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Digital Photography Pocket Guide: Pocket Guide (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) [Kindle Edition]

Derrick Story
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Even film diehards have a tough time resisting the instant gratification of the digital camera. Today's digital cameras are more affordable then ever before, and they deliver high quality images that are a snap to share. Plus, you can take risks with a digital camera you never would with a film camera. You waste nothing; there's no film required, and because you only print the pictures you need, digital photography is cost effective and environmentally friendly.

But to take full advantage of a digital camera, you need to be an experienced photographer and an expert at digital photography too. With more than 15 years of experience as a photojournalist, author Derrick Story brings you Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition. For everyone who owns or will own a digital camera (and that pretty much means everyone!), this is the perfect on-the-go guide for taking top-notch digital photos.

In this third edition of the bestselling pocket guide, Story expands on the basic photography techniques that he introduced in earlier editions, including an explanation of each camera component and what it does, tips for choosing just the right settings for your needs, and much more. This indispensable guide covers everything from how to shoot sports action, close ups, and night shots, to dealing with image resolution, archiving, and memory cards.

Affordable and portable, Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition offers full-color photographs, screen shots, and line art illustrating all the topics in the guide's three main sections ("Digital Camera Components," "Standard Camera Functions," and "How Do I?"). Contents are labeled A to Z for quick reference. There's also a comprehensive table of contents and index so you'll waste no time flipping to the specific information you need--whether you want to transfer images, make a QuickTime movie, or just figure out what purpose that mystery setting on your camera serves. There's even a section of easy-to-read reference tables for quick look-up of white balance settings, exposure compensation, camera mode explanations, and plenty more.

Editorial Reviews


"... a must-have for camera owners." The Sunday Post, Dundee, December 29th 2002

About the Author

Derrick has been interested in photography since age 11, and a computer nut for decades. He's been waiting for years for these two passions to converge, and now that they have, it's everything he thought it would be. Managing editor of O'Reilly Network, Derrick focuses on Web authoring, digital media, and mobile computing. Favorite projects include O'Reilly DevCenters for Web Development and for the Mac. Derrick's experience includes more than 15 years as a photojournalist, a stint as the managing editor for Web Review, and a speaker for CMP's Web conferences. He is the coauthor of iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual and author of the Digital Photography and Digital Video Pocket Guides. Derrick also manages his online photo business, Story Photography.

Product Details

  • File Size: 947 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR308
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! October 11, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My Sony DSC-S85 was a Christmas gift last year. I've taken literally thousands of photos with it and deleted 80% of them. I've managed a few lucky shots that have impressed people who don't know any better, but my experience thus far has been frustrating at best and maddening most of the time. The owner's manual identifies the components and features, but is written for someone who knows what aperture and exposure and white balance mean and do. Bottom line, I don't. Or at least I didn't until I read this guide in a single sitting. Believe me, I've tried other books. They, too, were written for someone much less ignorant about photography than me. No, I'm not stupid, but this "hobby" was beginning to make me feel that way. Mr. Story wrote this book not for the experienced or even novice photographer but for the completely-clueless-wanna-be-photographer. While the language is not demeaning or patronizing, it clearly explains the common photography terms to which I'd never been exposed and tells me what they mean in terms of creating a viewable, viable photo. Finally, it all makes real sense.
Will I use this Pocket Guide as intended? You bet! It will be wherever my camera is at all times. I may understand it all now, but I won't remember it until I've used my new knowledge a few times. I highly recommend this book for anyone who possesses the most basic digital or the poor fool who, like me, owns way more camera than they think they'll ever know what to do with!!
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best digital photography investment you'll make. December 31, 2002
By Terrie
Digital cameras are subject to the same fate as many film cameras: folks are excited to get them and love to take snapshots, but can often be disappointed with the results. The wildlife that seemed so very close at the time turn out to be tiny specks, or you get the perfect portrait of your toddler niece only to find out her skin comes out blue. Fortunately, this is a situation where a little learning can go a long way, and this pocket guide by professional photographer (and editor) Derrick Story may be the best investment you make in your photography.
I should be clear about my own bias here: I work with Derrick at O'Reilly, and I've also been a client of his photography business. That said, I also know that he has an unwavering passion for photography and technology, and he's a great teacher. It's a winning combination for this little book. Digital Photography Pocket Guide distills the essentials of digital photography in a friendly and yet complete portable guide. It's jam-packed with tips and examples and covers an amazing variety of digital camera features.
The guide goes beyond camera features, though, and discusses situations in which you might use them. What should you consider when planning a museum visit? What are some general rules of thumb about composition? This book helps you get the most out of your camera, and the most out of the photographer.
One problem with most how-to photography books is that it's difficult to find the information you need when you're actually in the process of taking photos. That's why I especially like the comprehensive "Quick Reference Charts" in the Appendix of this book. It's all right there. The book is small enough to take with you, but still big on content.
At last, an O'Reilly book that my not-so-technical family can appreciate!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Photography Pocket Guide December 22, 2002
Excellent book, perfect for carrying with your camera. Well presented in an organized fashion. Just the facts, brief and to the point with many examples (black and white, not color, but good enough). Covers all the usaual digital photography basics and common problems plus a lot of extra suggestions and techniques. I would recommend this book to any one who feels they need a concise reference "on the road".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get snappin' quickly August 7, 2004
With three kids, photos are important to me as I want to capture many times of their lives so we may reflect on them with a visual aid. A good photo does make a difference. Again, with three kids, who has time to read a book or take a class to become one with a camera? This book fills that need.

