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Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras

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  • Posted May 11, 2010

    Good for beginners, but just short of great...

    I recently bought a superzoom (Lumix FZ35, love it) and wanted a book to get me started on getting serious about photography. I got this book off the shelf from my local; here are my thoughts:

    1) Ang describes the act of shooting well, and when you're reading the book everything makes perfect sense... until you pick up your camera and you forget what you just read. Luckily, this book is a very easy read and you won't mind referring back to it numerous times.

    2) It's not entirely Ang's fault about #1 (forgetting stuff), the problem universally is that we digital camera nuts don't associate f/stops with the button or settings on the camera because everything is automatic. A book can say: this shot has shallow depth of field and you can create it with the right distance, lighting, and macro setting... but that's gibberish to most beginners with a cam that has a million buttons on it.

    3) Thankfully, I read my cam's manual so I can start to piece the puzzle together when using this book, but EVERYONE PLEASE: photography is a discipline that takes a lot of practice and dedication. Now, what this/any book could use are tabs that go to different sections of the book quickly (as photography can be fleeting); a spiral bound version would make it useful in the field as well.

    4) I wish the awesome pics in this book listed pic notes like: #zoom, program setting, ISO, lighting, distance to object, etc. That's how *I* learn: you give me an example to recreate, and I'll learn and memorize it. Sure, there are infinite variables in composition and environment, but this manner in getting me started on the right path would be helpful.

    5) I know this isn't DigiPho for Dummies, but this book could have been the bridge between the Dummies book and a camera manual. I pored through all the books at my local and didn't find everything all in one book, but this one got as close as possible (granted some better books may have been out of stock).

    In all, photography is in a serious state of transition - we describe the acts of photography with the same old vocabulary, but the tools with which we work are evolving so quickly. And with this lightning fast equipment evolution, no book is going to stay current for very long when it includes summaries of cameras, software, and whatnot. Still, of the selections out there, this one provides a good overview on photography, the basics, lighing, post-shoot effects using software, and really really nice photos (this lets me know that Ang knows what he's doing!) - a good reference book for any beginner, just not the ultimate photography guide.

    cheers//dom

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Comprehensive, but not as specific as I wanted it

    Ang's book is a comprehensive view of photography, from camera lenses to digital/film to light's scientific properties. If you're looking for a general informative book, this one is fantastic. The pictures are great. Each chapter is very instructive.

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