A ShortCourse Book
Canon EOS 40D Photography

Canon EOS 40D Photography

Canon EOS 40D

This clearly written and easy-to understand short course on your Canon EOS 40D explains step-by-step how, why and when you use your camera's controls for better pictures. This guide is available as a traditional 156 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD or download instantly. The eBook also includes links to animations and other resources that bring to life the core concepts of digital photography.


Introducing Animations

The eBook version of this book has 50 interactive animations that illustrate and explain the core concepts of digital photography. Integrated throughout the eBook, these animations help you understand your camera better, and they are also a lot of fun.

To use the animations you need the eBook version of this book on a CD and an Internet connection.

Click to explore the light path through an SLR like the 40D then minimize or close the animation window.
Click to see how full color images are created from only three colors then minimize or close the animation window.

New, a Short Courses digital photography book for people who want to get better pictures with their Canon EOS 40D digital camera. This beautifully written and illustrated guide, pulls together answers to the questions you might have about using the 40D, including the following:
  • Taking a Picture in Full Auto Mode
  • Using Menus
  • Managing Images—Using Buttons
  • Jumping in Playback
  • Managing your Images—Using Menus
  • Giving Slide Shows
  • Selecting Image Quality
  • Changing Shooting Modes
  • Using Image Zone Modes
  • Using Program AE (P) Mode
  • Using Program Shift
  • Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode
  • Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode
  • Using Manual (M) Mode
  • Changing the Metering Mode
  • Using Exposure Compensation
  • Using Autoexposure (AE) Lock
  • Using Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB)
  • Displaying Histograms
  • Selecting the Histogram and Highlights
  • Evaluating Histograms
  • Using the Self-timer
  • Changing the ISO
  • Increasing the Sharpness of Moving Objects
  • Selecting an Autofocus Mode
  • Selecting an AF Point
  • Displaying AF Points
  • Using Focus Lock
  • Using Manual Focus
  • Focusing on the Hyperfocal Distance
  • Zone Focusing
  • Using Auto Depth-of-Field AE (A-DEP)
  • Decreasing Depth of Field
  • Conveying Motion
  • Selecting a White Balance Mode
  • Setting a Custom White Balance
  • Selecting a Color Temperature in Kelvins
  • Selecting a Color Space
  • Using White Balance Correction/Bracketing
  • Using Bulb Exposures
  • Mounting and Unmounting a Lens
  • Zooming a Lens
  • Increasing Depth of Field in Close-ups
  • Using Autoflash
  • Turning Red-eye Mode On and Off
  • Using Fill Flash
  • Using Slow Sync Flash
  • Preventing the Flash from Firing
  • Using Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Using Flash Exposure (FE) Lock
  • Using Flash Control
  • Selecting a Continuous Mode
  • Using Live View
  • Autofocusing in Live View
  • Selecting Picture Styles
  • Changing Picture Styles
  • Registering Picture Styles
  • Registering Camera Settings
  • Changing Custom Functions
  • Clearing Custom Functions
  • Registering My Menu Settings
  • Shooting w/o a CF Card
  • Setting the Time and Date
  • Changing the Review Time
  • Specifying File Number Sequences
  • Turning the Beep On or Off
  • Adjusting Monitor Brightness
  • Changing the Language or Video Setting
  • Adjusting Auto Power Off Time
  • Formatting a CF Card
  • Setting Auto Rotate
  • Checking/Updating Your Firmware Version
  • Resetting Camera Settings
  • Entering a Print Order
  • Cleaning the Sensor
  • Obtaining Dust delete Data

The book is designed to work with the www.shortcourses.com site. The book explains how to get better pictures but you'll find more on that subject on the site. In addition, there is lots of information on the site about what you can do with your pictures after you've taken them.


Chapter 1
Camera Controls and Creativity

The 40D Camera
Jump Start—Using Full Auto Mode
Good Things to Know
Using the Viewfinder
Operating the Camera
Changing Settings with Buttons and Dials
Using Menus to Change Settings
Playing Back & Managing Your Images
Using the Playback Menu
Selecting Image Quality and Size

Chapter 2
Controlling Exposure

Understanding Exposure
The Shutter Controls Light and Motion
The Aperture Controls Light and Depth of Field
Using Shutter Speed and Aperture Together
Retaining Highlight and Shadow Details
Choosing Shooting Modes
Using Image Zone Modes
Using Program AE (P) & Program Shift
Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode
Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode
Using Manual (M) Mode
How Your Exposure System Works
When Automatic Exposure Works Well
When to Override Automatic Exposure
How Overriding Autoexposure Works
How to Override Automatic Exposure
Using Histograms
Using the RAW Format

