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How to choose the right digital camera Computers for digital photography Tips for taking better digital photographs Printing, printers and photo paper Digital imaging software Digital photos for e-mail and the Internet Digital camera features and functions Photo techniques for great images A Complete Guide to Digital Photography on a PC Does the Intel ® Pentium ® 4 Processor really make a difference? Share photos. Take one home today. Edit photos. Digital Photography Made Easy? www.intel.co.uk

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Page 1: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

How to choose the right digital camera

Computers for digital photography

Tips for taking better digital photographs

Printing, printers and photo paper

Digital imaging software

Digital photos for e-mail and

the Internet

Digital camera features and

functions

Photo techniques for great images

A Complete Guide to Digital Photography on a PC

Does the Intel® Pentium® 4

Processor really make a difference?

Share photos.

Take onehome today.

Edit photos.

DigitalPhotography

Made Easy?

www.intel.co.uk

Page 2: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

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Welcome to Intel's cameras than conventional film cameras

When you switch from traditional film-based photography tothe exciting world of digital photography there are a number ofchoices awaiting you. The best part is that the switch to digital hasnever been easier. This is thanks to the amazing processing powerprovided by the latest Intel® Pentium® 4 processors. Processingpower for the average home computer now provides fantasticcomputer performance. This delivers unrivalled creative opportu-nities by providing a digital darkroom and imaging hub on yourdesktop at home.

The Intel Digital Photography Made Easy Guide is designed tohelp you understand the terms associated with digital imaging. Asyou progress through the easy-to-follow articles you will soon becomfortable talking about and working with gigahertz, gigabytes,megabytes, megapixels, compression formats, zooms and imagemanipulation. More importantly, the guide has been designed tohelp you make an informed buying decision.

You’ll soon find that the Intel Digital Photography Made EasyGuide will prove to be an invaluable resource. It pulls all the tech-nology jigsaw pieces together in a simple and easy to understandway. The guide not only includes the important technical aspectsof understanding a digital camera, it also provides a comprehensiveunderstanding of the creative aspects of digital photographythanks to the helpful hints and tips provided throughout the guide.

There are a lot of great reasons to make the shift from traditionalfilm cameras to digital cameras.

And the PC is at the centre of the digital revolution. Thanks toits role as the digital hub it has allowed new technology like digi-tal photography to become affordable, accessible and infinitelymore creative than film.

04. Taking the Digital Leap

05. Optimising a PC for Digital Photography

08. Digital Film

10. Megapixel-What Does it Mean?

12. The Digital Camera

14. Buying a Digital Camera

16. Digital Photo Printing

18. Image Resolution vs. Printer Resolution

19. Dye-Sublimation Printers

20. Image Editing Software

22. Editing Photos on Your PC

24. Image Browser Software

25. Panorama Software

26. Photographic Techniques

28. Sharing Your Digital Photos

30. Digital Photo Glossary

Content

02

DigitalPhotography

Made Easy Guide

Page 3: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

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Indeed, it’s now easier than ever tocapture, process and share your imageswith family and friends or use them forwork. With the enhanced capabilities of theInte® Pentium® 4 processor at the centre ofyour digital imaging world, creating, editingand sharing photos is now as simple aspoint - shoot - download to a PC.

Intel Pentium 4 processors deliver avariety of additional benefits, especiallywhen processing photographs. Theseinclude:

• Enhanced multimedia support forimage processing

• Unmatched processing power for rendering digital image effects

• Improved Web performance for sharing images on-line

• The ability of image editing software to take advantage of the power of the Pentium 4 processor offers greater creative potential

Why You Need A FastProcessor

Digital imaging presents demands forboth the PC’s operating system and processor, which have to deal with thehundreds of thousands of pixels at everyminute change of the image in your digitaldarkroom.

Using the latest Intel Pentium 4 processor-based PC or Notebook withMobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor - Mtechnology ensures that you spend moretime creating and less time waiting. Withthe newest PC as the hub of your desk-top digital darkroom you can develop your creativity to its full potential.

Even if you’re new to digital photo-graphy you will soon find that a PC allowsyou to manipulate and enhance your images, print your work as high-qualityphotographs, publish to a worldwide audience via the Internet, create slideshows for viewing on a computer monitoror TV and even distribute to a broadrange of contacts via e-mail. The PC hasdelivered a new world of image sharingfrom next door to across the globe.

Film processing labs, realising thehuge growth in digital imaging fuelled bythe increase in the power of the PC, arenow working with the IT industry to providePC users with even more creative options.

Digital photography is the natural evo-lution from film-based imaging that hasbeen around for over 150 years. In manyways analog and digital photography arevery similar. The key difference is thatimages are not recorded on film, but asdigital information stored in one type of“memory” or another. And, once theimages have been copied to a computer,the photographer gets to reuse the “digitalfilm” again and again.

This development has broadened thehorizons of digital photography, making itavailable to a much wider audience. Manyare realising that digital photos do not suffer from film’s shortcomings – fadingcolours, loss of negatives, having to waitwhile the film is processed at a lab, etc.This, combined with the power of the latestPCs, lower digital camera prices, and newcreative software has increased the valueof digital photography enormously.

The move from traditional film-based photography to digital imaging is an excitingleap. Thanks to the power of the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor-based PC and a hugerange of creative software, digital photography can be an incredibly satisfying and creative adventure.

4.26

3.33

1.00

4.91

0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00

Taking The Digital Leap

Intel Pentium 4 Processor Imaging Performance“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is why sharing images has become such an important aspect of computing today. With image modifications using Adobe* Photoshop* v7.0 it’s easy to see the performance benefits that can be obtained with the Intel Pentium 4 processor.

# Hyper-Threading Technology requires a computer system withan Intel® Pentium® 4 processor at 3.06 GHz or higher, a chipsetand BIOS that utilise this technology, and an operating system thatincludes optimisations for this technology. Performance will varydepending on the specific hardware and software you use. See www.intel.com/info/hyperthreading for information

Image Performance

Adobe* Photoshop* v7.0

47 %Faster 2

39,1 %Faster 1

500 MHz

2A GHz

2.53 GHz

3.06 GHz

1 When comparing Intel Pentium 4 processor 3.06 GHz supporting Hyper-Threading Technology# vs. Intel Pentium III processor 500 MHz2 When comparing Intel Pentium 4 processor 3.06 GHz supporting Hyper-Threading Technology# vs. Intel Pentium 4 processor 2A GHz

Intel Pentium III processor500 MHz

Intel Pentium 4 processor2A GHz

Intel Pentium 4 processor2.53 GHz

Intel Pentium 4 processor3.06 GHz supporting Hyper-Threading Technology#(HT Technology enabled)

Performance measured relative to Pentium III processor 500 MHz

System configurations located on page 31 of this guide.

Intel® Pentium® 4 Processorand Digital Photography

At the very heart of modern digitalimaging is the PC. It has become the hub for the desk top digital darkroomwhere images are stored, manipulatedthen published and distributed to theworld. Without the processing power and easy connectivity found in the latestPCs, digital photography could not havegrown as rapidly and successfully as ithas in the past few years.

As the size and quality of photographstaken with digital cameras has increased,they have been matched by overall per-formance and power improvements in thePC. The latest Intel Pentium 4 processor-based PCs and Mobile Intel Pentium 4processor - M based Notebooks are ideallysuited for digital imaging. They make thecreative process of image manipulation andenhancement much less time consuming.

Processor PerformanceEnhances Digital Photography

When working with images, the computer´s processor works like an engine,crunching calculations at lightning speed.When you add software that manipulatesthe image in your PC – creating a digitaldarkroom – processor speed becomesabsolutely critical.

The reason digital imaging needs thefastest processor speed relates directly tothe way images are constructed. A digitalpicture is made up of pixels (the word‘pixel’ actually stands for picture [pix] ele-ment [el]). A pixel is simply a tiny square ofcolour, a digital image can be made up ofhundreds of thousands or even millions ofpixels.

When a digital photograph is snapped,the light captured by the image sensor isconverted into pixels. Each pixel representsa certain colour. In general the more pixelyou have in an image the sharper it willbe. The pixels that make up the digitalimage are stored as data on your camera’smemory card. When the image is transferredto a PC, it is the combination of these pix-els that appears on the screen.

When the image is opened up in animage editing software program, the PC’s

processor speed comes into play and thefun begins.

The moment you start adjusting theimage, the computer’s processor mustmake millions of calculations per secondto change the way every pixel in the picture appears.

A simple task such as changing thebrightness or contrast, adding filter, sharpening the image, or adjusting thecolour saturation of the picture requiresevery individual pixel in the image to bealtered. Even on simple images, this requireshundreds of millions of calculations to bemade before you can preview the adjust-ment on your computer’s monitor.Therefore, processor speed is absolutelylinked to the performance of your desk-top digital darkroom.

The ideal PC to work with digitalimages should be equipped with thefastest Intel Pentium 4 processor avail-able.

Optimising a PCfor Digital Photography

The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography animmensely creative experience. With the right PC solution, your desk top can easily become a virtual darkroom.

RAM

Along with the processor’s speed, theamount of RAM in your computer isimportant for successful image manipulation.RAM (Random Access Memory) storesthe data used when applications and filesare in use on your computer. All the dataheld in the RAM is lost when the PC isshut down.

RAM affects everything you do withdigital imaging. In general, the more mem-ory you have installed, the faster theimage editing software and all the utilitiesassociated with it will perform.

Because digital image files are enormous when compared with word-processing documents or database files,creative workstations require much moreRAM than would be needed in a general-purpose computer.

Today, RAM is relatively inexpensive,so it is worth configuring your PC with asmuch RAM as possible. A good startingpoint is 256 MB (megabytes) but, if yourbudget can extend to 512 MB or more,you will really notice the difference.

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Page 4: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

CD-ROM, CD-R & CD-RW

One of the handiests peripherals tohave on your PC is a CD writer or ‘burner’.Currently the industry standard is 32xwrite, 10x rewrite and 40x read - you seethis in the CD drive’s specifications as32x/10x/40. SIEHE S6

In addition to your read-only drive, aburner lets you store images easily andrelatively permanently, plus you can storeprofessional presentations, portfolios andmultimedia packages on a CD.

One of the most important aspects ofburning your photos to CD is that it is aninexpensive way of archiving all your precious photographic memories.

Graphic Card

A 16 MB or 32 MB graphics or video cardis enough to provide the screen resolutionand refresh rate you’ll need when workingwith complex images.

