now try a|terlng Amount to between 0.5 and 1.5. You're
almlng to get the sharpest|ooklng plcture wlth the most
detal|, but wlthout undeslrab|e artefacts - a sldeeffect of
overzea|ous sharpenlng.
Wlth settlngs of 0.9, 0.8 and 0 for Padlus, Amount and
Thresho|d respectlve|y, our swan shot ls now plnsharp.
Pemember, though, that Unsharp Mask can't put ln detal|
that wasn't there ln the rst p|ace or was b|urred.
2 1
4 S
Tho nshurp Mus|
loo| cun bo u lr|c|y
bousl, bul sl|c| lo
lho gu|oo||nos horo
uno you won'l go
ur wrong.
Moro soconos onco
you'vo oono |l u
ow l|mos.
we've already talked about the [oy of PAwles (see p74)
and howthey let you alter the whlte balance of a shot (see
p66). The world lsn't perfect, though, and lf your camera
doesn't support PAwyou'll eventuallycomeacross asltuatlon
where your 1PLGshot [ust doesn't look rlght. Sometlmes
lt's because you've taken a shot ln a hurry and forgotten that
you manually set the whlte balance outslde and then came
lndoors, moreoften, lt'sbecausethecameragot ltsautowhlte
balancewrong. Acamerahas toguess what ob[ects lnascene
are really whlte, and lf there's llttle or no actual whlte, or the
llght ls unusual, lt can latch on to the wrong colour and skew
the whole shot. Outdoor scenes are prone to thls problem: a
landscape shot taken ln a eld wlll conslst malnly of a blue
sky and green grass. wlth no whlte ob[ects, the tendency ls
for shots to come out wlth a blue cast.
COLOUR MODELS Once youstart alterlngcolours lnsoftware,
you'll reallse there are varlous ways of descrlblng them. A
computer screen dlsplays a colour uslng an addltlve model
- lt comblnes components of lndlvldual colours to achleve
any shade. The base colours a computer works wlth are
red, green and blue, usually shortened to PG8, fromthese
three shades, any colour ln the spectrumcan be produced.
Consequently, any colour your computer can dlsplay can
also be expressed as a set of three values representlng the
levels of red, green and blue.
PG8 ls good for computers, but not lntultlve for humans
to work wlth. There's no slmple way for a person to work out
howtomanlpulate the PG8values for a glvencolour tomake
that colour appear more saturated and vlbrant. Thls ls where
the HSv colour model comes ln. |t uses a mathematlcal
formula to convert PG8 numbers to three more people-
frlendly components known as hue, saturatlon and value
or brlghtness. The hue component ldentles the essentlal
colour, the saturatlon component denes the rlchness or
vlbrancy of that colour, and the value component howllght
the colour ls. Spllttlng up the colour ln thls way makes lt easy
toprovldesllderslnasoftwarepackagethat youusetoqulckly
go fromthe colour you see onscreen to the colour you see ln
your head wlthout too much trlal and error. |t also allows the
use of the user-frlendly colour trlangle (see lmage 3).
Paper needs a dlnerent model agaln. Thls ls where the
CM (cyan, magenta and yellow) model comes ln. whereas
a screen starts out black and adds PG8 to produce lts
colours, CM goes the opposlte way. ou start wlth a whlte
plece of paper and add CM components (ln other words,
lnk), eventually endlng up wlth black. Put another way,
cyan, magenta and yelloware the colour opposltes of red,
green and blue, whlch ls why you'll see themon opposlte
ends of colour-ad[ustment sllders, such as ln the colour-
balance controls ln the walkthrough opposlte.
Plne-tunlngcolour balance
The Glmp offers ve
ways of chooslng
the same co|our. the
natlve Glmp method
ls a hybrld, a||owlng
co|our cholce by HSV
or PGB.
CMYK ls the
tradltlona| prlnter's
cholce of co|our
The waterco|our
chooser |ets you mlx
co|ours |lke palnt
rather than chooslng
one dlrect|y.
The co|our trlang|e ls
very lntultlve, a||owlng
you to choose hue
from the outslde rlng,
and the saturatlon and
brlghtness |eve|s from
the lnner trlang|e.
Techles wl|| appreclate
the sca|es optlon,
a||owlng you to enter
co|ours dlrect|y as

2 1
4 S
One of the most annoylng accldents ln dlglta|
photography ls havlng the camera's whlte ba|ance
set lncorrect|y. Here, the camera was on the wrong
preset for thls lndoor shot.
If the shot had been taken ln PAW mode, we cou|d
have done lt ln two c|lcks. Wlth thls 1PEG shot, lt's more
comp|ex. Flrst |oad up the lmage - we're uslng the Glmp.
Now c|lck on Too|s | Co|our Too|s | Co|our Ba|ance.
The co|ourba|ance too| works ln shadows, mldtones and
hlgh|lghts. Start wlth the wa||, whlch we know shou|d be
grey. Its tona| range fa||s between mldtones and hlgh|lghts,
so se|ect each and pu|| the ye||ow/b|ue s|lder to b|ue.
Wlth skln tones, lt's about assesslng whlch of the co|our
palrs ls out - cyan/red, magenta/green or ye||ow/b|ue,
and tweaklng them. Skln fa||s ln the mldtones, but lt's a
comblnatlon of hues, so sma|| ad[ustments are necessary.
Our sub[ect's shlrt co||ar shows some b|ownout b|ue
hlgh|lghts - these shou|d c|ear|y be whlte. We need to
brlng down the b|ue |eve|, whl|e compensatlng a |ltt|e
by upplng the magenta blas s|lght|y.
The na| lmage took ten mlnutes of [ugg|lng wlth the
co|our s|lders ln a|| three tona| areas, but the resu|t |ooks
a|most comp|ete|y neutra|. If you thlnk the shot benets
from a blt more warmth, you cou|d opt for that lnstead.
|t's always best to get the colour balance rlght when you take a shot, but lf you
- lt lsn't the qulckest task ln the world lf you want to get lt rlght.
Th|s |s ono o lho
loughor oo|l|ng lus|s.
You'|| nooo ul |ousl
lon m|nulos or ouch
shol you wunl lo
The phrase"chromatlc aberratlon" sounds horrlble, and lt
looks as bad as lt sounds. |t's an lmage artefact that anects
certaln classes of photo worse than others, but when bad lt
can spoll an otherwlse great shot.
ou may not recognlse the name, but you've almost
certalnly seen the symptoms of chromatlc aberratlon, also
known as colour frlnglng. |t manlfests ltself malnly along
theedgesof ob[ectslnaphoto: rather thantheedgelooklng
clean and sharp as lt dld ln real llfe, there wlll be a coloured
frlnge along lt. |t's onenslve ln two ways: rst because lt
lntroduces colourlnglntothe lmage that wasn't there lnthe
rst place, and second because lt makes edges appear less
sharp. Slnce human vlsual perceptlon ls very keyed lnto
detectlngedges-lt stopsusbumplnglntothlngsandfalllng
on cllns - the loss of sharpness at the edges of an lmage ls
exactly what you don't need and glves the whole plcture
a fuzzy look that's a mllllon mlles away from the punchy
crlsp, clean lmages we all want.
The enect of frlnglng ls often more notlceable ln dlgltal
compacts than SLPs, but both can suner, partlcularly
lf a DSLP has a cheap lens. The lens ls the key here:
frlnglng lsn't a phenomenon that's conned only to
dlgltal photography, but the unlque constructlon of a
dlgltal camera makes the enect more pronounced. On a
dlgltal sensor, each plxel ls covered wlth lts own mlcrolens
tomaxlmlsethe amountofllghtreachlngthephotosensltlve
area. Thls ls vltal to get acceptably low nolse levels, but the
mlcrolenses add thelr own refractlve enects to the natural
amounts of chromatlc aberratlon contrlbuted by the maln
camera lens and, slnce there's one mlcrolens for each plxel,
the enects aren't llmlted to the edges of the frame as they
tendtobewlthtradltlonal lmphotography. Theaberratlon
occurs because dlnerent wavelengths of llght are refracted
to a dlnerent extent when they hlt a transparent medlum
at an angle: the classlc spllttlng enect seen when llght goes
through a prlsm.
ou'll most often see frlnglng ln hlgh-contrast areas, ln
other words, where there's a brlght and a dark area rlght
next to one another. A typlcal example ls where you're
shootlngwlthabrlght skylnthebackground-thebranches
of trees are reduced to an lll-dened coloured mess and
the edges of thlngs such as houses agalnst the skyllne
are anected, too. wherever you have brlght, contrastlng
condltlons you should be aware that frlnges can creep ln.
(see pl08) - now have dedlcated controls to deal
wlth frlnglng. They only work across the whole lmage,
though, and a better method ls often to do lt manually
by desaturatlng parts of the lmage approprlately - see the
walkthrough opposlte for how to do lt.
REDUCE FRlNGlNG AT SOURCE wlth a dlgltal compact ln
automatlc mode, you can't do much to avold frlnges when
you take a shot - [ust try not to shoot agalnst a brlght sky.
8rlght doesn't meanclear, sunny skles: anovercast but brlght
dayls [ust as bad, slncetheskytends tobeblownout towhlte
- the worst condltlons for frlnglng. where changlng the shot
composltlonlsn'tfeaslble, youcantryunderexposlngthe shot
sllghtly, use your camera's exposure compensatlonto reduce
the autoexposure settlng to elther -0.5 or -0.3Lv. Slnce lt's
overexposed lmage hlghllghts that tend to be anected most
by chromatlc aberratlons, underexposlng to ensure there are
no blown-out areas of the lmage can sometlmes help. Once
you'vetakentheshot, youcanusethelevels or curves control
ln software to lncrease the apparent exposure level agaln
(see pll7), or slmply use your software's brlghtness control
(although that can be a blt of a blunt lnstrument - levels or
curves glve you more control).
wlth a dlgltal SLP, or a compact that allows you
control over aperture, you can also sometlmes mltlgate the
enect by"stopplng down" the lens, ln other words, uslng
a small aperture (say f/ll or smaller). The enect of thls
varles accordlng to the lens and camera you have, the baslc
rule of avoldlng very hlgh-contrast edges applles, but you
can often get to know the partlcular condltlons ln whlch
certaln comblnatlons of camera and lens wlll produce
ob[ectlonable levels of frlnglng. There's sometlmes no
substltute for experlence.
Deallngwlthcolour frlnglng
Look faml|lar? Thls
cameraphone shot
shows the c|asslc
symptoms of frlnges.
Whon SLP |onsos
uro so|o us bo|ng
oos|gnoo or o|g|lu|,
lho munuuclurors
w||| huvo pu|o moro
ullonl|on lo upp|y|ng
coul|ngs lo lho |ons lo
roouco lho oocls o
r|ng|ng. Lonsos nol
spoc|cu||y oos|gnoo
or DSLPs olon wor|
ubso|ulo|y no, bul you
nooo lo wulch oul or
r|ng|ng oocls |n
br|ghl cono|l|ons.
2 1
4 S
Colour frlnges are one of those annoylng artefacts that won't show up on your
camera'sscreen, but aregratlnglyobvlouswhenyoubrlnguptheshot onyour PC
or prlnt lt. ou can reduce thelr lmpact substantlally ln software, though.
Co|our frlnges are the curse of dlglta| photography,
showlng up as b|ue, red or purp|e frlnges. Our swan
plcture ls prlme terrltory for thls. At rst g|ance,
reproduced as a sma|| lmage here lt |ooks ne.
But when the lmage ls prlnted at 100%, you'|| see the
frlnges at the edges of the neck, and around the drop|ets
of water fa||lng from the swan's beak. Uslng the Glmp, we
can reduce them so they're a|most lmposslb|e to see.
The baslc method ls to use the hue/saturatlon too|. But,
slnce the frlnges are red and the swan's beak contalns
a |ot of red too, we need to be more sophlstlcated. Flrst,
c|lck the |asso too| ln the Glmp's too| pa|ette.
Now we need to se|ect the offendlng area and lso|ate
the parts of the lmage we don't want to affect. Most of
the lmage ls b|ue water, so we've [ust drawn a blg coarse
se|ectlon around the body and water drop|ets.
Se|ect Too|s | Co|our Too|s | Hue/Saturatlon. Slnce the
frlnges are red, we'|| se|ect the red radlo button under
Prlmary Co|our to Modlfy. Now, drag the Saturatlon s|lder
to zero so that the red frlnges become grey.
Hey presto, the horrlb|e frlnges have dlsappeared.
And because the swan's beak was lso|ated from the
|terlng, the overa|| apparent co|our ba|ance of the shot
has been preserved.
ll lu|os somo curo lo
gol lho so|ocl|on urou
r|ghl, bul lho bus|c
procoss nooos vory
||ll|o s||||.
F|vo or lon m|nulos
shou|o bo p|only.
The obvlous use of a panorama ls that famlllar scenarlo:
you nd yourself presented wlth a stunnlng photographlc
vlsta on your hollday, and your camera's lens lsn't qulte
wlde enough to fully encompass the scene ln one shot.
Taklng several plctures and subsequently merglng them
enectlvely slmulates a very wlde-angle lens that would
otherwlse cost several hundred pounds.
That lsn't the only reason for taklng panoramlc shots,
though, the more plctures you stltch together, the more
plxels you have and the more detall there ls ln the nal
composlte panorama. Thls means you may want to try a
stltched-together shot of a scene evenlf your camera's lens
can cover lt ln one go, by zoomlng ln sllghtly and taklng
several shots. 8ut you need to follow some strlct rules for
panorama shots lf you're golng to get the best results.
COMPOSlTlON AND FRAMlNG Prom a composltlon and
framlng polnt of vlew, lt's wlse to mount the camera on a
trlpod. Thls allows you to keep lt dead level and frees you
to concentrate on gettlng the correct amount of overlap
between shots. ou need to overlap each frame by qulte a
blt: about 30%. Thls ls because the edges of the frame are
far more prone to dlstortlon, due to natural optlcal enects
and lmperfectlons ln lens deslgn. Movlng towards the
centre makes lt far easler to allgn the shots correctly when
lt comes to stltchlng.
One technlque that seems counter-lntultlve but can
help to reduce allgnment problems later ls to try shootlng
a horlzontal panorama wlth the camera ln portralt
orlentatlon, and vlce versa. Dependlng on your camera's
lens, there's usually less dlstortlon ln the vertlcal dlrectlon.
|t does mean you'll need to take more shots for any glven
scene, but slnce shootlng dlgltal costs nothlng you may as
well glve lt a whlrl.
when shootlng a panorama ls to keep your camera's
settlngs as close as posslble to ldentlcal between shots.
There are three prlmary settlngs to conslder: exposure,
focus and whlte balance. Lxposure ls the maln problem,
slnce few polnt-and-shoot cameras have fully manual
modes and lt's cruclal that exposure remalns constant
between shots. |f lt lsn't, you'll nd lt hard to get a
convlnclngly seamless stltch no matter how hard you try.
|f your camera does have a manual exposure settlng or
exposure lock between shots, you then need to determlne

the exposure. Pemember that lf you're exposlng to show

detall ln a dark sub[ect, the hlghllghts wlll tend to be
blown out to brlght whlte, and exposlng for a brlght
sub[ect such as the sky wlll mean dark ob[ects are turned
to sllhouette. Por a panorama, the same prlnclple applles
across lts constltuent shots. ou need to declde whlch of
the shots you malnly want to expose for.
ou should generally choose the shot that you [udge to
be ln the mlddle of the brlghtness range, lf you're shootlng
a panorama of a cltyscape wlth the sun lowon the horlzon
to one slde, for lnstance, the central lmage wlll be the
one you should expose for. Polnt the camera at that area
and note the exposure settlngs. Then put the camera on
manual, uslng those settlngs.
Pocus ls less crltlcal thanexposure for the slmple reason
that most panoramas tend to be landscapes: even set to
automatlc, the camera wlll usually set the focus at lnnlty.
|f there are other near-eldob[ects lnthe shot, though, you
need to make sure you're not focused on those. |f focus
changes, not only wlll lt look odd havlng a dlnerent polnt
of focus between lmages, the slze of the lmages wlll dlner
sllghtly, agaln maklng lt harder to get seamless allgnment
ln your shots.
Then there's whlte balance to conslder. Thls ls
normally the least of your worrles, slnce almost every
camera has a manual whlte-balance feature, [ust don't
forget to take lt on automatlc and set lt to match the
condltlons you're shootlng ln (see p66).
FOCAL LENGTH |t mlght seem senslble to zoom out as
far as your camera wlll go, that way, you may be able to
take ln a scene wlth only a couple of shots. |n fact, thls lsn't
a goodldea. wltha zoomlens ona very wlde-angle settlng,
perspectlve dlstortlon enects are hugely magnled,
whlch once agaln translates lnto a lot of dlmculty
when lt comes to allgnment of your composlte lmage.
Conversely, zoomlng rlght ln wlll reduce dlstortlon and
make stltchlng easler, but you're llkely to end up havlng
to take dozens of shots to cover a scene. |t's best to nd a
compromlse: try to set the zoom to lts mlddle settlng, so
that for every 45 degrees you turn the camera you take
three or four shots.
Avold gettlng movlng ob[ects ln the frame lf you can:
sod's lawdlctates they'll end up on the transltlon between
two shots, half there, half not. And keep an eye on the cloud
cover on overcast days - lf the sun keeps partlally breaklng
throughthe clouds, llght levels wlll tendtochange between
shots and ruln the exposure for the sequence.
CREATlNG THE PANORAMAThere are lots of programs
that wlll automatlcally stltch lmages together for you.
Most of them are enectlve much of the tlme, especlally
lf you're not looklng too carefully. 8ut one thlng they all
lack ls human perceptlon, and that goes a long way when
lt comes to maklng panoramas. An automatlc stltchlng
program can't sub[ectlvely assess whether an lmage looks
rlght, and you'll often get results that slmply don't look
correct or are warped or dlstorted ln some obvlous way.
8ut glven almost any competent lmage-edltlng package
that's able to cope wlth layers and layer-mask edltlng, you
can achleve amazlng results by dolng lt manually. |f you've
followed our advlce on composlng and shootlng, you can
easlly make a panorama ln whlch lt's lmposslble to dlscern
the transltlon between lndlvldual shots.
All you need to do ls create a blank canvas ln your
favourlte photoedltor, thendraglnthe lndlvldual plctures
Stltchlng together
mu|tlp|e shots |et
us create a stunnlng
panoramlc photo of
the Plver Thames
packed wlth detal|.

A superwldeang|e |ens? No, a shot stltched ln software.
as unlque layers. Set the layer opaclty to 50% or so on
each of them and then manually llne them up so they
match as closely as posslble. Thls ls the polnt at whlch, lf
you're dolng lt for the rst tlme, you'll assume you've done
somethlng terrlbly wrong: lf you manage to llne up that
bulldlng there, then that brldge over there ls mlsallgned.
|n fact, lt's lmposslble to avold these mlsallgnments
completely, whlch ls where the next step comes ln.
Plrst, set all the layer opacltles back to l00%. Now let's
say you're stltchlng together a four-shot horlzontal panel
as ln our walkthrough opposlte, and you're worklng from
left to rlght. Put the left-most lmage at the bottom of the
layer stacklng order, the rlght-most at the top and the
lntermedlate ones ln correct order left to rlght.
The left-most lmage you can leave alone. The next one
to the rlght you need to create a layer mask for. Now drop
lnto mask-edlt mode and, by palntlng whlte on the layer
mask, you can erase that part of the lmage and allowparts
of the lmage below to show through. Thls glves you a way
of maklnga varlable seamsoyoucontrol exactly where the
left-most lmage stops and the one to lts rlght beglns.
Nowtake a look at the obvlous areas of connlct ln the
composlte lmage where promlnent features don't llne up.
ouneedtopalnt thelayer maskwlthamedlum-hard-edged
brush, so as to"cut"between them. The ldea ls that the
layer transltlon should take place ln as lndlstlnct an area as
posslble, wlth fewnotable detalls so lt lsn't obvlous. where
you can't avold dlnerences - such as ln large areas of solld
colour that perceptlblydlner fromoneshot tothenext -you
need to use a large, gently feathered brush to even out the
transltlongradually. |nour exampleopposlte, thelargeareas
of sky and water showed sllght varlatlons between shots,
desplte keeplng the camera on manual. Palntlng down the
seamof thelmagewlthaverylarge, verysoft brushcreates a
gentle blendbetween the two that's lmposslble to see - the
eye slmply lsn't sensltlve to lt.
NOT AS ODD AS lT SEEMS |t sounds a crude way of stltchlng
together lmages, but wlth about half an hour's practlce
you'll begln to see that the layer-blendlng method ls far
more enectlve than lts slmpllclty seems to suggest. |t's
completely non-destructlve, too: lf you erase too much
of the area you're worklng on and a mlsallgnment shows
through from underneath, slmply swltch to palntlng black
on the layer mask and that area wlll maglcally reappear.
wlth the manual technlque, you're uslng your own
perceptlon to allow the unavoldable mlsmatch between
scenes to take place ln areas where they're not notlceable.
Take a close look at the stltched shot on pl24-l25. At
rst glance, and lndeed second and thlrd, the shot looks
perfect. Thls ls because the eye focuses on the foreground
detalls and edges, such as the arch of the brldge, lts
pontoons and the blue boat. 8ut take a very close look
underneaththe brldge betweenthe pontoonandthe boat
and you can see the mlsmatch: there's a noatlng structure
that's vertlcally dlsplaced and repeated.
ou dldn't notlce lt and never would have lf lt hadn't
been polnted out, that's the art of stltchlng by hand. |f
you're lntent on gettlng as close to the orlglnal scene as
posslble, you can natten out the lmage once lt's been
stltched and then use copy, paste and clonlng tools to
pull the mlsmatch lnto allgnment manually and ll ln
the gaps wlth cloned water detall (see pl42).
8ear ln mlnd that thls technlque works best for stralght-
llne"panel"panoramas, whether horlzontal or vertlcal. |f
you want to stltch a tlled lmage wlth both horlzontally and
vertlcally dlsplacedshots, you're worklnglntwodlmenslons
and lt becomes harder to hlde geometrlc dlstortlon, so
lmage-stltchlng software may be requlred. 8ut for your
normal grand vlsta-style panoramas, glve thls technlque
a whlrl. Not only ls lt enectlve, lt glves a great sense of
satlsfactlon to craft a gorgeous panoramlc scene by hand.

