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Shot Doctor,The: The Amateur's Guide to Taking Great Digital Photos

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Shot Doctor,The: The Amateur's Guide to Taking Great Digital Photos


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


  • Copyright 2009
  • Dimensions: 4-1/2" x 8"
  • Pages: 208
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3948-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3948-3

The Shot Doctor is a new kind of digital photography book that focuses on the “how-to” and less on the “how it works” or the technology behind the camera. This book is designed to be small enough to fit in your back pocket or in a camera bag. It is aimed at everyday parents, students, sporting enthusiasts, and average joes who just want to take decent pictures at their kids’ soccer games and dance recitals and who don’t aspire to make digital photography a hobby.

• Easy-to-follow when-why-how “recipes” help you set your camera to get great shots right away

• Beautiful full-color interior

• Step-by-step instructions for conquering everyday photography challenges, including sporting events, school recitals and performances, vacations, babies, children, and special events

• Simple explanations of camera controls help you understand when to use them, why they work, and how to use them

• Compact, stays-open design means you can carry it everywhere and refer to it while you’re taking pictures

• Visual before and after examples of common photography problems help you choose the right solution for your photography challenges

Mark Edward Soper has been using adjustable cameras since 1971 and digital cameras since 2000, for a total of more than 37 years as an enthusiastic and serious amateur photographer. Mr. Soper’s when-why-how approach to photography, which combines picture-based methods (take a picture, change settings, see how the picture improves), has been tested through years of teaching photography as well as by the hundreds of photographs he has taken for many of his books. Mark is the author of Easy Digital Cameras and Unleashing Windows Vista Media Center, as well as books on corporate and home networking, PC upgrades, home automation, and PC troubleshooting.

Category: Digital Photography

Covers: Digital Cameras

User Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

The Shot Doctor: Recipes for Better Daytime Digital Photographs

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 7 and Introduction)

Table of Contents

Part I Solutions to Common Photo Problems

Chapter 1 Quick Reference to Common Photo Problems

Part II Easy Camera Settings and Their Limitations

Chapter 2 Quick Tour of Typical Digital Cameras

Nikon Coolpix L3

Canon PowerShot A580

Kodak ZD8612

Canon Digital Rebel XTi/EOS 400D

Chapter 3 Top Ten Problem Photo Situations—and How to Get Better Photos



Birthday Candles

Sparklers and Celebrations

Concerts and Stage Shows

Children at Play and in Groups

Sidelighting and Backlighting

Wedding Day

New Baby


Part III Recipes for Better Digital Photos

Chapter 4 What You Can (and Cannot) Do in Auto Mode

Selecting Auto Mode

What Auto Mode Does

When Auto Mode Shines

When Auto Mode Has Problems

Evaluating Your Photos

Going Beyond Auto Mode

Chapter 5 Using Scenes

Understanding Scenes

    Types of Scene Settings

How to Use Scenes

Sunrise, Sunset




Other Scene Modes

What Scenes Can’t Do

Part IV Recipes for Better Digital Photos

Chapter 6 Recipes for Better Indoor and Night Pictures

Why You Need This Chapter

Choosing the Right ISO

Choosing the Right White Balance

Using Electronic Flash

    Too-Dark Flash Photos

    Too-Light Flash Photos

    Off-Color Flash Photos

Available Light at Home

    Birthday Candles

    Group Activities Without Flash

    Group Activities with Flash


Window Light at Home

    Dealing with “Spotlight” Effect from Direct Sun, Dark Background

    Dealing with Backlit Subjects

Indoor Sporting Events

    Prefocus on Where Your Subject Will Be Instead of Trying to Track Them

    Use Panning If You Can’t Use a Really Fast Shutter Speed

    If You Have an Add-on Flash, Put It to Work

    Choose the Right Autofocus Method to Track a Moving Subject

Night Sporting Events

    Look For Shots that Capture the Mood if You Can’t Capture the Action

    Prefocus on the Playmaker

    Use Manual Focus if Your Camera Supports It

Churches and Museums

Concerts and Performances





Mixed Lighting

Chapter 7 Recipes for Better Daytime Pictures

Why You Need This Chapter

Choosing the Right Aperture



Choosing the Right ISO

    When to Use a Higher (Faster) ISO

    When to Use a Lower (Slower) ISO

Choosing the Right White Balance

Choosing the Right Shutter Speed


    Directional Lighting

Buildings and Architecture

    Why Details Matter

    Shooting From the Inside to Capture Special Details


    Get Closer…and Use the Right Framing

    How to Unclutter the Background

Shooting at Dawn and Dusk

    Sunrise, Sunset

    Buildings at Dusk

Better People Photos

    Avoid Overhead Lighting

    Backlight Is Flattering, But Watch the Exposure

    Distracting Background? Blur It Away

Action Air-Land-Water

    Using Smoke

    Using Panning


    A New Take on Disney World

    At the Zoo

Chapter 8 Recipes for Better Event Pictures


    Before the Wedding

    Shooting the Ceremony

    Shooting the Reception

Holidays, Showers, and Birthdays

New Baby in Town

Baptisms and Christenings

Reunions and Meetings

    Restaurants and Dining

Chapter 9 Introduction to Creative Control Modes

Why You Need This Chapter

Benefits of Creative Control Modes

    Better Colors in Any Light

    Just-Right Exposures in Tricky Lighting

    Control What’s in Focus

    Control How Action Is Captured

    Control How Photos Are Stored

Using Program Mode

    When to Use Program Mode—and Why

    How Program Mode Works

    How to Use Program Mode

    Program Mode Photos

Using Shutter Priority Mode

    When to Use Shutter Priority Mode—and Why

    How to Use Shutter Priority Mode

    Shutter Priority Mode Photos

Using Aperture Priority Mode

    When to Use Aperture Priority Mode—and Why

    How to Use Aperture Priority Mode

    Aperture Priority Mode Photos

Using Manual Mode

    When to Use Manual Mode—and Why

    How to Use Manual Mode

    Manual Mode Photos

Viewing Photos

    Photo Viewing Modes

    Why Use Different Viewing Modes?

