Take photos like a pro without breaking the bank by using FREE and nearly FREE software and hardware explained in this book. Get professional looking shots from a low-cost camera Save money by building your own lighting rigs, tripods, monopods and stabilisers for next to nothing Learn how to use older lenses on modern digital cameras, and make your own macro lens, lens hoods, flash diffusers, flash concentrators, decorative Bokeh effect lenses and more Use dozens of FREE and low cost photo applications for processing, viewing, cataloguing, editing, creating HDR, and photo stitching Build powerful photography processing and editing suites with free software and plugins that go head to head with expensive tools like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
PART I: TAKING BETTER SNAPS WITH A CHEAPER CAMERA. Chapter 1: Getting the Best from a Low-Cost Camera. How Cheap Is "Cheap"? Getting to Know Your Camera. Ten Universal Questions for Every Shot. Chapter 2: Why Most Snaps Fail to Impress. Some Common Errors. What Makes a "Good" Snapshot? Ten Cost-Nothing Tips for Better Snaps. Chapter 3: First Steps in Portraiture with FREE and Low-Cost Lighting. Creating One-Lamp Portraitures. Making Your Own Low-Key Lighting Kit. Creating No-Lamp Portraitures: Taking It Outdoors. Using Scrims to Soften Sunlight. Getting More Lights for Less. Resources. PART II: GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. Chapter 4: Choosing a Better Camera. The Four Digital Camera Types. Shopping Around for a New Camera. Users' Recommendations. Getting an Entry-Level DSLR at a Rock-Bottom Price. Read FREE Reviews Online: 10 Leading Review Sites. Chapter 5: Keeping It Steady: Tripods, Monopods, and VR Lenses. Blur Reduction: A Big Step Towards Better Photographic Technique. Using Tripods and Heads. Low-Cost Tricks for Reducing Blur. Chapter 6: Saving Money on Lenses. Why People Argue About Lenses. Recommended High-Value Lenses. Using Older Lenses on a New Camera. Chapter 7: In Praise of the 50mm Lens. Using a Lens Chart. Using 50mm with Full-Frame, 1.5x, 1.6x, and 1.7x Crop Factor Sensors. Five Reasons to Buy the "Nifty Fifty". Shooting with a 50mm Lens. PART III: KEEPING COSTS DOWN. Chapter 8: Cost-Cutting Tips for Better Photography. Setting White Balance. Setting Exposure. Cropping: The Pro Technique Available to All. Chapter 9: Shooting RAW and Processing It For FREE. The Rise of the RAW Format. The Snags of Using RAW. Software for RAW Processing. Chapter 10: Shooting Macro Without a Macro Lens. Four Ways to Get Macro Shots. Lighting for Your Macro Shots. Using Lens Stacking to Take Macro Shots. Making a Tabletop Studio for Macro Photography. Building a Mini Light Box for Small Product Photography. Chapter 11: DIY: Cleaning Your DSLR Sensor. Common Contaminants and How to Get Rid of Them. Cleaning the Chamber. Testing Your Cleaning Method. Chapter 12: DIY: Making Your Own Lens Hood. Considering Lens Hood Types. Finding Lens Hood Templates Online. Making a Superhood for a 50mm Lens. Making a Flexihood for a Telephoto Lens. Chapter 13: More DIY Photo Fun Accessories. Making Pop-Up Flash Diffusers. DIY Accessories for Flash Guns. Making Your Own Lenses. Getting Decorative Bokeh Effects. Getting Soft Focus Without a Special Lens. Finding Low-Cost Tripods for Your Compact Camera. Emulating Aerial Photography Without the Airplane. Chapter 14: FREE Photo Calculators. Printing, Cutting, and Assembling Your Own FREE Exposure Calculator. Using the Golden Ratio. For a Few Dollars: Photo Calculation Software for the iPhone. Optical System Calculators. Print Size Calculation. Chapter 15: FREE and Low-Cost Utility Software. FREE and Low-Cost Exif Tools. FREE and Low-Cost Screen Capture Utilities. FREE Color Pickers. FREE Online Color Analysis. FREE File Archiving Utilities. Low-Cost Image Compression Software. FREE JPEG Lossless Rotation. FREE and Low-Cost Data Recovery Software. "Free Scan" Photo Recovery Software. PART IV: SCRUTINIZING, SORTING, AND RESIZING YOUR IMAGES. Chapter 16: Monitor Calibration for Next to Nothing. Understanding Gamma. Calibration for Windows and Mac. FREE Online Monitor Calibration. FREE Online Tutorials on Monitor Calibration. Chapter 17: FREE and Low-Cost Image