Ports

USB has become the common con-necting port for all digital cameras avail-able today and any new PC will comewith multiple USB ports. If you find thatyou are running out of USB sockets, aUSB hub can add several connectionpoints to a single socket.

DVD-ROM & DVD-R

Most of the name-brand DVD-RW drives can be configured with a PC whenit is being built. One of the better optionsat the moment is Sony*’s DVD/CDWRWriter. This is very reliable and will burnDVD-R photo albums that can be viewedon a domestic DVD player.

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Hard Drive

When images are transferred fromyour digital camera to the PC they arestored on the computer’s hard drive. Thehard drive stores an enormous quantity ofdata, all the documents, applications andimage files that you work on.

If you are planning to store lots ofimage files on the computer’s hard drive,size is really important. The average harddrive today is 40 GB (gigabytes). However,you can have your computer configuredwith a larger hard drive – 60 GB or 80 GB– if you are really serious and expect to beworking with lots of images.

It is also important to consider thespin speed of the hard drive. Quick spin-ning drives (7,200 rpm) allow data to beread and written faster – the higher therpm, the less time it takes for the drive toread or write a given amount of data. Thisallows you to work at optimum speed.

Removable Storage

Image files are generally so large thatthey have made floppy disks all but use-less as a way of transporting pictures toanother computer or for sending imagesoff to a photo processing lab for specialistprinting.

A popular transfer option is a CD writerand rewriter – available as either internalor external models. A CD-R can hold from650 MB to 720 MB of data, making themby far the cheapest way to store and trans-port images.

DVD writers are also becoming popularas prices drop. DVD-R discs store 4.8 GBof data. Most DVD writers will also writeCD-R and CD-RW (CD rewriteable) discs.

Another alternative in removable stor-age is an external FireWire or USB com-patible hard drive. This is simply a regulardesktop or notebook hard drive that canbe plugged into a PC’s FireWire or USBport. Data or images are transferred to orfrom the external drive in much the sameway as the computer’s internal drive. Thisis often used as a backup or as a meansof transporting a large number of imagefiles between computers.

Keyboard, Mouse andGraphics Tablets

A comfortable ergonomic keyboard isespecially useful. However, most digitalimaging work is done with a mouse. Acomfortable, quick moving, fast reactingmouse is very important if you intend tobe doing a reasonable amount of imageediting in your PC’s digital darkroom.

The latest optical mice are ideal forgraphics and image editing work. Someusers prefer a trackball system, where theon-screen cursor is moved by rolling alarge ball with your palm.

If you are doing fine work, such as tracing around elements in an image, cor-recting faults or painting on your image,then consider a pen-based graphicstablet. These are much more accurateand natural when compared with amouse.

Graphics tablets are pressure sensitive– they literally feel the full range of pressurefrom the pen on the tablet. With a pressure-sensitive tool, such as Photoshop*’sRubber Stamp or History brush or anyPainter brush, you get incredible control.It’s more intuitive than a mouse becauseit’s how tools work in the real world. It hasthe effect of turning your computer screeninto a palette.

If you spend any time at all creatinggraphics on a computer, a graphics tabletwill help you work faster. You can literallygo from light to dark, thin to thick, oropaque to transparent in a single pressure-sensitive stroke.

Monitors

The monitor you select for your PC is very important. The monitor displays your image, so it needs to show yousharp colour-corrected images for you to work on.

The general rule of thumb with monitorsis that bigger is better. Image editing programs generally have lots of tools,palettes and menus and these occupy a great deal of desktop space.

There are two types of computermonitor to consider – LCD or CRT. LCDmonitors are completely flat and very thin,taking up around 20 percent of the spaceof a conventional monitor. The downsideis that you’ll pay between double to triplethe price of a conventional monitor.

Make sure the LCD monitor you buy isa TFT (thin film transistor) type – theseoffer the widest viewing angles. TFT moni-tors show more screen than CRT moni-tors, so you can easily do image work ona 15-inch or 17-inch LCD monitor.

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Optimising a PCfor Digital Photography

Monitor Settings

Setting up you monitor for opticalimage display is important and relativelysimple.

Go to: START > SETTINGS > CON-TROL > PANEL > DISPLAY > SETTINGS.

Set Colours to TRUE COLOR 24-bitand the screen area to 800 x 600 or higher.

You can alter the screen resolution ofevery monitor so that icons and menusare at a comfortable viewing size. Screenresolutions are measured in pixels such as 640 x 480 (VGA), 800 x 600 (SVGA),1024 x 768 (XVGA) and above.

Modem

Virtually all new PCs now come stan-dard with a 56 K modem. However, thereare two things to remember. First, yourISP must be capable of connecting you at56 K, and your telephone line also needsto be compatible.

Newer, faster choices are available inmodems, such as ADSL, and Cablemodems. If you are serious about movinglarger files via the Internet and e-mail youshould consider broadband.

Page 5: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Digital Film

Memory Type: CompactFlash (CF)

Used for example in Olympus* E-20P.The CompactFlash cards are about onethird the size of a PCMCIA card and lessthan half the thickness, yet they offer simi-lar ATA functionality and compatibility. It’sthis small size that has made Compact-Flash the most popular type of flash fordigital cameras.

CompactFlash cards come in twosizes, type I and type II. The type II cardsare larger and can contain the IBM* microdrive, which holds 340 MB or 1 GB.CompactFlash type I cards are small (43.0x 36.0 x 3.3 mm), roughly the same sizeas SmartMedia cards, only 4 times asthick. CompactFlash cards will operate atboth 3.3 V and 5 V unlike SmartMediacards. Currently CompactFlash cards canbe manufactured in larger sizes (MB) thanthe SmartMedia cards.

Memory Type: Microdrive

Can be used in Olympus* C-5050Zoom for example and any camera sup-porting CompactFlash Type II.

One of the most impressive digitalcamera storage solutions at the momentis the IBM* microdrive. The microdrives,currently available in 340 MB and 1 GB,are extremely small-sized hard disks thatcan fit in a CompactFlash Type II memoryslot. These drives allow digital cameraswith CompactFlash Type II support tobreak through the frustrating memory bar-rier many users face when dealing withhigh resolution uncompressed images.

On the downside, this is a hard drivestorage solution, with all the inherentproblems with regards to issues associat-ed with stability and ruggedness. The sortof rough handling that may be OK for aCompact Flash card, SD card or MemoryStick is not recommended for a Microdrive.

In digital photography, the memory card has replaced film. The advantage of a mem-ory card is that images can be viewed immediately after they are taken, then retained or erased and reshot if the image isn’t exactly as the photographer wanted.

Captured images are easily transferred from a memory card to a PC, either directlyfrom the camera or using a peripheral card reader attached to the PC.

There are several memory card formats currently used for digital still cameras. The following overview of the different cards may help you decide which camera is

the right one for you.

Memory Type:Memory Stick

Used in all Sony* Digital Still Cameras.Designed for use with both PC and awide variety of digital AV (audio/video) products, the Memory Stick can be usedto store, transfer and play back AV contentsuch as images, sounds and music, aswell as information including data, textand graphics.

Sony*’s Memory Stick digital storagemedia, which is no larger than a stick ofgum, is about 1/8 the size of a regularfloppy disk and is currently available in 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB and128 MB.

The Sticks can also employ an authentication technology. Protected content is recorded and transferred in anencrypted format to prevent unauthorisedcopying or playback.

At the moment, only Sony* has provid-ed any products that support Memorystick, although several companies haveexpressed interest in the technology.

Memory Type:Smart Media Cards

Used for example in Olympus* C220Zoom. SmartMedia cards are also knownas solidstate floppy disc cards (SSFDC).

SmartMedia cards are very small,roughly the size of a matchbox and aroundthe same thickness as a credit card. Theyare also very light, weighing in at 2 grams.SmartMedia cards come in two voltages,3.3 V and 5 V. The 3.3 V cards have anotch on the right side, the 5 V cardshave a notch on the left.

SmartMedia cards contain a singleflash chip embedded in a thin plasticcard. A floppy adaptor can be used toinput images from the card straight intothe PC’s floppydrive.

09

Memory Type: xD-Picture Card

The xD-Picture Card, a new standardof ultra-compact memory media devel-oped jointly by Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.and Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.,

With a volume of 0.85 cc and aweight of 2 g, the xD-Picture Card boaststhe smallest form factor of any digitalmemory card, making it exceptionally portable and convenient. The miniaturesize of the new card will enable develop-ment of even smaller digital cameras.

xD picture cards have fast data transferspeeds. xD-Picture Cards hold capacitiesof up to 128 MB. By end of 2002 they willalso be available with 256 MB, yet thisnew standard has been created to poten-tially support capacities up to 8 GB.Thanks to unique adapter solutions (PCCard adapter, USB Card reader andCompactFlash adapter) xD-Picture Cardscan work with most digital cameras andother multimedia devices.

Memory Type: Multimedia Cards (MMC, SMMC, SD)

MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cardsuse a similar technology to SmartMediacards at about half the size. MMC is atpresent available in a few flavours.The differences are mainly in the level of con-tent security and write protection.

Secure Digital (SD) memory cards pro-vide a more secure way for you to distrib-ute your files than Smart Media, CompactFlash or normal MMC, and are available in16 MB, 32 MB and 64 MB capacities.

Secure MMC (SMMC) is another formatsimilar to SD. MMC cards are increasinglybeing used in DV camcorders to provide adigital video storage solution as well as adigital still storage solution.

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Page 6: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

MegapixelWhat Does it Mean?

Resolution is important, however thereare many factors that affect camera qualityand output. Perhaps the most criticalguide to a digital camera’s image perform-ance is the pixel rating of the charge cou-pled deviced (CCD). The manufacturerstry to be the first with a camera that hasthe highest pixel count (and thereforehighest perceived quality) on the market.Printer makers went through a similarprocess with a ‘dots per inch (dpi) war’,trying to be the first to market with 360dpi, 720 dpi, 1440 dpi and so on.

Eventually, the industry tried to stan-dardise what a dot meant and, in the end,consumers became experienced enoughto make buying decisions based on howthe print looked rather than being tooconcerned with dpi claims.

What Is A Pixel?

Pixel is simply a combination of thewords “picture” [pix] and “element” [el].Therefore a Pixel is the most basic com-ponent of a graphic image. A collection ofPixels arranged in a grid or matrix com-bines to form a digital photograph.

