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on 2 August 2001
This book summarizes all essential techniques for the intermediate to advanced amateur. If you own an SLR and at least a couple of lenses then this book will help you to learn or improve on your technique, and it will explain many technical issues in a clear style and with examples. There are chapters on working with light, on equipment and how to use it, on B&W and on colour techniques, on movement, on composition, on portraits, on studio techniques and on special effects. I like this book a lot and I quite often read in it or look things up to remind myself. If there is a caveat then it is that the first edition of this book was published in 1977, and this means that just a few of the more modern things are missing. (For example, I could not find anything on the difference between circular and linear polarizers. I had to look elsewhere to remind myself that both have the same effect optically, but modern AF SLRs use a polarizing beam splitter to split the light between AF sensor and meter, and you have to use a circular polarizer because otherwise you could cut off the light to either the meter of the AF.) The other slightly old-fashioned point is that about 20% of the book is dedicated to processing and darkroom techniques, which very few people still do themselves. Besides: having done B&W processing myself I doubt that anyone would really learn darkroom processing from this book alone. On the other hand, perhaps it is quite instructive for the uninitiated to learn how films works and how processing is done - even though their photo lab does it for them. On the whole: good read, good reference.
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From insects to the stars, the techniques for taking their photograph is all explained in here. In a book containing over 1,250 illustrations, this book would be my first choice for anyone considering a career in photography. Read it and make up your mind. As for those of you who are already more proficient, this is the one book to which you should return again and again in order to re-learn and brush-up on those hard-to-master techniques.

Thoughtfully laid out, this book commences by teaching us the basic principles of the camera and various lenses and the exploded-view illustrations are simply as good as they get. The various heading are far too numerous for me to list here except to say they are even pointers on underwater photography as well as on how to hold your camera still.

An excellent book by any standards and one that really should have already found it's way into the library of every competent photographer.

NM
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on 28 July 2008
I've been using this book now for nearly 30 years since it first came out and yes, there may be "better" books on the market, but none that are small, compact, neat, clearly & logically laid out, easy to read as this one is. Another bonus is that it's just the right handy sort of size that you can carry around with you on field trips. It's bound in a nice stiff water proof cover too.

I agree that it's a beginner's book, but there aren't many that can give you such a head start in photography as this one can.

It's such a pity that those who negate its qualities, do so anonymously and don't provide ANY examples of what they consider to be so-called "Better" books! Be wary of giving any credence to reviews written by "A Customer" that don't have the courage of their own convictions.

This copy can be used by both Manual & Digital SLR Camera users equally alike. The beauty of this book is that it's jam packed full of beautiful photographs of all sorts that truly are an inspiration to motivate you to go and try the same sort of shots yourself or at the very least give you plenty of creative ideas to create similar material.

There are many versions of this book available, so you may wish to search for "The 35mm Photographer's handbook Calder" to see all the different versions so that you can find the one that suits you & your budget.
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on 23 August 2011
I originally read the 1970s edition of this book which I inherited from my grandfather. It was a detailed introduction into photography and I used it to improve my style and understanding of digital photography. Different subject genres are covered such as photo-journalism, black & white, architecture, sport and travel. The advice is pragmatic, concise and easy to apply.
Some years later I've purchased the updated edition and I wasn't disappointed, now I'm more interested in film photography and this book has continued to inspire and teach me.

Buy this book if you are looking to understand the whole workflow of digital or film 35mm photography with an emphasis on taking the pictures.
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on 7 January 2003
A compact and informative handbook for budding photographers. This was my guide whilst I took a trusty old pentax slr to South Africa and it has improved my photography without a shadow of a doubt. Well worth buying, whether you're a beginner or an established photographer.
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on 1 March 2000
The book is quite good if you have never picked up a camera before and does explain the basics. However, as soon as the sections start to get interesting you turn over the page to find the start of the next on a different subject.
There are some very nice images in colour but very little detail as to how they were taken.
There are better books available.
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My daughter is doing A level photography and has found this book very useful for the film module. There are plenty of technical explainations which are well explained and detailed.
The book contains lots of illustration and pictures which are very good and help explain the concepts in the text. An excellent book for the photograhy student using film.
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If you are into proper photography , as opposed to digital rubbish , you will find this a great reference work . I have had my copy since the 1980s and now work mainly in black and white medium format but still find plenty of useful information in this reliable work that can be applied to my photography. Highly recommended .
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on 5 March 2016
Excellent book for beginners and those wanting an 'introductory refresher' to 35mm photography. I found the original issue invaluable all those decades ago and this edition does not disappoint. It hasn't sold in excess of one million copies for nothing.
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on 8 June 1999
This book is good for those looking for a wide surface treatment of the whole spectrum of photography. Points of disucssion are almost always clearly illustrated with photographs or high-quality drawings, and many specific examples of equipment are given. This book will inspire you to try many different photographic techniques. However, all those nifty photos and pages devoted to escoterica don't leave much room for the basics, and so this book can't be reccomended as a decent manual or textbook for raw beginners trying to improve their photography.
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