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In 2003, digital camera sales surpassed film camera sales for the first time ever, and sales in 2004 and beyond are expected to be even bigger. Chances are, you're part of the reason. You might have been using a 35mm, APS, or other point-and-shoot camera before purchasing a digital camera, or your digital camera might be your first camera purchase ever. In either case, welcome to the world of digital photography!

This book is designed to give you a friendly, task-oriented introduction to digital photography. It won't make you an expert overnight, but it will help you get comfortable with your camera and its features, take better pictures, and share them with others.

Like other books in the Easy series, this book is task-oriented: You learn by doing. The tasks I've chosen are designed to be the most common tasks typical photographers perform with their cameras and with printers, data transfer devices, and other accessories and programs.

Because of the wide variety of digital camera brands, models, and features on the market, I've used three typical point-and-shoot cameras throughout the course of the book. Because taking pictures is only the beginning of your digital photography journey, I've also used a variety of printers, data transfer devices, software utilities, and programs in the parts of the book dealing with data transfer, printing, editing, and other post-photography tasks. Your camera and software are likely to be different than those I've chosen to use. Don't worry about it. As a task is described, I use tips and hints to discuss variations you may encounter in the products you use. The tasks are written in such a way that you can follow along with your own camera, printer, and software, even if they're different than the ones I use. Keep your instruction manuals handy to learn how to perform tasks I describe with the products you use.

The book contains 13 parts.

Part 1, “Getting Comfortable with Your Digital Camera,” introduces you to the different types of digital cameras, their major features, how they work, and the media types they use to store photos. The major features of each of the three cameras used in the book are also identified.

Part 2, “Preparing Your Camera,” helps you get your camera ready for your first photo. From inserting batteries and configuring the camera menu to formatting the media, this part guides you through the process.

Part 3, “Digital Photography Basics,” shows you how to use your camera's zoom lens to compose pictures, how to adjust exposure, how to use exposure lock, how to measure the light for accurate exposure in different lighting conditions, how to review your photos, and how to use a flash.

Part 4, “Taking Digital Photos—Outdoors,” shows you how to shoot good pictures in a variety of lighting conditions, from noon to night and from bright sun to fog and clouds.

Part 5, “Taking Digital Photos—Indoors,” shows you how to use flash, available light, and supplementary lighting to get good interior photos.

Part 6, “Using Advanced Camera Features,” shows you how to shoot panoramic views, how to control aperture and shutter speed settings for more creative control, how to shoot short movies, how to shoot photo sequences, how to use a tripod, and how to use the self-timer.

Part 7, “Transferring Digital Photos to Your Computer,” shows you how to use USB cables, flash memory card readers, and camera docks to copy your photos to your PC for printing, editing, and sharing.

Part 8, “Scanning Old Photos,” shows you how to use image scanners to bring your existing photos, slides, and negatives into the digital age and color-correct them in the process.

Part 9, “Viewing and Managing Your Digital Photos,” shows you how to configure your PC to make photo viewing easier, how to display your photos as a slideshow, and how to delete unwanted photos.

Part 10, “Enhancing Your Digital Photos,” shows you how to use photo editors such as Adobe Photoshop Elements (a free 30-day trial is included on the CD packaged with this book) to fix red-eye, rotate photos, adjust colors and brightness, crop photos, and fix other problems.

Part 11, “Printing Your Digital Photos,” shows you how to use dedicated photo printers, snapshot printers, printer docks, and general-purpose inkjet printers to create snapshots, enlargements, and multiple print sizes on a single sheet of photo paper.

Part 12, “Presenting and Sharing Your Photos,” shows you how to email your photos, use them to enhance an eBay sales listing, send your photos to an online photo album/printing site, create a slideshow you can email or burn to CD, and insert your photos into a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file.

Part 13, “Storing Your Digital Photos,” shows you how to transfer your photos to recordable CD, DVD, USB, or other types of removable-media drives; how to rename and organize your photos to make it easier to find the pictures you want; and how to repair damaged CDs.

By the time you finish this book, you'll be ready to create digital masterpieces you can share, and have fun doing it! See you in Part 1!

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