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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Digital Photography Book volumes 1 and 2
The Digital Photography Book volumes 1 and 2

By Scott Kelby
PeachPit Press 2007, 2009.

Many technical books use an informal, conversational style to make very dry information more palatable. It's very easy, however, to go too far with this approach. At it's worst it can be like listening to someone with a lot to say but who is sadly nowhere near...
Published on March 28 2010 by Peter Merrison

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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced and overrated
I had high hopes for this set, but I was very disappointed. While it does contain some nuggets of good advice, they are interspersed with lots of bad attempts at humour and padding.

Consider the first book, which has 209 pages (excluding the index). Kelby spends the first seven pages telling you that he has a casual style, that he uses three symbols for price...
Published on Dec 28 2009 by Robert Prior


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Digital Photography Book volumes 1 and 2, March 28 2010
By 
Peter Merrison (Vancouver BC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
The Digital Photography Book volumes 1 and 2

By Scott Kelby
PeachPit Press 2007, 2009.

Many technical books use an informal, conversational style to make very dry information more palatable. It's very easy, however, to go too far with this approach. At it's worst it can be like listening to someone with a lot to say but who is sadly nowhere near as funny and charismatic as they think themselves to be. Scott Kelby comes dangerously close to overusing this bantering approach in these books. In the first 7 pages, there are more than a dozen sentences that start with one of the following: '"Now..."' "'Hey,..." "'Anyway,..."' "'So,..."' and "'Come on,...'" On page 7, Kelby informs the reader that he is going to tone down the 'lame humor' and mercifully begin conveying actual useful information.

From this point on I was pleasantly surprised to find the book concise, very well organized, and full of useful content. The format of one topic to a page works very well, with just enough information to keep the subject matter interesting and not overwhelming. After the first chapter on general photography tips, each chapter is organized by photographic subject matter, for example, weddings, landscapes, etc.

A minor issue to me is the order of the chapters. This was strange to me, even when considering there is no way to organize this in a way that suits everyone's needs. For example, the first chapter on a specific type of photography is '"Shooting Flowers Like a Pro.'" Something so specific belongs in the back of the first book or in the second book. The organization of the subject matter across the two books suggests they were edited separately and the two books don't necessarily work as a two volume set. For example, both books contain chapters identically named "'Shooting Weddings Like a Pro"' and '"Shooting Landscapes Like a Pro."' This suggests the chapters are redundant, which they are mostly not. If the same subject matter is spread across two volumes, it would be useful to the reader if they were named differently and cross-referenced.

The two volumes work much better as reference guides than as something that the reader would want to read from cover to cover. Where these two books shine is in the useful information conveyed within the single paragraph each page/topic contains.

Over the past couple of decades, powerful technology has seduced many of us away from using anything but the camera's automatic settings. What these books do extremely well is to show us ways to make photography much more enjoyable and rewarding by going beyond default settings and methods.

Peter Merrison is a Graphic Artist with a Bachelor of Technology degree in photographic technology from Ryerson University (formerly Ryerson Polytechnical Institute) in Toronto, Ontario.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced and overrated, Dec 28 2009
By 
Robert Prior (Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this set, but I was very disappointed. While it does contain some nuggets of good advice, they are interspersed with lots of bad attempts at humour and padding.

Consider the first book, which has 209 pages (excluding the index). Kelby spends the first seven pages telling you that he has a casual style, that he uses three symbols for price ranges, that you should shop at B&H in New York, and that for technical details you should look elsewhere. Every chapter starts with a picture and a page of lame jokes and ends with a blank page, which takes up another 33 pages. So that's 40 pages out of 209 that don't deal with photography! After three pages about buying a tripod (one recommending three tripods, one recommending three ballheads, one recommending a cable release) he then spends another two pages telling you to use a tripod. That's five pages to convey one paragraph of information, and while there are five pictures none actually illustrate the effects of using a tripod (or not). Throw in ten pages of advertising and there's even less room to talk about actual photography.

When Kelby does get down to business his advice is good, but spread over far too many pages: he makes one point per page, which leads to a lot of wasted space. For example, he takes one page to tell you that leaving a lens hood on your camera all the time will help protect your lens from scratches, dust, and fingerprints, and that pros do this. One page to convey two sentences of information!

