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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on March 28, 2010
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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on January 15, 2010
I wasn't sure I'd like this set of books because I'd heard they were pretty basic, but I picked up the boxed set of 3 during the Boxing Week sale for 50% off. I figured I could use some light reading. I have to say that a lot of the information is very basic (geared to beginners). However, some of the other things like the studio lighting information is great if you don't know anything about it. Each book repeats a bit of what the previous book contained, but also adds even more information about a particular subject (like studio photography, landscapes, sports, etc.). Overall, this is a great set of books, full of information that allows you to quickly go out and shoot pretty much anything. I didn't mind the references to B&H; it's actually my favourite online photo store.
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on November 13, 2011
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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on January 5, 2014
Although these are great books with lots of information and tips on a variety of photo situations, I rated it only 4 stars mainly because I find his humourous opening pages to each chapter a little annoying and sometimes misleading. Otherwise the book set is great.

I would recommend this to all amateur and more experienced photographers.
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on January 18, 2012
this is not a traditional photography book. Instead of talking about technical concepts, the writer gives you tip as if you were his shooting buddy.
I think is a good collection when you understand first the basic concepts of photography.
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on February 21, 2013
A whole lot of detail in these books. Not too complicated, not too technical, but everything you need to know.
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on July 19, 2015
Very informative, but writer rambles a lot, with too many anecdotes.
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on July 3, 2015
Good book
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on November 12, 2011
The books are great with a lot of beautiful pictures. It is easy to read, learn and understand. But your shipping was bad and corners of a box and books were damaged. I am sending you a video to show it.
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