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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 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 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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Scott Kelby with his latest installment ‘Photo Recipes’ in long lasting ‘The Digital Photography Book’ series again manages to deliver excellent piece which will be useful for inexperienced photographers, but also for those who have a lot of pictures in their portfolio.

For long time I’m a big fan of Scott Kelby works, many of which I have reviewed on Amazon such as ‘Photoshop for Lightroom Users’ and ‘The Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers’ which are both part of ‘Voices That Matter’ series.

Still, in my opinion his best work is thick and even more helpful masterpiece ‘The Digital Photography Book’ which is not only one of the top-selling and most known photography books of all time, but also a book that with its wealth of information and accessibility is unsurpassed.

In this fifth installment Kelby in nine chapters on almost 250 pages in detail discusses what have been so far the most popular parts of his four ‘Digital Photography’ books – photo recipes – devoting whole book to them.

As already mentioned book is divided in following chapters:
- Shooting natural light portraits - recipes for making people look their best
- Using just one light - recipes for great results while still keeping things really simple
- Using two or more lights – two and three light recipes that are still pretty easy
- Hot-shoe flash like a pro – quick lighting recipes for using flash
- Shooting weddings - recipes for making bride look awesome (because nobody cares about the groom)
- Shooting travel – recipes that make them want to visit that place right now
- Shooting landscapes and nature – recipes for making the great outdoors look great
- Shooting other stuff
- Using post – step by step recipes to get the look using Lightroom and Photoshop

As already from this summary can be seen, the author retains his famous humor, but in same time excellently covered all topics that are interesting for hobby photographer and those who want to specialize in particular type of photography.

Book is full of great tips and examples so even if you do not buy it I recommend to at least browse through it in the bookstore because in 5 minutes certainly you’ll be able to learn some handy trick or two to make your pictures look more professional.

So in conclusion I can say that with ‘Photo Recipes’ book Kelby managed to prove what makes a good photographer is not only good equipment but also the usage of numerous small tricks and recipes that will make your image look of higher quality, and your style distinctive. Higher recommendation I cannot write, so if you jhave camera and love photography you'll love this great book.
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on 10 September 2013
If you are struggling to make sense of your camera's handbook and wonder if you'll ever manage to take a decent picture, don't give up - buy this book! Scott Kelby explains how to use your camera without using jargon, and literally tells you step-by-step what to do to achieve the result you want. I was feeling disheartened and a bit thick, as I seemed to be getting nowhere with my lovely new Nikon, but this book cut through all the technical stuff and got me started taking good pictures by telling me to do this, this and this to get that result. With Scott's encouragement, I started having fun with my camera, and had the confidence to play around with it. I've since bought Books 2, 3, and 4 and they are great, too - same format, same philosophy, and you just grow in knowledge and skill as you progress.
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on 21 April 2007
It's a good book, very interesting and very useful. The only negative (and it's a biggie), is the author's 'sense of humour'.

Maybe it's an American thing, maybe they are rolling around wetting themselves thinking he is hilarious. As an Englishman though I just think it's annoying and sad.

If it was presented without his assinine interjections then it would be a 5 star rating and a super book. As it is it's a good book as long as you can get past his comments which get more irritating the further you read.

He wastes a page on something only to say 'I can't believe you fell for that'. Well I'm sorry but I'd rather that the space was used for tips than his twattery.
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on 21 September 2006
Well as the title says, "If you've got a camera, then you need this book" ... that's it in a nutshell. This book is outstanding. Packed full of tips from cover to cover that will improve you photos no end...regardless of your experience. What makes it that much more special too is that every single page has a new tip / technique that reveals how you too can create some stunning images just by changing something really simple. No more will you take a photo that get's the reaction 'ah that's nice' but 'WOW'.

This book really is that good; and coming from the number 1 author of computer / techology books you'd expect nothing less!

Buy it cos if you don't, you'll just be average!
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on 27 September 2006
This book, though aimed at people new to photography has so many tips that everyone would get something from it. It's an enjoyable read.

I've read lots of other books on photography, and though it is basic, and covers a lot of ground that I've already read, it has some stuff that new to me, and reminds you about key points.

I was worried that the book would be too jokey and informal, but the writing style is great.
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