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Digital Photography in Available Light: Essential Skills (Photography Essential Skills) Paperback – 4 Apr 2006
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"This book is one of the best I've ever read due to the depth and breadth of topics covered. Mark Galer speaks to us all with the single-minded goal of disseminating clear and thoughtful information."
Michael E. Stern
Brooks Institute of Photography
"Newbies will love the introductory section on camera and asset management, but the meat of the book begins with the chapter on 'Exposure' that not only makes the technical details understandable but provides example photographs showing the aesthetic issues as well." -Joe Farace, Shutterbug
Praise for previous edition:
"A comprehensive look at the changing world of new technology on location, written in a practical no nonsense and entertaining style.. a really well put together publication."
Geoff Clark, Blackpool & the Fylde College
"The book also helps immensely by providing the student with a ready reference as well as well defined activities."
Mark Lewis, Mount Saint Mary College
"This remains an excellent production for its information content, and a worthwhile acquisition for a college or school of art and design offering courses leading to a qualification in professional photography." Graham Saxby, RPS Journal, March 2004
"...[part of] a series of very well laid out books with a clear step by step approach to each subject, coupled with examples, activities to try out, and assignments. Included are galleries which give an inspiration into what can be achieved, along with recommended further reading."
Dave Ingles, reader
"The design of the series clearly reflects the aims and objectives of the authors in terms of format, visual appearance and organisation of the content. Readers are presented with easily accessible, no nonsense, how-things-happen, textbooks of key photographic skills."
Richard Sadler FRPS, MA
About the Author
Mark Galer is the Program Director and Senior lecturer at RMIT University in the School of Media and Communication, Australia. He is also co-writer of their popular online photography courses. He has lectured in photography in the UK and Australia and has worked commercially as a freelance photographer on corporate and editorial assignments. He has written numerous top-selling photography books, including Photography Foundations for Art & Design, the Popular Photoshop Elements; Maximum Performance and Photoshop; Essential Skills series. He is an Official Adobe Ambassador for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Top customer reviews
A real must for those who've been disappointed by technical problems in the past, this title provides easy to follow guidelines on the most challenging of shooting sitautions.
A welcome addition to the book are the Activity sections, where the author suggests real projects that you can carry out to practice your newly learned techniques.
Great for keen photographers and novices alike
There may possibly be others that a slightly more up-to-date inasmuch as today's cameras are far less restricted to high-ISO photography than those of just a few years ago. The first such camera I owned was unusable beyond ISO 400 but another bought recently has a peak of 25,600 and is very usable up to 6,400, beyond which quality suffers badly. Add a fast lens and it opens all sorts of possibilities, even if it were necessary to shoot using a moderately fast shutter speed.
Available light can mean anything from landscapes in poor light, to night photography, indoor portraiture with ordinary household bulbs and much more beyond. The book covers the lot!
You may once have needed to use a tripod as a necessity; you may still but with advanced image stabilisation that is now possible, high ISO and using that fast lens you can achieve a great deal. the book is not quite current so some of these possibilities are not quite as fully explored as they perhaps should be.
Despite these possible shortcomings, the book would still make a good choice. This is one that I know and can therefore recommend; I don't know any other published more recently as I do this.
All the processes are very clearly and comprehensively explained in language that everyone can understand. Every step of the image making process is covered, making this book a must for anyone considering taking the plunge into the digital world or the experienced photographer who needs to update some of their skills.
The activity sections are superb and as a professional photographer of some 25 years this book renewed my enthusiasm to get out there and enjoy my photography.
An inspiration for beginners and professionals alike. Well done Mark.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As a generic digital photography book, it is not bad, though not at all original. If you are looking for a generic digital photography book, you may whant to buy this book. If you want to buy a book on available light photography, you should not waste your money because there is not a single sentence in this book dedicated to photography using only available light.
The latter chapter about exposure provides one or two page summaries of topics like appropriate exposure, the relationship between aperture and f-stop number, TTL light meters, interpreting meter readings, optimizing tonality, and the like. The whole time I reading this book, I wondering is this book supposed to be an introduction to the topics or a refresher course of information for experiened photographs? It doesn't work well for either readers, in my view. The author simply glosses over a lot of information and tries to make up for it by providing little activities added to the end of most chapters or sections. The activities read more like they were written for use in a college photography course, which is really where this book might be most useful. This book could have been twice as long, expanding on very important topics for becoming a better digital photographer.
I think the attraction of this book is the qaulity of the book's layout and the photographs included on nearly every page. It seems as if many if not all the photographs were taken by National Geographic photographers. The author is very knowledagable of his subject, but the book is far too general for novice photographers. I'm not sure how intermediate or advance photographers would use this book.
Some sections could use better illtustrations. For example, the typical explaination about the "rule of thirds" in photography is illustrated with a grid, of course, but there's no illustration to show the use the rule on an actual photograph. I've never seen that before in a photography book. The author simply explains it in words.
The section I read about using the histogram is also way too general. The photographs and screen shots he uses for illustrations don't even come with captions for quick review or better understanding.
I really thought I'd get more out of this book. The photographs were well done and the end-of-the-chapter activities looked promising at first, but when you get into the book, they simply read like add-ons.
All I can say is that this book is not for novice photograpers, but it would probably work well for college photography courses wih a good instructor who will fill in the gaps and expand on what the author has written.
The structure is typical of the Focal 'Essential Skills' series. Information is provided in short 'bites' with workshop routines and assignments so that this book can be used as textbook, manual, reference or inspirational read. Anyone who aspires to producing professional quality images will find this to be a excellent introduction, general reference tool and guide to the latest digital tools and techniques. It certainly filled a few gaps in my knowledge! Very highly recommended - one of the best photographic 'how-to' books that I've ever seen.
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