Digital Photography: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks

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    by Gregory Georges

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    Digital Photography: Top 100Simplified Tips & Tricks,Second EditionPublished byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River StreetHoboken, NJ 07030-5774

    Published simultaneously in Canada

    Copyright 2005 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis,Indiana

    Library of Congress Control Number: 2005923205

    ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-9616-2

    ISBN-10: 0-7645-9616-0

    Manufactured in the United States of America

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    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning orotherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 ofthe 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the priorwritten permission of the Publisher, or authorization throughpayment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the CopyrightClearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923,(978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisherfor permission should be addressed to the Legal Department,Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or online

    Trademark AcknowledgmentsWiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, Visual, the Visual logo,Simplified, Master VISUALLY, Teach Yourself VISUALLY, VisualBlueprint, Read Less - Learn More and related trade dress aretrademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.and/or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property oftheir respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc. is not associatedwith any product or vendor mentioned in this book.

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    Project EditorDana Rhodes Lesh

    Acquisitions EditorJody Lefevere

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    Gregory Georges is the author of the best-selling first edition ofDigital Photography: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks, as well as50 Fast Digital Photo Techniques, 50 Fast Photoshop 7 Techniques,and 50 Fast Digital Camera Techniques. He has been an activephotographer for over 25 years and a Photoshop expert since theearly releases of the product. Over his career, he has taken pictureswith medium format, 35mm, and digital cameras resulting ina collection of over 15,000 images. Georges is also a contributingwriter for eDigitalPhoto magazine, which is a new sister publicationto Shutterbug magazine. Additionally, he has written articles forother magazines and content for a variety of vendors and Web sitesto be used to promote his books.


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    Digital Photography: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks, Second Edition, includes 100 tasks that revealcool secrets, teach time-saving tricks, and explain great tips guaranteed to make you more productive withdigital photography. The easy-to-use layout lets you work through all the tasks from beginning to end orjump in at random.

    Who Is This Book For?

    You already know the basics of digital photography. Now you would like to go beyond the basics, with shortcuts,tricks, and tips that enable you to work smarter and faster. And because you learn more easily when someoneshows you how, this is the book for you.

    Conventions Used in This Book

    1 StepsThis book uses step-by-stepinstructions to guide you easilythrough each task. Numberedcallouts on every screen shot showyou exactly how to perform eachtask, step by step.

    2 TipsPractical tips provide insights tosave you time and trouble, cautionyou about hazards to avoid, andreveal how to do things in digitalphotography that you neverthought possible!

    3 Task NumbersTask numbers from 1 to 100indicate which lesson you areworking on.





    Demonstrates a new spin on acommon task

    Introduces a new skill or a newtask

    Combines multiple skills requiringin-depth knowledge

    Requires extensive skill and mayinvolve other technologies


    4 Difficulty LevelsFor quick reference, the symbolsbelow mark the difficulty level ofeach task.

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  • Table of Contents

    Choose Good Light#10 Pick Good Light for Better Photos 24#11 Shoot in Haze or Fog 26#12 Silhouette Your Subject 27#13 Learn When to Shoot with a Built-in Flash 28#14 Reveal Detail with a Fill Flash 29#15 Add a Catch Light to Your Subjects Eyes 30#16 Prevent Red Eye 31#17 Add Natural Light with a Reflector 32#18 Shoot Close-ups with a Macro Ring Light 34#19 Illuminate Portraits with Window Light 36#20 Take Advantage of the Golden Hour 37




    Get Ready to Take Photos#1 Select Good Photo Opportunities 4#2 Know Why You Are Taking Photos 6#3 Master Your Camera to Get Great Photos 8#4 Choose the Image File Format to Suit Your Needs 10#5 Set the Image Resolution and Compression Level 12#6 Control Your Cameras Light Sensitivity with the ISO Setting 14#7 Improve Color with the White Balance Setting 16#8 Shoot for Digital Editing 18#9 Pack for a Successful and Enjoyable Shoot 20

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    Control Exposure#21 Understanding Exposure to Get the Photos That You Want 40#22 Discover Different Exposure Modes 42#23 Choose an Appropriate Metering Mode 44#24 Using the Histogram to Get the Exposure That You Want 46#25 Improve Exposure with Exposure Compensation 48#26 Avoid Blown-out Highlights 50#27 Understanding Dynamic Range 52#28 Combine Two Photos to Get a Full Dynamic Range 54




    Control Focus and Depth of Field#29 Achieve Sharp Focus Using a Tripod 58#30 Control Focus with Focus Point Selection 59#31 Show Action Using a Slow Shutter Speed 60#32 Add Drama by Panning with the Subject 61#33 Control Focus Creatively with Manual Focus 62#34 Control Depth of Field 64#35 Create Cool Effects with Depth of Field 66#36 Understanding Focal Length 68#37 Control Perspective with Focal Length 70#38 Control Background with Focal Length and Aperture 72

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  • Table of Contents


    Take Better Photos#39 Assess Shooting Conditions 76#40 Consider the Possibilities 78#41 Compose for Maximum Effect 80#42 Shoot Photos Based on a Theme 82#43 Work to Develop Your Style 84#44 Shoot Details to Create Interest 86#45 Compose for Final Print Proportions 88#46 Learn to Shoot Better by Studying EXIF Data 90#47 Get Better Photos with Patience, Practice, and Effort 92


    6 Try Creative Photo Techniques#48 Focus Attention on Your Subject 96#49 Shoot Color for Dramatic Photos 98#50 Show Movement with a Neutral Density Filter 100#51 Control Reflection with a Polarizer 101#52 Shoot Photos for a Panorama 102#53 Shoot Photos with a Wow! Factor 104#54 Shoot Scenes with Low Contrast 105#55 Shoot When Seasons Change 106#56 Shoot Patterns and Shapes 107#57 Shoot with a Plan to Edit Digitally 108#58 Experiment to Create Unique Photos 110#59 Shoot in Low Light for Rich Colors 111

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    Edit Images with Adobe Photoshop Elements#60 Learn the Best Editing Sequence 114#61 Convert RAW Files with Adobe Camera RAW 116#62 Process a Batch of Photos 118#63 Using the Clone Stamp Tool to Remove Unwanted Elements 120#64 Edit a Selected Area 122#65 Keep Track of Your Edits 124#66 Using Adjustment Layers to Gain Editing Flexibility 126#67 Create a Panorama 128#68 Hand-Color Black-and-White Photos 132#69 Protect and Preserve Original Photo Files 134#70 Resize a Batch of Digital Photos 136#71 Edit Photos for Use on the Web 138


    Adjust Tonal Range and Correct Colorwith Photoshop Elements#72 Check Exposure with the Histogram 142#73 Check for Color Casts with the Info Palette 143#74 Fix Under- and Overexposed Photos 144#75 Understanding Contrast 146#76 Improve Image Contrast by Setting Black and White Points 148#77 Improve Image Contrast with a Levels Layer 150#78 Reveal Highlight Detail with the Shadows/Highlights Command 152#79 Reveal Shadow Detail with the Shadows/Highlights Command 153#80 Lighten or Darken a Selected Portion of an Image 154#81 Remove a Color Cast with the Color Cast Command 156#82 Adjust Color with a Hue/Saturation Layer 158


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    Table of Contents


    Make Photographic Prints#83 Understanding Color Management 162#84 Crop a Photo to a Specified Size 164#85 Make a Large Print 166#86 Sharpen a Digital Image 168#87 Precisely Position Photos on a Page 170#88 Print Multiple Photos on a Page 172#89 Order Prints Online 174#90 Create and Order a Photo Book Online 176


    Complete Digital Photo Projects#91 Organize Your Digital Photos 182#92 Share Digital Photos with AOL Instant Messenger 188#93 Archive Your Digital Photo Collection to a DVD 190#94 Create a PDF Slideshow 194#95 Create a Digital Photo Album 196#96 Create a Web Photo Gallery 198#97 Create a Video Slideshow 202#98 Create a Photo Calendar 206#99 Create a Photo Greeting Card 210#100 Create a Photomontage 212




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  • 11

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  • Get Ready to Take PhotosWhether you are a snapshot photographer whotakes several photos to record people, places,and events that are meaningful to you, or youare a passionate photographer who getsimmense joy from making fine art photographs,you can always improve your photography ifyou do the right things before shooting.

    Choosing what and where to shoot is the firststep that you must take before shooting.Learn to find good events, places, and subjectsto shoot by reading newspapers, books, oronline resources. Look for good photoopportunities at local fairs, botanical gardens,nature preserves, national parks, or even zoos.Consider shooting still life or setting up astudio inside where you can control lighting.

    When you know what you will be shooting,make sure that you know all that you canknow about your digital camera. The more youknow about your equipment, the more you canconcentrate on getting the photographs thatyou want and not on learning how to use yourcamera. It can be very disappointing spendingvaluable time and money to take a trip only tofind that you did not take good photos due toimproper camera settings or usage.

    When you go to shoot, be realistic; a day ofshooting will not always result in one or moregood photos. All photographers have bad daysthat end up with only mediocre photos especially when the shooting conditions workagainst you!

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  • Select Good Photo Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Know Why You Are Taking Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    Master Your Camera to Get Great Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    Choose the Image File Format to Suit Your Needs . . . . . 10

    Set the Image Resolution and Compression Level . . . . . . 12

    Control Your Cameras Light Sensitivity with the ISO Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    Improve Color with the White Balance Setting . . . . . . . . 16

    Shoot for Digital Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    Pack for a Successful and Enjoyable Shoot . . . . . . . . . . . 20

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  • When shooting well-knownplaces such as the Grand Canalin Venice or Canyon de Chelly inArizona, take classic photos andthen shoot creatively, too.

    Select good PHOTO OPPORTUNITIESUnless you have specific reasons to shoot particularscenes or subjects, the best photo opportunities foryou are those things that you enjoy. If you enjoygardening and appreciate the thousands of differentvariations of iris, shoot irises. Or if you are abirdwatcher and find pleasure in watching wildlife,choose places where you can find birds and otherwildlife in settings that make great photographs.

    When planning a trip, give yourself plenty of time tostay and take photographs. Allow yourself some timefor bad weather or other shooting conditions that

    prevent you from photographing. You can spend anentire day or more at a site and not have goodenough light to shoot. Do not fall into the trap oftrying to see too much too quickly. You may missthe kinds of shots that you had hoped to capturebecause you saw everything and shot little.Photography takes time, and time is often the mostimportant factor in getting truly great photographs.

    It took several hours of waiting toget a shadow on this otherwiseoverly bright photograph of theWhite House ruins in Canyon deChelly in Arizona.

    If you are willing to hike, youmay be rewarded with photosthat are well worth the effort thatit took to get there.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    This small backyardpond offers manysubjects to photograph.Being close to home, itis easy to pick the bestlight to shoot in.


    This frog was sunning on a rock on theedge of the pond shown in the precedingphoto.

    Photo Tip!When you find a good placeto take photographs, visit itagain and again. Yourphotographs will improveeach time that you return tothe location because youwill learn when to visit andwhat to shoot.

    Did You Know?Some of the best photoopportunities may be in yourown backyard. Learn to seedifferently and look fordetails, shapes, or colors thatmake good photographs and then capture them.

    Photo Tip!Use the Internet to learnwhere and when to shoot.There are many onlineguides and forums thatprovide all the informationyou need to find wonderfulplaces and subjects to shootthat will suit your interests.

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  • This photo of a green anole wastaken so that it could be used ina variety of media.

    KNOW WHY you are taking photosShould you shoot horizontally or vertically? If youhave a choice of digital cameras, which one shouldyou use? What camera settings will you use? Willyour photographs be framed or displayed on a Webpage? Are you going to display your photographsin a series, or should they be shot in a particularstyle? Are you shooting to get backgrounds orobjects to include in another photograph? Do youplan to digitally edit your photographs with animage editor such as Adobe Photoshop after youtake them?

    Your answers to these questions and others likethem will have a substantial impact on how youshould shoot. Knowing why you are taking photosbefore you take them can help you get the photosthat you want. For example, suppose you make aonce-in-a-lifetime trip and get excellent pictures.You then decide to make a calendar but cannot findenough photos to fit the horizontal format that youhave chosen. Thinking about why you are taking thephotographs and how they are likely to be viewedcan help you to better plan your photographs.

    Minor cropping enables thephoto to be displayed in a Webbrowser-based photo gallery.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    Vertical orientation andcomposition makes itpossible to frame thisphoto in standard-sizedphoto frames and matboards.

    Photo Tip!When you know that you willshare a photo online, you cantake advantage of themultiplication factor that you getwhen you crop an image from alarge image. A small bird in amostly blue sky print can becomea large bird that fills the framewhen it is cropped for the Web.

    Did You Know?Custom-sized frames and matboards can be considerably moreexpensive than those of standardsizes. When possible, you shouldconsider shooting so that youcan use standard 4 x 6, 5 x 7,8 x 10, and 11 x 14 framesand mat boards.

    Did You Know?A good photograph for the coverof a magazine usually needs tobe shot vertically with some spaceon the photo where text andgraphics may be placed withoutinterfering with the compositionof the subject.


    Good cover design allowed the leaf on theleft side of the photo to be used for themagazines cover text.

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  • This dial on a Canon PowerShotG2 controls the shooting modes.

    MASTER YOUR CAMERA to get great photosTodays sophisticated digital cameras enable anyone totake good, and sometimes great, photographs bysimply using one of the automatic shooting modes andpressing the shutter release. However, most digitalcameras offer many additional features that giveserious photographers considerable creative controlover how photos are taken and ensure that a higherpercentage of photos are taken as you want them.

    One major advantage of most digital cameras is thatyou can review the image and camera settings on anLCD screen immediately after taking the photo. This

    enables you to check that you have composed thephoto as you like and that the camera settings wereset as you expected. Some digital cameras evenprovide a histogram to give you a graphical view ofthe exposure. These review features are well worthusing.

    To get the best photos, learn all that you can aboutyour digital camera. You must master your camera,or it will limit your success.

    The Canon PowerShot G2 LCDscreen shows important camerasettings at a glance.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    Important camerasettings are controlledon the CanonPowerShot G2 viamultiple menus.

    Did You Know?The more you learn about and use different features onyour camera, the more likely it will be that you will forgetwhich settings you have changed and will shoot using thewrong settings. Learn how to quickly check your settingsor to set them to the default settings in order to avoidshooting with the wrong settings. Many photos are ruinedbecause of improper camera settings. The most commonsettings that cause problems are exposure compensation,white balance, auto-ISO change, and image size.

    Caution!Many digital cameras have shooting modes thatautomatically choose a faster ISO setting (see Task #6)if there is not sufficient light. Make sure that you knowwhich shooting modes allow this to avoid taking photosthat have too much digital noise.


    The LCD screen on the Canon PowerShotG2 shows a screen with camera settings,a histogram, and a thumbnail image.

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  • RAW format images are digitalnegatives that need to beconverted to be viewed andedited.

    CHOOSE THE IMAGE FILE FORMATto suit your needsEach time that you press the shutter release, youcapture an image on the image sensor. The imageis then written to a file in a user-selected formatwith or without your chosen camera settings beingapplied. Most digital cameras offer three formats:JPEG (.jpg), TIFF (.tif), and RAW format.

    The most commonly used format is the JPEG format.It offers a nice balance between image file size andimage quality. The JPEG format is a lossy format; ituses a mathematical algorithm to reduce the file size

    while losing minimal image quality. The TIFF formatis a nonlossy format, which means that no imagequality is lost, but files are also considerably larger.

    Unlike JPEG and TIFF files, RAW image files areproprietary files that do not have most of the camerasettings applied to them. For greater creativeflexibility, the photographer can use a RAW imageconverter, such as Adobe Camera RAW (seeTask #61), and apply camera settings to the filesafter the photos have been taken.

    These file sizes are from a NikonCoolPix 5700. File sizes fromother digital cameras will vary.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos 11

    Did You Know?The RAW format is the best image format to use ifyou want to get the best possible pictures from yourdigital camera. Camera settings such as white balance,contrast, saturation levels, sharpening, and othersettings are not applied to a RAW image file. Afteryou shoot, you have control over these settings whenprocessing them with a RAW image converter suchas Adobe Camera RAW (see Task #61) or oneprovided by your camera manufacturer. Many seriousphotographers shoot in RAW format most of the time.

    Did You Know?RAW image file converters enable you to changeexposure compensation to your photos after youhave taken them by up to plus or minus two f-stops!That alone makes it worthwhile to shoot in RAWformat.

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  • This photo was taken with a 3.1-megapixel camera with animage size of 2,160 x 1,440pixels.

    Set the IMAGE RESOLUTION AND COMPRESSION LEVELIn addition to letting you choose a file format foryour photos, most digital cameras enable you tochoose the image resolution. If you have chosen theJPEG file format, many cameras also enable you tospecify the compression level. Image resolution isexpressed in terms of pixels, such as 2,560 x 1,920pixels. If you multiply these two numbers together,you get the total pixel count for example, 2,560 x1,920 = 4,915,200, or just about 5 megapixels. Morepixels in a picture enable you to print a larger print,which is the primary reason to buy a more expensivedigital camera with a higher megapixel rating.

    There is a tradeoff, however, between the number ofpixels and the image file size the more pixels, thelarger the file. To fit more digital photos on digitalphoto storage media, the JPEG file format enablesyou to select the level of compression, which reducesfile size. Unfortunately, the more an image iscompressed, the lower the image quality. To choosethe optimal settings for your photography, you needto balance the tradeoffs between image size(resolution), compression level, image quality, andpossible print size.

    This 800 x 600 pixel image wastaken from the center of thepreceding image. It makes anexcellent full-size Web pagephoto.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    * This assumes that theoptimal printing is 240PPI.Good images and properimage editing techniquesmay allow considerablylarger prints to be made.

    Did You Know?By reducing the image resolution to store morephotos, you lose the benefits of image cropping andthe ability to get a larger print later. As digital photostorage media prices continue to drop, you can buyone or more extra cards so that you can store yourimages at the maximum image resolution and withthe least image compression. This decision enablesyou to avoid getting a prized shot that is too smallor has too much compression to make a good print.

    Did You Know?Each time you save a JPEG file after editing it,your image degrades. Therefore, if you need toopen, edit, and save a JPEG image more thanonce, you should save all but the final images inan uncompressed image format such as TIFF,bitmap (.bmp), or Photoshop (.psd).


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  • This photo was shot at ISO 800to enable a faster shutter speed,avoiding image blur in the lowlight.

    CONTROL YOUR CAMERASLIGHT SENSITIVITY with the ISO settingIn traditional film photography, you choose filmbased upon an ISO rating (the new term for theASA setting), such as ISO 100 or ISO 400,depending on how much light you expect to havewhen you shoot. Photographers consider film with alow ISO rating such as ISO 100 to be a slower filmthan ISO 400 because it takes a longer shutter speedto properly expose the film than film with a higherISO rating, which enables an image to be recordedmore quickly.

    Digital cameras also enable you to change the ISOsetting between each shot. Choosing an ISO setting isone of the most important settings that you can make.Although a faster ISO setting, such as ISO 400 or 800,enables you to shoot in lower-light settings withoutimage blur due to long exposure times, you will endup with considerably more digital noise in your digitalphotos. Digital noise is similar to grain in traditionalphotography and is generally an undesirable tradeoffthat you get when using higher ISO settings.

    Digital noise is easily visible inmost of this photo.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    No digital noise appearsin this photo, whichwas shot at ISO 100.


    ISO 800 was used to achieve a traditionalfilm grain effect in this black-and-whitephoto.

    Did You Know?You generally get the bestpicture quality by using thelowest ISO setting yourcamera offers, such as ISO 50or 100. A higher setting suchas ISO 400 or 800 will haveconsiderably more digitalnoise.

    Photo Tip!Although digital noise isgenerally an unwantedcharacteristic of a digitalphoto, you can use it as acreative design element.Digital noise gives a photo agrainy effect similar to thegrain found in traditionalphotographic prints.

    Did You Know?When you edit a digital photowith an image editor, such asAdobe Photoshop Elements,you are likely to get morepronounced digital noisewhen you perform steps suchas increasing contrast,increasing image size, andsharpening an image.

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  • This photo was taken outdoorson a cloudy day with the whitebalance set incorrectly totungsten.

    Improve color with the WHITE BALANCE SETTINGOne of the more significant challenges facing digitalphotographers is to take photographs with accuratecolor. A common problem is getting a photo that hasan undesirable color cast, which means that thephoto has too much of a certain color, such as red,blue, or green. An improper white balance settingoften causes this problem. An in-camera whitebalance setting enables you to record correct colorswhen shooting under a variety of different lightingconditions such as incandescent light, tungsten light,sunshine, or clouds.

    Besides letting you choose an appropriate whitebalance setting, many digital cameras have a customwhite balance setting that can record very accuratecolors after you first take a photo of a white card. Ifyour camera offers such a feature, it is worthlearning about and using. One of the more consistentways to get accurate color is to shoot in RAW mode,which enables you to change the white balancesetting using a RAW converter long after you takethe photo. Most RAW converters, such as AdobeCamera RAW, have controls that can be used to fine-tune the white balance (see Task #61).

    This photo was taken outdoorson a cloudy day with thecameras white balance set toauto white balance.


    This photo was taken outdoorson a cloudy day with the whitebalance set correctly to cloudy.

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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    This photo was takenoutdoors on a cloudyday using the RAWformat, which enabledthe photographer toselect accurate colorafter the shot wastaken.


    Although accurate color means that whiteis pure white, sometimes you want a colorcast such as the golden glow of sunsetfound in this cat photo.

    Photo Tip!Sometimes you can add a preset whitebalance setting to add a favorable color toneto a photo. For example, using a cloudywhite balance setting can add warmth to anotherwise cold or blue-toned scene.

    Did You Know?Most digital image editors offer several color-correction tools. However, many of themwork best if you have a pure white or neutralgray tone in your image. When you areconcerned about getting accurate color andyou do not have a pure white or neutral graytone in the composition, consider placing awhite card in the photo. After you use thewhite area for color correction purposes, youcan remove it with your digital image editor.

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  • This photo of tree bark wastaken to use as a background foranother photo.

    This simple photo of a tree wastaken to combine with abackground photo.

    Shoot for DIGITAL EDITINGTaking a photograph with a digital camera is onesmall part albeit a significant part of the entiredigital photography process. If you shoot digitallywithout considering the possibilities of what you cando later in an image editor, you will dramatically limityour creativity and your picture-making ability.

    To take advantage of the new world of digitalphotography, you should become as familiar with animage editor such as Adobe Photoshop Elements asyou are with your camera. Learn how your imageeditor enables you to combine, fix, distort, correct,tint, or otherwise change your photos to become

    more than they were. Digitally stitching multipleimages together into a single panoramic photograph,increasing tonal range and image contrast, andcreating photographs with a full dynamic range arejust a few of the wonders you can achieve when youbecome proficient with an image editor.

    Although a digital image editor provides you withtremendous image-manipulation power, do not forgetthat you can always do more with well-taken photosthan you can with marginally acceptable ones. Greatimage editing always begins with an excellentphotograph.

    This image was made bycombining the two precedingphotos.

    Adobe Photoshop Elements filtersand plug-ins were used to createthis painting-like image of thetree.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    A row of old trucks wastransformed into thisimage with AdobePhotoshop.

    Photo Tip!After you have purchased a digital camera andsome digital photo storage media, taking photosdoes not cost anything, so shoot often andthen shoot again. Learn to try different exposuresettings and compositions, and shoot plenty ofshots so that you have a choice between severalgood ones.

    Did You Know?You can use an image editor like Adobe PhotoshopElements to remove or add photographic elementssuch as telephone lines, sky, clouds, people, andso on. If you have composed a photo that has adistracting element, shoot anyway and fix it later inyour image editor (see Task #63). Just rememberthat it is usually easier to shoot a photo that doesnot need correction in an image editor than it is tohave to edit it later.


    Five separate photos were combined tocreate this image of kids and seagullsflying over the coast.

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  • A lightweight folding tripodchair makes it easy for thisphotographer to quietly wait fora bullfrog to pop his head abovewater.

    PACK for a successful and enjoyable shootPatiently waiting is often a key part of photography.Depending on your shooting conditions, you mayhave to wait for better light, less or more rain, asubject to appear, a cloud to move, or even the sunto rise or set. In any event, patience can be the mostimportant personality trait a photographer can haveto get good photographs. The best way to strengthenthat trait is to bring along items that will make yourouting more enjoyable, productive, and safe.

    If you are too hot or too cold, hungry, or tired, oryou are being bitten by bugs, you are likely to takefewer good photos than if you are happy andcomfortable. Before you head off for a shoot,carefully consider what you should take with you inaddition to your photography equipment. A fewnutrition bars, water, a lightweight folding chair,sunscreen, and a hat can unquestionably contributeto your taking better photographs.

    Water, sunscreen, insect repellentand bite medication, and snacksare just a few things that willmake your picture-taking timemore enjoyable.


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  • Chapter 1: Get Ready to Take Photos

    A compass and aschedule of sunrise andsunset and the moonspath will make it easierfor you to be in theright place at the righttime to get greatphotographs.

    Did You Know?Some of the most useful information for photographers is found on the Internet.

    Sunrise/Sunset/Twilight/Moonrise/Moonset/Phase information:

    Weather: or

    Hiking equipment:

    Online mapping service:

    Best state parks:

    All-encompassing outdoor page:


    Take a hat to protect yourself from thesun and use a headlamp, such as thePrinceton-Tec headlamp, to make yourwalks safe when walking in the dark.

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  • Choose Good LightAlthough your natural inclination may be tofocus your attention on your subject andcompose carefully to get the shots you want,you can greatly improve your photography ifyou put an equal amount of time intoevaluating and controlling light. What oftendistinguishes really good photographs from allthe rest is how light is used to capture thephotograph. Depending on the kinds ofsubjects you shoot, you may need to workexclusively with natural light, or you may beable to use a combination of natural andartificial light.

    After you have decided what you want to shootand you have a vision for the kind of shots youwant, carefully consider the characteristics ofthe available light if you are shooting with

    natural light. Do you have backlighting or frontlighting, or does the light come in from theside? Does the light come in from a low angle,or is the sun high in the sky? Is the light softand diffused, or is it bright and intense? Doesthe light have a nice, warm golden glow ormaybe an unwanted color cast?

    When you do not have good light, considerways in which you may improve it, or findanother time to try again. Can you use one ormore flashes? Are you shooting close-upswhen a macro ring light may be the mosteffective kind of supplemental light? Would oneor more handheld light reflectors be useful?The more you take advantage of quality light,the better your photos will be.

