The Digital Photography Book (Anglais) Broché – 23 août 2006
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Revue de presse
"Kelby's laid-back writing style is perfect for those looking for fascinating insights without getting caught up in technical detail. An essential series for anyone wanting to take professional looking images."
Laurence Howell, Short List
Quatrième de couverture
This entire book is written with a brilliant premise, and here’s how Scott describes it: "If you and I were out on a shoot, and you asked me, 'Hey, how do I get this flower to be in focus, but I want the background out of focus?' I wouldn't stand there and give you a lecture about aperture, exposure, and depth of field. In real life, I'd just say, 'Get out your telephoto lens, set your f/stop to f/2.8, focus on the flower, and fire away.' You d say, 'OK,' and you'd get the shot. That's what this book is all about. A book of you and I shooting, and I answer the questions, give you advice, and share the secrets I've learned just like I would with a friend, without all the technical explanations and without all the techno-photo-speak."
This isn't a book of theory—it isn't full of confusing jargon and detailed concepts: this is a book of which button to push, which setting to use, when to use them, and nearly two hundred of the most closely guarded photographic "tricks of the trade" to get you shooting dramatically better-looking, sharper, more colorful, more professional-looking photos with your digital camera every time you press the shutter button.
Here's another thing that makes this book different: each page covers just one trick, just one single concept that makes your photography better. Every time you turn the page, you'll learn another pro setting, another pro tool, another pro trick to transform your work from snapshots into gallery prints. There's never been a book like it, and if you're tired of taking shots that look "OK," and if you’re tired of looking in photography magazines and thinking, "Why don't my shots look like that?" then this is the book for you.
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Enough about me; now let's look at the latest book by Scott Kelby (of National Association of Photoshop Professionals fame): The Digital Photography Book.
This is a different kind of animal in the world of self-help photography books. The author describes the experience of reading the book as having your good friend--who also happens to be an expert in digital photography--standing besides you while you're taking pictures.
The book lives up to Scott's description--complete with the frequent interjection of his quirky sense of humor. (Warning, watch out for the first page of Chapter One.)
I don't feel this is a book for complete novices--either in photography or in the use of digital equipment. Scott assumes the readers already know the basics of how their cameras work (what and where the controls are) and have used their cameras long enough to know what else they want to learn to take better photographs.
Another reason some basic knowledge of photography is necessary to get the most from this book is that Scott doesn't shy away from including the terms in common use by digital photographers today: ISO, white balance, focal length, lens aperture, etc. He also assumes the readers have the desire to move up in the ranks from point-and-shooters to at least competent amateurs. Therefore, Scott includes numerous suggestions about photographic gear he feels can help any photographer take better pictures--and, although he breaks his suggestions down by price range, much of the gear still comes with a hefty price tag.
A look at the chapter titles also confirms that Scott was not writing a teach-everything book for all readers. The 11 chapters include specialized topics, such as, Shooting Flowers like a Pro, Shooting Weddings Like a Pro, Shooting Sports Like a Pro and Taking Advantage of Digital Like a Pro. For me, the final chapter, Photo Recipes to Help You Get "The Shot", was the best part of the book. This is where Scott puts everything together and takes his readers into the field to practice what they've learned.
So, do I like The Digital Photography Book? More importantly, do I recommend it? Yes, to both of these questions; but, as I mentioned above, to get the most out of the book, the reader should have at least point-and-shoot digital experience and a basic vocabulary of photographic terms.
One final note. The book can be read front to back, or chapters can be sampled at random to learn just the techniques each reader needs. At the offered price, I think The Digital Photography Book definitely has a place in a well-rounded photographer's library.
Scott approaches each chapter with some humor, and really understands what you really need is a clear bottom line on how to approach the person or subject you want to photograph.
I received my book Sept 4th, read it and used some of his tips shooting 500+ volleyball pictures Sept 5th. I think I can see some improvement in my pictures already.
He has equipment recommendations and shooting tips for the person that has just bought a digital camera to the person that uses it to make a living.
