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Digital Photography Pocket Guide (O'Reilly Digital Studio) Paperback – Bargain Price, November 25, 2002

ISBN-10: 0596004540
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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.


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Product Details

  • Series: O'Reilly Digital Studio
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media (November 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004540
  • ASIN: B008SM0DHC
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.2 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,334,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By P. Howard on 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 By Terrie on December 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By Carol A. Krom on December 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By Meryl K. Evans on August 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
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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