The Digital Photography Book - Review
The Digital Photography Book - How to Make Your Photos Look Like the Pros aims to help you if you are an amateur photographer looking to polish up key areas of your photography. The author, Scott Kelby, has written a number of different books on digital photography. His books tend to sell very well indeed. In fact the front cover of this book states this is the best selling digital photography book of all time.
Who Is The Book For?
Based on the title of the book you get the idea it is aimed at serious hobbyists. With an entire chapter devoted to wedding photography and with sections of the chapter on portraits given over to discussing the best types of background to use for portrait shots it may appeal to you if you are thinking of becoming a professional photographer. Other areas of the book suggest the targeted buyer is someone with less experience with other chapters dedicated to providing tips for sharpening up your photos and photographing flowers.
Each chapter is divided into mini topics. They really are mini topics too as each one gets a page or more accurately two thirds of a page of text, plus a picture. This approach left me wanting more background information from time to time as Scott hurried through a subject to squeeze everything onto a page.
On the whole I felt that these small bits and pieces of information gave the book a disjointed feel and I found it hard to get into any sense of flow. The upside of this approach is that it makes each subject relatively easy to understand and digest.
Scott Kelby's writing style tends to divide people. There is a lot of humour in the book, but whether you will find the humour great or just grating is hard to say. I like the idea of injecting a bit of humour into this type of book, but it did not work for me. The humour itself would not put me off buying this book, but be aware that some people find it a big turn off.
The chapter listing is as follow:
Chapter 1 - Pro Tips for Getting Really Sharp Photos
Chapter 2 - Shooting Flowers Like a Pro
Chapter 3 - Shooting Weddings Like a Pro
Chapter 4 - Shooting Landscapes Like a Pro
Chapter 5 - Shooting Sports Like a Pro
Chapter 6 - Shooting People Like a Pro
Chapter 7 - Avoiding Problems Like a Pro
Chapter 8 - Taking Advantage of Digital Like a Pro
Chapter 9 - Taking Travel & City Life Shots Like a Pro
Chapter 10 - How to Print Like a Pro and Other Cool Stuff
Chapter 11 - Photo Recipes to Help You Get The Shot
The book runs to 218 pages including a 9 page index. That gives you around 20 pages per subject. As you can see a wide range of subjects are covered, but are they covered in sufficient depth to really make a significant difference to your photography?
An example of this is the chapter on Wedding Photography. If you want to shoot weddings like a professional a chapter running to 20 pages is unlikely to raise an amateur photographer to professional standard, especially when 9 of those pages run to 11 lines of text or less. Another page is given over to backing up your photos on site.
With a wide ranging subject list you are likely to be able to find tips and ideas to improve your photography, but you might want to ask yourself how many chapters apply to you?
What I Really Liked
There are plenty of bite sized tips, covering a wide range of subjects. It is also an easy read.
Where it Could Be Better
This book is part of a series of three. Although this book on its own will help you along, I can see why Scott felt the need to write another two books along very similar lines.
This book is one of the biggest selling photography books, but it doesn't quite work for me.
Part of my problem with the book is working out exactly who it is aimed at. If you are a beginner there are better books that guide you through the early stages of mastering technical aspects such as aperture size, shutter speed and lighting. There are also better options for increasing your creativity and improving your eye as a photographer. At the same time if you are really trying to master a subject each small topic covered here may lack the depth you require.
All in all this book is probably best used as a book you can dip into if there are specific areas of photography you would like to brush up on.
Where to Buy