Computer Learning Zone CLZ Access Excel Word Windows

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself

-Chinese Proverb
Home   Courses   Seminars   Templates   TechHelp   Fast Tips   Forums   Help   Contact   Join   Order   Logon  
Digital Photography 101 Handbook
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   15 years ago

This is the full text listing of one of our handbooks. There is a lot more to this handbook. The full-color screen shots have been removed for this page. This text is simply provided so that the search engines will index the course contents. This is so any customer searching for a topic can find what class it's covered in. If you are interested in more about information about our courses, click here for our complete course listing. For details on how to purchase a handbook, visit our handbooks page.

Digital Photography 101
Course Handbook Supplement

By Richard Rost

Published By
Amicron Computing
PO Box 1308, Amherst NY 14226 USA

First Printing 5/12/2005
Copyright 2005 by Amicron Computing
All Rights Reserved


Welcome to the 599CD Digital Photography 101 Handbook.

This handbook is designed to be a supplement to the full 599CD video course for Digital Photography 101. We recommend you use this handbook to follow along with the class videos. This handbook is not meant as a stand-alone study guide.

We do recommend that you watch the course videos one time through, paying attention to the lessons covered. Follow along with the course videos using this guide. Take notes on the pages where needed. Then, watch the videos a second time, practicing the examples yourself on your computer.

Table of Contents

Welcome 2
Table of Contents 2
Introduction 3
Lesson 1. Digital Photography Terms, Benefits 4
Lesson 2. Typical Camera Features 10
Lesson 3. Taking Pictures 26
Lesson 4. Copying Images to your PC 42
Lesson 5. Basic Photo Editing with Windows Paint 60
Lesson 6. Simple Page Layout with Microsoft Word 82
Lesson 7. Tips and Tricks 99
Review 100


Welcome to Digital Photography 101, brought to you by I am your instructor, Richard Rost.

Objectives for today’s class:

· Digital Photography Terms
· Benefits & Drawbacks of Digital Photography
· Features that are common to most Digital Cameras
· Taking Pictures with your Digital Camera
· Copying Pictures to your PC
· Basic Image Editing with Microsoft Paint
· Basic Page Layout with Microsoft Word
· Tips & Tricks

This is a beginner, introductory-level course. This is not a technical class, nor will we cover advanced photographic techniques. This is for the user who is new to digital photography.

In this class we will be using Microsoft Windows XP for our live-action videos – to cover such topics as transferring your pictures to your computer. However, the version of Windows you have does not matter.

Pre-Requisites: You should be familiar with Windows and have taken at least our Windows 101 courses so that you know how to move around in Windows, and can use your keyboard and mouse. We also recommend Windows 102 or 110, Windows 120, 121, Word 101, and Photoshop 101.

Lesson 1. Digital Photography Terms, Benefits

What is Digital Photography? Digital photography is capturing images in a digital format… essentially instead of using film, the computer inside the camera interprets images as a series of ones and zeros and stores them in its memory. You can use a camera or a scanner.

A pixel, short for “picture element” is a tiny square (or sometimes a dot) that is the smallest unit of your image. Digital photographs are made up of thousands of tiny pixels.

A bitmap image is an image composed of pixels. A vector image is made up of lines and curves. Digital photos are almost always bitmap images.

The quality of a digital photo is measured by its resolution. Resolution is normally measured by pixels across by pixels down. For example, the image shown here is 800 x 600, which means there are 800 pixels horizontally by 600 pixels vertically.

A MegaPixel is one million pixels (technically, since computers deal with powers of 2, a MegaPixel contains 1,048,578 pixels, but who’s counting?) If you take that 800x600 image, it contains 480,000 pixels… or about half a MegaPixel.

A camera that can take a Four MegaPixel image, for example, can take a picture that is 2272 x 1712 pixels in resolution. Obviously, the more MegaPixels a camera has, the bigger the images it will take. Remember, MegaPixels refer to the size of the images the camera can take… not the number of images it will store.