He has worked alongside of professionals learning tips on how to process the digital photographs and how to best print them. Scott believes photography can be more fun if you get results you like by using some of the basic principles used by professional photographers.
I have unhesitatingly recommended this book to several of my friends.
This is one of the least expensive camera related purchases that I have made to bring my excitement of photography to a new level.
I am quite certain you won't be disappointed, especially if you own a Nikon or Canon digital SLR.
I expect my copy to become dog eared from use.
Full of examples and straight to the point tips, this book will definitively improve the quality of every single shot you take. When I compare the pictures I took before I read the book with my latest pictures, it looks like I am know using a far better or more expensive digital camera, but the only difference is the know-how I gained from the book.
Here is an excerpt (talking about the origins of the phrase Tack Sharp - meaning a "clear photo"):
"TACK stands for Technically Accurate Cibachrome Kelvin (which refers to the color temperature of light in photographs), and SHARP stands for Shutter Hyperfocal At Refracted Polarization. Now, these may seem like highly technical terms at first, but once you realize that I totally made them up, it doesn't seem so complicated, does it? Now, you have to admit, it sounded pretty legitimate at first. I mean, I almost had ya, didn't I? Come on, you know I had you, and I'll bet it was that "color temperature of light" thing I put in parenthesis that helped sell the idea that it was real, right? It's okay to admit you were fooled..."
Is this for real? Maybe his editor was asleep. He makes a lame joke out of trying to fool the reader, then carries on for half a paragraph laughing at how clever he is! I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he continued with this 'fooled ya' theme by writing fake subheadings on the next SIX sections:
The Real Secret to Getting Sharp Photos
"sorry about duping you with "The Real Secret to Getting Sharp Photos" headline..."
Perhaps Even More Important Than That
"Again, ignore that headline. It's just a cheap come-on to get you to keep reading."
If You Skip This, Throw Away Your Camera
"Still a fake headline. Don't let it throw you."
If You Do This Wrong, It Will Lock Up
"It's not as good as the last fake headline, but we're only one more page away from the real chapter content, so I'm backing it off a little."
It's Time to Get Serious
"I have good news: Not only are we at the end of this "fake headline" thing, you'll also be happy to know that from here on out, the rest of the book isn't laced with the wonderfully inspired (lame) humor you found on these first few pages."
Oh... Okay - so he's dropping the annoying stuff. Good. On to learn.
But NO! In Chapter 2, right away he's at it again! Below he describes ways to get around the problem of pollen dulling the color of flowers (???)
"Now, there is a special photographic filter (called the Flora 61B from PhotoDynamics) that can help reduce the effects of this pollination and both bring back the sharpness and reduce the graying effect, but because of U.S. trade sanctions imposed by the Federal Trade Commission, we can no longer buy this filter direct. Especially because I totally made this whole thing up. I can't believe you fell for this two chapters in a row. Seriously, how are you going to get good flower photos if you're falling for the old Flora 61B trick? Okay, I'm just teasing you, but seriously..."
I hate having to stay on constant patrol for full paragraphs of combed cr*p when I'm trying to learn something new! I don't care how good the "real" content is, I'm not going to sift through fertilizer to get to it!
If you find this type of humor funny, or wonder what I'm making such a big deal about, then you'll probably find this a very fun, interesting read.
If you don't like wondering whether or not the author is "pulling your leg this time, too", then you'll probably want to chuck this book out the window by the third chapter.
*The author is not a very good writer. He tries to be funny and he is not (to my taste anyway). The author is very preoccupied by his own status. He is constantly talking about his famous photographer friends, blah, blah, blah. I thought this was going to be a book about hands-on technique...Show the photos and explain how they were taken.
*The quality of the book is poor. The book is small and the paper and printing are cheap. The paper is magazine quality.
*It seems that nearly half the photos in the book are stock photos, not taken by the author. That surprised me.
This book might be okay if you know abolutely nothing about photography but I found it simple and uninspiring. There was no single photo in this book by Mr. Kelby that made me say "wow".
I found The Betterphoto Guide to Digital Photography (Amphoto Guide Series) to be a far superior book; well written with great photos, all by the author.