S 2
Here, we're golng to stltch together a fourshot panorama
taken from London's Hungerford footbrldge. We used a
dlglta| SLP and took a meter readlng for the mldd|e shot of
the sequence, then dropped lnto manua| mode, uslng the
same metered exposure for a|| four shots. Foca| |ength was around
50mm. Flrst, lmport a|| four lmages lnto |ayers ln an lmageedltlng
program - we're uslng Photoshop here but the Glmp wl|| work, too.
Wlth |ayer opaclty set to 50%, |lne up promlnent features
ln the shots as best you can. You'|| soon nd out you
can't get lt perfect. here, for lnstance, wlth St Pau|'s
Cathedra| a|lgned, the bul|dlngs and brldge on the rlght
are slgnlcant|y out of whack. If you're worklng |eft to rlght, favour
gettlng features on the |eft |lned up, and vlce versa.
Set |ayer opaclty to 100% and create |ayer masks
for every |ayer except the bottom one. Go lnto whlte
maskedlt mode and create the lmage transltlons
by palntlng from the |eft edge ln, coverlng promlnent
detal|s to avold them c|ashlng ln the na| composlte. A|so, use a
very |arge, soft brush to smooth out the transltlon ln sky and water,
as we've done .
Wlth practlce, you'|| be ab|e to get resu|ts as seam|ess
as thls, wlth no dlscernlb|e transltlon between lmages
and no obvlous mlsmatches. Pemember, when you're
edltlng the lmage masks, you don't want any partla|
transparency around c|ear|y dlscernlb|e detal|s such as bul|dlngs
on the horlzon, slnce mlsmatches wl|| c|ear|y show through thls way.
There are plenty of pleces of software around that wlll stltch together
your panorama shots automatlcally, but you can often achleve a much
better enect lf you do lt by hand. On top of that, lt's lmmensely satlsfylng.
ol purl|cu|ur|y
...bul you'|| nooo
|ols o pul|onco uno
poss|b|y un hour or
lwo. Or lhroo.
The blzarre enect of redeye ls the bane of hollday snaps and
drunken party shots the world over: people are rendered
wlth satanlc glowlng eyes that serlously spoll the shot. The
cause ls slmple: the very brlght llght of the nash goes lnto
the eye, renects on the retlna (whlch ls red because of the
blood vessels) and back lnto the lens. |t lsn't somethlng you
can see wlth the naked eye, slnce lt needs a llght wlth the
power of a camera nash to be notlceable.
ou'll notlce that red eye only ever occurs lndoors. |f
you're outslde uslng ll-ln nash to take someone's portralt,
you'll rarely see lt. That's because the llght levels outdoors,
even lf someone has thelr back to the sun or lt's a cloudy
day, are enormously brlghter than you'll ever get lndoors
uslng standard artlclal llghtlng. our eyes are lncredlbly
good at adaptlng from the masslve changes ln llght levels
between dayllght and artlclal llght. when we're lndoors,
our eyes are ad[usted to the very lowllght levels wlthout us
reallslng our puplls are wlde open to allowas much llght to
enter theeyeas posslble-theexact samereasonthat awlde
aperture ls needed to take photos ln low llght. wlth a fully
dllated pupll, there's a nlce blg area of our retlna exposed
and the llght from the nash has no trouble golng stralght
lnto our eyes, bounclng on the retlna and back lnto the
lens. when we're outdoors, the pupll ls far more constrlcted
and there's less of the retlna exposed and less renectlon
from the nash, hence no red eye.
lNCAMERA REDEYE REDUCTlON Por a couple of decades,
tradltlonal lmcameras have sported red-eye reductlon
modes. Obvlously, thls lsn't down to dlgltal trlckery. |nstead,
by pre-rlng the nash before taklng the shot. Although lt
normallytakesafewsecondsfor our eyestoad[ust todlnerent
llght condltlons, theverybrlght pre-nashls enoughtocausea
partlal constrlctlonof thelrls, reduclngtheapertureof theeye
and maklng lt less llkely for red eye to appear.
OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE RED EYE The enects of red eye
are usually only felt ln dlgltal compacts. Thls ls because
to renect dlrectly back on the retlna and lnto the lens, a
llght source needs to be more or less ln llne wlth lts axls.
The nash on a dlgltal compact (or tradltlonal compact lm
camera) ls [ust such a source - lt's physlcally very close to
the lens ltself. The solutlon to red eye ls to move the nash
as far from the centrellne of the camera as posslble. That's
the reason the external nash unlts are as tall as lt's feaslble
to make them, whlle stlll belng mechanlcally able to attach
to a camera's external hot-shoe connector wlthout belng
rlpped on by the rst knock or bump. |t's also the reason
that thenashlndlgltal compacts sometlmes pops out allttle
way from the body. The sure-re way to avold the problem
ls to bounce the nash lndlrectly on the celllng, whlch ls
agaln posslble wlth external nash unlts.
The proximity of
the hash to the
centreIine o lho |ons
|n u o|g|lu| compucl
mu|os roo oyo u
o|sl|ncl poss|b|||ly | you
oon'l lu|o mousuros lo
uvo|o |l.
An offboard
hash |s lho
bosl wuy lo
uvo|o roo oyo.
The pop-up
hash on consumor
DSLPs |s u gooo
l you'ro sluc| w|lh
u compucl cumoru
w|lhoul un oxlornu|
ush, you cun sl|||
uvo|o roo oyo. As| your
subjocls lo |oo| ul your
shou|oor rulhor lhun
o|rocl|y ul lho cumoru
uno lho oocl shou|o
bo o||m|nuloo or ul
|ousl much rooucoo.
4 S
Our shot tlcks a|| the boxes for typlca| redeye condltlons.
lt was taken lndoors at nlght, uslng the ash on a dlglta|
compact camera. The resu|t ls that faml|lar devl| |ook,
whlch we can assure you our sub[ect doesn't rea||y have.
We're uslng the Glmp, but you cou|d down|oad Goog|e
Plcasa to do thls [ob, too (see p105). Flrst zoom ln to get
a good vlew of the eyes by rlghtc|lcklng on the photo
and se|ectlng Vlew | Zoom | 4.1 (400%).
Dea|lng wlth one eye at a tlme, we'|| use the |asso too| to
draw a freehand se|ectlon around the offendlng area of
red. Once se|ected, hlt the Ctr| key and draw around the
whlte twlnk|e ln the eye, to exc|ude lt from the se|ectlon.
Wlth the red eye se|ected, ln the lmagewlndow menu bar
c|lck on Too|s | Co|our Too|s | Hue/Saturatlon. Drag the
Saturatlon s|lder to near zero. Pu|| the Llghtness s|lder
down, too, untl| the shade matches the rest of the eye.
Hlt <Ctr|ShlftA> (or c|lck Se|ect | None ln the top menu)
to dese|ect the area. At fu|| magnlcatlon, the resu|ts
won't |ook perfect, but they're good enough. Pepeat steps
3 and 4 for the other eye.
If you want to experlment wlth gettlng the eyes |ooklng
even better, you can try uslng the Hue s|lder ln the hue/
saturatlon too| to change the co|our of the red portlon to
the actua| co|our of the sub[ect's eyes.
|f you have a shot that's been spolled by red eye - and lt's llkely that most
of us do - there's absolutely no cause for concern, as you can deal wlth lt
ln [ust a matter of mlnutes.
Ono woro: ousy.
A mullor o m|nulos,
ovon | you oo|o w|lh
lho soll|ngs.
2 1
8lack and whlte can carry the mood of a sub[ect better
than colour, and lt can produce a mood when there was
none to start wlth. |t can glve lmages more abstractlon
whlle, ln a strangely contradlctory way, maklng themseem
more real. Amundane shot can suddenly become far more
lnterestlng when the extraneous vlsual lnformatlon that
colour provldes ls strlpped away. |t can also lmprove a shot
that'sotherwlsespolledbyannoylngsupernuousdetall: the
negatlve lmpact of thlngs such as cars ln the background
- especlally lf they're red - can be hugely reduced by
removlng thelr colour.
SHOOTlNG The rst thlng not to do when taklng
monochrome photos ls set your camera to monochrome,
thls wlll llmlt the posslbllltles for the nal lmage.
Tradltlonal black-and-whlte lm photographers often
use colour lters over the lens when shootlng. |t sounds
counter-lntultlve, but by blocklng certaln colours from
reachlng the lm you can slgnlcantly alter the mood
of a shot. 8y capturlng ln full colour, you can enectlvely
apply vlrtual colour lters to your shot after the fact.
|f you're speclcally taklng shots destlned for black-
and-whlte converslon, remember to concentrate on the
aspects of a scene that don't depend on colour. |t's lnltlally
dlmcult to"see" ln monochrome, and partlcularly to
lmaglne a scene that's been treated wlth hlgh levels of
contrast ad[ustment. 8ut the key to thls ls practlce: make
sure you revlew your results, learn from your mlstakes
and do lt agaln. And more often than not, the best shots
come by accldent - many people get frustrated by thls
and thlnk they should be able to see an lmage before they
take lt rather than happen upon lt durlng processlng, but
accldents are how many of the best shots are taken.
MAKlNG THE CONVERSlON when chooslng whlch of your
shots to convert to black and whlte, look for strong curves
and llnes, the best candldates for converslon are often the
slmplest shots wlth lnterestlng texture. The best photos
of people are ones ln whlch the sub[ect looks elther very
happy or very renectlve. Convertlng these brlngs out the
emotlon, whereas ln-between expresslons tend to look
bland ln black and whlte.
One method to avold when convertlng your lmage to
black and whlte ls chooslng an lmage edltor's Convert to
Greyscale optlon. Thls strlps out all colour lnformatlon,
and you're left wlth an lmage that may as well have
been taken wlth your camera set to black and whlte. |t's
preferabletousealayer-basedapproach, leavlngthecolour
The power of black andwhlte
.ls far more dramatlc ln b|ack and whlte. A falr|y we||exposed but du|| shot.

lmage lntact and addlng manlpulatlon layers

to strlp out the colour lnformatlon selectlvely.
All modern lmage edltors such as Photoshop,
PalntShop Pro and the Glmp can handle layers.
There are a couple of approaches you can use
to remove colour, but probably the easlest and
most enectlve ls to use a channel-mlxlng layer,
wlth the monochrome optlon checked. A channel
mlxer can convert your lmage to monochrome by
comblnlng the red, green and blue lnformatlon
lnto a slngle brlghtness value for each plxel
accordlng to a ratlo you speclfy. So, by uslng l00%
of the red channel and settlng the green and blue
channels to zero, you can slmulate a red lter over
the lens. The natural way to do lt - mlxlng all three
channels at 33%toproduce the monochrome shot
- tends to produce results that are a llttle nat, wlth
low contrast. ou'll nd that much of the tlme,
dlscardlng all the green and blue lnformatlon and
golng for l00% red glves great results, partlcularly
wlth landscapes, whlch look far more dramatlc,
wlth dark, moody skles (see plcture, rlght). |t's best
to lntroduce small amounts of green and blue to
ne-tune the look, pulllng out any deslred detalls
that don't show up uslng the red channel alone
(see overleaf ).
CONTRAST One of the denlng characterlstlcs
of much black-and-whlte photography ls hlgh
contrast. Hlgh contrast goes hand-ln-hand wlth
black and whlte, slnce both enects tend to
reduce detall and slmpllfy the lmage, puttlng the
emphasls on slmpllclty and form. Hlgh contrast
can work really well for both archltectural-style
shots and portralts, although lf you want to
natter someone's looks lt lsn't the best way
to go, slnce lt tends to lend shots a grltty,
hyper-real look.
|ncreaslng contrast ls best done ln the usual
way wlth a curves layer, put control polnts at
one-thlrd and two-thlrds of the way up the curves
llne and create an S-shape, the bottom klnk of the
S makes shadow detall darker, the top klnk boosts
hlghllghts, and the stralght mlddle sectlon means
mldtones are less anected.
8ut unllke the usual contrast ad[ustment - ln
whlch you normally alm for a subtle boost to
add punch - try belng more extreme and pulllng
shadow detall rlght down, whlle boostlng the
hlghllghts up to whlte. Thls wlll glve the shot a
styllsed, stark look whlle lncreaslng the apparent
detall ln the mldtones, for a portralt shot, thls wlll
enhance every llne and wrlnkle on a face. |f you go even
more extreme - to the polnt where the curve looks llke a
steep, stralght llne ln the mlddle of the dlalog box - the
shot wlll end up looklng partlcularly styllsed, whlch can
work for very abstract or atmospherlc shots.
TONlNGTradltlonal black-and-whlte lm photographers
often develop thelr own photos, and spend lnordlnate
amounts of tlme wlth dlnerent papers and chemlcals to
get the deslred tlnt to thelr shots. A completely neutral
greyscale often lsn't the ldeal tone, the most recognlsable
ls a sepla tlnt - a warm enect that glves yellowlsh browns.
Tonlng enects are easy to achleve ln software, elther vla
a dedlcated black-and-whlte tonlng lter or by uslng
generallsed edltlng tools. |n Photoshop, for lnstance,
slmply add a new Hue/Saturatlon layer and check the
Colorlze box. Leave the Llghtness sllder at 0, and lnltlally
set the Saturatlon sllder to +25. ou can then move the
Hue sllder anywhere between 0 and 360 to get any colour
Taklng on|y the red
channe| of an lmage
can glve dramatlc
dark skles.

enect you llke, the most tradltlonal-looklng results are
found wlth Hue set between 30 and 40.
SHARPENlNG Many black-and-whlte photographers use
large or medlum-format lm cameras, whlch produces
shots wlth ultra-hlgh levels of detall. ou can slmulate thls
enect - although, of course, you can't actually create more
detall than ls already there - by [udlclously overdolng your
sharpenlng. Thls has fewer negatlve enects ona black-and-
whlte lmage than a colour one, slnce the colour nolse that
oversharpenlng a colour shot produces lsn't a problem ln
monochrome. Lumlnance (brlghtness) nolse wlll tend to
be enhanced, of course, but lt's much less ob[ectlonable
and tends to look llke lm graln.
Pemember, the best way of sharpenlng shots ls to
not use the ln-camera settlngs, the approprlate level of
sharpenlngdepends onthe sub[ect andneeds a humaneye
for the best results. Set your ln-camera sharpenlng to 0 and
use software. Pemember, also, that the best way to sharpen
an lmage ls to use the Unsharp Mask lter (see pll8). Thls
ls far more controllable than a slmple sharpen lter and
glves better results. Another thlng to remember ls that you
can't apply a sharpenlng layer, so Unsharp Mask anects the
actual plxels ln an lmage. Por thls reason, lt should be done
at the end of the manlpulatlon worknow. Always prevlew
Unsharp Mask at l00%(actual plxels) magnlcatlon, lf lt
doesn't appear tobedolnganythlng, checkthat youhavethe
actual lmage layer selected ln the layers tool palette.
Done properly, black-and-whlte converslon ls probably
the most enectlve type of dlgltal manlpulatlon you can do,
and a great deal more satlsfylng than addlng sllly borders
and excesslve enects. Glve lt a try.
The best
candldates for
b|ack and whlte
have strong
shapes and form,
such as these
deers' ant|ers.

whatever you do, don't [ust set your camera to black and whlte mode to take
monochrome plctures. Shoot lncolour, thenyoucantake advantage of all three
colour channels to ne-tune the nal look of the shot on your PC. Here's how.
The effect of b|ack and whlte ls to enhance the mood,
so go for an approprlate plcture. Thls lmage, wlth a
thoughtfu||ooklng sub[ect, ls a prlme candldate. We're
uslng Photoshop ln thls wa|kthrough.
We'|| use a Channe| Mlxer |ayer here. Choose Layer
| New Ad[ustment Layer | Channe| Mlxer. Check the
Monochrome box, and actlvate the prevlew box. Now
try experlmentlng wlth the ratlo of green, b|ue and red.
Create a new curves |ayer and form an Scurve
- remember that, by defau|t, brlnglng down the bottom
part of the S reduces the |eve| of shadow, whl|e maklng
the top hump hlgher brlghtens the hlgh|lghts.
Notlce how lncreaslng the contrast and taklng out the
co|our lnformatlon has reduced the |eve| of dlstractlon from
the background. One slde effect of the converslon ls to
make the lmage |ook co|d. So we need to tone the lmage.
Create a Hue/Saturatlon |ayer and p|ay wlth the Hue and
Saturatlon s|lders untl| you get a resu|t you |lke. In thls case,
a hue of 32 and saturatlon of 30 glves a nlce warm resu|t,
wlth a hlnt of red so lt doesn't |ook too o|dfashloned.
The resu|t lsn't huge|y dlfferent from the startlng photo,
but lt nonethe|ess conveys the mood far more effectlve|y
than the orlglna| co|our shot. The trlck ls app|ylng the
approprlate effects accordlng to the sub[ect of the shot.
4 S
2 1
ll cun bo lr|c|y lo
oolorm|no lho bu|unco
o ouch co|our |n lho
chunno| m|xor.
1C2C m|nulos.
whlle some photography purlsts mlght complaln lt lsn't
what real photography's all about, uslng software to alter a
plcture radlcally can be great fun and produce excellent
results. Here, we're golng to showyou howto make your
modern photos look llke lmshots froma couple of
decades ago. The standard way to slmulate old photos ls
uslng a lmgraln enect - you can see howto do that on
pl37. 8ut before that, we're golng to look at a technlque
known as cross-processlng. These are both trlcks that play
to the tendency for people to llke what are, technlcally,
undeslrable slde enects andllmltatlons of photography, but
develop lnto artlstlc enects ln thelr own rlght.
ou may not have heard of cross-processlng, but you'll
almost certalnly recognlse the look of cross-processed
lmages. Orlglnally, the enect came from uslng the"wrong"
chemlcal process to tradltlonal chemlcal-develop lm,
often by developlng colour negatlve lmuslng the process
that's supposed to be used for sllde lm. The result ls
lmages wlth thelr colour balance completely skewed:
usually a strong green/yellow cast to hlghllghts, and blue
shadows. |t's an enect that, wlth a blt of practlce, you can
apply ln software and lt's great for addlng a nostalglc l980s
feel to a shot, slnce lt's a slmllar enect to the less-than-
perfect processlng that you generally got fromtaklng lms
to the chemlst ln the dlm and dlstant past.
Slnce cross-processlng lmages anects reds and turns
them magenta, lt's popular among fashlon photographers
because lt accentuates people's llps. There's no one
denltlve look to a cross-processed shot, though, as lt
depends on exactly whlch processes you're crosslng, and
wlth dlgltal lmaglng there's no llmlt to what you can do.
That sald, the denlng characterlstlcs tend to be a hlgh-
contrastlmagewlthblown-outhlghllghts(agaln, somethlng
photographerstradltlonallygotohugelengthstoavold), but
However lt's done, lt's a very dlnerent enect fromtradltlonal
tonlng methods such as sepla, slnce although green and
yelloware predomlnant lt doesn't produce one overall hue.
HOW TO DO lT Llke so many technlques, the basls of
slmulatlng cross-processlng ln software ls the use of the
curves control. Ordlnarlly, though, curves ls used ln lts
default PG8 mode, maklng equal ad[ustments to all three
colour channels at once, and the only enect on colour ls
an lncrease ln apparent saturatlon. Cross-processlng
requlres more advanced use of curves, layers and colour-
blend modes, and as such lt's a great way to get to grlps
more fully wlth the posslbllltles of lmage-edltlng software.
The ldea ls that we use the curves control to ad[ust the
colour response of the red, green and blue components of
the lmage lndlvldually, to slmulate accurately the response
of a cross-processed prlnt. we want, for lnstance, to achleve
shadows wlth a blue cast: to do that, we need to accentuate
the response at lower lumlnance (lntenslty), but keep the
response normal ln the hlghllghts. Conversely, the greeny-
yellowcast ln the hlghllghts means we need to lncrease the
levels of green and red. The curves control ls tallor-made for
thls, slnce you can dene preclsely howeach plxel value ls
mapped across the lumlnance range by drawlng lndlvldual
curves for each channel (see walkthrough overleaf ).
Crossprocesslng can glve lnterest to otherwlse falr|y at shots.
The effect of the b|end contro|. on the |eft ls the orlglna| lmage.
The rlghthand plcture has had the curves contro| app|led ln norma|
mode, whl|e the mldd|e lmage has lts b|end mode set to |umlnoslty,
so lts co|our saturatlon lsn't affected.

BLEND MODES An lmportant concept to get complete

control over the cross-processlng enect ls the proper use of
blend modes. Ordlnarlly, when you ad[ust an lmage uslng
curves, you'll leave the mode set to normal. Thls means the
lndlvldual red, green and blue channels are manlpulated
equally accordlng to the ad[ustments you make. The
standard use of curves ls to lncrease contrast, but because
human colour perceptlon ls dlnerent for each colour
across the lntenslty range, you may have notlced thls has
the slde enect of alterlng the apparent colour balance, too.
Usually, the enect ls deslrable, slnce lt leads to a boost
ln saturatlon, but thls llnklng of contrast and colour enects
can get ln the way lf you're trylng to achleve speclc colour
enects, whlch ls what we're trylng to do wlth the cross-
processlng method. The way to get round the problemls to
set the blend mode of your curves layers. There are a couple
of dozen modes avallable, but the ones we're lnterested ln
are the colour and lumlnoslty optlons.
|f you create a newad[ustment layer ln Photoshop and
set lts mode to lumlnoslty, youcanstlll lncrease the contrast
by applylng your S-curve, but Photoshop mathematlcally
manlpulates the plxel values accordlng to well-establlshed
models of human colour perceptlon, so that the apparent
colour balance remalns the same. The opposlte ls the case
when settlng the blend mode to Color: the lumlnoslty lsn't
anected, andthat's the mode we want to use for gettlngthe
cross-processed enect exactly to our llklng. 8y separatlng
out the colour and lumlnoslty values ln thls way, you don't
endupchaslngyour tall due to manlpulatlons lnone tool or
layer anectlng the overall balance ln another.
Once the colours are correct, we can make use of curves
ln the more tradltlonal way, by addlng another curves layer,
but wlththemodeset tolumlnosltyanduslngthecomposlte
PG8 channel rather than each channel lndlvldually. 8y
applylng the standard S-curve ln thls mode, we can set the
contrast preclsely, but wlthout mucklng up the carefully
ad[usted colours we've set up wlth our lndlvldual colour-
channel manlpulatlons.
A second use of layers and blend modes comes when
we've nlshed ad[ustlng the colour and lumlnoslty curves.
To get the nal look [ust so, lt can often help to apply a
yellowcast to the lmage as a whole. Thls ls easy to do uslng
a ll layer, whlch slts at the top of the layer structure wlth
lts opaclty set to around l0-l5%. 8ut slmply placlng that
over the lmage ln normal mode wlll anect the contrast of
the lmage, whlch you've [ust carefully ad[usted wlth your
lumlnoslty-mode curves layer. 8y settlng the blend mode
of the colour layer to Color, that problemls solved.
used Photoshop for our walkthrough, slnce lt's the most
nexlbleandpreclsewayof achlevlngthecross-processedlook
easlly, but lf youdon't have lt lt's perfectly posslble toachleve
a slmllar enect uslng the free Glmp package. |t's trlckler,
though, astheGlmpdoesn't support ad[ustment layers, sothe
curves control ls destructlve ln the sense that lt permanently
alters the plxels of the baslc lmage, meanlng successlve
ad[ustments wlll qulckly make the lmage degrade lnto
garbage. That means you have to get lt rlght by maklng the
ad[ustments, then undolng and redolng the command untll
you're happy. As well as that, the Glmp's lnablllty to work ln
l6-blt-per-plxel mode means lt's easy to lntroduce stepplng
and posterlsatlon enects lf you're not careful.
Don't rule out other software routes, though. |f, for
lnstance, you have a Canon dlgltal SLP and download the
latest verslon of Canon's free Dlgltal Photo Professlonal
software, you'll nd lt has a very capable faclllty for
ad[ustlng curves on each channel lndlvldually as well as
the composlte tool, and lf you're ad[ustlng a PAwlmage lt
works ln l6-blt mode, too.
You can easl|y glve your shots a sty|lsh fashlonphoto |ook wlth a crossprocessed" effect (see over|eaf).