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  • Pick Good Light for Better Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    Shoot in Haze or Fog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    Silhouette Your Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    Learn When to Shoot with a Built-in Flash . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Reveal Detail with a Fill Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    Add a Catch Light to Your Subjects Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    Prevent Red Eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

    Add Natural Light with a Reflector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    Shoot Close-ups with a Macro Ring Light . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

    Illuminate Portraits with Window Light. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

    Take Advantage of the Golden Hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

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  • Heavy cloud cover and lateevening sunlight help silhouettethe tractor in this photo.

    PICK GOOD LIGHT for better photosDigital photography is all about capturing light on animage sensor; the better the light, the more potentialyou have for getting great photographs. The qualityof light can vary greatly from when the sun comes upin the morning to when it sets in the evening.Sometimes it varies on a second-by-second basis,such as when there are fast-moving clouds. A goodway to learn what light is best for the subjects thatyou enjoy shooting is to shoot frequently and

    carefully study your photographs. Learn to judgelight on direction, intensity, and color, and use thatinformation to decide when and where to shoot.

    Here is one caveat for the serious outdoorphotographer intent on shooting with only the bestlight: The best light conditions are rare. You musthave time and patience to wait for those perfectmoments to capture a perfect shot. If you have limitedtime or patience, you need to rely on having enoughluck to be at the right place at the right time.

    The low light of evening helps togive this swamp photo a goldenglow against the rich blue skywith well-defined white clouds.


    Fog reduces the dynamic rangeof light, which results in softsmooth gradations like thisphoto of a swamp.

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  • Rich fall colors plus theright light can makespectacular color in aphoto.

    Did You Know?Bad weather conditions can often make forbetter photographic opportunities thangood weather with blue skies. Look fordramatic clouds, thunderstorms, lightning,or windstorms that fill the air with dust.Changing weather conditions are also agood time to shoot. Try to capture anopening in the sky filled with blue skyagainst an oncoming rainstorm.

    Photo Tip!Clouds can be very helpful tophotographers because they can diffusebright sun and reduce the overall lightintensity and contrast. Clouds can make anotherwise clear sky a little more interesting.Use clouds to your advantage and havepatience for them to move to where theywill help you get better photographs.

    Even the golden glow of incandescentlight against rich wood colors cancreate wonderful light in an interiorlike this one.

    Chapter 2: Choose Good Light 25

    The soft, early morninglight on this iris makes iteasy to capture detail inthe shadows andhighlights.

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  • 26

    Shoot in HAZE OR FOGDo not avoid taking photos just because there ishaze or fog. Haze or fog can act as an excellent lightdiffuser that can help you to get some wonderfulphotos. Besides helping to reduce the overall contrastof an image, haze or fog can create an atmospherethat may transform what would otherwise be anuninteresting scene into a beautiful photograph.

    When properly exposing haze or fog, you can getstunning silhouettes and smooth monotonegradations that can make a photograph both simpleand powerful. Haze or fog can also add somemystery to a photo, as a viewer may not be able

    to see much detail in thephotograph. Whenever you have achance to shoot in haze or fog, takeit. Make sure, however, that you understand how touse exposure compensation because your camerasbuilt-in light meter will likely give you an exposurethat is not what you want. For a detailed explanationof exposure compensation, see Task #25.

    You can use a digital image editor such as AdobePhotoshop Elements to further refine your haze orfog photos into spectacular images.

    The haze seen from the SmokyMountains makes photographslike this one rich in soft subtlegradations that diminish withdistance.

    The fog in this swamp combineswith the late evening sun to helpcreate wonderful, monotonesilhouettes of trees in the water.

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  • SILHOUETTE your subjectBacklighting occurs when your subject has a brightlight in back of it, often resulting in dark shadows onthe subject. Shooting in this kind of lighting can beboth challenging and rewarding. The often extremecontrast between the bright background and an unlitsubject makes it possible to get a silhouette.

    Getting a good exposure in a backlit situation can bedifficult. Shoot a couple of photos with differentsettings and compare the results on your camerasLCD screen. If your camera offers a histogram (seeTask #24), you can use it to see if you have a dark

    or nearly black silhouetted subjector if you have blown-out highlights(see Task #26) in the bright areasof the composition.

    After you have taken a silhouette, you can use animage editor such as Adobe Photoshop Elements tofurther refine the image and turn it into an excellentprint. You can use the Set Black Point eyedroppertool found in the Levels dialog box to make thesilhouetted subject pure black by selecting theeyedropper and clicking the area that is silhouetted.

    Chapter 2 27

    The fading sunlight behind thetrees produced this silhouette.

    Underexposure caused thissilhouette of a flying pelican, butit makes a nice photo anyway.

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  • 28

    Learn when to shoot with a BUILT-IN FLASHA camera with a built-in flash is very useful when youtake snapshots or when there is not enough light andyou cannot add light in any other way. Otherwise,you should carefully consider ways to avoid usinga built-in flash most of the time. A built-in flashlights your subject with unnatural light that comesstraight from the camera. The resulting effect is thatimportant shadows, which add dimension to yoursubject, are removed by the flash. The use of anexternal flash has the benefit of projecting light on asubject from an angle that helps maintain importantsubtle shadows.

    If your camera has flash exposurecompensation, which enables youto reduce the balance of flashrelative to natural light, you can use a fill flash(see Task #14) to lighten some of the darkershadows to reveal details while keeping someshadow to add dimension to the subject. You canalso use a built-in flash to provide a catch light(see Task #15) to any subject with eyes and tostop motion.

    This photo taken without a flashshows good dimension andnatural colors.

    The use of a built-in flashfor this photo has diminishedthe shadows, resulting in a flat-looking image with lessnatural colors.

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  • Reveal detail with a FILL FLASHA fill flash is light from a built-in or external flashthat is used to illuminate dark shadows to revealdetail and to reduce overall image contrast in brightsun. When you are shooting compositions withstrong shadows or backlighting, consider using afill flash.

    When you shoot a backlit subject and the primarylight source is behind your subject and in front ofyou, the result can be an extremely high contrast. Afill flash can reduce the image contrast while lightingyour subject to reveal important details. Most backlit

    subjects are challenging to meter,so try a few different flash andexposure settings to get the photothat you want.

    If your camera has exposure compensation, you canuse that feature to get the best balance betweenexisting light and light from the flash. The closer youare to the subject, the more important it is to useexposure compensation to reduce the overall powerof your flash so that you do not overwhelm yoursubject with bright artificial light.

    Chapter 2 29

    This is a Canon 550EX Speedlitemounted on a Canon PowerShot G2.

    A fill flash reduces the overallcontrast and lights the shadowyareas to reveal detail in the iris.

    Bright sun creates extremecontrast on this iris with well-litareas and dark flat shadowareas.

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  • 30

    This childs portrait was greatlyenhanced with a flash to add acatch light to the eyes.

    Add a catch light to your SUBJECTS EYESGenerally, whenever you are shooting a subject witheyes, you should try to keep the eyes in focus andcapture a sparkle or catch light in them. Without acatch light, your subjects will look lifeless andconsiderably less attractive than if they had this tiny,but very important, feature.

    Often lighting conditions enable you to shoot withexisting light and get a catch light. If you areshooting without the benefit of light that enables youto get a catch light, use a flash or other light source.

    To avoid adding too much artificiallight from a flash, use flashcompensation if it is available onyour camera or an external flash to reduce thebalance of light from the flash relative to ambientlight. The distance to the subject and the power ofthe flash are important variables to consider whensetting the flash exposure compensation. What youdo not want to do is ruin your intended naturallighting just to add a catch light to the eyes.

    This close-up photo shows theimportant catch light, or sparklelight, in the childs eyes.

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  • Prevent RED EYEThe dreaded red eye is caused by light from a flashreflected back from a subjects retina to the camera.Sadly, unnatural red eyes almost always ruin theresulting photograph. To avoid getting photographswhose subjects have red eyes, many camera vendorshave added features that are known as red-eyereduction features. Although these features canreduce or eliminate red eye, they often create otherproblems. The best strategy is to learn how to shootwithout using a red-eye reduction feature.

    To avoid getting red eye, yousimply need to shoot so that theangle between the flash and lens tothe subjects eyes is more than five degrees. Usingan off-camera flash is one way to avoid getting redeye. You can also have your subjects look awayfrom the camera slightly, or you can find a shootingenvironment or use camera settings that do notrequire a flash. You are more likely to get red eyewhen shooting in a dark environment because thepupil will be wider and more prone to reflect red light.

    Chapter 2 31

    In this photograph, you can seethe dreaded red eye caused bya flash.

    Red eye can even occur in theeyes of pets and wildlifesubjects, such as this greathorned owl.

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  • This portrait was taken in brightdirect sun with a Stroboframelight modifier to reduce contrastand to evenly light the face.Notice the absence of harshshadows.

    ADD NATURAL LIGHT with a reflectorOne useful and inexpensive photographic accessory isa light reflector, such as the 32 Stroboframe Popsportable light modifier, which costs under $35. Youcan use it to reflect soft natural light toward yoursubject and as a shade cover to reduce overly brightand high contrast direct sunlight. Most similarportable light reflectors fold up to one-third of theiropen size, and they usually offer a white side and asecond colored side such as silver, gold, or bronze.

    A handheld light reflector is especially useful foradding light to a subjects face for a portrait. Besidesfilling shadows with natural light, you can add a

    warm color tone by using a bronze- or gold-coloredside of the reflector. When shooting a backlit subject,a reflective light modifier, such as the Stroboframelight modifier, is an excellent tool to use to addnatural fill light to the subject to reveal greaterdetail.

    Stroboframe light modifiers and similar products areavailable in multiple sizes and are easy to pack andcarry in the field.

    Here, the Stroboframe lightmodifier is held to reflect light uptoward the face of the model.


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  • This wildflowerphotograph was takenon a bright sunny dayunder the shadecreated by aStroboframe lightmodifier.

    Did You Know?Large white mat boards, which can be purchased at mostart stores, make excellent inexpensive light reflectors.Although they are not as convenient to store and carry ascollapsible light modifiers, such as the Stroboframe Popslight modifier, they can be used to reflect light where it isneeded. One advantage to using a white reflector overan additional light source is that it will not alter the colortemperature of the ambient lighting, which can occurwhen using an artificial light source.

    Apply It!If you have only a single strobe or hot light and you needto have light coming from a second direction, you canuse a reflector to bounce light back from the flash to thesubject. Just place the reflector opposite the light andreflect the light back to the subject to get an evenly litsubject.

    The photographer is using a self-timer anda Stroboframe light modifier to shade andphotograph a wildflower.

    Chapter 2: Choose Good Light 33

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  • A Canon MR-14EX TTL MacroRing Lite flash is mountedon the front of a CanonPowerShot G2.

    SHOOT CLOSE-UPS with a macro ring lightIf you are serious about taking close-up, or macro,photographs, consider getting a macro ring light. Amacro ring light is a flash that attaches to and wrapsaround the front of a macro lens. Although a macroring light can light up shadows in such a way that thesubject loses some definition, a skilled photographercan alter the ratio of the light coming from the twolights to maintain realistic shadows. Most macro ringlights also have a modeling light that is useful forboth seeing your subject and providing enough lightfor your camera to auto-focus.

    A macro ring light is also extremely valuable whenyou want to increase depth of field. Whenever youshoot close to a subject, you have a limited depth offield. To maximize depth of field, you need to choosea small aperture, which means that you will have alonger exposure. Long exposures allow smallmovements in the subject to record as a blurredsubject. Using a flash, you can freeze the subjectmovement while benefiting from the increased depthof field, resulting in perfectly focused and exposedsubjects.

    The interior details of this blueand yellow iris are well lit by amacro ring light.


    The Canon MR-14EX TTL MacroRing Lite flash offers manyfeatures and controls for takingwell-lit photos.

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  • A macro ring lightprovides excellent lightfor this spider with acatch light in the eyes.

    Did You Know?When you shoot close-up or macrophotographs, you should use a tripod. Atripod helps you accurately focus yourphotographs and more precisely controlthe depth of field and composition.

    Caution!Vendors other than the major cameravendors make several excellent macroring lights. However, be careful if youdecide to purchase a macro ring lightmanufactured by a vendor other than theone that made your camera. You may notbe able to use all the features. A good butmore expensive option is to buy a macroring light from your camera manufacturer.

    This close-up shot even shows detail inthe cornea of the turtles eye. This shotwould have been difficult to light withouta macro ring light.

    Chapter 2: Choose Good Light 35

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  • 36

    Illuminate portraits with WINDOW LIGHTGetting a good portrait is highly dependent on thequality and quantity of light that is available. That isone of the reasons why so many portraitphotographers strongly prefer to shoot inside aphotography studio where they have the most controlover lighting. One of the most useful lightingaccessories in a portrait studio is a soft box, which isa large light box that diffuses the light from a flashto make soft, even, natural-looking light for well-litportraits.

    You can get the same soft, evenlydiffused light in your own homewithout the expense of having astudio with studio flash and soft boxes by shootingportraits with the subject standing in front of awindow. Depending on the light, you can either shootwith the light coming in directly through the window,or you can use the diffused light that comes througha white sheer drape. If you want to control thebackground, you can have your subjects hold a matboard up behind them.

    You can create an excellentportrait by positioning yoursubjects in front of a windowwhile they hold a mat boardbehind them as a background.

    This portrait was taken usingnatural light shining in througha window.

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  • Take advantage of the GOLDEN HOURThe best sunlight is often found an hour or lessbefore sunset until 20 or so minutes past sunset.This time is often referred to as the golden hour forphotographers. When light is low in the sky, it givesyou a very directional light that adds wonderfuldepth to your photographs because of the shadowsthat it creates. The evening light is also usuallywarmer and richer in color than early morning light.If you shoot landscape photos, this is a time thatyou will rarely want to miss.

    When you plan on taking advantageof the sun in the golden hour, bewell prepared to shoot quicklybecause the best of that time may come and go injust a few minutes. Make sure that you have all yourequipment out, set up, and ready to shoot, or you willhave to wait for the next sunset. You should also wait20 minutes past sunset for any possible afterglow,which occasionally makes for a spectacular landscapephotograph, so do not pack up and leave too soon.

    Chapter 2 37

    The golden hour of sunset castsa wonderful color on these reedsnear the edge of the water.

    The golden light from theevening sun makes a wonderfulcolor for this child playing withsticks.

    Near-sunset light provides therich warm color and blackshadows shown in this forest.

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  • Control ExposureAlthough many factors contribute to making agood photograph, one of the most importantfactors is exposure. Even though yourcameras light meter can help you choose theright combination of shutter speed andaperture, and in some cases even the ISOspeed, it can still misread the amount of lightand give you a photo unlike what you havein mind. To improve your chances of gettingthe exposure you want, most digital camerasoffer a wide range of features that can helpconsiderably. Understanding features such asexposure metering modes, histograms, andexposure compensation and understandinghow to use manual mode can help you get theexposure that you want.

    Even the challenge of capturing the full rangeof brightness, from the darkest darks to thebrightest highlights, is easier if you understandwhat you can do later with an image editoron your computer and you plan for combiningtwo or more images. When it comes to gettingthe right exposure, the digital camera winshands down over the film camera. Not onlydo you have all the incredibly useful featuresto help you get the right exposure, but youcan instantly see the image on an LCD panel.If you are not happy with the picture that youtook, you can shoot until you get what youwant and it does not cost a thing!

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  • Understanding Exposure to Get the Photos That You Want . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

    Discover Different Exposure Modes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

    Choose an Appropriate Metering Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

    Using the Histogram to Get the Exposure That You Want . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

    Improve Exposure with Exposure Compensation. . . . . . . 48

    Avoid Blown-out Highlights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    Understanding Dynamic Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

    Combine Two Photos to Get a Full Dynamic Range . . . . 54

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  • UNDEREXPOSEDUnderexposing this photographled to a loss of detail in theshadow area.

    UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE to get the photos that you wantExposure is the correct combination of shutter speed,aperture, and ISO speed to get the photograph thatyou want. Exposure can be determined solely bythe camera, by you (as the photographer) and thecamera together, or solely by you. Wheneverthe camera helps you choose exposure settings, thecameras built-in light meter takes a reading of thereflected light in the scene and then selects theappropriate camera settings.

    When taking photos, remember that there is no suchthing as a perfect exposure only one that is how

    you want it to be. Overexposed photographs areoverly light, and detail is lost in the highlights.Underexposed photos are overly dark, and detailis lost in the shadows.

    Because digital camera exposure metering systemsmeasure light as if it were reflected from a neutral-gray surface, they may misread the lightwhen a scene is very dark or very light. Classicexamples include a black cat sitting in front of alarge pile of black coal or a white cat sitting on snow.

    OVEREXPOSEDOverexposing, or washing out,this photograph lost detail in thecloud area.


    PROPERLY EXPOSEDThis well-exposed photographreveals details in the highlightareas and in the shadow areas.

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  • INCORRECT METERINGThis photo was notmetered correctly, andas a result, the darkblack cat appears gray.

    Did You Know?One of the significant advantages of using the RAWformat (see Task #4), if it is available on your digitalcamera, is that RAW conversion tools enable you to varythe exposure by +/ two f-stops. If you plan on using thisfeature, make sure that you do not overexpose the imageand blow out the highlights (see Task #26) because youwill not be able to retrieve picture information in that areawith a RAW conversion tool. See Task #61 for moreinformation on the RAW format.

    Photo Tip!If you are shooting in a format other than RAW or youare shooting a scene that may not be metered correctly,consider using the auto-bracketing feature if it is availableon your camera. Auto-bracketing enables you to shootthree sequential shots; the camera will automaticallyshoot at a user-selected + and stop increment aroundthe metered setting.

    Photographers often incorrectly meterscenes with a lot of white sand or snow,as is the case with this underexposedphoto of a snow-covered dairy farm.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 41

    This photo of twowhite cats shownagainst a blackbackground wasmetered incorrectly,and the white catsappear gray.

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  • GENERAL EXPOSURE MODESYou usually select an exposuremode by turning a dial like thisone found on the CanonPowerShot G2.

    Discover different EXPOSURE MODESMost digital cameras offer a variety of exposuremodes, including program or auto mode, shutterpriority, aperture priority, manual, and bulb (time)modes. Choosing an exposure mode determineswhich exposure settings you can select and which,if any, exposure settings the camera willautomatically select based on the settings thatyou have selected.

    The camera automatically chooses both shutter speedand aperture settings when you select the program orautomatic mode. When using these modes on somecameras, you can sometimes modify these initialcamera-chosen settings.

    When you select the shutter priority mode, thecamera automatically chooses the aperture setting toget a good exposure. Likewise, when you choose theaperture priority mode, you choose the aperturesetting that you want, and the camera will select theappropriate shutter speed. Remember to choose theshutter speed setting when using shutter prioritymode and to choose the aperture setting when youuse the aperture priority mode; otherwise, you willsimply be using the last setting that was used. Insituations in which you want complete control overboth shutter speed and aperture, choose themanual mode.

    For snapshot photos and generaluse, select program or automaticexposure mode.


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  • PRIORITY MODESChoose the aperturepriority mode when youwant to control depthof field; in this mode,the cameraautomatically sets itsshutter speed.

    Choose shutter prioritymode when you wantto control shutterspeed; the camera thenautomatically sets theaperture.

    Did You Know?Automatic shooting modes such aslandscape, macro, and portrait modesoften result in a good photograph.However, they are not likely to producephotos as good as you can get if youunderstand and correctly use the shutterpriority or aperture priority modesettings.

    Caution!Some shooting modes such as programor automatic mode allow the camera toautomatically change the ISO setting if achange is needed. When you use a fasterISO speed, there will be more digitalnoise in the image. If you do not want tohave excess digital noise, make sure thatyou know when to avoid using a modethat causes automatic ISO speed changes.

    MANUAL MODEUse manual mode when you wantcomplete control over both shutter speedand aperture.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 43

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  • l This area is read by theaveraging, or multisegment,metering mode.

    l This area is read by thecentered-weighted meteringmode.

    l This area is read by the spotmetering mode.

    Choose an appropriate METERING MODETodays digital cameras have a built-in exposure meterthat measures the amount of reflected light from ascene to determine the appropriate settings to get amedium-toned exposure. Although built-in exposuremeters are getting increasingly sophisticated, theycan take readings that do not provide the exposuresthat you want. In many cases, these bad readingsare caused by reading either too much or too littlelight from the scene. To give you more control overwhat light is metered, most digital cameras offermore than one exposure meter mode.

    Some of the more common exposure meter modesare averaging or multisegment, center-weighted,and spot. The most useful is the averaging ormultisegment mode, which takes a reading fromthe entire area shown in your composition. Thecenter-weighted mode places more emphasis onthe center of the image, and spot metering readsonly a tiny part of the image. Picking the mostappropriate exposure metering mode increases thechance that you will get the exposure you want.

    The averaging, or multisegment,metering mode is well suitedfor most images like this sceneshowing farm trucks.


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  • The center-weightedmetering mode isuseful for reading lighton images like this onein which you want thepriority given to thecenter of the image.

    Did You Know?Many digital cameras have selectable auto-focuspoints that enable you to focus on off-centersubjects. If your camera has this feature, checkto see if one of your metering modes is linkedto the selectable auto-focus points. This featuremakes it easy to focus on an off-center subject,such as the tree photo that was shot from insidea cave shown in this task, and to meter the lightfrom that same point.

    Photo Tip!When your chosen exposure-metering modedoes not result in the exposure that you want,you have two choices. You can either adjustthe exposure by using exposure compensation(see Task #25) or by using the manual mode,in which you choose both the aperture andshutter speed settings without any assistancefrom the built-in meter.

    This scene was correctly metered usingthe manual metering mode to capturedetail in the truck.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 45

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  • The Canon PowerShot G2 digitalcamera shows a histogram alongwith a small thumbnail imageand important camera settingson an LCD screen.

    This pure white iris was correctlyexposed using a built-inmetering mode, a histogram,and exposure compensation.

    USING THE HISTOGRAM to get the exposure that you wantOne of the most useful features found on some,but not all, digital cameras is the histogram. Thehistogram is a graphical chart that shows thebrightness levels of an image ranging from pureblack on the left to pure white on the right, in 256steps. The vertical scale shows how many pixels arefound in the image at each brightness level.

    Using the histogram, you can easily read theexposure of a photo. The more pixels there are tothe right, the brighter the image is. Conversely, themore pixels there are to the left, the darker the

    image is. The histogram also gives you a clearindication when you have blown-out highlights (seeTask #26), which in most cases you want to avoid.

    Although it is tempting to shoot to get a perfecthistogram that is, one nicely centered anddispersed across the full brightness range such ahistogram does not mean that it is a good exposure.The sample photos and histograms shown in thistask illustrate the importance of getting the righthistogram for the subject and your intendedexposure.

    This histogram of the white irisindicates a correctly exposedimage, as the image is skewed tothe bright side of the tonal rangeto keep the white iris white.


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  • This nearly pure blackBlack Beauty iris wasincorrectly exposed asa medium tone, whichmakes it appear purplerather than black.

    Caution!Many digital cameras enable you to changethe brightness of the LCD screen used to viewimages that you are about to take or have taken.Changing the brightness level or viewing thescreen in bright light can cause you to misreadthe exposure. If your camera offers a histogram,you can use its graphical chart to give you anaccurate view of the exposure, regardless of theLCD screen brightness setting or bright light.

    Did You Know?Digital photo editors, such as Adobe PhotoshopElements, have a feature that is similar to thehistogram on some digital cameras for readingthe overall brightness of an image. The Levelscommand provides a histogram along with theability to modify the tonal range and overallimage contrast.

    This histogram shows no black or nearblack tones in the very black Black Beautyiris. The exposure needs to be reduced.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 47

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  • METERED SETTINGSThis photo was shot using themetered settings.

    Improve exposure with EXPOSURE COMPENSATIONIn some cases, the built-in light meter in yourcamera results in a bad exposure even if you choosea reasonable exposure mode (see Task #22) and themost appropriate metering mode (see Task #23). Toget a good exposure, use exposure compensation ifyour camera offers that feature.

    Exposure compensation enables you to modify theexposure up or down from the metered reading by aspecified amount. By doing this, you can continueshooting using the modified meter reading settingsand get good exposures. For example, if the meter

    reading indicates the need for a shutter speed of 160of a second at f/5.6, a +1 exposure compensationwould modify the aperture setting to f/4.0 if theshutter priority mode was selected, or to 130 of asecond if the aperture priority mode was selected.

    Using exposure compensation can be particularlyuseful when shooting in bright areas such as abeach, when snow fills most of the scene, or whenshooting in a backlit situation in which light comesfrom behind the subject, leaving the subject inshadow and the background bright.

    +1This photo was shot with a +1exposure compensation setting.


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  • +113This photo was shotwith a +113 exposurecompensation setting.

    Did You Know?Using an exposure-compensation featureis the easy way to modify the built-inmetering system to get the exposures thatyou want. If, for example, you are shootinga scene that is covered in snow, you candial in the exposure compensation settingto adjust the built-in meter so that you getperfect photographs each time you pressthe shutter release.

    Photo Tip!There may be times when you want toshoot with more than a +2 or -2 exposurecompensation. In those cases, you shouldchoose the manual shooting mode. Ifthe exposure compensation that you wantis outside the range of your camera, youmay need to change the ISO setting.

    +2This photo was shot with a +2 exposurecompensation setting and is a goodexposure.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 49

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  • This horse portrait has beenoverexposed. The pure whitearea on the face has no detailand cannot be brought backinto the photo with an imageeditor.

    Avoid blown-out HIGHLIGHTSIf any photography rule should not be broken, itis that you should avoid blown-out highlights, unlessyou want them for creative reasons. A blown-outhighlight occurs when you use exposure settings thatmake part of the image pure white where thereshould be details.

    The problem with pure white has to do with themathematics behind digital images. Although you canusually bring out some detail in nearly black orshadow areas, you cannot bring out detail in areasthat are pure white using a digital image editorsuch as Adobe Photoshop Elements.

    If your camera LCD has a histogram, it likely alsohas a highlight alert, which is a feature that showsblinking bright white pixels on a thumbnail image.These blinking white pixels mean that you needto decrease the exposure until there are no moreblown-out highlights. If a histogram shows anumber of pixels at the extreme right, this is alsoan indication that you need to reduce your exposure.

    This histogram shows howmuch of the detail in the horsesface has been pushed into the no-detail highlight area.


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  • The pure white spectralhighlights or reflectionson this well-exposedphoto of the shiny steelheadlight are correct.

    Did You Know?When shooting with a digital camera, you shouldusually use exposure settings to properly exposefor the highlight area of a scene. Using an imageeditor such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, youcan often bring details back into an underexposedarea; you cannot, however, bring detail back froman overexposed highlight area where all thedetails are blown out because there are few or nodetails in the near white or pure white areas.

