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Digital Photography: A Basic Manual Paperback – 3 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown US; 1 edition (3 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316020745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316020749
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

From America's most respected and bestselling photography instructor, a comprehensive and visually stunning guide to capturing, editing, and printing beautiful digital photographs.

About the Author

Henry Horenstein is a widely published and exhibited professional photographer and the author of more than two dozen books, including the classic texts Black & White Photography, Beyond Basic Photography, and Color Photography. Horenstein is a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he has taught for more than twenty years. He lives and works in Boston, MA

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Kevin Morgan on 19 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book has all the basics. It's a bit tedious going through what you already know to eventually arrive at stuff that's new. But it's fine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Equally engaging and informative, whether for the beginner, or more seasoned digital photographer looking to improve technique. 16 Jan 2012
By Autumn Blues Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Digital Photography: A Basic Manual I feel teaches more than the basics when it comes to the DSLR, DSLRs, or the hybrid cameras on the market. There were a few times I found myself having to go over chapters again to clarify things, not because the book is not well written, but because there are some aspects of digital photography that can be quite confusing. For example, when it comes to lenses and their focal, length, and angle of view of different lenses it can be quite time consuming if you would like to learn more than the basics. For me, these were some pages in the book I just could not quickly skim through without some confusion.

The introduction of this book has a Quick Start Guide which is helpful for those who have never used a digital camera before. From there you move on to Chapter 1: Digital Capture, which lists the different types of cameras available on the market. This part of the chapter then goes into more details on different types of cameras while covering some specifics of each type of camera. Then the main focus turns to the digital camera itself. Specifics then covered on the digital camera are the image sensor, pixels and image processor. You are also given basic information on setting up a digital camera and you are taught about file formats, image sizes, white balance and miscellaneous camera settings your camera may or may not have. It continues into memory cards, types and speed, and transfer rates. This section on memory cards I found interesting and helpful, especially the information about how memory cards come in different classes and how they are rated according to their speed, also called data transfer rate. All of which affects how fast a memory card can capture a picture or how fast the card can transfer photos to a computer. This chapter ends with miscellaneous camera capture equipment and trouble shooting.

Chapter 2: Camera Lenses, begins with information on the camera lens itself and its focus and auto-focus capabilities, including its reaction to low-light, reflective surfaces, snow, sand and sky, close-ups and the also the manual focus mode. This was another chapter that helped me by teaching me why my camera behaves the way it does when in auto-focus mode during certain times. This instilled in me more confidence now to switch to manual focus and use it more often when my needs are not met with auto-focus. In the next topic, Exposure, I learned about aperture, exposure, and f-stop. Here I learned the most commonly available f-stops which include whole f-stops, and full f-stops. It also goes into more complicated lens aperture changes, partial f-stop, half f-stop and third f-stop. One important aspect I learned here was that a lens is described (mm on a lens) according to its widest f-stop. This is the widest it can open, which explains why fast lenses are the most expensive lenses on the market due to their large aperture. Another thing to keep in mind is also the higher the number of your lens the smaller the lens opens. The chapter continues with disadvantages and advantages of different size lenses and with minimal instructions on setting f-stops due to the wide variations in cameras. The information after this point gets a little more complicated with the focal lengths and millimeter sizes of zoom lenses and prime lenses describing normal, wide angle and telephoto lenses and how an optical measurement of a focal length is determined.

These were only the first couple of chapters in this book, which should give you an idea that this book has a lot of information in it. The title can be misleading to one who thinks they know everything there is to know about photography, may have missed learning some basics along the way, or might need a refresher in some aspects of digital photography. Because of this I would recommend Digital Photography: A Basic Manual to anyone, whether you just received your first digital camera or you have had one for years and would like to improve your digital photo taking abilities. Overall, I enjoyed reviewing Digital Photography and learned many important aspects of that I benefited from and will help me be a better photographer.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
BookHounds [...] 13 Nov 2011
By Mary Bookhounds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Digital Photography is a wonderful way to get acquainted with your digital camera or if you plan on buying a new one, it will help you decide which is best for you. I plan on buying something more than the point and shoot that I currently own, so this book is very timely. It explains exactly what all those numbers mean and how to get the most of your camera even if it is a point and shoot, something a lot of photography books don't mention. It not only goes into detail about what settings to use on your point and shoot, but how to get the most out of it. The chapter on lighting is priceless since it will help you find the best angle and light direction to get the best picture even before you click on the shutter button.

Each chapter combines graphs, diagrams and photographs to help you figure out what to do in each situation to get the best picture. It is easy to follow and the steps are spelled out so easily that you can remember them when you don't have this guide to help you. If you plan on buying a camera or gifting one, get a copy of this book to go along with it since it will make that gift even more valuable.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Useful & Easy Information For Amateur Photographers 13 Nov 2011
By M. G. Gagliano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love reading books about photography. As someone who still calls myself an amateur photographer even after three paid gigs and published photos I feel you can never know enough about taking pictures. I also like the basic approach. This book wasn't too far over my head and could be read and understood by the most amateurish of photographers. What I liked the most was the real "english" way the author tells us how to use your camera. Also, he reiterates something I have been telling people forever, a camera doesn't take a photo, a person does. With the right skills, you can take a great picture with any camera. Loved the section on F stops (still working on those) and the section on lightening. Great resource for photographers and amateur photographers.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Digital Picture Perfect! 30 Dec 2011
By The Paperback Pursuer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback

Digital Photography: A Basic Manual is the camera enthusiast's best friend. It is a full-color guide with textbook quality pages and images that teaches camera usage basics- no matter the type of digital camera owned. There are chapters about each basic camera function including: Digital Capture, Camera Lens, The Shutter, Camera Exposure, Subject Lighting, Scanning, Image Editing, Printing and Other Outputs, which show the reader how to get the most out of their digital camera experience.


When I saw this title up for review I had to give it a try, especially since I just finished taking Intro to Digital Photography. My one qualm about the textbook I used for the class was that it lacked detail and often jumped around from point to point without any real flow. But Henry Horenstein's manual is all-inclusive and full of pictures, diagrams, and tables that aide in the comprehension of the material. The steps and examples are easy to follow and full of tips for both the tech-illiterate and the camera savvy, making this book a must have for any camera owner who wants to make their camera skills sharper and their photos more amazing. I really enjoyed the chapters on lighting and image editing and will definitely be using this book as a reference when I am out and about taking photos. I will recommend this book to my photography professor as well as anyone interested in taking a better pictures or learning about digital photography in general. This book is one of the best camera resources that I have read to date.

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from Little, Brown and Company (Book Blogs) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Read this Book and turn off Auto exposure forever- P is not for Professional! 28 Nov 2012
By Sweet Metis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a BFA in Photography from SCAD, and I've been an active photographer for more than 15 years. Recently a good friend of mine asked me to teach her about photography and create a photo curriculum for her self study. Henry Horenstein authored many of the books I referenced when I took intro classes many years ago, so I was very happy to find this contemporary intro level text geared toward digital photography.

The book covers the basic intro level information that one would expect- lens focal length, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed, equivalent exposure, basic lighting principles, ect. The book omits film and darkroom techniques, instead focusing on info relevant to digital photography- custom functions of the digital SLR, uploading and file management, editing, printing, ect.

As with Horenstein's other books, the content was clearly written and easy to understand. If you are brand new to photography and are looking for a good overall manual that will teach you how to use your digital SLR and how to get out of the "P for Professional" mentality, then this book is for you.
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