4 S
Afewmlnutes'worklnyour favourltelmageedltor wlll achlevethesameenect as
the dodgy processlng fromyour local chemlst's clrca l980.
Our orlglna| lmage ls rlpe for renderlng lnto somethlng
wlth more of a dated Po|arold fee|. our sub[ect was
captured at an 1980s party wearlng a fetchlng palr of
We're uslng Photoshop CS2 here, but the prlnclp|es work
wlth other edltors. Se|ect Layer | New Ad[ustment Layer
| Curves. Don't lmmedlate|y hlt OK, lnstead, c|lck on the
Mode dropdown and se|ect Co|or Burn.
The defau|t curves vlew ls the PGB curve, but don't touch
that. Instead, c|lck the Channe| dropdown and se|ect red.
App|y an Scurve by c|lcklng be|ow the |lne at onethlrd
a|ong and above lt twothlrds.
Now se|ect Green ln the dropdown - the red ad[ustment
ls automatlca||y stored. The green ad[ustment ls the most
subt|e yet most lmportant. C|lck above the curve ha|fway
a|ong. Thls wl|| boost greens across the who|e lmage.
Se|ect the B|ue channe|. C|lck the polnt at the bottom |eft
and drag lt up the |efthand slde of the graph. Now, to
a||ow the ye||ow cast to come through, pu|| down the b|ues
at the top by grabblng the toprlght and pu||lng lt down.
Flna||y, to add a ye||ow cast to the who|e lmage, se|ect
Layer | New Fl|| Layer | So|ld Co|our, changlng the
b|end mode to Co|our and then reduclng opaclty to
around 1015%.
2 5
Ono o lhoso jobs
lhul's lr|c|y ul rsl,
bul much ous|or
onco you unoorsluno
lho pr|nc|p|os.
1C15 m|nulos.
Another enect from the past that modern dlgltal photography can stlll benet
fromlsthatold-stylelm-gralnlook. |t'saslmpleprocess, butgettlngltrlghtneeds
some care and attentlon.
Ordlnarlly, the presence of nolse ln dlgltal lmages ls
unwanted. |t presents ltself as multlcoloured graln, and
becomes worse the hlgher the |SO sensltlvlty ls on your
camera (see p64). 8ut sometlmes, lm graln can add a
classlc alr to an lmage. Atmospherlc lmages shot ln low
llght benet ln partlcular: the lmage becomes moodler
and detalls obscured by the darkness are enhanced.
WHEN TO USE FlLM GRAlN Addlng nolse ls also deslrable
for black-and-whlte lmages. wlth a black-and-whlte
lmage, you're already reachlng for a partlcular genre of
photography, and addlng nolse wlll make your nal lmage
feel older. Or, lf your lmage ls composed of largely smooth,
featureless surfaces (such as a tall, modern bulldlng), nolse
can make lt more lnterestlng to look at. Plnally, lf you have
a dlgltal camera that lntroduces unwanted 1PLG artefacts
lnto your lmages, addlng nolse wlth a dedlcated photo-
edltlng appllcatlon can make your lmages less obvlously
dlgltal, enabllng you to prlnt at larger slzes.
HOWTO DO lT Most lmage-edltlng software, lncludlng
Photoshop and the Glmp, ls capable of both addlng and
removlnglmgraln. |nPhotoshop, addlnglm-llke gralnls as
slmple as cllcklng on Pllter | Nolse | Add Nolse. The changes
you make anect the open lmage ln real-tlme, but you should
box. Move the prevlewlmage to a focal polnt ln the plcture,
but keep lt zoomed to l00%. As wlth most dlgltal edltlng, a
llttle goes a longway. |f your changes are basedonthe lmage
when lt's zoomed all the way out, you'll add far too much
nolse, whlch means you'll mlss the deslred enect, posslbly
obscurlng lmportant detalls. 8y vlewlng the lmage up close
and maklng small changes, the enect wlll be far more subtle.
Plnally, bear ln mlnd that the nolse added by Photoshop ls ln
colour by default, so lf you're worklng on a black-and-whlte
lmage check the optlon to add monochromatlc nolse.
Photoshop also oners tools for addlng lm-llke graln.
The end result ls much the same, but there are a fewmore
optlons for perfectlonlsts. Slmply cllck on Pllter | Artlstlc |
Pllmgraln. ou can change the hlghllght area, for lnstance,
to alter howcoarse the graln enect ls. The lntenslty control
allows you to ad[ust the hlghllghts ln your lmage - set lt low
and the hlghllght level hlgh to glve your photos an aged
look. Plnally, the graln optlon determlnes howmuch nolse
ls added. Llke before, make small changes. ou'll thank us
when the nal lmage ls prlnted.
Thls b|ackandwhlte shot ls ne, but a |ltt|e graln wl|| make the tone
of the shot t a |ltt|e better wlth the c|asslc sty|lng of the scooter.
Note we've zoomed ln to make sure our effects are kept subt|e.
We've kept the amount of graln to be added to a bare mlnlmum - you
want lt to be notlceab|e, not dlstractlng. When the lmage ls vlewed ln
lts entlrety, the effect ls subt|e but effectlve.
F|vo m|nulos.
Whon oo|l|ng your
|mugos, |oop |n m|no
lhul | un oocl |oo|s
u ||ll|o c|umsy onscroon,
|l w||| bo horr|b|y jurr|ng
whon |l's nu||y pr|nloo.
whlle the best way to reduce lmage nolse ls to tackle lt
at source by uslng a low |SO settlng (see p64), that lsn't
always posslble lf you're shootlng ln lowllght wlthout nash
or you need a fast shutter speed to capture the actlon. |f
you do nd you have an lmage wlth lots of nolse, you can
apply some software trlckery to reduce lts enect. |f you're
shootlng ln PAw mode (see p74), you should rst check
lf the PAw converter software you're uslng has a nolse-
reductlon settlng - applylng nolse reductlon ln the PAw
domaln ls often the most enectlve method.
SOFTWARE |f you don't have a PAw nolse-reductlon
faclllty or you were shootlng ln 1PLG mode ln the
rst place, there are varlous thlrd-party software tools
around that are dedlcated to reduclng nolse. One of
the best ls called Nolse Nln[a (
|t lsn't cheap for a slngle-functlon program, at 25 to
45 dependlng on the verslon you buy, but lt works
exceptlonally well. |t does so by allowlng you to"traln"
the software by manually ldentlfylng areas of an lmage
that contalns mostly nolse wlthout any ne detall, such as
areas of sky or hlghllghts ln the lmage. |t then assesses the
nolse ln those areas, whlch allow lt to reduce the enects
across the whole lmage.
|f you don't fancy shelllng out [ust to make one or two
of your best shots less nolsy, you can reduce nolse by hand
ln any lmage-edltlng software that supports layers - that
lncludes the free Glmp edltor (see p98), as well as the
llkes of Photoshop. The theory of reduclng the enects
of nolse manually takes advantage of the fact that the
human eye detects colour and brlghtness separately. Parts
of the retlna called rods detect brlghtness, whlle cones
are what allow us to see ln colour. The lnterestlng part ls
that colour nolse - coloured speckles and blotches - ln an
lmage ls more onenslve than brlghtness nolse (also called
lumlnance nolse). 8y separatlng the colour and brlghtness
components of an lmage lnto dlnerent layers ln software,
we can apply blurrlng to the colour layer to even out the
nolse and make lt less obvlous. Slnce we have far more
arethereforemoresensltlvetobrlghtness, lf wethenmerge
the colour and brlghtness layers back together lt's very
dlmcult to tell that the colour layer has been blurred, but
the lmage nolse ls enectlvely reduced.
lMAGE SENSORS |f you have a dlgltal compact camera and
you're becomlng frustrated that your lmages are nolsy even
at low|SOsettlngs, you should bear ln mlnd that nolse
levels are an area where dlgltal SLP cameras wln out over
thelr smaller couslns. Thls ls because the lmage sensor ln
an SLP ls far larger than the tlny sensors ln a compact. A
larger sensor means larger photo-detector elements, whlch
are less easlly overwhelmed by nolse. The most expenslve
professlonal DSLPs can boast "full-frame"lmage sensors,
whlch are as blg as a conventlonal frame of 35mmlm,
whlch glves themexceptlonally lownolse. Lower-end
models - ln thls context, that means any DSLP costlng less
than 2,000 - usually have what's known as an APS-slzed
sensor, whlch ls smaller than 35mmbut stlll much larger
Too|s such as
PlctureCode's Nolse
Nln[a are worth
conslderlng lf you
want rea||y effectlve
nolse reductlon.
Pulhor lhun upp|y|ng
lho lochn|quo on lho
oppos|lo pugo or
roouc|ng no|so, you
cou|o lh|n| uboul
convorl|ng lho |mugo lo
b|uc| uno wh|lo |nslouo
(soo p13C). o|so |s
ur |oss unnoy|ng |n
monochromo |mugos.
There are several technlques you can use ln lmage software to reduce nolse,
thls one enables you to get to grlps wlth layers. we're uslng the Glmp,
but any package that allows layers wlll be essentlally the same.
Open your lmage. We want two coples so we can sp|lt
brlghtness and co|our. In the lmage wlndow, se|ect
Layer | Dup|lcate Layer.
The bottommost |ayer wl|| be our brlghtness (or
|umlnance) |ayer. Make sure the |ayer ls se|ected ln the
|ayers wlndow, then ln the lmage wlndow se|ect Layer |
Co|ours | Desaturate to turn lt b|ack and whlte.
To use the co|our va|ues from the top |ayer, c|lck on the
|ayer and ln the Layers wlndows se|ect Co|our from the
Mode dropdown |lst. The lmage doesn't appear to
change, but lt's now uslng the brlghtness va|ues from the
bottom |ayer.
Now we want to reduce the nolse ln the co|our |ayer by
b|urrlng. C|lck on the top |ayer ln the Layers wlndow, then
ln the lmage wlndow se|ect Fl|ters | B|ur | Gausslan B|ur.
The defau|t radlus settlngs of 5 plxe|s ln the horlzonta|
and vertlca| needs to be upped - try 15 plxe|s. You may
want to lncrease thls to cope wlth nolsler shots or
decrease lt for c|eaner ones. Hlt OK.
The na| lmage ls now composed of the s|lght|y b|urred
co|our |ayer, but the brlghtness ls comlng from the sharp
bottom |ayer. C|lck the eye lcon next to the bottom |ayer
to remove lt, and you'|| see the b|urrlng. The co|our nolse
ls effectlve|y reduced, but the lmage stl|| |ooks sharp.
4 S
2 1
noorsluno|ng lho
concopl o b|urr|ng
lho co|our |uyor |s
much huroor lhun
ucluu||y oo|ng |l.
ll's u ||ll|o oo|y - sol
us|oo hu| un hour lho
rsl l|mo you lry |l.
Taklng the perfect plcture ls hard work. Lven lf you
get your camera's settlngs rlght when you actually press
the shutter button, you'll nd frequent reasons to curse
tlny blemlshes on the nal lmage. Let's say you've got a
plcture of Great Aunt 8etty: you mlght have a wonderful,
full-frame portralt, but she lsn't golng to thank you lf the
plcture blows up those fewhalrs on her chln to poster slze.
Llkewlse, dust, elther on the lens or on the sensor (see p82
for advlce on howto clean lt), can showup on lmages once
they're full slze on your monltor or prlnted out.
Help, of course, ls at hand. whether lt's gettlng rld of
the bags under someone's eyes or clearlng up unslghtly
sklnproblems, mostphoto-edltlngappscomewlthtoolsfor
deallng wlth lmperfectlons, and you'll get the best results
from uslng these tools conservatlvely. Always remember
that although your enorts mlght be barely perceptlble on
the screen, once they're prlnted, careless lmage edltlng
wlll be palnfully obvlous. 8e prepared to spend tlme wlth
each lmage you want to x, and use the undo tool lf you
make a change you're not happy wlth.
CLONlNG The clone tool ls perfect for removlng speclc
lmperfectlons wlth an lmage and works by sampllng a
pre-selected area of your lmage. when you brush over
the part of the lmage to be removed, the plxels are copled
dlrectly over the problem area. Thls lets you remove
an unslghtly spot by copylng ad[acent plxels over the
onendlng area. The clone tool ls also ldeal for plctures
wlth dust on them - you can slmply palnt over the
problem and the dust vanlshes.
The clone tool can be dlmcult to use properly. The
brush slze you use wlll depend on what you're sampllng.
|n the example on pl42, we use a relatlvely large brush, as
there are lots of repetltlve geometrlcal shapes, so we can
make llght work of gettlng rld of large ob[ects. 8ut for tlny
blemlshes, partlcularly on parts of an lmage that has lots of
other detall, you need to be more careful. Avold cllcklng
the mouse a lot - each tlme you cllck, you'll start sampllng
from your pre-selected spot agaln, whlch means you can
end up wlth an area of your lmage that uses the same
textures over and over. |f you end up wlth thls enect, use
the undo tool to get back to where you started.
DODGlNG AND BURNlNG The terms dodge and burn are
leftovers fromthe days of lm- dodglng makes the lmage
llghter, burnlng makes lt darker. So, for lnstance, lf there's
a dlstractlng llght ln your lmage, you can use the burn tool
to tone lt down. Or, lf your sub[ect has tlred bags under
thelr eyes, you can llghten thelr skln uslng the dodge tool.
8oth tools can be useful for deallng wlth lens nare, too,
when llght scattered across the lens produces unslghtly
renectlons. The dodge tool can also reveal detall ln an
area otherwlse obscured by shadow.
As well as belng able to set the brush slze wlth dodge
and burn, you can change the exposure level. So an
exposure level near to l00% wlll result ln huge changes
to the areas you brush over, whlle an exposure level near
to zero wlll mean you'll have to make lots of brushstrokes
to have an enect. Uslng the lowest level of exposure, you
stand to avold maklng obvlous changes to your lmage.
Pemova| of annoylng
b|otches that wou|d
have rulned a plcture
ln the bad o|d days of
|m are a|| ln a day's
work for a modern
dlglta| photographer.
Learnlng the technlque
lsn't near|y as hard as
you mlght thlnk.
Whon luc|||ng u
prob|om urou, ooc|oo
wholhor you wunl lo
gol ul lho loxluro unoor
lho prob|om - us w|lh
romov|ng |ons uro -
or rop|uco lho prob|om
w|lh unolhor loxluro
rom un uojuconl purl
o lho |mugo. Th|s w|||
oolorm|no wh|ch loo|s
you uso.
Here's where we lntroduce a tool that seems llke maglc the rst tlme you use lt.
models' faces and any other small defect, dust lncluded.
THE BASlCS Keep in mind that you need to
work both lully zoomed in and zoomed out.
viewing your image at 100% magnihcation
will help you do a thorough job; looking at the whole
picture will ensure your changes aren't obvious in the
hnal image. This image has an obvious dust spot in the
top right - it wasn't clear when the picture was taken,
but it's large enough to dishgure the hnal print. Also
bear in mind that you'll want to make lots ol very small
alterations - this is going to take a while, but the result
will be worth it.
FlRST STEPS Belore you start, make sure
you've got a copy ol the original image
somewhere. ln the event that you dislike
the hnal result, a sale backup will always save any
unlortunate mishaps. ln this case, the dust spot shows
up only as a darkened patch - it isn't actually hiding any
texture, so there's no need to use the Clone tool to
cover it up. lnstead, we'll use the dodge tool to change
the exposure level ol that part ol the image. Zoom in so
you can see all ol the dust patch as well as some ol the
surrounding area lor relerence.
BRUSH SlZE Don't use a brush large enough to
get rid ol the imperlection in one go. Brushes in
Photoshop don't have perlectly dehned edges,
so a large brush will allect parts ol the image you'd rather
leave untouched. se a brush size about twothirds ol the
size ol the spot you want removed. When it comes to
brushing over the problem area, experiment a little and
make plentilul use ol undo. ln Photoshop, a new undo
point is added each time you click the mouse.
DODGE AND BURN The exposure level allects
how powerlul the dodge tool is. Turned right up,
a lew light brushstrokes will go a long way. Set
it to minimum and you'll need to brush over the ollending
area a lot belore it vanishes. Set the exposure level to
50% and try brushing a corner ol the dark spot. ll it
reaches the same brightness as the background in a lew
strokes, you've got the right setting. Pepeat over the
entire ollending area and you'll have a clean image. The
dodge and burn tools are uselul when areas ol your shot
aren't obscured, just the wrong brightness. For getting rid
ol specks or objects that obscure other detail, you should
use the clone brush - see the next page lor how.
vory ousy or smu||
ooocls such us ousl
spols, lr|c||or or
|urgor urous.
On|y u m|nulo or lwo
lo romovo u b|olch
such us lh|s.
l you no ousl
occurr|ng ropouloo|y
|n your shols, |l cou|o
bo l|mo lo c|oun your
cumoru's sonsor. Soo
p82 or how.
Plxlngmlnor lmperfectlons ls falrly stralghtforward: wltha photo-
edltlngpackageandalot of practlce, youcanmakeblgchanges to
your photos to get the composltlon you really want.
whether lt's an electrlclty pylon rulnlng a plcture of a
rustlc barn, or a passlng alrcraft destroylng an evocatlve
sunset, unwanted ob[ects creeplng lnto the frame are the
bane of a photographer's llfe. Not only can they ruln an
otherwlse perfect composltlon, but the mood of a plcture
can be entlrely changed by unwanted clutter. The good
news, of course, ls that the ma[orlty of photo-edltlng
software packages can get rld of unwanted ob[ects ln
a short tlme. The prlnclples are the same as deallng
wlth mlnor lmperfectlons (see prevlous page), and the
tools are slmllar.
|n many cases, lf there's an unwanted ob[ect
somewhere near the edge of the frame lt's slmpler to
correct your lmage's composltlon by reframlng lt uslng the
crop tool. 8ut lf you want to keep the overall composltlon
of your lmage, or there's an unwanted ob[ect slap ln the
mlddle of the frame, you should get to grlps wlth the clone
brush. Thls ls a powerful tool - avallable ln every photo-
edltlng package from the Glmp to Photoshop and all the
packages lnbetween- that allows youtochoose anarea of
a photo and then"palnt" that area over another area. Por
lnstance, lf a power llne runs agalnst an otherwlse perfect
sky, you would select an area of the surroundlng sky to
clone from, and then carefully draw over the power llne.
Slnce you're not slmply colourlng ln the problem ob[ect
wlth a solld colour, your changes are much less obvlous.
The clone tool obvlously works best lf you have a large
area of reasonably solld colour to clone from, but wlth a
carefully chosen brush slze and clone polnt lt's posslble
to remove all but the very largest obstructlons.
8ut the clone tool lsn't somethlng you can slmply
attack your lmages wlth. Pemovlng a small lmperfectlon
ls easy: you're worklng on an area of your shot that's
[ust a few plxels wlde. Pemovlng an entlre ob[ect ls an
enormous challenge, prlnclpally because you're worklng
on a much larger scale.
Slmply removlng the ob[ect ls stralghtforward: the
challenge ls to make lt look as though lt was never there to
begln wlth. Thls means lt's very lmportant to work slowly
and methodlcally. Save your work often, and make llberal
use of the undo command lf you do anythlng to your
lmages you're not l00% happy wlth. Always remember:
lf lt doesn't look convlnclng on screen, lt wlll be 50 tlmes
worse by the tlme you've prlnted your shot.
S 4
Prolly lr|c|y. Onco
you'vo gol lh|s o pul
you cun cu|| yourso|
un oo|l|ng oxporl.
An hour or so ul
|ousl. l you rush
|l lho rosu|ls w|||
|oo| lorr|b|o.
Dosp|lo whul Ho||ywooo
wou|o huvo you bo||ovo,
|l's |mposs|b|o lo
rocroulo oolu|| | |l |sn'l
lhoro lo bog|n w|lh. vory
|urgo objocls uro huro
lo oou| w|lh oocl|vo|y,
us you'|| nooo lo pu|nl |n
lho oolu|| boh|no lhom
by huno - lho moro
comp||culoo lho oolu||,
lho huroor you'|| huvo
lo wor| lo |oop your
chungos |nv|s|b|o.
S 7
PHOTO TYPE This shot ol a man and his son on a
motorbike is evocative, but it will be better
without the distracting surrounding objects. The
image is a perlect candidate lor cloning - the ground has a
repetitive geometric texture, which means we'll be able to
cover distracting objects convincingly by cloning.
SOLlDS There's no such thing as a perlectly solid
area ol colour in a photo, and that's dehnitely the
case here. This means we need to clone lrom an
area roughly adjacent to the area we wish to cover up.
Don't worry about keeping the geometrical shapes in your
textures identical, unless a particularly strong line passes
behind the object you want to remove. ll that's the case,
clone lrom the line and try to keep it as straight as possible.
SOFT OR HARD? You don't need to accept the
delault brush size or style. ln Photoshop, lor
instance, brushes vary in hardness. ll you're
trying to replicate complex details, such as a solid line that
runs behind the object you want to get rid ol, use a hard
brush to allow you to be precise. ln this image, trying to
reproduce every line perlectly will take lar too long to be
practical, so using a solter brush means the beginning and
ends ol our editing will be harder to spot. Also, try to use a
brush size appropriate to the object you're removing.
POlNT TAKEN Set the point you're going to clone
lrom by holding Ctrl and clicking. Pemember the
clone point moves in relation to the brush, so il it
wanders over an area ol detail, such as another person,
that detail will be repeated over the area you're trying to
clean up. Also, il you release the mouse button and then
start brushing again, the clone point will move, beginning to
clone lrom a point relative to the mouse cursor.
THlNK SMALL se a relatively small brush size.
Even with a solt brush edge, you need to make
small, precise changes to your image, and
although it takes longer, editing will be harder to spot il
changes are kept small.
DON'T POlNT ll you only have a small area to clone
lrom, avoid continually clicking the mouse to
select a new clone point. A better way ol working
is simply to reselect a new clone point. ll you make
repetitive, small brush strokes, you'll end up with an
unpleasant and jarring textured ellect.
KEEP PERSPECTlVE Zoom into the area you wish
to clone lrom in the name ol precision. But
always keep in mind that people will see your
image as a whole, so zoom out as olten as possible. The
larger you intend to print your image, the more painstaking
you should be in your changes. ll you go about editing your
image in a heavyhanded or slapdash way, the end result
could be worse than the original.
NO REGRETS The undo tool is your lriend. ll you
hnd you've made a change you'd rather lose,
resist the temptation to cover it up with yet more
cloning. ndo your wayward steps and start again. Make
lrequent saves ol your image under dillerent hlenames
to make sure you can go back to an earlier point.
Tho c|ono loo| |s
groul or goll|ng r|o
o obslrucl|vo objocls,
bul romombor lhul
mosl phologruphy
compol|l|ons bun lho
uso o uny loo|s olhor
lhun |ovo|s/curvos
uno sulurul|on. Thoro's
nolh|ng qu|lo |||o
compos|ng your shol
r|ghl rsl l|mo - soo
Chuplor 3 or moro
on compos|l|on.
Lnhanclngcolour saturatlon
The saturatlon level of colours ln a photo determlnes how
vlvld they look. Saturatlon ls key to conveylng the mood
of a shot, ln the days of lm photography, photographers
oftenlookedat the saturatlonof lms whenchooslngwhat
to load ln thelr cameras. These days, however, you can
choose the level of saturatlon.
HELPlNG SATURATlON AT SOURCE |t lsn't all down to
software, though: one way to lncrease the saturatlon of
your lmages lf uslng a DSLP ls to use a polarlslng lter.
The downslde of thls ls that lt reduces the amount of
llght enterlng the lens, leadlng to a slower shutter speed
and problems wlth camera shake. |n brlght condltlons,
however, lt can lncrease saturatlon and contrast.
Plare can also reduce saturatlon. Thls usually happens
when you take shots agalnst the sun, partlcularly when
lt's low ln the sky. The llght ls thrown around lnslde the
elements of the lens, renectlng and refractlng. Sometlmes,
there'll be an obvlous slgn: the tell-tale geometrlc shapes
overlald across the plcture or streaks of llght from one
corner. Often the enect ls more subtle, though, reduclng
contrast and, along wlth lt, saturatlon. Thls ls why lenses
often come tted wlth a lens hood - lt stops llght enterlng
from an acute angle. ou can also reduce nare by hand
slmply by looklng through the vlewnder (or the dlgltal
monltor of a compact) andshadlngthe lens fromthe dlrect
llght. |t can be dlmcult to hold the camera wlth one hand
whlle shadlng the lens wlth the other and maklng sure
your hand lsn't vlslble ln the shot, but as ever the [oy of
dlgltal ls you get several stabs at lt (and for free).
SATURATlON lN SOFTWARE |t wlll come as no surprlse
that saturatlon can also be altered ln software. Almost
all software packages have a dedlcated tool for the [ob.
ou can use the saturatlon control not only to lncrease
the vlvldness of your lmages but also to cut back on the
punchlness of the colour, glvlng your shots a sombre
mood. ou can also cut saturatlon rlght back to zero,
whlch ls one way of convertlng a photo to black and whlte,
although lt lsn't the best way lf you want to control the
mood of the resultlng monochrome shot - see pl30 for a
better way of convertlng your plctures to black and whlte.
Pemember that lf you use the curves control to tweak
the contrast of your shots, the default normal blend mode
wlll mean that applylng the standard S-curve wlll lncrease
saturatlon - lf you'd rather set lt lndependently, make sure
you set the mode to lumlnoslty (see pl35).
|f you want to get creatlve wlth your shots, a popular
technlque ls to selectlvely desaturate areas of a photo,
leavlng a central portlon elther normally saturated or wlth
enhanced or altered colour. Thls ls currently a popular
enect lnweddlngphotography, wherethebrldelsrendered
ln blossomlng colour whlle the rest of the shot ls ln black
and whlte. Thls ls easy enough to do - [ust select the lasso
tool (also known as freehand select or, ln the Glmp, merely
free select). Draw around the ob[ect you want to lsolate
and lnvert the selectlon (from the Select | |nvert menu
ln most packages). Then slmply follow the walkthrough
opposlte to reduce the saturatlon - the lnverted selectlon
wlll mean the whole lmage except the area you orlglnally
selected wlll be desaturated.
An lncrease ln
saturatlon glves
photos a vlbrant,
happy" fee|.

The saturatlon control can be an enectlve way of lncreaslng the lmpact
of an lmage. |t's used heavlly ln commerclal photography to glve photos
a larger-than-llfe look. However, lt's somethlng that shouldn't be overdone.
App|ylng the effect ls easy. We're uslng the Glmp (see
p98), but every photo edltor worth lts sa|t has a near
ldentlca| contro|. Our examp|e photo ls a prlme candldate
for recelvlng a blt of a |lft vla lncreased saturatlon.
In the lmage wlndow, slmp|y se|ect Too|s | Co|our Too|s |
Hue/Saturatlon. A|though the too| wlndow |ooks
comp|lcated, you can lgnore a|| the buttons and
contro|s except the s|lder marked Saturatlon.
In genera|, nudglng the Saturatlon s|lder up to about 510
wl|| glve a subt|e |lft to the shot, you shou|dn't go beyond
15 ln norma| clrcumstances. If you do, thlngs wl|| |ook
artlcla| and seem |lke the plcture from a bad|y set up TV.
Wlth a settlng of +10, our plcture has more vlbrancy.
Pemember that you shou|d app|y extra saturatlon after
app|ylng the curves contro|, slnce lncreaslng contrast
uslng curves wl|| a|so lncrease saturatlon (see p117).
The saturatlon contro| doesn't need to be conned to
lncreaslng the happlness" of photos. you can use lt to
make a shot more sombre. Here, we start wlth a very
vlbrant|ooklng lmage of the Ita|lan ag.
By settlng the saturatlon to around 70, we've produced a
shot wlth a sense of the tlme|essness of the natlona| ag.
Desaturatlng often has the effect of glvlng shots a more
aged, permanent" fee|.
4 S
2 1
Prolly much us s|mp|o
us |l gols.
2C soconos.
HDP photography can create stunnlng lmages, a|| you need ls a camera wlth a manua| mode and a trlpod.
As we saw ln Chapter 4 (see p42), lf there's a wlde range
of llght condltlons ln your shot - from deep shadow to
brlght sunllght - thentradltlonal photographlc technlques
have llmltatlons. ou must declde whlch area you want
to expose for and accept that some of your shot wlll be
blown out to whlte wlth no detall or, at the opposlte end
of the scale, almost completely black. Thls ls an lnherent
llmltatlon of cameras.
The answer to the problemof a camera's lnablllty to fully
capturetherangeof llght lnmanyreal-worldsltuatlons ls the
relatlvely newtechnlque of Hlgh Dynamlc Pange (HDP)
photography. |t lsn't as fearsome as lt sounds and doesn't
requlre any speclal hardware, apart fromldeally a trlpod.
The basls of HDP photography ls that, rather than settllng
onthecompromlseof aslnglemlddle-of-the-roadexposure,
you take several shots of the same sub[ect wlth a range of
exposure values and comblne themdlgltally afterwards.
The classlc scenarlo where HDP comes lnto lts own
ls when you have a dramatlc dusk sky ln the background
and a foreground wlth no dlrect llghtlng, slnce the sun ls
near or belowthe horlzon. To capture the sky enectlvely
wlthout blowlng lt out to whlte, the foreground wlll have
to be ln near sllhouette, conversely, to get the foreground
sub[ect correctly exposed, the sky wlll be a sheet of whlte
and dramatlc colours and cloud banks are lost. Thls ls where
HDP can save the day. |t's also useful ln lndoor scenes
wlth a wlde contrast range, such as the lnslde of a church.
ou want to capture the detall ln the brlght stalned-glass
wlndows, but also ln the dark lnterlor. |n a conventlonal
photo, lt's lmposslble, wlth HDP, lt can be done.
HDR ESSENTlALS Por an HDP sequence to work enectlvely,
you need to make sure the only thlng that changes
between shots ls the exposure settlng, ln other words,
how long the shutter ls held open. The aperture mustn't
change, nor must the focus, whlte balance or anythlng
else, otherwlse, your shots won't marry together properly.
Por thls reason, lt often lsn't feaslble to take HDP lmages
uslng a dlgltal compact, slnce fully manual shutter control
lsn't usually on oner.
|t's wlse to take between ve and seven shots for an
HDP sequence, partlcularly lf you're uslng Photoshop
to merge them (see How to use dedlcated HDP tools,
pl49). 8ut how do you know where to start wlth your
lnltlal exposure settlng lf the camera ls on fully manual!
The answer ls lnltlally to pop lt lnto aperture prlorlty
mode - the A settlng you'll nd on the top-mounted
mode control swltch on most DSLPs (see p62 for more
HlghDynamlc Pange photos
HDP won'l proouco
slunn|ng rosu|ls w|lh
u|| lypos o pholo -
|l puys lo oxpor|monl
uno gol somo
oxpor|onco o whoro
|l's |||o|y lo wor| bosl.
4 S
Although lt's best to set up an HDP shot carefully and shoot several frames, you
canstlll lmprovethedynamlc rangeof a shot wlth[ust twoframes lf that's all you
have. ou don't need expenslve software, elther - we're uslng the Glmp.
Here's a qulckanddlrty verslon of HDP lf you've on|y got
two lmages - one exposed for the foreground, one for the
sky - and you don't want to buy dedlcated HDP software.
Flrst, open up your two shots ln a decent edltor.
Our method b|ends the parts of both lmages we want
to show through and hldes the rest. Se|ect the darker of
your lmages (exposed for the sky), hlt <Ctr|C>, se|ect
the |lghter lmage and hlt <Ctr|V> to paste lt ln as a |ayer.
In the Layers pa|ette, rlghtc|lck on the lta|lclsed F|oatlng
Se|ectlon |ayer and se|ect New Layer. Now rlghtc|lck on
the dark lmage |ayer and se|ect Add Layer Mask. In the
dla|og, c|lck the Greysca|e copy of |ayer button and OK.
The |ayer mask a||ows the |lghter areas of the bottom
lmage to show through. There mlght not be enough of
the top lmage detal| showlng through - app|y curves or
|eve|s contro| to up the brlghtness of the top |ayer.
There's some resldua| masklng that's darkenlng the boat
ln the foreground. We e|lmlnate thls by palntlng out the
mask - ensure you're edltlng the mask by c|lcklng lts
thumbnal|, se|ectlng b|ack and chooslng a |arge brush.
Once you're happy wlth the comblned resu|ts - you'||
probab|y have to ad[ust the |ayer masks a |ltt|e - you can
app|y a|| the usua| processlng such as saturatlon and
curves to get the na| lmage |ooklng the way you want.
A oo|y procoss -
you'|| nooo lo huvo
musloroo |uyors,
curvos uno |ovo|s rsl.
.rather than resortlng to HDP. B|ank skles can be cured by cuttlng and pastlng the foreground.
on aperture prlorlty). |f the camera has the ablllty, put lt
lnto spot-meterlng mode, or partlal meterlng lf you have
a Canon DSLP such as an LOS 350D. Polnt the camera
at the darkest part of the scene - ln our standard example
of a sunset, that would be the foreground - and to get the
whole scene ln focus select a small aperture such as f/ll
or f/l6. Half-press the shutter and note the shutter speed
the camera has declded on ln the vlewnder. |t's llkely
to be qulte long - maybe a few seconds - slnce ln spot-
meterlng mode the camera wlll be attemptlng to correctly
expose only the dark part of the scene.
Now set the camera back to fully manual mode, ad[ust
theaperturetowhat you[ust hadandset theshutter speed
to the settlng the camera recommends. Pecompose the
shot and take ve to seven shots, each tlme decreaslng the
exposurebyonestop. Decreaslngbyastopbaslcallymeans
halvlng the exposure value each tlme. So lf the camera
recommended a second for the rst exposure, you'd take
one shot at thls value, then one at half a second, then l/4,
l/8th, l/l6th, l/30th, l/60th, and for luck you may as well
do l/l25th, too. Obvlously, whlle you're ad[ustlng the
exposurebetweenshots, youneedtobecareful not to move
the camera. Don't hang about after you've lnltlally selected
the exposure, elther, slnce at sunset wlth clouds movlng
around the llghtlng condltlons can change very qulckly.
THE QUlCKANDDlRTY METHOD |f you're out wlth your
camera but have no trlpod, you can stlll try to get an HDP
sequence, albelt a less comprehenslve one, uslng your
camera's automatlc exposure-bracketlng faclllty. Most
DSLPs have thls faclllty, wlth the exceptlon of entry-level
models such as Nlkon's D40x. Lxposure bracketlng ls
deslgnedtocompensate for shots lntrlcky llghtlngthat are
llkely to fool the auto-exposure, by automatlcally taklng
three exposures - one at the value the camera deems
correct, oneoverexposedandoneunderexposed(seep78).
Usually, you'd set the compensatlon for the bracketed
exposures to somethlng subtle, between 0.3-0.5Lv, but
you can press lt lnto servlce for HDP lnstead by cranklng
up the compensatlon. |f lt wlll go that hlgh, try settlng the
bracketlng to +/-2Lv. Then make sure the camera ls set
to burst mode, compose the shot and press the shutter.
|f you have a steady hand, the mlnor camera allgnment
dlnerences across the shots should be mlnlmal.
THE PROCESSlNG STAGE wlth the shots ln the bag,
you need to turn to software to comblne them lnto your
nal HDP shot. There are a number of ways to do lt,
fromthe free-but-laborlous approach uslng software such
as the open-source Glmp package to dedlcated HDP
merglng software such as Photomatlx (
The mlddle way ls to use Photoshop CS or above, whlch
has a bullt-ln Merge-to-HDP functlon that can work very
well. |f you're golng down the manual route, there are a
fewways toget the same enect. All of themlnvolve pastlng
each lndlvldual exposure as a new layer, then blendlng
the relevant parts (see pl47).
ALTERNATlVES TO HDR As we've sald, the standard use
for HDP photography ls to get both the sky and
foreground looklng detalled ln a shot - check out www. andyou'll see some great HDP
lmages, almost all of whlch are landscapes wlth dramatlc
skles. 8ut lf you have an lmage that has that lrrltatlng
washed-out blank sky so typlcal of shots taken ln the UK
and you dldn't take an HDP sequence, you can cheat. A
washed-out skymakeslt easytocut out therest of theplcture
andlay lt over amorelnterestlngbackground. |f you'reuslng
Photoshop, lt's even easler, slnce you can employ the maglc
wand tool to autoselect the transltlon between the sky and
the sub[ect, hlt <Ctrl-C> to copy the selectlon contents,
open up your sky plcture and lay the foreground over the
top. HDP wlthout the enort!
WHEN NOT TO USE HDR Pemember that ln HDP you're
not really lncreaslng the dynamlc range of the nal
lmage - you're compresslng the range lnto dlsplayable
llmlts. That means the nal lmage lsn't what was
there, lt's an artlclal reconstructlon. |n fact, ln some
lnstances, llmlted dynamlc range ls a good thlng.
Sllhouettes agalnst a sunset look dramatlc, and havlng
detall ln a whole scene can lessen the lmpact of a
shot, slnce there's no slngle sub[ect to focus on.
Second, there's a tendency for HDP shots to look
unreal, as they essemtlally show lmposslble llghtlng
condltlons. HDP ls one of those enects you should
only use when lt's necessary, otherwlse, lt can look
as tacky as any other enect that's been applled for
the sake of lt.

