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on 25 January 2017
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on 27 April 2017
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on 9 June 2011
I have a number of books that deal with digital photography, and by and large I am happy with them all - I wouldn't have bought them otherwise - but this book stands head and shoulders above the rest. I would describe myself as a keen amateur with no formal training, but experience that dates back over 25 years of taking photos. I've never done a college course or belonged to a photographic club or society.
I feel it is important to give this little resume because, all books are aimed at a particular market and I think I'm typical of the market this book is aiming at. If you're a professional this book may be too simplistic, or if you're an absolute beginner it may be too involved, but for me, it's perfect.
It's the college course or tuition I never had, and I already understand enough to make it meaningful.
The book is laid out over a series of 20 tutorials, each dealing with a different aspect of photography, ranging from using your camera's controls to photography as a fine art medium. Each section has a detailed discussion of its focus, along with detailed analysis of different pictures, comments from professionals who have worked on the units and an assessment whereby you can test your new understanding. If this makes the book sound like a dry textbook, then I'm sorry, it certainly isn't, but is a book that you can dip into and ead for pleasure too.
I hope it suits you as much as it did me.
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on 26 July 2009
I bought this to try and improve my photograghy. It is set out with easy to undertand language and the well thought out projects help you to improve. Well worth buying.
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on 5 December 2010
I found this book excellent. It was recommended by a friend and I have ended up buying it for several other people as a present.

It goes over just about everything and explains in an easy to understand way with many visually rich examples and little "projects" you can do. But it runs over concepts which means you can expand your knowledge much more. For example the concept of how to read light in a scene, and the benefits of a main directional light and/ or fill lights; both in a natural setting and studio. It explains these concepts so you can better critique your photography and improve it.

My level is amateur enthusiast (wannabe pro), so use RAW and do much post processing etc, and the book kept me well entertained without being too easy or jumping into complicated aspects of photography without explaining them first. I would say this most suits beginners that are keen to learn, intermediate especially and to lesser degree pros (although there's still some tricky stuff in there).

Definitely recommend!
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on 3 August 2014
Like many people (most of them men, I expect), I had moved into digital photography after many years using film and had never really stopped to think about the fundamental differences. I have a good understanding of composition and of the relationship between aperture and shutter speed and know that RAW files enable you to have more input than do jpegs, but that jpegs are easier and more convenient. That was about it, though. This excellent book has encouraged me to take a much more methodical approach and to ditch a lot of preconceptions. I now have a very good idea of things I had previously misunderstood or ignored - white balance, colour space and sharpening for a start! Read it slowly and carefully, stop to play with your camera and take some test pictures and you will be rewarded. This book has pretty much tipped a big pile of rough ideas and half-truths out of my head, fixed them properly and put them back in a sensible order! It has also rejuvenated my interest in taking pictures. Highly recommended - easy to read and packed with sound advice, great ideas and lovely photographs.
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on 17 July 2009
I would recommend this book although it is not an easy read. There are plenty of advanced tutorials in the book with small photographs to illustrate the results achieved when each photographic technique is used. There are many practical assignments in the book. But there is an over use of black ink on many of the pages which I did not like. A few of the explanations were a little cryptic. For instance on one page he talks about the use of a gamma tool but does not give a picture to show what the tool looks like. You have to figure out what the tool icon looks like in your own software. He does this with almost every tool he mentions. Otherwise the book is very comprehensive and useful as a reference.
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on 21 June 2010
Too many of the photography books I've picked up and browsed through start with pictures of the parts of a compact camera and have a chapter on how to choose a camera and, if you're lucky, there's a single, short chapter that tells you something useful.

On the other hand, Tom Ang's book launches straight into a discussion of shutter speed and depth of field. You can see that in the preview. What's really great about the book is that it's not about the technical stuff (which you either know or get in the camera's manual) it's about how to USE a modern DSLR to create pictures.

I particularly like the way the book is organised into tutorials with an assignment at the end of each tutorial. It gets you thinking about what you've read and that stuff really sticks. I think I'm taking better pictures now and learning again.
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on 18 November 2010
I bought this book to accelerate my familiarity with Photoshop and digital photography. I was not disappointed! Tom Ang spends half of the book discussing ,with excellent illustrations, how to compose and record a carefully considered photo including some detailed discussion about the hardware. This is subtle stuff brilliantly illustrated with small and larger pictures. The second half shows how images might be further enhanced using photoshop but he does assume that you know your way about the program. Beautifully presented with glossy pictures. I have been reading through sometimes pausing to try out some advice about processing. Brilliant.
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on 11 August 2009
Having had an interest in photography for several years, I thought I would invest in a book to help me raise the quality of my images. The first two I bought were certainly ok but not brilliant. However, this book really does a great job.

It would be impossible for any author to transform a poor photographer into a brilliant one, but Tom Ang does a fine job of illustrating the finer points of this art form. Ok, I agree he is covering a massive subject which would be impossible to cover fully in just one book, but if you're a budding enthusiast who is just looking for a little insight and inspiration then you could do a lot worse.

There are 20 tutorials covering basic subjects such as 'key camera controls' and 'exposure control' to 'advanced manipulation' and 'fine art photography'. Ang gives plenty of advice, both technical and artistic. High-lighting such aspects as 'typical errors', as well as 'variations' achieved by altering view point or camera settings. The most useful thing I find is that he gives not just one alternative method to how you might take a photo, but often there will be up to 9 variations. He illustrates how different focal lengths can give very different results. I could go on and on. I know it might seem an obvious thing to say, but every image used in the book is excellent. I mention this because I have seen some publications where the images were rather poor.

This book would have little interest for a seasoned photographer, but if you're an enthusiast looking to up your game but not sure how then give this a go. Not only instructional, but as another reviewer mentioned, 'inspirational'. It has certainly given me a lot of new ideas to try out.
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