    Did You Know?One place that pure white is acceptable is wherethere are spectral highlights. A spectral highlight isa bright spot from a shiny highly reflective surface.Generally, spectral highlights should be small andvery focused.

    The smooth white marble on the top ofthe head and on the arm of this statueshould be nearly pure white becausethere is little detail to show.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 51

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  • This photo reveals detail in thewhite sign but not in the birdsdark feathers because thedynamic range is too wide.

    Understanding DYNAMIC RANGEPhotography and print professionals refer to therange between the darkest parts of an image and thelightest parts of an image as the dynamic range, ortonal range. A composition that has very brightparts, such as a bright white sky, and very dark partswhere there are deep shadows is said to have a widedynamic range. Another commonly used term forsuch a scene is high contrast. Unfortunately, film ordigital cameras are not able to capture detail in manywide dynamic range scenes.

    The challenge that you face when shooting a highcontrast scene is to capture details in the shadowareas and in the highlight areas. As new digitaltechnologies are developed, there are a growingnumber of approaches that you can take (seeTask #28). For example, you can shoot once toexpose for the highlights and once to expose for theshadows and merge the two images together usingan image editor such as Photoshop Elements. Or youcan shoot once using the RAW format and convertthe image twice once for shadow detail and oncefor highlight detail. You then merge the two together.

    This histogram represents thetonal range of the precedingphoto.


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  • This is a classic exampleof the difficulty ofgetting details in abright sky whileshowing details in adark foreground.

    Did You Know?Many film photographers use a graduatedneutral density filter to enable them tocapture a wide dynamic range. Although thisfilter, which gradually changes from dark tolight in a vertical direction, helps to capturea wide dynamic range, it does so in a lessrealistic manner than you can do whencombining two images with a digital photoeditor (see Task #28).

    Photo Tip!You can expose a scene with a wide dynamicrange to get excellent silhouettes (see Task#12). You can also shoot to capture detail inthe shadow area of a landscape photo tomake a bright white sky become a blown-outhighlight. This makes it easy to replace the skywith a better sky found in another photo. Toaccomplish this task, you will need an imageeditor such as Photoshop Elements.

    Here detail is shown in the shadow areas,which causes a loss of detail in the sky.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 53

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  • This photo was exposed tocapture detail in the shadowarea, or the foreground.

    Combine two photos to get a FULL DYNAMIC RANGEOne of the great things about digital photography isthat there is virtually no limit to what you can dowith one or more photos when you are skilled withan image editor. When you shoot a challengingcomposition that has a wide dynamic range, you canmake an image that shows the full dynamic range inone of two ways.

    First, you can shoot two separate photos oneexposed for the shadows and one for the highlights and then combine them with an image editor. To getthe photos to register exactly, you need to use a

    tripod and to shoot without any moving objects inthe scene.

    Alternatively, you can take one photo using theRAW format and use a RAW converter such asAdobe Photoshop Camera RAW, which is includedwith Photoshop Elements, to convert the photo twice.First, convert it using an exposure setting to exposefor the highlights and then convert it to expose forthe shadows. Finally, use an image editor to combinethem.

    Combining the first two photosusing an image editor shows thefull dynamic range.


    This photo was exposed tocapture detail in the highlightarea so that there is good detailin the clouds in the sky.

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  • This photo was savedin the RAW formatand later convertedto expose detail inthe shadow area, orthe foreground.

    Did You Know?You may have a more visible dynamicrange in your digital photos thanyou can see. A good-quality computermonitor that has been carefullycalibrated to show a wide dynamicrange is essential to seeing andproperly editing digital photos. Tocalibrate your monitor, see Chapter 9.

    Photo Tip!In many cases, you will not be ableto take two photographs set todifferent exposures so that they canbe combined. Examples includescenes with moving subjects, such asfast-moving clouds or wildlife. In thesecases, you can shoot using the RAWformat and change the exposure usinga converter.

    The preceding two images werecombined using an image editorto show the full dynamic range.

    Chapter 3: Control Exposure 55

    This photo was saved inthe RAW format and laterconverted to show gooddetail in the clouds inthe sky.

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  • Control Focus andDepth of FieldIncorrect focus control, limited depth of field,subject movement, and camera movementcan all cause a blurry photo. Sometimes youmay intend to blur a photo while other timesit is an unwanted characteristic of a not-quite-right photo. To get the photosthat you want, you need to be able to controlfocus and depth of field.

    These two important photography variablesaffect each and every photo that you take.Although you need to understand how tocontrol focus and depth of field and tounderstand the various tradeoffs you arefaced with when making one decision overanother, it is also equally important to beable to visualize the effect that you will get.

    For example, you need to be able to have agood idea of how much depth of field you willhave when shooting with a 100mm lens fourfeet away from the subject using an aperturesetting of f/4 instead of f/8. The more youshoot and study your shots using the EXIFdata, the better you will get at choosing yoursettings and setting up to get the photographsthat you want. See Task #46 to learn moreabout EXIF data.

    Focus and depth of field are two variables thatenable a digital photographer to shoot morecreatively. To develop the mental view, shoota few series of photos of various combinationsof these variables and then study themcarefully.

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  • Achieve Sharp Focus Using a Tripod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

    Control Focus with Focus Point Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

    Show Action Using a Slow Shutter Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

    Add Drama by Panning with the Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

    Control Focus Creatively with Manual Focus . . . . . . . . . . 62

    Control Depth of Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

    Create Cool Effects with Depth of Field. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

    Understanding Focal Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

    Control Perspective with Focal Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

    Control Background with Focal Length and Aperture . . . 72

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  • 58

    ACHIEVE SHARP FOCUS using a tripod

    A solid tripod such as theManfrotto 3221WN is helpful forgetting sharply focused andwell-composed photos.

    The Manfrotto 488RC2 ballhead has a separate lever anda graduated scale for panning.A quick-release lets you quicklyand easily mount a camera ona tripod.

    If you shoot in low light levels, use a slow shutterspeed, or want to maximize depth of field byshooting with a small aperture, you will need to usea tripod to take sharply focused photos. The longerthe focal length of lens you use, the more importantit is to use a tripod because even the slightestmovement can blur a photo. Besides enabling you toconsistently take sharply focused photos, a tripodalso makes it easy for you to shoot a more preciselyand carefully composed photo.

    Carrying and using a tripod caninitially be bothersome. However,if you select a good tripod andhead and you get used to using it and taking sharplyfocused photos, it will be hard for you to take photoswithout one. If you plan on shooting panoramas(see Task #52), consider getting a tripod head thathas an independent panning feature such as theManfrotto 488RC2 shown in this task. Photographersthat regularly use a tripod get better photographs.If you are not using one, get one and use it.

    The Manfrotto 352 ball head isa lightweight, easy-to-use ballhead.

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  • Control focus with FOCUS POINT SELECTIONThe shallower the depth of field, the more importantit is to precisely select the part of the compositionthat you want clearly focused. If you are shooting acomposition that has an off-center element thatshould be in focus, check your camera manual tolearn about the features it has for selecting focuspoints.

    There are three common types of features forselecting the focus area. Some cameras have a fixedfocus point, usually in the center. With a center focuspoint, you aim that point on the subject where you

    want critical focus, press theshutter button halfway to useautomatic focus, recompose thepicture, and then press the shutter button the restof the way to take a picture. Some cameras enableyou to select anywhere from 3 to as many as50 focus points. After selecting the focus point, yousimply compose and take the picture. Many camerasalso have automatic focus point selection, which,surprisingly, often picks the best focus point forthe subject.

    Chapter 4 59

    An off-center focus point keepsthe lady examining necklaces infocus.

    Aiming the center focus point onthe shack and locking focus keepsthis red crab shack in focus.

    The photo was then recomposedand the shutter release buttonpressed all the way down tocapture the image.

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  • 60

    SHOW ACTION using a slow shutter speedUsually, the objective is to use a shutter speed thatis fast enough to stop any action in a photograph.However, you can use a slow enough shutter speedthat your subject is partly blurred to showmovement. To avoid getting a blurred backgrounddue to the slow shutter speed, use a tripod to limitthe blur to the moving subject.

    Choosing the right shutter speed is critical. Choosingone that is too slow yields too much blur. Choosingone that is too fast eliminates any sense ofmovement. With a little experimentation, you can

    learn which shutter speedsyou need to get the resultsthat you want.

    If there is too much bright light, your camera maynot have a small enough aperture setting to showmotion. In such cases, you can either shoot whenthere is less bright light or use a neutral density filterto block some of the light entering the camera, whichenables you to choose a slower shutter speed. Tolearn more about photographing with a neutraldensity filter, see Task #50.

    This photo shows off the horsesmagnificence because it wastaken at 130th of a second toreveal the speed of their gallop.

    The action in this photo of a boyjumping shows how much funhe was having and how mucheffort he expended.

    In bright sunlight, even a veryfast shutter speed can slow thepropeller of an airplane taxiingon a runway.

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  • ADD DRAMA by panning with the subjectAnother technique for showing action is to pan thecamera with a horizontally moving subject. The resultcan be a dramatic photo showing the subject clearlyfocused against a nicely blurred background that isblurred horizontally.

    The challenging parts of this technique are to choosethe right shutter speed, pick the right background,and pan with the subject so that the moving subjectis not blurred due to a panning speed that does notmatch the speed of the moving subject.

    Getting the effect you want when panning with acamera requires considerable experimentation and

    some skill, so you will need topractice. You must consider manyvariables, including the speed of themoving subject, the distance between you and thesubject, the distance between the subject and thebackground, focal length, shutter speed, and thecapabilities of your camera. Additionally, you need tobe able to skillfully pan with the subject. Using atripod head that has independent panning motion ora fluid head video camera tripod head can be usefulfor getting well-panned photographs.

    Chapter 4 61

    A slow shutter speed of 16th ofa second caused the panningmotion to blur the BMX ridersto make an artsy print.

    A shutter speed of 1125th of asecond was used to freezethe flying pelican against thewonderfully colored and blurredbackground of a seaside harbor.

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  • Manual focus made it easyto control precisely wherethe shallow depth of fieldwas positioned on these soft-focused tulips.

    CONTROL FOCUS CREATIVELY with manual focusA flawlessly in-focus photo may not always be whatyou want. Imaginative photographers experimentwith all the photography variables to get new andexciting photographs. Focus is one of those variablesthat you can change to dramatically alter a picture.A soft, out-of-focus photo can result in a mood thatcannot be shown in a well-focused photo of the samesubject. Likewise, you can carefully control focus toplace emphasis on the subject or on an importantpart of a composition.

    When you want to either take a picture that is outof focus or to have precise control over focus andwhere to position the depth of field, use a manualfocus to get exactly what you want. Freeing yourselffrom one more automatic feature helps you tothoroughly think through another important aspect ofyour photography focus. Try setting your camerato manual focus and use it to be more creative.

    Here, manual focus gave thephotographer precise controlover which part of the bee wasin focus.


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  • Getting the intendedarea of tulips in focusin this photo was easywith the camera set tomanual focus.

    Did You Know?Some of the worlds greatest photographs havebeen taken with cameras that were manuallyfocused because automatically focusingcameras were not available. In those early days,professional photographers worked hard torefine their picture-taking skills, and theirsuccess remains as proof that you do not needan expensive, feature-rich camera to take greatphotographs.

    Photo Tip!Precise manual focus is difficult to get withmany compact digital cameras. If you are havingproblems focusing in manual mode, considergetting a macro positioning rail such as theManfrotto 3419 micro positioning plate. Thistripod head accessory enables you to moveyour camera forward or backward using a dialto get perfect focus distance without havingto move your tripod.

    This intentionally out-of-focus photo ofreflections in a pond was taken to becombined with another photographusing an image editor.

    Chapter 4: Control Focus and Depth of Field 63

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  • One-third of the depth of fieldis in front of the focus point,and two-thirds is behind thefocus point.

    Control DEPTH OF FIELDDepth of field is the area in a photograph that isin focus. It is determined by three primary factors:the aperture setting, the distance to the subject,and the focal length. The smaller the apertureopening, the more depth of field you will have.For example, an f-stop of f/4.0 will be larger thanan f-stop of f/8.0, and it will consequently have lessdepth of field. As the distance from the camera tothe subject increases, so will the depth of field.Lenses with longer focal lengths have a shallower

    depth of field than lenses with short focal lengths.For example, a 100mm lens has considerably lessdepth of field than a 28mm lens.

    Clearly understanding and being able to controldepth of field is a significant part of photography.Besides using depth of field to isolate a subjectfrom its background or to ensure that everything inthe picture is sharply focused to show as muchdetail as is possible, there are many other creativeuses as well.

    Shorter focal length lenses(such as 35mm) have moredepth of field than long focallength lenses (such as 100mm)when the camera-to-subjectdistance is equal.


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  • Aperture size is onedeterminant of depthof field. Small aperturesresult in greater depthof fields. A wide-anglelens has more depthof field than a telephotolens.

    Did You Know?The larger the aperture, the faster the lens isbecause it lets in more light than a slower lensor one with a smaller aperture in the sameamount of time.

    Photo Tip!When you want the maximum depth of fieldand you are shooting in low light, or youare shooting close-up or macro shots, themovement of the camera caused by pressingthe shutter release button can cause unwantedimage blur. To avoid camera movementcaused by pressing the shutter button, set thetimer release so that the camera takes a photowithout your pressing the shutter release button.

    Camera-to-subject distance is one of threefactors that affect depth of field. Thefarther away a subject is from the camera,the greater the depth of field will be.

    Chapter 4: Control Focus and Depth of Field 65

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  • Using a lens with a long focallength and selecting a largeaperture to get a shallow depthof field isolate these threeflowers from the background.

    CREATE COOL EFFECTS with depth of fieldDepth of field is determined by three factors: howclose you are to the subject, what focal length lensyou are using, and what aperture setting you areusing. The farther away you are from the pointwhere you set focus, the deeper the depth of field is.The longer the focal length you use, the shallowerthe depth of field is. The smaller the aperture youuse, the more depth of field you have. You need tounderstand the relationships between all three ofthese factors to effectively control depth of field.

    Photography is all about controlling a wide range ofvariables and understanding the tradeoffs whenchoosing settings. When you use a longer focallength lens to get a shallower depth of field, you willbe able to show less of the subject due to a smallerangle of view. Using a smaller aperture to get moredepth of field will require a longer exposure.Shooting farther away from the subject makes itharder to get a tightly cropped subject.

    A wide-angle lens with asmall aperture was used tokeep the entire archway photoin focus. A tripod was alsoused to minimize cameramovement that would haveblurred the shot with therequired slow shutter speed.


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  • A wide-angle lens withdeep depth of fieldmade it easy to keep allthe pumpkins and thepumpkin stand in focusin this photo.

    Did You Know?Due to the small size of the image sensor used inmany compact digital cameras, it is very hard to controldepth of field because any of the available aperturesettings produce a rather deep depth of field. If youmostly want to shoot photos with little blur due to ashallow depth of field, such a camera is wonderful. Ifinstead, you want to be able to shoot subjects withblurred backgrounds, you may need to buy a digital SLRthat enables you to shoot with a shallow depth of field.

    Photo Tip!When you are taking a portrait, try using a long focallength to get a small depth of field to focus attentionon your subject and get a soft blurred background.

    Depth of field is very shallow whenshooting close up to a subject, such asthis dragonfly, with a long telephoto lensand when using a mid-range apertureto minimize subject movement causedby wind.

    Chapter 4: Control Focus and Depth of Field 67

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  • FOCAL LENGTH MULTIPLIERYou can usually find the focallength multiplier for yourcamera in your camerasdocumentation.

    Understanding FOCAL LENGTHTechnically, focal length is the distance in millimetersbetween the optical center of the lens and the imagesensor in a digital camera when the lens is focusedon infinity. However, focal length by itself does notdescribe the angle of view as is commonly thought.The angle of view is highly dependent on both thefocal length and the size of the image sensor onwhich the lens focuses its image.

    To make it easy to compare angles of view, thecamera industry is fast accepting the term

    35mm equivalent focal length. Long focal-lengthlenses, such as a 200mm 35mm equivalent focallength, have a narrower angle of view than lenseswith a shorter focal length such as 50mm. To capturea wider angle of view, you need a wide-anglelens. To get really wide-angle photographs, youcan shoot multiple photos and digitally stitch themtogether; see Task #52 to shoot multiple photosto make a panorama.

    NIKON COOLPIX 5700 ZOOM LENSThe Nikon CoolPix 5700 has azoom lens with a focal lengthnoted as 8.9mm to 71.2mm. Thefocal length multiplier is 3.93.The 35mm equivalent focallength is 35mm (3.93 x 8.9) to280mm (3.93 x 71.2).


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    The photo on the leftdemonstrates theshortest focal length,35mm.

    The photo on the rightshows an intermediatezoom.

    Did You Know?Many zoom cameras have an X rating, suchas 2X or 4X, which is not directly related tothe focal length. It just means that themaximum focal length is X times longerthan the minimum focal length. Forexample, the Nikon CoolPix 5700 has an8X zoom lens, which simply means that thelongest focal length is 8 times longer thanthe shortest focal length.

    Photo Tip!Some digital cameras have a digital zoomfeature that gives you an even longer focallength than you get with the optical zoom.Optical zoom is done solely through theoptics of the lens. Digital zoom is actuallythe center of the composition enlargeddigitally, and it is extremely inferior tooptical zoom.

    The left photo shows the CoolPix 5700zoomed in even more.

    The right photo shows the longest focallength of 280mm.

    Chapter 4: Control Focus and Depth of Field 69

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  • The faade of this office buildingshows severe convergence ofparallel horizontal lines becauseit was taken up close with awide-angle lens.

    CONTROL PERSPECTIVE with focal lengthWhen you stand in the middle of railroad tracks thatvanish into the horizon, you are experiencingperspective. When you experience perspective,straight lines seem to converge over distance. Whenshooting photos with a camera, you can use focallength to control how rapidly parallel lines convergeor if they converge at all. The shorter the focallength, the more rapidly parallel lines converge.

    To shoot a full-frame picture of a large building witha wide-angle lens, you have to be fairly close, andthe buildings lines will tend to converge over a short

    distance. If you shoot farther back from the buildingwith a telephoto lens, you can still fill the frame,but you can do so without allowing perspective tomake the building look distorted due to the rapidlyconverging lines that are really parallel lines.

    Unfortunately, many of the zoom lenses on compactdigital cameras suffer from barrel or pin-cushiondistortion. These distortions are in addition to theconvergence of parallel lines, and they result in linesthat either curve in or curve out instead of remainingstraight.

    The white grid laid over thisbuilding shows the curving ofbuilding lines that should bestraight. This distortion is causedby using a wide-angle lens.


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  • This photo was takenwith a wide-angle lensto include the houseand a wide expanse ofthe sky and the tree.

    Did You Know?Several software applications are availableto correct various types of image distortion,such as barrel and pin-cushion distortion,which are caused by wide-angle lenses.One product is LensDoc from AndromedaSoftware Inc. ( Itoffers specific corrections for many specificcamera models, and Andromeda hasversions for PC and Mac.

    Did You Know?You can use an image editor, such asAdobe Photoshop Elements, to correct theconvergence of lines in a photo takenwith a wide-angle lens. Select Image,Transform, and then Perspective to makelines that should be parallel actuallyparallel.

    You can notice more perspectivedistortion of the house in this photo thanthe preceding one because the photowas taken close to the house.

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  • The longer the focal length of alens, the more a slight move tothe right or left may change thebackground.

    CONTROL BACKGROUND with focal length and apertureControlling the background in a photo is often a keyfactor in getting a good composition. You can easilycontrol the background with a long focal lengthlens, which has a shallow depth of field and a narrowangle of view. The shallow depth of field helps tocreate a soft-focused background. The narrow viewmakes it easier to change the background by movingthe camera location to the left or right, or even upor down a few inches, with minimal effect on thecomposition of the subject.

    Several factors determine how much you can controlthe background. The distance from the camera to thesubject and the distance between the subject andthe background are two important factors, along withthe focal length. The closer the camera is to thesubject, the narrower the depth of field will be, whichhelps to blur the background. Likewise, the fartherthe background is from the subject, the more you canblur the background. A tripod is a good aid to precisecomposition and successful control of the backgroundwhen shooting with a long focal length lens.

    The lady in this portrait wascarefully positioned to make anice soft background with colorsthat enhance the subject.


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  • The softly blurredbackground withcontrasting colors helpsto isolate and focusattention on the flowersin the foreground.

    Did You Know?Aperture settings are written asf/4.0 or f/8.0. But, in fact, theaperture size is really 14.0, or 14, and18.0, or 18, which means that anf/4.0 aperture is actually largerthan an f/8.0 aperture becauseone-fourth is larger than one-eighth.

    Photo Tip!The greatest depth of field isobtained by selecting the smallestaperture. When shooting with asmall aperture, you need to use aslower shutter speed to get aproper exposure. This is why youneed to use a tripod when theobjective is to shoot with themaximum depth of field.

    The closer the background is to thesubject, the more difficult it is to get asoftly blurred background.

    Chapter 4: Control Focus and Depth of Field 73

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  • Take Better PhotosTaking good photographs has more to do witha photographers vision; the time she has tospend shooting, reviewing, and digitally editingher photos; and the knowledge of her camerathan buying and using expensive photographicequipment. Undoubtedly, some of the moreexpensive digital cameras enable you to takebetter photographs, but if you really want toimprove your photographic success, learn howto shoot better. Learn to choose subjects thatyou are passionate about. Assess and choosegood shooting conditions. Determine your ownphotographic vision. Use your knowledge ofyour camera to capture that vision.

    You also need lots of time to shoot, study,edit, and wait. You may need to wait for betterlight, less wind, or even for the subjects that

    you want to arrive. When conditions aregood and you are ready to shoot, you musthave your photographic vision, and you willneed to know how to compose. The excitingnew world of digital photography offers everyphotographer many new benefits that make iteasier, faster, and cheaper to learn to makeexcellent photographs more often.

    What makes good photos? One of the beststandards to use to determine if you havetaken a good photograph is to simply askyourself if you like it and if you enjoyed theprocess of making it. Listen to the advice andopinions of others, but shoot for yourself andyour own enjoyment. If you do, and you workhard and put in the time, you will become agood or maybe even a great photographer.

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  • Assess Shooting Conditions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

    Consider the Possibilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

    Compose for Maximum Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

    Shoot Photos Based on a Theme. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

    Work to Develop Your Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

    Shoot Details to Create Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

    Compose for Final Print Proportions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

    Learn to Shoot Better by Studying EXIF Data . . . . . . . . . 90

    Get Better Photos with Patience, Practice, and Effort . . . 92

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  • 76

    Would an early morning shotwith light illuminating the whitefarm buildings improve thisevening shot?

    Could you choose a betterbackground for this whitepoodle?

    Is this a good beach color?Will it get better later? Shouldyou use a faster shutter speedto underexpose it a bit forricher colors?

    Assess SHOOTING CONDITIONSFor many reasons, you should make it a habit tocarefully assess shooting conditions before taking anypictures. Besides determining if it is worth your timeto shoot at all, you should also decide how to get thebest photographs you can from the existingconditions. You may also consider when you maywant to return to get better photographs.

    What are good shooting conditions? Does wind, rain,snow, or bright midday sun make bad shootingconditions? One of the amazing things aboutphotography is that there are few rules that always

    hold true. Although it is safe to say that it is moredifficult to get good photos with midday sun, you canfind many remarkable examples of how wrong it is toalways accept such a guideline as a rule.

    Also consider the subject as one of the mostimportant shooting conditions. If you are passionateabout the subject, you will not only enjoy shootingmore, but your results will ultimately be better.Having an interest in the subject and someknowledge about it can help you capture and portrayits soul in an exciting or interesting way.

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  • Is there too much windto get a well-focusedphoto of this beebathed in rich gardencolors? Or does thewind help to create asoft-focus effect?

    Photo Tip!When you are shooting in less than idealconditions, look for inventive ways to get goodphotographs. A torrential downpour may leaveyou with wonderful patterns in water puddlesthat reflect your subject. Or wind that is toofast to enable you to take close-up photosmay help you get award-winning soft-focusphotos if you use a slow shutter speed tocapture blowing flowers.

    Did You Know?A surprising number of excellent photographshave been taken in bad weather. Heavy fog,thunderstorms, and snow blizzards oftenmake for excellent photographs. The next timethat you think the weather is bad, go shootand see what you get. In particular, look forchanges in weather.

    Can good photos be taken in asnowstorm? How will this scene lookin an hour, two hours, or even more?

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  • The exposure was increasedslightly over the meteredexposure to brighten the statue.

    This exposure was the result ofthe cameras metering.

    Consider the POSSIBILITIESEach time that you press the shutter button to take apicture, you analyze dozens of different variables,including exposure, composition, lighting, depth offield, angle of view, and ISO setting. To get betterphotos, think about how you can change thevariables to take many different photographs. Studythem to find the ones that you like.

    The more you experiment and study your results,the more likely you are to get an understanding ofwhat you like and how to further develop your ownpersonal style. For good practice, carefully consider

    how you can shoot differently. Because many goodphotographers shoot the same subjects, getting freshand interesting photographs that you will be proudof demands considerable thought.

    When one of the worlds most famous photographerswas asked to review another photographersportfolio, he looked quickly and said, Take acouple of weeks and go shoot a few thousand morephotos. He replied this way because the otherphotographer had not yet considered enough ofthe possibilities.

    A slightly underexposed settingcauses the background todisappear.

    This slightly tighter framed photoputs more attention on the handgesture.


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  • This tightly croppedphoto emphasizesthe face.

    Apply It!You can sometimes get new andinteresting photographs by going toextremes. Shoot at extreme f-stops,extreme shutter speeds, and extremeangles of view. Then, back off justa bit. Maybe try the other extremeand then back off just a bit. Ampleexperimentation will eventuallyyield photos that you like.

    Photo Tip!The most common view of a subjector scene is from a vantage pointabout five to six feet from the ground.Because most people view the worldfrom this height, photos takenfrom this height are often ordinary.Try shooting from a worms-eyeor birds-eye view to give viewersa fresh or unusual perspective.

    This horizontal composition helps theviewer feel more face to face withthe statue.

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  • This photo was composed usingthe rule of thirds.

    COMPOSE for maximum effectHow you compose is one of the most importantdecisions that you make about any photograph thatyou take. Although many guidelines help you tocompose well, most of them have been routinelybroken while still creating excellent photographs. Souse the common rules, such as the rule of thirds(locate the main subject on one of the intersectinglines of an imaginary tic-tac-toe board overlaid onthe image), as mere guidelines, not as hard-and-fastrules that cannot be broken.

