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Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 25, 2008


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Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras + Doing Documentary Work (New York Public Library Lectures in Humanities) + On Photography
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375711570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375711572
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Ang is an award-winning photographer and a leading authority on digital photography. His books include Dictionary of Photography and Digital Imaging, Digital Photographer’s Handbook, Photoshop CS for Photography, and How to Photography Absolutely Everything. His work has been exhibited internationally, and for twelve years he was Senior Lecturer in Photographic Practice at the University of Westminster, London. He was the presenter for two six-part BBC programs on digital photography.

More About the Author

I call myself a photographer, writer, sharer, and broadcaster. If I'm forced to say what I like to photograph most, I'll say it's travel photography because that includes people, landscapes, buildings, nature and the rest. And I call myself a 'sharer' because I don't care too much for the terms 'teacher' or 'educator': what I like is to share my knowledge and experience of photography. I do that through my writing, workshops and Web site.

I've had 28 books published on photography and video (31 if you count the new e-books). The popular 'Digital Photographer's Handbook' has been translated into about 20 language and is now in its 5th edition. My "Digital Photography Masterclass" has proven popular with readers and reviewers: it won the Library Journal's 'Best How-to Book of 2008 and was chosen by Shutterbug as its 'Créme de la Créme' of Top Digital Imaging Books of 2008. We've just revised, up-dated and improved it. Due out in Autumn 2013. The latest, 'Digital Photography step by step', is our best, packing an enormous of information into accessible form.

I won the 1988 Thomas Cook award for Best Illustrated Travel Book for my coverage of the Marco Polo Expedition. Goodness knows how; there were very strong contenders that year. I presented two ground-breaking six-part series 'A Digital Picture of Britain' and 'Britain in Pictures' for BBC. And an eight-part series for Channel News Asia Singapore was broadcast in August/September 2009 and is being distributed in DVD.

I've worked as magazine editor, picture editor and was senior lecturer in photographic practice at the University of Westminster for 12 years. I led a Know How Fund project that reformed the journalism curriculum for a university in Kyrgyzstan, as well as photographing extensively in Central Asia. I was chair of the Arts Council England organization for Chinese Arts in Britain and am a founding member of the World Photography Academy, where I helped initiate and led the Student Focus program for its first two years.

My current interests include documentary film-making, high-definition video, fine-art photography, writing fiction and poetry. I was born in Singapore and now live in New Zealand.

Visit website at www.tomang.com, which will soon be selling eBooks and other products.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Minchin on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Tom Ang is clearly a great photographer. And when writing about the art of photography, this comes through in text that is clear and informative. He knows what he is talking about, and communicates it well.

However, when it comes to the science behind the photographs - whether it is the thin-lens theory, the inverse-square law, or any of the other many bits of physics that Ang name-checks in his book, his writing becomes confused. It is obvious that Ang is trying to explain things that he does not himself understand at more than a superficial level. As a PhD physicist, I found myself scratching my head while trying to work out what he thought he was trying to explain - if these sections of the book were an undergraduate essay on optics they would barely scrape a pass mark.

The book is also plagued by poor figure editing. Labels on diagrams are incorrect (there are two distances marked s1 on the thin-lens diagram, for instance), captions do not seem to refer to the figures they are attached to, and figures are swapped (particularly in the section on Photoshop where a number of screen shots are incorrectly labelled).

If you're after a book on the art of photography, this is a great read. I have really enjoyed it. But it is flawed, and if you want to understand the physics of photography you should really go elsewhere.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emmi S. on January 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying that though I am very interested, I am not a hugely experienced photographer. This book seems to have everything in it without being too lengthy or bulky. It answers every question I could have about photography in a logical, practical way while nicely explaining digital alongside analog photography(camera with film). The information given ranges from the obvious framing and focussing to which camera is best for what!
It is also packed with example photographs which are extremely helpful and it shows both what to do and what not to do! I would extremely recommend this book to anyone mildly interested in photography as well as those more advanced since this book perfectly incorporates both!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom Baker on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This looks like a decent book, and unlike a previous reviewer I liked the fact he covers film; I couldn't afford a dslr but wanted to learn how to use an slr camera so I bought a Minolta x-370 for $30.00. I can't be the only one out there on a low budget, if you want to advance your photography skills and bought a cheap slr film camera like I did this book could be useful.
The downside for the visually challenged is the font size is tiny. They probably did that to save some money but even with glasses it's a little hard for me to read. If you have perfect 20/20 it may be ok, but you could have difficulty reading it otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ezyErnie on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because of an interest in photography because I like taking really good pictures and I wanted to get started with actually knowing what I'm doing, especially since I was planning to purchase a really good and expensive camera. This book is a treasure for me as a beginner because it left no aspect of photography unreferenced and it did not make me feel stupid. I also wanted to be able to make the most informed decision about the coming camera purchase because I planned to make a considerable investment as a non-professional in a camera with capability and features enough for me to take unquestionably excellent pictures (to my own mind, at least). I can say that I made a great choice in my last camera purchase, thanks to reading this book.

This book is also a great read and seems to have great pacing. The subjects are thoroughly covered with plenty of example pictures and explanations, but no drawn-out dissertations, i.e., it doesn't bore me. The writing is succinct and informative and to a novice like me, full of revelations. I have to recommend this book also, because a professional photographer friend of mine read it and thanked me. He now has his own and tells me that he refers back to it regularly.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. I really believe that it strengthened my interest in photography and in learning to take the best pictures that I can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PaulWard125 on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Explains things in a USA TODAY-esque way hitting the high points and helping you understand photography concepts and technology. Some of the type is small, so get out the glasses if you need them. I think a must to have in your photography library.
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I bought this book from Amazon.com , and it is every thing I knew it would be. I had already checked it out from the library, but I needed a copy of my own. I'm about halfway through the book, and two things about it really impress me: 1) Ang's ability to present the information in ways that even I can easily understand, and 2) his writing style makes it a pleasure--even from a retired college writing teacher--to read.
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This is a small encyclopaedia of photography and an excellent reference resource. You can read this and discover topics you want to learn more about then go looking for other sources specific to those topics if you need to. Mr. Ang does not go into great depth on any subject (so far, have not read the whole book yet) but subjects are concise and well flushed out. It is a great intro for those who don't know too much about photography and want to know everything, and a resource refresher for those who know a great deal. My friend and I both own copies and are awed by how much information is packed between the covers. It is also one of the most handsome softcover books I have seen in very long time, well constructed.
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