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A ShortCourse Book
Canon EOS 50D Photography

Canon EOS 50D Photography

Canon EOS 50D Photography

This clearly written and easy-to understand short course on your Canon EOS 50D, explains step-by-step how, why and when you use your camera's controls for better pictures. This guide is available as a traditional 166 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD or download instantly.

 

Introducing Animations

The eBook edition of this book has links to 50 animations, movies and other resources that illustrate and explain the core concepts of digital photography. Integrated throughout the eBook, these linked resources help you understand your camera better, and make you a better photographer.

To use the animations you need the eBook version of this book and an Internet connection.

 
Click to see how every camera is just a black box then minimize or close the animation window.
 
 
Click to see how full color images are created from only three colors then minimize or close the animation window.

Introduction

New, a Short Courses digital photography book for people who want to get better pictures with their Canon EOS 50D digital SLR camera. This beautifully written and illustrated guide, pulls together answers to the questions you might have about using the camera, including the following:

Contents

Cover ...i
Short Courses Books and Web Site ...ii
Preface ...iv
Contents ...v

Chapter 1
Camera Controls and Creativity ...7

The 50D Camera ...8
Jump Start—Using Full Auto Mode ...9
Good Things to Know ...10
Using the Viewfinder ...12
  • Focus Screens ...12
  • Diopter Adjustment ...12
  • AF Points ...12
  • Information Display ...12
Anatomy of the Camera ...13
  • Top View ...13
  • Rear View ...14
Changing Settings with Buttons and Dials ...15
  • The Main Dial ...15
  • The Quick Control Dial ...15
  • The INFO Button ...15
Changing Settings on the Quick Control Screen ...16
  • The Quick Control Screen ...16
  • Dual Function Button Screens ...16
Changing Settings with Menus ...17
Playing Back & Managing Your Images ...20
  • Image Review ...20
  • Image Playback ...20
  • INFO Display ...20
  • Jumping in Playback ...21
Using the Playback Menu ...22
Giving Slide Shows ...23
Selecting Image Quality and Size ...24
  • Number of Pixels ...24
  • How An Image is Captured ...26
  • The Exposure ...26
  • It’s All Black and White After All ...26
  • Choosing Image Size and Quality ...27

Chapter 2
Controlling Exposure ...30

Understanding Exposure ...31
The Shutter Controls Light and Motion ...32
The Aperture Controls Light and Depth of Field ...34
Using Shutter Speed and Aperture Together ...36
  • Exposure— Faucets & Buckets Analogy ...37
  • Exposure— Seesaw Analogy ...38
Retaining Highlight and Shadow Details ...39
Choosing Shooting Modes ...40
Using Image Zone Modes ...41
Using Creative Auto (CA) Mode ...42
Using Program AE (P) & Program Shift ...43
Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode ...44
Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode ...45
Using Manual (M) Mode ...46
How Your Exposure System Works ...47
  • Meter Averaging and Middle Gray ...47
  • Types of Metering ...49
When Automatic Exposure Works Well ...50
When to Override Automatic Exposure ...51
  • Scenes Lighter than Middle Gray ...51
  • Scenes Darker than Middle Gray ...52
  • Subject Against a Very Light Background ...52
  • Subject Against a Very Dark Background ...53
  • Scenes with High Contrast ...53
How Overriding Autoexposure Works ...55
How to Override Automatic Exposure ...56
  • Exposure Compensation ...56
  • Autoexposure (AE) Lock ...56
  • Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB) ...58
Using Histograms ...60
  • Displaying Histograms ...60
  • Evaluating Histograms ...60
  • Clipped Pixels ...62
  • Sample Histograms ...63

Chapter 3
Controlling Sharpness ...64

Getting Sharper Pictures ...65
  • Supporting the Camera ...65
  • Using the Self-timer/Remote Switch ...65
  • Adjusting the ISO ...66
Sharpness Isn’t Everything ...68
How to Photograph Motion Sharply ...69
  • Speed of Subject ...69
  • Direction of Movement ...69
  • Distance to Subject and Focal Length of Lens ...70
Focus and Depth of Field ...71
  • Focus ...71
  • Depth of Field ...71
  • Checking Depth of Field ...72
Focusing Techniques ...73
  • Autofocus Modes ...73
  • Selectable Focusing Points ...74
  • Displaying AF Points in Playback ...75
  • Using Focus Lock ...75
  • Manual Focus ...76
Controlling Depth of Field ...77
Using Deep Depth of Field ...78
  • Focusing on the Hyperfocal Distance ...78
  • Auto Depth-of-field AE (A-DEP) ...79
Using Shallow Depth of Field ...80
Conveying the Feeling of Motion ...81

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color ...82

Where Does Color Come From? ...83
White Balance and Color ...84
  • Using Preset White Balance Settings ...84
  • Creating and Using a Custom White Balance Setting ...85
  • Using a Specific Color Temperature ...86
  • Selecting a Color Space ...86
Using White Balance Correction & Bracketing ...87
Color and Time of Day ...88
Sunsets and Sunrises ...89
Weather ...91
Photographing at Night ...93
The Direction of Light ...95
The Quality of Light ...97

Chapter 5
Understanding Lenses ...98

Canon Lenses ...99
  • Electronic Lens Mount ...99
  • Focusing Technology ...99
  • Ultrasonic Motors ...100
  • Image Stabilization ...100
  • Information on a Canon Lens ...101
Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction ...102
Focal Length ...103
Zoom Lenses ...104
Normal Lenses ...105
Wide-Angle Lenses ...106
Telephoto Lenses ...108
Macro Lenses and Accessories ...110
Tilt-Shift Lenses ...112
Lens Accessories ...113
Perspective in a Photograph ...114

