A ShortCourse Book
Canon PowerShot S2 IS Photography

Canon PowerShot S2 IS Photography

Canon Powershot S2 IS

This clearly written and easy-to understand short course on your Canon Powershot S2 IS explains step-by-step how, why and when you use your camera's controls for better pictures. This guide is available as a traditional 140 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 55 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 and an Internet connection.

Click to explore the light path through an SLR 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 Powershot S2 IS digital camera. This beautifully written and illustrated guide, drawing on the much more comprehensive information on the ShortCourses Web site, pulls together answers to the questions you might have about using the S2 IS, including the following:
  • Taking Pictures in Auto Mode
  • Using Tabbed Menus
  • Using the Function Menu
  • Resetting Settings
  • Keeping an Image Displayed
  • Changing the Image Review Time
  • Displaying Images in Playback Mode
  • Managing Images In Playback Mode
  • Giving a Slide Show
  • Selecting Image Size and Quality
  • Changing Exposure Modes
  • Using Image Zone Modes
  • Using Program AE (P) Mode
  • Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode
  • Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode
  • Using Manual (M) Mode
  • Choosing a Metering Mode
  • Choosing Center or AF Spot Metering
  • Using Exposure Compensation
  • Using AE Lock
  • Using Program Shift
  • Using Autoexposure Bracketing (AEB)
  • Turning Safety Shift On and Off
  • Displaying Histograms
  • Evaluating Histograms
  • Using the Self-timer
  • Setting the Delay Time
  • Selecting an Image Stabilization Mode
  • Changing the ISO
  • Increasing Sharpness of Moving Objects
  • Moving the AF Frame
  • Using Single or Continuous Autofocus
  • Using Focus Lock and AF Lock
  • Using Manual Focus
  • Bracketing Focus
  • Increasing Depth of Field
  • Decreasing Depth of Field
  • Conveying Motion
  • Adjusting White Balance
  • Zooming the Lens
  • Turning Digital Zoom On and Off
  • Using Digital Zoom
  • Using a Converter Lens
  • Using Macro and Super Macro Modes
  • Increasing Depth of Field in Close-ups
  • Selecting Flash Modes
  • Turning Red-eye On and Off
  • Using Flash On
  • Using Flash Off
  • Using Slow Synchro Flash
  • Selecting 1st or 2nd Curtain Flash Sync
  • Using FE Lock
  • Using Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Turning Flash Adjust to Auto or Manual
  • Adjusting Flash Output Manually
  • Shooting Panoramic Sequences
  • Choosing a Photo Effect
  • Using My Colors
  • Saving Originals
  • Turning Continuous Mode On and Off
  • Choosing a Continuous Mode
  • Capturing Movies
  • Playing Back Movies
  • Editing Movies
  • Attaching Sounds to Images
  • Sound Only recording
  • Preparing Print Orders
  • Using Intervalometer Mode
  • Saving Settings to C Mode
  • Assigning a Function to the Shortcut Button
  • Changing My Camera Settings
  • Using Your Own Start Up Image and Sound
  • Using the Set Up Menu

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
Getting Started with your Canon S2 IS ...7

The PowerShot S2 IS-An Overview ...8
Jump Start-Taking Photos in Auto Mode ...9
Good Things to Know ...10
When Things Go Wrong ...12
Using the LCD Monitor and Viewfinder ...13
Using Dials and Buttons ...14
Using Menus ...16
Using Playback Mode ...20
Selecting Image Quality and Size ...23

Chapter 2
Controlling Exposure ...28

Understanding Exposure ...29
The Shutter Controls Light and Motion ...30
The Aperture Controls Light and Depth of Field ...32
Using Shutter Speed and Aperture Together ...34
Retaining Highlight and Shadow Details ...37
Choosing Exposure Modes ...38
Using Image Zone Modes ...39
Using Program AE (P) Mode ...40
Using Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode ...41
Using Aperture-Priority (Av) Mode ...42
Using Manual (M) Mode ...43
How Your Exposure System Works ...44
Choosing a Metering Method ...46
When Automatic Exposure Works Well ...47
When to Override Automatic Exposure ...48
How Overriding Autoexposure Works ...52
How to Override Automatic Exposure ...53
Using Histograms ...57

Chapter 3
Controlling Sharpness ...61

Getting Sharper Pictures ...62
Sharpness Isn't Everything ...66
How to Photograph Motion Sharply ...67
Focus and Depth of Field ...69
Focusing Techniques ...71
Controlling Depth of Field ...74
Using Maximum Depth of Field ...75
Using Shallow Depth of Field ...76
Conveying the Feeling of Motion ...77

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color ...78

Where Does Color Come From? ...79
White Balance ...80
Color Balance and Time of Day ...82
Sunsets and Sunrises ...83
Photographing at Night ...85
Weather ...87
The Direction of Light ...89
The Quality of Light ...91

Chapter 5
Understanding Lenses ...92

The Zoom Lens ...93
Normal Zoom ...94
Wide-Angle Zoom ...95
Telephoto and Digital Zoom ...97
Portraits with a Zoom Lens ...99
Perspective in a Photograph ...100
Canon Lens Converters ...101
Using Macro and Super Macro Modes ...102
Focusing and Depth of Field Close Up ...103

Chapter 6
Using Flash and Studio Lighting ...104

How Automatic Flash Works ...105
Portraits with Flash ...108
Using Flash On ...110
Using Available Light ...111
Using Slow Synchro Flash ...112
Controlling Flash Exposures ...114
Studio Lighting ...116
Portrait and Product Photography-Introduction ...119
The Main Light ...120
The Fill Light ...121
The Background Light ...122
The Rim Light ...123

Chapter 7
Special Features ...124

Panoramas-Stitch Assist Mode ...125
Using Photo Effects ...127
Using My Colors ...128
Continuous Photography ...129
Capturing Movies ...130
Playing Movies ...131
Editing Movies ...132
Using Sound ...133
Preparing Print Orders ...134
Time-Lapse Photography ...135
Saving Personal Settings ...136
Personalizing Your Camera ...137
Using the Set Up Menu ...138


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 PowerShot S2 IS 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 S2 IS 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.

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