The boxed set is even worse, because books 2 and 3 repeat information from the first book.

For travel photography I'd recommend The Photographer's Eye Field Guide: The essential handbook for traveling with your digital SLR camera. For portrait photography buy Beyond Portraiture: Creative People Photography. The two together will cost you less than the price of this boxed set, and you'll learn a lot more.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't beat this set, Oct. 7 2009
By 
James H. Carey (Kelowna, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
Scott Kelbey's 1st Digital Photography Book is still the best selling book on the subject ever published. His 2nd is still selling briskly and now his recently published 3rd volume has been packaged with the other two in a convenient boxed set. When you are out on a shoot you don't want too much weight with your gear but these are handy sized pocket books with tons of worthwhile set-up and how to information. They are full of tips ie. spraying water on flowers when shooting a macro close-up. A few times when I've been out on a shoot I have left them behind and truly regretted it. Scott also gives us hints on the best equipment to purchase and at various cost levels to match any budget from the poverty stricken to the ultra super expensive stuff. He never hesitates to encourage and fits his suggestions to streamline post production in Photoshop or Lightroom for once you get your shots downloaded. Panoramas, tripods, ball heads and even lens filters and lenses themselves are discussed in detail. The best feature of this series is that it is eminently portable and easy to keep on hand. I highly recommend all 3 volumes and this is a great way to get them all at once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated but still very good, March 8 2011
This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
Even if the title might suggest otherwise, I still suggest getting it. However, there was so many expectations on my side that I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong : very good buy, but don't expect miracles.

If you want a book that gives nice and short tricks for photography, I think you've got a good part covered. I'd suggest getting something on exposure from elsewhere, though. I think it should've been covered more thoroughly in these books.

Basically, a good basic read, that is a nice intro to whatever you will read next. Not a finality in itself by any means, in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scott Kelby "Digital Photography" Boxed Set, Nov. 13 2011
This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
Recently purchased this boxed set and found them to be very helpful. They are written with a minimum amount of technical jargon and thus are easy to follow. Scott injects a lot of humour keeping topics light. I would recommend this boxed set for any novice or amateur wanting to learn about digital photography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Mix of Useful Information & Immature Gibberish, Oct. 11 2011
This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
I purchased this book believing it would have a lot of useful information. Although it's not lacking in some very useful tips for users of digital cameras, the book's quality is lessened substantially by a huge amount of childish, immature gibberish relating to his personal life and other references that have no purpose here, whatsoever. Although I have noted some useful tips, I would definitely recommend a pass on this book.

It would appear that the author has a problem with white space on a printed page, and lacking anything relevant to the chapter, fills the page with personal nonsense. He thinks that his anecdotes are humourous, but they are far from it in the context of a technical writing.

I would also be wary of anything else Scott Kelby has written, assuming he uses the same writing style in all his publications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, July 28 2010
By 
Beauchemin Joanne (Longueuil, Qubec Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
I'm absolutely love this boxed set. It's very well done, easy to understand and jammed packed with usefull information. It's an excellent buy! I recommend it :D
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, Feb. 18 2010
By 
Jean-francois Noel (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
I've read the 3 books in one week. Just easy and pleasant to read. Great advices at each page.
I would recommend it to anyone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read these unless you really want to be inspired to shoot like a pro, Jan. 27 2010
By 
S. Jack "Eclectic music lover" (AB, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
Concise but incredibly readible series for those that want to get into serious dSLR photography. Covers virtually every aspect with direct advice for the amateur to would-be pro. But need to get all 3 books to get the most all round tutition (and Scott Kelby's obvious forte is in teaching you, not lecturing with all the tedious technical details).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't like Scott Kelby!!, Jan. 14 2014
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This review is from: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Paperback)
I mean, i love love Scott Kelby's books! So easy and all little details i learned through him, i got better at taking photos and understand better in all aspects when it comes to understand how a DSLR works! It obviously has basic knowledge i learned online but he still shows few tricks to get better in taking photos :) I love his website as well!
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Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 by Scott Kelby (Paperback - Sept. 23 2009)
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