Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Not recommended for beginner
on 2 January 2014
As long as you know what to expect there wont be disappointment. The book is more geared towards intermediate e.g. somebody who is already knowledgeable but wants to improve his/her operations or wants a grounded recap. I have personally had prior learning online and elsewhere and this book provided me with what I needed - an all-in-one simplified recap, a structured project-base to improve my techniques.
The problem beginners will face is that the authors purposefully attempted to "leave out" the technical details but then ironically ends up in elaborated discourses using these very concepts which they omitted to expand due to their policy of leaving out the technicalities. Sometimes this resulted in convoluted sentences e.g. "You will know that wide-angle lens includes more of a scene..." which I did understood because I learnt lens optics before, but this is a recurrent tendency in the book, often literally expecting the reader to understand more than what was being said. A glossary exists but it suffers the same drawbacks - it is extremely basic, just merely enough to remind people who already has a clue about the terms their meanings. Elsewhere even though in their quest for simplicity the authors left out the technicalities, they ironically use complicated sentence constructions.
Example: referring to a picture caption: "On the 80mm setting, the camera was moved back to 9m from Antonio to keep his size roughly the same."
Again the Optics logic that underpins this was omitted due to technicalities but in this case the language is arbitrarily obscure for a beginner. The meaning in context here is: for a 80mm lens the photographer has to step 9m away from Antonio in order to keep his size roughly the same as that of the previous image.
Likewise in many other places they just make broad assumptions that the reader will know what they are talking about when this may not be the case. So they would be like: this is 30mm and the *jargon* is this and therefore that's the way it is! They decided to leave technicalities out but then ended up talking about more technicalities and jargons!
The book is quite small but very instructive in a simplified way and provides a short history of photography. However if you are a complete beginner I wont recommend it. But for the price and content I think it deserves a 3 stars.