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on 28 September 2006
There are lots of big shiny books out there that tell you all about digital photography and while many of these are great books, they can be a little intimidating too.

Scott Kelby, author of many of the better photography boooks out there has now come up with the antidote. The Digital Photography Book is a mere 200 odd pages and is just slightly bigger than A5 in size yet contains a whole lot of useful information that will almost certainly improve anyone's photography.

Each page is a self-contained tip or concept, often with an inspiring image for illustration. The text is rarely more than a paragraph or two yet manages to get important and useful stuff covered concisely and clearly.

Taking for instance, a chapter on tips for getting sharp pictures. You get a page for tripods, ballheads, cable releases, self-timers, mirror lockup (for really sharp pictures), Image stabalization, aperature, lens quality, ISO, sharpening, pro-sharpening and steadier hand held shots. All in a few pages and without leaving you feeling short changed.

The rest of the book continues with coverage of flower photography, weddings, landscapes, portraits and so on. Unlike many digital photography books, the bulk of the information presented is aimed at getting the original photos right, not in fixing things in Photoshop. Best of all, as the cover notes, much of it applies to point-and-click cameras as well as Digital SLRs.

Another useful (albeit potentially expensive) side effect of this book is the discovery of all sorts of interesting accessories you could or indeed should be considering. Things like flashguns and tripods are pretty obvious but things like spirit levels, extension tubes and neutral density filters may be news to some. Certainly, for landscape photography, a graduated nuetral density filter is a must have.
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on 23 December 2010
Firstly... I love this book (or series of books!).

Having read some of the 1* reviews I felt the need to comment.

There is no doubt at all that this book WILL improve your digital photographs, and at the end of the day... that's all it sets out to do. The overall style of the book is very well written. Each page has a tip in it's own right, and you fly through it (I've read it twice making notes the second time!)

To comment on some of the critics;

1) R.e. the humour. Yes, the jokes are quite bad. But he knows they're quite bad, and even says they're quite bad and have to be tolerated. That's the whole point. Cracking an unfunny joke in the chapter intro doesn't make the tips following it any less interesting/relevant/good. He even says at the beginning... "Skip the chapter intros if you find my humour cringe-worthy" (I'm paraphrasing but you get the point). If you don't like it, and go on to read it, more fool you.

2) R.e. the brand plugging. The book is designed to make your photos look like a professional photographers photographs. Professional photographers use Nikon or Canon. If you want your photos to look like pros, you SOMETIMES need to buy Pro Equipment. If a professional photo was possible with an Olympus Point & Click, why would pros not just use Olympus Point & Clicks? You wouldn't buy a book called "How to drive around Silverstone at the same speed as a Pro Driver" then complain because it didn't tell you how to do it in a Ford Fiesta?! There is even a paragraph in which Scott points out why he uses Nikon & Canon as examples so much (far more eloquently than I just did!).

3) R.e. the 2nd & 3rd books. Due to the overwhelming success of this book, people emailed Scott and asked him to give them more details on [whatever], so he went about writing a sequel. That's it. There's no... "Leave out information so I can sell another book later", the man is giving you trade tips and hints, people wanted to know more, so he released another book. Very cynical approach to assume he deliberately worsened his first book to enable him to sell a sequel. What if the first hadn't have sold at all. Besides which... they're less than £7 each. That's £21 for all three. Value for money is incredible. Get a grip!

I think if the people that don't like this book had perhaps read the back before purchasing they would understand the whole concept of the book. Highly HIGHLY recommended. There's is no doubt that reading this book WILL improve your digital photos, and that's all you can really ask of him.
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on 3 December 2006
If you are stepping up to to digital SLR photography and want to know the absolute essentials in as easy a format as possible, together with plenty of illustrations, then this book is for you.

Each individual page addresses an issue or technqiue related to the theme of the chapter. For instance, the chapter 'Shooting Landscapes Like a Pro' has pages entitled 'how to show size', 'why you need a wide-angle lens', 'where to put the horizon line' and so on.

The pictures are of subjects that illustrate the topic in hand, or of buttons on the common cameras, or screenshots of settings menus. In this book you are rarely, if ever, confronted by a page full of nothing but text.

