Getting Started in DSLR Photography by Daniel Lezano
|Getting Started in DSLR Photography by Daniel Lezano|
|Reviewer: Robin Leggett|
|Summary: A useful and well illustrated guide to the basics of SLR photography. Essential reading for novices and even more experienced photographers may get some helpful tips or reminders here.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 132||Date: December 2010|
|Publisher: Dennis Publishing|
The magazine-style layout of this 'magbook' (an ugly, but apt, term for the format) lends itself particularly well to the subject in hand, not least as the glossy pages beautifully illustrate the effects on the photographs that the publishers are showing. It's published by the team at Digital SLR Photography magazine and it reads like a collection of the most useful articles published therein, particularly for the novice to SLR photography.
On the book to magazine scale, it veers more towards the magazine end of the spectrum. There is a very small amount of advertising contained (as well as an even smaller amount of 'advertorial' features) but this is minuscule compared with the level seen in the typical photography magazine.
Most new-comers to SLR photography are probably coming from the 'point and shoot' world of compact cameras. It's true that you can use SLRs in much the same fashion, but that's a huge waste of what they are designed for. It's like owning a Porsche and living on a desert island. All a bit pointless (not that I've ever done either). The art of photography is about controlling light and SLRs let you get one up on technology by effectively saying to your camera that you know better than the complex processors on board. It's a great feeling when it works, but in order for you to do that, you do need to understand some basics and there is an initially potentially daunting amount of terminology to master. This book will guide you through with simple explanations, illustrations and examples.
Even the most basic SLR on the market is a powerful beast and offers the user all sorts of options. Generally the quality of the manuals that come with these cameras is good, but they are dry and have the aim of telling you how to make changes without telling you why you might want to alter them. And they are pretty unreadable even for more experienced photographers. That's where this book comes in. Usually in life the more you spend on equipment, the better the result - it's not quite so straightforward with SLRs. You will get better results with a lower value model and the knowledge contained in this book than you would for a far more expensive unit without this knowledge. When you put it in those terms, it's a pretty essential purchase for the novice and even for the slightly more experienced user.
Around a quarter of the pages are devoted to 'Understanding your SLR', explaining terms and uses of things like aperture control, shutter priority and ISO ratings. A further third of the pages are devoted to 'Basic Techniques' that introduce the reader to things like histograms and depth-of-field. There's a small section of 'Creative Techniques', although this only features four ideas some of which will require additional kit and perhaps are not where you might want to start your journey into SLR photography just yet, and then the remaining pages are devoted to 'Choosing and Using Kit'. It's notable that this doesn't feature choosing the camera itself though, nor indeed advice on getting your images printed. In truth, both these later chapters seemed a bit thin on the ground to me, but then again, I'm sure the publishers would like you to subscribe to their magazine where there are more examples of both creative techniques and kit each month.
The book copes well with explanations that cover a range of different cameras, with pictures of settings for the most commonly used brands. Mainly this features Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sony owners are not ignored but there are fewer images for the Sony.
Overall, this is a very useful and easy to follow guide that new SLR users in particular will find invaluable.
The Bookbag would like to thank the publishers, Dennis Publishing, for inviting us to review this useful edition. To get the best price for this MagBook visit magbooks.com. From the USA you should click on this link.
For more photo fun, check out the Collins Complete Photography Manual.
You can read more book reviews or buy Getting Started in DSLR Photography by Daniel Lezano at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Getting Started in DSLR Photography by Daniel Lezano at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.