CAMERA Manuals/Quick Start Guides

Most camera manufacturers only provide a quick start guide in printed form. Keep the quick start guide in your camera bag!

The manual is usually in an electronic form on the disk that ships with the camera. Most camera manufacturers also keep a manual on-line.

The following links take you the the manufacturers manual page.

  • Nikon
  • Canon DSLR
    • Select the camera (Single Click) Then choose the Brochures and Manual button
  • Canon Compact Cameras
    • Select the camera (Single Click) Then choose the Brochures and Manual button
  • Sony Consumer Cameras
    • First select the camera model number
  • Sony (alpha) DSLR
    • Select α (alpha) DSLR Cameras from the list
  • Panasonic
    • Enter your model number
  • Olympus
    • Enter your model number
  • Fuji
    • Click on Series Letter, Choose Your Camera
  • Pentax
    • Choose Type of Camera, Choose Model #, Select The Manual Check Box, Then click the Submit button, download the manual!
    • Whew!

Camera Maintenance

Got Spots on your images from Dust on the sensor? Don't feel comfortable cleaning your own sensor? Dust

Knight Camera and Repair Out of Business
Pro Photo Supply
The Shutterbug

Call and ask for their maintenance rates...


Before you can sell a photograph, you need to have a "model release" form signed...

The release forms are in pdf format. Right click to download.
Model Release
Minor Model Release
Property Release
Media Release

Part 1: Focus and Exposure Modes

--Hands on with YOUR Camera

Things you need to know about your camera

Tip: Learn even more about your camera

Read reviews about your camera at:

The reviewers are so good that they find things about your camera that you need to know. If they find issues, they publish work-arounds!

Camera Manufacturer on line tutorials

Pressing the Shutter Button Half Way!

1. The Camera Focuses

Hand out  How does your Camera Focus?

Hands on... with Focus Mode and Focus Area


Got blurry pictures?

Here's some suggestions
Blurry photos are happening because either:

  1. The lens isn't focusing.
    • If the lens won't focus at all, check to see if the lens can focus in the "Auto" shooting mode with a brightly lit subject.
      If it still can't focus there may be a problem with the lens focusing motor.
    • Or, it may be an "older" model lens or 3rd party lens that doesn't work with your current camera.
  2. The shutter speed is too slow.
  3. Or, both of the above

Try this! Take a series of shots, each one at a higher ISO setting. (Doing just this might solve the problem.)
Start at ISO 100, (or the lowest ISO number available for your camera,
then go to ISO 200, 400, 800 … at some point there will be too much noise for your liking.

Do this
Each ISO step "allows" twice as much light, as a result, when you increase the ISO two steps, also increase the shutter speed one step… Increasing both, ISO and Shutter speed might solve the blurry problem.

Image is still fuzzy? Let's work on the focus…

Check your AF-L, AF-E settings:
A friend of mine (Nikon shooter) turns off AF-L (Auto focus lock) and focuses the camera with a bright flashlight, then uses just AF-E to get the exposure…

2. The Camera measures an Exposure

Handout How does your Camera Meter?

  • Area: matrix (multi)
  • Center weighted
  • Spot

3. The Camera determines the source of the light (WB)

White Balance
Modern cameras are pretty good at this (automatically determining the source of the light), but the camera manufactures do NOT tell you that if you are capturing your photographs in .jpg format, you have to get WB right!

Handout... How to set a perfect white balance

Exposure Modes: Goldie Locks and the Digital Camera

How to Get the Light Right!

  • Auto Presets Vs
  • PASM --Taking Control
  • AE-L (Exposure Lock) and AF-L (Focus Lock)
  • Exposure Compensation

Big Tip --Nota Bene!

ETTR (Expose to the right) in the Camera
ETTL (Exposure to the left) in Lightroom (Software)

The Afternoon Shoot:
A Photography Safari in and around the Campus

Before you shoot… a check list

Applying Photo Techniques in and around the Clark College Campus

What to shoot? Try the following...

    • Apply the techniques and settings learned in class…
  1. Shoot a "landscape"
  2. Shoot a street scene "portrait"
  3. Take a photo of a classmate photographing
  4. Take a closeup of a flower, a tree, the ground…
  5. Pretend you are an alien, you have one hour to photograph…
  6. Shoot from different perspectives: Low, High, at an angle…
  7. Some more Photography Tips General Suggestions

Another Nota Bene: Be prepared!

  • Put the camera in Program Mode (It's automatic, but you can take charge and over ride the settings)
  • Alternatively, put the camera in Aperture Priority, use the mid f/stop for your lens (usually around f/8)
  • Always verify the shooting mode when shooting a new subject

Afternoon Computer Session:
What to do with the photos

--The Work Flow

Now that you have pictures, what do you want to do with them?

There is a large variety of image processing software. Your camera should come bundled with a an image enhancing program. Below I have listed a few alternatives.

I use Lightroom & Photoshop...

The software listed below will:

  • Connect you with Facebook, Printerst, Google+, Flickr, Smugmug and more...
  • Send e-mails
  • Make Slideshows and movies
  • Make Books, cards and prints
  • Make websites and more!

Windows Software

Mac Software

Image Processing Check List

  1. Down load and Archive
  2. Pick the Keepers
  3. Process the Images
  4. Analyze the Photo. Use the histogram and the Highlight and Shadow clipping indicators.
  5. Eliminate highlight clipping Set white balance first, then Exposure...
  6. Recovery: Recover details in the highlights
  7. Fill Light: Recover shadow details
  8. Blacks: Eliminate black clipping levels
  9. Brightness-Contrast: redistribute mid-tones around mid-gray
  10. Add Presence
  11. Fine tune the toning
  12. Target and Fine tune hue, saturation and Luminance
  13. Sharpen, If you only do one thing to your photos this is it. Sharpen
  14. Remove noise
  15. Crop to straighten horizons and eliminate distractions.
  16. Retouch, dodge and burn, lens correction, and add gradients if necessary.
  17. Move to Photoshop to merge with other photos, remove or add compositions.
  18. Archive Keepers
  19. Print it!
  20. Share

What to bring to class...

  1. Camera
    1. Interchangeable Lens Cameras
    2. Enthusiast Compact Cameras
  2. Empty Camera memory card. We are going to take a lot of photographs!
  3. Batteries. A fully charged battery should last all through the class.
  4. Manual and/or quick start guide for your camera.(see links in the left column)
  5. A USB card reader or USB cable for downloading photos from YOUR Camera to a Computer
  6. Lunch or Lunch money
  7. Dress for the weather, we will spend at least 1 hour outside.

Photo's from previous classes