2 1
4 S
A|though dolng lt manua||y can be fun (see p147), lt's
qulcker, easler and more effectlve to use dedlcated too|s
to produce HDP lmagery. Here we're uslng Photoshop
CS2's HDP too| to merge a batch of lmages.
The HDP too| ls under Fl|e | Automate | Merge to HDP.
Adobe recommends you have ve to seven lmages for
your HDP efforts. If you took your shots handhe|d, tlck
Attempt to Automatlca||y A|lgn Source Images".
The too| wl|| now attempt to a|lgn and process the shots.
If lt's ab|e to extract enough dynamlc range lnformatlon
and a|lgn the lmages successfu||y, you'|| eventua||y be
greeted by thls prevlew wlndow.
In the prevlew, you can se|ect and dese|ect the lmages
that contrlbute to the composlte HDP, and a|so set the
Whlte Polnt Prevlew. Once you're happy, c|lck OK and the
lmage ls |oaded lnto Photoshop proper.
By defau|t, Merge to HDP produces 32bltperplxe|
lmages. You want the Exposure contro|, from Image |
Ad[ustments | Exposure. The Exposure s|lder ls the
most effectlve contro| for gettlng the rlght |ook.
Once you've ad[usted the exposure, go to Image | Mode
and se|ect 16blts/Channe|. Thls reduces the HDP
lmage's blt depth and a||ows you to app|y the standard
na| lmage ad[ustments such as curves and sharpenlng.
As well as dolng lt manually, you can comblne HDP lmages uslng dedlcated
software tools. These are currently conned to the more expenslve software
packages - we're uslng Photoshop CS2 - but they'll lter down before long.
Tho lr|c|y b|l |s
goll|ng lho or|g|nu|
|mugos r|ghl.
Tr|poo uno Pholoshop.
|f you dldn't manage to throw your background out of focus,
software can come to your rescue.
One of the true creatlve benets of an SLP camera ls the
ablllty lt glves you to control depth of eld. |t's an enect
that's very hard to achleve wlth a dlgltal compact. The
reason for thls ls two-fold: rst, the range of apertures
avallable on an SLP lens ls very wlde. wlth a good-quallty
lens lt often stretches from f/2.8 to f/22 wlth all polnts ln
between. That's ln contrast to dlgltal compacts, whlch may
only oner two apertures, often f/4 and f/8.
The second reason ls the long focal length for a glven
eld of vlew. Awlde-angle lens on a dlgltal compact mlght
have a real focal length of only 8mm, compared to 28mm
for the same vlew on a DSLP. The complexltles of optlcs
means that depthof eldls decreasedwlthlncreaslngfocal
length. That means lt's very hard to throw the background
out of focus ln the way you can wlth a DSLP: everythlng
tends to be pln-sharp from close-up all the way to lnnlty.
That sald, even wlth a DSLP lt can sometlmes be very
dlmcult to take a shot wlth a restrlcted depth of eld. A
shallow depth of eld requlres a large aperture, and that,
of course, lets a lot of llght lnto the lens. |n very brlght
sunllght you may well nd that wlth the requlred aperture,
there's too much llght enterlng the lens for the camera
to be able to cope, even at lts absolute mlnlmum shutter
speed(thls ls one of the areas where more expenslve, seml-
professlonal DSLPs cameras can be superlor - they tend
tooner mlnlmumshutter speeds of l/8000thof asecondto
the l/2000th or l/4000th of consumer-grade models).
whlle lt's always preferable and wlll glve you a far
better sense of satlsfactlon to achleve depth of eld by
uslngthe correct camera settlngs lnthe rst place, lf you've
not been able to for whatever reason, you can slmulate the
enect ln software. The enect works better on some lmages
than others: lt's best lf the sub[ect you want to be ln sharp
focus lsn't on the same plane - ln other words the same
dlstance from the lens - as other ob[ects. |f they are, the
apparent enect wlll [ust be a blurrlng of the plcture rather
than depth of eld. The best cholce of shot ls where the
sub[ect ls clearly ln the foreground and there's nothlng
else around them. That way, the enect can look almost
completely natural.
Thereareafewways toachlevetheenect dependlngon
the appllcatlon you use. The method we're uslng below ls
one youcanapply lnalmost any layer-capable edltor. More
advanced photo edltors such as Photoshop CS and above
have a dedlcated"lens blur" lter than you can use lnstead
of Gausslan blur to get a sllghtly more reallstlc enect.
S 4
Th|s |s u oo|y
oporul|on lhul nooos
l|mo uno pul|onco.
Al |ousl hu| un hour
or u rou||y gooo
s|ng solwuro lo uoo
ooplh o o|o wor|s
bosl | lho subjocl you
wunl |n shurp ocus
|s u o|oronl o|slunco
rom lho |ons lhun olhor
objocls |n lho shol.
S 7
OPEN UP YOUR lMAGE Have a look to see il the
ellect is likely to look realistic. ll there are other
objects at the same distance lrom the lens it's
less likely to be ellective. The best results will come lrom a
subject standing well clear ol any clutter, a clear distance
lrom other objects in the shot.
DUPLlCATE THE PlCTURE Now, create a new layer
that duplicates the background (in other words a
copy ol the photo). ln Photoshop you can do this
by clicking Layer [ Duplicate layer and hitting OK in the
dialog box that pops up.
BLUR THE FOREGROUND The idea behind the
technique is that we blur the whole loreground
layer, then use the eraser brush tool to carelully
reveal the stillsharp layer underneath, in only the area
around the subject that we want to stand out. The hrst part
ol this process is to select the top layer by clicking on it,
then select Filter [ Blur [ Gaussian Blur.
CONTROL THE BLURRlNG The Gaussian Blur hlter
has just one control, the Padius slider. This
simply determines the extent ol the blur: the
higher it is the more detail is smeared out across the
image. As always, it's best to err on the side ol subtlety, so
a radius ol about 810 pixels is a good starting point.
REVEAL THE BOTTOMLAYER With the loreground
layer blurred, we now need to carelully reveal the
main subject by exposing the layer underneath.
The ideal way to do this is using a layer mask, but not all
applications support this. lnstead you can use the eraser
brush. 1ust select it and trace around the outline ol the
subject using a narrow brush. Then you can "hll in" the rest
ol the outline with a broader brush.
USE A LAYER MASK ll your application supports it,
a layer mask is the better option since it's
nondestructive and you can "paint back" the
blurred loreground. ln Photoshop CS2, lor example, just
make sure the top layer is selected and click the Layer
Mask icon. You'll then be in Layer Mask mode. Select a
brush and paint in 100% black and the bottom layer will
show through; paint in 100% white and the top layer can
be painted back on. Grey shades give you transparency
proportional to the shade.
FOCUS ON THE DETAlLS Fine detail around the
edge ol the shot will be the most dilhcult part to
get looking natural - in particular the hne hair ol
the girl in this picture is dilhcult to keep sharp without an
obvious shading dillerence. To make a tonal dillerence
between blurred background and sharp loreground you
can make judicious use ol the dodge and burn tools on the
background image itsell. Subtlety is the key - keep the
exposure control to around 50%.
FlNETUNE THE RESULTS The hnal result has a
signihcantly less distracting background and
looks as natural as true depth ol held caused by
a wide aperture. lt's essentially impossible to tell the shot
has been manipulated unless you directly compare it to the
original image.
As w|lh muny
uojuslmonls muoo
us|ng solwuro, lho
bosl rosu|ls uro gu|noo
lhrough ullonl|on lo
oolu||, no lun|ng uno
vlgnette effects
|f you're a frequent vlsltor to sltes such as Pllckr, you'll
probably notlce certaln trends ln the way that photos are
processed and presented. 1ust llke any popular pastlme,
photography ls sub[ect to fashlons and fads that pop up
everywhere. One of the most prevalent at the moment ls
the trend for lmages to be treated wlth heavy contrast and
artlclal vlgnettlng applled ln software.
|ronlcally, vlgnettlng ls somethlng that lens
manufacturers gotohugelengths toavold. |t slmplymeans
a darkenlng of the corners of a frame, and was a common
slde-enect of early cameras and lenses but has been more
or less ellmlnated ln modern tlmes. 8y applylng a subtle
vlgnette - partlcularly ln con[unctlon wlth hlgh contrast
so that hlghllghts are sllghtly blown out (ln other words,
pure whlte) - the enect ls a more vlvld-looklng shot, wlth
the stronger emphasls on the sub[ect. |t's an easy enect to
overdo and the look gets tlrlng very qulckly, but there's no
doubt lt's enectlve and very popular.
vlgnettlng works best on shots that have the sub[ect
falrly central to the frame. |f you get lt rlght the actual
darkenlng of the edge of the shot won't be lmmedlately
notlceable, as the emphasls on the sub[ect appearlng to
pop out of the frame should be the part of the lmage that
people notlce. wlth landscape shots wlthout a central
sub[ect the enect ls dlnerent - the vlgnette wlll be more
obvlous and the lmpresslon wlll be of an old-fashloned
look, much llke the enect of sepla tlntlng, whlch ls often
comblned wlth vlgnettlng to get a vlntage look. |f you
really want to get a photo looklng old-fashloned you can
glve an extreme vlgnette so that the lmage slmply looks
oval, but unless you want your shots to look llke they
belong on a chocolate box or exceptlonally nan blrthday
card, lt's not an enect you should alm for.
wlth the very latest verslons of Photoshop, you can
apply a"real"vlgnette enect that slmulates the actual enect
of vlgnettlng from a substandard lens. All you need to do
ls select Pllter | Dlstort | Lens Correctlon, then ad[ust the
Amount and Mldpolnt sllders (see lnset).
wlthother packages lt's easy toachleve the enect uslng
a new layer, an oval selectlon and [udlclous appllcatlon of
blur and layer opaclty tools. Check out the walkthrough
opposlte for more detall.
App|ylng a vlgnette
effect ln con[unctlon
wlth hlgh contrast and
monochrome tonlng
can make for a very
dramatlc lmage.
You can app|y a qulck
vlgnette wlth the Lens
Correctlon too|s ln
Photoshop CS2 and
|ater, as shown above.

1udlclous useof vlgnettlnglnyour photo-edltlngsoftwarecanhaveasubtlebut
lmpresslve enect. The key ls to keep the levels reasonable and carefully balance
the amount you use when alterlng an lmage.
Load up your shot, rememberlng that the best types of
scene that work wlth thls technlque have a strong centra|
sub[ect that vlgnettlng can he|p accentuate. As you can
see from the examp|e, thls needn't be a vlntagesty|e
lmage, a|though thls type of shot can work we||.
Create a new b|ank |ayer ln your lmage. We're uslng
Photoshop here, but you can do thls ln pretty much any
|ayercapab|e app|lcatlon. In Photoshop you do thls by
chooslng Layers | New Layer on the too|bar.
Wlth your new |ayer created, c|lck on lt ln the Layers
pa|ette to make sure lt's se|ected. Now se|ect the e||lpse
se|ectlon too|, and draw an ova| that reaches a|most to
the edges of the frame.
You now need to lnvert your se|ectlon - ln Photoshop thls
ls vla Se|ect | Inverse. Then || ln the se|ectlon uslng the
palntbucket too|, after rst maklng sure b|ack ls se|ected
as the background co|our. Pemove the se|ectlon uslng
<Ctr|D> ln Photoshop.
Now, to get the effect more subt|e, rst app|y a heavy
Gausslan b|ur to the vlgnette |ayer vla Fl|ter | B|ur |
Gausslan B|ur. You'|| probab|y need a plxe| radlus of at
|east 40 to get the best effect.
Once that's done, to netune the effect you can ad[ust
the opaclty of the vlgnette |ayer. You can a|so convert the
shot to monochrome for extra lmpact. Increaslng the
saturatlon a|so works we|| wlth vlgnetted shots.
4 S
2 1
Tho |nvorl procoss |s
u b|l oo|y | you oon'l
|now Pholoshop.
ol |ongor lhun u ow
m|nulos, un|oss you
spono u |ong l|mo
uojusl|ng lo su|l.
|ntroduclng.Labcolour mode
One of the blesslngs and curses of photo-retouchlng and
lmage-edltlng software ln general ls that there are usually
several ways to achleve any glven enect. To make an lmage
black and whlte, for example, you can slmply choose the
Desaturate control ln your photo-retouchlng software,
whlch ls easy but usually glves medlocre results. Or you
can take the more complex, long-wlnded but much more
enectlve route of uslng the Channel Mlxer to mlx the Ped,
Green and 8lue channels of your lmage down lnto the
nal monochrome treatment (see pl33).
Once you're at the stage where you're comfortable
uslng tools such as curves and channel mlxlng, lt makes a
lot of sense to get to grlps wlth Lab colour. |t's admlttedly a
llttle complex and dlmcult to get your head around at rst,
but you'll nd that, llke most thlngs ln photo retouchlng,
that enort pays on wlth better-looklng lmages.
WHAT lS LAB? |t's nothlng to do wlth laboratorles, although
lts denltlon ls pretty sclentlc. Lab ls way of representlng
colour that's based on the way humans percelve lt. ou use
an lmage ln Lab mode as opposed to PG8 (red, green and
blue) or CMK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key). PG8
modes and colour spaces are mentloned and talked about
a lot ln dlgltal lmaglng and dlgltal photography. That's
because PG8 ls the way machlnes represent colour - by
mlxlngtogether dlnerent levels of red, greenandblue dots
to make a glven hue. CMK ls the way that prlnters make
colour, wlth varylng levels of cyan, magenta, yellow and
the key (usually black).
Lab, however, doesn't do lt llke that. |t mlmlcs the eye's
way of dolng thlngs, separatlng brlghtness (lumlnance)
from colour. Thls ls the way that rods and cones, the
llght-sensltlve cells of the human eye, functlon. Pods are
sensltlve to brlghtness but can't dlstlngulsh colour, cones
are what allows us to dlstlngulsh one hue from another.
|ncldentally, thls ls the reason why lt's lmposslble to
dlstlngulsh colours ln very low llght - the rods are more
sensltlve and keep functlonlng when your cones no longer
work to percelve hues.
Lab colour ls so-called because a Lab-colour lmage
ls spllt lnto L, a and b channels. The L channel ls the
brlghtness lnformatlon, the a and b channels represent
colour lnformatlon.
|t may not sound excltlng, but you can do some neat
trlcks wlth Lab colour, and lt's a staple tool ln most fashlon
photographers' retouchlng armory. wlth the brlghtness
and colour channels separated, you can make large
alteratlons to one wlthout anectlng the other. Applylng an
unsharp mask (see pll8) to the L channel, for lnstance,
can sharpen up the lmage wlthout anectlng colour detall.
ou can also achleve colour enects that are very hard ln
PG8 mode. Por lnstance, you can saturate an lmage more
than you'd be able to ln PG8, wlthout artefacts settlng ln -
see the walkthrough opposlte for how to do lt.
One of Lab co|our
mode's many uses
ls gettlng superb|y
saturated lmages,
wlthout nasty slde
effects such as
posterlsatlon creeplng
ln to ruln the effect.
Lub co|our |s o|cu|l lo
gol usoo lo ul rsl. To
gol lho concopls |n your
houo, lho bosl lh|ng lo
oo |s s|mp|y oxpor|monl
w|lh lho |||os o lho
Curvos conlro| wh||o |n
Lub mooo, lo soo lho
|nlorucl|ons bolwoon L,
u uno b chunno|s.
A glorlously easy way to see the benets of Lab colour ls to use lt to perk up an
lmage by oversaturatlng. Here's how.
ADDlNG MORE COLOUR The standard way to
increase the colour saturation and richness ol
a colour image is simply to edit the image in
the usual PGB mode as it comes out ol your camera.
But il you convert it to Lab colour mode hrst you can get
higher saturation than you can achieve in PGB mode,
without unwanted side ellects such as "stepping" ol
tones. You'll need an image editor that supports Lab
colour to use the leature. The most obvious candidate is
Photoshop; we're using the CS2 version here, to treat
this nicely composed but slightly dull landscape shot
which is in serious need ol a saturation boost.
THE PROCESS lS SlMPLE From the top menu bar,
select lmage [ Mode and choose Lab colour
rather than PGB. ll you have adjustment layers
in your image, Photoshop may warn you that it needs to
discard them since they won't work in Lab mode.
Otherwise, nothing obvious will change.
ADUST THE CHANNELS Now, in the layers
palette, select just the 'a' channel, but with the
other channels visible - your layers palette
should look like it does here, with the 'a' channel
selected and the other layers visible but not highlighted.
Now simply choose lmage [ Adjustments [ Brightness/
Contrast. lncrease the Contrast slider to around +50%.
Accept the changes (the image colour will look odd lor
now). Do the same lor the 'b' channel - select it and
increase contrast by the same amount as you increased
the 'a' channel (otherwise you'll get a colour cast).
RETURN TO RGB MODE You should now hnd you
have a very highly saturated image and - as
long as you kept the 'a' and 'b' channel
contrast adjustment to sensible limits - there should be
no unpleasant artelacts. The same saturation in PGB
mode would be almost impossible - you'd end up with
obvious stepping, pixellation and posterisation ellects.
Once you've hnished making adjustment in Lab
colour, you can simply pop the image back into PGB
mode again via the lmage [ Mode menu. lt's worth
nothing that Photoshop CS3 and above have clever
algorithms built in to the Brightness/Contrast control
that prevent artelacts - just pop the image into Lab
mode and whack the Contrast sliders up to 100%.
Lub co|our cun bo u
o|cu|l bousl, bul lh|s
purl|cu|ur uojuslmonl
shou|on'l poso
uny prob|oms.
ll nooos vory ||ll|o
juogomonl, jusl u ow
c||c|s uno u coup|o
o s||oor uojuslmonls.
Two m|nulos lops.
Get that chocolate-box look wlth a touch of soft focus. |f used sparlngly and
wlth the rlght shot lt can really lmprove the atmosphere of an lmage, and
glve lt an ldeallsed sheen.
Soft focus ls one of those famlllar enects that was orlglnally
accldental, but turned out to be qulte pleaslng. As well
as maklng an lmage less harsh and glvlng lt a dreamy
quallty, lt has the enect of smoothlng out blemlshes,
maklng lt especlally good on lmprovlng the look of skln
tones. That ln turn makes lt very popular for portralts and,
ln partlcular, shots of chlldren and brldes. ou also get a
bloomlng, halo enect around hlghllghts. |t all adds up to
an angellc, ethereal nature to portralt shots.
The orlglnal cause of the soft-focus enect was a
technlcal lmperfectlon ln early lenses known as spherlcal
aberratlon, but wlthmodernsoftwarelt's relatlvelyeasllyto
apply lt dlgltally.
|t's a common mlstake to try to get a soft-focus enect
by [ust applylng a blur lter. That doesn't work. |f you
do slmply apply blur, all you'll get ls a blurred plcture,
whlch ls not a true soft-focus enect. The soft-focus caused
by spherlcal aberratlons doesn't throw the sub[ect out of
focus - lt's actually stlll sharp. To get true soft focus you
have to be a llttle more canny and use layers, plus a layer
blend mode known as Screen. The Screen enect llghtens
the lmage and partlally blows out hlghllghts, glvlng the
smooth, unblemlshed look to skln. |n comblnatlon wlth
that, you need to apply a Gausslan blur lter, but only
to one layer. wlth the sharp and blurred layers blended
together vla the Screen blendlng mode, focus detall ls
retalned and the soft focus looks correct.
8ecause the Screen blend mode has the enect of
llghtenlng the whole lmage, the nal step ls slmply to
brlng down the exposure a llttle uslng the Levels tool.
|t's easy to get carrledaway wlth retouchlng enects, but
soft focus ls one you should be partlcularly wary of. Save lt
for your best shots, wlthdecent backgrounds, rather thana
way of trylng to rescue a short that's poor ln the rst place.
8ackground clutter kllls the dreamy enect of soft-focus
shots. Plowers and leaves ln the background are ne, cars,
garden rakes and space-hoppers less so.
That sald, lf you experlment wlth the enect on other
sub[ects - archltecture, for lnstance - you'll probably
recognlse the results. The screen-blend enect ls used
surprlslngly often ln modern advertlslng shots (although
usually only ln con[unctlon wlth very subtle Gausslan
blurrlng) to get the very clean, futurlstlc look that's
currently very popular.
S 4
Fu|r|y uovuncoo. Ool
yourso| um|||ur w|lh
lho bus|cs rsl lo
mu|o lho bosl job
o |l.
You'|| probub|y wunl lo
spono u gooo hu| un
hour lo gol lho shol
us u who|o |oo||ng
lho wuy you wunl.
S 7
GET STARTED Solt locus is easy to achieve but it
does need a photoediting package capable ol
handling layers and screen blending ellects.
We've used Photoshop here; the GlMP will also work just
hne. We're going to apply soltlocus to this unprocessed
shot ol a little girl, as well as applying some other tweaks to
enhance it and give it more ol an idealised look.
LAYER DUPLlCATlON The hrst thing to do is
duplicate the image into itsell as a new layer, so
that we can begin blending them. ln Photoshop
select Layer [ Duplicate Layer, or just use the shortcut
<Ctrl1> which has the same ellect.
SCREENlNG Now doubleclick on the new,
topmost layer, and in the Layer Style dialog,
select the Screen blend mode. This means that
the pixel values ol the top layer and one beneath will be
multiplied, brightening the image as whole.
DON'T PANlC The image will now look
overexposed, but don't worry, we'll deal with that
in a later step. You'll probably notice that
highlights are now blown out, but in a lairly solt way that's
not like normal, undesirable highlight clipping. This
blooming is a key part ol the soltlocus ellect, simulating
what happens to the light in a physical soltlocus lens.
CHOCOLATES With the top layer still selected, click
Filter [ Blur [ Gaussian Blur. Then adjust the
Padius control. The higher the radius, the more
extreme and "chocolate box" the soltlocus ellect will be.
EXPOSURE We now need to bring the exposure
levels down a bit. You can use the Curves control
il you like, but it's more straightlorward to use
Levels. All you need to do is drag the grey, midpoint slider
to the right to reduce the brightness ol midtones while
keeping the highlights.
COMPENSATlNG The shot wasn't taken in the best
light - ideally there would have been hllin hash
(see p56) - so we're using some extra
retouching tools. The dodge tool is used to lighten up the
shadows around the girl's eyes - it removes the ellect that
light lrom the side tends to have ol making the subject look
as though they've not slept lor a week. ll you want to get a
really cleanlooking, idealised portrait completely devoid ol
all delects, you can also try using the spothealing or
clonestamp tools to get rid ol every blemish. Be carelul
about going overboard, though; there's a hne line between
a dreamylooking portrait and an artihcial photo that looks
like the lace ol a plastic doll.
THE RESULT The original photo was a captured
moment that wasn't ideally set up or planned.
To enhance it beyond the solt locus we've
cropped it slightly, and done the usual steps ol applying a
Curves layer with an Scurve to boost contrast, and adding
a Hue/Saturation layer to give the colours a bit ol a boost
via increased saturation. With the extra saturation and
cropping in conjunction with the solt locus, the hnal result
is lar more striking than the original, and mitigates the
ellects ol the relatively harsh midsummer alternoon sunlight
in which the picture was taken.
Bocuuso sol ocus
|s un ousy oocl lo
ovoroo, onco you'vo
n|shoo procoss|ng u
shol, lry go|ng uwuy
uno oo|ng somolh|ng
o|so or u wh||o, lhon
opon|ng lho |mugo
ugu|n lo g|vo yourso|
u rosh |oo| ul |l.
|t lsn't the most excltlng part of dlgltal photography, but there's no
polnt lnspendlnghours or evendays trylngtoget decent shots lf they
then get lost on your hard dlsk. Lven worse ls the posslblllty that you
could lose them completely through a hardware fallure or vlrus: lt's
one of those thlngs that people thlnk won't happen to them, but lt
can. |n thls chapter, we'll lntroduce ways to organlse your photos,
and add that vltal layer of securlty by backlng them up.
Order from chaos:
Sorl oul your o|g|lu| ||o uno mu|o
your shols ous|or lo no by goll|ng
u wor|ow go|ng.
PC backup
l you'ro nol yol um|||ur w|lh wuys
lo buc| up lho pholos on your
compulor, rouo lh|s |mmoo|ulo|yl
How to use
Windows XP Backup
l you'vo gol W|noows XP on your
compulor, you'vo u|rouoy gol u roo
buc|up loo|. Horo's how lo uso |l.
Windows Vista and
Windows 7 backup
W|noows 7 uno v|slu mu|o |l ovon
ous|or lo uulomulo your buc|ups,
ho|p|ng |oop your pholos ovon suor.
onIine backup
Buc||ng up your shols lo lho |nlornol
g|vos you un oxlru |uyor o socur|ly.
Horo uro somo po|nlors.