Viewers. Top FREE and Low-Cost Image Viewers for Windows. Image Viewers for Mac: Why the Mac Is Different. Chapter 18: FREE and Low-Cost Photo Organizing Software. The Difference Between Sorting and Cataloging. Searching Through Untagged Images. Other Good FREE Photo Organizing Software. For a Few Dollars: More Photo Organizing Software. Chapter 19: FREE and Low-Cost Image Resizing Tools. Choosing the Right Tool. FREE Desktop Image Resizing Software. FastStone Photo Resizer. FREE Software for Batch Resizing. FREE Online Image Resizing Tools. For Just a Few Dollars. PART V: IMPROVING YOUR IMAGES. Chapter 20: FREE and Low-Cost Image Enhancement Software. Enhancement and Editing: What's the Difference? Recommended FREE Basic Image Adjustment Tools. Other FREE Image Adjustment Tools. FREE Batch Correction Image Adjustment Tools. For a Few Dollars. Chapter 21: FREE Image-Editing Software. What to Look for in a FREE Image Editor. The Top Four FREE Windows Products. Seashore for Macintosh. The Best of the Rest: All FREE. Chapter 22: FREE Online Image Editors. Online Software: The Long-Term Winner. Featured Software: The Top Five. Best of the Rest. Chapter 23: FREE and Low-Cost Denoising Software. Noise Reduction Software. Recommended FREE Denoising Software. FREE Multiplatform (Java-Based) Denoising Software. For a Few Dollars: Low-Cost Denoising Software. Chapter 24: Building Powerful Software Suites with Plug-ins. Adobe Photoshop Elements: The Low-Cost Host for Best-of-Breed Plug-ins. GIMP: Pimp Your GIMP with Dozens of Great Plug-ins. Enhancing Paint.NET with Plug-ins. PART VI: MAKING HI-RES MOSAICS, PANORAMAS, AND HDR IMAGES. Chapter 25: Getting Hi-Res Images from a Low-Res Camera. FREE Versus Commercial Stitching Software. Chapter 26: Panoramic Photography. Taking Panoramas Without a Tripod. Finding the Optical Center of a Lens. Why Is Panoramic Photography Normally Expensive? The Panosaurus: a Low-Cost Panoramic Head. Building Your Own Panoramic Head. Useful Resources. Chapter 27: Low-Cost Panoramic and Virtual Tour Software. Software for Making Panoramas. Software for Displaying Panoramas. Chapter 28: Creating High Dynamic Range Images. Two Reasons to Use HDR. Commercial or FREE? Which Software Is Best for HDR? FREE HDR Software. Low-Cost HDR Software. PART VII: SHARING & PUBLISHING YOUR WORK. Chapter 29: FREE Image Hosting. What to Look for in a FREE Image Host. Directories. Selected FREE Image Hosting Providers. Chapter 30: FREE Online Photo-Sharing Sites. Must-Have Photo-Sharing Features. Selected FREE Online Photo-Sharing Sites. Photo-Sharing Sites with FREE Basic Accounts. FREE Sites with Additional Features. Chapter 31: Online Photo Communities. What Online Photo Communities Can Do for You, and You for Them. Communities FREE to Registered Users. Low-Cost Photo Communities. Smaller and Specialist Photo Communities. Chapter 32: FREE Web Publishing Software. Using PHP to Create Your Online Gallery. FREE PHP-Based Photo Gallery Software. FREE Flash Gallery Creation Software. CSS-Based Image Galleries. FREE Java-Based Photo Gallery Software. Creating AJAX-Based Photo Galleries. FREE Website Design Software with Gallery Features. PART VIII: GETTING READY TO PRINT. Chapter 33: Low-Cost Image Rescaling Software. Why Is Most Up-Rezzing Software So Pricey? Some Low-Cost Image-Rescaling Alternatives. Chapter 34: Low-Cost Online Printing Services. Cheaper Than Home Printing. Online Photo Printers with Opening Offers (U.S. and International). Online Photo Printers with Opening Offers (U.K.). Directories of FREE Photo-Printing Offers. Premium Printing Services. PART IX: LEARNING MORE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, FOR NEXT TO NOTHING. Chapter 35: FREE Online Tuition. How to Evaluate Online Instruction. Highly Recommended FREE Online Tutorials. FREE Video Tutorials on Photography. FREE Photoshop Tutorials Online. Chapter 36: FREE Online Photo Resources. Photo Megasites You Have to Visit. Leading Camera-Specifi c Websites. FREE Photography Magazines Online. FREE Art Photography Magazines Online. Sites for Landscape Photographers. Sites for Nature and Wildlife Photographers. Sites for Photojournalists. Sites for Portrait Photographers. PhotoStartSheet.com. Index.