    Using Standard Viewing Mode

    Viewing Photos in Other Modes

Storing Photos in JPEG Format

    When to Use JPEG Format—and Why

    Selecting JPEG Size Settings

    Selecting Quality Settings

    Comparing JPEG Image Size and Quality Settings

Storing Photos in RAW Format

    When to Use RAW Format—and Why

    How to Use RAW Format

    RAW Format Photos

Chapter 10 Improving Exposure

Why You Need This Chapter

Using Exposure Lock

    When to Use Exposure Lock—and Why

    How Exposure Lock Works

    How to Use Exposure Lock

    Before and After Exposure Lock

Using EV Adjustment

    When to Use EV Adjustment—and Why

    How EV Adjustment Works

    How to Use EV Adjustment

    Before and After EV Adjustment

Using Spot Metering

    When to Use Spot Metering

    Why Use Spot Metering?

    How to Use Spot Metering

    Before and After Spot Metering

Using ISO Adjustments

    When to Use ISO Adjustments

    Why Use ISO Adjustments?

    How to Use ISO Adjustments

    Before and After ISO Adjustments

    Don’t Use Too High an ISO Setting

Improving Exposure in Histogram View

Chapter 11 Improving Color

Why You Need This Chapter

Why Use White Balance Settings?

How to Change White Balance Settings

Using Daylight White Balance

    When to Use Daylight White Balance—and Why

    How to Use Daylight White Balance

    Before and After Daylight White Balance

    When to Use Incandescent White Balance—and Why

    How to Use Incandescent White Balance

    Before and After Incandescent White Balance

Using Fluorescent White Balance

    When to Use Fluorescent White Balance—and Why

    How to Use Fluorescent White Balance

    Before and After Fluorescent White Balance

Using Cloudy/Open Shade White Balance

    When to Use Cloudy/Open Shade White Balance—and Why

    How to Use Cloudy/Open Shade White Balance

    Comparing Daylight, Cloudy, and Open Shade White Balance

Using Custom White Balance

    When to Use Custom White Balance—and Why

    How to Use Custom White Balance

    Before and After Custom White Balance

Using Color Settings

    When to Use Color Settings—and Why

    How to Use Color Settings

    Color Settings Compared

Chapter 12 Stopping Action

Why You Need This Chapter

Shutter Speeds 101

Avoiding Camera Shake

Selecting the “Right” Shutter Speed

    Candids and Portraits

    Sports and Action

    Water and Rain

    Ice and Snow

    Children Playing

    Amusement and Theme Parks

Selective Blur


Capturing Peaks of Action

Using Continuous Shooting/Burst Mode

Chapter 13 Using Electronic Flash

Why You Need This Chapter

Using Built-in Flash

    When to Use Built-in Flash

    Controlling Built-in Flash

    Why Use Built-in Flash?

    How to Use Built-in Flash

Using Fill Flash

    When to Use Fill Flash

    Why Use Fill Flash?

    How to Use Fill Flash

    Before and After Fill Flash

Using Add-on Flash

    How to Use Add-on Flash

Using Bounce, Swivel, and Diffuser Options

    When to Use Bounce, Swivel, and Diffuser Options

    Why Use Bounce, Swivel, and Diffuser Options?

    How to Use Bounce, Swivel, and Diffuser Options

    Before and After Photos (Bounce, Swivel, Diffuser)

Using Flash Exposure Compensation (EV)

    When to Use Flash Exposure Compensation

    Why Use Flash Exposure Compensation?

    How to Use Flash Exposure Compensation

    Before and After Flash Exposure Compensation

Chapter 14 Controlling What’s in Focus

Why You Need This Chapter

Understanding Depth of Field

    Using Tripod or Tripod Substitutes

    Using a Self Timer

Using Focus Lock

    When to Use Focus Lock

    How to Use Focus Lock

    Focus Lock Photos

Using Different Autofocus Methods

    How to Use Face Detection

    How to Use Multiple Area Focus Selection

    Using User-Selectable Focusing Zones/Points

    Different Autofocus Modes

Controlling Focus with Aperture Selections

    When to Use Wide Apertures

    When to Use Narrow Apertures

    Selecting Apertures

    Wide Aperture (Selective Focus) Photos

    Narrow Aperture (Deep Focus) Photos

Using Depth-of-Field Preview

    When to Use Depth-of-Field Preview

    How to Use Depth-of-Field Preview

Using Manual Focus

    When to Use Manual Focus

    How to Use Manual Focus

Preventing Camera Shake

    When to Use a Tripod or Tripod Substitute

    Using Tripod or Tripod Substitutes

    Using a Self Timer

Chapter 15 Using Zoom and Interchangeable Lenses

Why You Need This Chapter

Zoom Lenses

    Zoom Ratios

    Optical Versus Digital Zoom

    Zoom Lenses with Variable Apertures

Using “Normal” Zoom Lenses

Using Medium Zoom Lenses

Using Long Zoom Lenses

Shooting Portraits with Zoom Lenses

Using Fast Lenses

Shooting Ultra Close-ups in Macro Mode

Using Filters

    When to Use UV and Skylight Filters—and Why

    When to Use a Polarizing Filter—and Why

    When to Use Neutral Density (ND) Filters—and Why

    Adapting Filters to Your Point-and-Shoot Camera

Using Anti-Shake Technologies

Part V: Appendixes (on the Book's Website)

Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix B: FAQs

9780789739482     TOC    4/23/2009


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