Cover image for Photography for dummies
Photography for dummies
Hart, Russell, 1953-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Wiley Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 414 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR146 .H35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TR146 .H35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TR146 .H35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Your personal photographs have a worth that can't be measured in dollars and cents. They're likely the one thing you would grab on the way out of a burning house - an irreplaceable record of the life you lead, of friends and family, and of the occasions with which you mark passing years.

The funny thing is, most people aren't entirely happy with their photographs. And that's where Photography For Dummies comes in. You don't need a fancy camera with multiple, removable lenses to get good pictures. The problem is, nearly every book on photography assumes that you're using one. But this book assumes that you're using a point-and-shoot camera for all your pictures . In fact, this may be the most complete guide available for taking pictures with a modern point-and-shoot camera.

This revised edition of Photography For Dummies helps you choose film (much simpler than you'd think), load film into the camera (no big sweat), and understand how to hold the camera (yes, there are right and wrong ways). You'll also discover tips about dealing with your photofinisher - a far more important factor in getting good results than most people realize, especially in the digital age. What's more, you'll gain insight into

Working with your camera, and how different settings make your camera do different things Understanding the importance of light in a photograph, and applying design strategies that make your subjects stand out Getting shots that both flatter people and capture their personalities Shooting landscapes, and the special considerations of travel photography Taking pictures filmlessly, and the pleasures and pitfalls of digital photography Troubleshooting your camera, and discovering what do try if it won't shoot

Today's point-and-shoot cameras are remarkably reliable devices. So why aren't your pictures better? The main secret to better photographs is knowing what to shoot, when to shoot it, and how to shoot it. You need Photography For Dummies, because it lets you in on this secret.

Author Notes

Russell Hart has written about photography for The New York Times, Men's Journal, and Us, and is the author of a number of books on photographic subjects

