Top critical review
67 people found this helpful
Doesn't get down to specifics
on 18 June 2009
First off, if you don't know anything about photography don't think this book will be easy to understand. This is a book for Dummies with some camera skills. That said people who know their way around a DSLR will find very little here of use and the book is definitely written for the middle ground.
It does a reasonably solid job, in good conversational english, of taking the reader through the various parts of digital photography covering what affects a photograph, the hardware and add-ons (such as lenses) and what you can do in photoshop. If you want a good place to start your new digital hobby then I would recommend you at least taking a look.
But for me it falls for a few reasons. First off, it is a big book that really could be covered in half the time; it's a bit too padded out without getting to the core stuff that budding photographers are really after. Once read through you'll find yourself having to go back and search a bit to find the useful stuff. Secondly whilst you have tips like 'this photo would have benefitted from a larger aperture' it is all too generic. Thanks David, but what I really need is more useful detail like what aperture should I use with what shutter speed and white noise and exposure adjustments etc. With a mass of things to think about in a modern DSLR I would have liked something a bit more concrete. So if I want to do landscapes or potraits or close ups or night shots or whatever how about giving me the settings I need and then suggestions of how to tweak this for various different results so that I can see what effect this will have and pick up some good tips along the way. Unfortunately there is little to none of this so it ends up being a good read but in terms of understanding, well, there is little in this book which is not in the manual, albeit more words and pretty colour pictures, though, of course, the camera's own manual doesn't have sections on Adobe Photshop.
Here's an example. With a slow shutter speed and two kids walking quickly into the picture, pausing then walking quickly out I managed to get a photograph of two ghostly images which was quite fun and the kids loved trying this out. That was off the top of my head but this is the sort of thing you brought a digital SLR for - its versatility - and really, ideas like this should have been suggested by the author to kick start your photography career. The book lacks these suggestions.
In short, this book doesn't take the enthusiastic amateur and get them started with real examples that they can shoot themselves with tasks they can follow and improve upon. At the other extreme those who do know a bit about camera settings and the effects these have on pictures will find little to excite them in this book. An average book with promise that just falls short.