Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Introduction

Introduction

Walk into any bookseller, go to the photography section, and you will see countless books on the subject of photography. Look a little further and you will locate the camera-specific books. It is this divide between the camera-specific and instructional photography books that inspired me to write this book. What I was seeing in the store was a lot of books that were just sort of missing the mark—especially when it came to using a specific brand and model of camera along with actual photographic instruction. So with that, I set about to write this book on the Canon T3i, not as a rehash of the owner’s manual but as a resource to teach photography with the wonderful technology present in the T3i. I have put together a short Q&A to help you get a better understanding of just what it is that you can expect from this book.

Q:IS EVERY CAMERA FEATURE GOING TO BE COVERED?
A:Nope, just the ones I felt you need to know about in order to start taking great photos. Believe it or not, you already own a great resource that covers every feature of your camera: the owner’s manual. Writing a book that just repeats this information would have been a waste of my time and your money. What I did want to write about was how to harness certain camera features to the benefit of your photography. As you read through the book, you will also see callouts that point you to specific pages in your owner’s manual that are related to the topic being discussed. For example, in Chapter 6 I discuss the use of the AE-L button but there is more information available on this feature in the manual. I cover the function that applies to our specific needs but also give you the page numbers in the manual to explore this function even further.
Q:SO IF I ALREADY OWN THE MANUAL, WHY DO I NEED THIS BOOK?
A:The manual does a pretty good job of telling you how to use a feature or turn it on in the menus, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you why and when you should use it. If you really want to improve your photography, you need to know the whys and whens to put all of those great camera features to use at the right time. To that extent, the manual just isn’t going to cut it. It is, however, a great resource on the camera’s features, and it is for that reason that I treat it like a companion to this book. You already own it, so why not get something of value from it?
Q:WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO LEARN FROM THIS BOOK?
A:Hopefully, you will learn how to take great photographs. My goal, and the reason the book is laid out the way it is, is to guide you through the basics of photography as they relate to different situations and scenarios. By using the features of your T3i and this book, you will learn about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lens selection, depth of field, and many other photographic concepts. You will also find plenty of large full-page photos that include captions, shooting data, and callouts so you can see how all of the photography fundamentals come together to make great images. All the while, you will be learning how your camera works and how to apply its functions and features to your photography.
Q:WHAT ARE THE ASSIGNMENTS ALL ABOUT?
A:At the end of most of the chapters, you will find shooting assignments, where I give you some suggestions as to how you can apply the lessons of the chapter to help reinforce everything you just learned. Let’s face it—using the camera is much more fun than reading about it, so the assignments are a way of taking a little break after each chapter and having some fun.
Q:SHOULD I READ THE BOOK STRAIGHT THROUGH OR CAN I SKIP AROUND FROM CHAPTER TO CHAPTER?
A:Here’s the easy answer: yes and no. No, because the first four chapters give you the basic information that you need to know about your camera. These are the building blocks for using the camera. After that, yes, you can move around the book as you see fit because the later chapters are written to stand on their own as guides to specific types of photography or shooting situations. You can bounce from portraits to shooting landscapes and then maybe to a little action photography. It’s all about your needs and how you want to address them. Or, you can read it straight through. The choice is up to you.
Q:I DON’T SEE ANY CHAPTERS DEVOTED TO VIDEO.
A:I know that one of the reasons you probably bought the T3i was its ability to capture video. I have covered some basic video setup information in Chapter 2 but I really wanted the focus of this book to center around the photographic capabilities and possibilities. Don’t worry, though; read the next Q&A and I think you will be happy.
Q:IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING STARTED?
A:In order to keep the book short and focused, I had to be pretty selective about what I put in each chapter. The problem is that there is a little more information that might come in handy after you’ve gone through all the chapters. So as an added value for you, I have written two bonus chapters called “Pimp My Ride” and “T3i Video: Beyond the Basics.” The first chapter is full of information on photo accessories that will assist you in making better photographs. In it, you will find my recommendation for things like filters, tripods, and much more. The second chapter will lead you through some video tips and techniques to make your T3i movies even better. To access the bonus chapters, just log in or join peachpit.com (it’s free), then enter the book’s ISBN. After you register the book, a link to the bonus chapters will be listed on your Account page under Registered Products.
Q:IS THAT IT?
A:One last thought before you dive into the first chapter. My goal in writing this book has been to give you a resource that you can turn to for creating great photographs with your Canon T3i. Take some time to learn the basics and then put them to use. Photography, like most things, takes time to master and requires practice. I have been a photographer for 30 years and I’m still learning. Always remember, it’s not the camera but the person using it who makes beautiful photographs. Have fun, make mistakes, and then learn from them. In no time, I’m sure you will transition from a person who takes snapshots to a photographer who makes great shots.

  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint