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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
In 2011 alone, I've purchased the entire Kelby collection, an assortment of Peterson's books, Freeman's collection (which, to be fair, are geared more toward the "art and psychology" side of photography than meant as any sort of style guide or how-to), and a host of others, but Long's Complete Digital Photography is easily my favorite book of the lot of 'em. It's more than just a basic photography book - this thing is a DSLR Bible that covers virtually every aspect of the art and science of digital photography. Prior to receiving this book, I'd watched a series of videos featuring Long, and really enjoyed his plain-English teaching style as well as his infectious sense of humor as it makes going back over the "basics" (I actually studied photography in college, back in "ye ol' film days")a breeze, and learning more advanced techniques less daunting. While several of my books from some of the "bigger" names in photography have either been returned for store credit at Amazon or given away to fellow noobs to the world of DSLR photography, Long's book is one I'll be sure to keep around for regular reference, and it's the one I recommend to anyone who asks me what I think is the most comprehensive-yet-user-friendly resource on the subject. If you're new to the field or, like me, have been away so long that technology's passed you by, this is the book you need!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2011
If I had to suggest a single book providing a Complete introduction to digital photography, I would have no doubt to go with this book. As an introduction it perfectly fits the need as it succeeds in covering virtually all of the topics faced when going digital (and not only) without leaving the impression of being too superficial. Of course it can be deemed to be Complete in absolute terms and in depth coverage of each single topic, that'd be impossible in a single book. One of the greatest pleasure of (digital) photography is that it's the sum of several broad topics that well worth being explored individually: if you think of Composition, Exposure, Lightning, Post-Production, you'll soon find that the literature provides dozens of books specifically dedicated to each of them. That's why putting all this together is a complex endeavor and requires a careful thinking and organization.

Going into some more detail about the book's organization, I particularly appreciated the underlying idea. So much that I couldn't tell it better than the author himself: "[...] we've been studying the theory behind all the different parameters that affect the creation of an image, as well as the controls that you have for manipulating those parameters. I have been calling this the craft of photography. Photographic artistry is the process of using these craft skills to represent a scene--whether it's a portrait, still life, event, landscape, or abstract--in a way that evokes some of what the subject makes you feel." And indeed, as an amateur, I feel the compelling need to improve in both, something in which the book proved helpful. Moreover, I was completely new to post production and through this book I got the necessary fundamentals. As rough figures, keep into account the book has the first 300 pages about dedicated to everything involved in getting the image in your camera and some 270 following pages talking about images management and post-production. It's not everything you should know about this, but they're definitely enough to start with.

On the specifics, it was kind of a very appreciated surprise reading the topic in the first chapter ("Eyes, Braing, Light and Images", i.e. how we see) as well as the chapter on composition and the idea that to improve in this the first need is to Learn to See (or gain back again this lost capability we had as children). As a computer scientist, of course I found interesting the coverage of the technological aspects that lie behind the whole process of acquiring an image.

Looking for similar books, my personal experience has brought in my hands two other interesting books, namely Dickman and Kinghorn's Perfect Digital Photography(Second edition) and Michael Freeman's Pro Photographer's D-SLR Handbook (A Lark Photography Book), which would respectively be my second and third in place alternatives. (Note however that Michael Freeman easily gets back on the throne with his other many excellent books, including bestsellers like The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos and The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2011
I received this book shortly after ordering it from I recently purchased a new Canon Rebel T2i digital slr camera. I bought a couple books on this specific camera, which were both fine, but I also wanted a book that would teach me about the entire gamut of the digital photography world. After reading reviews on this book, I decided to buy one. It is without a doubt one of the best and most comprehensive books available on the market to cover this topic. If I could only have one book on digital photography, this one would be the one. It has 22 comprehensive chapters covering the theory and practice of photography, cameras, workflow, and several very detailed chapters on how to modify your pictures with Adobe Photoshop. Why spend money on an expensive correspondence course or online class when you can get all the information you need from this book? It is not the kind of book that you can read in one sitting, with your feet up and sipping a glass of wine. However, if you are a good reader and read this book in sections as your photography skills develop, you will become a better and more knowledgeable photographer. I would recommend it for the motivated individual, or as a textbook for someone teaching photography. It is an excellent selection and one of the best that I have seen. It also has an excellent website with lots of good information available. Buy it and put it to use, you will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
This book is incredible! It deserves nothing less than 5 stars! Ben Long's Complete Digital Photography is about as complete as complete can be! I don't think the author left a single stone unturned. The book is laid out well making the text easier to understand and follow. The author begins by detailing the differences between the way the human eye sees a scene and the way the camera sees that very scene. He then describes the different functions/features on digital cameras and how to use these functions/features to take better pictures or make things easier. After that a few chapters about the creative aspect of photography to teach you how to make your photographs more appealing. The remainder of the book has instructions and tutorials to teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop to edit your photographs and Adobe Bridge to help you organize, sort, evaluate and rank your photographs.

