Complete Digital Photography - Ben LongComplete Digital Photography - Seventh Edition by Ben Long is a MASSIVE tome of about 600 pages put out in 2013. So it is as intense as any serious college textbook, it's up to date, and it offers a wealth of full color photos to provide practical examples for its material. And, even more surprisingly, it's not priced at the high cost one often sees from full color textbooks at this size.
The book covers everything right from the very beginning. How does light work. How does the eyeball react to light. How does a camera's various parts impact the way light and color are stored. It goes into all the standard things like f-stop - and then it goes beyond. Not only do you learn that lighting on an object is important, but you learn WHY it's important, and you cover it from a variety of points of view. You learn about flash lighting and how it impacts the creation of a photo. The examples are clear and useful.
The book also covers the Photoshop / graphic program side of things. How do you tweak that photo to fix common issues like red eye and dust spots. How do masks work. How does resizing impact an image.
There are even specific tips for specific situations. If you're shooting photos of a play or other performance, how do you get the best images? How about working with kids? If you're working on a project, you can page through to the specific area you need help with, and the advice will be there.
Is there any down side to the book? Well, it is massive. If what you're looking for is a twenty page quick "get me started" book, this isn't it. But if you want a reference tome that will guide you through everything you need to know, and that you'll be referring to for years to come, this is the book to get.
I used this book for my two college courses I took on digital photography.
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