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
Conventions Used in This Bookp. 2
Foolish Assumptionsp. 2
What You Can Skipp. 3
How This Book Is Organizedp. 3
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
Where to Go from Herep. 6
Part I What You Need to Take Picturesp. 7
Chapter 1 Ladies and Gentlemen: Start Your Point-and-Shoots!p. 9
The Four Types of Point-and-Shoot Camerasp. 10
The Parts of Your Camerap. 11
Getting a Charge: The Pluses and Minuses of Batteriesp. 13
Loading Film--the Painless Way!p. 21
Turning the Camera On--and Off Againp. 30
Get a Grip: Holding Your Camerap. 31
Rewinding Film (Congratulations!)p. 33
Chapter 2 How to Pick the Best Filmp. 39
Finding a Film That's Your Typep. 40
A Question of Speedp. 46
How Long a Roll Should You Buy?p. 52
Which Brand Should You Buy?p. 55
Chapter 3 Making Your Photofinisher Work for Youp. 59
Some Day My Prints Will Comep. 60
Types of Photofinishersp. 64
How to Get Good Printsp. 68
Finding a Good Photofinisherp. 70
Photo Communications 101p. 72
Things That Can Go Wrong--and Dop. 74
Second Time Around: Getting Reprintsp. 80
The Match Game: Finding the Right Negative for a Reprintp. 82
Getting Enlargementsp. 85
The Electronic Photofinishing Revolutionp. 88
Print Vending: The Photo Kioskp. 89
Part II Working with Your Point-and-Shootp. 93
Chapter 4 Pictures a la Modep. 95
Button, Button, Where is the Button?p. 95
Mastering Your Camera's Modesp. 97
Merrily We Toggle Alongp. 98
Millions of Modes?p. 101
Getting in the Modep. 117
Chapter 5 Seeing through Your Camerap. 119
Changing the Picturep. 120
Angling for Better Picturesp. 123
Going Wide--and Longp. 126
The Four Types of Point-and-Shoot Cameras--This Time by Their Lenses!p. 137
Chapter 6 Focus Pocus: The Lens and Optical Magicp. 141
The Sharper Image: How Autofocus Worksp. 142
Autofocus versus Fixed-Focusp. 143
Advanced Placement: Using the Focus Pointp. 144
Far and Away: When to Use Infinity Lockp. 149
Extra Points: Widening Your Autofocus Horizonp. 150
The Commandments of Good Autofocusingp. 152
Chapter 7 A Flash of Inspirationp. 157
Autoflash Mode: No-Fault Photo Insurancep. 158
Buttoning Down Flashp. 160
Fill-Flash Mode: Out of the Shadowsp. 161
Flash-Off Mode: To Flash or Not to Flashp. 167
Slow-Sync Mode: The Flashiest Kind of Flashp. 171
Red-Eye Reduction: Getting the Red Outp. 175
Chapter 8 Simplifying the Advanced Photo Systemp. 179
Advanced Photo System Advantagesp. 180
Shape Shifter: APS Print Formatsp. 180
Artistic License: APS Printing and Reprintingp. 185
Dropping In: How to Load APS Filmp. 188
Conscious Choice: Types of APS Filmp. 189
Information, Please: APS Printing Refinementsp. 190
Part III The Art Partp. 191
Chapter 9 Seeing the Lightp. 193
How Light Creates Mood and Atmospherep. 194
Brilliant Strategies: Coping with Hard Lightp. 198
Moment by Moment: Waiting for the Right Lightp. 202
Case by Case: Working with Specific Kinds of Lightp. 205
Chapter 10 Suitable for Framing: How to Compose a Good Photographp. 213
Composition Rules!p. 214
Aiming versus Framingp. 214
Big and Bigger: Filling the Framep. 217
Zooming versus Movingp. 217
Near and Far: Balancing Foreground and Backgroundp. 221
Dynamic Imbalance: Composing Off-Centerp. 223
Low and High: Changing Your Anglep. 224
Creative Shuffle: Shifting Sideways for Clarityp. 225
Rotating the Frame: Horizontals versus Verticalsp. 226
Working the Subjectp. 227
Part IV Shoot to Thrillp. 229
Chapter 11 Capturing Your Life: How to Keep a Photographic Diaryp. 231
Why Take Pictures?p. 232
Sharing Pictures Is Half the Funp. 233
Film Is Cheap, and Digital Photos Are Cheaperp. 234
A Time and Place: When to Shootp. 235
What You Need for Great People Photosp. 237
From Candid to Formal: Expression and Gesturep. 238
Instant Light: Using Flash for People Picturesp. 250
Pretty as a Picture: Zoom Settings for Portraitsp. 250
Love at First Shot: Photographing Childrenp. 252
The Cat in the Hat: Photographing Petsp. 258
Visual Heirlooms: Photos as Family Historyp. 260
Ten Lame Excuses for Not Taking Along Your Camera (And Why They're Lame)p. 263
Chapter 12 Capture the Actionp. 265
You Don't Need Fancy Equipment to Shoot Actionp. 265
Your Dawdling Point-and-Shootp. 266
Anticipating Action: The Art of Prefocusingp. 267
Different Strokes: Frozen or Blurred Action?p. 270
Tips for Better Action-Freezingp. 274
Beyond Sports: Be a Clutch Photographerp. 283
Chapter 13 Scene Stealing: Making Effective Landscape Photosp. 285
Finding Landscapes Close to Homep. 286
Taking in the View: The Lens and Landscapesp. 287
Mastering the View: Landscapes and Compositionp. 290
Shaping Your Print to the Landscapep. 293
People Power: Adding a Sense of Scalep. 295
Finding the Right Lightp. 296
Exploring Seasonal Changesp. 296
The Urban Scene: Cityscapes are Landscapesp. 298
Chapter 14 Have Camera, Will Travelp. 301
Planning Your Trip with Pictures in Mindp. 302
Weather, Light, and Sites: Researching Your Destinationp. 302
Packing for Pictures: What to Bringp. 304
Scenes from a Voyage: What to Shoot, and Howp. 311
Part V The Digital Domainp. 317
Chapter 15 Getting to Know Your Digital Point-and-Shootp. 319
The Digital Detailsp. 320
How Many Megapixels Do You Really Need?p. 325
Setting the Resolutionp. 326
The Viewing Screenp. 330
Viewfinder versus Viewing Screenp. 331
The Viewing Screen and Your Camera's Battery Lifep. 333
What's on the Menu?p. 335
Using the Menu to Change Settings and Choose Modesp. 338
Taking Pictures with Your Digital Point-and-Shootp. 340
When to Erase Pictures?p. 340
Downloading from a Digital Point-and-Shootp. 341
Chapter 16 What to Do with Digital Pictures?p. 345
Getting Pictures into Your Computer--Without a Digital Camerap. 346
Imaging Software: Digital Magicp. 351
Getting Prints from Your Digital Picture Filesp. 352
Archiving Pictures from Your Digital Point-and-Shootp. 356
Part VI The Part of Tensp. 359
Chapter 17 Ten Things to Think about When Buying a Point-and-Shoot Camerap. 361
Don't Buy More Camera Than You Needp. 362
How Much Do You Want to Spend?p. 362
Who Will Be Using the Camera?p. 363
What Subjects Will the User Be Shooting?p. 363
Do You Want a Digital Camera or a Film Camera?p. 364
Do You Want a 35mm Point-and-Shoot or an APS Point-and-Shoot?p. 366
Do You Want a Zooming or Nonzooming Model?p. 366
What Zoom Range Do You Need?p. 367
What Features Do You Want?p. 368
Is the Camera Comfortable to Hold and Operate?p. 368
Is the Viewfinder Easy to Look Through?p. 369
How About the Viewing Screen?p. 370
Chapter 18 Ten Simple Ways to Make Your Pictures Betterp. 371
Capture the Momentp. 372
Don't Use the Viewfinder like a Gun Sightp. 372
Get Closep. 372
Shoot from a Low or High Anglep. 373
Use Flash Outdoorsp. 373
Use a Fast Filmp. 373
Place the Main Subject Off-Centerp. 374
Move from Side to Sidep. 374
Experiment with the Horizon Linep. 374
Take Lots of Picturesp. 374
Chapter 19 Ten Great Places to Take Picturesp. 375
Chincoteague Island, Eastern Shore, Virginiap. 376
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texasp. 376
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utahp. 377
Las Vegas, Nevadap. 377
White Birch Forest, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michiganp. 378
The Staten Island Ferry, Battery Park, New Yorkp. 378
Paradise Meadow, Mount Rainier National Park, Washingtonp. 379
Lucy the Elephant, Margate City, New Jerseyp. 379
The Santuario de Nuestra Senor de Esquipulas, Chimayo, New Mexicop. 380
Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, Floridap. 380
Chapter 20 Ten Things to Try If Your Camera Won't Shootp. 381
Turn the Camera On Correctlyp. 382
Reload the Filmp. 382
Insert to Replace the Memory Cardp. 382
Replace or Recharge the Batteryp. 382
Make Sure the Battery Is Correctly Installedp. 383
Clean the Battery Contactsp. 383
Check the Flash-Ready Lampp. 384
Step Back from the Subjectp. 384
Make Sure Your Digital Camera Has Finished Saving the Previous Picturep. 385
Rewind the Film and Insert a New Rollp. 385
Appendix A Photospeak: A Short Glossaryp. 387
Appendix B Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailersp. 395
Indexp. 399