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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2007
At last! someone has written a book for the compact and DSLR camera user, who are just getting to grips with their camera. This book gives a good basic knowledge in how to use the camera successfully without the technical jargon, and to consentrate on taking photos. There's plenty of books that can give you the science and technical knowledge, I feel the author has met a much needed market. It is a beautifully structured and illustrated book. It is a delight to look through the various styles of photography and see how you can improve your technique. Then after each session the author gives you the basic setup to take successful pictures. He goes through the basic modes of the camera, so that you can concentrate on your photography. I use it in our photography workshop to get beginners used to using their camera's, and also to learn techniques in taking photos. This book is aimed at the beginner, or anyone who wants to improve their photos. DK always produce excellent illustrated books, this one is a gem!
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on 25 June 2007
I have recently upgraded from compact (Nikon S4) photography to full SLR (Canon EOS 400D) and all the features (ISO, shutter times, aperture, etc) are a little daunting at first, but having read this book from cover to cover I am now more confident with what to do in all the different conditions I might face. Let's be honest - I'm not exactly going to remember all of the information in the book at each photo opportunity, and I'm not likely to carry this with me all the time, but the information and technique advise, plus full colour photography examples for each subject covered really do lend a hand to the enthusiastic beginner and to those who what to take their photography to a more 'professional finish' level. The majority of detail in the book suggests ways to get the photo right first time, without having to then spend hours with editing software, and it was this advise that I found really useful as I am also a beginner in that arena too, and learning that is twice as hard as just getting a good photo in the first place! I mean what could give more joy that a 'perfect' shot without any post photo editing required?
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I love photography but find discovering really inspirational books that are worth buying difficult. Photography books tend to be either very technical, aimed at the amateur or full of the type of photos you have seen a hundred times. I know my way around a camera and am looking for ideas that are different and not bogged down with apertures, f stops and fancy lenses. This book does exactly what it says - it shows you how to photograph absolutely everything, without all the boring bits. The book is full of pictures, over 380 pages full of pictures. It gives advice and tips for improving just about any type of photo, both before it is taken and after. There is so much to inspire you in this book that taking your child to the park, wandering around your garden, a night out with friends or a shopping trip could all turn into a perfect photo opportunity, with some fresh original photos to show for it. Only the most jaded photographer will not find new ideas in this book.
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on 11 October 2007
This book is very well presented with a consistent easy to follow layout.

This book really does cover almost every photographic subject you could wish to shoot. Some of the illustrations are amazing and has some nice compositional suggestions.

On the downside, it has very little detail on the technicalities of shooting these subjects and for the enthusiast photographer, it will just state the obvious over and over again.

Digital SLR users are probably better off with a DSLR specific book, as this book mostly demonstrates photographing with a compact camera and it's various preset shooting modes (i.e Landscape mode).

For someone new to the joys of creative photography this book is a perfect starting point. The enthusiast however may be better off looking elsewhere.
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on 29 June 2007
This book is well composed and laidout with various sections on how to take that particular subject. It goes from explaining the basic on most new cameras and how to use them. It then moves on into how to take various photo's in a wide diversaty of subjects and events. I would recommend this book to people who like photography and are just starting out like myself.
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on 13 June 2009
I spend some of my time teaching beginners how to use a camera. This has always been fun but I've never had 'one good book' to recommend to students. Until now.

This is not a book for reading in one go but rather using for reference to find the area in which you're interested then following Toms Ang's "recipe" for getting a result.

The clearly laid out sections make finding what you want quick and easy. The precise lettering and consistent layout make finding detailed instructions almost intuitive.

There are very few words as Ang prefers to let the images do the talking. What text there is is mercifully jargon free without talking down to newcomer to digital photography.

Ang uses a variety of simple compact cameras throughout the book to prove that good results can be obtained from non-professional kit.

There's no technical jargon, just simple tips to move from average to good photography and beyond.

The title is not an exaggeration. I couldn't find a single area of photography not covered. Some topics are a little light on detail i.e. creating panoramas, but the book is about breadth not depth and the least it does it make the reader aware that such things can be done.

A nice touch are the photos showing Tom Ang taking the shots. Seeing how he had to stand / kneel / lie / bend / stoop to get the shot makes reproducing it yourself that much easier. Even after 35 years of photography I learned one or two new techniques (like shooting low to catch water reflections).

One warning: the book assumes that you are familiar with the controls of your camera i.e. setting the ISO, shooting modes, turning on the flash, etc. So to get the most from the book, study your camera manual first.

Minor gripes:
- the book's large size makes it difficult to read in bed,
- the paperback version won't stay open on a table so the hardback version is a must have if you want to refer to the book whilst playing with the settings on your camera,
- the introductory hardware section is already out of date: thankfully the advice on taking photos is timeless.

An absolute gem of a book for beginners or even the more advanced to use as a refresher or starting point to explore new areas of photography.

This is the book I wish I'd had when I was starting out.
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on 19 February 2008
This is great if you're keen but need a bit of practical guidance and some inspiration. This books shows you some inspirational shots as guidance and shows you the set up (eg where to stand, where to place your subject etc...) and tells you the ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc... for many of the pictures. It is jargon-free, easy to read and split into useful chapters, including portriats, moving objects, taking pictures of children, close ups, night shots, etc...

People criticising this book have missed the point; it is MEANT to be simple, it isn't aimed at people who are already pretty proficient at photographs, it is aimed at people like me who are moving on from a compact and need a bit of guidance to get the best from the camera. If that's you then this is the book for you.
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on 28 March 2008
This is exactly what I was looking for, a book which taught me the basics then applied them to different situations. I feel a lot more confident playing around with the settings on my camera and my photography has improved as a result. I like the way he has taken a photograph for each subject and then explained the settings on the right hand side. After reading the first two chapters I was able to cover up the settings, look at the photograph and predict what he had used. In no time at all I was grasping the logic and gaining confidence. A lovely book for beginners. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I also like the fact that he has explained commonly made errors in composition and lighting and illustrated the flawed results on the same page. I am starting to think about composition in a new way too. My photography skills were in a rut, this book has changed that.
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on 2 February 2016
Beautifully illustrated throughout with stunning photography. Doesn't have piles of written instructions but does illustrates its points about photographing certain situations very well. I bought this as a gift for my dyslexic son who finds many books have just too much writing for him. I'd describe this as more of an illustrated guide than a written one. I've got a set of books given free by the Telegraph some time ago which was taken from this book so pretty much knew what I was getting. Purchasers should.know this is not a pocket guide - unless you have extremely large pocket So!
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on 1 November 2011
This book is great for people who have a digital camera and who just want to take photos without getting to grips with photographic concepts. That's bad if you want to learn more about photography, but great if you just want to know when to use what setting on your camera. It will tell you which mode you should set your point-and-shoot camera in (sports, landscape, portrait, etc.), what ISO setting to use, whether to use flash or not and whether to zoom in or not and that's it. If you want to know more, I suggest you buy another book (e.g. "Digital Photography - Step by Step" by the same author offers much more information if you are a beginner and want to learn about photography), but if all you want to know is how to get better photos from your digital camera, then this will be a great book for you!
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