Think of the pixel as a basic buildingblock, with each pixel contributing to thecreation of a graphic. Whether you areworking on a simple scanned image, orwatching the latest movie, look deeplyenough and you will come down to a single pixel.

If the image to be created is in black &white, each pixel can be represented by 1 bit; a “1” if the pixel is black, or a “0” ifthe pixel is white. When the computeropens a black & white bitmapped image,every time it comes to a “0” it draws awhite pixel, and every time it comes to a“1” it draws a black pixel.

The quality of a Pixel

If you need to create complex or highquality images you may need more than 1 bit per pixel. If you are going to workwith colour images you definitely needmore information in each pixel.

The term Pixelation applies when indi-vidual pixels can be seen with the nakedeye. This usually means that the pixels inan image lack sufficient information to beseen realistically.

Resolution

Resolution is another crucial piece ofthe image quality puzzle, and this refers tothe number of pixels in a defined area.The most common area measured is aninch squared – however, centimetres arealso used. Resolution is used to describethe total number of pixels on a monitor.Resolution is usually measured in dots perinch (dpi).

Most monitors display an image at 72 dpi, which means that graphics createdfor the Internet are mostly created at thesame resolution. Monitors come in a vari-ety of resolutions from 320 x 200 pixels to 1600 x 1200 pixels.

Printers can also print at many differ-ent resolutions, from 128 dpi or less, to300 dpi on inkjet printers, 720 dpi onlaser printers and up to 2000 dpi on highquality typesetting printers.

Bitmaps Explained

Bitmaps are created through theordered sequence of bits that get drawnon the screen. You generally create abitmapped graphic using programs suchas Photoshop*.

Any bitmaped image will eventuallylook pixillated as it is enlarged. For example,an image created in Photoshop* that is 4 inches by 6 inches at a resolution of 72 dpi and printed at 8 inches by 10 inchesat 300 dpi will result in a very pixelatedprint.

Bit Depth

Bit depth is the number of bits usedto store information about each pixel. Thehigher the depth, the more colours storedin an image. For example, the lowest bit-depth, 1-bit graphics are only capable ofdisplaying 16 colours because there are16 different combinations of 4-bits.

8-bit colour provides a total of 256colours available. 16-bit colour provides atotal of 65,536 colours. 24-bit colour pro-vides a total of 16,777,216 colours.

There is often confusion regardingwhich bits are being referred to, as many

people talk about an image and the moni-tor in the same sentence. When it refersto the bit depth of the monitor, it meansthat your monitor is able to show a certainnumber of colours at one time. If it ismeant as the bit depth of an image, theimage may contain the specific number ofcolours.

In a perfect world with all users havingthe fastest hardware and broadband con-nections, all images would be the least16-bit or better. Unfortunately, the higherthe bit depth, the more bits per pixel usedin an image, the larger the actual file. This means longer downloads over thenet or a longer wait to print out an image.

Therefore, anyone working with imageswages a constant battle to balance imagequality with file size.

Exceptions To The Rules

There are some exceptions to generalconventions.

Photoshop* now works effectively withvectors and type (Photoshop* 7 evenworks with natural brushes).

1110

When comparing digital still cameras based on resolution alone, you are left witha similar problem to anyone wanting to buy a colour printer or scanner.

During image capture, the camera’s sensor respondsto light and arranges pixels over the entire area of animage. The jagged, grainy texture and blurred appear-ance of the bottom image highlights pixelisation distor-tions that can appear in low resolution images. Similar pixelisation will appear on prints where imageshave been blown up beyond an appropriate size.

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Samples Picture element (pixel)

Lines

LensScene

8-Bit 12-Bit

1-bit 1-bit

Remember the use of digital zoom will reduce the quality of your image byenlarging the image. If you need to compose your shot, move closer to the subjectand turn your digital zoom off to ensure that you get the highest possible quality.

Also, take your shot at the highest resolution possible. This will allow you toresize your image on the PC with less pixelisation.

Hints & Tips

Page 7: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

The Digital Camera

12 13

Zoom Lever Shutter Button

Self-timer/Remote control lamp

Flash

Remote Control Receiver

Lens Barrier

Connector Cover

DC-IN Jack

Strap Eyelet

Flash Mode ButtonErase Button

Optical View Finder

AF Target Mark Monitor

Button(Quick View)

Card Access Lamp

Arrow Pad

OK/Menu Button

Mode Dial

Macro/Spot ButtonProtect Button

Lens LCD Monitor

Lens

Digital camera lenses mustbe produced to extremelyhigh quality standards. Aswell as being smaller andgenerally having much higher resolution than theiranalogue counterparts,digital camera lenses usual-ly boast considerably betterlight-gathering properties.And for complete precision,values for focus, white bal-ance and light metering aremeasured TTL (Through-The-Lens) by someadvanced models, too.

Shutter Release andZoom Lever

Besides triggering therelease, focus and exposurereadings can be locked ona subject by pressing theshutter release button half-way down on most cam-eras. This allows subse-quent reframing of thescene utilising the savedvalues. On this camera, theintegrated lever providescontrol over the zoom fac-tor – and in playback modeallows index viewing andzooming-in on the imagedisplayed on the camera’sLCD monitor.

Flash

Various flash modes giveextra flexibility for shootingin a wider range of situa-tions. For example, Red-eye Reduction minimisesthe red-eye effect by emit-ting a rapid series of pre-flashes prior to the mainflash. Meanwhile, with First-curtain slow Synchroni-sation, the flash fires at thebeginning of a long expo-sure shot to produce inter-esting effects to denotemovement.

Remote Control Receiver

As well as incorporating aself-timer, some camerasfeature a remote control toactivate the camera’s shut-ter – which is great for get-ting photographers into thepicture as well as in instanceswhere camera shake mustbe avoided. Moreover, thiscamera also allows adjust-ments to the level of zoomby using the remote controlunit.

Mode Dial

The main operating modesof this camera may be selected using this dial.Whether, for instance,shooting moving pictures,capturing images in apertureor shutter priority mode, orfor accessing any of thespecial scene programmodes such as Portrait,Night-scene or Sports, themode dial gives quick andeasy access.

Monitor Buttons

A variety of buttons ensurespeedy navigation throughthe camera’s multitude ofphotographic features. Themain group comprises theintuitive arrow-pad whichallows access to mostfunctions. However, otherbuttons may also provideaccess to commonly usedfunctions such as flashmode selection or for choosing between macroshooting and spot metering.

Monitor

Most cameras include anLCD monitor. Not only doesit allow for easy framing ofimages while showing theexact picture that will becaptured in true colour,brightness and focus, pho-tos taken can be instantlychecked. For example, onthis camera, the photogra-pher need merely hit the“Quick View” button twice,located to the right of the monitor, to view the last picture shot.

USB, Video & AC Ports

The USB port is used to con-nect the camera to a PC toupload images. Most cameraswill also include an AC adaptorto charge the battery or to runthe camera from the mains.Most digital cameras allow youto display images and videoon a TV screen.

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Page 8: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Buying a Digital CameraDigital Zoom or Optical Zoom,What's the Difference?

As is the case in traditional photogra-phy, the lens is one of the most importantelements in getting a good quality image.High quality glass provides better opticalquality and, if you want a zoom lens,make sure the figure you look at is theoptical zoom, not the digital zoom.

A zoom lens allows you to get reallyclose to your subject. However, somecamera makers highlight the digital zoomquality of their cameras because you canachieve impressive figures of x6, x10 etc.Unfortunately, what you are really beingoffered is a cropped version of a shot.This means to get the shot you want, yousacrifice precious pixels.

An optical zoom lens on the other handincreases image magnification through thelens itself. This means that, if you use theoptical zoom to compose your shot andyou take the shot with a 4 megapixelcamera, you get a 4 megapixel image.

The zoom ratio refers to the ability ofthe lens to move from one focal length toanother. The equivalent figure for a 35 mmto 70 mm lens on a camera would be a 2x lens.

Battery Choices

Battery power, or the lack of it is oneof the major complaints from digital camerausers. Turn off the camera between shotsif you’re not shooting continuously. A digitalcamera can exhaust its batteries in a frustratingly short time. If your cameradoesn’t come with rechargeable batteries,the investment is well worth the initial outlay.

Advantages of Digital Film

The ability to erase is one of the great features of shooting digitally, but do it lateron your digital darkroom PC if you haveenough storage. It is recommended tohave at least one spare Flash storagecard when out in the field, so that you canmove quickly from one card to anotherwithout having to decide on which imagesto delete.

The price of digital camera memoryhas fallen dramatically in the past 12months making it relatively affordable.Extra storage is critical, especially if thereis nowhere to download your prints forstorage whilst travelling.

White Balance Control

One digital camera function that youlearn to set manually is White Balance.Depending on the light source in your picture, the light can produce distinctcolour cast. Light sources such as sun-light, tungsten bulbs and fluorescent lightsproduce a cast in your picture. Thoughthe camera’s auto white balance is oftensuccessful in producing an image withbalanced colour, manually setting whitebalance can deliver cleaner and moreaccurate results, especially when you’reshooting in mixed lighting conditions. Forexample, accurate, full colour sunrises are best achieved by setting the camera’swhite balance to Daylight mode.

LCD Screen Advantages

One of the advantages of digital photography is that you can review yourimage immediately after it has been taken.So don’t just take a single picture. Varythe focal length, perspective, framing andoverall composition. Unlike film, it won’tcost anything to take numerous frames ofa subject as you try to create a successfulimage.

Camera Accessories

While it can be cumbersome andseem too antiquated to use with the latestdigital technology, a tripod can make thedifference between a blurred snapshotand a crisp professional-looking photo-graph. Without manual control of shutterspeed, many cameras slow the shutterspeed so they end up capturing a blurryimage. If you can adjust your ISO (filmspeed equivalent), push it up a stop ortwo – to 200 or 400 ASA.

Combine a tripod with a remote or aself-timer for the best results. There isanother way to increase clarity slightly in

your digital darkroom using your Intel®

Pentium® 4 processor-based PC andimage editing software. Simply applyunsharp mask or sharpen filter to theimage before printing or viewing.

Flash Options

“Available light” photography isundoubtedly the best to aim for. Try toavoid the on-camera flash whenever pos-sible. Use it only when you are shooting inbright conditions and need to use fill-flashto balance-out strong backlight, unless itis so dark that you need your on-cameraflash to capture a picture at all.