    Using a digital camera with a zoom lens enables youto try different compositions without having to moveas much. You can shoot a wide-angle photo andthen zoom in to compose a much tighter view of thesubject. The angle of view and vantage points aretwo other significant aspects of composition that youcan control somewhat when using a zoom lens. Lookfor creative angles that show your subject or scenein new and interesting ways. Also, look for ways toaccentuate form, texture, and patterns. If you havecomposed a photo that invites the viewer to lookmore closely, most likely you have composed well.

    Adding a long expanse of therusty hood in this photo showswhere this dirty junkyard cat isnapping in the sun.


    Framing the swamp with theforeground trees made this moreinteresting than an unframedversion.

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  • A soft backgroundkeeps focus on thetiny green tree frog.

    Apply It!You can help convey information tothe viewer about your subject byframing a photo with the foreground.Applying this powerful technique alsomakes viewers feel as if they are inthe photo. Without this foreground,there is nothing but the subject.

    Did You Know?It takes effort to see new ways tocompose. Yet, if you took a dozengood photographers and asked themto shoot the same subject, therewould be many, many differentcompositions. Find a subject and seehow many different compositions youcan shoot as an exercise to furtheryour composition skills.

    Composing the shot of this buildingin this way further emphasizes thearchitectural perspective.

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  • This Mack truck hood ornamentwas shot to have a softbackground.

    The rust on this hood givesa clue to the age of thevehicle that the ornamentis mounted on.

    Shoot photos based on a THEMEFor a number of good reasons, you should shootphotos based on a theme. First, if you have chosena theme that you are interested in, you will enjoytaking the photographs for it, and capturing thetheme can be a motivating factor to get youshooting. You will also find that you will become abetter photographer as you continue to learn andwork toward getting better and better photographsof a similar subject. Having more than one or just afew photos of a subject helps you to compare whatis good and not so good in each shot that you take.

    You can choose to shoot a theme that can becompleted for example, all the country churchesin a specific county. Or you can choose a more open-ended theme such as antique automobiles, oldbarns, or even gargoyles. The photos in this taskare good examples of one very specific theme antique automobile hood ornaments. Notice that allbut one of them are Mack truck hood ornaments.What theme should you pick?

    This is a hood ornament froma Mack fire truck.


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  • This graceful hoodornament is froman antique Packardautomobile.

    Apply It!As you shoot photos based on a theme,carefully consider how you compose themand how they will work together as a series.Should you shoot some in portrait modeand others in landscape mode? Should youattempt to have similar backgrounds, orcan the backgrounds vary?

    Did You Know?If you have chosen a theme that requiresconsiderable searching, use the Internetto get help shooting your theme. If you area bird photographer, find a forum whereother birders can tell you where to findcertain birds. Or maybe you need helpfinding old barns. The Internet can save youconsiderable time and travel expense whensearching for subjects that fit your theme.

    Here is another Mack truck hoodornament shown against a rustedtruck body.

    Chapter 5: Take Better Photos 83

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  • This purple and yellow iris isisolated from the soft greenbackground with a telephotolens.

    The vantage point was chosento provide a sharp contrastbetween the purple iris andthe soft green background.

    Work to DEVELOP YOUR STYLEIf you have seen a photograph and said, Thatphotograph had to have been taken by . . . and youcan correctly name the photographer, you have founda photographer who has a well-developed style. Whatmakes a style? It can be the way a photographerportrays a subject, uses light, or captures colors. Orit may be a more difficult-to-quantify combination ofcharacteristics that, when combined, make the stylenoteworthy.

    How do you develop a style of your own? Takeseveral photographs to develop your photographicvision and learn more about what it is you see andhow you portray it. After you have taken thousandsof photos, you will begin to see a pattern. Maybe youhave an eye for shooting things that are graphic withbold colors, or you have worked on an impressionisticstyle by shooting in soft light on windy days withslow shutter speeds. When you notice a styledeveloping, work on it to make it more distinctive,and keep refining it.

    The aperture was chosen tokeep this iris entirely in focuswhile allowing the backgroundto be soft.

    The distance from the iris to thebackground helped make a softbackground for this sharplyfocused iris.


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  • These two photos takenby Larry Berman ( a style unique toLarry because of thecolor infrared techniquehe uses and the wayhe portrays ordinarysubjects.

    Did You Know?Many of the worlds most successfuland well-known photographers havea style that makes their work notable.Check out the works of Annie Leibowitz,Freeman Patterson, Pete Turner, andJerry Uelsmann to name just a fewof the great ones.

    Did You Know?If you want to sell your photographs inan art show or display them in a gallery,you are more likely to have your workshown if you have a distinct style, shooton a theme, or both. A series of randomphotographs with no connection canbe considerably less interesting than agroup of photos with a consistent styleor theme.

    Part of Larry Bermans style involveschoosing ordinary subjects but shootingthem in extraordinary ways.

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  • The close-up photo of this iriswas taken to reveal details notordinarily noticed inphotographs that show theentire iris.

    SHOOT DETAILS to create interestAlthough the first and natural inclination is to shootan entire subject, shooting tightly cropped details canlead to the creation of captivating photos. Detailphotos often are more interesting than full-subjectshots because you can take a photograph that showseither detail that the viewer had never noticed ordetail that may cause the viewer to take a closerlook while wondering what the subject is.

    Capturing just part of a subject enables you to putemphasis on the detail that is ordinarily overlookedwhen viewing the entire subject. When composing

    detail photos, compose to show form, color, texture,or shape.

    When shooting details, be aware of the fact thatyou can shoot an increasing level of detail, too.For example, you can shoot just part of a tree withan interesting shape, such as a specific branch,a few leaves, a single leaf, or even just part of aleaf showing the intricate lines and texture. As youget to increasingly smaller detail, you may wantto consider using a macro lens or macro feature.

    A tightly cropped photo of acustom motorcycle engine makesa wonderful print.


    The intricate detail of decay inthis ancient church alcove addsinterest.

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  • Here is a detail photoof the arched concretesupport beams in achurch walkway thatconnects two buildings.

    Apply It!To catch a viewers interest, take aphoto of just part of a subject to letthe viewer imagine what the rest ofthe subject looks like or to evenmake her wonder what it is that sheis looking at. Also, detail-orientedphotos can frequently reveal detailsto viewers that they would notnormally have noticed.

    Photo Tip!When shooting a detailed photowith a small subject, use a macrolens or shoot in macro mode ifone is available on your digitalcamera. Shooting with a shallowdepth of field can often furtheradd to the success of the photo.

    This close-up shot of a sandhill cranereveals incredible detail, including ahole in its beak.

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  • This original uncropped imagefits well within the camerasviewfinder.

    Compose for final PRINT PROPORTIONSOne challenge when photographing with a digitalcamera is to compose an image in the viewfinder thatwill translate into an image with the width-to-heightproportions that you want. This problem arisesbecause the aspect ratio of the image sensor is usuallynot the same aspect ratio as the paper you print onor the proportions of the image you want to put on aWeb page.

    Even though your images may be composed perfectlyin the viewfinder, the viewfinder does not have the

    same aspect ratio as many standard-sized prints,such as 4 x 6 or 8 x 10. This means that youhave to crop the printed image. Think about how youwill use your photos and shoot accordingly. To avoidhaving a less-than-perfect photo for any purpose,shoot more than one photo composed for eachintended use. The owl photos in this task show howhard it is to get even one standard-sized print thatlooks good from a tightly framed original photo.

    Similarly, more space above theowls head would be nice in this8 x 10 print.


    More space above the owlshead would be nice in this 11 x 14 print.

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  • The owl is too tightlycropped all around inthis 5 x 7 print.

    This 4 x 6 print workswell, unlike all the otherstandard sizes.

    Caution!If you are concerned about having tocrop an image to get the width-to-heightproportions for a print or an image fora Web page, make sure that you haveset your camera to the largest resolutionsetting. If you use less than themaximum resolution, you may not havean image that is suitable for yourintended use after it has been cropped.

    Did You Know?Using a digital image editor, such asAdobe Photoshop Elements, you canadd some width or height to a photoif you are unable to crop it to the width-to-height proportions that youwant. After adding some width orheight to your image, use a cloningtool to paint in the extra needed widthor height.

    This 10 x 8 print shows the difficultyof printing horizontally if the photowas composed vertically.

    Chapter 5: Take Better Photos 89

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  • Here is a digital photo with thecamera settings stored accordingto the EXIF specifications.

    Learn to shoot better by studying EXIF DATAWhen you take a digital picture, the camera writesthe image to an image file, along with other usefuladditional information such as the date and time thatthe picture was taken. The camera also recordssettings such as shutter speed, aperture, exposurecompensation, program mode, ISO speed, meteringmode, white balance setting, and flash information.

    All this information is written to the image file inan industry standard format called the EXIF(exchangeable image file) format. To read thisinformation, you need software that enables youto extract the EXIF data. Most digital camera

    vendors provide image browser software that letsyou read EXIF data while browsing thumbnailimages. Also, you can read EXIF data from mostimage-management applications such as CeriousSoftwares ThumbsPlus ( andACD Systemss ACDSee ( Photoshop Elements and Adobe Photoshop CS2offer a file-browsing feature that you can use to viewEXIF data. Additionally, some third-party vendorscreate free, specialized applications for reading andprinting EXIF data, such as Thumber ( and Exifer (


    want to view open, click File.

    2 Click File Info.


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  • l The File Info dialogbox appears, in whichyou can add your owntextual content.

    3 Click Camera Data 1.

    Apply It!EXIF data can be useful for learning howto take better photos. After taking a fewphotos with different f-stops to control thedepth of field or when shooting multipleshots with different exposures usingexposure compensation, look at the imageand the EXIF data to learn which settingswere the best.

    Did You Know?Besides being able to read the EXIF data thatis written into a digital photo file by thecamera, you can also add your own textualinformation. Open an image in AdobePhotoshop Elements Editor and click File File Info to open the File Info dialog box.Click any one of the IPTC links to show dialogboxes where you can enter image titles,copyright notices, keywords, and much more.

    The EXIF data appears, including theshutter speed, f-stop, ISO, and focallength settings.

    4 Click OK when you are finishedexamining the EXIF data.

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  • Take a hike to get you and yourcamera to new and excitingplaces to shoot.

    Get better photos with PATIENCE, PRACTICE, AND EFFORTPhotography is an art. As is true with all art, thecreation of good art takes patience, practice, andeffort. Some amateur photographers buy expensivedigital cameras and expect to immediately getwonderful photographs. After taking a few hundredphotographs with minor success, they get discouragedand stop shooting. To prevent this from happening toyou, use a good work ethic and patience to shoot lotsof photographs, and you will see your efforts pay off.

    Although a photographic vision of what you want toshoot and the ability to use your camera to capture

    that vision are essential to getting great shots, timespent shooting and patience to wait for the bestshooting conditions significantly affect yourphotographic success.

    Remember that when you shoot digitally, animportant part of digital photography is editing witha digital photo editor such as Adobe PhotoshopElements. After you shoot, open your photos in animage editor and work as hard to learn how to edityour photos as you did to take them.

    Great photos often requireextraordinary effort, such asgetting into a pond with hipwaders to get close-up shotsof a water lily.


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  • This photographer ispatiently sitting whilewaiting for the perfectsunset at a well-chosenlocation.

    Did You Know?Many professional photographers thatshoot with film cameras shoot between20 and 30 rolls of 36-exposure filmper day, which is about 700 to 1,000photos per day. With digital cameras,the cost to shoot each photo is less,and you have the advantage of instantlyviewing the photo that you took.

    Did You Know?One of the best ways to learn moreabout photography is to shoot oftenand shoot several pictures of the samesubject or scene using different camerasettings and compositions. Then, studythe results by viewing them along withthe EXIF data on your computer screen.If you did not get it right, try again untilyou get the shot that you want.

    Studying images and EXIF data on acomputer will help this photographerimprove his picture-taking skills.

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  • Try Creative Photo TechniquesAlthough you can take snapshots to documentthe events around you, the finer form ofphotography is all about having a vision of aphoto that you want and then being able touse your camera to capture that vision. Todevelop your vision and increase your ability toeffectively use your camera to capture it, youneed to experiment and try different ideas.The more you shoot, experiment, and studyyour work and the work of others, the betteryour photography will be.

    Coming up with creative photo ideas is easy,and you will often be pleased with yourresults. In addition to trying ideas that arepresented in photography books, you shouldalso think of new ideas yourself.

    For example, you can experiment withdifferent features on your camera and usethem creatively. Push each of the availablesettings to the extreme to see what resultsyou get. Maximum and minimum aperturesettings and low shutter speeds are just twosettings that can help you get excitingphotographs. Also, you should think abouthow to make various design elements morepronounced. Think of ways to shoot that putfocus on the subject, capture bold or subtlecolors, or reveal patterns or shapes in complexscenes, or just shoot to capture elementsor backgrounds to later combine with otherimages. The more you think how to shootcreatively, the more you will understand howto shoot well!

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  • Focus Attention on Your Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

    Shoot Color for Dramatic Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

    Show Movement with a Neutral Density Filter . . . . . . . 100

    Control Reflection with a Polarizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

    Shoot Photos for a Panorama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

    Shoot Photos with a Wow! Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

    Shoot Scenes with Low Contrast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

    Shoot When Seasons Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

    Shoot Patterns and Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

    Shoot with a Plan to Edit Digitally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

    Experiment to Create Unique Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

    Shoot in Low Light for Rich Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

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  • A long telephoto lens and alarge aperture were used tomake this purple iris stand outagainst a blurred background.

    FOCUS ATTENTION on your subjectThere are many ways that you can focus attention onyour subject. Color, texture, background, focus,perspective, and a wide range of other visual designelements are just a few of the factors that you canuse to draw attention toward your subject.

    The next time that you shoot, think carefully abouthow you can focus more attention on the subject.Can you use a telephoto lens to fill the frame withthe subject, or can you use a wide-angle lens toshow a huge expanse of open space with a tiny

    subject that draws a viewers attention? Maybe youcan use a new vantage point where you look up ata subject that you ordinarily would look down at.

    When using a long telephoto lens, you haveconsiderable control over the depth of field, whichenables you to show a sharply focused subjectagainst a soft, blurred background with contrastingcolors. Whatever strategy you use, placing moreattention on your subject often results in a betterphotograph.

    The camera was positioned a fewinches up from the ground tofocus attention on the boysactivity.


    The bright green backgroundof softly blurred plants helpsfocus attention on the spideron a web.

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  • Chapter 6: Try Creative Photo Techniques

    Bright contrastingorange flowers isolatethe yellow butterflyfrom the background.

    Photo Tip!Use a telephoto lens when you want to isolate asubject from its background. Long focal length lenseshave a shallow depth of field, and they thereforeenable you to show a sharply focused subject againsta soft out-of-focus background. When you want toisolate a subject with a telephoto lens, use a largeaperture setting to keep your subject in focus whilecreating a soft background. See Tasks #34 to #38for more about focal length and depth of field.

    Photo Tip!Sometimes the best way to focus attention on asubject is to keep your composition as simple as itcan be. This strategy helps to minimize the numberof distracting elements that may compete with themain subject.


    Part of a walkway attached to the buildingframes this high-rise office tower.

    The face of this lacrosse player was shot tofill the frame to keep attention on his gazetoward the field.

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  • Richly saturated yellows, greens,and purples draw a viewersattention to the iris.

    Shoot color for DRAMATIC PHOTOSColor can be one of the most powerful elements ina photograph. Certain colors evoke emotions andcreate moods; others are less apt to be noticed. Red,for example, is always a color that is quickly noticed,even when it takes up a small part of a photo. Mostscenes or subjects can become spectacular orrelatively uninteresting depending on the color of thelight that is available. Study colors to learn how theywork together and how they can be combined to ruina photo. Although heavily saturated bold colors canbe dramatic, so can soft, subtle colors and even

    scenes with little color that result in a monochromaticphotograph.

    When you find a subject or scene that you like, visitand shoot it at different times of the day over a fewdays to see how different light changes the colors.Your repeated visits will help you learn how tocapture color as you want it. Shooting subjectsslightly out of focus and underexposing sometimescan further enhance your photos to produce rich,saturated color.

    The contrasting bright red vineleaves make this mostlymonochromatic bark texturemore interesting.


    The quality of the soft pastelcolors along with the soft focuseffect helps add interest to thiswater lily.

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  • Chapter 6: Try Creative Photo Techniques

    The pink flowers inthe background helpto clearly delineate theedges of the white andblue iris in the centerof this photo.

    Did You Know?Color can sometimes say more in aphotograph than the subject. Boldcontrasting colors that are balancedon a page can give the viewer anentirely different impression than ifthe colors are not balanced andcause some tension.

    Did You Know?Some colors are more appealingthan others. One of the reasonsthat the time just before andshortly after sunset is known as thegolden hour is that the rich,warm, golden light bathes subjectsin a very attractive rich, warm color.In contrast, colors in the blue familyilluminate scenes in a cool color.


    The awful combination of the olive greenbackground against the purple and whiteiris shows how important it is to shoot tocapture colors that work well together.

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  • 100

    Show movement with a NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERYou can use a slow shutter speed to show movementby recording a moving subject as being partlyblurred. However, sometimes you cannot choose aslow enough shutter speed when shooting in brightlight because cameras have a limit to the minimumsize of aperture opening. That limit may require ashutter speed that is too fast to show motion. Insuch cases, you can use a neutral density filter toreduce shutter speed by one or more stops.

    A neutral density filter is nothing more than a glasslens filter that reduces the amount of light that gets

    to the image sensor in your digitalcamera without having any effecton color. Neutral density filters areusually rated as 2X, 4X, and 8X, and they decreasethe light by 1, 2, and 3 stops, respectively.Generally, when you use a neutral density filterand a slow shutter speed to show motion, you willneed to use a tripod.

    To learn more about showing motion in your photos,see Tasks #31 and #32.

    A combination of the shadefrom a tree and a neutral densityfilter allows a slow shutter speedto capture the motion of thisperson walking and gives her aghost-like appearance.

    Without the use of a neutraldensity filter, this photo of amotorcycle could not have beentaken because there was toomuch light to use a slow enoughshutter speed to create thispanning effect.

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  • Control reflection with a POLARIZERA polarizer is a filter that attaches to your lens.Polarizers have two primary uses: to remove lightreflections and to enhance or deepen the colorsaturation. When you use a polarizer to increase thecolor saturation, you must shoot at a right angle tothe sun. As you turn more toward or away from aright angle to the sun, you are able to control less ofthe effect. Circular polarizers can be rotated, whichenables you to control the level of the effect. Whenyou use a polarizer to enhance colors, you need tobe careful to not overuse the effect, as it can resultin a contrasty and wholly unacceptable photo.

    When you want to shootwithout the distraction from lightreflections, you can use a polarizerto reduce or eliminate them altogether. A polarizer isuseful, for example, when you want to shoot througha glass window and show what is on the other sideor to shoot toward water and show what is beneaththe surface. You can also use a polarizer to controlbright reflections from reflective or shiny surfacessuch as metal or glass.

    Chapter 6 101

    Reflections of saturated colorsof the trees and sky make thebottom of this shallow streamhard to see.

    A polarizer filter removed thereflections so that the bottomof the stream is now visible.

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  • These four photographs of acountry landscape were takenwith a camera mounted on atripod with a head that allowspanning.

    Shoot photos for a PANORAMAAs long as photographs have been taken, it hasalways been a challenge for photographers to capturethe beauty found in wide-sweeping scenes. A wide-angle lens can capture more of a scene thana shorter focal length lens, but wide-angle lensestend to add unwanted distortion to the photos, andthey still do not capture as much of a scene asyou often want. Using one of the digital stitchingapplications or a feature such as Adobe PhotoshopElements Photomerge, you can shoot and latercombine multiple photos into a single, long verticalor horizontal panoramic photo.

    When you shoot photos that you will later combineusing a digital stitching application, you need tooverlap each photo by 13 to 12 so that you can matchand blend the images seamlessly. You also need tobe careful to maintain the same exposure throughoutyour photos. Avoid shooting moving subjects such asclouds or ocean waves that make photos too differentto be combined. Finally, you should always use atripod.


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  • Chapter 6: Try Creative Photo Techniques

    This photo was created bydigitally stitching togetherthe four photos shown on theprior page. Adobe PhotoshopElements was used to stitchthe images together andto make additional edits suchas the color change.

    Did You Know?You can use the Adobe PhotoshopElements Photomerge feature to combinemultiple photos into a single, large photofor making large prints. If your digitalcamera does not have enough pixels tomake a quality print in the size that youwant, you can shoot several photos andcombine them with Photomerge.

    Did You Know?You can take multiple photos of verticalsubjects and create vertical panoramas aseasily as you can create horizontalpanoramas. Good subjects for verticalpanoramas include tall trees andbuildings. Shooting from a distance witha telephoto lens can help minimizeunwanted perspective distortion causedby using a lens with a shorter focal length.


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  • 104

    Shoot photos with a WOW! FACTORNo matter what subjects you like to shoot, there aretimes where you can capture a photo with a Wow!factor. If you shoot sports photos, it may be a photoof two soccer players up in the air heading a ball atthe same time, showing the intensity of the play withsweat flying off their faces as you capture the perfectmoment when the ball is compressed between theirheads.

    Nature photographers are always looking tophotograph elk with record-setting antlers, or theperfect red fox in golden light, or maybe a black bear

    mother with four cubs (a rareoccurrence). To get photographswith a Wow! factor, you need tolook for exceptional light, perfect natural specimens,or unusual occurrences, or maybe you just getenough of the photographic variables correct that youget an outstanding photograph through good vision,camera settings, and composition. Often the trick togetting a photo with a high Wow! factor is being inthe right place at the right time and then using yourskills to capture the perfect shot.

    A row of black-necked stiltsfishing together as a team is asamazing to watch as it is to seein a photo.

    Wow! What is this foot attachedto? Sometimes it is what is notin a photo that makes itinteresting.

    Thousands of wintering birdsflying and grazing in open fieldscan be an awesome thing tosee, hear, and photograph.

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  • Shoot scenes with LOW CONTRASTSoft, diffused light tends to reduce contrast and canbe used to produce wonderful photographs. Unlikebright light that can create more contrast than youcan capture on an image sensor (or film), soft lightenables you to show good detail in all parts of animage, and it enables you to get excellent smoothgradations that can make superb photographs.

    Learn to look for low-contrast light and takeadvantage of it when you find it. Early-morning orlate-evening light is usually a good time to find low-contrast light with good color. Mist, fog, haze,

    or clouds can also create excellentlow-contrast light that is a joy toshoot. Besides reducing contrast,these lighting conditions can also reduce colorsaturation and enable you to capture monochromaticimages that can be simple and powerful.

    Finding low-contrast light is not always easy. Somegeographic areas rarely have anything but brightly litskies, and other places are known for rarely havingdirect sunlight. Being able to shoot in low-contrastlight is often a matter of place, time, and chance.

    Chapter 6 105

    Heavy cloud cover and densefog reduced the contrast in thisphoto taken in Ireland.

    The low-contrast light thatcreates the wonderful two-tonedgradation enhances this simplephotograph of a coastalwaterway.

    Low light levels help create thesmooth two-toned gradationthat is the background for thisdigitally edited tree.

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  • 106

    Shoot when SEASONS CHANGEYou can usually get out-of-the-ordinary photos byshooting when the seasons change. In early spring,you can find new buds that can be fascinating towatch as they open. Spring can also bring a nicecontrast between the dark browns of winter plantsand the green colors of the new spring plants.

    Undoubtedly, the rich bold colors of fall can also be akey factor for getting extraordinary photos that arehard to match when shooting at any other time ofthe year. Determining the exact time to get the best

    fall colors and when various plantsand trees bloom is more a matterof chance than planning. The bestapproach for deciding when to go to shoot fall colorsis to watch them yourself or find someone who cangive you a daily update if you live too far away tovisit except when shooting. These wonderful andrather short periods between seasons can provideyou with some of the best photographic opportunitiesof the year.

    Careful observation of nature inearly spring can provide youwith a deeper understanding ofyour subjects.

    The opening of buds on manyplants and trees can be amazingto watch and photograph over afew days.

    When a sweet gum tree growsnew buds, it also hangs inediblespiny fruits for a few weeksbefore dropping them.

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  • Shoot PATTERNS AND SHAPESAs a photographer, you can choose from manyelements to draw attention to your photographs.Patterns and shapes can often become the strongestelements in a photograph, and you can find themeverywhere after you develop a skill for noticingthem and capturing them with your camera.

    Our minds are always working to make sense ofwhat our eyes see by looking for patterns andshapes in the complex and often over-clutteredenvironment that we live in. The result is thatpatterns and shapes are pleasing. Patterns are

    formed by the repetition ofobjects, shapes, lines, or colors.Sometimes it is the pattern orshape that makes a photograph a good one, ratherthan the subject itself. In fact, many goodphotographs feature a strong pattern or shape that ismade by something that is not even recognizable.

    When you find a pattern or shape, think how youshould shoot it to make an interesting photograph.Use light to make a silhouette, or maybe even usebright highlights to strengthen the pattern or shape.

    Chapter 6 107

    The softly focused lupine flowers inthe background mirror the gracefulshape of the blue lupine flower inthe foreground.

    The shape and color of thisbrightly colored wildflower addinterest to this photograph.

    This single elegant yellow fernsshape is enhanced by the shapesand orientation of the blurredgrasses in the background.

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  • This photo of a field ofwildflowers was intentionallyblurred so that it could becombined with the followingphoto to get a soft-focus,double-exposure effect.

    SHOOT WITH A PLAN to edit digitallyAfter you start taking photos with a digital cameraand editing them with an image editor, you havemoved into an entirely new world of possibilities.Each time that you shoot, you should be thinkingabout what it is you can or cannot do with yourimage editor after you have taken the photograph;otherwise, you will be vastly limiting what you cancreate photographically.

    Because you can combine one or more photosor parts of photos, remove unwanted parts,substantially modify contrast and tonal range,

    and much more, you need to think carefully aboutwhat you decide to shoot, how you shoot, and evenwhat you may not want to shoot. In the past,because of the cost of film, you may have avoidedtaking a landscape photo that featured a telephoneline or maybe a car that ruined the photo. Or maybeyou avoided taking a photo because the contrastwas too extreme. When you shoot and edit digitally,you can frequently correct these problems with animage editor.

    This photo was taken to add tothe preceding photo as a layerwith a blend mode in an imageeditor.


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  • Chapter 6: Try Creative Photo Techniques

    Digital brush strokesand filter effectstransformed this photoof the Sedona desertinto a digital painting.

    Photo Tip!Think about and shoot photo objectsand backgrounds. The next time thatyou find a wonderful subject, such asan old car sitting in a field with an uglybright sky, think photo object. Then,when you find a perfect backgroundscene for that car, shoot it and combineit with the old car and foreground.

