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Photography (Eyewitness Companions) Paperback – 3 Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (3 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405310766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405310765
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 971,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Photographer, author, and broadcaster. A specialist in travel and digital photography, he is the author of 26 books on photography and video including the best-selling Digital Photographer's Handbook published in twenty languages and sold over half a million copies. He is now busily creating eBooks - see to download a free e-book, and buy others.

And look out for his latest: 'Photography - the definitive visual history' is a lavish and rich history of photography from a fresh perspective. Due out October 2014.

His 'Digital Photography Masterclass' was named The Crème De La Crème of the Top Digital Imaging Books of 2008 by Shutterbug and Best How-to Book of 2008 by Library Journal. He won the Thomas Cook Award for Best Illustrated Travel Book for his book on the Marco Polo Expedition.

He presented two ground-breaking six-part series 'A Digital Picture of Britain' and 'Britain in Pictures' for BBC and an eight-part series for Channel News Asia, Singapore in 2009 (Bronze at the New York Film & TV Awards).

He was Technical Editor of 'Camera' magazine; editor of 'Photography' magazine; Picture Editor of 'The Sunday Correspondent Magazine'. He held the post of Senior Lecturer in photographic practice at the University of Westminster for 12 years. He was a pioneer of academic links to the Former Soviet Central Asia, leading a Know How Fund project for journalism in Kyrgyzstan. He is a founding member of the World Photographic Academy and was for many years the photography chair for the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition Workshops and been a jury member on Wildlife Photography Competition and Czech Press Photo.

He was born in Singapore and now lives in New Zealand.

See more of his work at
Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Ang
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Photostream on Flickr:

Product Description

About the Author

Tom Ang was Senior Lecturer in Photographic Practice at the University of Westminster, London for over 12 years. He has also worked as a technical and picture editor for specialist magazines. His own photography - both digital and traditional - has been widely exhibited. He has contributed regularly to leading magazines and won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his photographic coverage of the Marco Polo Expedition. Tom is also the author of Digital Photographer's Handbook and Digital Photography. He lives in London.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. F. Sturdy on 13 May 2011
Format: Paperback
A very informative book and helped with many aspects of getting the best out of your photography and understanding your camera. It certainly helped me understand the history and evolution of the photograph.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A wide angle view of photography 17 July 2007
By bsg2004 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was pleasantly surprised that this book was able to cover a number of aspects of photography, both historical and technical. As always, do not expect a 340 page book to cover everything, especially if it is taking a wide-angle view of photography.

The book starts with a 40-page chapter spotlighting some of the most famous photographers, spending 1 to 2 pages per photographer, in alphabetic order so as not to appear to be a ranking. The usual names are there: Ansel Adams, Anne Leibovitz, Raghu Rai, R. Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Haas, List, Bourke-White, Diane Arbus, etc.

Another 40-page chapter tries to cover the history and the story of photography. In text and in pictures. Again, do not expect a comprehensive history in just 40 pages of text and pictures.

Next there is a big 80 page segment covering photographic tools. It covers cameras of all sorts (film, digital, etc), lenses, computer software, basic coverage of image manipulation and post-processing, darkroom, and more equipment and technology related topics.

For those who want to time the book based on the cameras pictured in the magazine here they are: Olympus E20, Minolta G600, Ricoh Caplio RZ1, Fji F810, Olympus C70 (I think UK model #), Sony CD500, Pentax *ist D, Leica Digilux 2 (Leica version of Panasonic LC1).

Following up is a 45-page segment that talks about the photographic aspects of learning, such as composition, exposures, filter effects, lens effects, color, light, etc. Again, do not expect a thorough explanation of each topic. For example, Exposure alone has a whole book devoted to it by Bryan Peterson Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition).

Following that there is a 70-page segment covering most of the common photography tasks: travel, portraits, pets, landscapes, kids, gardens, nude, art, architecture, etc, etc.

The book ends with a 20-page chapter that I call "Taking it to the next level" (going pro, exhibitions, commercial photography).

On the resource segment of the book there is a glossary (6 pages), a diagnosing problems segment (5 pages) [eg why did i get a thin flat negative?], and an 8-page directory of photography clubs around the world, various websites divided by topic, along with photographic competitions.

The book ends with the obligator Index (6 pages) and 2 pages of acknowledgements of the pictures used in the book.

Overall I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that such a tiny book (344 pages but smaller size) was able to offer such a wide-angle view of photography. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn as much about photography from a single book. This is not a step-by-step how-to book however, and if someone wants a more step by step how-to book, the Dummies or Kiss type of books may be more helpful and less intimidating for them. However as a general introduction to photography this is one of the most nicely composed (pun intended) books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Photography 29 Oct 2009
By Barney Considine - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of one of Dorling Kindersley's "Eyewitness Companions" series. The cover says that it covers equipment, techniques, digital imaging, and projects. Actually, that is only the second half of the book. The reader receives a bonus in that the first half covers the history of photography and the elements that separate good photography from snapshots.

The publisher has managed to package over 340 very nice looking pages into a remarkably small volume. There are a great many photos, well presented on slick paper. The book is only 4 ¾ inches by 8 ½. That limits the size of the prints, but still the detail is sufficient to illustrate the points that the author is making.

