2003 Best

Shooting Digital:

Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera

Mikkel Aaland has done all digital camera owners a great service with this book. Aside from all the other books, we feel this one does the best job of tempering new camera owners with both beginner how-to and experienced details.

Some say that digital cameras are functionally identical to a traditional film cameras. But that's really not true. If you've been using a traditional 35mm point-n-shoot, and now have moved into the digital age, you need Mikkel's expertise. This book shows exactly why the newest digitals are overall neither better nor worse than cameras of older design. The key ingredient is knowing how to take advantage of the digital format. You'll learn how to compensate for their shortcomings like shutter lag (for which he documents a useful testing procedure) and color fringing.

The other thing we liked about this particular book is that it's not a photo-editing book in disguise. Unlike other books which are essentially Photoshop or Photoshop Elements books with "Digital Photography" in their title, Aaland never forgets that digital cameras should be more cameras than digital. So for image editing, look to our other "Best" selections for that.

Shooting Digital serves as an excellent photography text for hobbyists and aspiring professionals. The author's advice in this area is both technical (how to light a still life and how to best a strobe to eliminate shadows) and artistic (why kids should be encouraged to photograph other kids, and how you can use perspective to create weird effects). Mikkel is an accomplished photographer who obviously loves his work, and his enthusiasm for making art with a camera--and, for that matter, just playing with one--come through brilliantly.

Learn:

  • Photography--of objects, people, places, action, nature, and other subjects--as accomplished with a modern digital camera.
  • The relationship between camera and subject, as defined by focus, lighting, composition, and motion.
  • Image manipulation accomplished via camera settings (like white balance and exposure) rather than after the shot
  • Essential (and often overlooked) coverage of the differences among various image file formats.

This book is not what we consider mandatory reading for everyone. It's for those who want to do more with a digital camera than snap shots. It's particularly for those in the graphic design fields who have no formal photography training, or those in corporate or education fields where photography is not their primary job function, but are relied upon to take photos for publication. Look at it this way: you've spent multi-hundreds on that new camera, why not make the very most of it?

Shooting Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera
by Mikkel Aaland
List price is about $35.00 -- buy now at: $24.50 and save: $10.50 (30%) Paperback: 304 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.74 x 9.98 x 7.86, Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition

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