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  • Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA

    First published 2010

    Copyright 2010 Chris Coe and Chris Weston. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    The right of Chris Coe and Chris Weston to be identifi ed as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

    No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Details on how to seek permission, further information about the Publishers permissions policies and our arrangement with organizations such as the Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Licensing Agency, can be found at our website: www.elsevier.com/permissions

    This book and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by the Publisher (other than as may be noted herein).

    Notices

    Knowledge and best practice in this fi eld are constantly changing. As new research and experience broaden our understanding, changes in research methods, professional practices, or medical treatment may become necessary.

    Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information, methods, compounds, or experiments described herein. In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility.

    To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Weston , Christopher (Christopher Mark) Creative DSLR photography : the ultimate creative workfl ow guide.-(Digital workfl ow) 1. Photography-Digital techniques-Amateurs manuals 2. Single-lens refl ex cameras I. Title II. Coe, Chris 775

    Library of Congress Control Number: 2008943845

    ISBN : 978-0-240-52101-5

    For information on all Focal Press publications visit our website at www.focalpress.com

    Printed and bound in Canada

    10 11 12 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  • v Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vii Visualization and Creativity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

    Section 1: Perception and the Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Essentials of Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Light and the Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Understanding Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Tone and Contrast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Understanding Exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The Zone System Applied . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 What is Composition? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Five Elements of Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Deconstructing the Image Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 The Art of Omission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

    Section 2: Interpretation and Expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 The Camera as a Creative Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Lenses and Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Focus , Aperture and Depth of Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Movement and Shutter Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Playing with Time and Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Practical Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Defi ning Your Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Getting Your Message Across . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115 The Defi ning Moment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Developing a Personal Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

    Section 3: The Process of Image Capture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Understanding the Photographic Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Advantages and Limitations of Digital Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 Color Space and Color Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154 RAW Conversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157 Post -Capture Exposure and Color Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160 Fixing Digital and Optical Aberrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168 Fine -Tuning a Digital Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169

    CONTENTS

  • CONTENTS

    vi

    Selective Exposure and Color Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .175 Creating a Monotone Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176 Sharpening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177 The Digital Print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183 The Way to Better Digital Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .186

    Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187

  • vii

    Visualization and Creativity

    What is photography? A simple question but one with many answers. Perhaps the simplest answer is an individual interpretation of a visual world. The key words here are visual and individual. Very obviously, photography is all about light and without light photography simply doesnt exist. Light enables us to see, creating colors and shapes, tones and textures.

    With seeing, the interpretation starts. We all see colors and tones slightly diff erently. Your purple may not be quite the same as my purple but, unless your vision is impaired by color blindness, we see colors distinctively enough to be able to distinguish one from another, then label and identify them.

    Photography can be used to record an image of someone or something. It can create an exact representation in two dimensions. More pertinently and more excitingly, photography can be used more creatively to interpret the visual and alter it either subtly or dramatically. How we each choose to interpret is the individuality that makes photography so creative and fascinating.

    Photography as a creative process begins in your head not in your camera. It is tempting to raise the camera to your eye and then start hunting for an image in the viewfi nder but this misses out the most vital steps in the making of an image. Learning to see images is where creativity begins, then learning to visualize and interpret is where photography becomes most rewarding and your individuality starts to shine through.

    Every photographer, when they fi rst start photography, has trouble seeing an image and then capturing it. Weve all returned from a photo shoot to be greeted with the disappointment of the photograph, on the computer screen or in the print, looking nothing like we saw it at the time we captured it. Its very frustrating and, at times, it feels like youre the only person who cant get the image you want. You arent and you will progress beyond this point.

    INTRODUCTION

  • INTRODUCTION

    viii

    In this book we are going to focus on the creative side of photography and take you into a fascinating world where you will only be limited by your sense of adventure and creativity. To achieve this you must fi rst see your camera as nothing more than a tool, a sophisticated tool maybe, but still just a tool. Like all tools the end product is determined by the skill of the person using them so it is essential to understand your camera, how it diff ers from your own eyes, and what it can and cant do.

    Armed with this knowledge, you become free to explore the world of photography, to work with light, and to create highly individual images that other people will want to look at and enjoy.

  • INTRODUCTION

    ix

  • CREATIVE DSLR PHOTOGRAPHY

    6

    The intensity of light changes depending on the time of day and the weather.

    either pole and the variations become much more marked. The further you move from the equator towards either of the poles, then the more marked the diff erence in the length of the days from summer to winter and with it the intensity of light between the seasons. Again, this is evident as the sun doesnt reach the