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Preface > How This Book Is Organized - Pg. xxii

Most of us will never enjoy the acclaim of W. Eugene Smith, Jerry Uelsmann, and Ansel Adams. That isn't the point. If we can satisfy our own creative yearning, and possibly touch the hearts of others along the way, then this endeavor is a success. Why Digital Photography Hacks? The term hacking has a bad reputation. It is often referred to as the process for breaking into computers and turning them into weapons of discord. Among people who write code, though, the term hack refers to a "quick-and-dirty" solution to a problem, or a clever way to get something done. And the term hacker is taken as a compliment, referring to someone being creative and having the technical chops to get things done. The Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the good ways people are hacking, and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to the uninitiated. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn a new technology. This collection of hacks reflects the real-world experience of photographers who are steeped in photographic history and expertise. They share their no-nonsense and, sometimes, quick-and-dirty solutions to "getting the shot." This book contains tips for working indoors, outdoors, during the day, at night, in front of the computer, and even with a camera phone in hand. Each hack can be absorbed in a few minutes, saving countless hours of searching for the right answer. Digital Photography Hacks provides direct, hands-on solutions that can be applied to the challenges that face both new users, who are meeting the digital camera for the first time, and longtime users, who are already toting hefty digital SLRs. I'm confident that this collection contains many gems that will delight you. How to Use This Book You can read this book from cover to cover if you like, but for the most part, each hack stands on its own. If there's a prerequisite you ought to know about, there'll be a cross- reference to guide you on the right path. So feel free to browse, flipping around to the sections that interest you the most. I've written the book this way for a reason. Exploring photography is not a linear proc- ess. You don't wake up one morning and say, "Today I'm going to learn everything there is to know about aperture settings." I remember standing in a camera store and overhearing a customer talking to the salesperson. He said, "Yes, last week I mastered black-and-white photography, and now I'm ready to conquer color." Photography just doesn't happen that way. Instead, what you might say when you wake up in the morning is, "I need to figure out how to shoot tonight's lunar eclipse." Chances are, you really don't care about the history of aperture settings or the relative brightness of the moon compared to the sun. xxii | Preface