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Mastering the Nikon D300: The Rocky Nook Manual Paperback – October 31, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1933952345 ISBN-10: 1933952342

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Frequently Bought Together

Mastering the Nikon D300: The Rocky Nook Manual + Nikon D300 inBrief Laminated Reference Card + David Busch's Nikon D300 Guide to Digital SLR Photography
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook (October 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933952342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933952345
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) is an information technology engineer by trade. He's been an avid photographer since 1968 when his mother gave him a Brownie Hawkeye camera.

Darrell has used Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses since 1980. He has an incurable case of Nikon Acquisition Syndrom (NAS) and delights in working with Nikon's newest digital cameras.

Living near Great Smoky Mountains National Park has given him a real concern for, and interest in, nature photography.

He loves to write, as you can see in the Resources area of the Nikonians.org community. He joined the community in 2000 and his literary contributions led to an invitation to become a Founding Member of the Nikonians Writers Guild.


More About the Author

I grew up looking at pictures.

Since I was a baby--way back in 1958--my mother took hundreds of photographs of our family life throughout the years, capturing small pieces of time frozen in little negative squares. Today, I can still look back with those images and they awaken memories that would be forgotten without them.

In 1968 my dear Mom gave me a Brownie Hawkeye camera and started a fire in me for taking pictures. I remember her words of instruction, "Load the film in a dark place, never open the film door until you rewind, and keep the sun behind you when you shoot."

From that day forward I carried a camera with me often. I took 13-year-old style fuzzy pictures of my hikes up Roosevelt Mountain in Rockwood, Tennessee, USA, with my brother Steven and a friend named Scott Haley. Every major event of my life has a few frames attached.

I photographed my own family starting in 1979 and documented the growth of my five children up until today. Photography has been a part of my life all the way back to my earliest memories. I'll keep on shooting until I'm unable!

The year 1980 was a milestone; the year I got my first Nikon camera. It was a nearly new Nikon FM and I reveled in its incredible build and the unbelievable images it made. Before then, I had been shooting with Kodak 110 and 126 cameras, and although the images have amazing personal value, they would win no contests. I graduated from negatives to transparencies in 1981 as I realized that even sharper and less grainy images could be created in those delightful little two-inch squares. I loved film and shot a lot of it. I wanted to shoot even more, but the cost of raising kids took precedence.

The year 2002 changed everything for me photographically. I had been playing around with a Kodak P&S digital, and finally, a Nikon Coolpix 990. While the images were fun and easy to make, they didn't equal 35mm and medium format in quality, so I viewed digital as a toy. Then Nikon released the 6MP D100® and I became Digital Darrell. Never before had I shot so many images. With no significant processing costs, I took thousands of photographs that I would never have considered taking with expensive film, and I moved to a new level of photography in the process. Digital cameras are an educational course in photography all by themselves.

Since that year my love of photography and cameras has grown tremendously. When I get a new camera, I spend a lot of time with it--getting to know its features and personality. Often, I'll be commissioned by Nikonians.org and Rocky Nook to write a book about the latest Nikon camera. What a great way to make a living. I get to own new cameras and write books to help others enjoy their chosen brand.

I'm a full-time traditional stock photographer and have a nicely equipped studio. Between writing books you'll often find me in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina USA--capturing lots of great images. Drop me a line from the contact link of my website www.PictureAndPen.com. Thank you for buying my books on Amazon.com, the world's best place to buy books and camera equipment.

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young, a.k.a Digital Darrell

Customer Reviews

I just started to read the book and I really like it.
Adrion Ramos
I found his discussion of the shooting menu banks and custom settings banks to be very useful.
Jeffery Suddeth
This book is very well written and easy to understand.
Bob3137

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Suddeth on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have been using a Nikon D300 since December 2007 (a couple months after they came out) and before I read this I was already pretty comfortable with the camera. I figured there were probably some tips and tricks that I might pick up from this book so I gave it a read. Holy cow. One third through the book I had already learned a ton.

Being about this particular camera, I was concerned that the book would read like an improved writing of the manual. But that is not the case. The author has an interesting writing style, mixing his one experiences and tips in with the technical information.

The author doesn't just talk about how to use the camera. He talks about why to use it this way. When should you use Programmed Auto mode? When should you do a custom white balance? And why might that custom white balance fail? In fact, his discussion on white balance is one of the best I've ever read. He doesn't just show you the different ways of setting it, he explains what WB is and why you should set it yourself, rather than leaving the camera on Auto WB.

He also gives a very detailed discussion of the histogram, contrast, and relates what you see on the camera to what you would see or do in post processing.

Autofocus is another topic that most SLR shooters don't know enough about. In this book the author clearly explains the different Autofocus modes and areas and when to use them.

I found his discussion of the shooting menu banks and custom settings banks to be very useful. One day I came home to find my wife trying to use my D300 to take a picture of my kids in the living room. She had no clue what she was doing and was trying to use my 200 mm lens!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Mastering the Nikon D300" is a joint effort of the publisher, Rocky Nook and Nikonians, a web site and bulletin board for about 150,000 Nikon enthusiasts. In the interest of full disclosure I have been a member of Nikonians almost since its inception in 2000.

Because Nikon's "D300 User's Manual" is not the easiest book to read, many users have looked for some other information that will make the use of this very sophisticated piece of machinery easier. The author presents us with a summary of the features of the D300; explores the many modes of the metering, focus, and white balance systems; explains how to use the menus to select the approximately 300 options that configure the camera; and finishes with a brief explanation of the camera's use as a part of the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).

I certainly thought that, after reading five other books on the D300, and using the camera for over a year, there was nothing that Darrell Young could teach me. But I was wrong. It was not so much that the author provided new information, as that his style was easy to read, and placed emphasis upon subjects in a way that made me pay attention to important features that I had missed. For example, I'm almost embarrassed to say, I had never clearly distinguished between shooting menu banks and custom settings banks. Young's organization of these two distinct functions into separate chapters made the difference clear to me and allowed me to make some changes to my D300 that have made life a lot easier.

I thought about saying that, being published more than a year after the camera was available, this book might be described as too little, too late. (I'll return to "too little".) It would have been good to have had this book earlier in the life cycle of my ownership.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Linc on December 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book does a good job of explaining how to use the controls of the Nikon D300. The section on use of Nikon electronic flash is especially stellar, and the illustrations are all very good, within the limitations of the small page size. I wish there was that much detail in the rest of the book, which has tiny print that I found difficult to read.

As Conrad Obregon noted in his review, the most comprehensive of the four guidebooks for the D300 is David Busch's Nikon D300 Guide to Digital SLR Photography. Its 450 pages long. The Busch book also shows you how to use the controls, with about 120 pages devoted just to the menus and why you would want to choose each particular option. But it has much more, including a 12 page section that offers recommended settings for each of the four Shooting Banks and Custom Setting Banks, for various different types of shooting situations, such as Landscapes, Portraits, etc. None of the other books have that. Large chapters deal with exposure, advanced shooting techniques, and there is one just on lenses, with evaluations of all the main Nikon lenses. This is the best and most complete Nikon D300 guide available.

I didn't like either of the other two books that are available as much as the Busch and Young books. If you don't want a comprehensive book on using the Nikon D300, the Magic Lantern D300 Guide is an acceptable choice, although it is another one of those pocket sized books and contains only black and white photos. I was surprised to see that the Nikon D300 Digital Field Guide is more of a general photography book with only a small proportion of information applying directly to the D300 itself.
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