Secrets of Digital Photography

Nikon eBook Chapters



What's in the eBook?

Here is the list of chapters and descriptions of what's in the ePages.

  • Chapter 1: Here's Nikon Digital Photography

A quick review of the Nikon Coolpix models from the 900 to the present 5400 dives beneath the hood to see how they operate and what makes them tick and what makes them particularly "Nikon" in design philosophy and function.

A comparison between digital and film shows some limitations and advantages for each.

The basics of f/stop, shutter speed, meter type precede seven so-called photographic Rules Of Thumb and half a dozen Photographic Superstitions.

Or are they?

  • Chapter 2: Digital Color and the Photoshop™ Connection

Nikon Compact Digital cameras are so deep and feature rich they need deep and feature rich support after the shutter beep is a distant memory. Photoshop is the only program that is as deep as these cameras. Too bad Photoshop is so hard to learn. Or is it?

Not in my book, it isn't. I make it fun.

Once you have a few color basics under your belt, Photoshop can be approached in a logical, easy to grasp manner. The digital darkroom inherent in any editing program is just as hard to learn, or as easy to learn as Photoshop IF you are steered through the seven steps presented here. Going through it takes only an hour or two and from then on, you'll be jamming like Eric Clapton* and discovering all sorts of things to play with.

As the chapter predicts, many people who were once afraid of Photoshop's complexities have broken through the veil of mystery by learning these seven stages.

  • Chapter 3: Camera Operation

The camera instruction manuals for these cameras don't always reveal the why's and why not's behind each control and feature. This chapter is over a third of the book and discusses IN DETAIL the implications, uses and alternate uses of each control and menu item.

There are nine parts to Chapter 3.

  • 3A covers the CP 950.
  • 3B covers the CP 990.
  • 3C covers the CP 995.
  • 3D covers the CP 775.
  • 3E covers the CP 5000.
  • 3F covers the CP 4500
  • 3G covers the CP 5700
  • 3H covers the CP 5400
  • 3I covers Nikon Optical Converters

So very many juicy hidden items surfaced during the writing of chapters that I needed a way for you to jump to them with a special icon at the head of selected paragraphs.

It's called the InfoBite and you see them sprinkled on nearly every page from Chapter 3A onward throughout the book.

They are easy to spot with the leading InfoBite symbol.

Chapter 3H on the camera operation of the CP5400 has over 170, for instance.

  • Chapter 4: How Do I?

The reviewers' favorite chapter.

Twenty-three Major Questions investigate topics as diverse as Camera Stability, Composition, Optical Accessories, Special Features, 3D Photography, Panoramic Shots, Infrared Images, when to use Digital Zoom, Available Light and strategies for vacations, international travel and fooling the camera into giving you what you want instead of what it thinks you want. Here you will find a wealth of solutions custom designed to your camera.

Plus numerous InfoBites.

  • Chapter 5: Learning Digital Photography

When newcomers and experienced photographers pick up a Nikon Digital Camera, lots of things are not intuitive or don't follow from experiences with film. This is a "Learning Photography Course" from the ground up with lessons designed to wrap your mind around the new, non-film approach to image gathering.

Pictured. People think that digital cameras have lag. They do, but it is easy to rise above. The eBook teaches you how to reduce shutter-button lag so you can get shots like this every time.

Lessons are given in the form of exercises that build the photographer's sensitivities to composition, shooting and reviewing habits, subject approaches, special techniques and opportunities for learning, which only these non-film cameras can gather. As you follow each lesson, you will be building photographic skill without having a teacher or class full of critics over your shoulder. It's You, teaching You. And we are finding that this is a very effective method of learning and refreshing photographic skills.

Bad can be Good. There is even an exercise in which the photographer is directed to shoot intentionally BAD pictures that fit certain criteria.

The idea here is that once you have been forced to place things in your shots in the manner that least makes good pictures, you will become sensitive to the corrective steps can be quickly, even effortlessly, implemented.

At the same time, you will become aware how certain kinds of "bad" images end up being good. You will find how things you never would have tried before can lead to good things you never would have gotten. Plus you will learn how to make some pretty funny shots.

(Sometimes photography needs a push. Wearing my teacher hat, I push. You shoot. Everybody wins.)

  • Chapter 6: Printing Digital Photographs

You shot it and got it on the computer screen, now what? The digital darkroom needs no plumbing, but just like a chemical darkroom, it needs understanding, technique and experience. That last item will have to be acquired on your own, but this chapter helps with the other two.

Pictured: The results from an included iNovaFX Photoshop Action Filter that lets you print 4 shots on a letter-size page directly from Photoshop.

And the chapter is rife with InfoBites.

  • Chapter 7: Digital Special Effects

Special effects come in two types, the ones you notice because reality doesn't work that way, and the ones you never see because they invisibly covered up something perhaps distracting. This chapter deals with both and gets you started on a long journey of creative and rewarding image manipulation.

The image at right is an example of how a photograph can be changed into a convincing oil painting by using the power of Photoshop's native tools.

Note the build up of thick paint in highlight and shadow areas and the texture of the canvas under the paint.

What's more intriguing is that the conversion from photo to painting is facilitated by one of the iNovaFX filters detailed in Chapter 9.

Pictured: The painting here is a single mouse click away.

And, of course, the chapter is filled with InfoBites.

  • Chapter 8: Vexing FAQ's
  • Do I really NEED a UV filter?
  • What IS the real zoom ratio of these cameras?
  • What's this Pixels Per Inch and Dots Per Inch thing?
  • Can I use this camera professionally?
  • What hooks it up to a Microscope?
  • Can I turn a photo into a painting or sketch?
  • What's the best way to light this or that?
  • Do converter optics reduce light?

Over forty big questions that have puzzled photographers since the dawn of digital photography. Sure, that's only about 2500 days ago, but here are the answers to these puzzles. Now go out and dream up new questions.

Oh, by the way, Infobites live here in vast quantities.

  • Chapter 9: iNovaFX Filter Operation

The filters correct, enhance and facilitate. Here is how you use them on your photos to your great advantage.

Pictured: That 4x5 over on the right, isn't. It isn't a 4x5 sheet film image at all. It's a 990 image of my photo assistant, Judy, in a test shot now processed through an iNovaFX border filter that draws the entire 4x5 film frame around the shot. It even adds tiny lettering in the dark border that you can modify. Versions exist for roll film, sheet film and 35mm!

For greater detail, click here.

  • Appendix

Here the lists of Internet connections and suppliers are to be found along with the instructions for accessing the more up to date features of the Digital Secrets web site, where special pages await registered owners of the eBook.

And it INTERACTS with your web browser. Click on the Appendix entry and your Web Browser jumps to that site. You can NOT do that with a book printed on paper. Cool and a half!

  • Index

Get lost? With 360 pages to sort through, you could. Here is the quck way of finding the places your topic is hiding. Very complete.

  • Bonus Volume: Digital Visions: A Gallery of Coolpix Photography.

Dozens of photographs from around the world showing how these cameras have allowed photographers to take the high ground in digital imaging. It features images that are of museum quality and contrasts the different styles of a select group of Nikon photographers.

Now you can see the contents that are within Mastering Nikon Compact Digital Cameras the world's first high resolution Photography eBook. This is a sample page.

513 ePages of full color images and ideas will bring your understanding forward, and the CD full of tools and software will give you a great deal of experience and practice.

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All photos © 2003 Peter iNova. Website © 2003 Peter iNova. All rights reserved.

Nikon, Adobe Photoshop and Apple Computer trademarks property of their respective companies.

* Yes, Eric jams on a guitar, but you know what I meant.