Digital photography 101 for library applications
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Digital Photography 101 for Library Applications. Instructor: Jeanne Moje An Infopeople Workshop Winter 2004. Workshop Agenda. Digital Camera Overview Hints on Taking Photos Who Owns That Image? Photo Design and Repair Managing Your Digital Photo Collection.

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Digital Photography 101for Library Applications


Jeanne Moje

An Infopeople Workshop

Winter 2004

Workshop Agenda

  • Digital Camera Overview

  • Hints on Taking Photos

  • Who Owns That Image?

  • Photo Design and Repair

  • Managing Your Digital Photo Collection

Digital Camera Overview

Why Digital Photography?

  • Advantage over film cameras

    • Immediate feedback / results

    • Don’t need to develop film

    • Ease of image manipulation

  • Add interest to your web site

    • Publicize and document library events

    • Pictures are worth a thousand words

  • Provide material for library displays

Overview of Digital Cameras

  • Lens types

  • Case sizes

  • Pixel depth

  • Zoom power

  • Storage media types

    • Older memory formats

    • Newer memory formats

    • Alternative memory formats

Lens Types

  • Regular fixed lens

    • with or without zoom

  • Digital SLR (single-lens reflex)

    • More control over depth of field

    • Interchangeable lenses

  • Large format

    • For incredible detail in a large image

    • Huge file sizes

Digital Camera Case Sizes

  • Listed in order of price

    • Compact

    • Micro

    • Medium

    • Large

Pixel Depth

  • Why would you want more pixels?

    • 3 megapixels

    • 4 megapixels

    • 5 megapixels

    • Foveon technology 3.4

      • Three layers to each pixel

      • Equivalent to 10 megapixels

Pixel Print Comparison

  • To maintain quality, choose higher megapixel settings if you need larger print sizes

    • 1 megapixels ≅ 4 x 6

    • 2 megapixels ≅ 5 x 7

    • 3 megapixels ≅ 8 x 11

    • 4 megapixels ≅ 11 x 14

    • 5 megapixels ≅ 12 x 16

Zoom Power

  • Optical zoom changes the image by moving the lens

  • Digital zoom changes the image by cropping (enlarging the pixels)

  • Interchangeable lenses on SLR digital cameras – expensive!

    • Gives you more shutter speed control

    • Wide-angle, panoramic, specialty lenses

Types of Storage Media

  • Some can be used in multiple portable devices

    • Digital cameras, notebooks, PDAs, music players, car stereo

  • Standardize on a flash memory type

    • Secure Digital (SD) - up and coming

    • Compact Flash (CF) - still a good choice

Older Memory Formats

  • These formats are being phased out

    • SmartMedia (SM)

    • MultiMediaCard (MMC)

  • Mini-CDs, floppy disks

  • Compact Flash (CF)

    • More devices use CF that any other media type

    • High capacity

Newer Memory Formats

  • Memory stick (MS)

    • only used by Sony

  • xD-Picture Card

    • Fujifilm, Olympus

    • Projected highest capacity

  • Secure Digital (SD)

    • Projected highest use

    • Broadest support

Alternative Memory Formats

  • CF Mini hard drives

    • IBM microdrive

    • Up to 1 GB in storage

  • Digital camera off-load units

Now For Our Camera Tour…

Finally, Taking Photos…

Before You Start

  • Practice with the camera

  • Double-check your camera settings

  • Carry extra batteries

  • Experiment with flash

    • How close to subject?

    • Test red-eye settings

Hints On Taking Photos

  • Use a tripod or lean against stationery object

  • Conserve batteries

    • Limit use of screen viewer

    • Is camera turned off when not in use?

Automatic & Forced Flash

  • Automatic

    • Fires automatically as required

    • Useful for ordinary photography

  • Forced Flash

    • Photograph backlit scenes

    • Use outside in shade

    • Color correct fluorescent light

Suppressed & Red-Eye Flash

  • Suppressed Flash

    • Indoors where flash is ineffective

    • Photos taken through glass

  • Red-Eye Reduction

    • Pre-flashes so subject’s eyes appear more natural

    • Fires automatically as required

Slow-Synchro Flash Types

  • Slow-Synchro

    • Slow shutter speed for taking pictures of people at night

    • Will show both subject and night time backdrop

    • Recommend tripod

  • Red-Eye Reduction plus Slow-Synchro

Example of Flash Icons

Red eye


Red eye


plus slow








White Balance Control

  • Will attempt to correct the color for given light sources such as:

    • Daylight fluorescents

    • Warm white fluorescents

    • Cool white fluorescents

    • Incandescent lights

    • Outdoors

    • Shade

Delayed Shutter Response

  • Anticipate shutter lag

    • Shutter delay varies between cameras

  • Ask your subject to hold still!

  • Image-writing delay while the camera stores the photo

    • Some cameras are able to store images more quickly

Taking Photos of People

  • Avoid red-eye

    • Use red-eye flash function

    • Ask subject to look away from flash

    • Use natural light

  • Don’t get too close

    • Distortion

    • You can crop image later

Flattery Or Kindness?

  • Avoid harsh shadows

  • Try different viewpoints

  • Use natural light instead of flash

  • Red clothing will overpowerskin tones

Hold Still!

  • Posing versus natural action

  • Take numerous photos of same pose

    • Subject may relax

    • Pose will look more natural

  • Shutter lag makes naturalaction shots difficult

Connect That Camera…

Connecting to a Computer

  • Install camera software

  • Check camera battery charge or plug in power adapter

  • Choice of connections

    • Camera to computer

    • Memory media to computer

  • Copy or move files from camera to computer


  • Where to go if you have problems with your camera

  • Camera batteries weak?

  • What if your computer won’t talk to the camera?