A camera that can take an image of 640 x 480 (about 0.3 MegaPixels) can take pictures that are OK for simple business graphics or for use on the Web. A camera that can take 1280 x 960 images (about 1.2 MP) will produce good 4x6 prints. A 2MP camera (1600 x 1200) will make good 5x7 prints. For decent 8x10 prints, you would need a 3MP or better camera. [Rick’s Note: personally, with the cost of digital camera’s coming down, I wouldn’t buy anything less than a 4MP camera.]

If you want to make good 8x10 prints, you should buy a 4MP or 5MP camera. [Rick’s Note: of course, you’ll also need a good quality inkjet printer. Don’t spend $500 on an excellent camera and then skimp on a $50 cheap-o printer.]

Benefits of Digital Photos. Once captured, a digital photo is in a format that is easy to share, edit, or print. One of the major benefits is that you can take nearly as many pictures as you want, and only save the few that you like. You don’t have to waste money on film for bad pictures.

You can easily insert digital photos into word processing documents, emails, or other applications. You can put digital photos on your Web site.

Digital photos can be easily edited and manipulated using software such as Windows Paint and Adobe Photoshop. You can make basic changes, such as removing red-eye, or even more advanced changes, like removing people from photos.

More benefits of digital photography:

· Digital saves you time and money as opposed to buying and developing film.
· Digital cuts down on toxic chemicals related to film development.
· No more waiting to finish a roll of film before getting your pictures.
· You can try different angles, settings, light levels, and see your results immediately.
· You can print only the pictures you want, while still saving thousands on CD.
· Some cameras make mini movies.
· You can see your pictures immediately on the LCD screen on your camera (if it’s so equipped).

Drawbacks of digital photography:

· Inexpensive digital cameras do not take better photos than 35mm film cameras
· You need at least a 4MP camera to produce a decent print at 5x7
· Most digital cameras have a long capture delay (time between shots)
· Only more expensive digital cameras can handle fast-motion photography (sports)
· Unless you buy a good printer, your prints won’t look as good as film
· Digital cameras are battery hogs; plan on buying rechargeable batteries
· Most digital cameras come with a basic lens. Look to spend more on pro-quality lenses.
· If you want lots of prints or big, high-quality prints, film is cheaper

Lesson 2. Typical Camera Features

In our lessons, we’re using a Kodak EasyShare camera, however the features we’re covering are common to most popular cameras. Since there are so many different types of cameras, covering all of their features would be impossible.

Most good digital cameras have an LCD ViewFinder which is a large screen on the camera to show your pictures. Drawback: they use a lot of power.

If you turn the LCD screen off, you can use the Optical ViewFinder to see your target. The Optical ViewFinder is essentially a hole straight through the camera that you look through.

Most digital cameras have a ready light. This is a light that tells you when it’s OK to snap a picture.

The flash button allows you quick access to change your flash settings: on, off, auto, etc.

The zoom buttons allow you to zoom in (Tighten) or zoom out (Widen) your field of view – get closer to or further from your target.

The delete button allows you to delete photos.

The menu button opens the on-screen menu system.

The control buttons allow you to navigate through the menu system – up, down, left, right, and OK.

The review button allows you to look at the images you’ve taken.

This is the lens. Be careful not to touch it with your finger.

This is the other side of the Optical ViewFinder.

Most cameras have a built-in flash unit. This is where the actual light of the flash comes from.

The self-timer light will flash to indicate when a picture is going to be taken with the timer feature.

The light sensor determines if there is enough light, and whether or not to use the flash if the camera is set to AUTO flash mode.

This camera has a microphone which is used for recording sound when making a mini movie.

This camera has a wrist strap attachment.

The accessory door hides your connections for your camera (AV, USB, memory card, etc).

Some cameras have a power port connection to allow for an external AC adapter. Note that most cameras do not let you charge the batteries using this port. This is just to run the camera in case your batteries die.

This camera has a tripod socket for attaching it to a tripod.

This camera also has a docking station socket.

Some docking port sockets might be hidden behind a sliding door.

Slide the door open then put it on the dock.

Take a moment now to locate your battery compartment.

Looking at the top of the camera, you should see your shudder button which is the button you press to take your shot. Press lightly to lock the focus, and press all the way to take the shot.

