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Digital Photography for Next to Nothing: Free and Low Cost Hardware and Software to Help You Shoot Like a Pro

Digital Photography for Next to Nothing: Free and Low Cost Hardware and Software to Help You Shoot Like a Pro

John Lewell

ISBN: 978-0-470-97058-4

Aug 2011

384 pages

$22.99

Description

Take photos like a pro without breaking the bank by using FREE and nearly FREE software and hardware explained in this book.
  • Get professional looking shots from a low-cost camera
  • Save money by building your own lighting rigs, tripods, monopods and stabilisers for next to nothing
  • Learn how to use older lenses on modern digital cameras, and make your own macro lens, lens hoods, flash diffusers, flash concentrators, decorative Bokeh effect lenses and more
  • Use dozens of FREE and low cost photo applications for processing, viewing, cataloguing, editing, creating HDR, and photo stitching
  • Build powerful photography processing and editing suites with free software and plugins that go head to head with expensive tools like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
PART I: TAKING BETTER SNAPS WITH A CHEAPER CAMERA.

Chapter 1: Getting the Best from a Low-Cost Camera.

How Cheap Is ""Cheap""?

Getting to Know Your Camera.

Ten Universal Questions for Every Shot.

Chapter 2: Why Most Snaps Fail to Impress.

Some Common Errors.

What Makes a ""Good"" Snapshot?

Ten Cost-Nothing Tips for Better Snaps.

Chapter 3: First Steps in Portraiture with FREE and Low-Cost Lighting.

Creating One-Lamp Portraitures.

Making Your Own Low-Key Lighting Kit.

Creating No-Lamp Portraitures: Taking It Outdoors.

Using Scrims to Soften Sunlight.

Getting More Lights for Less.

Resources.

PART II: GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY.

Chapter 4: Choosing a Better Camera.

The Four Digital Camera Types.

Shopping Around for a New Camera.

Users’ Recommendations.

Getting an Entry-Level DSLR at a Rock-Bottom Price.

Read FREE Reviews Online: 10 Leading Review Sites.

Chapter 5: Keeping It Steady: Tripods, Monopods, and VR Lenses.

Blur Reduction: A Big Step Towards Better Photographic Technique.

Using Tripods and Heads.

Low-Cost Tricks for Reducing Blur.

Chapter 6: Saving Money on Lenses.

Why People Argue About Lenses.

Recommended High-Value Lenses.

Using Older Lenses on a New Camera.

Chapter 7: In Praise of the 50mm Lens.

Using a Lens Chart.

Using 50mm with Full-Frame, 1.5x, 1.6x, and 1.7x Crop Factor Sensors.

Five Reasons to Buy the ""Nifty Fifty"".

Shooting with a 50mm Lens.

PART III: KEEPING COSTS DOWN.

Chapter 8: Cost-Cutting Tips for Better Photography.

Setting White Balance.

Setting Exposure.

Cropping: The Pro Technique Available to All.

Chapter 9: Shooting RAW and Processing It For FREE.

The Rise of the RAW Format.

The Snags of Using RAW.

Software for RAW Processing.

Chapter 10: Shooting Macro Without a Macro Lens.

Four Ways to Get Macro Shots.

Lighting for Your Macro Shots.

Using Lens Stacking to Take Macro Shots.

Making a Tabletop Studio for Macro Photography.

Building a Mini Light Box for Small Product Photography.

Chapter 11: DIY: Cleaning Your DSLR Sensor.

Common Contaminants and How to Get Rid of Them.

Cleaning the Chamber.

Testing Your Cleaning Method.

Chapter 12: DIY: Making Your Own Lens Hood.

Considering Lens Hood Types.

Finding Lens Hood Templates Online.

Making a Superhood for a 50mm Lens.

Making a Flexihood for a Telephoto Lens.

Chapter 13: More DIY Photo Fun Accessories.

Making Pop-Up Flash Diffusers.

DIY Accessories for Flash Guns.

Making Your Own Lenses.

Getting Decorative Bokeh Effects.

Getting Soft Focus Without a Special Lens.

Finding Low-Cost Tripods for Your Compact Camera.

Emulating Aerial Photography Without the Airplane.

Chapter 14: FREE Photo Calculators.

Printing, Cutting, and Assembling Your Own FREE Exposure Calculator.

Using the Golden Ratio.

For a Few Dollars: Photo Calculation Software for the iPhone.

Optical System Calculators.

Print Size Calculation.

Chapter 15: FREE and Low-Cost Utility Software.

FREE and Low-Cost Exif Tools.

FREE and Low-Cost Screen Capture Utilities.

FREE Color Pickers.

FREE Online Color Analysis.

FREE File Archiving Utilities.

Low-Cost Image Compression Software.

FREE JPEG Lossless Rotation.

FREE and Low-Cost Data Recovery Software.

""Free Scan"" Photo Recovery Software.

PART IV: SCRUTINIZING, SORTING, AND RESIZING YOUR IMAGES.

Chapter 16: Monitor Calibration for Next to Nothing.

Understanding Gamma.

Calibration for Windows and Mac.

FREE Online Monitor Calibration.

