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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2012
Having read Scott's Lightroom 4 book (which I highly recommend) I thought I'd try these books and have not been dissappointed.

I guess you could classify me as an "advanced amateur" and in my view these books are aimed at either photographers like me or more advanced/semi pro/pro photographers. Let me explain why by way of example: one of the tips in one of the books (I can't now remember which -may be book 1) concerns trying to get pin sharp focussing of the eyes in portrait photography. Scott doesn't explain that you should first lock focus onto the eye and then recompose the shot (we know that anyway), but he does go on to explain how you can use a different method to ensure pin sharp results particularly when using fast lenses with wide apertures such as f1.4 etc. If none of that made sense to you then I'd suggest the book may be a little advanced for you. Conversly, if you not only understood it but am intrigued as to how to improve your success rate for getting pin sharp results then buy the books.

I have to confess that I probably knew about 50% of what is in these books but nevertheless still well worth buying for the other half.

I bought the kindle edition and thought it really good value for 4 books for just under £30 (this was the price at time of purchase - August 2012). The only downside is that, unlike the kindle version for his Lightroom 4 book, the fact that all the images are black & white (kindle version only) means you cannot always fully see the effect he is trying to demonstratere. This didn't really bother me but I could imagine some people finding this really annoying and demanding their money back. Perhaps best to spend an extra £10 and get the colour hardback/paperback.

To conclude, well written, really easy to understand books that cover just about any photographic situation you could find yourself in. It is just like having a pro photographer stood next to you clearly explaining what you should do. A real good reference library of information I will no doubt keep referring back to. Thoroughly recommend.
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If you are approaching this whole DSLR subject from the near novice level you need a book about the mechanics first. Taking a picture that has artistic merit or interest is of course the end requirement, however knowing the mechanics of how to achieve a good picture has to come first. Chances are that if you have bought a DSLR and have an itch to use it properly but are a novice, then what you first want to know is what are the technicalities. F stop? Exposure? Aperture? Once beyond point and shoot - hence the purchase of a DSLR - these mystery words need defining.

All four books roll into one and eventually you do get to know the above things, however it's well into the book(s) before you do. There is also a lot of jokey preamble which adds nothing and I get the impression that what the author is doing is padding this out to stretch the subject over four books instead of one or two.

The other thing is that the technical information is out of date. The author tellingly writes that you don't need any more than 10 megapixels unless you are going to paper a wall. Of course today even the most humble of point and shoot cameras have far more than than that and DSLR's are fast congregating around the 24 megapixel level as a matter of course. The author fails to note that higher megapixels allows a far greater zooming and cropping ability without loss of definition can clarity. The choice of cameras is limited to Nikon and Cannon although I admit that the techniques are the same for all.

What this series of books does do is guide you into good picture taking. Good techniques, what to look for and how to get a shot of your chosen subject be it landscape or person.

Truth is though that these are simply not concise or informative enough. A far better book is Understanding Exposure.
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on 1 October 2012
Brilliant! Entertainingly written & full of good stuff which is presented in photo project sized bites. Some of the purchasing recommendations are USA- centric though.
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on 5 October 2014
1) The author, on just about every page, has to try and be funny 2) He isn't funny 3) If you erased all the wasted text of him trying to be funny you could possibly condense all four books into one meaningful book containing useful photographic information 4) If I wanted to buy a boxed set of books containing silly jokes then that would be fine, but these were not advertised as such 5) Avoid - unless you want to be constantly annoyed by the endless silly quips and comments - most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject.
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on 19 February 2013
Excellent books for understanding the full range of digital photography. The books are well laid out with good photographs. I bought the Kindle issue.
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on 18 May 2013
Great photobooks.
Good information on how to make better pictures.
lots og hints and tips
Great value for the money
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on 3 May 2013
......the author also has a great sense of humour.
I recommend purchase either as a treat for self or gift
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on 9 January 2015
good for beginners. A lot of the series though is repetitive. Some of it is geared to semi or full time professionals, for instance the sections on using flash and interior lighting are hardly geared towards the amateur. Mr Kelby I feel is trying to maximise his potential audience at the expense of greater value. Stick to vols 1 and 2 unless you intend going beyond being an amateur.
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on 27 July 2013
Scott Kelby sums it all up in book one but manages to stretch it out into 4 volumes. Maybe one bigger book would do the trick as it has some very useful tips for the digital photographer. It's actually very good value for money at this reduced price.
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on 11 June 2013
Scott Kelby guides are just that. He tells you what needs to be done in specific situations which you can then learn from. It's like shooting with a pro at all times. Highly recommended.
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