Tuesday , February 27 2024
With the right equipment and The Digital Photography Book you'll be shooting photographs like the pros and amazing your friends and family.

Book Review: The Digital Photography Book By Scott Kelby

The Digital Photography Book is all about being there with Scott Kelby if you and Scott were on your own little walkabout with your camera and your gear, and you said, "Hey Scott, I found this flower, how should I shoot this?" The idea is that he would not go into some long dissertation about the relation between shutter speed and aperture and how, that if you look for the golden ratio within all living things, you will find the way.

No, he would probably say something like, "Get your macro lens out and set it to … and don't shoot down on the flower because…" and other stuff like that; well, not before he made some really bad pun that made you want to cringe. Well that’s what he does in The Digital Photography Book. Really! He tells you what you need to hear, but not before he tells you something that really makes you want to cringe.

I think that it is the humor that helps you to remember what he is trying to teach you, and that is what makes his presentation so effective. Some people don't like his humor, but that’s okay; I think that they remember even more. The Digital Photography Book is 218 pages in length and breaks out into 11 chapters.

Chapter 1, "Pro Tips for Getting Really Sharp Photos" is aimed at showing you the techniques to get the sharpest image possible. First and foremost is the fact that if you want to shoot like a pro, you have to have quality equipment. Sure, you can give a pro inferior stuff and chances are that they will come away with great images, but they didn't become pros by using inferior equipment. Discussions center on cameras, lenses, tripods, cable releases, and other accessories that will have you shooting like a pro.

Chapter 2, "Shooting Flowers Like a Pro" focuses on getting great shots of flowers. Flowers seem like an easy thing to capture, but by being easy, they can also be boring if you treat them like every amateur does. Techniques here include how to get interesting shots, using the right lens, macro lenses, backgrounds, and even how to stop the wind.

Chapter 3, "Shooting Weddings Like a Pro" shows you that if you have a good camera and a 200mm lens, someone is going to want you to shoot their wedding. The main point here is there are no second chances. It has to be right the first time. Techniques here include shooting in low light, shooting with diffusers, how to shoot formals, following the bride, tricks to great backgrounds, and backups, backups, and more backups.

Chapter 4, "Shooting Landscapes Like a Pro" reminds you that if you want that ordinary shot, buy a postcard; if you want that one of a kind image, you have to make it yourself. To get that shot you have to scope things out and look around. Here there are tips on composing shots, shooting waterfalls, forests, mountain shots, as well as turning on the "blinkies".

Chapter 5, "Shooting Sports Like a Pro" has one major tip: make sure you have lots of money! Lots and lots of money! Did you ever look at the sidelines of a football game? That really long glass is expensive. So is that second camera the photographer has around his or her neck. You know, the other one with the really long glass. In this chapter, you will get a hint of what it will take to shoot sports like a pro.

Chapter 6, "Shooting People Like a Pro" is not all about doing portraits; rather it is also about shooting people in the streets. Wait, not shooting them in the street, photographing them in the street! Here you will learn about the best lenses, aperture, backgrounds, using reflectors, as well as other tips the pros use.

Chapter 7, "Avoiding Problems Like a Pro" discusses various techniques that will avoid headaches and other problems while you are photographing. These include how to apply for permits for shooting on a tripod, shooting on an incline, being careful of what you shoot, and even the use of bracketing when you are unsure of the lighting.

Chapter 8, "Taking Advantage of Digital Like a Pro" points out that a digital camera is not the replacement for a film camera and it should not be treated as such. Topics discussed include the use of the LCD monitor to preview your images, taking extra images just to make sure you get the shot you want, editing as you go to get more keepers, and more again on the "blinkies!"

Chapter 9, "Taking Travel and City Life Shots Like a Pro" reveals that it is awfully tough to be a travel photographer out there and if you want to be one you may have to resort to some extreme measures. If you insist, then these tips will help you get a one-up on your competition. Here you will find the best times to shoot, what to shoot and what not to shoot, as well as the fact that hiring a model may be cheaper than you think.

Chapter 10, "How to Print Like a Pro and Other Cool Stuff" points out again that having a lot of money can be a good thing if you need to buy a really great printer. But if you don't have a lot of money, you better have a bunch of tips, and here Scott Kelby gives you some you can bank on. Now you will learn why RAW is better, how to work with Lightroom to organize you images, how to print lab quality prints, as well as how to sell your images to make money — perhaps to buy that next great printer.

Chapter 11, "Photo Recipes to Help You Get 'The Shot'" is all about getting the shot. In this section the author shows you an image and then shows you how to get the shot, what is needed to set up and create the image, and how you can do it, too!

Needless to say The Digital Photography Book is a winner. Pound for pound and page for page, it provides a lot of information for a little book. It written in a clear and concise manner and it is very easy to read and provides a lot of practical tips and techniques to make you a better photographer.

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a little more seasoned, there is something in here for you. With the right equipment and The Digital Photography Book you'll be shooting photographs like the pros and amazing your friends and family. This is highly recommended reading.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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