When you press the shutter button to take a picture, a lot of things happen in the camera before the image is stored on the card. For a digital camera to make a picture, photons from incoming light waves are captured on the sensor and converted to electrical signals. More light results in a stronger electrical signal.

The signals are then processed by the camera's internal computer and recorded onto a storage device, typically CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), or Memory Stick cards. These storage media are discussed in Chapter 5.

You should always try to get the capture as perfect in the camera as you can. Even if you plan to process the photos using the computer later, starting with the best possible capture makes the rest of the workflow much easier and produces the highest quality results.


The term exposure refers to the combined effect of the camera settings that produce the rendered image. Many camera settings have an effect on exposure. Depending on your creative intentions, a captured photo can be perfectly exposed, overexposed (brighter than the actual scene), or underexposed (darker than the actual scene), as shown in 3-20 through 3-22.

Like other aspects of photography, what is considered a perfect exposure (or an "ideal" exposure) is subjective and open to personal interpretation. After all, it's your art. If someone looks ...

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