Order fromchaos:
lntroduclngworkf low
|n the world of dlgltal photography, there are three
factors that separate a beglnner from a professlonal.
The rst ls talent, whlch unfortunately doesn't come
bundled wlth new cameras. The second ls an asslstant to
do most of the hard work for you: not an optlon for the
amateur. 8ut the thlrd, whlch anyone can get themselves,
ls a decent, methodlcal way of organlslng and edltlng
your shots ln place to ease the extra burdens of dlgltal
photography. |n other words, a proper worknow.
WHAT EXTRA BURDENS? Dlgltal ls a marvellous thlng, but
lt does have drawbacks. One of the problems ls that the
zero cost per shot of dlgltal - ln other words, the fact that
you can take as many plctures as you llke and lt won't cost
a penny - ls a double-edged sword. |t's a boon that you can
rattleondozens of shots whenyouseeaphotoopportunlty
(or even when you don't) wlthout worrylng about your lm
runnlng out or the prlce of havlng your shots developed.
|t's a curse ln that many people who've been lnto dlgltal
photography for a whlle can regale you wlth tales of a hard
dlskcontalnlngthousands of photographs. Howdoyound
the rlght photo! ou need to be dlsclpllned about where
and how you store your shots, because once you lose track
they can get completely lost.
And that's not all. whereas once upon a tlme you
took the lm out of your camera and relegated the
buslness of turnlng lt lnto a set of actual plctures to
someone else, the dlgltal world has enectlvely turned
everyone lnto thelr own branch of 8oots. As we saw ln
Chapter 8, dlgltal shots must be processed ln software
to make the best of them - a set of steps not completely
unllke the tradltlonal need for processlng wlth chemlcals
- and then prepared for prlnt. Agaln, an ad hoc approach
ls ne for one or two plctures, but to glve yourself the
best chance of seelng the potentlal ln one shot among
the 400 you've [ust pulled on your camera - and not
spend a week dolng lt - lt's best to adopt a conslstent,
nuld and fast method of processlng your lmages.
SHOOTlNG PREFERENCES |f you're serlous about gettlng
a worknow up and runnlng, we're golng to assume that
you're uslng a dlgltal SLP and shootlng ln PAw mode.
|f you're not shootlng ln PAw, turn to p74 to learn about
why you should be. To recap brleny, a PAw le ls the
naked data from the sensor and thls allows you to alter
the whlte balance of the shot after lt's been taken, a huge
bonus. Second, PAw les glve you far more leeway when
lt comes to lmage ad[ustments, especlally levels, curves
Adobe Photoshop
Llghtroom ls a
sophlstlcated too|,
but lt's by no means
essentla| to a good
workow process.

andbaslc alteratlons such as brlghtness. Thlrd, software for

processlng PAw les on a PC can be more sophlstlcated
ln processlng the lmage than the tlme and power-llmlted
electronlcs ln the camera.
companles haven't falled to plck up on the lncreaslng
need for an all-ln-one tool to deal wlth the dlgltal
photography worknow. Mac users stole a march on
the PC wlth Apple's lntroductlon of Aperture, a very
well-featured tool. Adobe hasn't been caught napplng,
elther, wlth Photoshop Llghtroom (see pl06). Although
lt bears the Photoshop name, thls lsn't slmply a verslon
of Photoshop - lt's a completely separate appllcatlon
that's focused on provldlng a decent worknow for
dlgltal photography. Llghtroom's lnterface ls spllt lnto
four modules - Llbrary, Develop, Slldeshow and Prlnt
- wlth each provldlng tools for these dlstlnct aspects
of the worknow.
One of the ma[or challenges for worknow software
ls edltlng lmages ln a non-destructlve manner. Pather
than havlng several coples of each lmage - the orlglnal
"dlgltal negatlve", a copy of the orlglnal ln a lossless
format for edltlng and a nal hlgh-quallty 1PLG (keep
readlng for more on these concepts) - Llghtroom keeps
all lmage changes ln lts own database. when you
make a change to an lmage, that change doesn't alter
the orlglnal le at all - lt's stored ln the database and
applled on-the-ny. |t's analogous to worklng wlth layers
ln Photoshop or the Glmp, but applled to every operatlon.
The downslde ls that Llghtroom places a blg straln
on your PC. As lt's keeplng track of a large database
and applylng changes to lmages as they're vlewed rather
than slmply wrltlng them to dlsk, the performance
of Llghtroom wlth a large lmage llbrary can be slow.
There are alternatlves, though: one of the most popular
optlons ls produced by 8lbble Labs (
wlth 8lbble Pro and 8lbble Llte. 8lbble started out as a
relatlvely slmple tool for vlewlng and convertlng PAw
les, but lt's grown lnto a fully nedged worknow and
edltlng tool as tlme has progressed.
THE FREE ROUTE ou don't necessarlly need to pay
anythlng, though: don't lgnore the software that came
wlth your dlgltal camera. |f you have a Canon dlgltal
SLP, lt wlll have come wlth a CD contalnlng lts Dlgltal
Photo Professlonal software. Llke 8lbble, thls has
developed over several years to become a comprehenslve
and useful tool for worknow. |t allows you to tag lmages,
apply curves ad[ustment, whlte-balance correctlon and
sharpenlng, and lt provldes a nolse-reductlon tool and the
ablllty to crop lmages. |t's what we'll use to lllustrate the
worknow process.
|n many ways, though, worknow lsn't about software,
lt's about establlshlnga dlsclpllnedroutlne to keeptrack of
your shots and get the most from them, as well as maklng
sure you don't leave an undlscovered gem of a shot lylng
around on your hard dlsk slmply because you dldn't see
lt. Pemember that some of the best lmages are taken
accldentally - you need to make sure you look at every
slngle frame, even the shots you took on-the-cun.
There are three prlmary steps ln a good worknow:
acqulsltlon, assessment and processlng.
ACQUlSlTlON The rst step ln gettlng a senslble worknow
ls to be dlsclpllned and conslstent ln downloadlng lmages
from your camera. |t's essentlal to make sure they're all
stored under one common subfolder. wlndows' Plctures
folder ls the obvlous cholce, although lf you have other
lmages already ln there make a subfolder below that and
Blbb|e Pro ls an
named but
workow too|, wlth fu||
support for PAW |es.

call lt somethlng llke"Photo archlve". Then you need

to set your camera's lmage download software to always
use that folder for downloadlng shots, but also always to
create a subfolder.
Practlcally every camera's download software allows
you to create a folder name based on the date: make sure
you use that faclllty. Thls slmple blt of dlsclpllne means
that over tlme you'll bulld up a llbrary of lmages you
can easlly search and refer to, uslng nothlng fancler than
wlndows Lxplorer. Havlng your photos sprayed across
your hard dlsk lsn't an optlon, and you're llkely to lose
shots completely through accldental deletlon or slmply
forgettlng they're there.
ASSESSMENT Now that you have a conslstent place
to keep your shots and you've downloaded the latest
batch, the rst thlng you must do ls slt down and qulckly
go through every shot, ratlng each one accordlng to
whether lt's worth more attentlon.
Dlgltal Photo Professlonal, llke most slmllar packages,
allows you to nag each lmage wlth a ratlng from one to
three. Golng through each shot ls an lmportant step:
wlthout lt, you can end up wastlng tlme processlng a
shot when one taken a couple of frames later ls better.
|t also means you can qulckly nd the decent shots
among hundreds of medlocre ones when you come back
to the folder ln the future. Make sure you vlew them at
l00% magnlcatlon before nagglng: thumbnalls hlde
poor focus that, when you vlew the shot at lts full slze,
can turn out to have rulned the lmage.
PROCESSlNG Although there are dozens of dlnerent ways
of processlng and retouchlng an lmage, as we saw ln
Chapter 8 there are three steps that should be carrled
out for every shot you've rated as decent and want to
contlnue processlng: you need to look at the hlstogram
and alter levels (or curves) to expand the tonal range
as much as posslble (see pll7), check and alter the
whlte balance lf necessary (see p66), and then apply
sharpenlng (seepll8). ou can see exactly how to do
that by turnlng to the relevant page - the polnt we're
maklng here ls that you should get lnto the hablt of
assesslng and/or alterlng those three aspects of the lmage,
slnce they have by far the blggest enect on the look and
lmpact of the nal plcture.
Once you've practlsed lt yourself on your own lmages,
you'll soonseethat anlmageyoupassedover cansuddenly
take on a new dlmenslon once lt's been corrected,
especlally when the levels control has been applled.
KEEPlNG TRACK OF THE BEST One technlque that can
work very well ls to keep ln mlnd the concept of a dlgltal
negatlve and a dlgltal prlnt. we're not talklng llterally
here - clearly, a dlgltal photo ls slmply a collectlon of
blts: ones and zeros, stored on a memory card or hard dlsk.
8ut lf you treat your PAw les or processed lossless
T|PPs (whlchever you choose to store) as your negatlves
that llve ln the cupboard, and then after each sesslon
choose the best ones you want to turn lnto prlnts
(guratlvely rather than llterally), you can then save
them as hlgh-quallty nal 1PLGs.
Keep all of your best "prlnt" coples ln one folder on
your hard dlsk: they won't take up much room, slnce even
a 1PLG saved wlth a 95% quallty settlng should only be
2M8 or so. And lf you haven't tlnkered wlth the lename,
to nd the orlglnal lossless set they came from you only
have to do a search on that lename uslng wlndows'
standard Search faclllty.
Havlng all your best shots as properly processed and
pollshed hlgh-quallty 1PLGs also means you can qulckly
back them up to a DvD or, slnce there won't be hundreds,
even to CD (see pl64 for detalls of carrylng out complete
backups of all your plctures).
A good way of backlng up your most preclous prlnt
shots ls to upload them to an onllne servlce such as - see pl78 for more on thls.
Aslde from belng able to order quallty prlnts, you can
also share them. 8ut most of all, lf the worst happens
and your house burns down, you'll at least have coples
of your best shots onllne.
A POlNT TO REMEMBER There's a lot of verbose talk on
lnternet forums about the relatlve merlts of one PAw
le converter over another, whether you should save
your nal processed shots as 1PLG or T|PP and so on.
A lot of forum rants lnclude screenshots blown up to
500%showlngsllght dlnerences between lndlvldual plxels
package 8. Our advlce ls not to get hung up on the tlny
detalls. Spend some tlme gettlng the baslc worknow rlght
and be dlsclpllned so you don't forget - for lnstance,
apply sharpenlng when you're processlng your lmages
and they'll appear notlceably better to anyone who looks
at them. However, spend half a day wonderlng whether
the patch of follage ln the background ls better wlth 0.6
as opposed to 0.7 plxel-threshold Unsharp Mask settlngs
and you've wasted your tlme, the only person who'll
posslbly be able to see the dlnerence ls you. Photos are
about experlenclng, not scrutlnlslng: spend the extra
hours taklng plctures lnstead.
Canon's Dlglta| Photo
Professlona| too|
ls a usefu| plece of
software supp|led
wlth lts dlglta| SLP
cameras. Note the
conslstent fo|der
namlng ln the Exp|orer
pane on the |eft.

A|| you nooo |s u ||ll|o
b|l o pul|onco uno
Any solwuro you oo|
comorlub|o w|lh.
A ooo|culoo wor|ow
puc|ugo, such us
Aoobo's Pholoshop
There's no slngle approved way of establlshlng a worknow: the key ls to
be conslstent about your approach. That sald, here are a few polnters to
ways ln whlch you can go about tamlng your wlld collectlon of shots.
Getting a workhow going is about establishing a
consistent way ol acquiring, assessing and perlorming
the essential processing steps on your shots. We're
using Canon's Digital Photo Prolessional package to
illustrate the idea here, but you can use the likes ol
Photoshop Lightroom or a bit ol selldiscipline and
Windows Explorer in conjunction with the likes ol the
Gimp to perlorm the processing.
PREVl EW AND TAG Preview and tagging is an
important step: go through your photos and
mark those you judge worthy ol processing
lurther. ln Digital Photo Prolessional, you can rightclick
an image thumbnail and choose to add a check mark
rated between one and three. You can delete shots, too;
however, it's good practice only ever to delete those
shots that are hopeless. Hard disk space is cheap so it
makes sense to keep even the mediocre shots. ll you're
low on disk space, turn to p94 to see how to add more.
START PROCESSl NG Once you've been
through all the shots and tagged the ones that
look worthy ol more attention, you can start
processing the best ones. The hrst step should be to
correct the white balance il it looks incorrect. ll the
Automatic setting doesn't work and you're shooting in
PAW mode, click on the dropdown box and you can
select lrom the standard list ol whitebalance types
- this is one ol the joys ol working with PAW. Correcting
the white balance can really improve a picture.
SET THE MOOD Now you need to apply the
levels and/or curves adjustments to improve
the tonal range and set the mood ol the shot.
Digital Photo Prolessional, in common with many other
editing tools, provides levels by showing the image
histogram and allowing you to drag the high and
lowpoint sliders in to give the maximum possible tonal
range (see p116 lor a lull explanation).
SAVE OR EXPORT Then, set the level ol
sharpening lor your image. Some people preler
to do this using a more sophisticated tool, but
lor convenience, doing everything in one package
simplihes workhow. Digital Photo Prolessional's
sharpening control, while simple, is ellective.
The basic steps that you should perlorm lor every
hagged image are now complete. ll you're happy with
the results, you can then batchconvert them into 1PEGs
lor printing. Alternatively, save them as lossless TlFFs
lor export to a sophisticated retouching tool such as
Photoshop or the Gimp lor more advanced editing.
S 4
Photography ls all about gettlng yourself out there and
belng creatlve, so lt may seemborlng to talk about the
nltty-grltty task of PC backup. 8ut [ust lmaglne loslng
days, months, even years of memorles when somethlng
as mundane as a hard dlsk falls, and you'll appreclate why
lt absolutely must be done lf you want to guarantee that
your photos wlll last a llfetlme.
8ackup needn't be a chore, though, as even the most
baslc of utllltles - such as wlndows XP 8ackup - can be
set up to protect any le you choose automatlcally. All
you need ls some formof external storage on whlch to
keepyour backed-upphotos. Althoughlt's posslbletostore
themon a spare sectlon of your PC or notebook's lnternal
hard dlsk, thls defeats the polnt, as you're looklng to keep
themln two (or more) dlnerent physlcal locatlons to
mlnlmlse the rlsk of loss.
CHOOSE YOUR MEDlA |f you're [ust looklng to back up your
collectlon of dlgltal photos, there are several posslbllltles
when lt comes to chooslng your medla to back up to.
The slmplest method would be to use a blank CD or
DvD and burn all your les across, label the dlsc and
keep lt ln a safe place. Thls works best wlth hollday snaps,
where you'll often have a few memory cards' worth of
photos that wlll t on one dlsc, lt also makes them very
easy to catalogue. However, lt doesn't account for any
future edltlng of your photos, and lt's a paln - lf not
lmposslble - to add photos to the dlscs at a later date.
Uslng a US8 stlck ls a more nexlble solutlon, as
you can very easlly copy les back and forth from the
stlck to your PC, and add edlted photos to a collectlon
wlthout any dlmculty. Memory stlcks aren't easy to
catalogue, though, and they're expenslve ln terms of
the capacltles you can buy for your money.
The best solutlon ls slmply to buy a second hard dlsk,
whether to put lnslde your PC or to use as an external
dlsk (see p94). Costs per glgabyte are lower than ever,
and the huge capacltles nowavallable glve you the optlon
of backlng up not only your photos, but also any other
lmportant les on your PC.
8etter stlll, you could buy a network-attached storage
(NAS) devlce, whlch ls essentlally an external hard dlsk
that slts permanently connected to your home or omce
network, but needn't be ln the same locatlon as your
PC ltself. Thls glves you all the benets of an extra hard
dlsk, wlthout the lnconvenlence of havlng to connect
lt dlrectly vla US8 or Plrewlre every tlme you want to
use lt. |t also stays on at all tlmes, so you can access your
stored photos from any PC or laptop on the network,
maklng lt a great way to share your les, too. And belng a
network-attacheddevlce, youdon't needtoput lt near your
PC: lf you're prepared to go to a llttle enort wlth network
wlrlng, or you go for a model wlth wlreless capabllltles,
you can put the dlsk ltself out of the way somewhere.
That means not only wlll you not be dlstracted by the
nolse of the hard dlsk whlrrlng away, but lt also glves
Tho XP Backup UtiIity
|s roo w|lh W|noows XP.
ll's u slru|ghlorwuro, |
somowhul ||m|loo, loo| or
scheduIing backups
o your PC's |os uno
o|oors, uno or s|mp|y
buc||ng up your pholos |l
ooos lho job. Mosl usors
w||| on|y nooo lo o||ow
lho w|zuro lhul |uunchos
uulomul|cu||y, bul lhoro's
un Aovuncoo mooo
or lhoso comorlub|o
onough lo oo|vo ooopor.
XP ProfessionaI usors
cun so|ocl lh|s opl|on lo
croulo u basic recovery
disc |n oroor lo rosloro
lho syslom shou|o lho
huro o|s| u||. ll's u ||ll|o
||m|loo, bul |l's un oxlru
|uyor o prolocl|on.
l you huvo u PC or
|uplop w|lh W|noows 7
or v|slu |nslu||oo, you
cun lu|o uovunlugo
o u much moro u||y
ouluroo buc|up ul|||ly
(soo p168). Tho now
vors|on o W|noows
Buc|up hus u c|ounor,
g|oss|or |nloruco lhul
mu|os |l ous|or lo uso,
|l g|vos moro conlro|
ovor proc|so schoou||ng
o lus|s uno u|so
u||ows you lo so|ocl
spoc|c |o lypos lo
suvo - u ouluro lhul
mu|os lus|s such
us pholo buc|up un
ubso|ulo broozo.
you some measure of protectlon lf the worst happens and
you're burgled. The chances of the average thlef looklng ln
the alrlng cupboard are remote.
BACKUP BASlCS The wlndows XP 8ackup utlllty ls a good
startlng polnt for backlng up your photos, as lt allows you
to create scheduled automated backups, and ls avallable
for free wlthwlndows XP. The walkthrough overleaf shows
how to qulckly set up a backup [ob to encompass all of
your photos. |f your PC has wlndows 7 or vlsta, turn to
pl68 for a look at the more advanced wlndows 8ackup.
our lnltlal backup wlll be a full protectlon of all the
les you select, whlle all further backups wlll most llkely be
elther lncremental or dlnerentlal. An lncremental backup
saves those les that have changed slnce the last backup
of any klnd, thls leaves you wlth lots of mlnor lncremental
backupsets to restore from, so lt's great for maklngsure you
keep all the verslons of a photo, but can get messy slnce
you need to keep every lncrement lf you want to restore.
A dlnerentlal backup saves all changes slnce the last full
backup, so lt keeps [ust one larger dlnerentlal le.
XP's wlndows 8ackup Utlllty also glves a fewother
optlons. |f you choose copy mode, lt wlll slmply copy the
selected les and folders to your chosen destlnatlon rather
than complllng themlnto a backup set. Thls ls a useful
optlon lf you have your photos well organlsed, or you don't
have enough of themfor dlsk space to be an lssue.
ou should verlfy the data after a backup to ensure all
your les were handled correctly. The utlllty ls also capable
of backlng up open les, so even lf you're worklng at the
tlme lt shouldn't be an lssue. ou can also ensure your
laptop doesn't try to back up when the battery ls low, and
youcanhave prevlous backupsets deletedtomanage your
hard dlsk space emclently.
OTHER SOFTWARE |f you want more power over your
backups there are several good alternatlves, but you'll
have to pay for them. Advanced backup software glves
you more control over your les: varylng levels of
compressloncanbeapplledtoyour backupsets tomanage
the resultlng le slze, password-protectlon and encryptlon
helps to keep your backups secure, and some utllltles
go beyond backup to protect your entlre system agalnst
fallure, wlth restore partltlons and recovery dlscs, and
even boot managers for the ultlmate ln operatlng
system lndependence.
Acronls True |mage Home 20l0 (
ls one of the best utllltles currently on the market,
allowlng you to protect not only your lndlvldual
photos and folders, but also the vltal systemles and
appllcatlons on the rest of your PC. Plrmly ln the
budget prlce range, lt kllls several blrds wlth one stone,
slnce lt can also rebulld the contents of your PC on a
newhard dlsk should yours fall.
Norton Ghost l5 ( ls an even
more user-frlendly way to"ghost" your entlre hard dlsk
on to a spare one to protect yourself agalnst dlsaster,
but lt doesn't oner the same nexlblllty as Acronls ln
chooslng lndlvldual les and folders to back up, and
lt's more expenslve, too.
A|| gooo buc|up ul|||l|os |ol
you schoou|o automated
backups, so mu|o suro you
p|c| un |nlorvu| lhul su|ls
your usugo. l you oo|l your
pholos ovory ouy, |l's u gooo
|oou lo run u buc|up ouch
n|ghl lo mulch, uno | lho
pholos uro un |mporlunl purl
o your job you cou|o ovon
|ncrouso lhul lo ovory ow
hours. Olhorw|so, u woo||y,
orln|ghl|y or ovon monlh|y
buc|up shou|o suco.
Norton Ghost 15 |s s|m||ur
lo Acron|s bul ocusos moro
on prolocl|ng your onl|ro
huro o|s| rom u||uro. Tho
usor |nloruco |s |ncroo|b|y
s|mp|o, much moro so lhun
Truo lmugo, bul |l ooosn'l
oor lho opl|on o p|c||ng
uno choos|ng |no|v|ouu| |os
uno o|oors lo buc| up. ll
lhorooro |sn'l |oou| or smu||
homo pholo co||ocl|ons, uno
|l's u|so qu|lo u b|l oouror.
Acronis True Image
Home 2010 oors
|mpross|vo powor, u||ow|ng
you lo copy un onl|ro huro
o|s| uno mu|o rocovory
o|scs. ll's worlh puy|ng lho
oxlru | you huvo moro lhun
jusl pholos lo prolocl, lhon |
lho worsl shou|o huppon, you
huvo u wuy lo robu||o your
huro o|s| on u now PC.
Keeplng [ust one copy of your photos on your harddlsk leaves you dangerously
vulnerable to dlsaster. Prom a slmple hard dlsk fallure to burglary or even re,
lt's lmportant to back them up to a second locatlon. Here's how...
START XP BACKUP ll you have Windows XP
Prolessional, the Backup utility is installed
and ready to go. Go to Start, All Programs,
Accessories, System Tools and click on Backup to begin
the process. ll you have Windows XP Home Edition, you
may hnd it's not there - don't panic, though. You simply
need to install the utility lrom the installation CD. To do
that, insert the CD, click Perlorm Additional Tasks in the
welcome screen, then click Browse this CD. ln Windows
Explorer, open the valueAdd lolder that appears then
navigate to lolder named "Mslt" then "Ntbackup" within
that. Doubleclick the NTBACKP.MSl hle to begin the
install process, which will start up a standard installation
routine just like installing any other application in
Windows. Once installed, the welcome window gives
you the option ol entering advanced mode il you wish,
but lor now we'll back up our photos using the simple
wizard. Clicking Next gives you the choice between
backing up or restoring your hles: il you already have a
backup and need to access your old photos, you'd click
Pestore and lollow that wizard. We want to protect our
hles, however, so choose "Back up hles and settings".
We're locusing on our photos only in this backup set, so
select the option "Let me choose what to back up".
SELECT YOUR PHOTOS This is the most
important step, as it's here that you must
ensure you've selected all your photo hles. XP
Backup is a basic utility, so you'll need to know where
they are; il possible, have them organised into sensibly
labelled lolders - ideally this should already be part ol
your workhow anyway (see p162). se the lolder tree to
navigate to your photos and put a tick in the box beside all
ol them to add them to the backup set. You can choose
anything lrom individual hles to lolders, right up to entire
drives, so be carelul not to add any hles you don't need.
Fl Nl SH OR DELVE DEEPER On the next screen,
you're asked to name your backup set and
select your destination; use the Browse button
to navigate to your chosen storage device, be it a second
hard disk, DvD or - best ol all - a networkattached
storage (NAS) device. Technically you've now hnished,
so leel lree to go ahead and leave it to run, which will
give you a onetimeonly backup. However, you'll notice
an Advanced button at the bottom ol the summary
window: click on it to conhgure the options that will
enable you to protect your data more ellectively and,
more importantly, do it automatically on a regular basis.
S 4
Prolly ousy, bul
lh|s |s your oulu
wo'ro lu|||ng uboul.
Mu|o suro you u||y
unoorsluno bolh lho
buc|up procoss uno
whul lo oo | you nooo
lo rosloro rom lho
W|noows XP on your
compulor - o|lhor
XP Prooss|onu| or
XP Homo Eo|l|on
(W|noows 7 uno v|slu
u|so huvo u s|m||ur
ul|||ly - soo ovor|ou).