This book is a joy to read and one to which I will regularly refer - and I'm now ready, after some practice, to read some of the larger, more technical books.
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on 4 September 2008
Ok, I read the reviews, I umm'ed and ahh'ed and finally decided that having spent months trying to choose a camera, lens and accessories, buying a book really shouldn't be this difficult and just ordered both 1 & 2 together.
Yep, when you've been bombarded with strange numerical equations and figures after first delving into photography, someone who sounds like they're laughing at you and refusing to take you seriously is a pain in the backside and you want to throw their stupid book straight into the bath and kick it, or that could just be me.
However, after the first few pages of 'introduction' you do get down to the serious stuff. Kelby manages to cover every angle you possibly have a question about when you first begin using a DSLR and really speeds up your learning process. His tips are sometimes so simple and yet would have taken a lot of trial and error for one to come across, that's why it's useful that it's all there in one book.
Macro photography and flowers
Light (indoor/outdoor)
Animals etc.
Even though you may not be interested in every chapter, you will have a use for all of the different things that they teach you and it is a very easy read. I most appreciate the fact that I can just dip into this book without reading anything previous to the paragraph I need. That's what makes this book really useful.
Feel free to top up your knowledge with other books or Google as I do but this is a great on hand, light reference to take round with you and use when you need it.
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on 10 February 2007
Some of the reviews posted seem put out that there is not enough information contained, it can be finished in one sitting and that other books are much better ie more technical. Personally I can't understand where these people are coming from. The author states that this is not a technical book, it won't go into the science behind exposure and depth of field etc rather if you want a certain type of shot you get told the settings to use ie keep it simple. So if you are new to photography and want a point in the right direction on how to start achieveing some decent results then this is a great book. I would only recommend this book to someone who knows nothing or little about photography, if you are already an expert then don't buy it. As for the references to photoshop that others complain about, well if you haven't got it you should have, it is an excellent program that can do all sorts to help sort out mistakes in your pictures (I've only got elements - it's enough for me).

In all it's a great book to get you started and yes you will still need to practice but at least you'll know where to begin!
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on 19 February 2010
I was browsing one of the big chain bookstores and flipped through this book starting at the back, as I often do. It made a difference in me deciding to buy it, because the back is full of simple explanations of how to achieve certain shots. I didn't notice the 'humour' that other people complain about in their reviews here. If I had started at the front, which has endless lame jokes and zero information, I would have passed on buying it.

Despite using a DSLR for about 5 years and being a Photoshop user for twice that, I discovered lots of useful tips that will make a big impact on how I take photos. I found out why my flower shots are dull. I learnt why most of my forest shots have failed. It never occurred to me panoramics should be shot with the camera in a portrait position. I've never put much thought in the paper used for my prints, but I will now.

Some of the tips though are very basic and the one tip per page approach means the overall content is a bit low for a book of this length. What I've done is made a bulletpoint list to use in the field, then flog the book on as it has a high resale value.

Another gripe about the book is how many of the illustrative shots have been bought through royalty-free websites. This means those photographers have earned a few measly dollars to have their work featured in what trumpets itself as 'the best-selling photography book of all time.' If your photos are good, you deserve good prices for them and it's a shame the author chose to go cheap.
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on 5 February 2010
This book is aimed squarely at the beginner however even the more experienced photographer is likely to find a few useful tips contained within.

Firstly a caveat to this review - why I gave it 4 stars and not 5. Unfortunately, the book contains a great deal of Scott Kelby's humour padding out the pages. Some may find the friendly tone helpful, others (such as myself) will find this unnecessary. Either the editor should have made the book smaller with less pages or asked Scott to include more tips.

With that out of the way, I can honestly say this book is generally excellent throughout. Most of the advice given in this book is sound, the American slant on sources of equipment will be of little use to International readers, but everything else is great.

For new Digital SLR users this book is probably required reading. Users of Compact Digital cameras will not gain as much, though a large amount of the advice is common to either camera type. Compact users may find the improvement in skills and technique this book offers gives them to confidence to advance to using a Digital SLR. A note of caution, SLR photography can get expensive in a hurry!

One part of the book worth singling out for particular praise is "The Recipe for getting this type of Shot" section. Flick through the back of the book and find the photo of a picture type that you would like to take (eg. a portrait or architecture or landscape shot) and you will find concise help on taking that type of shot. This section alone makes the book worthy of being kept in your camera bag ready at all times.

To Sum Up: For Beginners to Digital SLR photography, required reading. For Advanced Digital Compact users, still useful.
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on 14 November 2010
The best book for amateur photographers wanting to make photos look like pro's. Definitely recommend this to someone entirely new to DSLRs (like myself). Incredibly easy to read and the technicalities of the camera/ techniques are explained using laymans terminology.

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on 22 November 2008
great value for money at the price that I picked it up for. Not sure about the humour but if you can see past this then well worth a read. If like me you're trying to a bit more than just a point and click shooter then this will give you some good, and easily accessible, tips.
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on 5 September 2008
Comical and spoken in easy-to-understand terms with excellent tips! Only problem is it's left me with an equipment and accessories lust, and all added together is a hefty sum (you'll see what I mean after reading the 2nd edition). He does compare prices of things according to your budget, but for someone like me, I'm only satisfied with the best. All in all, good books to get you started on the right track with photography.
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