This camera has a mode dial to switch between different camera modes.

This camera has several different modes, including modes for sports photography, night shots, landscapes, close-ups, and video.

Most digital cameras today take flash memory cards. There are many different kinds. Just make sure to get a camera that takes one of these popular card formats (unless some new mainstream memory type comes out between the time this class is made – mid 2005 – and the time you are viewing this).

Inserting memory in your camera is very easy. Just open the hatch on your camera and insert the memory card. To remove it, you may need to push a little button to pop the card out.

How much memory do you need? That depends on the quality (size) of the pictures you’re taking, and how many shots you want to store in the camera at one time. As this chart shows, if you’re taking 3MP photos, you can store just over 200 shots on a 256 MB memory card. If you’ve got a 4MP camera, you can store just over 100 shots on the same card.

Open your battery compartment and insert your batteries.

Some cameras only have internal memory. Make sure you’re buying a camera that takes a standard memory card type!

Lesson 3. Taking Pictures

The next step is to turn your camera on.

With our Kodak EasyShare camera, we slide the action wheel from OFF…

…to the AUTO setting.

The first thing we see is that the date and time in this camera needs to be set (you’ll get this if you leave the batteries out of your camera for an extended period of time).

We will use the control button to navigate the camera’s menu. Push OK to select “set date and time.”

Using the control button, change the date and time accordingly.

Press the MENU button to bring up your on-screen menu.

Using the control button you can scroll up and down through the menu options.

One of the settings is picture quality. Make sure yours is set to Best for the best quality images. If you want to fit more lower-quality images in your camera, you can set this down lower.

Another feature is a date stamp that will appear on the images themselves.

Now come down to setup options and press OK.

On my camera, LiveView is set to OFF. Let’s turn it on. LiveView allows you to see your image on the LCD screen in real time. It eats up battery power, but I like it.

Using the control button, click on the OFF option, and then select ON.

You’ll receive a warning that LiveView shortens battery life. That’s OK.

With LiveView on, you should see whatever image is in front of your camera on your LCD screen.

When you’re ready to take a picture, press the shudder down lightly about half way. Two little boxes will line up on the center object, and try to focus on it.

When the camera has focused in on the center object, the boxes (image guides) will change color. Mine turn red. This means it’s OK to take the shot. Press the shudder button the rest of the way down.

You can review your pictures by pressing the review button.

Using the control button, you can scroll left and right through all of the pictures in the camera’s memory.

If you find a picture you don’t want, you can press the delete button to kill it.

You will be asked if you want to delete the current picture, all of the pictures in the camera, or just exit.

By default, your flash should be set to AUTO mode, which means the camera will decide whether or not to flash. To change this, press the FLASH button.

Pressing the flash button once should turn your flash off.

Notice the flash symbol in your camera window.

Press the flash button again for Red Eye mode, again, assuming your camera has this feature. To get rid of red eye, tell your subject that the flash will go off a couple of times – don’t blink!

Pressing the flash button again brings us back to auto flash.

If you can’t get physically closer to your subject, most cameras have a feature that let you zoom in or out.

Press and hold the “T” button to tighten in (zoom in) on your subject.

Press the “W” to widen out (zoom out) from the image.

Here you can see a license plate hanging on the wall of my office. I want to zoom in on it.

After holding down the “T” to zoom in, you can see how the image is now bigger on the screen.

Optical zoom involves a moving lens that physically changes the focal length of the camera. Images stay crisp. Digital zoom is just the computer in the camera “blowing up” the image with software. Images get blurry (and pixilated) when blown up digitally, as you can see here. The image gets grainy.

Get a camera with OPTICAL zoom. Don’t let them sell you a camera with only a digital zoom. Digital zoom is meaningless because you can always blow up images yourself digitally once you download them to your PC.

Lesson 4. Copying Images to your PC

There are four different methods for copying photos to your PC, depending on how your camera is equipped: direct connections, docking ports, memory card readers, or wireless transmission.

Direct connections are very popular. You plug a cable into your camera, and the other end into your PC. You run whatever software came with your camera, and you can copy your pictures that way. Direct connections are cheap, fast, and easy to setup and use. Some direct connection software allows for automatic transfer of the pictures, and even remote control of the camera (to snap pictures from your PC, for example).