And there are many such points. The book covers a broad range of subjects and often goes into considerable detail. Admittedly, there are limitations. A good photographic shop will offer several books covering any one of the Tom Ang's seven chapters. However, he has done a noteworthy job of efficiently packaging information. All but professional photographers should find sufficient new ideas to inspire them in experimenting and seeking other sources to improve their skills.

The book starts by introducing the reader to some forty of the world's most influential photographers. Some readers will find that a little dry, but by the end of the book they will understand the value of starting with the various skills, creative thought, and viewpoints that expert photographers (actually, photographic artists) bring to their work. The book concludes with suggestions for selling your photographs and gives us pointers on what sells in various markets and what may limit success.

Most amateur photographers work in color and the coverage is strongest in that area, although there is some information on digital and black and white photography as well. In particular, the digital coverage is the weakest. That is understandable since the digital world is so broad and is still changing rapidly. Even so, digital photographers like me will find useful information on what constitutes quality photographs and how they are achieved in the field. I found the book valuable on the first reading and it will be useful for future reference.

The book covers a broad range of photographic types; portraits, animals, events, documentary, children, travel, landscapes, plants and gardens, nudes, architecture, and photographic art. In each case, the author suggests techniques for getting quality results. Often he leads us through a point-by-point analysis of an actual photograph.

This is a good book for the photographic hobbyist, or the aspiring professional. The author tells us that; "There is no doubt that reaching the top in the world of photography calls for total dedication (if not obsession), hard work, true creative talent, plus a good dose of luck. But there are plenty of ways in which you can get more satisfaction out of your hobby that do not require quite the same level of endurance and investment in effort." I have known that my knowledge of aperture, exposure, and composition needs work. This book gives me a boost toward accomplishing that effort. Hopefully, the book will give other readers the incentive and information to get greater enjoyment from their work as well.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fun even for nonphotographers! 3 July 2008
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me confess. . . . I am not a photographer. I will occasionally use someone else's camera to take a picture on their behalf. But I don't do many shots on my own for myself. I actually bought this book for someone else in the family, but could not resist picking it up and taking a look, since I do enjoy this series (Eyewitness Companions). And, boy, did I enjoy taking a peek inside this volume.

The book begins by noting that, literally, photography means "writing with light," a rather apropos term, given what a picture can say. Tom Ang's introduction goes on to note that (Page 12): To contemplate the true extent of [photography's] social reach and cultural impact is awe-inspiring."

The first substantive part of the book is probably my favorite--mainly because it focuses on great photographers rather than more "technical" issues. Here, we are introduced to Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus (The picture is not included here, but take a look in one of her collections with that famous picture of Ozzie and Harriet! It's unbelievable), Andre Kertesz, Annie Leibovitz (all those photos of hers focusing on rock and roll!), Alfred Stieglitz, and so on. And Margaret Bourke-White sitting on the Chrysler Building taking a photo still takes my breath away! Very brief consideration of each, but for a nonexpert, it's enjoyable to get a sense of the person and an example or two of their art. There follows a history of photography, from camera obscura to digital technology, which I also find fascinating.

Then, on to more technical issues. Real pros will not find this terribly useful, but for amateurs and "wanna-bes," this would probably prove helpful. Among issues discussed: tools of photography, working with digital images, the elements of photography, taking successful photos, and so on.

Again, for the person who wants a general introduction to photography, to place photography in context, this is a good start.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book for new lovers of photography... 25 April 2009
By Learning All The Time - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fascinating and instructive on so many levels. This is more like an encyclopedia on photography - a survey book that is chock full of ideas for further exploration.

My favorite sections were:

"Gallery of Photographers"-- I loved reading about the photographers Ang selected for his gallery - there is considerable diversity in his choices - nature photographers, documentary photographers, fashion photographers, etc....

"Story of Photography" --fascinating, not just the technical history but also the history of how photography has been used...

"Elements of Photography" -- standard advice about composition, color, light, exposure, etc..., but what makes this section particularly interesting are the two page spreads of a single photograph that has 5-6 sections highlighted and analyzed. There are a handful in this chapter. I would love to see an entire book with Ang's commentary like this, of his own photos, of amateur photos, and even of some of the photographs in the gallery...

and "Taking Successful photographs" - Advice about how to take certain types of pictures, portraits, travel, macros, nudes, landscape, etc... I know there are whole books about how to take macro photographs, for example, but this survey approach will be very helpful to those who want enough information to feel confident exploring multiple genres. This chapter also contains a handful of photos with analysis.

Finally, there are hundreds of incredible, inspirational photos in this book. Highly recommended for general browsing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great well rounded Photography book 13 April 2009
By MISHARY A. RESHAID - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a truly amazing book. The quality of print, paper and dust jacket are all top notch. The material itself is, well.....pretty amazing.

It talks about the history of Photography, names some of the greats in Photography's history with some really cool stories about them plus the inventors of the camera, tons of information and technical terms gradually easing into the digital age of the 21st century. I've been a photographer for almost two years now and this book blew my mind away with plenty of cool and fun information and ideas. I think no matter what kind of Photographer you are, you will really love this book as I do now.
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