    Did You Know?You should always work to take thebest photo that you can when shooting.Many photographers new to digitalphoto editing believe that they can fixanything wrong with a photo after theyhave taken it. That is not always thecase. You will always end up with abetter photo after editing it, if you firststart with an excellent photo.


    A pelican was shot specifically to becomean object to use in another photo, suchas this one of a swing in the woods.

    An overexposed and slightly blurredphoto was used to make thisarchitectural image.

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  • 110

    Experiment to createUNIQUE PHOTOSBreak all the photography rules and guidelines thatyou know. Shoot with a slow shutter speed without atripod. Zoom or pan your lens with the shutter openwhile shooting with a slow shutter speed. Intentionallyoverexpose and underexpose, shoot in high-contrastlight, shoot in low light, shoot in the rain or a snowstorm. Shoot a subject that you ordinarily do notshoot. Take 50 photos while shooting from groundlevel. Take 50 photos with your camera set to thesmallest aperture. Shoot using extremes extremevantage points, extreme focal lengths, extremeaperture settings, and extreme distances to thesubject.

    When you shoot a popularlyphotographed subject or scene,think carefully about all theobvious and common shots that are taken and thentry to come up with a dozen new ways to shoot thesame subject or scene. Maybe you change the angleof view or the vantage point. Or shoot with adifferent light, or shoot from a distance and framethe subject with some foreground element.Experimentation and careful thinking about eachphotograph that you take are always good.

    A slow shutter speed was usedto create this photo of a BMXracer.

    Attention is drawn to this statueby zooming the lens duringexposure with a slow shutterspeed.

    Slight horizontal panning duringexposure created this blurredsunset effect.

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  • Shoot in low light for RICH COLORSLong exposures in low-light environments can createrich, glowing colors that can make spectacularphotographs. City streets at night, building interiors,or nighttime reflections in windows can be goodsubjects to shoot. Fairgrounds with brightly litmoving rides can result in some spectacular imageswith the brightly colored lights represented asblurred streaks of heavily saturated colors.

    When you shoot in low-light levels, you need touse a tripod to get sharply focused photographs.To minimize camera shake caused by pressingthe cameras shutter release and to further reduce

    any blur caused by cameramovement, you can use a timedshutter release feature if yourcamera has one.

    Richly colored sunsets can provide wonderful lightfor taking photos with dramatic color. Instead ofshooting toward the sunset, turn and shoot awayfrom the sunset using the light coming from the sunto light subjects of interest to you. Or you can usethe light from brightly colored sunsets as backlightto get fantastic silhouettes with glowing backgroundsthat outline the silhouetted subjects.

    Chapter 6 111

    The vase of flowers shownthrough this archway isilluminated in rich colors thatwere captured in low light witha camera mounted on a tripod.

    The richly saturated colors ofthis Las Vegas hotel werecaptured using an exposuretime of two seconds.

    These church organ pipes werehardly noticeable in the lowlight level, but they glowed ina photo taken with a cameramounted on a tripod using along exposure.

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  • Edit Images with AdobePhotoshop ElementsAfter you have taken photos with your digitalcamera and have downloaded them to yourcomputer, they are ready to be digitally edited.Using an image editor such as AdobePhotoshop Elements, you can substantiallyimprove the quality of an image, plustransform or alter your digital photos in analmost infinite number of ways. This chapterrequires familiarity with basic Elementscommands; to learn these commands orrefresh your memory of them, see TeachYourself VISUALLY Photoshop Elements

    (Wiley, 2005).

    The first thing you should do beforeperforming any edits is to evaluate each photoand make a plan. Consider a few importantquestions: Do the photos first need to beconverted from the RAW format? How can youimprove your digital photos in terms of color

    and overall tonal range and contrast? How elsedo you want to alter or fix the photos? Do youneed to add or remove elements? How will yoube using the edited images? Will they be usedon a Web page, shared as an attachment to ane-mail, or made into large prints on an inkjetprinter?

    Only after you have answered these questionswill you be able to effectively edit yourphotos to get the results you want. The orderof the steps that you take to edit your imagesis important. However, if you use featuressuch as Undo History and adjustment layers,you will be able to go back to early steps andchange settings or delete the steps entirelyand start from that point on. It is alsoimportant that you learn when to save yourimage files to preserve your work and thequality of the image.

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  • Learn the Best Editing Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

    Convert RAW Files with Adobe Camera RAW . . . . . . . . 116

    Process a Batch of Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

    Using the Clone Stamp Tool to Remove Unwanted Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

    Edit a Selected Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

    Keep Track of Your Edits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

    Using Adjustment Layers to Gain Editing Flexibility . . . 126

    Create a Panorama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

    Hand-Color Black-and-White Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

    Protect and Preserve Original Photo Files . . . . . . . . . . . 134

    Resize a Batch of Digital Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136

    Edit Photos for Use on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

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  • 1 Straighten, crop, adjust tonalrange and contrast, and removeunwanted color casts.

    Learn the best EDITING SEQUENCEThe order of the steps that you take to edit yourdigital photos matters. Anytime you perform edits ona digital photo, you alter some of the original picturedata. Although the image may look better, you haveless original picture information than you did whenyou first opened the image. So the first step to takewhen editing an image is to save it under anotherfilename so that you preserve the original digitalnegative.

    As you make various kinds of edits, you may findthat you want to go back a few steps or change

    some of the settings used on an earlier step. You cando this without degrading image quality if you useUndo History and adjustment layers. Also, you wantto make sure to perform any steps for increasingimage size or sharpening at the end, after you havealready saved your file.

    Proper image-editing workflow may result in manycopies of each image in addition to the never-editedoriginal and an archived backup copy of importantoriginals and edited versions.




    2 Perform any additional imageedits as needed except forimage resizing or sharpening.


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  • 3 Save the image undera different filenamethan the original image.

    l Optionally, you cansave the file as a PSDfile to preserve anylayers.

    4 Click Save.

    33 44


    Photoshop (*.PSD; *.PDD)

    Did You Know?No matter how you increase the sizeof a digital photo, the image qualitydecreases to some extent. Becauseof this, you should generallycomplete your edits on the original-sized image and only increaseimage size when you know thespecifications of the print size andthe target printer.

    Did You Know?The best image-sharpening settingsto use when applying the AdobePhotoshop Elements Unsharp Maskfilter are very dependent on thesize of the image and how you aregoing to use it. For this reason, youshould apply the Unsharp Mask filteronly when you know how you aregoing to use the image and whatsize you need.

    5 Increase or decrease image size andsharpen the image for the target printeror to display onscreen.

    6 Save the file as a flattened image if youplan to print the image in this size again.

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  • 1 In Elements, click File Open.

    2 Double-click the RAW file thatyou want to convert.

    l The Adobe Camera RAW plug-indialog box appears, listing thecamera, filename, and EXIFinformation in the title bar.

    l These options control the imagepreview.

    Convert RAW files with ADOBE CAMERA RAWYou realize some of the most significant benefits ofusing a digital camera only if you shoot in the RAWformat. When you use the RAW format, you saveyour image without applying many of the camerassettings, such as white balance. Not only does thismean that you no longer have to worry about usingsome of the wrong camera settings, but you alsohave considerable control over how your picturelooks after you take it.

    Because RAW files are proprietary to each cameravendor, there are differences between vendors and

    even specific camera models. You need to use a RAWimage converter that supports your camera model toget an image that you can edit. Before purchasingthe Adobe Camera RAW plug-in or any other RAWimage file converter, make sure that the softwaresupports your camera model.

    After you install the Adobe Camera RAW plug-in, youcan double-click RAW images in the Adobe PhotoshopElements file browser to open them in the AdobeCamera RAW dialog box and convert them. To learnmore about the RAW file format, see Task #4.

    33As Shot


    3 Click here and select theappropriate shooting conditionsfor the picture.

    The photo in this examplecontains too much blue, givingthe flower an unnatural purpleappearance.

    l Alternatively, you can fine-tunewhite balance by dragging theTemperature and Tint sliders.


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  • 4 Adjust other settingsas needed.

    This photo wasoverexposed andrequired a decreasedExposure value.

    l The Exposure sliderenables you to adjustexposure compensationor tonal adjustmentswithout compressingthe image or losing anyof the original imagedata.



    8 Bits/Channel


    Did You Know?Camera vendors who sell digital cameras thatsupport the RAW image format provide their ownproprietary RAW image file converter software.However, generally the converters that are includedwith the camera are remarkably inferior to thoseprovided by third-party vendors. The most popularRAW converters are Adobes Camera RAW plug-in(, Breeze Systemss BreezeBrowser(, and Bibble LabssBibble (

    Did You Know?One disadvantage of using the RAW format is thatit takes considerable computer processing powerand time to convert RAW images. Also, you cannotview your RAW images as thumbnails in yourthumbnail browser unless your cameras RAW filesare supported.

    5 Click here and select 8 or 16 Bits/Channel.

    6 Click OK to apply your changes and closethe dialog box.

    Adobe Camera RAW saves the image in itscurrent folder.

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  • 1 In Photoshop Elements Editor,click File.

    2 Click Process Multiple Files.

    The Process Multiple Files dialogbox appears.

    Process a BATCH OF PHOTOSOne of the most time-saving features in AdobePhotoshop Elements is the Process Multiple Filesfeature. This feature enables you to select a groupof digital photos and perform a set of specifiedediting steps on them and then write them allto a target destination folder.

    This customizable automated process can be set upto rename files, resize images (see Task #70),convert file formats, perform basic image corrections,

    and write captions or watermarks directly on theimages. Although you will want to manually editmany of your photographs, you are likely to findtimes when you will find it extremely useful to savetime and have the automated process correct yourimages quickly in a batch. The results you get willbe similar to those that you get at a one-hourprocessing lab.




    Process Multiple Files




    3 Click here and select Folder.

    Note: You can also choose to useopened files or import from acamera.

    4 Click Browse to select the sourcefolder.

    The Browse for Folder dialog boxappears.

    5 Click the folder that you want.

    6 Click OK.

    7 Back in the Process Multiple Filesdialog box, click Browse andspecify a destination folder.


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  • 8 Click to check theRename Files box ifyou want to renamethe files.

    l You can click here andselect how the files arerenamed.

    9 Click to check theResize Images box toresize the images.

    0 Type in the width,height, and resolution.

    ! Click to check theConvert Files To box tochange the file format.

    @ Click here and specifythe file format.










    Did You Know?You can easily add captions directly to yourdigital photos when using the Process MultipleFiles feature if you have a description in theEXIF data (see Task #46). To add a caption to adigital photo file, click File File Info, type thecaption in the Caption field, and then click OKto save the file. When using Process MultipleFiles, you can turn on the Description featureand specify where the text should be placedand how it should look.

    Caution!When using the Process Multiple Files feature,you should be very careful not to use settingsthat overwrite your original files thus ruiningyour originals forever. Be especially carefulwhat destination folder you choose if you arewriting captions or watermarks over yourimages.

    # Click here to show the editing options.

    $ Click to check the boxes of the editingoptions that you want.

    % Click here to display the labeling options.

    ^ Click here and select Watermark orCaption.

    & Type any custom text that you want forthe caption or watermark.

    * Click OK.

    The batch of photos are processed andplaced in the specified destination folder.

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  • 1 Use the Zoom tool or theNavigator palette to zoom in onthe area that you want to cover.

    Note: Make sure to keep the areathat you will use as the sourcearea visible.

    Using the Clone Stamp tool to REMOVE UNWANTED ELEMENTSYou can remove a variety of unwanted elements fromyour photos using a few different tools found inAdobe Photoshop Elements. You can removeeverything from unwanted telephone lines or vehiclesin landscape photos to people or objects in groupphotos. Without question, some elements are easierto remove than others. Most often, the best approachis to replace the unwanted element with another partof the image. If this is possible, the quickestapproach is to use the Clone Stamp tool to cloneexisting areas over the unwanted elements.

    The Clone Stamp tool enables you to set a sourcepoint in the image you are editing, or even anotherimage. After you set the source point, you can paintwith the Clone Stamp tool to replace the unwantedelement with the image from the source.

    You can also cut and paste one part of an imageinto another part to cover unwanted elements ifthe source image fits in terms of texture, color, orsubject.




    44 55

    2 Click the Clone Stamp tool.

    3 Click here and select anappropriately sized soft-edgebrush.

    4 Click here and select Normal.

    5 Click here and select 100%.


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  • 6 While holding downthe Alt (Option) key,click on the photo toset the source point.

    7 Click on the photo overthe unwanted element.

    Note: Multiple clicks areusually better thanclicking and dragging.



    Did You Know?When you have a limitedsource area that can be used toreplace an unwanted element,you can try adjusting the opacityto add some variation to thearea you are painting. Then youcan use the newly created areato use as a source for theremaining area that needs tobe replaced.

    Did You Know?You can also use the CloneStamp tool to add anotherelement to an image. Forexample, if you take a familyportrait that is missing one ormore people, you can paint inthe missing people by settingthe source point to the peopleyou need from anotherphotograph.

    The Clone Stamp tool paints over theunwanted element.

    Note: Click often while painting so that youcan easily remove any unwanted brushstrokes with Ctrl+Z (+Z).

    Note: For better results, you can changethe source point as needed.

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  • 1 Click the Selection Brush tool.

    2 Click here and select a brushsize.

    3 Click here and select Selection.

    4 Click here and select 100%.

    Edit a SELECTED AREASometimes you may want to perform selective edits,which occur when you apply a filter or make edits toonly a portion of the image instead of the entireimage. To perform a selective edit, you must firstselect the area that you want to edit. AdobePhotoshop Elements offers many different tools forselecting parts of an image. Depending on thecharacteristics of the area that you want to select,one tool may be more appropriate than another. Oryou may want to use more than one tool and keepadding to a selected area until you have selected allof the area that you want.

    Good tools for selecting parts of an image include theRectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools, the Lassotool, the Magic Wand tool, and the Selection Brushtool. Some of these tools enable you to select partsof an image at a time and keep adding to theselection. Some tools, such as the Rectangular andElliptical tools, also enable you to subtract from theselection by changing the selection mode in the Tooloptions bar.





    33 44

    5 Use the Zoom tool to zoom inon the edge of the area that youwant to select.

    6 Using the Selection Brush tool,click and paint along the edge toselect it.

    A dotted line appears, showingyour selection.


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  • 7 Click here and select alarger size.

    8 Click and drag with thebrush to complete theselection.



    Did You Know?One of the challenges in selectingcomplex areas to edit independently ofthe rest of the images is to not lose yourselection. If you think you may need toperform additional editing on a selectedarea, you can copy and paste it into theimage as a new layer. However, if you dothis, you will not be able to make globaledits to the entire image unless youflatten the layers.

    Did You Know?When making selections with theSelection Brush tool, you should click andpaint in small strokes, which enables youto step back one stroke using Ctrl+Z(+Z) when you paint outside theintended area, thereby saving you fromhaving to redo the entire selection.

    9 Make any changes that you want.

    Note: Any edits that you make will belimited to just the selected area.

    l In this example, the Levels command wasapplied to just the field in the foreground.

    l Checking the Preview check box displaysyour edits in the document window.

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  • 1 Click Window.

    2 Click Undo History.

    KEEP TRACK of your editsEditing digital images is often a process of trial anderror. You make a few edits and then decide if youlike the results. If you do not like the results, theUndo History palette makes it easy to back up one ormore steps. The Undo History palette keeps track ofeach step, which is called a history state. When youexceed the maximum number of history states set inPreferences, Elements deletes the earliest historystate each time that you add a new one.

    Using the Undo History palette, you can back up oneor more steps and then move forward again byclicking each step in the palette while comparing theresults. When you back up one or more steps andthen make a new edit, however, Elements discards allsteps from that point on as you add each new edit tothe palette. You can also delete a history state byclicking it in the Undo History palette and thendragging it onto the Trash button at the bottom ofthe palette.



    Undo History


    The Undo History paletteappears.

    l As you perform edits, Elementscreates a history state in theUndo History palette for eachedit.


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  • 3 Click the history state atwhich you want to viewthe image.

    l History states occurringafter that time areghosted.33Shadows/Highlights

    Did You Know?When working on a large image, itcan take considerable memory tomaintain a long list of history statesin the Undo History palette. Youcan increase or decrease theamount of Undo History states thatare saved by changing the value inthe History States box in the GeneralPreferences dialog box. The defaultvalue is 50.

    Did You Know?You can back up one or morestates in the Undo History palettewithout using the palette by simplypressing Ctrl+Z (+Z), which isthe shortcut keystroke for StepBackwards. If you want to go allthe way back in history to the initialstate, you can do so by clicking File Revert.

    If you want to edit from that point on,perform the next edit, and the UndoHistory palette will reflect the new edithistory.

    l In this example, the Hue/Saturationcommand was applied using differentsettings.

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  • 1 Click Window Layers if theLayers palette is not showing.

    2 Click Layer.

    3 Click New Adjustment Layer.

    4 Click the type of adjustmentlayer that you want to create.

    Note: For example, you clickHue/Saturation to create aHue/Saturation adjustment layer.

    USING ADJUSTMENT LAYERS to gain editing flexibilityWhenever you apply the Levels, Brightness/Contrast,Hue/Saturation, Gradient Map, Invert, Threshold, orPosterize command, you make permanent changes tothe image. You cannot go back and make minoradjustments to the settings of any one of thesecommands unless you step all the way back in theediting process using the Undo History palette. Then,if you change settings, you will lose all the stepsfollowing that step. However, if you use anadjustment layer when you apply any of these sevencommands, you can always return to that layer and

    make changes to the settings. This is such a powerfulfeature that it is usually wise to use adjustmentlayers when you apply any of these seven filters.

    To create an adjustment layer, you select Layer New Adjustment Layer, and then pick one of theseven different types of adjustment layers to suityour needs. After creating a new layer, you can nameit, and the adjustment layer shows up in the Layerspalette.

    See Task #65 to learn more about tracking your editsusing the Undo History palette.




    New Adjustment Layer33




    The selected commands dialogbox appears.

    5 Specify the settings that youwant.

    6 Click OK to apply the settings.

    You can add one or moreadjustment layers or one or moreedit steps.


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  • 7 To modify previoussettings, double-clickthe adjustment layerthumbnail.




    Did You Know?You can turn on, or turn off, the effects ofone or more adjustment layers by clickingthe Layer Visibility icon (the eye) at the farleft of each adjustment layer in the Layerspalette.

    Did You Know?When you are sure that you will not need tomake any further changes to an adjustmentlayer, you can flatten your image to reduce itsfile size. Click the layer that you no longerneed to make it the active layer. Then clickthe More button in the upper-right corner ofthe Layers palette to get a pop-up menu.Click Merge Down to flatten one layer or clickFlatten Image to flatten all the layers in theLayers palette.

    The dialog box for the type ofadjustment layer appears.

    8 Make any adjustments to the initialsettings that you want.

    9 Click OK.

    Elements applies the new settingsto the adjustment layer.

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  • 1 Click File.

    2 Click New.

    3 Click Photomerge Panorama.

    Create a PANORAMAAs long as photographs have been taken, it has beena challenge for photographers to capture the beautyfound in wide-sweeping outdoor scenes. Wide-anglelenses can capture more of a scene than shorterfocal length lenses, but wide-angle lenses tend toadd unwanted distortion to the photos, and they stilldo not capture as much of a scene as is oftenwanted. Using one of the digital stitchingapplications or a feature such as Adobe Photoshop

    Elements Photomerge, you can shoot and latercombine multiple photos into a single long vertical orhorizontal panoramic photo.

    Task #52 shows how to take photographs that youcan later digitally stitch into one panoramic print. Ifyou have taken your own pictures for such apurpose, you are ready to use the Photomergecommand in Adobe Photoshop Elements to do thestitching.


    Photomerge Panorama...




    The Photomerge dialog boxappears.

    4 Click Browse.

    The Open dialog box appears.

    5 Find and select the folder thatcontains the images you want tocombine.

    6 Press Ctrl and click each file toselect it.

    7 Click OK to close the Opendialog box.


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  • l The selected filesappear here.

    8 Click OK to addthe files.



    Photo Tip!You can use the Adobe PhotoshopElements Photomerge feature tocombine multiple photos into a singlelarge photo for making large prints.If your digital camera does not haveenough pixels to make a quality printin the size that you want, you canshoot several photos and combinethem with Photomerge.

    Did You Know?You can take multiple photos ofvertical subjects and create verticalpanoramas as easily as you can createhorizontal panoramas. Good subjectsfor vertical panoramas include talltrees and buildings. Shooting from adistance with a telephoto lens helpsminimize unwanted perspectivedistortion caused by using shorterfocal length lenses.

    9 Click OK.

    l Photomerge automatically stitches theimages together.

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  • 0 Click the Zoom tool to enlargethe panorama to fill the previewbox.

    ! Click Normal.

    @ Click to place a check mark inthe Advanced Blending box.

    # Click Preview to preview themerge.

    Create a PANORAMAOn rare occasions, Photomerge will not be able toautomatically align your digital photos. When thatoccurs, you will see the photos placed in a window atthe top of the Photomerge dialog box. To align theimages, simply drag and place the images that werenot automatically aligned. When you get the imagesclose to where they should be, Photomerge should beable to automatically and precisely position them.

    If you want to create more perspective than isvisible in the combined images, you can select the

    Perspective radio button and then click once in theimage to select the vanishing point. Photomergeadds some perspective to the combined image.If you use the Perspective feature, it is important tohave up to a 50 percent overlap in the photos thatyou are using; otherwise, gaps may occur betweeneach image at the top and bottom of the combinedimages. Placing a check mark in the AdvancedBlending box results in a more seamless blendbetween each image.





    $ After examining the preview,click Exit Preview.


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  • % Click OK.

    Photomerge beginsthe merge process.





    Did You Know?Some digital photo-stitching applicationsenable you to shoot a series of pictures thatcovers a full 360-degree view. You can thencombine these images into a video that youcan move to the left and right by clickingthe image and dragging in the direction youwant it to move. The view you get is similarto one where you stand in a single spotand turn around in a full circle looking outtoward the horizon.

    Did You Know?Many digital cameras come with avariety of software applications includingdigital photo-stitching applications. Checkany CD-ROMs and written documentationthat came with your camera to see ifyou have one.

    The merged image opens in a newdocument window.

    ^ Select the Crop tool to crop the image.

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  • 1 Click Window Layers if theLayers palette is not showing.

    2 Click Enhance Adjust Color Remove Color to desaturate theimage.

    3 Click the Create New Layer iconin the Layers palette to create anew layer for the first color.

    l The layer appears in the Layerspalette.

    HAND-COLOR black-and-white photosOne fun and easy traditional photo technique youcan do digitally is to create a hand-colored black-and-white photo. The traditional approachrequires that you paint on a photographic print withspecial photographic paints that take time to dry andare easily smeared. Plus, you have brushes andmixing palettes to clean up. Painting digitally is easyand fun, and the results can look wonderful if youtake your time to select the right colors and paintcarefully. Using a pen tablet such as those made byWacom makes this technique much more successfulthan if you use a mouse to paint.

    The most effective way to create a hand-coloredblack-and-white photo effect is to create one layerfor each color that you use. Not only does thisenable you to independently adjust each color withthe Layer Opacity setting, but it also enables youto easily correct any mistakes. Additionally, you canapply Hue/Saturation changes to each color to getthe perfect colors. If you want to build up each colorgradually, you can vary the Opacity setting of theBrush tool.




    66 77



    Layer 1

    4 Click the Brush tool.

    5 Click here and select anappropriate brush size.

    6 Click here and select Normal.

    7 Click here and select 100%.


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  • 8 Click here and selectColor.

    9 Click in the ForegroundColor box to display theColor Picker.

    0 Click the color that youwant.

    ! Click OK.

    The Color Picker closes.




    $$ ##

    Did You Know?An easy way to make a wonderful hand-coloredblack-and-white photo is to open a colorphoto and make a second copy. Convert onecopy to a black-and-white photo and use thesecond copy as a color reference guide. You canuse the Eyedropper tool to pick a color to use asthe paint color for the black-and-white image.Remember to make one layer for each differentcolor so that everything is reversible andchangeable!

    Did You Know?Most beginners that try the hand-colored black-and-white photo technique use colorsthat are way too saturated and bold. Traditionalhand-colored black-and-white photos arepainted with subtle colors, and usually only afew colors are used.

    @ Click the image to begin painting.

    # Click here and select a lower Opacityvalue to tone down the color.

    $ Continue to paint by choosing differentcolors and selecting appropriate brushsizes until painting is complete.

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  • RENAME YOUR PROJECTl After opening an original digital

    photo, you should save it toanother folder, save it undera different name, or save itas a different file type to avoidoverwriting the original file.

    PROTECT AND PRESERVE original photo filesSaving a digital photo file is not all that hard. Thehard part, if there is one, is learning when to saveit. One of the most common mistakes made bythose new to digital photography is to save a digitalphoto file over the original file after making edits toit with an image editor. When you do this, you nolonger have an original image file, which can laterprove to be a horrible loss. Even though you thinkthat you have made the photo look better, over time

    your skills and knowledge of digital photo editing willimprove, and you will wish you had the original file.

    Never overwrite your original image files; they havethe most picture information you will ever have.Most editing sessions deteriorate the image even ifthey do look better, so you should always protectyour original digital photo files.

    SAVE PROJECTS OFTENl Anytime that you have spent

    more than 30 minutes or soediting a file, you may want toconsider saving the file using asuffix with one or two digits toindicate progressive edits.


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  • RETAIN ADJUSTMENT LAYERSl Anytime that you use

    adjustment layers toadd additional elementsto your image, youshould save the file as aPSD file so that you canaccess your layers later.

    Note: If you save yourimage to a file formatsuch as JPEG, you willnever be able to accessthe separate layersagain.

    Caution!A common mistake is to make edits to animage and then increase the image size andsharpen it, before the image is saved.Anytime that an image is increased in size,there will be some degradation in imagequality. If you do not save your image afteryour edits are complete and before you haveincreased the image size, you will be savinga less-than-perfect image without anychance of going back.

    Did You Know?You can make a digital photo appear to besharper using the Adobe Photoshop ElementsUnsharp Mask command. This filter shouldonly be applied to an image when there is nopossibility that you will change the image size.The optimal settings for the Unsharp Maskare highly resolution dependent.

    SAVE BEFORE SHARPENING AND RESIZINGAfter you have completed all your editsand before you have increased the sizeof the image or sharpened it, you shouldsave the file.

    l Sharpen an image and change its sizeonly to output the image to a specificprinter and display size.

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  • 1 Click File.