Vendor-provided software, such as Kodak’s EasyShare software can be very helpful and have many great features. Please explore whatever software came with your camera!
Docking ports are devices that you set your camera down on, and the pictures will transfer to your PC, again via a cable connection. Docking ports just make it easy for you to connect your camera without having to plug it in to a cable. Some docking ports will also charge your batteries for you. The only downside is the added cost. It’s a luxury item.

Memory card readers offer you a way to simply take the card out of your camera, plug it into the card reader, and access your picture files directly. They’re very easy to setup and use. They’re very inexpensive (I think I paid $15 for mine and it supports all the major card formats). Your images show up on the card reader as another drive on your system – there is no special software you have to install and learn how to use (aside from the card reader drivers).

Some cameras also have a wireless feature. If you have a WiFi network in your home or office, your camera will transmit its pictures right to your PC. This is a feature usually only found in very expensive cameras.

For this class, we’re going to use the memory card reader method for bringing the files into our PC. You may feel free to use whatever method you have available, or prefer. Let’s take the memory card out of our cameras.

Now insert the card into your memory card reader.

Here’s a tip: you’ll get more speed from your card reader (the speed at which your files transfer to your PC) if you don’t have your card reader plugged into a USB hub. Plug it directly into your computer.

Now that the card is in the card reader and the card reader is plugged into the PC, let’s open up My Computer and find the card reader drive. Note that I’m using Windows XP, but the version of Windows you have shouldn’t matter for this example. Double-click on My Computer.

My Computer opens and shows you the drives that are available on your system.

Look in the section that says Devices with Removable Storage. See the “Removable Disk” which is drive letter D: on my machine? That’s the card reader.

Rick’s Tip: Your card reader might be a different drive letter. Some card readers even show up as multiple drive letters if they have different media slots.

Go ahead and double-click on the Removable Disk D: drive. That drive will open up.

My images are stored in the IM01CDPF folder. Your camera might store them in a differently named folder – you’ll have to poke around to find them (this is why I recommend you take my Windows 120 class first – knowing how to move around with files and folders really helps when managing camera images). Double-click on that IM01CDPF folder, or whatever folder your images are stored in.

My images folder opens. See all of the JPG image files? Your camera might save them in a different format.

Double-click on one of those image files, and the Windows Picture & Fax Viewer will pop up if you are using Windows XP, and if you don’t have any other picture viewer programs installed.

You can click on the buttons in the Picture & Fax Viewer to move to the next picture…

You can zoom in and out.

Rick’s Tip: This is a digital zoom. This is exactly what your camera does when it goes into digital zoom mode (not optical zoom). See why digital zoom in a camera is not important? You can do it yourself once the image is in your computer. Don’t get suckered into buying a more expensive camera with a huge digital zoom ratio. Optical zoom is the important one!

There are other buttons in here to rotate the picture, delete the picture, print it, and so on. It’s a typical picture viewer application. Feel free to take a few moments to familiarize yourself with it. When you’re done, go ahead and close it.

You can also view your pictures right in the Windows folder. On your toolbar, find this button…

Click on the button to drop down a menu. Select Thumbnails.

Notice how your list of files is now replaced with thumbnail (small) images.

If you can’t find that button, you can also click on View > Thumbnails from the menu.

Rick’s Tip: older versions of Windows may not have the Thumbnails option available.

I’m going to switch back to the first mode (the detail list) by clicking on View > Details.

Notice how the details list shows you the filename, size of the file, type of file it is, and the date the picture was taken. My camera date/time wasn’t set – so they all say 1/1/2000. Now I want to copy these files to my PC. I want to copy them to a folder on my Windows desktop. Let’s go to our desktop and make a folder. Right-click somewhere on your empty Windows desktop. Select New > Folder.

Type in a name for your folder. I’ll type in Pictures from Class.

Come back to your picture folder. Select Edit > Select All from your menu.

This will select (highlight) all of the files in this folder.

Now I’m going to click and drag them all up and drop them on my new folder.