  • Software updates andother annoyances

Indoor Lighting

  • Fluorescent light is green

  • Incandescent light is red

  • North light bulbs are blue

  • “Color-corrected” light bulbs are best

  • Use two light sourcesif possible

Photographing Objects

  • Avoid parallax effect if object has straight lines

    • Align camera to object

    • Align lines of object with frame of viewfinder or LCD monitor

  • Use a tripod or stand

  • Macro lenses

Lighting Objects

  • Lighting

    • Two lights are best

    • 45° angle to object

    • Measure distance of lights

  • Use a “color key” for fine reproductions

Camera Purchase Decision

Before You Choose

  • What is your budget?

  • Will it connect to your computer?

  • Evaluate your photographic needs

    • Pixel depth

    • Power supply requirements

    • Memory needs (16 MB to 1 GB+)

    • Do you have other portable devices?

    • Zoom capability needed?

How To Choose A Camera

  • Try out cameras for a good fit

    • Does it fit your hands?

    • Controls easy to locate?

    • Display screen large enough?

    • Light enough to carry?

    • Zoom power?

  • Purchase at a store or buy online?

  • Keep an eye on sale prices

Bookmarks Topics to Visit

  • Digital camera glossaries and dictionaries

  • Digital camera overview

  • Vendor web sites fordigital cameras andphotography

Taking Photos Outdoors

Outdoor Lighting

  • Sunlight causes shadows

  • North light is blue

  • Overcast days

  • Indirect lighting best for people

  • Use fill-in flash or reflector

Taking Photos Outdoors

  • Sunrise, sunset

  • High noon

  • Overcast

  • Fill-in flash

  • Few filters availablefor digital cameras

    • Glare and reflections

    • Dust and smog

Legal Issues…

Do The Right Thing!

  • Get a signature release from your subjects

  • Copyright considerations

  • Infopeople course materialsavailable

Signature Releases

  • Who owns that photograph?

  • If you put a photo of a person on the web, get a signature release

  • Legal issues

  • Sample signature releases

Copyright Considerations

  • Again, who owns that photograph?

  • Legal issues

  • Get permission!

  • Protect your images

Bookmarks Topics to Visit

  • Infopeople course

    • Library Laws For The Web Environment - 2002

  • Signature release samples

  • Copyright law

The Art Part…

Photo Design and Repair

  • Design and color hints

  • Cropping

  • Resizing

  • Color correction

Design Hints

  • View as abstract artwork (turn the photo upside down)

  • Save as black & white for a fresh view

  • Look at negative spaces

  • Avoid clutter

The Rule of Thirds in Design

  • Hum Beethoven’s Fifth

  • Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid on your image

    • Line objects on the grid

    • Offset the focal point within the composition

  • Check for proportions of two-to-one

Value, Contrast & Luminance

  • Value

    • Relative lightness or darkness of a color

    • Black & white photography helps you see value

  • Contrast

    • Difference between highest and lowest luminance values

  • Luminance relates to light

Hue, Saturation & Brightness

  • Hue

    • Intensity or gradation of color

  • Saturation

    • Chromatic purity - has color been diluted with white?

  • Brightness

    • Brilliance of a color relating to hue or saturation

Color Impact

  • Emotional impact of color

    • What kind of message do you wish to convey?

  • Reds “bleed”

    • May overpower other parts of the image

Color Hints

  • The rule of threes in color

  • Squint to see the values in the image

  • Check proportions of color of two-to-one

Cropping and Resizing

  • Focus on the subject

  • Get rid of clutter

  • The web can only show so much!

  • Reduce image file size

  • Improve your design

Software Can Correct Color

  • Balance your color

  • Correct bad lighting

  • Punch up the values

  • Increase the hue

Photo & Graphics Software

Types of Software

  • Beginner

    • Apple iPhoto, Hypersnap, LviewPro

  • Intermediate

    • PaintShop Pro, Photoshop Elements

  • Advanced

    • Fireworks, Photoshop

  • Camera software

Exporting for Web and Print

Exporting For The Web

  • Use “save as” - keep original safe

  • PC vs Macintosh color differences

  • Reduce image and file size

    • Crop image

    • Resize image

    • Change file format to jpg or gif

    • Set resolution to 72 dpi

Exporting For Print

  • Use “save as” - keep original safe

  • Use largest pixel size setting available for camera

    • You won’t be able to take as many photos at a time, but the print quality will be greater

  • Save to highest quality TIFF format setting

  • Talk with your printer!

  • Color-correct your monitor

File Extensions

  • JPEG (*.jpg) web graphics

  • GIF (*.gif) flat color web graphics

  • TIFF (*.tif) print graphics

  • PSD (*.psd) Adobe Photoshop

  • PNG (*.png) Fireworks

  • PDF (*.pdf) Adobe Acrobat

  • Proprietary extensions

Digital Photos Can Be Huge!

  • Managing disk space

  • Organizing your photos

  • Types of file management software

  • Infopeople course materials availableon digitization projects

  • Don’t forget metadata!

Bookmarks Topics to Visit

  • Graphics software vendors

  • Digital collections projects

  • Infopeople course materials

    • Planning To Digitize Your Treasures, 2000

    • Planning Your Digitization Project, 2001

    • Creating Web Images With Fireworks, 2002

Planning A Photo Session

Back To Reality…

  • What photos do you need (or want) to take for your library?

    • How / where will you use these photos?

    • What camera settings to use?

    • What is the subject matter?

    • Environment?

    • What kind of lighting?

    • Legal issues?

Summary and Evaluation

  • Overview of digital cameras

  • Hints on taking photos

  • Who owns that image?

  • Design and color hints

  • Managing your files and disk space

  • Login