CHOOSE BACKUP TYPE The hrst time you run

the utility you'll want to run a normal backup or,
il simply copying to another hard disk, perhaps
a basic copy ol the selected hles. Alter that, though,
either incremental or dillerential backups can be made to
save time and disk space. Turn back to the previous page
lor an explanation ol the dillerence between incremental
and dillerential backups.
EXTRA OPTl ONS You can make XP Backup
verily the integrity ol the data alter the task has
been run to ensure the backup set is usable;
it's worth doing, as there's nothing worse than thinking
you're properly protected when you're not. The volume
shadow copy option allows the utility to back up hles that
are open and being worked on - il you disable this option
those hles will be skipped so make sure it's enabled.
The lollowing screen allows you to choose whether to
overwrite previous backups il any exist. lt's a good idea
to keep a close eye on your backup sets, as it's all too
easy to hll up your destination disk with backups without
realising it. Then you're given the option to run the backup
now or schedule it lor later.
SET A SCHEDULE The scheduler is one ol the
most vital parts ol a backup routine, as you
need to ensure your photos aren't just saved
once, but backed up on a regular basis to keep up with
your editing and additions to the collection. XP Backup
gives you the choice ol daily, weekly or monthly backups.
A precise time can be chosen, and the Advanced button
allows you to lorce the task to repeat every lew hours lor
a set duration, which can be uselul il the photos are a
vital part ol your working day.
SCHEDULE SETTl NGS The Settings tab lets
you hnetune the schedule with some hnal
options. You can have the backup task deleted
once it completes, stop it il it runs lor too long - indicating
a problem - or have the backup process run only in idle
time, so it doesn't get in the way when you're using the
PC. For mobile users, the power options are vital, as you
can make sure the backup process doesn't try to run
when the system is on battery power - risking data loss
il it dies midway through - or lorce it to wake lrom
hibernation when the scheduled backup time is reached.
Fl NAL STEPS You should carelully check the
details on the summary screen to make sure
everything is correct - alter all, your photos
depend on this task - then go ahead and run your backup
task. Depending on the number ol hles involved, it could
take anything lrom a lew seconds to a lew hours, but
you're kept inlormed throughout by the progress window.
Although XP Backup is a reliable application, il
you have an automatic schedule set you should never
blindly trust that your data is being backed up. Every
so olten, check that the backup is current. You can do
that by rightclicking on the backup hle itsell, selecting
Properties and looking at the Modihed date in the
inlormation dialog that appears. While you're there you
should also check that the backup hle is the right sort
ol size. Again, you can check that via the rightclick
Properties dialog and looking at the Size entry. ll you
have several years' worth ol hles and it comes to only
a couple ol megabytes, something is awry - it should
probably be a lew gigabytes. Also bear in mind that il it
encounters an error, XP Backup has a tendency to exit
silently, so make sure you keep regular tabs on it.

S 7

Don'l unoorosl|mulo
lho powor o Syslom
Posloro | your PC or
|uplop goos huyw|ro. l
you huvo W|noows v|slu
Bus|noss or |l|mulo
Eo|l|on |nslu||oo, you
cun u|so uso Syslom
Posloro's Prov|ous
vors|ons cupub|||ly,
wh|ch |ols you ro||
buc| u purl|cu|ur |o
lo u suvoo po|nl |n lho
pusl. Th|s mu|os |l u
groul wuy lo |oop up
w|lh mu|l|p|o chungos
muoo lo u pholo
w|lhoul huv|ng lo |oop
ronum|ng lho |os.
|f you've upgraded your old wlndows XP system to
wlndows vlsta or the newer wlndows 7, you're ln luck.
8oth lnclude a much-lmproved wlndows 8ackup utlllty,
whlch makes lt far easler to back up your photos. All you
need to run lt ls some form of storage medla: a spare hard
dlsk, network drlve, CD or DvD or even a large US8
memory stlck. The shot of wlndows 8ackup below ls the
vlsta verslon, wlndows 7's verslon (opposlte) looks sllghtly
dlnerent but has exactly the same features and functlons.
|f you've used the XP backup utlllty you'll be famlllar
wlth how lt works. |f not, the wlzard-based process takes
coples of your chosenles, compresses themlntoa smaller
le and stores lt externally. |f you need to retrleve the les,
the wlzard lets you browse through them llke a normal
folder and restore them to your hard dlsk. ou also have
theadvancedoptlonof browslngandrestorlngbackupsets
created on other vlsta or wlndows 7 PCs, glvlng you a
useful way to manage the les on several PCs at a tlme.
SET UP AND FORGET when you create a new backup task,
wlndows 8ackup wlll save every le of the types you select
- ln thls case, your photos. Lach further tlme the same
task ls run, lt wlll add only new or edlted les, savlng both
tlme and dlsk space. The orlglnal le and folder structure
ls retalned, whlchls vltal for savlngsomethlngas organlsed
as a photo collectlon ln the order you want lt.
wlndows 8ackup lncludes a comprehenslve scheduler,
so you can set up your task as you requlre then leave lt to
run automatlcally. |t can be set to run monthly, weekly or
even dally at a speclc hour. More lmportantly, lf your PC
ls on at the specled tlme, the backup task wlll run as soon
as you log back on, and lt runs ln the background so as not
to dlsrupt your dally routlne.
PROTECTlNG YOUR ENTlRE PC Users who purchase the
Starter, Home 8aslc and Home Premlum edltlons of
vlsta or wlndows 7 must make do wlth wlndows 8ackup,
but the Ultlmate, 8uslness and Lnterprlse edltlons, plus
wlndows 7 Professlonal, also lnclude a separate optlon
that lmages your entlre hard dlsk, so you can restore your
system to exactly the state lt was ln before lt falled. Thls
wlll slow your system as lt runs, so lt's a good ldea to run
lt every month as a safety net and use standard wlndows
8ackup on a more frequent basls to protect lndlvldual les.
F||os cun u|so bo
buc|oo up uulomul|cu||y
by lho Syslom Posloro
sorv|co, much |||o |n
XP. Howovor, now lho
vors|ons o |os suvoo
by lh|s molhoo uro
uvu||ub|o lo lho usor,
uno cun bo rosloroo
|n u s|m||ur wuy lo
u buc|ooup |o. To
rosloro, r|ghlc||c| on
u |o, so|ocl Posloro
Prov|ous vors|ons, uno
chooso rom lho ||sl o
ouloo cop|os. Th|s |s
|oou| or rolr|ov|ng lhoso
|os you ucc|oonlu||y
suvo ovor, or oo|l uno
|ulor chungo your m|no.
l lho r|ghlc||c| opl|on
|sn'l uvu||ub|o, go lo
Conlro| Puno|, Syslom
uno Mu|nlonunco,
Syslom, Syslom
Prolocl|on uno mu|o
suro lhul purl|cu|ur huro
o|s| |s |nc|uooo |n lho
Syslom Posloro opl|on.
Status Th|s shows | your |usl
buc|up lus| u||oo uno ||sls
lho slorugo moo|um uno noxl
schoou|oo l|mo.
PC Protect v|slu |l|mulo
uno W|noows 7 |l|mulo uno
Prooss|onu| u|so oor u||
or|vo |mug|ng or lho bosl
poss|b|o oulu prolocl|on.
Organise You cun rosloro
pholos rom buc|up sols
crouloo by lh|s ul|||ly on olhor
PCs, u||ow|ng you lo shuro
|os ous||y.
System Restore
Syslom Posloro u|so lu|os |ls own cop|os o |os, g|v|ng you
u socono ||no o ooonco or lhoso pholos oo|loo vory roconl|y.
|ntroduclngwlndows vlsta
andwlndows 7 8ackup
wlndows 7 andvlsta's backup program ls slmple and fast, and you
can select partlcular le types, maklng lt ldeal for rst-tlme users.
RUN Wl NDOWS BACKUP Go to Start [ All
Programs [ Maintenance, and click on the
Backup and Pestore Center to begin. The
window that appears is the hub lor backing up and
restoring hles, so choose the Back p Files option. You'll
be ollered a choice ol all connected disks - hard disks,
CDs and DvDs and SB drives - as well as a link to any
available networks where more storage may be lound.
Choose your external storage medium lrom the hrst
dropdown menu. ll your PC has more than one hard disk
installed you'll then be asked to tick all the disks that
contain hles you'd like to protect. Your main Windows
disk is always ticked by delault.
CHOOSE Fl LE TYPES Pather than selecting
individual hles and lolders to save, Windows
Backup splits the process into eight groups ol
hle types. So ticking the Pictures option will result in your
selected hard disks being searched lor all 1PEGs, TlFs
and so on. Bear in mind that il you work in PAW mode,
these hles aren't included. You'll need the hnal option at
the bottom to include all other hles not in the previous
seven categories, which will essentially result in
everything on your hard disk being backed up, with the
exception ol system hles, executables and temporary
hles. Folder structures will be retained during backup.
SCHEDULE THE TASK As you're creating a new
task it will run immediately once you hnish
setup, but you should also schedule it to run
automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Windows has an option lor you to choose a day ol the
week and to select a particular hour ol day lrom a
dropdown list to run a backup. Once you've scheduled
the task, click Save Settings and Start Backup to begin
the process. lt may take anywhere lrom ten minutes to
several hours, depending on the amount ol data involved.
RESTORE YOUR Fl LES ll you lose any photos,
it's easy to restore them. Open the Backup
and Pestore Center again and choose the
Pestore Files option. Choose whether you want hles
lrom your most recent backup task, or look back through
past tasks to hnd the appropriate one. You'll then be
presented with an empty list ol hles to restore. se the
Search button il you know which hle you need, or click
Add Files or Add Folders to bring up a standard Explorer
window. Your backup job will appear in the tree, with its
contents laid out in their existing lolder structure, so you
can browse through and choose the data you want. Then
restore them either to their original location or specily a
new one, and click Start Pestore to bring your priceless
data back lrom the dead.
2 1
vory ousy. Tho ul|||ly |s
onl|ro|y w|zurobusoo.
Hu| un hour lo
sovoru| hours,
oopono|ng on lho
umounl o oulu.
|ntroduclngonllne backup
On-slte backup ls the ultlmate ln data securlty, glvlng
you complete protectlon agalnst burglary, re, noods
and everyday user error. |t used to be the preserve of blg
buslnesses, but as broadband speeds have lncreased and
lnternet use has sky-rocketed over the past few years,
a new range of anordable onllne backup servlces has
emerged. whlle some essentlally oner only dlsk space,
manyothersareproper all-ln-onebackupsolutlonscapable
of protectlng all the les on your PC, and some even
extend to system protectlon and le synchronlsatlon
as well. Prlclng plans and capacltles on oner are belng
updated all the tlme, so lt's worth looklng around for one
that sults your needs.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR There are many factors to conslder
whenchooslnganonllne backupservlce, but - partlcularly
lf you're backlng up more than [ust your photos - one
of the most vltal ls securlty. Look for a servlce that wlll
encrypt your les as soon as they leave your computer
and store them on mlrrored servers ln multlple locatlons
to glve an extra layer of protectlon agalnst dlsaster.
Capaclty ls another stumbllng block, partlcularly as
good-quallty photos from even the most anordable of
today's dlgltal cameras are at least several megabytes ln
slze. |t's frlghtenlngly easy for a slngle short hollday to
ll a 2G8 memory card, whlle a longer travelllng trlp ls
llkely to requlre several cards and a laptop ln towto empty
them on to, so make sure you're aware of these backup
servlces' prlclng plans for hlgher capacltles before you slgn
up. |deally, you should look for one that oners unllmlted
storage to glve you the peace of mlnd that you'll never hlt
an upper llmlt.
The nal feature to look for ls automatlon. Most
of these backup servlces come ln the form of a cllent
appllcatlon that you download and lnstall on your PC,
but there are dlnerent types. Some work ln a slmllar way
to standard backup software - wlth scheduled backups
of chosen les - whlle others slt ln the background and
scan your PC for changes to deslgnated les, backlng
them up when necessary. The latter ls a much slmpler
method and keeps fuss to a mlnlmum, as well as ensurlng
that your edlted les are backed up sooner than wlth a
rlgld backup schedule.
WHAT'S THE COST? ou may thlnk all thls sounds
unnecessarlly expenslve, but the more home-focused
onerlngs are actually reasonable. A free verslon of Mozy
( provldes 2G8of backupspace as a teaser
to attract you to the hlgher-capaclty subscrlptlon plans,
whlle the tremendously user-frlendly Carbonlte (www. wlll back up an unllmlted amount of data -
not [ust photos - for [ust $54.95 (around 37) a year.
Carbonlte ls a
userfrlend|y on|lne
backup app|lcatlon
that works ln
the background,
monltorlng your
|es and sendlng
them to lts remote
servers once a
change ls detected.
Sorv|cos such us
ProloclMyPholos oor
un uoooo bonus or
pholo oo|lors, us lhoy
w||| uulomul|cu||y suvo
mu|l|p|o cop|os o lho
sumo |o. Whonovor
ProloclMyPholos spols
u chungo lo u pholo
|l w||| up|ouo |l lo lho
romolo sorvor, bul g|vo
|l u o|oronl numo. Th|s
mouns | you ovorwr|lo u
pholo w|lh uny chungos
lhul you subsoquonl|y
w|sh you huon'l muoo,
you cun rolr|ovo lho
o|oor vors|ons o lho
sorvor uno slurl ugu|n.
Sharing photos
onIine with FIickr
Tho |nlornol mu|os |l ousy lo
showcuso your snups. Lourn how lo
shuro your shols |n u ow ousy slops.
with Picasa
Ownoo by lho m|ghly Ooog|o,
P|cusu |s unolhor groul wuy lo
shuro your huro wor|.
photo printing
A p|cluro on u wobs|lo |s no mulch
or u bouul|u| h|ghroso|ul|on pr|nl.
E||m|nulo lho uss by oroor|ng on||no.
at home
l you wunl u|l|mulo conlro| ovor lho
|oo| o your pholos, u homo |n|jol
pr|nlor |s lho |oy.
How to print
using Windows XP
W|noows XP oors u surpr|s|ng|y
gooo wuy lo pr|nl pholos, bul bo
curou| w|lh lho soll|ngs.
How to print
using Photoshop
For no conlro| ovor your ono
rosu|ls, sw|lch lo lho oxporls' loo|:
Aoobo Pholoshop.
Using Windows
Photo GaIIery
v|ow|ng your |mugos |n W|noows 7
uno v|slu |s ousy: s|mp|y ro up lho
Pholo Ou||ory.
your printer
l you'ro sor|ous uboul pr|nl|ng
co|ouruccurulo pholos, |l's v|lu| lo
cu||brulo your pr|nlor.
There's a horrlble tendency for even dedlcated photographers to
squlrrel thelr shots away and not show them to the outslde world.
Sometlmes lt's out of modesty, sometlmes lazlness. whlchever way,
don't fall lnto the same trap. wlth that marvel known as the lnternet,
you can share your plctures wlth the world ln seconds, whlle modern
home prlnters actually exceed the quallty of tradltlonal lm labs.
|f that sounds too much llke hard work, order your prlnts onllne.

Sharlngphotos onllne
Once you have a decent portfollo of plctures bullt up
on your PC, you'll want to showthemto the world. The
lnternet oners a wealth of storage and sharlng optlons.
THE BENEFlTS The prlnclpal benet of an onllne photo
gallery ls that you declde exactly who can see them. Storlng
your shotsonllnealsoopensupawealthof other posslbllltles
- you're not conned to storlng and dlsplaylng shots. There
are numerous companles out there that wlll help you make
thlngs wlthyour best lmages, andtheyoner everythlngfrom
T-shlrts to buslness cards and books.
FLlCKR Pllckr ( ls the klng of onllne photo
storage and organlsatlon. |t oners a huge amount of power
and nexlblllty, but lts maln strength ls that lt allows you to
upload your shots qulckly and palnlessly to a communlty of
mllllons. ou can sort your lmages by sets (Pllckr's termfor
an album) and tag themwlth keywords. Alternatlvely, you
can post your photos to groups. And, slnce Pllckr makes
lt posslble for other websltes to access lts content - so, for
lnstance, a buslness card maker can use your lmages lf you
want lt to - there are plenty of ways of taklng your photos
out of Pllckr and on to varlous prlnted medla.
SETTlNG lT UP Gettlng lnto Pllckr takes [ust mlnutes. Pllckr
ls owned by ahoo, so lf you have a ahoo account you're
halfway there already. |f you haven't, slmply cllck Slgn Up
at www.nlckr.comandenter therelevant detalls. UslngPllckr
ls free, but there are some restrlctlons for those unwllllng
to pay the $25 a year (around l7) subscrlptlon fee. ou
can post your lmages to a maxlmumof ten groups, only
get l00M8 of uploads per month, and can vlewonly your
200 most recent uploads. ou do at least get an unllmlted
amount of storage space, and a maxlmumslze llmlt per
photo of l0M8 (plenty for a hlgh-quallty 1PLG). Upgrade
to the Pro account and all these llmlts are removed. The
maxlmumle slze ls ralsed to 20M8, too.
USlNG lT Pllckr ls surprlslngly addlctlve. And, because you
can comment on each photo lndlvldually, you can ask more
to develop your own skllls. The best way to do thls ls to
slmply get lnvolved - upload all the plctures you can and
take the tlme to tag themdescrlptlvely. Thls wlll ensure that
others wlll come across them. Also, [oln groups lnvolved
wlth your lnterests: when we last looked, there were 3,07l
groups devoted to alrcraft and 3,858 for kltten-lovers...
UpIoad Photos:
Slurl horo, uno gol
somo o your bosl
|mugos onlo F||c|r.
Groups: Th|s |s whoro you cun slurl |oo||ng or
|mugos rom |||om|nooo phologruphors. Oroups or
u m|nobogg||ng numbor o subjocls uro uvu||ub|o.
ExpIore: Tho slurl|ng po|nl or
oo|v|ng |nlo F||c|r's |ncroo|b|y r|ch
urch|vo o |mugos.
Your Contacts:
P|cluros rom
poop|o you |now,
o|lhor rom lho
rou| wor|o or
muoo lhrough
Tho orgun|sor |s u
poworu| loo| or
lugg|ng |mugos
uno sorl|ng lhom
|nlo sols. ll's u
groul wuy lo |oop
on lop o lh|ngs.
Koop un oyo on lh|s
urou o F||c|r - |l
chungos ouch l|mo
you |og |n uno |oops
you uppru|soo o
chungos bo|ng
muoo on lho s|lo.
ou may feel some understandable lnertla when lt comes to gettlng round to
slgnlng up to yet another webslte. 8ut Pllckr ls worth the enort, and once you're
up and runnlng lt's easy to upload your photos. Here's how.
As ousy us c||c||ng u
mouso. Ano u bus|c
uccounl |s roo.
An |nlornol
connocl|on (proorub|y
2 1
4 S
Havlng slgned up, c|lck on Up|oad Photos on your
homepage. Now se|ect Choose Photos. In the Wlndows
dla|og box, lf you rlghtc|lck and se|ect Vlew | Thumbnal|s,
you can prevlew your shots before sendlng.
If you need to reslze your shots before up|oadlng them,
use the F|lckr Up|oadr, aval|ab|e from
tools. Thls a||ows you to se|ect a batch of photos and
then reslze a|| of them before sendlng them to F|lckr.
Se|ect your prlvacy settlngs here. You're mlsslng out on
the best features of F|lckr lf you don't a||ow others to see
the frults of your work, but ln some cases you'|| want to
restrlct who has access.
Once your lmages are up|oaded, glve them descrlptlve
tags. The more tags you nd, the easler lt wl|| be to |ocate
lmages ln your |lbrary. It a|so ralses the chances of other
F|lckr users stumb|lng across them by accldent.
You can use the Organlzr feature to add more tags lf
you |lke, and to add the |ocatlon of your lmages - you'||
nd thls usefu| lf there's no geotagglng lnformatlon
a|ready there.
Vol|! Your plctures are up|oaded. But thls ls [ust the
beglnnlng. From here, you can send your lmages to
groups and turn your weekend lng wlth F|lckr lnto a
fu||b|own obsesslon.
ou could easlly be forglven for thlnklng that a powerful,
smooth-runnlngphotoorganlser costs money. And, before
Plcasa, you'd have been rlght. 8ut, whether your hard dlsk
has l00 1PLGs on lt or 2,000 PAws, Plcasa wlll breeze
through them enortlessly - for free.
Plcasa gathers all your shots lnto the same appllcatlon,
presents hlgh-quallty thumbnalls andallows youtogofrom
folder to folder wlth ease. ou can store photos ln custom
albums or mark themas favourltes. ou can even select a
group of photos and apply the same keywords to them.
Plcasa also glves you dozens of processlng and batch
optlons. want all your lmages reslzed and exported to a
folder on your hard dlsk! Slmply drag themall to the Photo
Tray and cllck Lxport. Alternatlvely, lf you have a Gmall
account, cllcklng Lmall wlll reslze all the lmages ln the
PhotoTray and send themwherever you choose.
COLLABORATlONS The tle-lns wlth useful Google products
don't end there. Cllck 8log Thls and you'll be taken to
the slgn-up page for a 8logger account, maklng addlng
lmages to a photo blog a one-cllck process. Alternatlvely,
fans of Google Larth ( can hlt
Tools | Geotag. ou'll be taken to Google Larth, where
you can use a glant crosshalr to embed geographlcal
lnformatlon ln your lmages.
whether you prlnt your lmages yourself or have them
prlnted by onllne developers, Plcasa can help there, too.
The Prlnt command ls as self-explanatory as lt gets, but
Order Prlnts allows you to choose from seven dlnerent
onllne prlnters, and Plcasa wlll upload your prlnts wlthout
you needlng to export them.
|f emalllng relatlves your prlze shots seems a blt low
tech, you can always hlt Glft CD - Plcasa wlll comblne
your shots and complle them lnto a slldeshow. There are
also ways for you to use your lmages on your own PC, for
creatlng desktop wallpaper or a screensaver.
All thls, of course, ls before even mentlonlng Plcasa's
powerful lmage edltlng. Double-cllck on an lmage and lt
wlll be shown on lts own. 8esldes cropplng and automatlc
red-eye tools, you also get Plcasa's |'m Peellng Lucky
button. Thls applles a random enect to your lmage: often,
the nal lmage produced conforms to the fashlonably
oversaturated lmages to be found on Pllckr (see pl74).
There's even a colour temperature (whlte balance)
control, plus a"plcker", whlch allows you to plck the
whlte polnt ln your lmage.
Plnally, the Lnects control allows you to add baslc styles
to your lmage. ou can ad[ust saturatlon, convert your
lmages to black and whlte or sepla, or apply enects suchas
monochrome or blurrlng to parts of your shots.
Tho o|oors
P|cusu hus
|nooxoo uno
ouno |mugos
|n. You cun
chungo whoro
|l sourchos by
so|ocl|ng F||o
| Aoo o|oor
lo P|cusu.
Search box: Sourchos your
|mugos o|lhor by lug, o|oor
numo, |onumo or goolug.
Zoom sIider:
A||ows you
lo chooso
how |urgo lho
AIbums: A|bums you'vo crouloo
yourso|, by uoo|ng p|cluros o|lhor
|n bulchos or |no|v|ouu||y.
Photo Tray:
ho|os your
|mugos or u
numbor o
ucl|ons, such
us ros|z|ng.
Tu|o somo l|mo lo
|ourn P|cusu's |oybouro
shorlculs - lhoy'|| suvo
un unbo||ovub|o umounl
o l|mo. Clr|H` uoos
u shol lo your Pholo
Truy, lho spucobur uoos
u Fuvour|lo slur lo u
shol, uno ho|o|ng oown
Clr| wh||o you uso lho
scro|| whoo| on your
mouso zooms |nlo u
shol, bul lhoro uro |ols
moro shorlculs lo |ourn.
Pllckr lsn't the only way that you can share photos onllne.
Google's Plcasalets youcreateaphotoalbum-andmuchmore
besldes - from one slmple-to-use lnterface, and all for free.
Onco you |now how,
|l's |||o u|||ng
o u |og.
An |nlornol
connocl|on (proorub|y
PHOTO TRAY Select the images you want to
use. This will be the images in the Photo Tray.
ll you click on an album without selecting a
specihc image, all the photos in that album will be added
to the Photo Tray. The same goes lor your lavourite
images and pictures in lolders. You can change the order
ol the images later, but remember these are the shots
you'll be showing to the world, so you'll need to be
completely hnished with them in terms ol processing.
There's no way to passwordprotect your Picasa album,
so never upload anything you wouldn't want the world
and their mum to see.
WEB ALBUMS Hit pload on the bottom
toolbar. ll you already have a Google account,
you'll be taken to a page where you can
conhrm you want to use that account lor uploading
images. ll you don't have a Google account, you'll be
invited to get one. lt's lree, and the account can be used
across all ol Google's web services and applications.
Take note ol how much lree space you have remaining,
but bear in mind that Picasa will always prompt you to
buy more space, even il you have plenty lelt.
NAMlNG AND VlSlBlLlTY Once you're done, you'll
be taken to this page, where you can give your
album a name and description. You can also
choose the size ol image you'd like to upload. By delault,
you get 1GB ol storage space, so choosing a smaller
image size will make more ol that space and make
uploading quicker. Note the visibility setting as well - by
leaving it to the delault (Public), anyone who goes to
hIIp.// will be able
to access your images. Choosing nlisted generates a
PL that's less likely to be stumbled upon by strangers.
ACCESS Click view Online lrom the upload
dialog box and you'll be taken to your newest
album. Familiarise yoursell with various options
available to you through the web interlace - Settings is
particularly important. Here you can choose whether your
photos are available on search engines, and whether
people viewing them can download the entire album,
instead ol just the individual images. ll you have a blog or
website, try the Embed Slideshow button, which will
automatically generate the HTML code you need to
embed your album as a slideshow on an external website.
4 S
1 2
Onllne photoprlntlng
wlth frlends, but the colour reproductlon and brlghtness of
monltors varles enormously. The shot you've tweakedtolook
dark and moody can end up black on a dlnerent screen.
Hard coples of your photos ensure everyone sees them
the way you want. Home lnk[et prlntlng ls one way to
go (see overleaf ), but uploadlng your shots to an onllne
prlntlng servlce ls a lot less fuss, and most photo-prlntlng
sltes allowyou to share your shots wlth famlly and frlends.
To test the servlces, we uploaded the same batch of
hlgh-quallty 8-megaplxel test photos to each, and ordered
both 6 x 4ln standard glossy prlnts and a l0 x 7ln (l0 x 8ln
lf avallable) gloss enlargement.
BONUSPRlNT.COM 8onusprlnt's front page boasts prlnts
from5p, although unless you're serlously prollc wlth your
photos lt lsn't that cheap: the 5p gure applles to orders of
only 200 or more 6 x 4ln prlnts. Por small batches of up
to 99 prlnts, lt's l0p, whlch ls the same as Photo8ox and
a penny more than Snapsh. The upload process ls falrly
lntultlve, wlth a browser-based upload wlndowthat allows
you to sort through your wlndows folders and plck your
shots. There are other, lower-tech ways to upload your
lmages, but these lnvolve plcklngeachshot by hand, whlch
lsn't much help lf you want to upload l00 shots.
8onusprlnt ls a good cholce lf you don't usually process
shots yourself ln software before uploadlng, slnce the
plctures came back wlth qulte a lot of extra sharpenlng
applled to glve thema crlsper look (see sldebar, opposlte).
Thls lsn't a good thlng lf you llke complete control over
your lmages, but lt saves tlme. The downslde to the quallty
ls overly hlgh contrast, glvlng a nat, blown-out look.
KODAKGALLERY.COM The default cholce for uploadlng
shots to Kodak Gallery ls the baslc le upload faclllty that's
a standard part of HTML. Thls ls fuss-free and works wlth
any browser, but lt's slowlf you have more than a fewshots
to upload, slnce you need to do lt on a le-by-le basls.
The alternatlve ls to download a standalone utlllty, we
prefer the 1ava-applet method of Photo8ox or 8onusprlnt.
Prlces for 6 x 4ln prlnts are par for the course for small
orders, although you can get lt down to 5p a prlnt lf you're
prepared to order more than 500.
Prlnt quallty wlth both 6 x 4ln and l0 x 8ln prlnts was
very hlgh, wlth colours properly balanced and detall well
rendered. Some sharpenlng and an lncrease ln contrast
appeared to have been applled, but lt was far more
restralned than the 8onusprlnt lmages. |f you don't want
your shots sub[ect to extra processlng Photo8ox stlll wlns
out, but the conslstent quallty and lack of borders on prlnts
mean Kodak Gallery wlll sult many people.
6 x 4ln
199, 10p,
100199, 7p
199, 10p,
100249, 9p
9p regardIess
of order size
1199, 10p,
200349, 8p
10 x 7ln/10 x 8ln
1.20 1.19 99p 1.22