Before I read this book, I knew nothing about the different functions of digital cameras or how to use them effectively. But I also didn't have a full understanding of exposure and the different parameters that can be adjusted to fine tune exposures for a variety of scenes and/or situations. The author repeats several times throughout the book how the 4 adjustable elements related to a good exposure can be manipulated in a variety of situations. I feel that now I do have a good understanding of exposure. Now I just need to apply it to the variety of situations and make it part of me while most of it is still fresh in my memory.

This book is a fantastic value. It's full of a lot of knowledge and experience being offered at a great low price!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
I highly recommend this book. It is well written, complete, and interesting to read. I recently got a Canon 60D and wanted books my wife and I could use to learn more about things. Along with this book, I also got Understanding Exposure by Peterson and Canon EOS 60D From Snapshots to Great Shots by Young. I thought that by getting a variety of books, I would have good coverage on just about everything. But if I had to get only one book, it would be this one.

This is the sixth edition of the book and as he writes in the Introduction, "With each new edition, I get more feedback about what does and doesn't work, in terms of instruction. Alongside this, my workshops and classroom instruction have continually helped me refine my teaching concepts. Consequently, there are changes and, what I hope are improvements, to explanations and discussions throughout this book."

Besides being well written, complete, and easy to read, the book is well made with thick, strong pages, containing good color illustrations. The captions on each illustration photo are complete descriptions and do not require going into the main text for explanation. This is an almost 600-page book, an inch and a half thick, and heavy in weight. This is a perfect book for beginning and intermediate students, as well as those that want to move on to more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Echoing others' reviews, this book offers an excellent method for learning digital photography. The author repeats the most vital points in each successive chapter, which allows the concepts to really sink in. Exposure is what good photography is really all about, and at about 1/4 into the book, I'm starting to get a good grip on this fact. You will not go wrong with this purchase!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
I bought this book for a college class and we used it everyday. The wording is great. The examples of "good and bad" are very helpful. I STILL use this book for reference every now and then! Highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to further their knowledge in photography!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
I got started in photography fairly recently. I have watched all of Ben Long's videos on the lynda website and was excited to see he had a HUGE book that went more in depth to all his teachings.

The book is laid out in a very logic flow that introduces you to some background, teaches you the key terms, then starts into what makes a good picture and how to take one. He even goes into post processing techniques and printing techniques so it really it a start to finish sort of guide.

Along with the The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1, these two books should be required reading for everyone starting out in photography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2013
Well to be honest this is an enclyclopedia. It is a nice and thick book with 600 sum pages with plenty of pictures to help illustrate all of the chapters. I'm a beginner and I feel that this book when read cover to cover will have indeed given a person and beginning to end instruction in photography. Not all people will understand all of it like me. But, I will continue to pick up this book and read a chapter as needed to explain a topic or idea. This is the 6th edition of this book, The 7th edition is now out. Buy one in good used condition! Thanks so much, Randy H.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2011
This book was very well written and took me from knowing nothing about photography to understanding quite a lot. The writer is very detailed but does not talk over your head. I found the writing style easy to follow and by far thought this guy should be writing the photography for dummies series (which I also bought and was less impressed with). If you are choosing the photography for dummies 9 in 1 or this book, don't waste your money on the other. This book covers it all, and much, much better. Highly recommended!
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