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pushes the shutter button. If you leave thecamera in its auto capture mode, you’llnever have to deal with the complex list offeatures, modes, and functions that manycameras offer as shooting options.

All you really need to do is snap theshutter in auto mode, view the pictures inplayback mode, and get the pictures intoyour computer.

Compression Options

When deciding on your next digital stillcamera look at the compression optionsavailable and make sure yours has anuncompressed or RAM setting for thebest quality possible from an image.

If you don’t have RAW or TIFF settingand you intend to print your digital photosat the best quality, set your digital cameraat the highest quality level of JPEG (.jpg)compression.

While the mid- and low-quality settingsallow you to fit more images on the camera’s memory card, there is a bigtrade-off in image quality. The highest-quality level of JPEG compression willdeliver excellent image quality. Somecameras offer the ability to record imagesas TIFF files, however, these are muchbigger files and offer minimal visualimprovement in the final stage.

Stick to camera’s optical zoom andavoid using the digital zoom. Digital zoomactually works by zooming-in and enlarg-ing the pixels on the camera’s imagingsensor.

The process of digitally increasing themagnification involves discarding digitalinformation, resulting in an overall loss ofimage quality. If you want to increase yourcamera’s optical zoom range add a tele-photo lens adapter that screws onto theprimary lens.

Exposure Settings

Check the camera’s shutter speed,particularly when shooting under low lightconditions without a flash. It’s easy toconcentrate on the image on the camera’sLCD screen while your camera is select-ing the shutter speed of 1/2 to 1/30 sec.

Don’t rely completely on the camera’sLCD to compose an important shot. Manydigital photographers use the optical viewfinder, rather than the LCD, to conservebattery power, not realising that the viewfinder may only provide as little as 80 per-cent of the actual captured image. If fram-ing is critical to the look of the picture youwill have to use the camera’s LCD for full-frame composition.

Size Does Matter

You may not think that case design is animportant consideration for your next digi-tal still camera purchase, but the fact thata camera can comfortably slip into yourshirt pocket may determine whether youhave a camera with you the next time youwould like to take a quick shot.

Large cameras present two potentialproblems for the user. Firstly, the size maymean that you tend not to carry the cam-era with you and secondly, an SLR typecamera with a huge lens may make you,or your subject, too self conscious of thecamera to provide you with the most nat-ural shot.

You will probably have to make acompromise, trading off lens, battery lifeand CCD against size and weight. Mosthigh-end digital cameras tend to be onthe large side because, a quality zoomlens takes up space.

Levels of Control

Digital still cameras perform best out-side with reasonable sunlight and not toomuch contrast.

Flash lighting can often pose a problemfor digital still cameras, as can tungstenlighting. If you need control over yourshot, go with a camera that offers someexposure options such as shutter priority,aperture priority or full exposure control.

Even the most sophisticated pro-digitalcameras offer a “full auto” mode, in whichthe camera makes all of the exposuredecisions, and the photographer just

Choices available to the digital still camera buyer range from professional Camedia* E-20P ofOlympus* (left) to the point and shoot simplicity of the Sony* Cybershot (right).Professional features include large optical zoom, extensive user control and hight resolution,while the entry level models focus on ease of use.

Always sharpen an image before printing. The unsharp Mask or other sharpen-ing filter in your image processing program enhances the edges in your print. Becareful though, as it´s easy to over-sharpen a photo. Before saving the changes,zoom in and make sure there isn´t any pixelation.

Hints & Tips

Page 9: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

DigitalPhoto PrintingThe Inkjet Printer Revolution

Every digital camera owner shouldhave a photo printing solution as part oftheir digital darkroom. This could be agood colour printer through to an onlinephoto-printing service.

Within the last 12 months, Epson* andother manufacturers have released colourinkjet printers that deliver true photo quali-ty results. Printers at a wide range of pricepoints have flooded the market, makingtheir superior resolution, lower cost, andlong-lasting inks available to almost every-one.

Digital photos can be among the mostvibrant and beautiful photos you’ve evertaken. If you haven’t seen photographsprinted on the latest generation of colourinkjet photo printers yet, you’re in for apleasant surprise.

From Camera to Print

There are a variety of ways to movephotos from your digital camera to a PCto prepare them for print. The most obvi-ous is to load the software drivers thatcame with your camera, connect the USBcable and upload the images.

Another way is to move the imagesvia a card reader. This holds the memorycard, and the PC sees it as an externalhard drive. Card readers are a very practi-cal way of transferring images. Firstly thecamera doesn’t have to be on while thetransfer takes place. Secondly, the cameracan be used while the files are being uploaded to the PC. If you have severallarge memory cards then this can save agreat deal of time.

Which Ink Jet to Choose

An inkjet printer creates an image by spraying a combination of four to six coloured inks on to paper. Liquid ink, stored in a reservoir, is channelledthrough tiny jets in a movable print headand sprayed on to the paper. With Epson*you can add more than 6 inks. For exam-ple light black is also included with theStylus Photo 2100, for black and whiteimages with a lot of gradation.

The picture is composed of millions of tiny ink dots of varying sizes and dis-tances from each other. The ink is distrib-uted in a dot pattern called “dithering”which creates the illusion of differentcolour combinations. The ink dots aremerged by the human eye to create theimpression of photographic colour andshapes. Of course, not all colour ink jet printersare created equal. Some are made to

handle printing text and graphics as wellas photos. Obviously, what you gain inversatility you lose in photo performance.

If you are primarily concerned withimage quality then you need to focus on a Photo Quality or Photo Realistic ink jetprinter. These usually use six colour inktanks to create accurate colour renditionof difficult skin tones and photographiccolours.

A step up again is the professional inkjet printer. These printers are aimed at pro-fessional photographers and for graphic artwork. The printer is capable of printing atextremely high resolutions above 2,880 dpi,making it’s output equivalent to a photo-graphic print. The new Epson* photoinkjets offer resolutions up to 5,760 dpi.

The quality of the output print on anyink jet printer depends on a combinationof factors such as the printer’s settingsand resolution, the performance of theinks, the paper and the manipulation ofthe picture prior to printing from yourimage editing software.

The biggest factor in determiningwhich photo printer to buy is your ownpersonal taste. The prints from variousmanufacturers do look subtly different,and the best way to assess this is to getyour hands on some print samples.

If you love creating photo prints, andlots of them, then look for a printer that’smade especially for printing photographs.A photo printer is optimised for this pur-pose – the prints are of better quality andit’s much easier to produce them.

No matter how much you pay, the lat-est generation of digital printers provides awide range of smoother, more realisticcolours for beautiful, true-to-life images.

Inkjet Printer Features

• Colour Ink CartridgesWhen buying ink cartridges, you need

to factor-in elements such as the numberof prints an ink cartridge will produce,whether individual colour cartridges canbe replaced, the cost of replacement cartridges and the expected maintenancecycles for the printer before purchase.

Cheaper printers use colour ink car-tridges that contain three or more coloursin a single cartridge. When one of thethree colours runs out, you have to replacethe whole cartridge.

More expensive printers use separatecartridges for each colour, so that whenone colour runs out it’s a simple matter of replacing the empty cartridge withoutthrowing out any ink.

• Glossy PaperGlossy paper produces vibrant

colours but is susceptible to fingerprints.This paper has a shiny, coated surface onone or both sides, and is ideal when youneed a polished printout. For brochures,flyers, report covers and special presenta-tions, glossy papers produce colourfulimages and crisp text equal to professionalprinting.

• TransparenciesThese clear sheets of plastic are used

with overhead projectors for presentations.

• Stickers and LabelsStickers and labels are available for

mail, folders, diskettes, CDs and anythingelse you can think of. You can use fonts,images and colours to customise them.Restickable stickers provide more creativeflexibility. With some of the new Epsonprinters you can actually print photo´sdirectly onto CD faces.

• Craft PapersSpecialty papers offer a wide range of

possibilities to the crafts person. Iron-ontransfers make it easy to create your ownT-Shirts, photo pillows and much more.Or you can also get your message outloud and clear with banner paper.

Other craft papers specially formulat-ed for printers, such as vellum and parch-ment, printable sheets of fabric like feltand canvas, printable Mylar, shrink-wrapplastic, and window clings, making theworld of printing practically limitless.

With Epson photo printers you canalso print on rolls edge to edge and somephoto printers have in-built cutters, so youcan print all of your photo’s just like youget from a photo lab.

Web/Retail Printing Services

Many of the well known developers/retailers allow you to upload digital imagesfrom your PC to their Web sites. Alterna-tively you can bring your digital storagemedia to the retailer to get this process.Here you can select the print size youwant, pay and opt to pick your prints upfrom your local processing lab, retailer orhave them mailed to you.

These services make digital photoprinting easier than it has ever been.

Another option is to create an onlinealbum, upload your images and e-mail theWeb address and password to friendsand family. They can order the prints andeither pick them up or have them mailedfrom their local lab.

Digital photo files that you or yourphoto lab upload are stored in a high res-olution format to ensure your photos areas clear as possible.

Printers like the Epson* Stylus Photo 2100(left) feature professional quality output upto A3 size with printing right to the edge ofthe paper.

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• DitheringDithering is a common function in all

inkjet printers. As each printer only has 3,or in some cases 6 colour inks, to re-create the vast range of colour we seearound us, the printer needs to place verysmall dots of different colours together tocreate more shades. Yellow and blue dotstogether would make green for instance.

Dithering is just the graininess createdby using this technique. The smaller thedroplets of ink are, the less noticeabledithering is.

• SpeedPhoto printers have speeds similar to

other inkjet printers. They can print up to12 pages per minute (ppm) in black andwhite, and up to 10 ppm in colour. Foreveryday printing, keep in mind that, sincethey are optimised for photos, photoprinters sometimes tend to be sluggishwith text compared with conventionalinkjets. The new range of Epson photoprinters are also fast and high quality for“normal” documents and only use theblack ink, so quality on text is notreduced.

As anyone who works with digitalimages on their PC will tell you, one of themost important aspects of hard copy out-put is the paper. Similar to the paper usedby photo labs, photo paper is specificallydesigned to produce high quality, colour-rich images that are hard to distinguishfrom traditionally developed photographs.

Most photo papers come in a choiceof matte or glossy finishes and in a varietyof print sizes, including convenient 15 x10 cm for affordable everyday prints, andlarge portrait size papers for studio-qualityenlargements.

Crucial to quality prints, you need to start with theappropriate ink and paper. Many printers can outputhigh quality on plain paper, however, for the best resultsyou need to print on photo-quality inkjet paper. Paperchoices range from matte to full gloss.