    2 Click Process Multiple Files.

    RESIZE A BATCH of digital photosWhen you want to convert a batch of digital photofiles to the same file format or to the same size andresolution, you can easily do so with the AdobePhotoshop Elements Process Multiple Files feature.You simply need to put all the digital photo files thatyou want to convert, resize, and rename in onefolder or a folder and subfolders. Then specify howyou want to convert the images and which folder touse for the output folder.

    You can also use the Adobe Photoshop ElementsProcess Multiple Files feature to automatically

    rename a folder, or a folder and subfolders, of imagefiles without making any changes to the files otherthan name changes (see Task #62). Just make sureto set the Convert Files To option to the type of filesthat you want to rename and to uncheck the ResizeImages box.

    This is a useful feature for rapidly and easilyconverting an entire folder of digital photos to use ina slideshow application, on a Web page, or forwriting to a CD-ROM to have prints made at a digitalphoto-printing service company.




    Process Multiple Files





    The Process Multiple Files dialogbox appears.

    3 Click here and select Folder.

    4 Click Browse.

    The Browse for Folder dialog boxappears.

    5 Click the source folder to select it.

    6 Click OK.


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  • 7 In the Process MultipleFiles dialog box, clickto check the ConvertFiles To box and selectthe output file typethat you want.








    Did You Know?When you have a folder of images that you want toconvert and resize so that the longest side is equal to aspecified length, the Adobe Photoshop Elements ProcessMultiple Files command cannot be used when some ofthe images are taller than they are wide and others arewider than they are tall. To work around this problem,create two folders and put all the vertical images in onefolder and the horizontal photos in the other folder. Thenrun the Process Multiple Files command on each folderusing the same destination folder.

    8 Click to check the Resize Images box.

    9 Type in the image height that you want.

    0 Uncheck the Rename Files box unless youwant to rename the files.

    ! Click Browse and select the destinationfolder in the Browse for Folder dialog box.

    @ Click OK to close the Browse for Folderdialog box.

    # Click OK to begin the batch conversion.

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  • 1 Click File.

    2 Click Save for Web.

    The Save For Web dialog boxappears.

    Edit photos for use on the WEBYou can use the Adobe Photoshop Elements Save forWeb command to convert your digital photos intoimages that are perfectly sized and suited to use ona Web page or as an e-mail attachment. Although itis possible to use the Save As command, the Savefor Web command has many advantages.

    Anytime that you save digital photos for use on aWeb page, you are faced with a tradeoff betweenimage file size and image quality. The more that youcompress an image and the smaller the dimensions

    of the image, the faster it downloads and displays,yet the more an image is compressed, the more theimage quality is reduced. The Save For Web dialogbox enables you to view the original along with thecompressed image side-by-side for comparison. Thisenables you to select the file type and the level ofcompression to optimize the tradeoff between filesize and image quality the goal being the smallestfile size with an acceptable image quality.






    3 Click to check the ConstrainProportions box.

    4 Type in either the width orheight.

    Elements sets the otherdimension for you to keep theaspect ratio the same as theoriginal.

    5 Click Apply to resize the file.

    6 Click the Hand tool.

    7 Click the image on the left anddrag on it to view an area withdetail.


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  • 8 Click here and selectJPEG Medium.

    Note: JPEGs arecompressed imagesthat are small anduseful for displayingon Web pages.




    Did You Know?The Adobe Photoshop Elements SaveFor Web dialog box offers an animationfeature. To create animations, you needto add each image that you want toanimate as a layer in a single image file.To view the animation, you click thePlay button at the bottom of the dialogbox. You can even set the animation toloop and set the frame delay timeinterval.

    Did You Know?You can fine-tune compression levelswith the Quality slider found in theAdobe Photoshop Elements Save ForWeb dialog box. In addition to usingthe presets, you can set Quality from0 to 100.

    ! Click OK.

    The Save Optimized As dialog boxappears, in which you can choosea folder and filename for thesaved file.

    @ Click Save.

    The image is saved, optimizedfor the Web.

    Chapter 7: Edit Images with Adobe Photoshop Elements 139

    l In this example, the sizeof the image on the rightis now 28.1KB insteadof 857KB.

    9 Click Quality and lower thesetting until you get anunacceptable image quality.

    0 Move the quality settingback up until you haveacceptable quality.

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  • Adjust Tonal Range and CorrectColor with Photoshop ElementsThe vast majority of problems from whichdigital photographs suffer fall into twocategories: tonal range and color. Suchinterrelated problems include not havingenough contrast, having too little detail ineither the shadow areas or the highlight areas,dull colors, or colors that are simply notcorrect. Whether the problems result from badlighting, incorrect camera settings, or poorexposure, you can often improve your imageswith Photoshop Elements.

    Photoshop Elements offers an array of featuresthat you can use to adjust your digital images.By far, the most popular tool for makingcorrections is Levels. Levels enables you tofine-tune the dark, midtone, and light pixels inan image and view the results immediately.You can use the Levels dialog box to fix bothtonal range and color problems.

    You can also apply a variety of specific filtersto lighten, darken, and blend layers in animage. You can apply lighting commands suchas Shadows/Highlights or use layer blendmodes such as Multiply or Screen to improvethe appearance of a photo.

    When deciding how to fix a tonal range orcolor problem, start by duplicating theBackground layer. Adding layers enables you toexperiment with various features and editingtechniques without making permanent changesto the original image. You can even useadjustment layers that will enable you to goback and make adjustments to settings youmade earlier in the editing process withoutsuffering any image degradation.

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  • Check Exposure with the Histogram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

    Check for Color Casts with the Info Palette. . . . . . . . . . 143

    Fix Under- and Overexposed Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

    Understanding Contrast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

    Improve Image Contrast by Setting Black and White Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

    Improve Image Contrast with a Levels Layer. . . . . . . . . 150

    Reveal Highlight Detail with the Shadows/HighlightsCommand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

    Reveal Shadow Detail with the Shadows/Highlights Command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

    Lighten or Darken a Selected Portion of an Image . . . . 154

    Remove a Color Cast with the Color Cast Command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156

    Adjust Color with a Hue/Saturation Layer . . . . . . . . . . . 158

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  • 142

    CHECK EXPOSURE with the histogramBefore you begin making edits, you should firstexamine your photo carefully and determine anoverall editing strategy. One of the first things tocheck is the tonal range using Levels.

    The Levels dialog box gives you a good graphicalrepresentation, called a histogram, of how well orhow poorly your image was exposed. The histogramplots out the light and dark pixels in an image interms of their brightness level. It also shows youhow much contrast the image has, displaying how

    many pixels are in each of 256tonal ranges. The more intense thegrouping of pixels in an image, thetaller the histogram reading for that particular tonalarea of the image. For example, a histogram showinga large reading of dark pixels may need adjustmentsin tone or contrast to correct the image.

    As you examine the histogram shown in the Levelsdialog box, be aware that there is no such thing asa perfect histogram.

    44 66


    VIEW RGB LEVELS1 Click Enhance.

    2 Click Adjust Lighting.

    3 Click Levels.

    The Levels dialog box opens anddisplays the tonal range for allthree RGB channels by default.

    l This histogram indicates that theimage is dark without pureblacks and without any lighttones.

    VIEW A COLOR LEVEL4 Click here and select a color


    The Levels dialog box displaysthe selected channel tonalrange.

    5 Note approximately where themain tonal range begins andends.

    l You can adjust the tonal rangeby dragging the tonal markersfor each color channel.

    6 Click OK.

    Elements applies your changes.

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  • CHECK FOR COLOR CASTS with the Info palettePhotoshop Elements includes a handy tool called theInfo palette that you can use to evaluate the colorvalues in a digital image. The Info palette enablesyou to check different pixels in an image to compareRed, Green, and Blue channel values. One of thebest uses of this tool is to compare the color casts oftwo photos, such as an edited photo and an originalphoto. For example, you may check how your editsaffect skin tone color from one photo to the other, or

    you may check how much of a color boost occurs ina particular area of the photo after applying a filter.

    As you move the mouse pointer over an image, theInfo palette displays the numeric values for colorsthat appear beneath the pointer at any given spot onthe photo. By default, the Info palette uses RGBmode to read a photo. You can also view Grayscale,Web, and HSB color values.

    Chapter 8 143





    1 Display the Info palette.

    l You can display the Info paletteby clicking Window Info.

    2 Click View Actual Pixels tozoom to 100%.

    3 Click the Hand tool and movethe image to where you can seean area that should be white orneutral gray.

    4 Click the Eyedropper tool andmove the mouse pointer overthe image where you want itwhite or gray.

    5 Read the RGB values in the Infopalette.

    This image has a blue castbecause the Blue value is muchhigher (242) than the Red (234)or Green (237) values.

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  • ADJUST UNDEREXPOSUREThis photo of a seaside buildingappears a bit underexposed.

    1 Create a copy of the Backgroundlayer in the Layers palette.

    Note: You can create a quicklayer copy by selecting Layer Duplicate Layer and clicking OK.

    2 Click here and select the Screenmode.

    Fix UNDER- AND OVEREXPOSEDPHOTOSOne of the most common problems with photos isthat they are either underexposed or overexposed.Although this is often a subjective determination,you can quickly lighten or darken an image bytinkering with a few of the layer blending modesavailable in Photoshop Elements. Blending modesenable you to change the way pixels mix betweentwo layers of an image. For example, the Screenblending mode, when applied to an underexposedphoto, always makes the image colors appear lighter.The Screen blending mode examines each channels

    color and multiplies the inverse of the blend layerand the base layer.

    The Multiply blending mode makes the image colorsdarken, which is ideal for overexposed photos. TheMultiply blending mode examines each channelscolor values and multiplies the base color by theblend layer color. You also use the Multiply blendingmode to intensify image colors.

    With either blending mode, you can fine-tune theexposure lighting by adjusting the layers Opacitysetting.



    Background copy

    Elements immediately lightensthe image.

    l To make the blending effectmore subtle, click and drag theOpacity slider to adjust exposurebrightness.

    Elements reduces theunderexposure by lighteningthe image.


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  • ADJUST OVEREXPOSUREThis photo of asnowscape appearsa bit overexposed.

    1 Create a copy of theBackground layer.

    Note: You can createa quick layer copyby selecting Layer Duplicate Layer andclicking OK.

    2 Click here and selectthe Multiply mode.

    11Background copy


    Did You Know?Although you may be tempted to apply the Brightnessand Contrast feature in Elements to correct exposureand contrast problems, this feature does not correctoverly light or dark images. Instead, it either raises thebrightness values in an image to make all the pixelsbrighter or lowers the values to make all the pixelsdarker. For most photos, you do not need to adjustall the pixels, just the ones affected by the exposureproblem. For best results, use the blending modesand adjustment layers to correct exposure problems.

    Elements immediately darkens the image.

    l To make the blending effect more subtle,you can click and drag the Opacity sliderto adjust the exposure brightness.

    Elements reduces the overexposure bydarkening the snowscape.

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  • In this photo, the lack ofcontrast results in a soft, almostblurred look to the trees.

    Understanding CONTRASTA good technique for improving many digitalphotographs is to look for ways to enhance thecontrast in the images. By definition, contrast is thedifference between the darkest and lightest areas ina photo the greater the difference, the higherthe contrast. Photos with low contrast can appear abit muddy or blurred, without any clear distinctionsbetween details in the images.

    Contrast in black-and-white photos works a bitdifferently than contrast in color photos. Grayscaleimages display contrast in terms of brightness levels,

    or luminosity. Color images also have luminosity, butit shows up in color hue and saturation.

    It is often amazing how a few tweaks of an imageshue and saturation levels can enhance contrast.Photoshop Elements includes several useful tools foradjusting image contrast, one of the best being theLevels dialog box. To open the Levels dialog box,click Enhance Adjust Lighting Levels. By makinga few adjustments to the shadows, midtones, andhighlights in a photo, you can quickly achievecontrast that was previously lacking.

    l In this example, the contrast isenhanced slightly by intensifyingthe highlights by sliding thisslider to the left.


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  • l Next, the shadows areintensified to createclearer contrastbetween the light anddark areas by slidingthis slider to the right.

    Did You Know?Learning to read the histogram, thegraphical diagram in the Levels dialogbox, is a great way to understandcontrast issues in your photos. Thehistogram displays the tonal range ofvalues in your image and shows youexactly where shadows, midtones, andhighlights are at the strongest orweakest in the image. See Task #72for more information.

    Did You Know?Sharpening filters can also help to improvethe appearance of contrast in your photos.The most popular filter for sharpeningimages in Photoshop Elements is UnsharpMask. Using this filter takes a bit ofexperimentation using the three availablecontrols. To apply the filter, click Filter Sharpen Unsharp Mask. This opens theUnsharp Mask dialog box, in which youcan make and preview adjustments.

    l The midtone slider can also be used toadjust contrast by clicking here anddragging toward the left or right.

    Note the levels of intensities throughoutthe tonal range.

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  • This photo lacks contrast andtonal range, with no clear whiteand dark pixels in the image.

    1 Click Enhance.

    2 Click Adjust Lighting.

    3 Click Levels.

    The Levels dialog box opens.

    IMPROVE IMAGE CONTRAST by setting black and white pointsYou can use the Levels dialog box to specify blackand white points within a photo. Targeting thedarkest and brightest pixels in an image can help yourestore image detail, tonal range, and contrast. Afterspecifying new black and white points in an image,the full tonal range stretches out between the twosettings to increase contrast. The result is often adramatically improved image.

    For example, when you target a white area in aphoto, Photoshop Elements remaps and redefines thetonal information throughout the image, changing a

    dingy image into one with clearer white and blackareas. All the other pixel values in the image alsoadjust in proportion to the new highlight values.

    The eyedropper tools help you target colors forhighlights, shadows, and neutral grays. Because thetools target color changes, they work best for colorcorrection problems rather than exposure problems.The key to setting black and white points is firstidentifying representative shadows and highlights inyour image.



    4 Click the Set White Pointeyedropper.


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  • 5 Click the whitest areain the image.

    Photoshop Elementsimmediately establishesa new white point andadjusts other lighterpixels accordingly.




    Caution!Be careful where you click the Levels eyedropper tools. Ifyou click the Set White Point eyedropper over an area thatis not representative of white in your photo, for example,other lighter tones in the image are affected and maybecome overly whitened. This may result in a loss ofdetail in your image and an excessively contrasty image.The same problem can occur if you click an area that isnot truly black with the Set Black Point eyedropper.Picking the wrong areas when setting the black and whitepoints can result in strange and inaccurate colors.

    Did You Know?You can use the Set Gray Point eyedropper in the Levelsdialog box to assign neutral gray colors in an image. Thiseyedropper is not available for grayscale images.

    6 Click the Set Black Point eyedropper.

    7 Click the blackest or darkest area in theimage.

    Elements immediately sets the new blackpoint and adjusts the other darker pixelsaccordingly.

    The photo now displays tonal range andimproved contrast.

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  • This photo appears a bit dulland lacking in contrast.

    1 Display the Layers palette.

    Note: You can activate the Layerspalette from the palette well orclick Window Layers.

    2 Click here and select Levels.

    IMPROVE IMAGE CONTRAST with a Levels layerYou can create a Levels adjustment layer to improvethe contrast in an image. You can use adjustmentlayers in Photoshop Elements to make changes to aphoto without altering the underlying original image.With adjustment layers, you can apply all kinds ofchanges to color, tonal range, and contrast to a copyof the original image layer. The original imageremains intact. After you are happy with youradjustments, you can flatten the image and applythe changes to the actual image layer. If you do

    not like the changes, you can simply discard theLevels adjustment layer. To learn more aboutcreating adjustment layers, see Task #66.

    A Levels adjustment layer is directly connected to theLevels dialog box. As such, you can easily summonthe Levels dialog box at any time to make changes tothe shadows, midtones, and highlights of an image.The Input sliders in the dialog box enable you toremap black and white points in your image to makeimprovements to the images overall contrast.





    Elements adds a new adjustmentlayer to the Layers palette, andthe Levels dialog box opens.

    3 Drag the Input Levels highlightslider to just inside of where thelightest image informationbegins.

    The pixels in the highlightsimmediately lighten.


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  • 4 Drag the Input Levelsshadow slider to theright a small amount.

    The pixels in theshadow areasimmediately darken.

    5 Click OK.44


    Did You Know?To keep your edits organized, considernaming any new adjustment layers thatyou add to the Layers palette. Forexample, if you use a Levels adjustmentlayer to correct contrast problems, namethe layer Contrast to remind you of thepurpose of the layer. To name a layer,double-click the default layer name in theLayers palette and type a new name. PressEnter, and Elements saves the new name.

    Did You Know?You can apply an adjustment layer topart of your image instead of the entireimage. To do so, make a selectionwith a selection tool before creatingthe adjustment layer.

    Elements applies the changes made in theadjustment layer, and the photos contrastimproves.

    l To return to the Levels dialog box atany time for more adjustments, simplydouble-click the Levels thumbnail.

    l To switch between the before and afterimage, click the eye icon to turn on oroff the visibility of the adjustment layer.

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  • 152

    REVEAL HIGHLIGHT DETAIL with the Shadows/Highlights commandIf your photo suffers from an overexposedbackground, such as a sky that is brighter thanthe subject matter, you can make corrections usingthe Shadows/Highlights command. This commandenables you to reduce the brightness from thesun or other reflective light sources and to bringout background details. For example, reducing thebrightness of the sky in some photos can revealdetails in clouds.

    The Shadows/Highlights filter works by darkeningoverexposed areas in an image. Tonal variations forthis filter are measured in values that range from

    0 to 100. The larger the valuesetting number, the darker theimages background appears.

    If you prefer to keep the foreground or subjectmatter unaffected by the filter, select it and copyit to another layer in the Layers palette beforeapplying this technique to the layer containing theoverexposed background.

    To precisely fix exposure problems, you can use theLevels dialog box to fine-tune the shadows,midtones, and highlights.



    Adjust Lighting Shadows/Highlights...




    1 Click Enhance.

    2 Click Adjust Lighting.

    3 Click Shadows/Highlights.

    The Shadows/Highlights dialogbox opens.

    4 Click and drag the DarkenHighlights slider to bring out thecloud detail in the sky.

    5 Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements applies youradjustments.

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  • REVEAL SHADOW DETAIL with the Shadows/Highlights commandYou can use the Shadows/Highlights filter inPhotoshop Elements to lighten the shadows in aphoto. Pictures that you take in bright light oftenproduce very dark shadows in the foregroundobjects, resulting in very little detail. For example,if you take a picture of someone against a brightbackground, the persons face often turns into asilhouette with shadows obscuring the details of hisface. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter, you can

    bring out the shadow details andenhance the overall imageappearance.

    With the Shadows/Highlights command, you cancreate the illusion of a fill flash, which professionalphotographers use to fill in light for darker lightingconditions. You can use this command to adjustphotos that suffer from poor foreground lighting.

    Chapter 8 153



    Adjust Lighting Shadows/Highlights...




    In this photo, a lot of details onthe plane are lost in theshadows.

    1 Click Enhance.

    2 Click Adjust Lighting.

    3 Click Shadows/Highlights.

    The Shadows/Highlights dialogbox opens.

    4 Click and drag the LightenShadows slider to increase theshadow lighting.

    5 Click OK.

    The planes details now appearmore clearly.

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  • 1 Use a selection tool to select thearea or portion of the photo thatyou want to edit.

    2 Set Feather to 5px to make asoft edge selection.

    LIGHTEN OR DARKEN a selected portion of an imageIn some cases, only certain areas of your photomay need lightening or darkening to improve thephotos appearance. Perhaps only a portion ofsomeones face needs lightening or a specifichighlight needs toning down. You can select anarea of your photo to edit in Photoshop Elementsand then make adjustments to the shadows,midtones, and highlights using the Levels dialogbox. The remaining portions of the image are notaffected by any changes that you apply.

    Depending on the level of detail in your photo, youmay find selecting a specific portion of the image foredits time-consuming. Photoshop Elements offers avariety of selection tools to assist you. To learn moreabout using the selection tools in the toolbox, seeTask #64.

    For the best results, make a copy of the backgroundor other layer that you want to edit, and then makeyour changes to the layer copy. This leaves theoriginal photo layer intact in case you do not like theresults of your changes.



    Adjust Lighting

    Levels Ctrl+L




    3 Click Enhance.

    4 Click Adjust Lighting.

    5 Click Levels.


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  • The Levels dialog boxopens.

    6 Click and drag theshadows, midtones, orhighlights sliders tolighten or darken theselected portion of thephoto.

    This example showsincreased contrast inthe foreground wallwhile the building andsky remain the same.

    7 Click OK.




    Did You Know?You can quickly create an inverse of a selectedarea in a photo to select the remaining portionof the image. To do so, click Select Inverse.

    Did You Know?You can save yourself some time and effort bysaving your selections. For example, if youpainstakingly trace a detailed subject in a photo,you can save the selection to reuse again withother edits. To save a selection, click Select SaveSelection. The Save Selection dialog box opens.In this dialog box, type a name for the selectionand click OK. To reuse the selection again, clickSelect Load Selection and specify whichselection to apply.

    Photoshop Elements applies yourchanges to the photo.

    8 Click Select.

    9 Click Deselect.

    The selection marquee is removed.

    Chapter 8: Adjust Tonal Range and Correct Color with Photoshop Elements 155

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  • REMOVE A BLUE COLOR CASTIn this example, the photo hasa bluish color cast.

    1 Click Enhance.

    2 Click Adjust Color.

    3 Click Remove Color Cast.

    The Remove Color Cast dialogbox appears.

    REMOVE A COLOR CAST with the Color Cast commandOne of the most common color problems from whichphotos can suffer is unwanted color cast. Thisproblem frequently occurs when shooting indoorscenes with improper ambient lighting using thewrong color balance setting on a digital camera. Theresult is often a photo with a displeasing tint. Youcan also introduce color cast problems by shooting incolored light, such as that found early in the morningor near sunset. In many cases, these color castsare favorable, and in other cases, they need to beremoved. Photoshop Elements includes several toolsfor eliminating color cast problems. This task focuses

    on using the Remove Color Cast command to correctunwanted color casts.

    The key to using the Remove Color Cast command isto apply it to areas of the image that should be gray,white, or black. Doing so causes Photoshop Elementsto change the overall mixture of colors in the imageto compensate for the improper color cast. PhotoshopElements checks the sampled area to which youapplied it and adds equal amounts of red, green, andblue. Elements also shifts the remaining colors tocreate a neutral state.



    Adjust Color Remove Color Cast...




    4 Click an area in the image thatshould be gray, white, or black.

    Note: Clicking a white area inthe image produces a warmercolor cast.

    5 Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements removesthe blue color cast.


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    In this photo, the greencolors in the leaves andferns give the image agreenish cast.

    1 Perform the earliersteps 1 to 4.



    Did You Know?Sometimes, you can use the Color Variations feature to correctsimple color cast problems and to add a pleasant color cast suchas the warm glow that you often see near sunset. The ColorVariations feature enables you to adjust color balance, contrast, andsaturation. To use this feature, click Enhance Adjust Color ColorVariations. This opens the Color Variations dialog box. Next, click atonal range to apply adjustments to different tones in your image.To add a color or subtract a color, click one of the thumbnails. TheAfter preview area shows the results. You can continue clickingthe thumbnail to increase or decrease the adjustment.

    2 Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements applies the changesto the photo.

    Chapter 8: Adjust Tonal Range and Correct Color with Photoshop Elements 157

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  • 1 Display the Layers palette.

    Note: You can activate the Layerspalette from the palette well, orclick Window Layers.

    2 Click the Create AdjustmentLayer button in the Layerspalette and chooseHue/Saturation.

    Note: See Task #66 to learn moreabout adjustment layers.

    ADJUST COLOR with a Hue/Saturation layerYou can create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer tomake adjustments to the colors in a photo. You usethe Hue/Saturation filter controls to change the hueof a photo, to increase or decrease color saturationthroughout the image, or to adjust the lightnessvalues of the colors. A Hue/Saturation adjustmentlayer is directly connected to the Hue/Saturationdialog box.

    The Hue level control enables you to change colorsbased on Elementss color wheel and set differentcolor hues. Moving the controls slider represents a

    move around the color wheel. The Saturation controlenables you to adjust the purity or intensity of thecolors. The Lightness control lets you set abrightness level for the colors.

    You can choose to edit all the colors at once, or youcan edit preset color ranges, such as the yellow orgreen colors in a photo. The Master settingencompasses all the colors in a photo and appears bydefault in the Hue/Saturation dialog box. To edit aspecific color instead, you must first specify the colorbefore adjusting the slider controls.





    Elements adds a new adjustmentlayer to the Layers palette, andthe Hue/Saturation dialog boxopens.

    3 Click and drag a slider to adjustthe hue, saturation, or lightness.

    In this example, the Hue sliderchanges the color of the image,particularly the leaves.


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  • l In this example, thesaturation level isincreased to intensifythe colors.

    44Master Ctrl+~

    Did You Know?You can use the Levels dialog boxto intensify selected color channelsin an image. For example, if youwant to boost the colors in theRed channel only, you can specifythe channel first and then adjustthe shadows, midtones, andhighlights sliders. See Task #77to learn how to create a Levelsadjustment layer.

    Did You Know?You can also use the Multiplyblending mode to strengthen colorsin a photo. Duplicate the layer thatyou want to adjust and then applythe Multiply blending mode byclicking the blending mode buttonin the Layers palette and selectingMultiply. You can then adjust thecolor intensity of the effect with theOpacity control.

    l To edit specific colors in the image, clickhere and select a color.

    4 Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements applies the changesto the layer.

    Chapter 8: Adjust Tonal Range and Correct Color with Photoshop Elements 159

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  • Make Photographic PrintsEven though taking pictures with a digitalcamera makes it easy to share digital photoselectronically on a Web page, as an e-mailattachment, or on a computer or TV screen a photographic print on paper is still whatphotography is all about to many people. Youcan make photo-quality prints from digitalphoto files in many ways, including printingthem on a desktop photo printer, orderingprints from an online photo-printing service,or using a local photo-processing lab.

    Before you are ready to make prints, however,you may need to perform some basic imageediting to get the best results. To make printsthat look like the images on your computer

    screen, you need to take the time to calibrateyour monitor with Adobe Gamma or a monitor-calibration device.

    Besides making basic photo corrections to yourdigital photos, you also need to make sure thatthe aspect ratio is correct for the print sizeyou want, that the image size is large enoughfor the print size, and that the photo has beensharpened for the target printer. If you areusing your own desktop photo printer, you mayalso want to use Adobe Photoshop Elementsor another image editor to precisely positionphotos on a page, create multiple photo pagelayouts, or crop photos that will be printed ina book using an online printing service.

