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Digital photography for beginners

Title: 40 Digital Photography Techniques (2nd Edition)

Author: John Kim
Publisher: Inc.

SO, YOU'VE jumped into the digital photography bandwagon, having chucked your trusty point-and-shoot analogue camera for a spanking new multi-megapixel beauty in brushed stainless steel. Armed with a cursory look at the manual and a 128MB SD/MMC/xD/CIF/SmartMedia card, you're ready to take picture-perfect photos, which you plan to "upload" on the Internet (after "tweaking" them with Photoshop, of course) so that your friends will be able to enjoy your digital snapshots.

And that's right about when you hit your first hurdle - the photos you take are invariably blurred (due to camera shake), and the time lag between pressing the shutter and the picture actually being taken means your subject is no longer in the centre of the frame, like you wanted. Also, your new camera is very juice-hungry, and you end up having to keep changing batteries faster than you can buy them. Okay, switching to rechargeable batteries does help solve the problem, but for the rest (like camera shake, for instance), there's really no shortcut to taking good photos.

The basic principles are much the same for all kinds of photography - composition and framing, light or flash, white balance, when to resort to aperture or shutter priority, and select or pan focusing, among others.

But the real advantage of digital over conventional cameras is the ability to seen instantly the image you've captured (via the LCD screen), and to take as many shots you like, knowing that you have the power to delete the ones that are not up to scratch.

This book is a boon to digital camera owners, and is written in an easy-to-understand manner, with plenty of colour photographs as guides. It combines technical instructions with creative ideas to help boost your skills, and offers practical step-by-step instructions, explanations, shortcuts and tips.

Designed to help you get the most out of your camera, 40 Digital Photography Techniques answers the frequently asked questions (for instance, which resolution to choose, and when, as well as how to download the pictures into your computer and set up your own photo gallery, printing options, managing your files, etc.).

The 2nd edition also offers some tips on camera phones, and there's a very useful companion CD-ROM (for Windows only, sorry) that is packed with digital camera utilities for organising, publishing, and having fun with your photos, plus various images from the book. Bundled inside is the trial versions of Adobe Photoshop Album, ACDSee 6.3, Screen Saver Builder 3.30, PrintPilot 1.32 and Coverxp 1.65.