ll you've been used to editing and viewing your shots onscreen only, or even il you're
quite experienced in printing with an inkjet at home, there are some points to bear in
mind when sending pictures to a webbased service. The technology used by their
highvolume industrial printers is lundamentally dillerent lrom that employed in an inkjet.
Big printing operations tend to use laserbased continuoustone printers, and the hrst
set ol images you get back might lack punch and vibrancy compared to a highend
inkjet. This is down to two main lactors. First, the colour gamut - the total range ol hues
the printer can produce - is dillerent. Second, the level ol apparent sharpness is lower.
The dotbased nature ol an inkjet means the eye perceives more delineation in edges
than it does when viewing the continuous, dotless variation in a laserbased highvolume
industrial photo printer. So, to get results that look as pinsharp as those lrom an inkjet,
you need to apply more sharpening than you might think.
SETTlNG CONTRAST You may hnd your shots beneht lrom a curves adjustment layer
with a little more contrast than you'd ordinarily use with an inkjet. Simply bring up a
curves dialog box in your image editor and apply a mild Scurve to the image (see the
walkthrough on p11?). Alternatively, il you're using a more basic pointandclick photo
package or just want to print straight lrom your camera, try selecting a contrast setting
or preset that's one step past what you think looks correct onscreen.
COLOUR COMPENSATlON Next, apply a little extra colour saturation, particularly in the
greens, which highvolume printers tend to leave looking a little muted (see p155). No
amount ol increased saturation will allow a printer to reproduce colours that aren't in its
gamut: sometimes, you may just have to live with an image that doesn't look as vibrant
as it did onscreen.
SETTlNG SHARPNESS To get the same perceived sharpness as an inkjet print, you need to
oversharpen your shots by using the nsharp Mask tool (see the walkthrough on p118).
Try a pixel threshold ol between 1 and 2, and tweak the sharpening amount to the point
at which you can dehnitely start to see white halo artelacts onscreen. ll you want to get
things just right and really obtain a leel lor the online printer ol your choice, try being
systematic and uploading several versions ol the same image, with the contrast, colour
and sharpness settings incrementally increased lor each version. Give them meaninglul
hlenames that will allow you to distinguish which is which when you get them back - the
names will be on the back ol the prints. The lree 6 x 4in prints that online services give
you when you hrst sign up are perlect lor a calibration run like this.
PHOTOBOX.COM Photo8ox has galned a reputatlon for
speedy dlspatch of orders, and we weren't dlsappolnted
when we trled the servlce. An order-despatch emall arrlved
four hours after placlng our order, and the prlnts were
the only ones out of all the servlces on test to arrlve the
followlng day. As far as processlng ls concerned, there was
no extra sharpenlng added, so you mlght lnltlally nd your
shots look a llttle less punchy and sharp than you'd hoped:
lf that's the case, followour tlps to brlng up the level of
lmpact (see Optlmlslng your shots for prlntlng, rlght).
To help you achleve the best results, Photo8ox sends a
callbratlon prlnt wlth your rst order. ou then download
the same lmage fromthe company's webslte and ad[ust
your monltor to get the best match between the prlnt and
what you see onscreen. ou can use lt ln comblnatlon wlth
monltor callbratlon to get the closest match posslble (see
p88). Along wlth Snapsh, Photo8ox uses Pu[l Crystal
Archlve paper and, ln terms of quallty, the 6 x 4ln prlnts
had the deepest blacks and most accurate colour gamut -
the greens ln our deer shot really stood out. The l0 x 7ln
enlargement wasn't as lmpresslve, wlth colours looklng
more lacklustre, but lt was stlll clean and detalled.
SNAPFlSH.COM |nltlally uploadlng shots to Snapsh lsn't
stralghtforward, as you need to lnstall an ActlveX control,
but once that's done the process ls palnless. Costs are good
for 6 x 4ln prlnts, startlng at 9p for up to 249 lmages. |t's
posslble to pay even less for larger batches, but only lf you
pay for themupfront. Lnlargements are good value at 99p
for a l0 x 8ln enlargement.
Plrst lmpresslons of the prlnts were excellent, wlth great
vlbrant colours. However, on closer lnspectlon our hlgh-
quallty orlglnal 1PLGs were clearly recompressed, leadlng
to obvlous compresslon artefacts that dldn't anect the
6 x 4ln prlnts, but rulned the l0 x 7ln enlargement - the
subtle detall of our nower was lost ln compresslon blocks.
|t's a shame, slnce the colour balance and gamut for the
enlargements are the best we've seen.
Prlntlngat home
There's llttle wrong wlth vlewlng your photos on a
computer screen, but nothlng beats a set of prlnts
that you can share wlth frlends and famlly. There are
many optlons for turnlng your dlgltal les lnto hard
coples, but theconvenlenceandlmmedlacy
of prlntlng photos at home ls unlque.
Modern lnk[et prlnters can produce
photos that are lndlstlngulshable from
tradltlonal chemlcal lm prlnts from your local
chemlst. Colours are true to llfe and, unllke older
lnk[et prlnters of a few years back, lt's now almost
lmposslble to see the tlny dots that make up the lmage -
there's no hlnt of graln. Plus, dependlng on how you
store or dlsplay them, they can last for more than l00
years wlthout a hlnt of fadlng.
Colour laser prlnters are now almost as anordable as
lnk[ets, wlth some costlng less than l50. They'll prlnt
photos at a push, but don't be tempted to opt for a laser
because of thelr superlor prlnt speeds: even the best
models can't produce a photo that looks half as good as
one prlnted on a 30 lnk[et.
CHOOSlNG THE RlGHT PAPER Always bear ln mlnd that you'll
need to use photo paper ln an lnk[et prlnter to get the best
results, andlt lsn't necessarlly cheap. Althoughyoucan prlnt
photos onplalnomceor photocopler paper, they won't look
or feel llke a proper photo, they'll tear easlly and wlll fade
qulckly, overall, lt's a false economy. Slnce photo paper ls
expenslve, try to buy ln bulk to keep down costs.
whlle lt sounds llke a marketlng trlck, each
- they're chemlcally matched. |t means you'll get the best
results ln terms of quallty and fade reslstance lf you stlck
to the recommended paper and lnk.
Often manufacturers oner several cholces of paper, and
whether you choose a matte or glossy nlsh the results wlll
be good on both. ou can also try panoramlc photo paper,
greetlngs cards, lron-on transfers, stlcker sheets and even
canvas. As long as your prlnter can handle the thlckness
of the medla, lt should be able to prlnt your photos on lt.
Paper and card are measured by welght ln gsm (grams per
square metre), and your prlnter manual should tell you the
maxlmum welght lt can accept.
There are thin
white Iines across
my photos. How
can I hx this?
Thoso ||nos uro usuu||y
cuusoo by b|oc|oo
nozz|os |n lho pr|nl houo.
ln lho pr|nlor or|vor
(uccoss|b|o rom lho Pr|nl
o|u|og o uny upp||cul|on
lhul cun pr|nl), huvo u
|oo| or u Mu|nlonunco
lub. l lhoro's un opl|on
lo pr|nl u nozz|o choc|,
lry lh|s rsl uno soo |
lhoro uro uny gups |n
lho pullorn lhul |no|culo
b|oc|oo nozz|os. Thoro's
usuu||y un opl|on lo
c|oun lho pr|nl houos
by ush|ng |n| lhrough
lo c|our uny b|oc|ugos,
lry lh|s uno ropr|nl lho
nozz|o losl - or pr|nl u
pholo - lo soo | lho
prob|om |s uny bollor.
Pomombor, c|oun|ng usos
up |n|, so on|y oo |l | you
huvo v|s|b|o pr|nlquu||ly
Modern lnk[ets can produce stunnlng prlnts ln |ess than a
mlnute - whlch beats waltlng a day for on|lne photo servlces.
Ink lsn't cheap. You
can preserve lt by
runnlng wastefu|
c|eanlng routlnes on|y
when necessary.
CHOOSlNG A PRlNTER our rst conslderatlon should be to
decldewhether youwant tobeabletoprlnt documents as well
as photos. |f you do, an A4 lnk[et ls llkely to be the best optlon,
but there are several anordable A3 models lf you want to have
the optlon to prlnt larger photos. |f you only want to prlnt
6 x 4ln or 7 x 5ln photos, there are plenty of dedlcated photo
prlnters to choose from. As far as the quallty ls concerned,
lf you stlck to one of the top brands - notably Canon, HP
and Lpson - you'll get excellent results regardless of whlch
model you choose.
|f you want an A4 prlnter, there's another declslon to make:
standalone or all-ln-one. A standalone prlnter ls slmply a
prlnter, whlle an all-ln-one has a scanner and sometlmes a
fax machlne bullt ln. The latter optlon ls the best cholce lf
you don't already own a scanner, slnce havlng the two devlces
comblnedlntooneobvlouslysaves space, uses onlyonepower
socket and means you can photocopy photos and documents
qulckly and easlly. |n fact, most photo all-ln-ones can produce
borderless coples - photos prlnted rlght to the edge of the
paper wlth no whlte border at all - or enlargements wlthout
even needlng a computer. ou can slmply place the orlglnal
on the scanner, use the buttons and screen to select the rlght
optlons and [ust walt for the photo to appear.
|t's worth chooslng a prlnter wlth a colour screen and a
memory card reader, lt lets you prlnt photos dlrectly fromyour
camera's memory card, although lf you have tlme you should
always process themln software rst to get the most vlbrant
results (see Chapter 8). A frlnge benet ls the fact memory
card readers usually automatlcally appear as a removable dlsk
drlve lnwlndows, ln the way that a US8 nash drlve does, so
you can lnsert your memory card lnto the prlnter and copy
the photos to your hard dlsk wlthout needlng to connect your
camera to your PC.
|f you'll be prlntlng a mlxture of photos and documents,
look for a prlnter wlth a separate 6 x 4ln photo paper tray.
Thls way, you won't have to remove the plaln A4 paper
when you want to prlnt a 6 x 4ln photo. Some prlnters have
a separate 7 x 5ln photo tray that oners the nexlblllty of uslng
6 x 4ln or 7 x 5ln photo paper.
The downside ol printing at home is that it tends to be more expensive. The only way
to completely control the cost ol home printing is to use a dedicated 6 x 4in or ? x 5in
printer; the photo paper and ink lor these models is always available as a bundle,
including enough ink to print on every sheet. ll you buy the largest pack available
(usually between 100 and 150 sheets), the cost per photo can be as little as 1015p.
That still isn't quite as attractive as the 1015p you can achieve with online services,
but it isn't lar oll and, unless you're making online orders ol more than 50 prints, it's
about equal.
For allinones or standalone inkjets, the ink and paper have to be bought separately.
Again, buying in bulk will keep the price down, so look lor cartridge value packs and
large packs ol paper (whether A4 or 6 x 4in). ll you get carried away and print a lot ol
lullsized A4 enlargements, it can become expensive: including the cost ol both ink and
paper, you can expect the cost to work out at around 1 per page. But, again, that isn't
too lar oll the cost ol online services, whose charges also increase rapidly il the size
goes above ? x 5in.
CARTRlDGE TYPES There are essentially two types ol ink cartridge: those with integrated
print heads and those without. Printers that take the lormer have the advantage that,
even il lots ol nozzles become clogged up, replacing the cartridge will hx the problem
since it will have a lresh print head. But such cartridges usually combine three ink
colours - cyan, magenta and yellow. ll you don't use these up in equal amounts, you'll
have to throw away unused ink when the hrst colour runs out.
Printers that take individual ink tanks that don't have builtin print heads have the
opposite advantages and disadvantages. You could end up using a lot ol ink to clean
blocked nozzles (see FAO opposite), but you can replace individual colours as and
when they run out, which can make these cheaper to run overall.
lnlogruloo momory curo
rouoors mu|o |l poss|b|o lo
pr|nl o|rocl rom lho cumoru's
curo w|lhoul u PC ulluchoo.
An |nlogruloo co|our mon|lor |s
u common uno usou| uoo|l|on lo
bollorquu||ly |n|jols lhoso ouys.
Manufacturers' lnks and papers are usua||y the best guarantee of fade
free resu|ts, but there are p|enty of thlrdparty offerlngs.
wlndows XP's bullt-ln Photo Prlntlng wlzard ls the slmplest way to prlnt
photos, and oners plenty of dlnerent slzes and layouts, fromfull A4
lmages rlght down to wallet-slzed prlnts.
CHOOSE PHOTOS To print one or more images
using the Photo Printing wizard, navigate to the
lolder where your images are stored (usually
the My Pictures lolder within My Documents). Pightclick
on an image you want to print and then click on the Print
option in the menu that appears to launch the wizard.
Alternatively, instead ol rightclicking on a single
image in your chosen lolder, you can preselect the
images you want to print hrst. Pressing <CtrlA> selects
all the photos in a lolder, but il you just want to print
a lew hold down the Ctrl key and click on the images
individually. You can also hold the Ctrl key and click on
individual hles alter using the <CtrlA> combination to
print all bar a lew photos in a lolder.
REFl NE YOUR SELECTl ON Clicking the Next
button on the welcome screen will take you
to the Picture Selection screen. Thumbnails
ol the images you chose in step 1 will be shown, and
you're given the option ol checking or unchecking them
depending on the method you used to launch the wizard.
Here, the Select All or Clear All buttons are uselul. ll you
preselected images, note that you can't add any photos
at this stage, so simply click the Next button again.
PRl NTl NG OPTl ONS From the dropdown menu
that appears, choose the printer you want to
use. There's also a button here to install a
printer il you haven't already done so. Below this is a
Printing Prelerences button that we recommend you
click to check that the settings are all correct, since
only the selected paper type is shown on this screen.
Sl ZE AND QUALlTY Although your printer
options may vary lrom the images shown
here, the basic principles will be the same.
Make sure to check that every option is set correctly;
otherwise, you could end up wasting expensive photo
paper. Paper size, source, type and print quality are
all important. Pay particular attention to choosing the
correct paper type, since the wrong setting can lead
to a drastic reduction in quality.
ll you're not using the manulacturer's own brand ol
paper, choose the most appropriate option and do
some test prints using small images belore printing a
lullsized A4 photo; otherwise, you'll needlessly use up
paper and ink. Also watch out lor printer drivers that
automatically change settings when you choose certain
options. For example, selecting a particular type ol
Prolly ousy, bul
you m|ghl wunl lo
oxpor|monl u ||ll|o
w|lh o|oronl pupors
uno |n|s booro you'ro
comp|olo|y sul|soo.
W|noows XP uno
un |n|jol pr|nlor.
ln v|slu uno W|noows 7,
pr|nl|ng pholos |s muoo
ovon s|mp|or - v|rluu||y
u|| you nooo lo oo |s
so|ocl lho pupor lypo
(soo p187).
1 3

paper - glossy photo paper, say - might change the print

quality setting to best. ll this isn't what you intended, just
change it back.
ADDlTl ONAL OPTl ONS Many modern printers
oller photo enhancements that can remove red
eye, correct colour, improve apparent locus or
sharpness and even smooth lowresolution images that
may have been downloaded lrom the internet. As with
the paper type settings, perlorm some test prints with
delault and modihed settings to hnd the optimum lor
the images you're printing. ll you've chosen a mixture ol
highresolution and lowresolution images, lor example,
it may be better to print them in two sets: the high
resolution photos without any enhancements, and the
lowresolution set with smoothing turned on.
BLACK AND WHlTE lt's best to do it yoursell
in soltware (see p133), but you can easily
print a colour photo in black and white using
your printer driver settings. Depending on the particular
printer, there may be one or two options. ln this example,
there's a highquality mode that blends all the colours to
lorm dillerent shades ol grey, or a blackonly mode that
uses only black ink.
SAVE SETTl NGS When you're happy with your
settings, it may be possible to save them as
a prohle. This way, you can quickly load the
prohle each time you want to print a photo, without
having to alter every setting again. sually, you can
create any number ol prohles, so il you regularly print
dillerent types ol photos - black and white or colour, lor
example - you'll save yoursell some time. Many printers,
such as the HP Photosmart 8250, have a list ol preset
prohles, one ol which might be suitable as it is, or could
be a good starting point lrom which to create your own.
SELECT A LAYOUT Alter selecting the printing
prelerences, click OK in the dialog box and
then click Next to go to the Layout Selection
screen. Here you're presented with a list ol nine options,
all ol which are relevant to the paper size you've already
selected. So, il you've selected borderless printing on 10
x 15cm paper and want each photo on a separate sheet,
you should choose the second option: lullpage photo
print. Alternatively, il you're using A4 paper, you can opt
lor a contact sheet ol 35 thumbnails, a single 20 x 25cm
photo, two 13 x 18cm prints, three 10 x 15cm images
(or two on one page), lour 9 x 13cm photos or nine
walletsized ones. Beneath the list is a box where you
can choose how many copies ol each photo you want,
while clicking on the dillerent layout styles will bring up
a print preview ol how it will look in the window on the
right. Clicking the Next button will send the images to
your printer, and all you have to do is sit back and wait
lor your pictures to emerge.
ll you haven't printed many shots using an inkjet
belore, you may hnd your ink levels drop at what seems
a terrilying rate. This does depend a great deal on
the subject you're printing, however. The worst shots
in terms ol cost per page are ones that have a black
background (lor instance, night shots, such as our tralhc
trails on p54). The reason is obvious: paper is white,
so the printer has to cover the entire surlace in ink.
Whatever the subject matter, it (literally) pays not to print
your shots until you're pretty sure you're happy with the
hnal result onscreen - pixels are lree!

You cun u|so uso lho

Pholo Pr|nl|ng w|zuro
lo pr|nl pholos o|rocl|y
rom u o|g|lu| cumoru
or scunnor.

PREPARE YOUR l MAGE Belore you even open
the Print dialog, you should make sure your
image is suitable lor printing. lmages lrom a
camera with a low megapixel rating could end up looking
blocky when you print them out over a certsain size. To
hnd out how large you can print a particular photo, right
click an image and then click Properties. This will display
a dialog showing the pixel dimensions ol the current
photo. First click the blue "i" button, then Complete. As
long as the number next to the Pesolution held is 240 or
higher (the case lor almost all digital cameras), you'll be
hne. Most inkjets need around 240 pixels per inch (also
known as dots per inch or DPl) to create a smooth
looking image.
Another way to work out the maximum size at
which you can print any given image is to use maths.
Take the horizontal number ol pixels in your image -
3,8?2 lor a Nikon D60, lor instance - and divide it by
your desired DPl, which is 240. The result is a little
over 16 - this is the maximum width in inches ol your
hnal print. The other side ol the image has 2,592 pixels,
which you divide by 240, giving 10.8. So, on a printer
at 240dpi, the largest common size photo you can print
at is 15 x 10in.
ASPECT RATl O ll you crop your photos, it's
important to keep things in perspective to stop
your shots looking squashed or not taking up a
lull page. Normal photos have an aspect ratio ol 3:2 - so
lor every three centimetres they go one way, they go two
the other. To set this, select the Crop tool, and select
Fixed Aspect Patio under Mode. Then enter 3 and 2 lor a
landscape picture, or 2 and 3 lor a portrait one.
l MAGE Sl ZE Once you're satished your image
is big enough to print properly, head to the Print
Centre. Click on the green Share button in the
topright ol any Elements window, then select Print. lt's
possible to select several images at once and print them
as a batch with the same settings lrom the Organize
panel. nder Media Type is a list ol dillerent types ol
paper - il you see one that exactly matches the brand ol
paper you have, select that, and bear in mind that most
inkjet manulacturers recommend you use only their paper
lor best results. The next task is to pick your paper size -
remember that paper size and the size ol your image are
not the same here. Paper size is merely the size ol the
physical sheet you're leeding into the printer: the image
can take up all ol the page, or less il you want to squeeze
S|nco |n|jol pr|nlors
uso ||qu|o |n|, you huvo
lo romombor lhul ovon
lho vory bosl huvo
ory|ng l|mos. Thoso
uron'l normu||y moro
lhun u m|nulo ouch,
bul you cou|o no lhul
your pholo smuogos
or smours | you grub |l
lho socono |l's oroppoo
by lho pr|nlor - un
oxpons|vo m|slu|o.
Photoshop Llements makes organlslng, edltlng and prlntlng your photos
stralghtforward, but there are a few thlngs to bear ln mlnd before [umplng ln.

a lew images on to the same sheet. Pemember to make

sure that your exact printer is selected in the Select
Printer box: the options available change depending on
the capabilities ol dillerent printers. Finally, Elements'
delault setting is to print photos with borders around
the edge. These tend to look better on a wall, but worse
in a photo album - pay attention to this option since
there's little worse than printing 50 shots and hnding
you've got it wrong.
ADD PHOTOS The Print screen starts with
pictures you had selected in the Organize view.
To add more, click the green Add button at
the bottom lelt ol the Print Photos screen, and you can
choose a place lrom which to add photos. You can select
photos in specihc albums, or even those with specihc
tags. To select a range ol photos, click the hrst image
then hold down Shilt and click on the last one.
TYPE OF PRl NT By delault, Elements wants
to print each picture on its own sheet ol
paper, but il you want smaller images, you can
select Picture Package lrom the dropdown box, and
then choose a layout lrom the dialog box underneath.
Elements allows you to print up to 25 photos on the
same sheet, but annoyingly, you can't choose your own
layout. There's some hexibility, though - you can print
one large picture, and then a random assortment ol other
pictures at various sizes that are uselul lor popping into a
wallet. Alternatively, you can select Contact Sheet, which
prints a sheet ol thumbnails. This is handy il you have
a number ol similar shots that you want to see printed
belore deciding on a hnal image lor printing at a large
size. You can print up to 90 thumbnails on a single sheet,
but lor the sake ol intelligibility we'd recommend you
stick to around a dozen per page.
PRlNTER OPTlONS Click on the white icon next to
the name ol your printer and your printer driver
will load. Here we're using a Canon printer,
and there are plenty ol ellects and details to experiment
with behind the scenes. Ol potential interest are options
such as Poster Printing, which prints a certain amount ol
a photo - a quarter, lor instance - on a single sheet ol
paper, allowing you to assemble a giant hnal photo lrom
the result. And il your printer has more than one paper
tray you can olten nominate which one you want to use,
which is uselul il you keep your photo paper in one tray
and your plain A4 in another.
DO MORE You're not limited to Elements'
standard photo layouts. Click the pink Create
button and select a handlul ol photos, then
choose Photo Collage. lrom the righthand side. nder
Choose a Layout you can select a scattergun approach
to your masterpiece, with up to 22 images on the same
piece ol paper. Depending on the images you choose,
you can achieve striking results - and you can drag your
images around to perlect your montage belore printing it.
ln addition, under More Options in the Create menu, you
can generate CD jackets and DvD labels.
PRl NT Once you're happy that your chosen
options are going to produce a decentlooking
image, hit Print. You can expect to wait a while
lor the results - most photo printers take at least 30
seconds to produce a topquality 6 x 4in glossy print, so
this is a good time to put the kettle on.

ll's |mporlunl lo
romombor lhul mon|lors
o|sp|uy |mugos us|ng
||ghl, bul pr|nlors croulo
pholos us|ng |n|s or
oyos. ll mouns lhul
ovon un oxpons|vo
oos|lop |n|jol pr|nlor
cun'l roproouco u|| lho
co|ours your mon|lor
cun. l you wunl lo gol
us uccurulo co|our
roprooucl|on us
poss|b|o, you'|| nooo lo
cu||brulo your mon|lor
uno pr|nlor. For moro,
soo p88 uno p188.

