In the interests of giving people enough time to participate, here is the awaited review of Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Book, Volume 3. To be eligible to win this book, simply comment on this post – you have until Friday to make a comment – the winner will be announced then. One entry only per person, and free shipping to anywhere in the US. If you live outside the US you can still participate, but shipping won’t be free. Details to follow for the winner… Good luck all and thanks to those at NAPP and Kelby Media for sending the book out (little did they know I’d be turning around and giving it away again). So, ready for the “review”? Here goes:
The relatively recent release of Scott Kelby’s latest book on photography has met well with readers and reviewers so when I got an opportunity to read through it in some detail, figured this would be a good time to give a Canon-centric rundown.
First off, the book is interestingly organized. Scott’s impressive background with Photoshop has lent itself well toward his particular writing style in that a work flow of sorts can be how reading material is organized. With photography, a “work flow” is not as easy to adhere to because things will vary from one type of environment to another. There are some basics that will be the same across the board, and given the layout of this third volume, I am guessing he found a flow for the first book or two. For this third book though, it’s not typical “Kelby-esque” style writing. Sure, the wit still comes through, and for those accustomed to his writing style, this is a welcome element. The flow aspect being different though, takes some adjusting. To that end, here’s how the book is laid out in its chapter organization:
- Flash Tips
- Studio Tips
- Lens Tips
- Product Photography
- Outdoor Photography
- Portrait Photography
- Sports Photography
- General Photo Tips
- Avoiding/Dealing with Problems
Because in previous works, I have been accustomed to reading something like a story as things easily transition from one element to the next, this was a bit more challenging at first. Once I made the shift to this new style, it became easier – so, my recommendation, read this book more as a quick reference guide. The tips, tricks, and pointers he gives on all subjects are spot on for the specific subject matter. The content shifts quickly though with each tip lasting about a page (and this includes graphics).
When all is said and done though, would I recommend this as a book to read? I can honestly say that though I’ve probably advanced past his introductory books, this is definitely a keeper. Not only are there some great tips in here, but they aren’t just cheesy ones like “Don’t forget to take your lens cap off…” These are real tips, true gristle that you can sink your teeth into. Want to know how to use mirrors? Scott tells you! How about what to do if your flash isn’t bright enough? Scott tells you! There’s even nuts and bolts info on things like how to get specific effects with your photography in all genres of work. I think what I like best is that he actually goes through some of the specifics for both Nikon (his camera gear of choice) and Canon equivalents, for camera and lighting settings. This way no one is left out (unless you shoot Pentax, but then even there, the tips for photography still apply.)
The last element I think is worth mentioning is that while this book is not complete on any given subject matter, that it is still a good choice because now you aren’t trying to get everything out of one book – you get nuggets and tricks and tools for any genre that can help you. Even if you knew everything in this book at one point in time, it would still be useful because we all need reminders every once and a while, so this is one to be sure to hold on to. Scott gives enough detail to get you started in whatever field interests you – or even enough to take you from beginner to serious hobbyist, or even to maintain your skills as a general reference guide. Is it too late? Can I retract the “Comment Contest” and keep the book? No worries – out it goes for some lucky reader.
I do feel that I should give some fair warning here though – this book is not for beginners. If you’ve got a few things down, some of the basics of gear and lighting, and known your rules of composition, then yes, jump right in, the water is warm. If the terms I just mentioned are somewhat new or you are still getting them down pat – you might want to start with his Volume 1 or Volume 2 book (or even just keep reading the blogs – I know a few good ones! 🙂 )
So, there you have it – thanks to Scott for putting out yet another must-read book (what’s he at, like 60 books now?). Thanks also to Kelby media for sending this one out – I wasn’t sure if it would come or not. And lastly, now it’s time to share your thoughts…did you like it? Did it stink? Needed more? Needed less? About right? Should he switch to Canon and leave the Nikonians behind? (Ok, just kidding on that last one…) But sound off – this is your chance to win the book for free!
Happy shooting all, and thanks in advance for all that stop in to comment – don’t forget the month long contest going on over at Flickr to win a bunch of prizes including some more stuff from NAPP. It’s in the Flickr tab up at the top, but I’ll link here again for convenience sake! We’ll see you back here again tomorrow!