Chapter 3
Controlling Sharpness

Getting Sharper Pictures
Sharpness Isn’t Everything
How to Photograph Motion Sharply
Focus and Depth of Field
Focusing Techniques
Controlling Depth of Field
Using Deep Depth of Field
Using Shallow Depth of Field
Conveying the Feeling of Motion

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color

Where Does Color Come From?
White Balance and Color
Using White Balance Correction & Bracketing
Color and Time of Day
Sunsets and Sunrises
Photographing at Night
The Direction of Light
The Quality of Light

Chapter 5
Understanding Lenses

Canon Lenses
Focal Length
Zoom Lenses
Normal Lenses
Wide-Angle Lenses
Telephoto Lenses
Macro Lenses and Accessories
Tilt-Shift Lenses
Lens Accessories
Perspective in a Photograph

Chapter 6
Using Flash & Studio Lighting

How Flash Works
Using Autoflash
Portraits with Flash
Using Fill Flash
Using Slow Sync Flash
Using Available Light
Controlling Flash Exposures
Using an External Flash
Using Flash in Close-ups
Studio Lighting
Portrait and Product Photography—Introduction
The Main Light
The Fill Light
The Background Light
The Rim Light

Chapter 7
Other Features and Commands

Continuous Photography
Live View Shooting
Using Picture Styles
Registering Your Own Settings
Using Custom Functions
Using My Menu
Changing Other Settings
Entering a Print Order
Caring for Your Camera


A great photograph begins when you recognize a great scene or subject. But recognizing a great opportunity isn’t enough to capture it; you also have to be prepared. A large part of being prepared involves understanding your camera well enough to capture what you see. Getting you prepared to see and capture great photographs is what this book is all about. It doesn’t matter if you are taking pictures for business or pleasure, there’s a lot here to help you get better results and more satisfaction from your photography.

To get better, and possibly even great photographs, you need to understand both concepts and procedures; the "whys" and "hows" of photography.

  • Concepts of photography are the underlying principles that apply regardless of the camera you are using. They include such things as how sharpness and exposure affect your images and the way they are perceived by viewers. Understanding concepts answers the “why” kinds of questions you might have about photography.
  • Procedures are those things specific to one kind of camera, and explain step-by-step how you set your camera’s controls to capture an image just the way you want to. Understanding procedures gives you the answers to the “how” kinds of questions you might have.

This book is organized around the concepts of digital photography because that’s how photographers think. You think about scenes and subjects, highlights and shadows, softness and sharpness, color and tone. The procedures you use with the Canon EOS 40D camera are integrated throughout the concepts, appearing in those places where they apply. This integrated approach lets you first understand the concepts of photography and then see step by step how to use the 40D in all kinds of photographic situations.

To get more effective, interesting, and creative photographs, you only need to understand how and when to use a few simple features on your camera such as focus, exposure controls, and flash. If you’ve previously avoided understanding these features and the profound impact they can have on your images, you’ll be pleased to know that you can learn them on a weekend. You can then spend the rest of your life marveling at how the infinite variety of combinations make it possible to convey your own personal view of the world. You’ll be ready to keep everything in a scene sharp for maximum detail or to blur it all for an impressionistic portrayal. You’ll be able to get dramatic close-ups, freeze fast action, create wonderful panoramas, and capture the beauty and wonder of rainbows, sunsets, fireworks, and nighttime scenes.

As you explore your camera, be sure to have fun. There are no “rules” or “best” way to make a picture. Great photographs come from using what you know to experiment and try new approaches. Digital cameras make this especially easy because there are no film costs or delays. Every experiment is free and you see the results immediately so you can learn step by step.

This book assumes you’ve mastered the mechanics of your camera. It’s about getting great pictures, not about connecting your camera to computers and using your software. That information is well presented in the user guide that came with your camera. Be sure to visit our Web site at www.shortcourses.com for even more digital photography information.

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Click to order a PDF download of this book for $24.95US. After completing the checkout process, a download link is given on the thank you page and on your e-mail receipt.

Click to order a copy of the printed book for $24.95US.

Click to order a printed copy of the book and a PDF copy on a CD at a special package price of $36.95US.

Click to order a PDF copy of the book on a CD for $19.95US.

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