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Shoot to Thrill: A Hard-Boiled Guide to Digital Photography

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Shoot to Thrill: A Hard-Boiled Guide to Digital Photography


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-4240-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-4240-7

Shoot to Thrill

“If you’re looking for a fresh, offbeat style, you’ll enjoy this book.”  --John Nack

If you’re packin’ heat and a D-SLR, SHOOT TO THRILL is like having a bullet-proof vest. Loaded with tips, dames, laughs, tales of noir, and photos shot from the hip!




Written in the style of a pulp detective novel, this book goes beyond the mechanics of shooting and teaches us all how to “see” with a fresh vision. Shoot to Thrill teaches creative techniques such as

  • Achieving dramatic film noir lighting
  • Getting the ring flash look (the rage in fashion photography) 
  • Experimenting with High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI)
  • Capturing breaking news, and a lot more

Offers valuable “two-fisted tips” on how to score killer shots—from still life to action.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Noir: Working with Ambient Light and Flash in Digital Photography

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 5 and Index)

Table of Contents

introduction: the F Stops Here

Prologue: I Cover the Watergate

CHAPTER 1 Packin' Heat


Assault & Batteries

Memory Cards

Gear Bags



Cheap Thrills: Odds 'N Ends

    Author's Note

CHAPTER 2 Call for Backup!

How Many Backups Are Enough?

If the Mob Can Get Organized, So Can You

Photoshop, Lightroom, & Bridge, Oh My!

    Creating a Custom Preset

    The Bridge

    A View From the Bridge

CHAPTER 3 Private Eyes

Sleep Mode

Method Acting: Comedy or Tragedy?

You're the Lead, Not the Walk-On

Find the A.N.G.E.L.




CHAPTER 4 Hand-to-Cam Combat

Get to Know Your ISO

Whose White Balance Is It, Anyway?

Metering Patterns

    Matrix Metering

    Spot Metering

    Center-Weighted Metering

Play It Again, S.A.M.

    Aperture Priority

    Shutter Priority (S)

    Manual Mode (M)

Programmed-Auto (P)

Busting the Bracket Racket

Exposure Compensation (EV)

CHAPTER 5 Twinkle, Twinkle Little Noir

Ambient Light

Imagining Light and Re-creating It

Nighttime Is the Right Time...For Noir

Portable Flash Is Your Buddy

An Ounce of Bounce = Fills & Thrills

    Grids, Snoots, Gobos, & Chizzlers

    A Knockout in the Ring

    What, Me Pop-Up?

    The Big Guns: Studio Strobes

Cover Story

CHAPTER 6 A Thirst for Burst

Speed Traps: The Curse of Burst

    Twist 'N Shoot

    Screen Idle

Hocus-Pocus, Hokum-Focus

"You Lookin' for Action?"

    Good Burst, Bad Burst

    Let's Roll

    "Everybody Freeze!"

There's More to Burst Than Sports

Take a Break from the Action and Look Around

CHAPTER 7 From Chump to Champ

Did Somebody Call the Crops?

    The Case of the Missing Subject

    Less Is More...More or Less

    Stretchin' the Truth

Sharpen Me Deadly

"Have You Tried Calling Noise Abatement?"

Manipulations, Great and Small

    Trick or Treat?

Art for Art's Sake (and for Pete's Sake, Too)

There Ain't Nothin' Like a Dame

    The Blemish Masters

CHAPTER 8 The Devil Is In the Details

HDRI on the Streets of San Diego

Cheap Thrills Contest

Bypass the Bleached Blonde with the Luger

High Pass: The Knockout Punch

    High Pass Thrills and Chills

CHAPTER 9 "I've Been Framed!"

Hangin' on the Web

Hangin' on the Wall

A Rogue's Gallery Meets MoMA

Print It for Posterity

CHAPTER 10 "Play It Again, Cam..."


Hybrid on a Hot Tin Roof

    DV Dinners

    Dead Pans and Zoom Goons

     "We Didn't Need Faces. We Had Dialogue."

    A DV Thrill

The Happy Ending

APPENDIX A Hot Links, Cool Leads

Cameras/Computers/Backup/Portable Drives/Printers

Memory Cards


Lights/Lighting Accessories

Camera Bags and Straps



Hard-Boiled Software


Online Pubs, Blogs, and Reference

APPENDIX B A Hard-Boiled Library

Nuts 'N Bolts

Art Photography/Critical Works

Noir Reference



9780789742407    TOC    8/24/2009


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