Now, double-click on the Pictures from Class folder to open it, and you should see all of your pictures.

There they are!

Go ahead and close the Pictures from Class folder and return to your Removable Disk drive. Now that these files have all been copied to your computer, we can feel free to delete them. While they’re all still highlighted, right-click on them and select Delete. This will send them to the Recycle Bin.

Are you sure? Yep.

Now notice my memory card drive is empty. I can take it out of the card reader, stick it back in my camera, and go fill it up again with memories!

Now, close this folder and open up your Pictures from Class folder again that’s sitting on your desktop.

Your pictures should all be safe and sound in here.

Rick’s Tip: if for some reason your files didn’t copy over, don’t worry – they should be sitting in your Recycle Bin. In my Windows classes, I show you how to go into the Recycle Bin to resurrect files you accidentally deleted. We cover file management in Windows 120.

OK, let’s switch back to Thumbnail view…

If you decide you don’t want any of the images in this folder, you can click on it with your mouse and press DELETE on your keyboard, or you can right-click on it with the mouse and select Delete from the popup menu.

Now, if you decide you want to move this Pictures from Class folder somewhere else (say, when you’re done using this pictures for your current project) all you have to do is click and drag it to another folder. You can, for example, drag it to your My Documents folder.

If you have a CD-R drive (CD burner) you can right-click on your folder, select Send To and then click on your CD-R drive. I don’t have a CD-R drive in this PC (this is the computer that I record classes on, and I’m too cheap to put a burner in it… hey, I’d never use it!)

Rick’s Tip: since CDs hold about 640 Megabytes of data, what I like to do is to create a folder on my desktop called DUMP TO CDR. Every time I have some stuff (pictures, documents, etc.) that I want to keep, I drop it in the dump folder. Then once a week or so, I check to see how much crap is in there (just right-click on the folder and select properties and you’ll see the size of the whole folder). Then, once that folder is filled up to about 600 MB, I’ll burn it to CD. This saves on wasted discs.

Lesson 5. Basic Photo Editing with Windows Paint

Now that we have the images into our PC, we’re going to learn some real basic photo editing techniques with Microsoft Paint. Paint isn’t the greatest program to use for this, but it’s a program that everyone should have (it comes with Windows). For serious photo editing, I recommend Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Of course, I also recommend our Photoshop 101 course to learn how to use these fine products.

Rick’s Note: Now, Windows Paint takes a lot of criticism for being real simple and basic… and it is… but it’s one of those “little applications that could” that might just surprise you. I have Photoshop and I still load up Paint occasionally just to make simple little edits to photos… it’s not a bad little program, and its simplicity can sometimes be a major benefit! Take some time to explore Paint. You might just like it.

Let’s right-click on one of our image files and select Open With > Paint.

You will see your image load up in Paint.

Now, just in case you don’t see Paint as one of the available programs when you right-click on your image, you can also find Paint under Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint.

Now Paint loads up with a blank canvas – no picture is loaded. Click on File > Open…

Now we have to find the picture. It’s easy to find because it’s on the desktop in a folder… that’s why I like to leave stuff that I’m currently working with on the desktop, or at least in a folder sitting on my desktop. Click on the Desktop icon.

Double-click on the Pictures from Class folder.

Now, double-click on the image you wish to open.

And there we go… our image is again loaded up. So use whichever method works best for y you.

Let’s resize this image to make it smaller. We’ll lose some quality, but that’s OK.

Rick’s Tip: Let’s say we’re just going to use this image on our Web site, and it doesn’t have to be of super quality. In fact, for images on a web site or a simple printed business document, what you see on the screen is pretty much the quality you’re going to get. If it looks good enough on the screen while you’re editing it, you’re safe. It’s only for printing high-quality images on photo paper that you really need to make sure you retain as much of the original image’s size and quality as you can.

Click on Image > Stretch/Skew…

Let’s resize this image to 50% of it’s normal size. Change the horizontal and vertical to 50%. This is a good technique if you want to email this photo to someone also… you don’t want to send them a giant photo in their email (it will take forever and waste space in their inbox).

