Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Great for almost all levels of photographers, but not much technical detail
on March 23, 2011
This is an excellent book that provides advice for photographing, as the title suggests, absolutely everything. There really isn't any subject that I can think of that the author did not cover. This is a subject-oriented book with casual mentions of the technical aspects of photography, so it is more suited to people looking to learn how to photograph particular subjects, rather those who are looking for highly-detailed technical info about photography. So, if you are looking for a technical photography book I would suggest looking for something else. But, if you want to learn how to photograph pretty much every imaginable thing out there, then I highly recommend this book.
The book starts out with a chapter discussing the basics of photography (like shutter speed, ISO, etc), and some basic techniques, such as framing, zooming, and dealing with colour. This chapter is a very good introduction to the technical aspects of photography, but personally I would have preferred if it would have been more detailed and if it would have discussed more advanced techniques. For example, I consider panoramic, 3D, and high-dynamic range (HDR) photography to be extremely important techniques because of how realistic they can make a photo be, but Ang did not discuss these techniques at all in this chapter. Panoramas are briefly discussed much later in the book, but HDR and 3D are not mentioned at all. If he would have introduced these techniques in the first chapter then they could have been used in almost every single section in the rest of the book. For example, Ang often noted that certain photos will contain both very bright and very dark sections, but his solution was almost always to find a compromise between the two, rather than implementing high-dynamic range techniques to properly expose all sections of the photo. Also, it would have been nice if this chapter would have talked about other technical aspects in a little more detail. For example, a comparison of using the flash versus using high ISO would have been nice because it is often discussed casually throughout the rest of the book.
Also, although there are a lot of example photos throughout the book, it would have been nice to show more comparison photos. Ang often mentions the downfall of a particular technique, but it would have been nice to see the result of such flawed techniques compared to the better technique.
Other than not including quite enough technical details or comparison photos, this book is great. This book is subject-oriented, so the chapters are organized by subject (people, animals, architecture, etc), and each chapter is divided into sub-topics regarding that subject, like sports, children, and family portraits for the people chapter. Within each section specific techniques are discussed that are relevant to that particular subject, and this discussion often ties in to what was discussed in chapter 1.
Something else I like about this book is that Ang de-emphasizes the need for an SLR to get good photos. Many photos in the book are photos of him taking a photo (to show a technique), and often he is using a small point-and-shoot camera. Granted, it's usually a high-quality point-and-shoot with full manual control, but by showing what these small cameras are capable of, he is demonstrating that SLRs are only really needed under special circumstances or when you need the absolute best quality, rather than just the really good quality that these point-and-shoots offer. However, whenever an SLR is needed, Ang mentions this in the text.
As I mentioned I really enjoyed this book despite its slight lack of technical details and example photos, and I would highly recommend it to pretty much all photographers. Beginners will be provided with sufficient technical knowledge for most photographic situations, and all readers will learn at least something about the art of photographing particular subjects. Also, it is more organized and detailed than most other books on this subject.