Por users of wlndows vlsta and wlndows 7, the vlewlng
and prlntlng controls are a llttle more frlendly than XP's.
They're based around the Photo Gallery, whlch ls a
great-looklng appllcatlon for baslc vlewlng and organlslng
of 1PLG photos. wlndows 7 users need to download the
appllcatlon from the wlndows Llve lnstaller, but lt's easy:
[ust type'Photo Gallery' lnto the Start search box and
cllck the download llnk that appears. The lmage below ls
vlsta Photo Gallery, the wlndows 7 verslon looks sllghtly
dlnerent but lt's functlonally almost ldentlcal.
EASlLY ORGANlSED vlsta and wlndows 7's metadata tags
are lntegrated lnto Photo Gallery, maklng lt slmpllclty ltself
to vlewonly the shots taken ln a partlcular month or wlth a
custom tag you've dened, such as "klds" or "hollday". All
you need to do to lter the current vlew ls cllck on a date,
tag or star ratlng. ou can lter by more than one category
or tag, too: lf you want to see [ust the hollday snaps you
took ln 1uly, cllck on your "hollday" tag, slmply hold down
the Ctrl key and cllck on"1uly".
Photo Gallery lntegrates wlth the wlndows DvD
Maker appllcatlon as well. 1ust select the plctures you
want, hlt the 8urn button and select vldeo DvD to make
a DvD slldeshow you can vlew on a domestlc DvD player.
SLlDESHOWS AND THEMES At last, wlndows has a decent
bullt-ln way to show on your photos. Hlt the blg button ln
the mlddle of the control bar at the bottom of the screen
(or the Slldeshow button at the top ln wlndows 7) to start
the show. The slldeshow uses all the lmages ln the current
vlew, so you may rst need to lter the vlew - for lnstance,
by expandlng the Tags lter and cllcklng on a sub[ect.
Alternatlvely, lf you [ust want to show a few shots from
the current vlew, you can select a group ln the usual way:
cllck on the rst ltem, then hold Shlft and cllck on the last,
or <Ctrl-cllck> to select any number of lndlvldual lmages.
Once your slldeshow has started, you can select a theme.
The default optlon slmply dlsplays photos one after the
other, but cllck on the Themes pop-up llst at the bottom
left of the sllde showand you can make thlngs a blt [azzler.
Our favourlte ls Collage, whlch arranges several shots
together at [aunty angles ln scrapbook style.
Thls ls certalnly no Photoshop, though. The lmage-
manlpulatlon tools ln Photo Gallery are very baslc and
largely automatlc, wlth no advanced manual modes.
8ut for snaps of famlly and frlends you're not too fussed
about processlng that you want to keep track of and mlght
occaslonally llke to show on, Photo Gallery ls a falrly
useful tool.
l you'vo ormoo un
unnuluru| ulluchmonl
lo lho c|uss|c W|noows
Pu|nl upp||cul|on -
wh|ch hus boon urouno
s|nco lho ouys o
W|noows 3.1 |n lho
199Cs - oon'l worry,
|l's sl||| lhoro. ll's |n lho
sumo p|uco |l's u|wuys
boon, unoor Progrums,
Accossor|os, Pu|nl. Or
jusl lypo 'Pu|nl' |n lho
lnslunl Sourch box uno
|l'|| mug|cu||y uppour.
Adding tags lo ono or
moro pholos jusl lu|os u
coup|o o c||c|s.
Tho magniher s||oor
smoolh|y scu|os lho
pholo lhumbnu||s.
C||c| horo lo slurl u
sIideshow o lho
so|ocloo pholos.
Tho Burn ouluro u||ows
you lo burn u buc|up
o|sc or u s||ooshow
DvDv|ooo o your
C||c| u tag lo show u||
pholos lo wh|ch you'vo
upp||oo lhul lug.
H|l lho Fix bullon lo
rolouch uno onhunco u
pholo us|ng bus|c loo|s.
|t's not the ldeal way for the best quallty, but for qulck and convenlent results,
wlndows Photo Gallery ls a perfectly good method to prlnt your shots.
2 1
4 S
You can access the prlntlng optlons from wlthln Wlndows
Photo Ga||ery ltse|f, so slmp|y doub|ec|lck on the plcture
(lf lt's a 1PEG) and Photo Ga||ery shou|d open lt by
defau|t. If some other app|lcatlon opens, c|ose lt,
rlghtc|lck on the |e ltse|f, and choose Open Wlth |
Wlndows Photo Ga||ery.
To prlnt your photo on your |oca| prlnter, c|lck the Prlnt
lcon and choose Prlnt." agaln. Thls wl|| start the
photoprlntlng wlzard, a slmp|e and pretty comprehenslve
|ltt|e gadget for gettlng your photos on paper.
Make sure you've se|ected the correct prlnter from the
dropdown |lst at the top rlght of the wlndow. Wlndows
wl|| communlcate wlth the prlnter for a second or two,
then you can choose re|evant optlons such as paper slze.
C|lck on the sma|| Optlons. |lnk ln the bottom rlght of
the wlndow and you'|| see a wlndow wlth two check
boxes. You mlght want to uncheck Sharpen for prlntlng"
lf you've a|ready taken that lnto account when app|ylng
sharpenlng as part of your workow.
A|| you need to do now ls make sure you have the correct
paper type se|ected, and choose whether you want
fu||page prlnts or severa| plctures on the page.
Unchecklng the Flt plcture to frame" box wl|| ensure
that the lmage lsn't cropped.
Wlndows a|so has the abl|lty to send your photos to an
on|lne prlnter rather than your lnk[et. C|lck the Prlnt lcon
and then se|ect Order Prlnts. A dla|og box wl|| appear that
wl|| popu|ate wlth on|lne servlces re|evant to your area.
Eusy, bul mu|o
suro you'vo gol lho
corrocl pupor |ouooo
booro you pr|nl
lo uvo|o oxpons|vo
co|our orrors.
Jusl u ow m|nulos
w||| huvo you u p||o o
ullrucl|vo pr|nlouls.
Pegardless of how much money you've spent on a dlgltal
camera, monltor and prlnter, you won't get accurate
colours ln your prlnted photos lf you don't callbrate your
hardware. And there's no polnt ln callbratlng your prlnter
wlthout rst callbratlng your monltor, slnce lt's your
worklng reference, you can't match prlnted colours
to your monltor lf lt lsn't dlsplaylng accurate colours
ln the rst place. See p88 for a gulde on how to
callbrate your monltor.
ALlGN THE PRlNTHEADS There are several aspects of
prlnter callbratlon, and the rst place to start ls to allgn
the prlntheads. Many lnk[et prlnters do thls automatlcally
when you lnstall new cartrldges, but not all have thls
feature. |nk[et prlnters work by rlng mlnuscule dots of
lnk out of a prlnthead onto the paper. Although there may
be only three (or posslbly ve or slx) lnk colours, the prlnter
can re a dlnerent number of dots from each colour to
reproduce mllllons of shades. 8ut, lf the prlntheads
aren't allgned, edges of ob[ects could look fuzzy, as the
dlnerent colored lnk dots aren't lald down ln preclsely the
rlght place.
ou'll nd the tool to allgn the prlntheads ln your
prlnter drlver. The slmplest way to get to thls lnwlndows
XP ls to cllck Start, then Prlnters and Paxes. Plght-cllck on
your prlnter and choose Propertles. Look for a tab called
Devlce Settlngs and you'll nd all your prlnter's settlngs.
There'll usually be a malntenance or toolbox sectlon where
you'll nd an optlon to allgn the prlntheads. Most prlnters
wlll then prlnt a page comprlslng sets of patterns ln both
colour and black. |nstructlons onscreen wlll ask you to
choose a pattern from each set, usually the one where the
marklngs llne up the closest. Lnterlng thls lnformatlon tells
the prlnter how to ad[ust ltself, so lt can place the tlny dots
of lnk from each colour ln the same place.
As the tlny nozzles ln the prlnthead can easlly become
clogged wlth dust or drled lnk, lt's worth gettlng lnto the
hablt of prlntlng a test photo at least once a fortnlght to
prevent blocked nozzles. ou'll know that nozzles are
blocked when you see ne whlte llnes across your prlnts,
a phenomenon known as bandlng.
WHY COLOURS DON'T MATCH |f you nd that colours ln
your prlntedphotos don't look llketheorlglnal scene-skles
that look more purple than blue, for example - lt's posslble
to tweak them to be more falthful. There are varlous ways
of dolng thls and, unfortunately, none of them ls qulck
or automatlc.
One of the reasons why a prlnter's colours don't match a
monltor's ls becausemonltors producecolours lnadlnerent
way to a prlnter. A monltor adds red, green and blue llght
together to produce all lts colours (wlth no llght produclng
Callbratlngyour prlnter
.wh||o somo u|||nonos
s|mp|y roqu|ro you lo
pop lho sheet on
the scanner.
Choc| wholhor u
co|our pro|o |s
|nslu||oo by |oo||ng |n
Prlnter Propertles.
Somo pr|nlors uso un
a|lgnment sheet whoro
you huvo lo chooso lho
boslu||gnoo pullorn
rom ouch co|umn.
A||ow pr|nls l|mo lo ory.
Evon lhough lhoy muy
oo| ory |mmoo|ulo|y,
|ouvo lhom or ul |ousl
24 hours booro rum|ng
lhom or pull|ng lhom |n
un u|bum lo provonl lho
|n| smour|ng.
l you wunl lho bosl
pr|nl quu||ly, uso your
pr|nlor munuucluror's
own |n|. Don'l lry
lo suvo monoy by
us|ng rourb|shoo |n|
curlr|ogos or by ro|||ng
your own, us rosu|ls
w||| u|mosl u|wuys bo
|nor|or. You gol whul
you puy or.
l you oon'l wunl lo oopono
on wholhor u pholo |oo|s
r|ghl whon cu||brul|ng,
you cun lry pr|nl|ng u
|nslouo lo
gol u moro ormu| |oou o
how lho co|ours uro bo|ng
roprooucoo. You cun lry u
pullorn such us lh|s or gol
u spoc|c phologruph|c losl
pullorn. l you'ro choo|y you
cun oo u smu|| oroor rom|, wh|ch
w||| sono you u cu||brul|on
pr|nl w|lh your rsl oroor. You
cun lhon pr|nl lho |o uno
compuro lho rosu|ls w|lh lho
oc|u| losl pr|nl.
black), whlle a prlnter mlxes cyan, magenta, yellowand
black lnks to achleve the same, except that no lnk on the
page produces whlte. Generally speaklng, monltors can
producemoresaturatedcoloursthanprlnters, andmonltors
also have hlgher contrast, meanlng there are colours that
can be dlsplayed on a screen that can't be reproduced by
a prlnter, regardless of callbratlon.
|t's also lmportant to bear ln mlnd that the paper you
choose to prlnt on wlll anect the colours you see. Not all
whltepaper ls thesame: somepaper ls yellower thanothers,
whlle some ls more renectlve and therefore brlghter than
others. Paper ls a key factor ln the resultlng colours, so
make sure you callbrate your prlnter uslng the same paper
on whlch you'll prlnt photos.
HOW TO CALlBRATE 8efore startlng the callbratlon, make
sure you've lnstalled the correct prlnter drlver for your
prlnter. Uslng a standardwlndows drlver for your prlnter
wlll almost certalnly mean you're mlsslng out on many of
the advanced controls (lncludlng colour settlngs), but lt
could also mean lt lsn't uslng the rlght colour prole.
Manufacturers usually provlde colour proles that add
another layer of colour processlnglnbetweenyour lmaglng
software and the prlnter drlver ltself. ou can check lf a
prole ls lnstalled by cllcklng on the Color Management
tab ln Prlnter Propertles. Sometlmes there may be more
than one prole lnstalled, so you can try each one ln turn
to see howthey anect prlnted colours.
The next step ls to use any colour ad[ustments ln the
prlnter drlver. Promthe Prlnter Propertles dlalog, cllck
on the General tab and then Prlntlng Preferences.
The prlnter drlver wlll then launch and you should look
for a Color tab, although lt may be called Advanced or
somethlng slmllar.
Ad[ustlng these settlngs ls an lteratlve process. Only
ad[ust one sllder at a tlme, uslng small lncrements, prlnt
a test lmage and then note down the settlngs used on
the back. Compare the prlnted colours to those on your
callbrated screen, lf the change doesn't lmprove thlngs,
reset the sllder and try a dlnerent one. Pather than prlntlng
a photo as a test lmage, elther prlnt a test pattern froman
appllcatlon such as DlsplayMate (
or create your own ln an lmage-edltlng program.
|deally, the test pattern should have blocks of solld
colour, so you can see the enects your changes are
havlng, most photos are too complex to compare vlsually.
Pemember that you may never be able to match the
colours exactly, but uslng the controls ln the prlnter drlver
wlll certalnly go a long way to prlntlng better photos.
Adjusting coIour settings
munuu||y cun bo u l|mo
consum|ng prucl|co, uno you
muy no yourso| wunoor|ng
o |nlo u co|our cu|oo
suc, unub|o lo homo |n on
lho r|ghl comb|nul|on o
uojuslmonls. Koop ul |l uno
you'|| gol lhoro |n lho ono.

The variablediameter opening in
the centre ol a lens, analogous to
the pupil in a human eye, which can
increase or decrease in size to vary
the amount ol light hitting the digital
sensor. See p22.

A method ol arranging the red,
green and bluesensitive photo
sites on a digital image sensor.
A Beyerpattern sensor - which
the majority ol cameras use - has
a greater number ol green sensors,
since human vision is more sensitive
to green than red or blue.
See clipping.

Blurring ol a photo caused by the
movement ol the camera; olten
a problem when the camera is
handheld with shutter speeds ol less
than 1/60th second or so. The ellect
is exacerbated with telephoto lenses.
Chargecoupled device, the
technology used in many digital
camera image sensors.
When too much light lalls on parts ol
a digital camera's image sensor, the
photosite corresponding to pixels
in that region will hit the maximum
value they're able to record. When
the light is "oll the scale" like this,
the sensor will simply output a hat
maximum signal no matter what
the actual light levels. The resulting
pixels will be pure white and contain
no image inlormation. This is known
as clipping or blown highlights.
Technically standing lor
complementary metaloxide
semiconductor, CMOS technology
is used by some manulacturers -
mainly Canon - lor their camera
image sensors rather than the
alternative CCD.
The gamut ol either a recording
device such as a camera or a
reproduction device such as a printer
or monitor relers to the range ol
colours it can cope with. The gamuts
ol dillerent reproduction devices
vary, so it isn't always possible lor a
given device to accurately reproduce
colours recorded by another.
A colour image lrom a camera is
composed ol pixels comprising
red, green and blue elements to
make any colour ol the spectrum. A
colour channel is simply the isolated
red, green or blue components ol
each pixel lor the image. lndividually
manipulating colour channels can be
uselul lor various things, including
producing blackandwhite images
lrom a colour original (see p133).
ln addition, photoediting soltware
adds a lourth transparency or alpha
channel, to indicate whether a given
pixel should allow colours lrom image
layers beneath it to show through.
The process ol reducing the
storage needed lor computer
data - including digital photos - by
encoding that data into a dillerent
lorm. See 1PEG.
Cathode ray tube, the technology
that televisions and monitors
were based on belore LCD and
plasma hatpanels took over. Many
photographers still lavour their bulky
old CPT monitors - which are now
almost impossible to buy new - since
they preler their colour reproduction
and claim the gamut is better. Newer
TFT monitors, however, can equal or
exceed CPT gamut.

Also sometimes known as depth
ol locus, this is the area in lront
ol the camera that's in crisp locus.
A wide aperture reduces depth
ol held, making accurate locusing
more critical but blurring the
background ol shots. This
reduces the ellect ol distracting
backgrounds. A small aperture

gives a broad depth ol held, with

both loreground and background
objects in locus. This can be uselul
lor landscape photography.
A class ol digital camera distinct
lrom the digital SLP. See p12.
ln a digital camera, the dynamic
range is the range ol brightness, and
thus total image detail, that a sensor
is capable ol accurately recording.
The limited dynamic range ol image
sensors in some digital cameras
is the underlying reason lor the
phenomenon ol clipped highlights.
More expensive digital SLPs usually
have a higher dynamic range than
digital compacts.
Digital singlelens rehex, a type ol
digital camera. See p14.


The local length ol a given lens
expressed in terms ol the held ol
view that length would give in a
35mmhlm camera. This allows
lenses lor dillerent camera designs
to be expressed in terms ol their
realworld held ol view. For instance,
a 28mmequivalent local length lens
will always be a wideangle lens, no
matter what the actual local length
ol the design involved.
ln photography, exposure is generally
used to talk about the process ol
opening the camera's shutter and
allowing light to lall on the camera's
sensor in order to take a picture. A
perlect exposure is one in which the
aperture settings, shutter speed and
lSO sensitivity have been correctly
chosen to produce an image with
the same level ol brightness as it
appeared to have when the image
was taken. See underexposure
and overexposure.

The lnumber is a universal measure
ol the size ol aperture set on a camera
lens. lt's the ratio ol the aperture to
local length. The lact that lnumber
is a ratio means that, like equivalent
local length, lnumbers are consistent
no matter what the individual design
or size ol the lens. So, any lens with
an aperture ol, lor instance, l/2.8 will
always give the same exposure lor
a given shutter speed. See p22 lor
more on aperture.
An lstop is one ol the standard
lnumber settings, chosen because
increasing by one stop doubles the
amount ol light entering the lens.
Thus, increasing aperture by one
stop halves the necessary shutter
speed lor a correct exposure. The
standard aperture stops are l/2.8,
l/5.6, l/8, l/11, l/16 and l/22.
Modern digital cameras, however,
have hner control, allowing you to
change aperture in increments ol
a hall or a third ol a stop.
Technically, the distance between a
camera's lens and its digital sensor
when locused to inhnity. ln practice,
it's used to express the held ol view ol
a camera: the shorter the local length,
the wider the held ol view and vice
versa. See equivalent local length.
A nonvolatile type ol computer PAM
(random access memory). nlike
normal PAM, hash memory retains
its data when power is removed,
making it the prelerred medium
lor digital camera memory cards.
All types ol memory card use hash
memory technology.

A gigabyte is roughly one billion
bytes ol computer memory. lt's
sulhcient to store around 500 high
quality 1PEG photos lrom a typical
8megapixel camera.

The permanent data storage device
used by computers. Hard disks have
a much larger data capacity lor a
given price than hash PAM.


A technique designed to
compensate lor the ellects ol
camera shake. lmagestabilisation
systems physically move elements ol
the lens in response to movement ol
the camera body. They can provide
between two and lour stops ol
stabilisation, allowing lor a shutter
speed ol between one and lour
times slower than would be possible
without it.
Also sometimes known as ASA,
this relers to the sensitivity ol a
digital sensor (or hlm) to light.
The higher the lSO setting, the less
light is required to get a correct
exposure, so shutter speed can be
higher to avoid or reduce camera
shake and capture last action.
However, increased lSO also
increases image noise - see p64.


1PEG is a highly ellective hle
lormat, developed specihcally
lor storing digital photos. lt uses
a lossy compression scheme,
throwing away certain data
the human eye isn't sensitive
to. Since it discards data,
however, 1PEGs are subject
to generational losses: editing
a picture then saving it to a
1PEG, then opening, editing
and saving in 1PEG again will
progressively degrade the
quality. For this reason, editing
should be done with a photo
converted to lossless TlFF
lormat and only saved back to
1PEG once editing is complete.

See 1PEG.

A megabyte is one million bytes
ol computer memory. The average
image hle produced by a digital
camera will be several megabytes in
size, ranging lrom 2MB lor a 1PEG
lrom a typical compact camera, up to
6?MB lor a hle saved in PAW mode
lrom a digital SLP.
Simply a count ol the number ol
millions ol pixels in an image. An
8megapixel camera will produce
images with 8 million pixels.
Microlenses are employed in digital
camera sensors to collect as
much available light as possible.
They're needed because between
photo sites on a sensor there are
gaps where light lalls and is lost.
Placing a microlens over each site
directs that light onto the photo
sensitive area to maximise the
amount ol light captured.
Generic term lor any type ol
computer display.
ll the aperture setting ol a camera
is too large, the shutter speed too
slow or the lSO setting too high
(or a combination ol all three) lor
the current lighting conditions,
a camera's image sensor will be
overwhelmed when the picture is
taken, resulting in a picture that's
too bright - olten with the brightest
parts ol the image blown out to
solid white. This is known as an
overexposure. See exposure and

The elements ol a digital camera
image sensor that convert light
lalling onto them into the electrical
signals that allow the camera to
assemble the image into a digital
A contraction ol "picture element", a
pixel is the smallest unit in a digital
image; it's simply a dot ol a single
colour. All the dots together produce

a coherent image. Each pixel is

described in terms ol its red, green
and blue primary colour values, olten
called colour channels.
A lens with a hxed local length that
can't be zoomed in or out. Prime
lenses have mostly been replaced
by zooms, but they still have
advantages. The lack ol a complex
zoom mechanism means they're
more robust, olten lighter, and can
give better image quality at less cost.
When a photo is manipulated
excessively in soltware - lor
instance, with large levels ol
adjustment (see p116) - the
numeric values ol adjacent pixels
can start to be so dillerent that it's
obvious there's a step between
them. The ellect looks pixellated
and unphotographic. This is called
posterisation. lt can be reduced
by recording images in PAW mode
and editing them in 16bitper
channel mode. The larger numeric
range ol a 16bit image decreases
the likelihood ol large changes
making pixel gradations obvious.
See TlFF.

The resolution ol a camera
technically describes how much
detail it can reproduce. ln practice,
the term is used to describe the
number ol pixels it produces lor a
given lrame (which isn't necessarily
the same thing). Pixel resolutions
are usually described in terms ol the
number ol pixels in the horizontal and
vertical direction. A 10megapixel
camera, lor instance, will produce
images with a resolution ol around
3,800 x 2,500 (3,800 pixels in
the horizontal direction by 2,500 in
the vertical).

The length ol time that the digital
sensor is exposed to light when
capturing a photo. The longer
the shutter speed, the more light
reaches the sensor and the brighter
the resulting image.

A telephoto lens or telephoto
setting on a zoom lens corresponds
to a narrow held ol view, giving a
high magnihcation that's uselul in
sports and wildlile photography. lt
corresponds to a long local length.
Compare wide angle.
Technically standing lor thinhlm
transistor - the type ol transistors
used in modern hatpanel computer
monitors - the term has now
become generic shorthand lor
hatpanel displays themselves.
The most popular intermediate hle
lormat lor editing digital photos.
nlike 1PEG, the TlFF lormat is
a lossless lormat, so hles can be
edited and saved to disk without
loss ol quality. ln addition, TlFFs can
be saved and manipulated in 16bit
perchannel mode. This increases
the dynamic range available and
reduces the chance ol posterisation
lrom excessive editing.

ll the aperture setting ol a camera
is too small, the shutter speed too
last or the lSO setting too low (or
a combination ol all three) lor
the current lighting conditions,
a camera will be unable to
capture enough light when a
picture is taken. The result is a
picture that's too dark compared
to the real scene. This is known as
an underexposure. See exposure
and overexposure.

White balance, or white point,
allects the colour balance ol
a photo. The actual numeric
values lrom a digital sensor
when photographing a white
object under dillerent colour light
can vary: white balance settings
compensate lor this so that white
objects really do look white in
the hnal image, as printed or
displayed onscreen.
ln terms ol lenses, wide angle means
giving a large held ol view. Wide
angle photography can encompass
landscapes and street photography.
lt corresponds to a short local
length. Compare telephoto.

A zoom lens is one with a variable
local length, allowing the held ol
view to change, ellectively increasing
or decreasing the magnihcation ol
the lens. Compare with prime lens.
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