That will shrink the photo down to a more manageable size for class. Now, let’s get rid of some of the empty space around the edges of the picture. Find the little dot on the right side of the photo – in the center of the vertical side. Click and drag it in to the left. This will shrink up the picture by cropping off the right side.

We can do the same thing on the bottom.

Now, lets shift the whole photo – or at least the area we want to save – up and to the right. So, pick the Select tool.

Now, click and drag out a box around everything you want to keep.

Now, click and drag that section up and to the left – into the corner.

Now, click off that box somewhere – just click over to the right of the box so it un-highlights the box. Now, resize the image again by grabbing the dots on the side and bottom of the image like we did earlier. Grab the right dot…

And the bottom dot…

Let’s zoom in on the eyes of the woman on the right. She has the dreaded RED EYE! Click on the Zoom tool (looks like a magnifying glass).

Then, click on her head.

You can also optionally click on the 2x, 6x, or 8x zoom options on the bottom of the toolbar. I’ll click on 8x to zoom way in.
Use the scroll bars to scroll over to her head.

Notice you can also see the individual pixels that make up the image. Come over now and click on the Pencil tool.

Notice how if I just color them with the black pencil, they get really dark… almost too dark. Scary dark (sure, first demon-red eyes, now demon-black eyes! What’s up with that?)

It would be nice if I could pick up a shade of brown color that’s more realistic and closer to her eye color. Use the eyedropper (pick color) tool to pick up a color.

Let’s click on the brown we want to pick up…

That will make our foreground color brown. Now, the pencil will draw with that color. Go ahead and fix her eyes…

It might look a little weird when you’re still zoomed in, but it will look fine when we zoom back out. Click on the Zoom tool and select 1x.

Now her eyes look a lot better. Let’s put some text on our picture, with a rectangle behind it for some background color. Click on the rectangle tool.

Now, click and drag to draw a rectangle on your image.

Notice how it’s a transparent rectangle. Our text isn’t going to look very good inside that. Note, if you goof up, you can always undo your last edit by clicking on Edit > Undo. This will reverse your last action. Go ahead and undo that rectangle.

Now, come down to the bottom of the toolbar and select the middle rectangle option. This will draw a rectangle that’s filled in with the background color.

Now if I click and drag, notice that I get a rectangle with a black border and a white background. That’s because those are my current foreground and background colors.

Go ahead and undo that one as well. This time, let’s pick the colors we want. Down on the color palette on the bottom of the screen, left-click on black, and right-click on yellow. That will set the foreground and background colors accordingly.

Now draw your rectangle.

Now, click on the “A” text tool.

Click and drag to draw a box inside of your rectangle…

Now go ahead and type in your text.

You can change the font, the font size, the style, and so on…

You can click and drag on the text box to move it around. Just make sure you grab the edge of the box.

Notice how the box has a yellow background color. By default, text boxes are opaque with the currently selected background color. Click on this button to give your box a transparent background.

When you’re done editing the text box, just click off it somewhere else and the text will be placed into the picture.

Rick’s Tip: Note, once you click off the text, that’s it! Unlike Photoshop or some of the advanced graphics programs, text is placed into the image immediately. Your only options at this point would be to erase the text with the eraser tool (or cut it out), or to undo the text.

Now, let’s save this image with a new filename (so we don’t lose the original – which is our good, big photo). Click on File > Save As…

Now just give the photo a new filename…

I’ll add “wedding photo” on to the end of the old filename. Hit SAVE or ENTER. Close Paint and you’ll see that the new file is in your pictures folder.

Also, notice the new image is smaller (19k as opposed to 88k). That’s because we shrunk it down to 50% of its original size.

Lesson 6. Simple Page Layout with Microsoft Word

In lieu of a more professional graphic layout program like Microsoft Publisher, we can use Word to layout our images on the page, print them, etc. This is often handy if you want to layout a bunch of smaller pictures on a single page, crop them, resize them, etc. Again, like Paint, since most people have Word on their computers, this lesson is a step in the right direction for most people.

Rick’s Tip: Again, your camera or even your printer might come with really cool software that does a much better job of photo layout than Word. Again, please explore the software that came with your camera and printer! There could be some really cool features in there!

