Review: The Digital Photography Companion

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Disclaimer: O’Reilly sent us a copy of The Digital Photography Companion by Derrick Story for review a few weeks ago and they also provided two extra copies to raffle off to our readers, but this is not a paid review. This is our honest editorial opinion.

There are a lot of photography books aimed at beginners available in the market today. On one hand, this is a good thing since we are presented with a lot of options to choose from but on the other hand, they all end up discussing the same things. It gets pretty redundant.

What surprised me about The Digital Photography Companion is that it actually covered some information I haven’t read in other photography books for beginners. You will find a lot of photos that complement the text, and the author provides the EXIF data of all the photos used.

CHAPTER GUIDE

1. What Is It?
It opens with a discussion on the pros and cons of both point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs, and which would be suitable for you. It also touches on camera features. The author explains everything from battery types to zoom lenses. This is one of the reasons why we would highly recommend this book for point-and-shoot camera owners looking to upgrade to digital SLRs.

2. How Does It Work?
The second chapter continues the basics by looking at camera functions and how you could use these to create a photograph. Derrick gives a rundown of camera functions from AV mode to Zoom Control.

3. How to Shoot Like A Pro
This is where the discussion on the basics of photographic technique begins. Aside from the usual topics like composition, you’ll get a brief overview of the different disciplines of photography such as landscapes and weddings. I personally found the discussions on each topic a bit short but it’s a solid starting point for further learning.

4. I’ve Taken Great Pictures, Now What?
The author decided to focus on the things that happen before editing begins. Here you’ll get some tips on working with RAW files, archiving and image management with different programs.

5. Printing Made Easy
As the chapter title says, it’s all about printing. You’ll learn the basics of direct printing an the different types of printers you can use.

We particularly like the Appendix, which is “a quick-reference guide for a variety of camera settings” which should prove to be useful for beginners in a bind.

If you consider yourself to be an advanced photographer, then this book is not for you. As Lisa likes to say, “you are not the target market.” But if you’re new to photography and not really sure where to begin or what to do next, this book is a pretty good place to start.

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