FREE Online Tutorials on Monitor Calibration.

Chapter 17: FREE and Low-Cost Image Viewers.

Top FREE and Low-Cost Image Viewers for Windows.

Image Viewers for Mac: Why the Mac Is Different.

Chapter 18: FREE and Low-Cost Photo Organizing Software.

The Difference Between Sorting and Cataloging.

Searching Through Untagged Images.

Other Good FREE Photo Organizing Software.

For a Few Dollars: More Photo Organizing Software.

Chapter 19: FREE and Low-Cost Image Resizing Tools.

Choosing the Right Tool.

FREE Desktop Image Resizing Software.

FastStone Photo Resizer.

FREE Software for Batch Resizing.

FREE Online Image Resizing Tools.

For Just a Few Dollars.

PART V: IMPROVING YOUR IMAGES.

Chapter 20: FREE and Low-Cost Image Enhancement Software.

Enhancement and Editing: What’s the Difference?

Recommended FREE Basic Image Adjustment Tools.

Other FREE Image Adjustment Tools.

FREE Batch Correction Image Adjustment Tools.

For a Few Dollars.

Chapter 21: FREE Image-Editing Software.

What to Look for in a FREE Image Editor.

The Top Four FREE Windows Products.

Seashore for Macintosh.

The Best of the Rest: All FREE.

Chapter 22: FREE Online Image Editors.

Online Software: The Long-Term Winner.

Featured Software: The Top Five.

Best of the Rest.

Chapter 23: FREE and Low-Cost Denoising Software.

Noise Reduction Software.

Recommended FREE Denoising Software.

FREE Multiplatform (Java-Based) Denoising Software.

For a Few Dollars: Low-Cost Denoising Software.

Chapter 24: Building Powerful Software Suites with Plug-ins.

Adobe Photoshop Elements: The Low-Cost Host for Best-of-Breed Plug-ins.

GIMP: Pimp Your GIMP with Dozens of Great Plug-ins.

Enhancing Paint.NET with Plug-ins.

PART VI: MAKING HI-RES MOSAICS, PANORAMAS, AND HDR IMAGES.

Chapter 25: Getting Hi-Res Images from a Low-Res Camera.

FREE Versus Commercial Stitching Software.

Chapter 26: Panoramic Photography.

Taking Panoramas Without a Tripod.

Finding the Optical Center of a Lens.

Why Is Panoramic Photography Normally Expensive?

The Panosaurus: a Low-Cost Panoramic Head.

Building Your Own Panoramic Head.

Useful Resources.

Chapter 27: Low-Cost Panoramic and Virtual Tour Software.

Software for Making Panoramas.

Software for Displaying Panoramas.

Chapter 28: Creating High Dynamic Range Images.

Two Reasons to Use HDR.

Commercial or FREE? Which Software Is Best for HDR?

FREE HDR Software.

Low-Cost HDR Software.

PART VII: SHARING & PUBLISHING YOUR WORK.

Chapter 29: FREE Image Hosting.

What to Look for in a FREE Image Host.

Directories.

Selected FREE Image Hosting Providers.

Chapter 30: FREE Online Photo-Sharing Sites.

Must-Have Photo-Sharing Features.

Selected FREE Online Photo-Sharing Sites.

Photo-Sharing Sites with FREE Basic Accounts.

FREE Sites with Additional Features.

Chapter 31: Online Photo Communities.

What Online Photo Communities Can Do for You, and You for Them.

Communities FREE to Registered Users.

Low-Cost Photo Communities.

Smaller and Specialist Photo Communities.

Chapter 32: FREE Web Publishing Software.

Using PHP to Create Your Online Gallery.

FREE PHP-Based Photo Gallery Software.

FREE Flash Gallery Creation Software.

CSS-Based Image Galleries.

FREE Java-Based Photo Gallery Software.

Creating AJAX-Based Photo Galleries.

FREE Website Design Software with Gallery Features.

PART VIII: GETTING READY TO PRINT.

Chapter 33: Low-Cost Image Rescaling Software.

Why Is Most Up-Rezzing Software So Pricey?

Some Low-Cost Image-Rescaling Alternatives.

Chapter 34: Low-Cost Online Printing Services.

Cheaper Than Home Printing.

Online Photo Printers with Opening Offers (U.S. and International).

Online Photo Printers with Opening Offers (U.K.).

Directories of FREE Photo-Printing Offers.

Premium Printing Services.

PART IX: LEARNING MORE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, FOR NEXT TO NOTHING.

Chapter 35: FREE Online Tuition.

How to Evaluate Online Instruction.

Highly Recommended FREE Online Tutorials.

FREE Video Tutorials on Photography.

FREE Photoshop Tutorials Online.

Chapter 36: FREE Online Photo Resources.

Photo Megasites You Have to Visit.

Leading Camera-Specifi c Websites.

FREE Photography Magazines Online.

FREE Art Photography Magazines Online.

Sites for Landscape Photographers.

Sites for Nature and Wildlife Photographers.

Sites for Photojournalists.

Sites for Portrait Photographers.

PhotoStartSheet.com.

Index.