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A general rule in digital photography is that you will run out of printer ink car-tridges for your printer at the most inconvenient time. Always keep at least onespare set of cartridges on hand to avoid frustration.

Hints & Tips

Page 10: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Image Resolution vs.Printer Resolution

Dye-SublimationPrinters

Meet The Pixel

Image vs. Printer Resolution

The relationship between pixel sizeand resolution is probably the most confusing part of digital photography.However, there is another factor to con-sider when working out the size of thepicture – the size of the pixels. Imagesfrom digital cameras are stored at com-puter screen resolution, i.e.. 72 ppi (pixels per inch). This means that whenthe image is viewed on the PC it will be72.25 cm by 54.19 cm.

Printing the raw image from the camerawould be a disaster as it would be far toobig for an A4 printer (maximum paper size21.0 x 29.7 cm). The general standard forprinted images is 300 ppi. At 300 ppi theeye does not notice that the image isactually constructed of dots – it sees acontinuous range of colour.

At 300 ppi the image will be 17.34 cmx 13 cm which is a little bigger than thesize of a normal snapshot. What has happened is that the size of the picturehas been reduced because the pixels aresmaller.

It is important to know these outputissues before buying a digital camera orink jet printer, otherwise you may be very

The higher the number of pixels in a picture,the smaller the individual pixels will be.Images with higher resolution have greaterpicture detail.

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While ink jet printers currently dominatethe photo printing marketplace, Dye-subli-mation (Dye-sub) printers are an interest-ing specialist printer used for a variety ofpurposes.

Dye-sublimation printers have beenwidely used in demanding graphic artsand photographic applications. A truedye-sub printer works by heating the inkso that it turns from a solid into a gas.The heating element can be set to differ-ent temperatures, thus controlling theamount of ink laid down in one spot. Thedifference between a dye-sub and an inkjet printer is that colour is applied as acontinuous tone, rather than in dots.

One colour is laid over the whole ofone sheet of paper at a time, starting withyellow and ending with cyan as a colour.The ink is impregnated on rolls of cello-phane-like film that contains sheets ofeach CMY colour, so for an A4 print thereis an A4 size sheet of yellow, followed bya sheet of magenta and cyan film. In good

If you enlarge a digital photo via someimage editing software you soon realisethat a digital image is nothing more than amosaic of pixels that run the length andwidth of a file. If you are comfortable withthe concept that a digital pic is really nothingmore than lots of dots, you will soon beon the road to understanding resolution.

Figure 1 shows an enlarged view of afile from a digital capture at 15x magnifi-cation. You can easily see the individualthat make up the image as seen in thenormal view in Figure 2. The file seen hereis a 2,560 x 1,920 pixel image. The widthis 2,560 and the height is 1,920-all pixels.This is really the only information neededto define the resolution.

printers (such as Olympus P-400ID) isadditional protective coating to ensurelonger life and durability of prints.

A thermal print head consisting ofthousands of heating elements, and capableof precise temperature variations movesacross the film. Heat from the heating elements causes the colour on the film to vaporise and diffuse onto the surface of the specially coated paper. Precisetemperature variations are responsible for the varying densities of colour.

Dye sublimation requires particularlyspecialised paper, as the dyes aredesigned to diffuse into the paper surface,mixing to create precise colour shades.The hotter the heating element, the moredye is vaporised and diffused onto thepaper’s surface.

Dye-sub printers generally deliver betterquality than ink jet printers because theyare not printing an image using dots of ink.The advantage is that a dye-sub printerallows for the reproduction of subtle tone

One concept to keep in mind is that adigital image, like the one shown in Figure1 and 2 really has no size but rather a vol-ume that occupies space on the harddrive. There are two specifications aboutthis file that are obvious. First, it contains2,560 x 1,920 pixels. And secondly thiscolour TIFF file requires 14 MB of spaceon the hard drive.

At this point, the file has no real physi-cal size. It only fills a certain volume ofstorage space. Obviously at some pointthis image needs to be viewed or printedusing the pixels that make-up the lengthand width of the file.

To discuss resolution, the pixels needto be divided into a unit of measurement.

Working with a colour ink jet printer is easy and fun, if you follow some basic procedures.

disappointed with the results after alreadycommitting to the equipment.

If you want larger images then movingup to a larger pixel count digital camera isone solution. Alternatively, there is an out-put compromise. At 200 ppi to 250 ppiyou will achieve a much larger image withlittle noticeable loss of quality – what youare doing by reducing the pixels per inchis increasing the size of the pixels.

How does pixel size relate to your inkjet printer? Well, the pixel size does notdirectly affect an ink jet printer’s resolution.When your printer is set at 1200 x 2400dpi (dots per inch) the printer will print2.88 million dots per square inch regard-less of the resolution on your computer’sscreen. The solution? When it comes toprinting, it is generally best to allow yourprinter’s software to make the resolutiondecisions. When setting up the image forprinting you can select the size of theimage as it will appear on the paper in theprinter. The software then configures theimage and printer to output the optimumresolution photo for you.

Calculating Print Sizes Based on MegapixelsImage Resolution Image size at 72 ppi Image size at 300 dpi

(pixels per inch) (dots per inch)

1024 x 768 (< 1 megapixel) 36.12 cm x 27.09 cm 8.67 cm x 6.50 cm

1280 x 960 (1.3 megapixel) 45.16 cm x 33.87 cm 10.84 cm x 8.13 cm

1600 x 1200 (2.1 megapixel) 56.44 cm x 42.33 cm 13.55 cm x 10.16 cm

1800 x 1200 (2.3 megapixel) 63.50 cm x 42.33 cm 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm

2048 x 1536 (3 megapixel) 72.25 cm x 54.19 cm 17.34 cm x 13.00 cm

2400 x 1600 (4 megapixel) 84.67 cm x 56.44 cm 20.32 cm x 13.55 cm

Common units of measure are the inch orthe centimetre or PPC.

In imaging PPI is the method mostoften used when describing the resolutionof a digital file. However, it’s also commonfor people to use the term DPI or DotsPer Inch. Semantically this is incorrect.Dots Per Inch is a method of describingoutput resolution because printers andmonitors create dots. Digital cameras and scanner create pixels.

What is important to understand isthat a pixel becomes a dot when it’s output. For example, let’s say we have a printer that is capable of laying down 300 dpi, and we send that printer a pic-ture that has 300 pixels from end to end.The resulting print will be one inch in sizebecause for every pixel one dot will becreated. Therefore, each dot is 1/300th ofan inch and you get an image from theprinter that is one inch in size.

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Figure 1

Figure 2

and continuous tone images. Also coloursare printed on top of each other (ink jetsonly print one colour at one place).

Because of the film and the specialpaper required, dye-sub print systems areusually more expensive to buy and main-tain than ink jet printers. However, becausethey have less moving parts than ink jetprinters, dye-sub printers can be a fractionof the size.

Low resolution

Medium resolution

Highresolution

Pixel Size (Spatial Resolution)

Pixel depth (Brightness Resolution)

PPI – Pixels Per Inch

24 bit

100 ppi 300 ppi

Ink Jet Printers

Pixel depth (above right) refers to the brightness levels thatcan be recorded in any given pixel. The greater the brightnessresolution (pixel depth) the greater the number of levels that canbe included in the pixel. A colour inkjet printer (below right)sprays drops of ink onto the paper through microscopic nozzlesin the print head. The size of the ink drops determines the out-put resolution of the printer. This can be adjusted using the soft-ware that comes with the printer.

Hints & Tips

Page 11: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Image Editing Software

What Image Editors Do

Image editors allow you to create andmodify bitmap-based graphics and photo-graphic images. Tasks include paintingand drawing, colour correction, photoenhancement, creating special effects,image conversion, and sometimes addingtext to graphics.

Image editors offer tools to satisfy alarge range of image editing users and assuch the choices available are wide andvaried. Professional photographers,graphic designers, desktop publishers,Web developers, digital artists and homeusers all need to work with an image edi-tor at some point.

When choosing a photo editor for professional or business use, you needextreme flexibility, stability, and an intuitiveinterface which provides high-end featuresand a streamlined workflow. Automationcapabilities are also a big feature.

A professional application such asAdobe* Photoshop* 7 offers powerful features to help graphics professionalswork faster and more effectively.

For Photo enthusiasts who don'trequire all the power of the professionalPhotoshop software, but want more con-trol and flexibility than the entry level prod-ucts offer, Photoshop* Elements 2.0 is theperfect choice. Providing the perfect bal-ance of power and simplicity, you can doeverything from basic tasks as rotate, cropand remove red-eye to more advancedediting as color correction and retouching.

Entry level photo editors need to drawthe user into the creative process with

wizards and templates, which encouragethe user to experiment with images.Applications such as Microsoft* Picture It!*help the new user to create great imageswithout too much hassle.

Presets or templates help you achievepolished results right away. Unfortunately,this can lead to frustration at the simplicityof the program as you become moreadept at working with images.

Adobe* Photoshop* 7.0

Photoshop is the undisputed marketleader in bitmap editing packages, andwith very good reason. Each full releasehas wowed the design community with itsgroundbreaking innovations – from the layers introduced in Photoshop* 3 throughto vector shapes and layer effects inPhotoshop 6* – making upgrades a must.Photoshop* 7 continues the trend, offer-ing improvements and new features tohelp professionals get the job done.

Photoshop* 7 is full of small additions,which add up to a far more usable andpowerful package. The first change youare likely to notice is the addition of a newpalette, the file browser. This allows you tobrowse your system or network for imagesin a Windows* Explorer style interface.Directory structure is represented in theleft window, there is an information panelbelow it and, on the right, is the imagepreview/file window.

The browser caches the images, soonce you have visited a directory the

thumbnails are generated quickly. If yourimage comes from a digital camera thatsupports Exchangeable Image File (EXIF)information it will be displayed when theimage is selected. The image listing canbe sorted using many criteria includingsize, name, date created, date modified,and a user-defined rank. This last catego-ry allows you to assign your images acustomised ranking, a great feature fororganising large directories or just keepingtrack of thumbnails and proofs. Thepalette itself can be set to behave as atypical palette or as a separate window.

Another enhancement to the interfaceis the new Tool Presets palette. This allowsyou to create custom tool settings andsave them in the one palette. It even workswith the text tool, so you can set fontface, size and paragraph formatting suchas leading and kerning, and instantly recallthem in other documents.

