The virtue of the camera
is not the power it has to transform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives
him to keep on looking— and looking. (Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun).
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 the way you want to interpret it. 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. Discussions of the procedures you use with some or all cameras are integrated throughout
the concepts in places where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of photography and then see where to look in your camera manual for the specific steps you use in all kinds of photographic situations. There are even places for you to write in notes about how
you do it with your own camera.
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 they provide 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.