With the times being what they are, and microchips no longer requiring an enclosure the size of a Chevette, I've about decided that maybe there's something to this whole computer business after all. I think it might stick around and become useful to humanity here before too long. In fact (and maybe it's just the combination of margaritas and the summer heat talking), I've also decided that film might not be the best route to go when I finally get around to buying my new camera. Call me sloppy, but I take a lot of crappy pictures that I don't necessarily want to pay to get developed.
And maybe you're more like me than even I am (since I'm lying in an effort to identify with the technology-impaired everyman). Maybe you're in the position where you either have a digital camera that you'd like to learn how to use better or are looking to get your first one and want to be able to do a little research on the subject before finally taking the plunge. In either case, you may be looking at picking up a book on the subject. I can tell you from experience, the manual that actually comes with your camera is about as readable as the license agreement that comes with the computer you'll also need (ie: not readable at all, except to three techno-legal-geeks who have never seen the light of day and would only be using cameras to somehow hack into World Of Warcraft, but we do wish them luck in their crusade).
We live in a world where no one has the time to read through manual after manual in a search for the answers to their questions. Most people will either give up and settle for mediocre shots or they'll grab a book at random and hopefully make do. So I've decided to sift through at least one of them for you and let you decide whether it sounds like what you need.
Digital Art Photography for Dummies, by Matthew Bamberg, is one that you may come across. As part of the popular Dummies series, it leans more towards the newbie side of the familiarity curve. Bamberg himself is an accomplished photographer who showcases his work in various galleries and venues. He strives to guide you through the process from the very beginning to the very end. It's a thorough manual for those with the goal in mind of eventually printing and framing their work either for fun, for gifts, or for sale. And maybe that's you.
But maybe it's not. This particular guide isn't for everyone. It's a focused title that may not mirror your primary concern for taking photos. Don't assume it's not for you because you may be surprised at some of the tips and tricks you can apply to your own photos that you might not have considered before. So with all that in mind, I'll break this review into the two categories that also break down most every other aspect of life: the good news and the bad news.