It has three simple chapters with quick reference tables in the back of the book. It's small enough to fit into your camera bag, laptop case, briefcase, suitcase, or jacket pocket. The chapters address what is it?, what do I do?, and how do I? questions.

What is it? covers the basic, intermediate, and advanced features found on digital cameras. It's the shortest chapter as once you get familiar with the features, you won't need the chapter anymore and you still have roughly 85 pages of material to support you when you're out there trying to capture the world you see.

Once you've conquered the buttons and figured out what most of the symbols and modes mean, you're ready to dig deeper into the features and gain control of the camera with answers to your what does it do? types of questions relating to exposure and Flash compensation, white balance, ISO speed, and resolution.

The last chapter is more free flowing as you and the camera have become one. Get tips on taking outdoor and group shots including sporting events where players are moving fast. Capture kids, travel spots, and wedding memories with class. As kids grow up, you may not return to the same places, and weddings happen only once (we would hope, unless it's a renewal of vows).

Adding this book to your camera tool bag is a step forward to better pictures and a better understanding of those fancy photography terms - which aren't a big deal after you read author Derrick Story's simple and clear explanations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fairly complicated camera so this guide is invaluable
Published 9 months ago by Richard Teslow
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is easy for beginners and informational for pros!
I have read many digital photography guides, but this one was thorough and informative. Derrick Story delved into the mechanics of digital cameras in ways that other authors... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Terrie Brockman
4.0 out of 5 stars By sticking to general concepts, this guide stays fresh and helpful
While published in several editions in the first decade of the new millennium, O'Reilly's DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY POCKET GUIDE is still a helpful book today. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information on digital cameras
I volunteered to teach a class at the Senior Center and used some of the techniques in the book for the class. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Susan Peloso
5.0 out of 5 stars Photography
This book has some very useful info from what i seen as i wondered though it. I would tell my friends to get it if they have any questions on photography
Published on January 15, 2013 by Jody
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Reilly Does it Again!
I am continually amazed at the quality of books O'Reilly keeps giving us. This one is no exception. From the Missing Manual series to this title, O'Reilly has given us another gem. Read more
Published on July 12, 2011 by Frank Beckendorf
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket perfect
Lots of well explained & concise info. I carry it in my camera bag at all times. Great for the novice and amateur/semi-pro.
Published on July 2, 2010 by Cormac English
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book for those of us who are relatively new
I recently purchased a Canon EOS Digital Rebel and purchased a couple books to help me take better pictures. This book has a lot of great information and is well worth the money. Read more
Published on August 9, 2009 by Tantara Videos
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one!
I have room for only one reference book in my camera bag. I carry my camera manual and the third edition of Digital Photography Pocket Guide. Read more
Published on July 22, 2008 by Jerry R. Hamby
2.0 out of 5 stars This guide is too simple
If you have used point-and-shoot camera for a while and want to learn more tricks like me, I would not recommend this book because two third of the guide gives the basics you... Read more
Published on February 23, 2008 by C. H. Tsai
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More About the Author

Derrick Story is a photographer, writer, and teacher. He's authored many books including the "The Digital Photography Companion" and "The Digital Photography Pocket Guide." Derrick's video tutorials are available through, featuring Aperture, iPhoto, and general photography titles. His photo articles are a regular staple for Macworld Magazine and TechHive.

Derrick runs a virtual camera club at, featuring weekly photography podcasts, reader-submitted photos, reviews, and pro tips.

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