I’m going to begin by opening up Microsoft Word.

One way to insert pictures into your document is to click on Insert > Picture > From File…

This will open a dialog box that will let you select from a list of files on your hard drive. Find your pictures by clicking on Desktop…

Open your Pictures from Class folder…

Here’s an easier way. Arrange your windows side by side so you can see both Microsoft Word and your Pictures from Class folder on your desktop.

Now, click and drag one of your photos from the Pictures from Class window and drop it right on your Word document.

And now, your photo will appear in your Word document. A little easier than using the menu, eh?

Let’s zoom out so we can see the whole page. Click on the zoom box and select Whole Page.

Now see how we can view the entire page at once.

Let’s zoom back in a little bit… click on the same zoom box and pick 75%. You can resize the picture bigger or smaller by clicking on a corner and dragging it.

Now, if I try to move this picture around on the page, I can’t. Word is treating this image like it’s a character on the page – not as a free-floating image.

Rick’s Tip: I’m using Microsoft Word XP in class. Different versions of Word behave differently. If you can click and drag your photo around on the page, consider yourself lucky!

To fix this, right-click on the picture and select Format Picture.

Click on the Layout tab, and then click on In front of text. Click OK. This will make the image “float” over the text of the page (yes, I know there is no text, but it allows us to move the picture around exactly where we want it).

Notice how the picture is now free-floating (little dots at the corners instead of squares). You can now click in the center of the image and drag it to move the picture wherever you want on the page.

Rick’s Tip: In case you’re wondering, the little green circle is to rotate the picture. Click on it and drag left and right and you’ll see what I mean.

Let’s bring another picture into our document.

Let’s resize it…

Let’s make it float. Right-click on it, and select Format Picture…

Again, choose Layout tab, In front of text…

Click OK.

Now you can arrange these pictures however you like.

Now, let’s zoom back out to Whole Page. You can move these images around however you want to utilize the entire page… use as much of the paper as you can.

Rick’s Tip: I didn’t mention it in the video at all, but you can feel free to use the horizontal and vertical rulers to size your pictures how you want them to print. For example, if you know you want to make 5x7 prints, try to line your pictures up with the ruler marks for 5” and 7” respectively. I always aim to make the pictures a little bigger than I think I need – you can always cut them down to size after you print them out.

Let’s turn on the Picture toolbar for some extra fun stuff. Right-click on either one of your toolbars and select Picture from the list.

The Picture toolbar appears.

Rick’s Tip: On my screen it’s a floating toolbar. On yours, it might be “docked” with the other toolbars or at the bottom of your window. You can also turn it on by clicking on View > Toolbars > Picture.

Using the picture toolbar you can easily handle that text-wrapping problem we learned how to deal with earlier. Just click on your picture, click on the little dog icon on the picture toolbar, and select In front of text just like we did earlier.

You can change a picture to grayscale, black and white, washout (like a watermark) using the Color button…

You can adjust the contrast and brightness of the image using the Contrast and Brightness buttons There are four buttons to increase and decrease the contrast and brightness respectively. Float your mouse over the buttons for an explanation of what they do.

There is a Crop button to crop the sides off pictures. Just click on the crop button.

You’ll notice odd crop marks appearing on the corners and sides. Just click on a side (for example) and drag it in. The edge of the picture will be cropped off.

Click off the picture to save your cropping. You can rotate the picture with the Rotate button. I’m not going to demonstrate it. Go ahead and play with it yourself.

You can put a border around the picture with the Line button.

Notice the nice new border.

Let’s bring more pictures into our document. You can select multiple pictures by clicking on one, and then holding the Control key (on your keyboard) down. Select a few pictures, and then drag them into your Word document.

Now, on each of these pictures, click on them and select In front of text on the Picture toolbar to make them all float over the page.

Once you adjust them all, you can resize them and move them all around on the page.

To print your document out, just click on the Printer icon on your toolbar. I prefer to click on File > Print.

Lesson 7. Tips and Tricks

Don’t bother with flash for objects more than 15 feet away. You’re just wasting battery power. Your flash isn’t strong enough to light that up.