Photoshop* 7 greatly improves thecreative power of brushes through its newpainting engine. This allows natural brushesto be defined in detail through settingssuch as shape and colour dynamics,scattering, texture, and even dual brushtips. Other enhancements include a newrollover palette for ImageReady* 7, whichallows you to view all the slices androllovers in your image in a palette similarto the layers palette. Other new featuresadded to Photoshop* 7 include a new‘sharp’ anti-aliasing for web destined text,automatic progressive compression whenoptimising vectors for the web (includingtext), an automatic colour correction command for fixing colour casts, savableworkspaces, password protection forPhotoshop documents and, finally, thereis a multi-lingual spellchecker!

If there is one knockout feature thatmakes Photoshop* 7 a must have upgrade,especially for Digital Photographers, it isthe new and innovative healing brushwhich allows users to effortlessly removeartifacts such as dust, scratches, blemish-es, and wrinkles while preserving shading,lighting, and texture.

Beyond what is discussed above thereis also a host of new usability features thatmake it much easier to work with and thedigital workflow a lot easier.

Adobe* Photoshop* Elements 2.0

Adobe* Photoshop* Elements 2.0 isan affordable, easy-to-use digital imagingprogram, designed for amateur photo-graphers and photo hobbyists who wantto do more with their images for print, e-mail and the Web. Powerful, yet easy to use tools and features allow users to

Microsoft* Picture It!*

Microsoft* Picture It!* puts you in controlof your photos through a unique combina-tion of powerful digital imaging tools with helpful wizards and professional-qualityphoto projects. Picture It!* offers ad-vanced tools that let you make your digitalpictures look the way you want them to.

Choose from over 3,000 professionalphoto projects or a wide variety of specialeffects to enhance your photos for sharingthrough prints, e-mail, and the Web.

touch up and enhance photos from digitalcameras or scanners; create originalimages with the new paintbrushes, tex-tures and special effects; merge photosinto panoramas; easily capture individualframes from video clips; and do a widerange of other image editing tasks.

An easy to understand, accessibleinterface makes it simple for users to take advantage of Photoshop* Elementsremarkable imaging power. Start imagingright away with the Welcome Screen orgo right to the enhanced File Browser toquickly preview, open, and organise pho-tos, and view important metadata abouteach photo, without opening the file.

And Photoshop* Elements providesthe Web features users really need. Ittakes the hassle out of sharing pictures,but always gives the user the final say inhow the picture will look and be pack-aged. Easily attach edited photos to e-mail using an existing e-mail program.Photoshop* Elements can automaticallyresize and optimise the file for sendingand viewing. The Save for Web dialogprovides users with visual feedback on

Benefits include:It’s easy to get started and use. You canuse photos from just about anywhere – a digital camera, a picture CD, scanner,hard drive, or the Web. With the new filebrowser, additional file menus, and thenew startup window, it will take even lesstime to correct all of your photos.

You can fix, organise, and print photosfast. The Mini Lab and Gallery tools makeit quick and easy to bring in a several pictures at a time, make them perfect,and organise them so they are easy tofind and use.

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Choosing an image-editing package depends on the way you work and whereyou want your work to be displayed. Experience also has a part to play in the application you choose. It is pointless paying lots of money for an application thatis beyond your capabilities. Likewise, an application that doesn’t provide the control you require can also be frustrating.

The ultimate image editing tool,Adobe* Photoshop* 7 is targeted at the imaging profes-sional needing powerful toolsfor layout and web output.

Adobe* Photoshop* Elements 2.0

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Photoshop* Elements 2.0 is Adobe’s most successful attempt at making the power ofPhotoshop more accessible to the average user.

Microsoft* Picture It!

different optimisation settings, so imageslook sharp on the Web and downloadquickly. Easily assemble a Web PhotoGallery that can be shared or posted onthe Web. Create an Adobe* PortableDocument Format (PDF) Slideshow, complete with transitions to share with friends, family and associates. Anyonecan view the PDF file, even on Palm andPocket PC devices. Or directly uploadphotos to various online services for prints,greeting cards, border effects, and send-ing to friends and family.

Photo templates and projects helpyou create like a Professional. Picture It!Digital Image Pro includes 3000 pre-createdtemplates for letterheads, business cards,presentations, web photo albums, photocards, frames, calendars, magazine cov-ers, web photo albums, and more. Youjust supply the picture and make profes-sional-quality results.

Page 12: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Step 4: Blur To Achieve Clarity

That’s right, you really can give thephoto more clarity through blurriness! Thistechnique can be fun – a cool alternativeto cropping. Eliminate distracting clutterby feathering or motion-blurring the areaaround your subject. For example, do youhave a photo of your child at a birthdayparty? Of course other babies in the picture aren’t as adorable as yours – soblur them out, so they are out of focus.It’s a great way to add interest and drawthe viewer’s eye toward the subject of thephotograph.

Step 5: Clean-up Dust andScratches

Dust and scratches on a photo canruin an otherwise perfect picture. Luckily,they are easy to repair with all image-processing software.

The imperfections can be a result ofgrime on the camera’s lens, or, morecommonly, a problem associated withscanned images.

Using the Dust & Scratches orDespeckle tool is so simple to do thatyou’ll want to get out all those boxes ofold photos, scan them into your PC, cleanthem up digitally and proudly display themas new again.

If you have the patience, the CloningTool is a great way to eliminate elementsin the picture you want to remove manually.

Editing PhotosOn Your PC

One of the most exciting aspects ofdigital imaging is that, thanks to the powerof the latest Intel Pentium 4 processor-based PCs, photographers now havemore control of their creative destiny thanever before.

Digital photography today is sophisti-cated and affordable for the home user.With any one of the myriad image editingprograms currently available, it’s easy tomake dramatic adjustments to your photographs.

With an image editing program, digitalphotographers can, after a little guidance,touchup, repair and enhance most commonphoto problems.

Some are basic programs that allowyou to crop a photo and change bright-ness, contrast and colour balance. Moresophisticated programs – like Adobe*Photoshop* – let you edit every pixel.However, many casual users find them-selves way over their heads with some ofthe top-end professional graphics programscurrently available.

There are less expensive programs forphoto enthusiasts. With some applications,editing is just the beginning. If you’re inter-ested in artistic photo projects-albums,collages, calendars, announcements –check out Microsoft*’s Picture It!* andsimilar programs.

Step 1: Cropping

Most photographers generally try toframe or crop their shots to include thenecessary elements in-camera. However,sometimes you may find it necessary tocrop the picture in the editing process. Ifyou are cropping, it is important to keepin mind the main ‘focus’ of the photo.

If the picture you have in your viewfinder is going to be a landscape, youmay not want to crop it at all. Forinstance, if you have a farmhouse sittingin the middle of the wilderness and youcrop all the surrounding bush away, you may lose theeffect of the lone building in the vastnessof the landscape.

All image editing software will includea cropping tool. Some programs allow thecropped area to be finely adjusted bydragging the corners of the cropping rectangle that appears over the picture.Experiment with cropping the image invarious ways (saving separate files each

time you complete a crop), until you findsomething that looks just right. If you havean image browser program you can compare image thumbnails side-by-sideto see which one looks the best.Cropping is a great way to zero-in on yoursubject and add dramatic appeal.

Step 2: Sharpen Your Image

Those new to digital photographyoften think you can focus an out-of-focusimage with image editing software. Youcan’t. But you can sharpen the photo.

Devices such as photo scanners and

digital cameras can cause some loss inthe resolution of the image they capture.The software’s Sharpening Filter can

correct this. The way the filter works is toalter the pixels at the edges of objects inthe image by lightening the lighter pixelsand darkening the darker pixels – creatingan illusion of contrast – and therefore asharper image.

Step 3: Lose The Red-Eye

Red-eye is becoming less of a problem.

If your camera is equipped with red-eyereduction, use it to eliminate that annoyingred glare that results when the light fromthe flash is reflected by the retinas of yoursubject’s eyes. If your camera doesn’thave this feature, don’t despair – mostimage-editing features have incorporatedred-eye correction in their programs.

In most cases there is a dedicatedRed-eye Reduction tool that you can useto either automatically or manually eliminatethe alieneyes from your flash photographs.

Step 6: Adjusting The Colour

Changing the colour in your picture iscompletely up to you. You can even converta colour image to black-and-white andthen re-colour it with your own choices.However, you must calibrate your computer’s screen and the ink jet printer.

Step 7: Controlling Lightness &Darkness

You can’t completely rebuild the light-ing in a photograph without making it lookfake. But you can significantly lighten ordarken certain areas of your photo withelectronic "dodging” and "burning” tools.You can correct glares or remove distractingdark areas in the background. Or make itlook completely fake. A little surrealismnever hurt anyone.

Take an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor-based PC, add the right image editing soft-ware program for you, connect a digital camera and you have an effective and highly creative digital darkroom on your desktop.

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Before starting to edit your picture it’s a good policy to retain the original bysaving the image as another file before you apply any effects. For example, a filecalled Eiffeltower.jpg, could be saved as Eiffeltower01.jpg. That way, the original is not touched so if you don’t like the results, you can go back to the original file and start again. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to manipulate the digitalimages you have taken. The software adjustment suggestions above should beapplied only if you feel the picture would benefit from manipulation. You can makea few minor adjustments and the few minutes that it takes will make a definiteimprovement to your printed output.

Hints & Tips

Even though most photographers capture colour images with their digital, it isimportant to ensure the image is well adjusted for black and white. When viewinga picture your eye is generally attracted to the lightest part of the photograph first,so make sure that something that’s supposed to be white is actually white, ratherthan a dull grey. When correcting the photo’s elements in image editing software,evaluate the image not only for colour and sharpness, but also for rich blacks andwhites that will deliver a strong, well-contrasted picture when printed.

Hints & Tips

One of the advantages of digitalphotography is that you can reviewyour images immediately after theyare taken. So don’t just take a singlepicture. Vary the focal length, per-spective, framing and overall compo-sition. Unlike film, it won’t cost any-thing to take numerous frames of asubject as you try to create a suc-cessful image.

Hints & Tips

Page 13: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Image Browser Software

Most digital cameras include a basicimage browser with the included softwarebundle. This software will generally allowimages to be viewed either while they arestill in the camera or once they have beenuploaded to the PC.

Some browsers also include basicimage editing software. The browsers cangenerally be bought off the shelf and virtu-ally all can be purchased and downloadedfrom the Internet.

