Saturday , May 18 2024
Do you want to go beyond automatic modes with your camera?

Book Review: Photography For The Web by Paul Duncanson

In this day and time most people have some kind of digital camera, whether it is a point and shoot, DSLR, or the one that came in your phone, PDA, or music player. Now with the advent of social media, it is the web that has given us the ability to create our own galleries in which to hang our pictures.

To preserve the memories of the moment, it is pretty easy to just point and shoot. But if you want to understand how to get the most from your camera, well, even the manual that came with it won’t really help much. It only serves to tell you what the buttons do and not why or when to use them. That is where Photography For The Web comes in. Its goal is to give you the basic concepts about how cameras function and how to begin to get the most from them. Photography For The Web is 200 pages in length and divided into seven chapters.

Chapter One, “About Your Camera,” begins with an overview of your digital camera and what makes up a camera. In it, you will look at the differences between compacts and DLRs. Here you will look at the main parts of a camera such as the sensor, lens, aperture, shutter, and flash to see how they work.

Chapter Two, “Photo Basics,” shows you how to take control of your camera and move beyond the automatic modes. You’ll move past the ordinary to learn how to take much better images. In this chapter you will learn about exposure, depth of field, shutter speed, white balance, metering, f-stops, and ISO. You will also learn about how better to compose your images.

Chapter Three, “Advanced Techniques,” looks at more advanced things that you can do with your camera as well as tools to better prepare you to capture your best shots. Here you will see how to better use light – both natural and flash — plus accessories like diffusers and reflectors. It also discusses topics like using a tripod, shooting objects in motion, and taking long exposures.

Chapter Four, “Storing and Managing Your Images,” really focuses on backing up your images. In the world of digital imaging, backing up your images is of the utmost importance. You will also look at the use of metadata, tagging, sorting, rating, and the use of software to manage your shots.

Chapter Five, “Editing Your Images,” next looks at making your images the best that they can be after they have been captured. You will learn some of the basics of digital editing and what affordable options are available for the amateur photographer. Here you will cover the use of non-destructive editing, the use of layers, color correction as well as cropping, rotation, and the removal of distractions.

Chapter Six, “Sharing Your Images,” discusses the main reason that you take pictures. Whether it is to share with your friends or seek out criticism to try and create images, there are many venues to try. Here you will see everything from emailing to blogging them, from Flickr to photo websites and even printing.

Chapter Seven, “Further Steps,” finishes up the book by giving you tips about online forums, social groups, photography schools and other ways to interact with other photographers. You will even find some ways to get a return on your investment.

Photography For The Web is a book geared for the true beginner to photography, and the title is a bit misleading in that there is only information in the last two chapters that really has anything to do with the Web. That said, the quality of the content in the book is really outstanding and will benefit those who have only known the automatic modes to a camera.

In easy to understand and follow terms Photography For The Web takes the mystery out of the understanding of using a camera whether it is a compact or DSLR style. If you are a beginner to photography, or one who has not taken the full use of your manual modes, then I highly recommend Photography For The Web.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

Check Also

Look by Viggo Mortensen

Book Review: ‘Look’ by Viggo Mortensen

'Look' by Viggo Mortensen reminds us to stop and not only look at the world around us but breathe in its beauty.