Turning the camera on and off uses more power than just leaving it on. If your camera has a SLEEP mode (most good ones do) just press the shudder lightly to wake it up.

Batteries like to be stored at room temperature. Too hot will drain them (or make them explode). Too cold might cause condensation which could wreck them (or your camera). If it’s too hot/cold for you, it’s too hot/cold for your batteries.

Always carry extra memory cards and a spare battery… especially if you’re on vacation! If you have a laptop with a card reader – bring it.

Try taking the same shot from multiple angles with a variety of light sources from different directions. You can always delete the ones you don’t like.

Rick’s Tip: Always save all of your images… you don’t need to delete them. Just save them all and dump them to a CD-R for storage. You never know when you might want more pictures from a particular day. Even if they’re bad shots, you might want them later. I save everything, unless it’s a wrecked shot (flash off a mirror; finger on the lens, etc.)

How much should you spend on a camera? Figure out how much money you’re currently spending in a year on regular photos (film, developing, etc.) and that’s a good round estimate. Also, don’t forget to budget for good software and training for that software (of course, you know where to go!)

Focus lock is that feature we talked about earlier where you hold the shudder button down about half way, the camera locks the focus on the center image, and then you snap your picture. You can use this technique to offset the center image! For example, if you have little Billy standing in front of Niagara Falls, hold the shudder button down to lock the focus on Billy, then once the focus is locked you can move Billy to the side of the frame, to get more of Niagara Falls in the shot… but the focus will stay locked on Billy.

Rick’s Tip: This is one of those more advanced photo techniques that we’ll cover in more depth in a future lesson – but I just wanted to mention it here because it’s a pretty cool trick.


Review topics.

· Digital Photography Terms
· Benefits and Drawbacks of Digital Photography
· Common Camera Features
· Taking Pictures
· Copying Images to your PC
· Basic Editing with Microsoft Paint
· Basic Layout with Microsoft Word
· Tips & Tricks

Tell us what you think. Log on to and take a short survey about this course.

RICK’S NOTE: I really do enjoy getting surveys from you! Make sure you visit the web page above and fill out the survey for this class. Let me know if I’ve moved too fast, and whether or not I covered material that was helpful to you!

Take your skills check quiz at If you pass, you can print out a Certificate of Completion.

What’s next? Visit for our complete list of courses.

Need Help? Visit for technical assistance.

Make sure you’re on our Mailing List. Go to for details.

Contact Us. If you have any questions, go to for information on how you can contact us by phone, email, or live online chat.

Don’t forget to visit our User Message Forums online at: You can chat with our instructors, other users, and even Richard too. You can ask us all of your questions, get answers, and tell us what you thought of our class.

This course, handbook, videos, and other materials are copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Amicron Computing. All rights reserved. No portion of this course, handbook, videos, or other course materials may be reproduced, copied, edited, or otherwise distributed without the express written permission of Amicron Computing. Amicron Computing shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this document.

This document may not be used as part of a training course without express, written permission from Amicron Computing and the purchase of an Instructional License. For details, contact:

Amicron Computing
PO Box 1308
Amherst NY 14226 USA

Start a NEW Conversation
Only students may post right now. Click here for more information on how you can set up an account. If you are a student, please LOG ON first.

Access - index
Excel - index
Word - index
Windows - index
PowerPoint - index
Photoshop - index
Visual Basic - index
ASP - index
My Account
My Courses
Lost Password
Student Databases
Change Email
Latest News
New Releases
User Forums
Topic Glossary
Tips & Tricks
Search The Site
Code Vault
Collapse Menus
Customer Support
Web Site Tour
Consulting Services
Affiliate Program
Richard Rost
Free Lessons
Mailing List
Video Tutorials
Learning Connection
Idiot's Guide to Excel
Volume Discounts
Payment Info
Terms of Sale
Contact Info
Support Policy
Email Richard
Mailing Address
Phone Number
Fax Number
Course Survey
Blog RSS Feed    Twitter

YouTube Channel    LinkedIn
Keywords: digitalphoto handbook digital photography  PermaLink