Windows XP* includes anImage Browser

The My Pictures folder in Windows XP*has special features that enable you toview pictures as photos, not just as docu-ment icons. My Picture’s image browsingfeatures includes the ability to viewthumbnail-size and large versions of yourphotos, rotate photos and create a slideshow. You can also view a photo’s details,such as its dimensions, the date and timeit was taken, and the name of the camerathat took it.

Windows XP* provides a great basicbrowser for viewing and organising images.But if you are planning on taking more thanjust personal photos, consider purchasinga dedicated image browsing program.

In addition to basic photo viewingfeatures, browsers offer different ways

to work more efficiently. For instance,some have the ability to apply changes to groups of photos (known as batch processing). Common batch processingtasks include renaming files, converting

photos from one file format to another,and rotating. Often a single click of themouse begins the batch processing of a selection of photos, or even an entire folder of photos.

Whether you use the built-in browserin Windows XP, one included with yourdigital camera, or a program of your ownchoosing, if you start off organised you’llstay organised as you shoot more andmore photos.

Image browsers are handy programs that help you view, organise and file digitalphotos in different ways. An image browser not only helps you organise images,but lets you view actual photos, rather than just file names. This makes looking fora specific image in your large library of photos much simpler. It’s like keeping pho-tos in a photo album rather than a box in the back of the cupboard.

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Panorama Software

In the past, creating a decent panora-ma from multiple photos was a toughtask. You needed special cameras, or atleast a regular digital camera and plenty ofpatience. The software required to stitchyour still photos together into the panora-ma was usually unwieldy and difficult touse, resulting in both frustration for theuser and a shabby end result.

That’s all changed with the latest gen-eration of panorama software to hit themarket. Today there are several programsthat are very near idiot-proof for creatingbasic panoramas.

The interfaces for all the programs are simple and user friendly. Even thoughcreating a panorama is reasonably com-plicated stuff, you never really feel over-whelmed thanks to the helpful wizardsaccompanying the programs. Most utilisea basic three or four step workflow thatlogically guides you from start to finish.

The most important part of creating apanorama is taking the pictures with yourdigital camera.

Once the images are in the PC youbegin by selecting the pictures you’ll usein the panorama. Most software allows forvisual previews and thumbnails of poten-

Photo stiching software for example Adobe* Photoshop* Elements 2.0is capable of this function as is Realviz* Stitcher* EZ. (www.realviz.com)

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tial images so that when you’re choosingthe files you want, you’re looking at theactual picture.

Once the images are in the program,they need to be moved in order toachieve the perfect panorama. The pro-gram will perform automated photo warp-ing, blending and overlap in order to com-bine the separate pictures into whatappears to be one continuous image.

You can also use colour adjustmentand balance tools to correct differencesbetween the pictures. While you’re work-ing with the images you can do a quickpanorama preview to see check yourprogress.

When you’re happy with the results,there are a number of choices for the fin-ished product. You can save the panora-ma as a MOV, BMP, JPEG, PNG, or TIFfile; print it, copy it into other programs, orpost it on your Web page.

For the latter, most software can helpby automatically generating the HTMLcode you’ll need to let people view yourpanoramas online. You can also e-mailthe finished panorama file.

Panorama Software

Seamless panoramas are made as follows:

•Use the same exposure for each picture (set the camera to the best guess of average illumination over the scene). This is important because stitching programs some-times have trouble blending colours (especially sky areas) if they do not have the same exposure, and it's hard to fix this in an image editor.

•Overlap the pictures by about 20% for normal focal lengths (50 mm and up). The wider the lens you use, the more you should overlap – up to 40% or 50% for a 20 mm lens.

•Hold the camera level. Tipping it upor down will cause the final com-bined result to be curved upwards or downwards. Generally you want level and horizontal images. A tripod is the best for achieving this, especially if it has a useable bubblelevel.

•The pictures can be portrait or land-scape orientation.

•Take the pictures from left to right across the scene.

Hints & Tips

Page 14: Digital Photography Made Easy - Jessops · Optimising a PC for Digital Photography The PC has become the digital imaging hub, making digital photography an immensely creative experience

Use Light to Create Interest

Some people call photography “paint-ing with light”. In effect, that is exactlywhat you are doing. The light in yourscene is really the paint that ends up onthe canvas of your photograph. Take agood look at the scene you are photo-graphing to see what kind of light you areworking with. Which way are the shadowsfalling? Unless you want a silhouetteeffect, with your subject black against thebackground, it’s generally best to shootwith the sun behind you.

Early morning and late afternoon sun-light offers some of the best lighting forphotography and overcast days providethe best natural lighting for portraiture.When the sunlight is diffused, it softensthe features of your subject. In bright sunlight, people tend to squint and blinkmore often, and high contrasts canbleach out or darken important features.

Avoid shooting directly toward thesunlight or you may get a white back-ground with little detail.

Experiment with artificial lighting, thereare many different effects you can achieve.The great advantage of digital cameras isthat you never have to worry about wast-ing film as you experiment with different light sources. You can deleteshots that don’t work at any time.

Exposure Controls

Exposure – the amount of light you letthrough the camera’s lens – is one of themost important aspects of digital photo-graphy. As you become more seriousabout digital photography you’ll find moreways to control exposure. Virtually allmidrange digital cameras will offer aperture-priority and shutter-priority functions asstandard.

These controls ensure correct exposure,the shutter speed and the aperture (or irisopening) of the lens.

In simple terms, the shutter controlsthe length of time that light strikes thecamera’s sensor. The aperture controlsthe amount of light that passes throughthe lens at any given time.

Until about 30 years ago, most camerasrequired the user to set the lens openingand the shutter speed manually. As cameratechnology developed it allowed the userto set one of the two while the camerawould set the other automatically.

These are known as Aperture-Priorityand Shutter-Priority.

With aperture-priority, the size of thelens opening is set while the camera auto-matically selects the appropriate shutterspeed for good exposure. Shutter-prioritysets a single shutter speed while the cam-era enlarges or reduces the lens aperture,changing the amount of light entering thecamera. Now, as you might have guessedthe way you set the aperture or the shutterwill dramatically influence the way the pic-ture looks. And since you are now shoot-ing digital, you’ll be able to experimentwith both forms of automation and seewhat works best for you right away.

Try to compose your shot to achievea visually balanced picture with inter-esting elements that capture the eye,leading you through the image. In thispicture your eye is led by the light-coloured pavers leading towards thechurch.

Your exposure settings determine the importance of an object in your image.Here the shutter speed has been extended to give the impression of move-ment in the scene. Controlling exposure can make the difference between asnapshot and a creative photograph.

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Holding The Camera

Believe it or not, good digital photoscan start with something as simple as holding the camera correctly. Using bothhands is the best start. Some digital cam-eras are tiny and have many buttons, dialsand menus, so make sure you are holdingthe camera correctly and there are nostray fingers covering the lens or flash.

With all digital compact cameras youcan use either the eyepiece view finder orthe LCD screen to compose a shot.However, what you see through the eye-piece view finder is not exactly what yousee through the lens. It’s not on the samefocal plane and you can only see about90% of what the camera sees. For criticalframing use the LCD screen. Keeping thecamera steady is also important for goodpicture taking. Holding the camera withboth hands will help stop camera shake,and tucking your elbows into your bodywill prevent the camera from swaying.

The “Move In Closer” Rule

One of the advantages of digital pho-tography is that you can evaluate yourphotograph immediately after it has beensnapped. You can also shoot several pics,erasing the ones you don’t want.

However, one technique to try is the“Move in Closer” rule. Each time you snapa shot try moving in closer, changing theframing, to snap a second shot.

Closer framing will often provide youwith a better shot. Having your subjectalmost fill the frame helps your viewerunderstand and appreciate the photographmore, and having detail in a shot is oftenmore interesting than an overall view.

The Rule of Thirds

While there are no hard and fast rulesin photography, one technique that canhelp with composition is the “Rule ofThirds”. You can use the rule of thirds asa guide for the off-centre placement of thesubjects in your photographs.

Here is how it works:

You will find that when you apply therule of thirds to a scene when framingyour photograph, it will produce a visuallypleasing picture. People “read” a picturefrom left to right. Even though it is fine toplace your subject in the middle of theframe, it is actually more pleasing compo-sitionally to place the focal point in thetop-right, top-left, bottom-right or bottom-left area of the frame, away from theedges at the intersection of the thirds. Youwant to avoid the bullseye effect that yousometimes get when you place the subject dead centre.

Compose Your Photograph

There is a big difference between tak-ing a photograph and clicking a snap-shot. Photographs generally happen whenthe photographer takes the time to com-pose his or her shot. A visually balancedpicture with interesting elements that cap-ture the eye and lead you through the picture help to make the difference.

Tips for good composition include:

Before moving pictures to your PC’s digital darkroom for processing, there is a great deal you can do with your digital camera to ensure you capture the best photos possible.

Photographic Techniques

• Keep the horizon level.

• Move in closer or zoom to crop out elements that you are not interested in, or which distract from the subjectof the photograph.

• Consciously place the subject in the appropriate part of the photorather than just accepting wherever it happens to land in the photograph.

• Think about the perspective elements in the shot. Check that all the lines in the picture show a pattern or lead the eye to the main subject of the photograph.

• Think about the “negative” space in your picture, that is, the area around your focal point. How does it complement your focal area? If the negative space is more vertical than it is horizontal, you may want to turnyour camera sideways to capture more of the surroundings (your image area is rectangular, and the long side is usually the horizontal axis or “landscape” orientation).

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• Before you press the shutter, imagine your picture area divided intothirds both horizontally and vertically.

• The intersections of these imagi-nary lines suggest four options forplacing the centre of interest toachieve good composition. The optionyou select depends upon the subjectand how you would like that subjectto be presented.

• Digital cameras give us the freedom to explore our creativity.Don’t hesitate to experiment with dif-ferent angles, different framing, differ-ent situations, different lighting, anddifferent environments. You can alsobe creative in the digital darkroom onyour PC.• Using the various image-editingprograms that are available toimprove on errors in composition,colour saturation, lighting and fram-ing. You have all the tools you needto discover a whole new dimension inphotography.

Be Creative!

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28

Sharing Your Digital Photos

CD-ROM, VCD and DVD

Regardless of the type of system youuse, it’s important to backup digital photosto CD-ROM on a regular basis. It wouldbe tragic to lose memories forever becauseof a hard disk crash. Windows XP* includesCD-burning capabilities and you can pur-chase loads of third-party tools for burn-ing CDs.

