Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang

How to Photograph Absolutely Everything is a reference book for the amateur/recreational photographer that features step-by-step instructions on taking successful photographs with a digital camera. It starts off with a primer on the different digital cameras and their features. It then discusses the many aspects of photography: focusing, settings, timing, composition, lighting, cropping, etc. before getting into the instructions for taking pictures of people, landscapes, animals, architecture and events. The book also has a creative section for those wanting to make works of art. The last section covers more mundane applications like documenting items for insurance purposes, recording collections or photographing building projects or home interiors.

This is a great book. It's filled with hundreds of photographs and detailed instructions to get good results whether you own a simple point-and-shoot type digital camera or a more complicated DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex) camera. Tom Ang, the author, provides many tips and tricks for setting up the shot and setting the camera to achieve the results you want. He proves that by giving simple clear instructions, the amateur photographer can take decent and sometimes outstanding photographs without the need for expensive camera equipment (other than a digital camera) or an extensive course on photography.

The diversity of the photographs and situations in the book are outstanding. There are just too many to mention. I'll just say that everything I would want to photograph was included; I couldn't find one thing missing. In that sense, the book really does tell you how to "photograph absolutely everything". While this book does offer a lot of things, it will not replace the owner's manual for your camera. The two do make great companions, though. The manual tells you how to use the camera, this book tells you how to take the photographs.

Even though I do have a DSLR camera (don't ask me what all of the buttons are for), I really appreciated that the majority of the demonstration photos had Ang holding a point-and-shoot type camera. It made me realize that great photographs can be captured with a variety of digital devices. I'm probably going to try out many of these techniques on my husband's point-and-shoot camera to see what kind of results I'm going to get.

The adequate table of contents gave a general overview of what the book contained, which should aid in finding the various sections. The glossary had clear concise definitions and was interesting. It introduced some great photographic terms. My one disappointment was that it introduced terms that weren't in the index. So I could read the definitions for "clone" and "white balance", for example, but I couldn't read more about them because they were absent from the index. Having said that, the index does contain many entries and is useful for finding items in the book.

Highly recommended. You won't be an expert photographer after reading or going through this book, but you will have some techniques up your sleeve to create some wonderful photographs.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the DK Publishing website.

For more information about the author, his work and his other books, please visit Tom Ang's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang, DK Publishing, ©2007. ISBN 9780756643089(Paperback), 384p.

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