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Rick Sammon's Exploring the Light: Making the Very Best In-Camera Exposures Paperback – 2 Dec 2008
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About the Author
Rick Sammon is the author of the Complete Guide to Digital Photography 2.0, Exploring the Light, and other books. He travels widely on photography assignments and to give his popular workshops and seminars. He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I am particularly impressed with the photographs. Not only does Rick Sammon demonstrate that he is an excellent photographer (who leads an exciting and travel-filled life) but he also chooses them carefully and uses them to best effect to illustrate the points he is trying to make in his text. It is very helpful to, not only see what a photo will look like when your exposure is set correctly, but also what happens when it isn't.
So why isn't this a 5-star rating with exclamation points? Because the book is hard to read. Not because of the language--that couldn't be clearer. It is because it is so randomly organized. Except for the final three chapters (two of which deal with post-processing in Photoshop), the rest of the book seems to flow in no particular order other than chapter titles broken up by multiple relevant headings with short paragraphs following. This makes the flow is awkward, as if the photos were selected arranged first (as in a scrapbook) then the text added to refer to them (instead of having been written first, then supporting photographs selected).
But, overall, it's a must-have book if you want to understand and feel comfortable with your camera settings, and break away from using Program mode or point-and-shoot settings. Although he is a Canon shooter, his information is equally useful to any make of DSLR camera and to any photographer who wants to take a little creative control.
One of the ways we improve our photography skills is to look at other peoples' photographs and hear how they got them. Sammon does this pretty well. I enjoyed the photographs and they helped me in thinking about how my shots might be redirected in some cases.
This book is basically an introduction to digital photography for an average amateur who is a rapid learner. It is not pedantic and therefore is not overly elementary and yet it covers material at a very basic level while introducing elements of somewhat higher order. The things I found most helpful was a good analysis of how you have to intelligently approach the automatic exposure functions in your camera. This particular facet, which would apply to everyone from your basic point and shoot equipment to the best of on the market, was well done. The second thing I liked was the casual manner in which he spoke about the many pictures in the book. They weren't magic, nor were they mere happenstance, and he lets us in on some ways of getting similar shots.
That said, he does go at things in a bit of a round about manner sometimes and his introduction to Photoshop is a bit too simplistic, at least for me.
A short phrase expresses the ideas and concepts behind his lessons in an entertaining manner. I'm a long time hobbyist that is getting more serious about photography & I have learned much from this book & continue to gain more from Rick's latest title - Creative Visualization for Photographers.
I highly recommend Rick's books.
As an old film photographer I am accustomed to making a near perfect in-camera exposure. I am amazed at the sloppiness of today's digital photographers who shoot raw and then spend hours on photoshopping their images. This is all very unnecessary if you do everthing correct in the camera itself. It is better, and more expedient to take a few extra seconds before pushing the shutter button and saving hours later on. Not only that, but you end up with a better picture. Sammon shows you how to do this. I myself generally shoot in JPEG and use Photoshop Elements, mostly just to crop. I know I am biased, but I think my images are as good, if not better, than the photographers who manipulate everything in Photoshop.
I am an experienced photographer (40 years) but am still relatively new to digital (5 years. Even so, I learned much from this book. Sammon shows you how to take full advantage of all that an automated digital camera offers, even when you are using it in a semi-automated or manual mode. I would not recommend it for beginners, but it is an excellent resource for those who have mastered the basics.
So many books leave out this important aspect of learning what effect these settings and techniques will do.
Both camera settings as well as Photoshop techniques are included.
Helpful ideas on getting very good photos through out the book, one of the most helpful books on how to.