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  • Understanding Color Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

    Crop a Photo to a Specified Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

    Make a Large Print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166

    Sharpen a Digital Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

    Precisely Position Photos on a Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

    Print Multiple Photos on a Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

    Order Prints Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174

    Create and Order a Photo Book Online. . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

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  • The LCD screen on the CanonPowerShot G3 displays athumbnail image of a photoof a few orchids.

    Understanding COLOR MANAGEMENTYour digital camera, computer screen, and printer allreproduce color differently, and each one hasdifferent limitations on how it can display color. Colormanagement is a system of hardware and softwareproducts that have been configured to ensureaccurate color across all devices. In other words, ifyou have implemented color management properlyon your hardware, the barn-red barn in front of thesoft, pale blue sky that you see on your computermonitor will actually show up as barn red against thesame soft, pale blue sky in your prints.

    A couple important steps in color managing yourhardware are calibrating your computer displayand using the right color profiles for the specificcombination of printer, ink, and paper that you areusing. Taking, editing, and printing digital photoscan be a joy and easy to do when you have accuratecolor across your hardware and software. Withoutcolor management, the same process of taking,editing, and printing digital photos can becomefrustrating, causing you to waste money on paperand ink by creating unacceptable prints.

    This computer monitor displaysthe orchids as they looked whenthe photo was taken.


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  • This print of the orchidslooks the same as itdid on the monitor andas it looked when thephoto was taken.

    Did You Know?You can calibrate your Windows PC monitorusing Adobe Gamma, which is a software utilityadded to the Control Panel when you installAdobe Photoshop Elements. To access theControl Panel, click the Start button and selectControl Panel from the menu. If you are using aMac, you can use Apples ColorSync utility, whichcan be found in System Preferences. Be sure toadjust your monitor in the lighting conditionsthat you normally work in.

    Did You Know?The most accurate way to calibrate yourcomputer monitor or LCD is to use a monitorspider such as the MonacoOPTIXXR Colorimeterfor LCD and CRT displays ( hardware product attaches to your computerdisplay so that it can read colors displayed by themonitor and create an accurate color profile.

    The orchids on this Mac PowerBook G4LCD look the same as they did on theprint, on the PC monitor, and when thephoto was taken.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 163

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  • 1 Click the Crop tool.

    2 Double-click the document titlebar to maximize the documentwindow to make cropping easy.

    CROP A PHOTO to a specified sizeYou can crop your photos when you want to keeponly a certain part of them or when you need tomake a photo meet specific width and heightrequirements. Adobe Photoshop Elements offers twouseful tools for cropping images the RectangularMarquee and Crop tools. First, you can select thepart of the image that you want to keep using theRectangular Marquee tool and then select Image Crop to crop the image. Alternatively, you can usethe Crop tool, which has a few extra features that

    are useful for cropping images precisely as you wantthem.

    Using the Crop tool, not only can you crop to a fixedaspect ratio, but you can also crop to a fixed size,specified in inches, and at a specified printerresolution. Additionally, the Crop tool enables you todrag the edges of a selection to select exactly thearea that you want; it even enables you to rotate theimage if needed.



    No Restriction

    333 Click here and select the aspect


    l Alternatively, you can type in thewidth and height that you want.


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  • 4 Click and drag theselection marquee toselect the area of thephoto that you want.

    5 Place the mouse pointeroutside a corner of theselection marquee.

    The cursor changes toindicate that you canrotate the image.



    Did You Know?You can increase or decrease the size of the selection by clickingone of the corners of the selection marquee and dragging it. Ifyou entered values in the Width and Height box, the Crop toolautomatically maintains the aspect ratio.

    You can move the entire selection marquee by clicking insidethe marquee and dragging the cursor.

    If you want to crop to the outside of the photo, click outsidethe photo and drag the selection marquee to where you wantit to be.

    The image is cropped, resized,and rotated as chosen.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 165

    Caution!When you crop an image, its resolution islowered. You can use Image Size ResizeImage Size to set the resolution.

    6 Click and drag to rotate theselection until it appears as youlike it.

    7 Click here to apply the crop.

    l To cancel the crop, click here.

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  • 1 Click Image Resize Image Size.

    The Image Size dialog box appears.

    2 Type the target printer PPI in theResolution box.

    3 Make sure that a check mark is inthe Constrain Proportions box tokeep the aspect ratio constant.

    4 Type the width or height that youwant in either the Pixel Dimensionsarea or the Document size area.

    5 Click OK.

    The image size is changed.

    Make a LARGE PRINTThe largest size print you can make with your digitalcamera is limited by the pixel size of your camera,the quality of the photo you want to enlarge, andyour tolerance for image degradation due to imageupsampling. A 4-megapixel camera has more pixelsthan a 3-megapixel camera and can thereforegenerally be used to make larger prints. Images withlow digital noise and smooth tonal gradations arebetter candidates to use for large prints than imagestaken at high ISO settings with lots of digital noise unless the intent is to get that effect.

    To determine how large a print you can make withany given image, you need to experiment andexamine the prints. To determine the optimal printsize, you divide the pixel dimensions by the optimalprint PPI for the printer or print service you intend touse. For example, most Epson printers makeexcellent prints at 240PPI. Hence, a 3.3-megapixelimage that provides a 1,536 x 2,480 pixel imagewould make an optimal print size of 6.4 x 10.3 enough for an excellent 5x 7 print, but not quiteenough for an 8 x 10 print.

    The optimal print size is 1,575 x 2,100 pixels at 240PPI.

    This 9.46MB image is the optimalprint size, and it shows no loss inimage quality.


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  • This photo has beenupsampled to be 1,920 x 2,560 pixels,which makes an 8 x 10 print at240PPI.

    A noticeable butacceptable amount ofimage degradation isvisible in this 26.5MBimage.

    Did You Know?When resizing images usingthe Image Size feature,you need to be careful tochoose the most appropriateresampling algorithm. UseBicubic Smoother whenenlarging an image and BicubicSharper when reducing thesize of an image.

    Caution!When enlarging any image,you should always savethe upsampled image toa new file and not overwritethe original image. Writingover the original imageleaves you with nothing butthe lesser-quality image.

    This photo has been upsampled tobe 3840 x 5120 pixels, which makesa 16 x 20 print at 240PPI.

    Substantial and unacceptable imagedegradation, caused by overincreasingthe image size, appears in this 56.3MBimage.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 167

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  • 1 Double-click the document titlebar to maximize the image.

    2 Click View.

    3 Click Actual Pixels.

    SHARPEN a digital imageMost photos taken with digital cameras look soft;that is, they do not look as sharply focused as theycould. This is primarily due to the fact that digitalcameras capture digitally instead of in an analogfashion like film cameras, with which it is easier tocapture the important details found on the edges ofelements in a photo.

    However, using an image editor such as PhotoshopElements, you can make an image look as sharp asany photo taken with a film camera. One easy way to

    increase the perceived sharpness of a photo is to usethe Unsharp Mask filter found in most image-editingapplications.

    You need to use different Unsharp Mask settings forthe same photo when using it in different sizes fordifferent purposes. For example, the best settings foran 800 x 640pixel image that you want to use on aWeb page are entirely different than the settings youneed to make a high-resolution print on an inkjetprinter.




    The image is shown at full size.

    4 Click the Hand tool.

    5 Click and drag the image to viewa portion where sharpening iscritical.


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  • 6 Click Filter.

    7 Click Sharpen.

    8 Click Unsharp Mask.

    The Unsharp Maskdialog box appears.






    Unsharp Mask...





    Did You Know?You cannot use Photoshop Elementsto sharpen a poorly focused digitalphoto. The Unsharp Mask filter onlyincreases the perceived sharpnessof an already well-focused photo.If you want a good photo thatappears tack sharp, you must firstshoot it in focus and then applythe Unsharp Mask filter to get thebest results.

    Did You Know?You cannot determine the best settingsto use to make a photographic printwhen using Unsharp Mask by examiningthe results on your computer screen.Although it is best to examine the effectsat full image resolution when using acomputer screen, you can bestdetermine the success or failure of yoursettings by making a print andexamining it carefully.

    9 Make sure that the Preview box ischecked.

    0 First set Amount to 175, Radius to 1, andThreshold to 0.

    ! Drag the Amount slider left or right untilthe image looks sharp.

    @ Drag the Radius slider left or right tofurther improve the image sharpness.

    # Click OK.

    The image is sharpened as you havespecified.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 169

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  • 1 Click File New Blank File.

    The New dialog box appears.

    2 Click here and select Inches.

    3 Type the width, height, andresolution for the target printer.

    4 Make sure that BackgroundContents is set to White.

    5 Click OK.

    Elements creates a newdocument to your specifications.

    PRECISELY POSITION PHOTOS on a pageYou may have many reasons to precisely positionone or more photos on a page. Maybe you want tocreate your own print portfolio, a scrapbook page,or a greeting card. Whatever the reason, you cantake several approaches. Depending on the printerthat you use, your printer software may have afeature that enables you to specify exactly wherean image should be printed on the page. If you areprinting a page with only one photo, using yourprinter software may be the best approach.

    You can use the Photoshop Elements Image Resize Canvas Size command to add paperaround an open image when you want only a singlephoto on a page. To use this feature, you need tocalculate the amount of paper to add to each side.Or you can create a new blank page and drag anddrop one or more open photos onto the new pageand place them where you want using the Rulerfeature, as shown in this task.








    6 Click the Move tool.

    7 Click and drag the photo thatyou want to place to the new,blank document.

    The photo appears in the newdocument.


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  • 8 Click View.

    9 Click Rulers.

    The rulers appear in thenew documentwindow.

    0 Click the photo layerwith the Move tool tomove the image whereyou want it.

    l If you click and dragthe handles around thephoto, you can changethe size of the image.Press Shift whiledragging to maintainthe aspect ratio.




    Did You Know?When you drag and drop, or when youcut and paste, multiple images onto ablank page, the images are all placedon their own layers. To view and selectthese layers, open the Layers palette.You can easily add any one of manyvarieties of drop shadows or othereffects by opening the Layer Stylespalette and double-clicking the styleof your choice.

    Did You Know?Each time that you place a newimage on a page as a layer, youincrease the size of the file. To flattenthe layers, click Layer Flatten Image.First, save the file as a PSD file if youwant to save the layers for futureediting. When you place text on animage, a text layer is created, and textlayers can be flattened as well.

    ! Press Ctrl + + (plus sign) to increase thezoom (or Ctrl + [minus sign] to decreasethe zoom) so that you have a larger andmore precise ruler.

    @ Drag the photo with the Move tool untilyou have the image positioned as youwant it.

    You can move the image up, down, andsideways by pressing the arrow keys. Eachpress moves the image one pixel.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 171

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  • 1 Open the digital photo that youwant to use to make amultiphoto print and click it tomake it the active document.

    2 Click File.

    3 Click Print Multiple Photos.

    PRINT MULTIPLE PHOTOS on a pageYou can save photo paper, printer ink, and moneyby creating a multiphoto layout and printing morethan one photo per page. Although you can dothis manually by using several of the features foundin Adobe Photoshop Elements, the Print MultiplePhotos command lets you quickly and easily makemultiphoto prints that are similar to schoolphoto pages.

    Besides using one of the 20 preformatted pages, youcan also customize your own layout. You can learnmore about making customized layouts by consultingthe Adobe Photoshop Elements Help system. You canalso automatically make a multiphoto print of everyphoto in a selected folder. The Picture Packagesdefault layout is for multiple copies of a single photo.After you have selected a layout, however, you canclick each photo and pick another photo to fill thatspace.







    Print Multiple Photos... Alt+Ctrl+P


    The Adobe Organizer islaunched, and the Print Photosdialog box appears.

    4 Click here and select PicturePackage.

    5 Click here and select a layout.

    6 Click here and select your printer.

    7 Click here to check the box toprint the same photo on thepage.


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  • 8 Click Add to add theimages.

    9 Uncheck the Fill PageWith First Photo checkbox to print differentphotos on a page.

    0 If you want to use amedia profile, clickMore Options.







    EPSON Stylus Photo 2200_Museo_8-5-2003.icc

    Time-Saver!When you use the PhotoshopElements Print Photos dialogbox, you will need to cut eachphoto from the page. If yourphoto-quality printer has aborderless print feature, makesure to check Borderless in thePrint Photos dialog box. Thiswill save you time in cuttingthe photos.

    Did You Know?You can use the PhotoshopElements Print Photos dialogbox to make photo labels,photo tags, and more. Justclick in the Select Type ofPrint box and choose Labels.The formats provided matchAverys labels. To learn moreabout these labels, visit

    The More Options dialog box appears.

    ! Click here and select your media profile.

    @ Click OK.

    # Click Print.

    The printing process begins.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 173

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  • 1 Using Adobe Organizer, openthe folder containing the imagesthat you want to print.

    2 Click Edit Select All to selectall the images.

    A blue border appears around allthe images.

    3 Click File Order Prints.

    If you have not yet signed upfor the Kodak EasyShare service,follow the instructions to do so.

    Order PRINTS ONLINEIf you enjoy using a one-hour photo-finishing serviceat a local photo lab, you may enjoy using one of theonline printing services such as the Kodak EasyShareGallery, which is now built into Photoshop Elements.Although it is not possible to get your photo printsback in an hour, you can select, edit, upload, andorder photo prints from your computer any time youlike without the hassles of going to a local lab todrop off your photos and to pick them up. Afteruploading your photos to an online printing service,your photos are printed and delivered to yourmailbox within a few days.

    Besides being able to order prints for yourself afteryou have uploaded them, you can also send a linkvia e-mail to anyone else with whom you want toshare the photos. They can view the photos online ina Web browser; if they want, they can order printsthemselves at their own expense, or you can orderprints to mail to them. Besides just ordering photoprints at competitive prices, you can also have yourphotos printed in photo albums or books or onhats, greeting cards, calendars, and many otherphoto objects.





    The Adobe Photoshop Servicesdialog box appears.

    4 Click one of these check boxes toselect single or double prints ofall the photos.

    5 Click and drag the scroll bar tosee more photos and change thesize and quantity to order foreach photo.

    6 Click Next.

    The Recipients page appears.


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  • 7 Click Import Addressesto add a new address.

    8 Click an addresss checkbox to choose that asthe photo recipient.

    9 Click Next to get theSummary page.

    0 Review the summary tomake sure that theinformation is accurate.






    Did You Know?Other online photo-printing services you may wantto consider in addition to Kodak EasyShare( are ezprints (,ImageStation (, and Shutterfly(

    If you are using a Macintosh, you can upload and orderphoto prints and photo books easily by using Apples iPhotophoto application or any of the other online photo-processingservices that enable you to upload via a Web browser.

    After the photos have been uploaded, theConfirmation page appears.

    $ Click Print This Confirmation to print acopy of the confirmation information onyour printer.

    % Click Done.

    Within a few minutes, you will receive ane-mail confirming the order details.

    Chapter 9: Make Photographic Prints 175

    Did You Know?The best way to use an onlinephoto-printing service is to crop,edit, and place all the photosthat you want into a single folderbefore uploading them to theservice. Crop each of the photosto the aspect ratio of the printsize that you will want to orderand save them in an appropriatefile format.

    ! Click Next to get the Billing page.

    @ Verify the billing information.

    # Click Place Order to begin the uploadprocess.

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  • 1 Using BookMaker, click GetPhotos.

    2 Click From Folder.

    3 Click the folder that contains theimages you want to print in abook.

    Thumbnail images are createdand displayed.

    Create and order a PHOTO BOOK ONLINEMaking a printed photo book is one of the mostexciting ways to share photographs. The next timethat you have a family get-together, you can createprinted photo books and make them available to yourfamily members. Or you may want to make your own12 x 16 hardcover coffee table book featuring yourtop 40 photos.

    One of the leading online photo book companies isMyPublisher. A significant part of the MyPublisherservice is the free software that you use to createyour books. To download the MyPublisher BookMakersoftware, visit

    MyPublisher offers 6 x 8 pocket books with 20pages and up to 80 photos for only $9.95. You canadd additional pages for only $0.49 each.MyPublishers 9 x 12 hardcover photo books with20 pages and up to 160 photos are only $29.80, andyou can add additional pages for only $1.49 each.And if you want a really big book, MyPublisher offersgiant 12 x 16 full-bleed books with edge-to-edgeprinting, plus a hardcover binding made of importedlinen for only $3 per page. A 20-page book costsaround $60.





    From Folder

    Get Photos



    4 To add all the photos to thebook, first click the first photo.

    5 Press and hold Shift whileclicking the last photo.

    All the thumbnail images nowshow a blue border.

    6 Click Add Photos to add all theselected photos to the book.

    l Thumbnail images appear here.

    7 Click Organize.


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  • The Organize page appears.

    8 To choose a theme,click here and selecta theme style.

    9 To choose a template,click here and select atemplate style.

    0 Click Single-Sided Printingor Double-Sided Printing.

    The pages are automaticallycreated using the selectedsettings.

    ! Click Enhance.88




    Just Photos





    Did You Know?If you want to make your own photo books using the paperof your choice and a desktop inkjet printer, you can do so bypurchasing a photo book cover made for this purpose. Inparticular, ArtZs ( coffee table booksand Red River Papers ( custom bookkits make excellent photo books that can feature your photosprinted on your favorite inkjet paper, using a color profile and printed to perfection. The innovative self-binding featuresof these and other photo books will provide you with a photobook that you will be pleased with.

    The Enhance page appears.

    @ Click an images thumbnail to choose it toenhance.

    # Click one or more of the buttons tochoose an enhancement feature.

    $ Click Undo if you want to undo anenhancement to an image.

    The edited image is displayed.

    % Click Book.

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  • The Book page appears.

    ^ Click the first image to select thetitle page.

    & Click here to select the first lineof text.

    * Click here and type the title text.

    ( Click Close.

    The text box closes, and the textis applied to the page.

    ) Click Organize again.

    Create and order a PHOTO BOOK ONLINEIf you do not want to order a photo book online, youcan purchase StoryTeller from Epson( and make your own photo bookusing your inkjet printer. Epsons StoryTeller is a kitthat comes with album software, paper, a book, anda glossy cover. StoryTeller enables you to choosefrom 18 book covers and 60 page layouts.

    After you have printed all the photos on the pages,you can add your favorite photos to the glossy book

    cover to make a fine-looking book. Extra sheets andone extra cover are included to ensure that yousuccessfully complete your book.

    The 5 x 7 StoryTeller photo book creator with 10pages is $19.99, the 8 x 10 photo book with 10pages is $24.99, and you can get a 20-page 8 x 10photo album, too, for $29.99.







    The Organize page appearsagain.

    q Click and drag the images thatyou want to move to newlocations.

    w Click Book again.


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  • The Book pageappears again.

    e Click 2 Pages to geta two-page view.

    r Click Add Page orRemove Page toadd or removepages.

    t Click Next or Backto preview each ofthe pages.

    y Click Purchase.

    ee tt


    Apply It!Choose a cover image andcover text to make a perfectbook like this one whenusing MyPublishers onlineprinting service.

    The first Purchase page appears.

    u Complete the ordering process to beginuploading the photos to the MyPublisheronline printing service.

    Within a few days, your printed book willbe delivered to you.

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  • Complete Digital Photo ProjectsAfter you have taken a few good photos andedited them, you are ready to use yourphotos in digital photo projects. Two gooddigital photo projects to start with areorganizing your digital photo collection withan image manager and archiving your valuabledigital photo collection to external drives oroffline storage media. After you haveorganized and archived your digital photocollection, you are ready to complete moredigital photo projects.

    One of the most exciting aspects of digitalphotography is that you can easily share andenjoy your digital photos in so many ways. Youcan attach one or more photos to e-mail,create slideshows to show on your computerscreen or even on a TV screen, publish online

    photo galleries, create digital photo albums,make collages, and more.

    Many digital photo projects require softwarebeyond what you use to edit photos. Withincreased interest in digital photography, themarketplace offers an incredible number ofproducts from which to choose. Often you canchoose one software product that enables youto complete most or all of your projects. Someof the more feature-rich and easy-to-useproducts include Adobe Photoshop Elements(, Apple iPhoto (, Corel Paint Shop Pro (,Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator (, Roxio PhotoSuite Platinum Edition(, and Ulead PhotoImpact(

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  • Organize Your Digital Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

    Share Digital Photos with AOL Instant Messenger . . . . 188

    Archive Your Digital Photo Collection to a DVD . . . . . . 190

    Create a PDF Slideshow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194

    Create a Digital Photo Album . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

    Create a Web Photo Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

    Create a Video Slideshow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

    Create a Photo Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206

    Create a Photo Greeting Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210

    Create a Photomontage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212

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  • VIEW IMAGES AND IMAGE INFORMATION1 Click a folder to view the images

    that it contains.

    l The Preview and Info tabsdisplay details about the selectedimage or images.

    l Thumbnail images display user-selected information below.

    ORGANIZE your digital photosAfter you have stored a few hundred of your digitalphotos on your computer, you will need an effectiveway to organize and manage your growing digitalphoto collection. Software products that enable youto easily manage large digital photo collections arecalled image managers, and there are a number ofgood ones available. One of the more powerful andeasy-to-use image managers is Cerious SoftwaresThumbsPlus, which you can download

    After you pick one or more folders or a drive tomanage, ThumbsPlus automatically creates thumbnail

    images for every digital photo file in the selectedfolders or drives. In addition to viewing the imagesquickly by looking at the thumbnails, you can alsoview a variety of textual information, such as theEXIF data that image files may contain. To learnmore about working with EXIF data, see Task #46.

    ThumbsPlus not only keeps a database of thefilenames and thumbnail images, but also acts asa repository for a variety of other useful textualinformation. You can add keywords to photos, savelocation information, add annotations, copyrightinformation, and much more.







    2 Click the Info tab to display user-selected information aboutthe image selected in thethumbnail area.

    The user-selected informationshows camera settings such as f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, andfocal length.


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  • VIEW EXIF DATA1 Right-click a thumbnail

    image and clickProperties on the menuthat appears.

    The Properties dialogbox appears.

    2 Click the Info tab.

    3 Click EXIF.

    The EXIF data appears.








    Did You Know?ThumbsPlus offers many features for viewingdigital photos. Besides being able to scale thethumbnails and view more or fewer of them at atime, you can also choose a list or report view,which you can customize to show just the textualinformation that you want. You can also openmore than one copy of ThumbsPlus at a time.This enables you to drag and drop photos fromone folder to another while viewing the contentsof more than one folder.

    Did You Know?When you want to carefully compare twoor more digital photos side by side, youcan click File View Synched. The synchview enables you to scroll right or left inone image and simultaneously scroll inthe other images.

    ANNOTATE AN IMAGE1 Right-click a thumbnail image and click

    Properties on the menu that appears.

    The Properties dialog box appears.

    2 Click the Database tab.

    3 Type your comments.

    4 Click OK.

    Your annotation is saved with the imagesinformation.

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    2 Click Find by Query.

    The Find Files dialog boxappears.

    3 Type a filename or a filenamemask.

    4 Click OK.

    ThumbsPlus searches formatching files and displays thethumbnails of the files that itfinds.

    ORGANIZE your digital photosMany software vendors who initially created imagemanagers have realized the value of adding featuresthat not only increase your ability to organize andmanage your digital photo collection, but also takeadvantage of a considerable number of projectfeatures such as slideshows, Web galleries, contactsheets, printed image catalogs, and much more. Afew of the more feature-rich and easy-to-use imagemanagers with useful project features are thefollowing:

    ACDSee (

    Adobe Photoshop Elements (

    Apple iPhoto (

    Cerious Software ThumbsPlus (

    Corel Paint Shop Pro (

    Ulead PhotoImpact (







    Assign Keywords

    hood ornament


    2 Click Assign Keywords.

    3 Click the keyword that you wantto assign to the image to use forqueries.

    l Alternatively, you can click Otherand add other keyword choices.

    The keywords are written to theThumbsPlus database.


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    2 Click Find by Query.

    The Find Files dialogbox appears.

    3 Click the Keyword tab.

    4 Type keywords,separated by commas.

    5 Click OK.

    A window displaysall images with theselected keywords.









    Did You Know?One of the most useful features foundin ThumbsPlus is the Edit FindSimilar Images command. You can usethe Find Similar Image dialog box tofind images that look similar based ona number of metrics, including colorand image shape.

    Did You Know?You can automatically rename a batch ofyour digital photo files using ThumbsPlussAuto Rename command. You can choosea prefix and a suffix as well as addincrementing numbers. This useful featureenables you to add more meaning to yourfilenames. You can also set the filename tobe automatically used as a keyword, whichenables you to perform keyword queriesusing just parts of the filename.

    FIND A SIMILAR-LOOKING IMAGE1 After clicking on an image to select it,

    click Edit.

    2 Click Find by Query.

    The Find Files dialog box appears.

    3 Click the Image Similarity tab.

    4 Specify similarity settings here.

    5 Click OK.

    ThumbsPlus displays a folder with imagessimilar to the one that was initiallyselected.

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  • VIEW FILES IN OFFLINE STORAGEl After creating thumbnails for

    removable media such as aCD-ROM, ThumbsPlus savesthe thumbnails and associatedinformation in an offlineCD-ROMs folder.

    l You can view thumbnails foroffline media without insertingthe media in a drive.

    ORGANIZE your digital photosOne of the greatest challenges in organizing yourdigital photos is to manage images that are storedon multiple drives, on networks, and on removablemedia, all from the same image manager andto have all the images accessible at the same time.Using ThumbsPlus, you can manage images onmultiple drives on one PC or one or more driveson some networks.

    You can also create thumbnail images and buildThumbsPlus database information on digital photosstored on removable media and external drives.

    When you remove an external drive, the thumbnailsand database information remain inside the OfflineDisks folder. Likewise, you can create thumbnailimages and database information for digital photoson a CD-ROM. When the CD-ROM is not in thedrive, you can view the thumbnails and databaseinformation in the Offline CD-ROMs folder.

    As the storage requirements for digital photographersgrow, these features become more useful formanaging, organizing, and archiving digital photoson a variety of drives and media.

    Blue Heron-12202



    l Galleries are logical containersthat contain thumbnails storedin a database, but not the fullimages themselves.


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    2 Click Web PageWizard.

    An easy-to-usewizard appears,which enables youto customize a Webpage to suit yourneeds.

    3 Follow the steps ofthe wizard to createyour Web page.






    Did You Know?ThumbsPluss Gallery feature enables you to save disk space while beingable to view thumbnails of the same digital photo in multiple folders. Forexample, you can save all the digital photos from a trip to Europe in asingle folder. You can then create separate gallery folders for landscapes,cities, seascapes, and castles. By right-clicking a group of landscape photosin the Europe folder, you can add them to the landscape gallery. You cando the same for all the city, seascape, and castle photos in the Europefolder. This lets you open a single folder and view all the thumbnails fora single subject, no matter what folder contains the original digital photofile all while having only a single copy of the file.