Chapter 6
Using Flash and Studio Lighting ...115

How Flash Works ...116
Using Autoflash ...117
  • Flash Coverage and Range ...117
  • Flash and Focus Assist ...117
  • Flash and Shutter Speeds ...117
  • Flash in the Creative Zone ...118
Portraits with Flash ...119
  • Positioning the Flash and Subjects ...119
  • Red-eye ...120
Using Fill Flash ...121
Using Slow Sync Flash ...122
Using Available Light ...124
Controlling Flash Exposures ...125
  • What’s E-TTL II? ...125
  • Flash Exposure Compensation ...125
  • Flash Exposure (FE) Lock ...126
  • Using the Flash Control Setting ...127
Using an External Flash ...128
  • The 580EX II Speedlite ...128
  • High-speed Sync (FP) ...128
  • Flash Exposure Bracketing (FEB) ...129
  • Wireless Remote Flash ...129
  • Stroboscopic Flash ...129
  • PC Terminal ...129
Using Flash in Close-ups ...130
Studio Lighting ...131
  • Candidates for Studio Lighting ...131
  • Lighting ...131
  • Backgrounds ...133
  • Risers ...133
  • Special Bulbs ...133
Portrait and Product Photography—Introduction ...134
The Main Light ...135
The Fill Light ...136
The Background Light ...137
The Rim Light ...138

Chapter 7
Other Features and Commands ...139

Continuous Photography ...140
Remote Control Photography ...141
Live View Shooting ...142
  • Turning Live View On and Off ...142
  • Manual Focusing ...143
  • Live View Function Settings ...143
  • Expo. Simulation ...144
  • Grid Display ...144
  • Silent Shooting ...144
  • Metering Timer...144
  • AF Mode ...144
  • General Tips in Live View ...146
  • Live View Focusing Tips ...146
  • Live View Exposure Tips ...146
Using Picture Styles ...148
  • Selecting Picture Styles ...148
  • Adjusting Picture Styles ...148
  • Registering a Picture Style ...149
Registering Your Own Settings ...150
Using Custom Functions ...151
  • C.Fn I: Exposure ...152
  • C. Fn II: Image ...153
  • C.Fn III: Auto focus/Drive ...154
  • C.Fn IV: Operation Others ...155
Using My Menu ...157
Changing Other Settings ...158
  • Shooting Without a CF Card ...158
  • Setting the Date and Time ...158
  • Changing the Review Time ...158
  • Reset File Numbers ...159
  • Turning the Beep On and Off ...159
  • Adjusting Monitor Brightness ...160
  • Traveling Options-Language and Video Settings ...160
  • Setting the Auto Power Off Time ...160
  • Formatting CF Cards ...160
  • Turning Auto Rotate On and Off ...161
  • Creating and Selecting Folders ...161
  • Resetting Camera Settings ...161
  • Firmware Version ...162
Caring for Your Camera ...163
  • Cleaning the Image Sensor ...163
  • Cleaning the Camera and Lens ...165
  • Protecting your Camera from the Elements ...165
  • Protecting when Traveling ...166
  • Storing a Camera ...166
  • Caring for Yourself ...166


Preface

A great photograph begins when you recognize a great scene or subject. But recognizing a great opportunity isn’t enough to capture it; you also have to be prepared. A large part of being prepared involves understanding your camera well enough to capture what you see. Getting you prepared to see and capture great photographs is what this book is all about. It doesn’t matter if you are taking pictures for business or pleasure, there’s a lot here to help you get better results and more satisfaction from your photography.

To get better, and possibly even great photographs, you need to understand both concepts and procedures; the “whys” and “hows” of photography.

  • Concepts of photography are the underlying principles that apply regardless of the camera you are using. They include such things as how sharpness and exposure affect your images and the way they are perceived by viewers. Understanding concepts answers the “why” kinds of questions you might have about photography.
  • Procedures are those things specific to one kind of camera, and explain step-by-step how you set your camera’s controls to capture an image just the way you want to. Understanding procedures gives you the answers to the “how” kinds of questions you might have.
This book is organized around the concepts of digital photography because that’s how photographers think. You think about scenes and subjects, highlights and shadows, softness and sharpness, color and tone. The procedures you use with the Canon EOS 50D are integrated throughout the concepts, appearing in those places where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of photography and then see step by step how to use the 50D in all kinds of photographic situations.

To get more effective, interesting, and creative photographs, you only need to understand how and when to use a few simple features on your camera such as focus, exposure controls, and flash. If you’ve previously avoided understanding these features and the profound impact they can have on your images, you’ll be pleased to know that you can learn them on a weekend. You can then spend the rest of your life marveling at how the infinite variety of combinations make it possible to convey your own personal view of the world. You’ll be ready to keep everything in a scene sharp for maximum detail or to blur it all for an impressionistic portrayal. You’ll be able to get dramatic close-ups, freeze fast action, create wonderful panoramas, and capture the beauty and wonder of rainbows, sunsets, fireworks, and nighttime scenes.

As you explore your camera, be sure to have fun. There are no “rules” or “best” way to make a picture. Great photographs come from using what you know to experiment and try new approaches. Digital cameras make this especially easy because there are no film costs or delays. Every experiment is free and you see the results immediately so you can learn step by step.

This book assumes you’ve mastered the mechanics of your camera. It’s about getting great pictures, not about connecting your camera to computers and using your software. That information is well presented in the user guide that came with your camera. Be sure to visit our Web site at www.shortcourses.com for even more digital photography information.

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