Many digital camera users also wantto display or distribute their images in aslideshow format so they can be watchedon a PC or even on a TV. There are severalsoftware packages that allow the imagesto be saved as a slideshow – with music,transitions and titles – on to a CD or DVD.

One of the many benefits of digitalphotography is the choice of displaymethods. Traditionally, people view theirphotos on computers, or print them viatheir ink jet printers. A limited number ofpeople might use a digital projector anddisplay their photos at a very large size.

If you don't print them out how doyou show a friend or client? With theincreasing use of DVD players and thecorrect software-package you can nowwrite your photos to a DVD or CD whichwill play in many home DVD players.

The CD and DVD authoring programscurrently available are simple to use andoffer a tremendous range of creativeoptions. Most select from a variety ofbackgrounds, or use an image of yourchoice.

Also handy in most of the programs isa DVD or CD simulator that allows you topreview your slide show before writing itto a CD-R/DVD-R disc.

Another attractive feature is the abilityto add a soundtrack to your photo show.This can be either downloaded MP3 filesor WAV files from a CD (remember thecopyright limitations that apply to down-loaded music).

When you have your picture show setup as you want, you can save it to a fileor write it to disc immediately. Authoringprograms have their own CD/DVD writingsoftware that generally works without ahitch.

It’s recommended that you check thecompatibility of your CD or DVD writerbefore buying this software. If you are burning discs to view on TV then you willneed to save them as either VCD (VideoCD) or DVD files.

Most older model DVD players will notplay back CD-RW discs and, again mostof the software sites for the listed productsprovide consumer DVD player compatibility.

An important point is if you only havea CD writer and not a DVD-writer, yourDVD player will have to be able to readVCD (Video CD) discs for the slide showto work.

The Web

Because of the constraints imposedby monitor resolution and Internet band-width, photos destined to be posted “as-is” hardly ever require high resolution.But, if the photos are going to be alteredor manipulated in a photo editing program,then a higher resolution might be neces-sary to start with even though the imagesmay end up smaller when in place on theWeb.

Most major online services offer digitalimage printing processing and other Webservices provide places to post images.Once you have placed your images onthese sites you can send a URL (webaddress) to friends, family or businesscontacts along with an access passwordand they can view them.

If you have Microsoft* Windows XP*as the operating system on your PC, theprocess can be somewhat automated –you can choose to publish photos to theWeb as you acquire them. But if youalready have photos on your hard disk,you can post them to the Web several different ways.

If your are posting your images onyour own Web site, remember the GoldenRule - limit image s-i-z-e.

Most Web photos are stored as JPEGfiles. Photos that come from a Megapixeldigital camera are JPEG files but they arequite large – far larger than is suitable forWeb viewing. They will need to be resizedto a smaller file size in an image editingprogram.

Traditional graphics file formats suchas Bitmap (BMP), Tiff (TIF) and Photoshop*(PSD) are not practical for use in Webpages. The files are far too large and theirsupport from the major Web browsers islimited (as with BMP files) or not availableat all (as with PSD files).

Of the three most common webgraphics file formats – JPEG, GIF andPNG – JPEG is the most suited to pho-tos. JPEG offers the best compressionmethod and can display images in TrueColor.

One of the reasons why JPEGs are so practical for image files is due to theirextensive set of compression options. JPEGquality options are based on a scale from1 to 100, where 1 is the poorest and 100is the best quality.

There is no perfect quality setting forall pictures, which is why most systemsoffer a preview of the image. However, asa general rule of thumb, 70 to 80 is agood starting point. For the vast majorityof images somewhere between 60 and 90will work; below 60 the image quality fallsbelow an acceptable level and, above 90,there is little noticeable improvement in filesize reduction.

By matching image quality with filesize you should try to range your imagesbetween 40 KB and 100 KB for optimalWeb performance.

Many image editing and image browserprograms allow you to automate theprocess of making the image Web-ready.Most imaging software includes the abilityto Batch Resize, or Format images for theWeb. This allows you to apply the Batchtool to folders of photos, resize, rename,and convert them – on the fly – if needed.

One of the key benefits of digital photography is that it lets us share and organisethe images and memories of our lives in ways that are impossible with conventionalfilm. A PC and imaging software allow for the creation of digital darkroom mediasuch as floppy discs, CDs and DVDs so that images can be easily distributed. Withthe advent of the Internet, the ability to globally distribute images from a PC hasbecome a reality. So, let's look at some of the best ways to enjoy your new ‘digitalfreedom’ and the distribution options you might consider.

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A Basic DigitalPhotography Glossary

Look for the Intel Inside® Logo!

Archival Storage: Using external media such as disks andCDs to store information long-term.

Bit Depth: A digital image is represented as a Bitmap(a grid of dots). The bit depth is the num-ber of tones that can be associated witheach dot. 1-bit contains 2 colours – blackand white. 8-bit colour contains 256shades (colour or gray), while 24-bitcolour contains 16.7 million shades.

CD-ROM: A compact disc containing informationthat can only be read, not updated orrecorded over.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black): Used in four-colour professional printing,such as magazines. CMYK images willreproduce the most photo-like look in theprinting process.

CPU (central processing unit):The “brain” of a computer system. It con-sists of the main chip such as the Intel®

Pentium® 4 processor, and the necessarycircuitry to transport information to andfrom it.

Dot Pitch: Typically used to evaluate a monitor’ssharpness as a measurement of the dis-tance between dots. A smaller numberindicates a sharper monitor.

DPI (dots per inch): A measurement of print resolution. DPIindicates how many individual dots adevice can create on a page per squareinch of area. The higher the dpi, the betterthe resolution. A screen image usuallyappears at 72 dpi, whereas an inkjetprinter usually prints at least 300 dpi. DPIis only one factor in image quality.

Driver: Software that comes with a computerperipheral (i.e, printer, scanner, digitalcamera...) that allows the peripheral tocommunicate with the PC.

Dynamic Range: The difference between the highest andthe lowest values, as in the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows in animage.

File Format: A method for arranging the data thatmakes up an image for storage on a diskor other media. Some standard image fileformats are JPEG, TIFF and GIF.

Gigabyte (GB): A measurement of digital data approxi-mately one billion bytes (1,000 megabytes).

Gigahertz: The speed at which a processor can exe-cute instructions is known as the clockcycle or clock rate. This rate is expressedin gigahertz (GHz) with 1 GHz being equalto 1 billion cycles per second or 1,000Megahertz. The faster the clock, the moreinstructions the computer can execute persecond.

Interpolation: A method of increasing the apparent reso-lution of an image by “filling-in” the gapsbetween existing pixels – virtually increas-ing the pixels per inch (ppi).

JPEG (Joint PhotographicExperts Group): A file format used with photographs andother Bitmaps. The JPEG format “com-presses” image information to createsmaller files. JPEG files lose image dataand, as compression increases, quality.

Lossless Compression:Any file compression technique where noloss of image data occurs. For example, a TIFF file.

Lossy Compression:Any file compression technique wheresome loss of image occurs. For example, a JPEG or GIF file.

Megahertz (MHz): One MHz represents one million cyclesper second. The speed of microproces-sors, called the clock speed, is measuredin megahertz. For example, a micro-processor that runs at 200 MHz executes200 million cycles per second.

Pixel:Short for picture element (pix/picture,el/element). The smallest element of a picture that can be controlled by the computer.

PPI (Pixels per inch): The number of pixels per inch in an image,often used interchangeably with dpi.

RAM (Random Access Memory):The computer’s memory that is active foruse in programs.

Resolution: The density of pixels in an image or thenumber of dots per inch a device, such asa scanner, can achieve.

RGB: The primary colour system of a computerbased on red, green and blue, the additive primary colours. Computer moni-tors display RGB-based screen images.

TIFF(Tagged Image File Format): An important Bitmap image format com-mon to most image-processing programs.

USB (Universal Serial Bus):An input/output (I/O) bus capable of datatransfer at 12 megabits (1.5 megabytesper second) used for connecting peripher-als to a PC.

White Balance:A metering function based on the colourtemperatures of different light sources telldigital cameras how to represent colourcorrectly. Many cameras have automaticwhite balance, others let photographersadjust it.

Words to know and understand as you explore the convergence of photography and computers.

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System Configuration referring to “ Image Performance” on page 4:Source: Intel; Configuration: Pentium® III processor at 500 MHz – Intel® Desktop Board SE440BX-2, 128 MB PC100 CL2 SDRAM, VIPER550 TNT Graphics, nVidia* Detonator 3 reference driver 21.81, IBM DTLA-307030 30GB ATA-100 Hard Drive, Intel® Application Acceleratorv1.1, Windows* XP default driver Ultra DMA Mode 2; Pentium® 4 processor at 3.06 GHz with HT Technology – Intel® Desktop BoardD850EMV2, 256 MB PC1066 RDRAM; Pentium® 4 processor at 2A GHz – Intel® Desktop Board D850EMV2, 256 MB PC800 RDRAM - 40;All Pentium® 4 processor-based platforms – Leadtek* WinFast A250 Ultra TD GeForce* 4/ nVidia* GeForce 4, 4x AGP Graphics, nVidiaDetonator* 4 reference driver 28.32; Intel® Application Accelerator v2.2.2128, Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility v4.00.1009, IBM*80GB 120GXP IC35L080AVVA07-0 ATA-100 Hard Drive; All Platforms – DirectX* 8.1, Windows* XP (build 2600), 100 Mbps Intel Pro/100+Management PCI LAN Card. Performance tests and ratings are measured using specific computer systems and / or components and reflect the approximate perform-ance of Intel products as measured by those tests. Any difference in system hardware or software design or configuration may affect actualperformance.

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For over 30 years, Intel has been committed to innovation,delivering top-quality, high-performance processors for thecomputer industry and its customers around the world. Today, Intel is a leading manufacturer of computer, networking andcommunication products.

Intel® processors are designed to meet your computing needs,helping you to make the ordinary become extraordinary. If youwant to do the most exciting things on your PC – today andtomorrow – make sure it's powered by the Intel® Pentium® 4Processor.

© 2002 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, Intel Inside, Pentium, the Intel and the Intel Inside logo are registered trademarks of theIntel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. THE INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE IS PROVIDED "AS IS” WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. Intel doesnot warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. Intel maymake changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. Intel makes no commitment to updatethis guide. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of the others.