    2 Click Contact Sheets.

    An easy-to-use wizard appears, whichenables you to customize the contactsheets size and layout to suit your needs.

    3 Follow the steps of the wizard to createyour contact sheet.

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  • 1 Sign in and initiate a chat with abuddy.

    Share digital photos with AOL INSTANT MESSENGERInstant messengers (IMs) are software applicationsthat enable you to exchange text messages in realtime with other people on the Internet who havecompatible IM software. As soon as you type amessage and click the Send button, the messagedisplays on the screen of those with whom you arechatting. They can then type messages and sendreplies back to you. IMs allow a much moreinteractive way to communicate than the slowere-mail. You can also create a chat room where youcan invite multiple people to join in the chat.

    Besides messaging capability, many of the morepopular IMs have features that enable you to send afile, which means that you can easily send digitalphoto files. Sharing your digital photos while chattingabout them is a wonderful way not only to shareyour photos with others, but also for you to getfeedback.

    Although AOLs Instant Messenger is one of themore popular IMs, you can use other versions likeICQ ( and MSN Messenger (



    33Send File...


    2 Click File.

    3 Click Send File.


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  • The Send File dialogbox appears.

    4 Click File to launch thefile browser, in whichyou select the digitalphoto file.

    5 Type in any messagethat you want to sendwith the digital photo.

    6 Click Send.




    Did You Know?AOL Instant Messenger is availablefor those that have paid for and havesubscribed to the AOL service. Plus,AOL offers a free version that isavailable to non-AOL subscribers. Youcan download the free version fromthe AOL Web site ( Afterdownloading the software, you caninstall it, register a screen name, andbe chatting within a few minutes.

    Caution!You should be careful whom youaccept digital photos from whilechatting; you may accept and view afile that you would rather not haveseen. The Preferences dialog box offersoptions to prevent others from sendingyou digital photos unless you acceptthem.

    l The AOL Instant Message text windowshows that the digital photo was sent.

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  • 1 Click the drive and foldercontaining the files that youwant to archive.

    ARCHIVE your digital photo collection to a DVDOccasionally, a hard drive fails. The older yourhard drive is, the more likely it is to fail. To avoidlosing all or part of your digital photo collection,you should keep your photos well organized withan image manager and have a procedure in placefor periodically archiving, or copying, them toanother hard drive or to removable media suchas a CD or DVD.

    One of the easiest and safest ways to archive yourdigital photos is to burn, or write, them to a DVD.To do that you need a DVD burner a DVD

    drive that both reads and writes DVD discs andyou will need software to manage the process.One excellent software product for archiving digitalphotos to a DVD is Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator.It is a feature-rich product that enables you toeasily archive just a few files or many files thatrequire multiple DVD discs. It also comes withsoftware for printing disc labels and jewel andDVD case inserts.

    Turn to Task #91 to organize your photos with animage manager.



    Photos-c (H:)

    2 Click the Data tab to select therecord mode.


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  • 3 Click the DefaultRecorder button andselect the DVD drive.





    Did You Know?A DVD holds 4.7GB of digital photos orslightly more than seven CDs. Using a 3-megapixel camera to shoot in the RAWformat, you can archive around 1,500 digitalphotos or the equivalent of about 40 rollsof 36-exposure film on a single DVD.

    Caution!Because it is not certain how long a DVDdisc will safely store your digital photos andbecause a single scratch can prevent youfrom retrieving your photos, you should takeall precautions to protect your archives. It iswise to purchase two different brands ofquality DVDs and make two copies whenyou archive your photos using one of eachbrand. This procedure may help prevent youfrom losing photos on defective media.

    4 Drag one or more folders or files from theSource window to the Project window.

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  • l The Disc Info bar shows howmany discs are needed andthe available space.

    Note: Large digital photocollections may need to bearchived to more than one disc.

    l You can click a folder or fileand then click the Remove fromProject button to remove thatfolder or file from the listof items to be copied.

    ARCHIVE your digital photo collection to a DVDWhen choosing a DVD burner and DVD discs, youmust be careful to choose the right format. What isthe right format? Unfortunately, drive and mediamanufacturers are engaged in a standards war, sothere are multiple competing formats in themarketplace. Some of the more common formatsinclude DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW;then there are also DVD-Video and DVD-RAM.

    When choosing a format to archive your digitalphotographs, you may want to make sure that youchoose a drive that allows you to write digital video

    slideshows to view on your computer or TV screen.Several manufacturers are making the choice easierby offering DVD burners that can write in multipleformats. To learn about creating a slideshow to viewon a DVD player, see Task #97.

    Even though there are competing DVD formats, thereis not a good reason not to buy a DVD burner forarchiving your digital photographs. DVD burners arecurrently one of the best ways to archive your digitalphotos for safekeeping.


    5 Click the Record button.


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  • The Record Setupdialog box appears.

    6 Click here andselect a write speed.

    7 Click here to set thenumber of copies.

    8 Make sure thatyou have a DVD-Rin your DVD-ROMdrive.

    9 Click OK to beginrecording.




    Caution!Some early DVD drives and DVD-burningsoftware may write to discs in a formatthat cannot be read by some of the morecurrent DVD drives. Be careful to use aDVD drive and software that will enableyou to read your discs in new DVD drivesand on computers with current operatingsystems.

    Did You Know?DVD drives require firmware and a driver.If you are having problems with yourDVD drive, you should check the vendorsWeb site for new drivers or firmware.Vendors usually provide easy-to-followinstructions for downloading andinstalling both the drivers and firmware.When downloading the drivers, makesure to select the correct one for youroperating system.

    The Burn Disc Progress dialog box showsthe percentage of completion and theestimated time to complete recording.

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  • CREATE A SLIDESHOW1 In Elements Organizer, click


    The Creation Setup dialog boxappears.

    2 Click Slide Show.

    3 Click OK.

    Create a PDF SLIDESHOWOne of the more fun ways to share photos is tocreate and view them in a slideshow on a computerscreen. You can use many applications to createslideshows. Adobe Photoshop Elements enables youto quickly and easily create a PDF slideshow. A PDF(portable document format) is a special file that canbe read only using Adobe Acrobat or the free AdobeAcrobat Reader. You can view PDF files on just aboutall computers, including PCs and Macintoshes. So,you can create a slideshow using a PC or Mac and

    share it with anyone, no matter what computer he orshe is using.

    After you have created a PDF slideshow, all thephotos and the settings that you selected forplayback are contained in a single file. One of thesignificant advantages of sharing your digital photosin PDF format is that there are a number of usefulfeatures built into Acrobat Reader that allow theimages to be exported, edited, printed, and so on.




    Slide Show

    Simple Slide Show



    The Select a Slide Show Formatpage appears.

    4 Click Simple Slide Show.

    5 Click OK.


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  • The Simple Slide Showdialog box appears.

    6 Click Add Photos.

    The Add Photos dialogbox appears.

    7 Click to select thesource of the photos.

    8 Click Select All to selectall the photos.

    9 Click Done.

    You are returned to theSimple Slide Showdialog box.





    00 @@



    Did You Know?To view Acrobat slideshows created with AdobePhotoshop Elements, you need a copy of AdobeAcrobat or the free Acrobat Reader. You candownload a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader When using Acrobat Reader, you can easilyexport pictures, export and edit pictures, printpictures, order prints online, and order photoobjects online by simply clicking the Picture Tasksbutton in Acrobat Reader.

    Did You Know?An Acrobat-based slideshow is easy to create andeasy to share because there is only a single fileinstead of one file for each photo plus additionalfiles for a slideshow program and slideshowsettings.

    0 Click here and select the transition styleto determine how a slide replaces thepreceding slide.

    ! Click here and select the slide duration time.

    @ Click here and select the photo size.

    # Click Save to choose a folder and filenameto use to save the slideshow.

    The slideshow is generated and displayed inAdobe Acrobat.

    Note: The slideshow is now ready to be playedor e-mailed.

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  • 1 Click Folder Open Folder.

    The Open Folder dialog boxappears.

    2 Select a folder of photos to bemade into a digital photoalbum.

    3 Click OK.

    FlipAlbum automatically createsa flip album based on thedefault settings.

    l You can add cover title text withthe Annotations tool.

    Create a DIGITAL PHOTO ALBUMYou can create the digital equivalent of a photoalbum with realistic flipping pages with one of E-BookSystemss FlipAlbum products, available You can choose from multipleversions of FlipAlbum. FlipAlbum Standardautomatically organizes your photos into realisticpage-flipping albums that you can view on a PC andshare on the Internet. FlipAlbum Suite has extrafeatures that enable you to share your albums onCDs or to play them on some DVD players. FlipAlbumPro offers all the features of the other two products

    plus a few more features, including a CD passwordoption, image encryption, watermark capabilities, anda print lock feature to control how images areprinted. Mac FlipAlbum is for a Macintosh.

    When you create an album, FlipAlbum automaticallycreates a front and back cover, thumbnail imagepages to be used as a table of contents, and anindex. Images can be ordered based on thefilenames, or you can click and drag the thumbnailimages to order them as you want them.



    Thumbnails are automaticallygenerated and placed at thefront of the album.

    l To change the viewing order ofthe images, you can click anddrag and drop the thumbnails.

    4 To view a full-size image on analbum page, click its thumbnail.


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  • To add a tab, youcan right-click theselected page, clickBookmarks Add,and then type in thetab text and choosea color.

    5 To turn a page, click inthe upper corner of thepage to view a flippingpage effect.


    Did You Know?You can further customize a FlipAlbum byselecting a different cover style or by choosingyour own cover color, cover image, texture, andbinding. You can also choose the color andtexture of the pages, the margins, and how thepages flip. You can add background musicand set the entire album to flip automatically.You can add text to each page in the fontstyle and color of your choice, and you caneven add a link to a specified Web page.

    Apply It!You can upload your FlipAlbums to E-BookSystemss Web site specifically for sharingFlipAlbums at

    6 To view the index, go to the back of thealbum.

    FlipAlbum automatically creates a clickableindex at the end of each album when afolder is opened.

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  • CREATE A WEB GALLERY1 In Photoshop Elements

    Organizer, click Create.

    The Creation Setup dialog boxappears.

    2 Click Web Photo Gallery.

    3 Click OK.

    Create a WEB PHOTO GALLERYIf you want to make your photos available to anyonein the world who has a computer and a connectionto the Internet, you can create an online photogallery. To create an online photo gallery, youtypically need digital photos sized and optimized foruse on the Internet, thumbnail photos sized andoptimized for use on the Internet, and HTML-basedpages (Web pages) with links to the digital photosand thumbnails. Creating all of this without a toolsuch as Adobe Photoshop Elements is a tedious andtime-consuming process.

    Using the Adobe Photoshop Elements Web PhotoGallery feature, you can have your online gallery upand running in just a few minutes. Before you run theWeb Photo Gallery feature, you should first prepareyour digital photos and create a folder in whichto put all the images. You should then select theseimages in Elements Organizer. Although you can usethe Web Photo Gallery feature to automatically sizeand compress each digital photo, you may get betterresults sizing and compressing each digital photowith the Save for Web command (see Task #71).





    22Web Photo Gallery



    The Adobe Web Photo Gallerydialog box appears.

    4 Click Add.

    The Add Photos dialog boxappears.

    5 Click Photos Currently inBrowser.

    6 Click Select All.

    7 Click Done.


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  • You are returned tothe Adobe Web PhotoGallery dialog box.

    8 Click the Banner tabif it is not active.

    9 Type in any bannertext that you wantto use.

    0 Click Browse andchoose a destinationfolder.

    ! Type in a short sitefolder name.







    Did You Know?Most Internet service providers offeryou 10MB or more of personalWeb space that you can use for yourdigital photo gallery. Check withyour service provider to learn moreabout the file transfer tools that itoffers and how to upload your digitalphoto gallery. Often, you can findthis information on your Internetservice providers Web pages.

    Did You Know?The Adobe Photoshop ElementsWeb Photo Gallery feature canautomatically place a caption undereach photo on each Web page.Use the File File Info commandin Photoshop Elements Editor to adda caption in the Caption box foreach digital photo file.

    @ Click the Thumbnails tab to selectthumbnails.

    # Click here and select a thumbnail size.

    $ Click here and select the font.

    % Click to check the Filename box if youwant to include the filename beloweach thumbnail.

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  • ^ Click the Large Photos tab.

    & If you want your digital photosresized, click to check the ResizePhotos box and enter the sizeand quality.

    * Click to check the Filename boxif you want to display thefilename.

    l You can also add a caption andthe date.

    Create a WEB PHOTO GALLERYMany photographers worry about having theirdigital photos stolen from online photo galleries andused without payment or permission. Although this isa reasonable concern because it does happen, smalldigital photo files are not all that useful for mostcommercial purposes. If you keep all your postedimages small, with the maximum size of less than400 pixels, you are not likely to suffer any great loss.

    You can take steps to prevent an image from being

    copied, or you can add a copyright or watermark toonline images so that they can be tracked andidentified. However, the effort that it takes to addthis extra protection is generally not worth it becausethere are ways around each different approach. Ifyou have good reasons for not wanting your digitalphotos copied, you should not post them to a Webpage on the Internet.







    ( Click the Custom Colors tab.

    ) Click in these boxes tochoose custom colors for theWeb gallery.

    q Click Save.

    Elements begins the automaticgeneration of the Web pages,thumbnails, and any imageresizing that is required.


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  • VIEW THE WEB GALLERYYour Web galleryappears likethis when usingMicrosoft InternetExplorer.





    Did You Know?GlobalSCAPEs CuteFTP ( one of the most popular file-transfer softwaretools used for uploading Web pages and imagesto an Internet sever. You can download a trialversion from the vendors Web page.

    Did You Know?You can change the graphics and the layout of anyof the more than 30 preset Web page styles thatare supplied with Adobe Photoshop Elements.You can find a separate folder in the \PhotoshopElements 4.0\shared_assets\webcontactssheetfolder for each of the styles. To modify a style,first copy the contents of the folder containingthe style that you want to a new folder witha different name. Then edit or replace the imagesor modify the HTML code with an HTML editor.

    TRANSFER THE FILESTo upload the folders, images, and HTMLpages to the Internet, you need to use filetransfer software such as WS_FTP Pro orCuteFTP.

    1 Click the folder to upload.

    2 Click the destination folder on yourWeb site.

    3 Click the Upload button.

    Your files are uploaded.

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  • 1 In Photoshop ElementsOrganizer, select all the imagesthat you want to use.

    2 Click Create.

    Create a VIDEO SLIDESHOWPeople create slideshows for many reasons. Maybeyou have just returned from an overseas trip withlots of great photos, and you want to share themwith friends and family. Or maybe you have dozensof flower or antique car photos that you would like toshare. You may even want to create a slideshowfeaturing your children or your parents over theyears. Whatever the reason, there are many ways toboth create and present slideshows.

    One of the most useful software products to use tocreate slideshows on CDs and DVDs is Adobe

    Photoshop Elements. Using the Photoshop ElementsSlide Show Editor, you can create slideshows thatyou can view on a computer screen or on a TV that isconnected to a DVD player if you have used anappropriate disc format.

    An advantage of using a DVD player and a TV forviewing your slideshows is that you can control eachslide with the DVD player control, which enables youto go forward or backward, or go to a main menu toselect another slideshow.





    Slide Show

    The Creation Setup dialog boxappears.

    3 Click Slide Show.

    4 Click OK.


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  • The Select a SlideShow Format pageappears.

    5 Click Custom SlideShow.

    6 Click OK.




    Custom Slide Show



    Did You Know?Video CDs (VCDs) are CD-recordable discs containing audio, video, and still images encoded in thehighly compressed MPEG (moving pictures experts group) format. The VCD format offers lower-qualityimages than either the SVCD or DVD formats. Image resolution of full-motion video typically falls belowstandard VHS videotape, but still images display clearly.

    Super video CDs (SVCDs) offer better image and sound quality than VCDs, but are not as good asDVDs. However, SVCDs are a good choice for photographers because they represent an acceptablecompromise between inexpensive media and high-resolution images.

    A DVD is a DVD-recordable disc that can be played in most standalone DVD players and computer DVD-ROM drives. The DVD format holds the most content and has the highest image quality.

    The Slide Show Preferences dialog boxappears.

    7 Click here and select how long eachimage will be displayed.

    8 Click here and select a slide transitioneffect.

    9 Click OK.

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  • The Slide Show Editor appearswith the photos that wereloaded from Organizer.

    0 Click in the Extras palette to addeffects, clip art, text, or voicenarration.

    ! Click here to change the timethat the slide is displayed.

    Create a VIDEO SLIDESHOWJust because CD burners, DVD burners, and set-topDVD players are an evolving technology, there isno reason why you should not enjoy the benefitsof this new technology now. Carefully checkdocumentation and consult knowledgeable salesstaff when purchasing new hardware and media andread the documentation that came with productsyou already have.

    Each of the many types of discs and file formats hasadvantages and disadvantages. If you have only aCD burner, it is possible that you can use it to create

    a VCD or SVCD featuring a photo slideshow that canbe viewed on a computer with a CD-ROM reader oron a newer DVD player.

    To output a DVD slideshow, you must have a DVDburner and DVD-recordable discs (DVD-R/RWs orDVD+R/RWs). For a VCD or SVCD slideshow, you willneed a CD burner and CD-R/RWs. Picking the rightdisc for the CD or DVD reader or set-top DVD playeris as easy as reading the manuals or checking withthe vendor.








    @ Click to check this box to enablepan and zoom.

    # Click one of the handles to dragthe start box to where you wantthe pan or zoom to begin.

    $ Click here to set the end box.

    % Click Preview to preview theresulting effect.

    ^ Click Output Slide Show to viewall the output options.


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  • The Slide ShowOutput dialog boxappears.

    & Click Burn to Disc.

    * Click DVD to createa DVD slideshow.

    ( Click OK tobegin the processof writing theslideshow to thedisc.

    Burn to Disc&& **



    Caution!Older set-top DVD players may notbe able to play either the VCD or SVCDdiscs. Some of the newer model set-topDVD players may have problemsplaying a CD-R disc, but will play a CD-RW disc.

    Did You Know?When you create a video slideshowusing Adobe Photoshop Elements SlideShow Editor, you can add digital videoclips, music, and multiple slideshows.You can also create your own titlescreen with selectable menu optionssimilar to those generally found incommercially produced DVD movies;this enables you to have more thanone slideshow on a DVD.

    The Burn dialog box appears.

    ) Click OK.

    l The burn-to-DVD process begins, and astatus bar indicates the percentage thatis completed.

    After the disc has been burned, it willeject and be ready to be played in aDVD player.

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  • 1 In Photoshop ElementsOrganizer, select 13 photos thatyou want to use.

    Note: You need 13 photos if youwant to have an image on thecover.

    2 Click Create.

    Create a PHOTO CALENDAREveryone needs at least one calendar. Using AdobePhotoshop Elements, you can easily create calendarsthat display your photographs while providing 12months worth of calendar pages for keeping track ofevents. Creating a calendar is as easy as followingthe steps in the Create a Wall Calendar Wizard. Youhave a choice of several different styles, includingstyles for both horizontal and vertical pages, and youcan display up to 13 photos, including one photo forthe cover and one for each month. If you choose to

    add captions below each photo, you can do so byadding the captions that you want to the image file.

    After you have created your photo calendar, you canprint it out on your own desktop photo printer, or youcan use an online printing service.

    Photo calendars make excellent gifts. The next timethat you need to give a gift, consider making a photocalendar customized for the recipient using yourphotographs.




    Wall Calendar


    The Creation Setup dialog boxappears.

    3 Click Wall Calendar.

    4 Click OK.


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  • The Create a WallCalendar Wizardappears.

    5 Click to select a style.

    6 Click to check theboxes to include a titlepage or captions.

    7 Click in each date boxto select the beginningmonth and year andthe ending month andyear.

    8 Click Next Step.66




    Classic Vertical



    Did You Know?You can have photo captions printed beloweach photo. Place a check mark in the Captionsbox in the Creation Set-up step of the Create aWall Calendar Wizard and then enter captionsin the digital photo files. To enter captions intothe digital photo files using Photoshop ElementsEditor, click File File Info to open the File Infodialog box. Then type the caption in the Captionbox and save the file.

    Did You Know?You can use other software products to createa photo calendar, including Microsoft Word.You can download several Microsoft Wordstyle sheets from the Microsoft Web site can also download the Snapfish PhotoWizard at use the wizard to order prints online fromSnapfish. Shutterfly ( alsooffers a service for printing photo calendars.

    The Step 2: Arrange Your Photos pageappears.

    9 Click and drag the photos to place themin the order that you want.

    0 Click Next Step.

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  • The Step 3: Customize pageappears.

    ! Click Add Text to add text.

    @ Click here to change pages.

    # Click Next Step.

    Create a PHOTO CALENDARAdobe Photoshop Elements enables you to create awide variety of photo-based print projects. Inaddition to creating calendars, you can makegreeting cards, photo albums, and much more with asimple click of a button. Adobe Photoshop Elementsalso enables you to retouch, crop, and resize photos.This relatively low-priced software even providestools for sharing your favorite photos with friendsand loved ones online, including built-in templates forcreating a Web photo gallery.

    You do not have to use Adobe Photoshop Elements tocreate your own photo calendars. Most imagingsoftware vendors sell similar software, includingUlead Photo Explorer, Broderbund Calendar Creator,and Microsoft Picture It!. The market offers programsthat are as basic or as sophisticated as yourparticular needs. So now that you have taken,enhanced, and archived wonderful digital photos, youcan invest in a calendar application and share themin a way that is not only fun but very practical.






    The Step 4: Save page appears.

    $ Type a name for your wallcalendar.

    % Click Save to save the project.


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  • The Step 5: Sharepage appears.

    ^ Click Print.

    The Print dialogbox appears.

    l You can clickPreferences tochoose anyadditional settingsthat are appropriatefor your printer.

    & Click Print.



    Did You Know?You can create a PDF file instead of printing the calendar to your owndesktop printer. In the Step 5: Share part of the Create a Wall CalendarWizard, click Create a PDF. Then you can select settings to optimize thefile for viewing onscreen, for printing, or for full resolution. This is a nicefeature if you want to create a calendar, add events to it using AdobeAcrobat, and share it with others. If you use the Optimize for Printingsetting, you can add dates and then provide the file on a CD to othersso that they can print out their own calendar using high-resolutionimages. Or you can create a 2.5MB file that is optimized for viewingonscreen and can be downloaded from a Web page.

    Your calendar begins to print.

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  • 1 Select an image that you wantto use using PhotoshopElements Organizer.

    2 Click Create.

    The Creation Setup dialog boxappears.

    3 Click Card.

    4 Click OK.

    The Create a Card Wizardappears.

    5 Click a style to use.

    6 Click Next Step.

    Create a PHOTO GREETING CARDThe next time that you need a greeting card, you canmake your own personalized card especially for therecipient using one or more of your photos. As youwork through each step of the Create a Card Wizard,your steps are automatically saved in a file so thatyou can quickly make another copy or modify anexisting card to create a new one.

    One of the strengths of Adobe Photoshop Elementsis that the product is designed so that you candownload new templates or styles for many of the

    creation types when they become available. You canalso use various online services such as MyPublisherprint services and Shutterfly. After you have signedup for one of these services, you can use them asquickly as you can complete your digital photoprojects. To see if new services are available, clickEdit Preferences Services and then click UpdatedCreations. If new services are available, they will beintegrated into Adobe Photoshop Elements.






    I Miss You...



    The Step 2: Arrange Your Photospage appears.

    7 Click Next Step.

    The Step 3: Customize pageappears.

    8 Double-click on the text to openthe Title dialog box.

    9 Type your greeting.

    0 Click Done.

    ! Click Next Step.


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  • The Step 4: Save pageappears.

    @ Type the card name.

    # Click Save.

    The greeting cardproject is saved to yourhard drive.





    Did You Know?The Adobe Photoshop ElementsCreate a Card Wizard makes it easyfor you to print greeting cards withyour own desktop printer. You can alsopublish a card as a PDF file or as anattachment for e-mail; plus, you cansave the card to a CD or order thecard to be printed professionally froman online service vendor.

    Did You Know?Many stationery vendors makegreeting card paper and matchingenvelopes especially for use withinkjet printers. You can find tinted,glossy, embossed, mat, and manyother varieties in a pre-scored formatfor easy and accurate folding. Checkyour local office supply store or orderonline from

    The Step 5: Share page appears.

    $ Click Print.

    The Print dialog box appears.

    l You can click Preferences to choose anyadditional settings that are appropriatefor your printer.

    % Click Print.

    Your card begins to print.

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    The New dialog box appears.

    2 Type in the width, in inches,that you want for the finishedphotomontage.

    3 Type in the height, in inches,that you want for the finishedphotomontage.

    4 Specify the target printersoptimal resolution.

    5 Click OK to create a newdocument.

    Create a PHOTOMONTAGEA popular thing to do with printed photographs isto cut them up and creatively place and glue themon a single board, making a photo collage. Thecollage technique is good for assembling a group ofphotos taken on a vacation, a family get-together,or a sporting event. However, the process of creatinga collage in this manner takes some skill and lotsof time.

    In sharp contrast, making a photomontage withAdobe Photoshop Elements is both easy and fun.Not only are all the photos printed on a single page,

    which is why it is called a photomontage instead ofa collage, but the process enables you to size andeasily crop each image as needed.

    Before you begin placing the digital photos on anew blank document, you should first roughly sizethe photos so that you minimize the work that ittakes to resize them as you place them. When youhave resized each photo, you can begin the simpleprocess of dragging, dropping, placing, and sizingeach digital photo.







    6 Open one or more images touse in the photomontage.

    7 Click the Move tool.

    8 Drag the images to the newdocument.

    The images appear in the newdocument window.


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  • 9 Repeat steps6 to 8 until youhave added allthe photos to thenew document.

    0 Click Auto SelectLayer if it is notalready checked.

    ! Drag images towhere you wantthem in the newdocument window.



    11Layer 18


    Did You Know?When arranging photos in aphotomontage, you can resize anyimage to fit the available space.Click an image to select it andthen click and drag one of thehandles to size the image. Tomaintain the images aspect ratio,press Shift while adjusting theimage size.

    Did You Know?When you have completedplacing, sizing, and ordering all theimages in a photomontage, youcan easily add a shadow line toeach photo to add depth to yourwork. Simply click each layer inthe Layers palette and then clickyour choice of shadow from theDrop Shadows styles found in theLayer Styles palette.

    PLACE AN IMAGE IN FRONT OF ANOTHER1 Click the image to highlight it in the

    Layers palette.

    2 Click the highlighted layer in the Layerspalette and drag it up or down until thelayer order is as you want it.

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