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Photography For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) Paperback – May 25, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The inimitable Dummies format, which has distilled everything from the Internet to Italian cooking, is an excellent way to organize information for photographers. The chapters cover single topics like film, flash, and composition, and are easy to both access and understand. Icons (which are defined in the introduction) call out "tips," "technical stuff," and "bloopers." This layout is designed for quick reference while you're shooting, providing, of course, that you care to lug the book with you.

Writer Russell Hart, who is the technology editor for American Photo magazine and an exhibiting photographer, takes readers from the very basics of loading film and batteries into a camera, through such invaluable technical and practical information as how best to photograph kids and choose the right photofinisher (including scoop on the Advanced Photo System), right up to a glossary of "photo jargon" so that even neophyte photographers (or those readers who've only scanned the book) can at least sound like they know what they're doing. Chapter 10, in which Hart waxes somewhat poetic on the value of a photograph--documents of family history, insurance evidence, etc.--and disputes "ten lame excuses for not taking along your camera," can turn even the most reluctant camera operator into a rampant shutterbug. --Jordana Moskowitz

From Library Journal

In an approach typical of other titles in the "Dummies" series, this book provides a straightforward, fairly comprehensive review of amateur photography with a point-and-shoot camera. Award-winning photographer Hart begins by advising novice photographers that they do not need a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera to take good photographs. He correctly assumes that most amateur photographers use these small cameras rather than SLR cameras, and his book's strength lies in the depth and breadth of its coverage of point-and-shoot cameras. Hart defines the types of point-and-shoots available today, then discusses their parts and operation. Excellent chapters cover lighting, composition, and technique as well as digital photography with advanced photo systems. Finally, Hart offers sound advice on purchasing cameras, along with helpful information on web sites, troubleshooting, manufacturers, retailers, and a glossary of jargon. One of the few manuals for amateurs who simply want to improve the quality of their photographs, this book will be a solid addition to most collections of popular photography in public libraries.?Raymond Bial, Parkland Coll. Lib., Champaign, IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Computer/Tech)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (May 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764550659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764550652
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,225,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess I wasn't paying attention to customer reviews, because it wasn't mentioned in the book synopsis itself, but this book is mainly for point & shoot cameras. If your are wanting to learn about basic stuff for SLR cameras, this is not for you. Try "Basic Photography" instead. However, this is a good book on composition, lighting and film and other subjects that apply to any type of camera.
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By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
In every role of film developed there would always be one or two shots that were well-composed, exciting and which I would almost be willing to display. It took this book, Photography for Dummies, for me to figure out why and how. After purchasing three different cameras (they had to be at fault), I finally purchased this book and learned about using all those mode buttons on my camera. I learned how to eliminate the dark corners and unwanted shadows. For that alone, this book is priceless. If you're buying someone a camera for the holidays or for any ocassion, this book is a must to go along with it.
Comment 55 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I started photography not expecting it to be my life's ambition...Oh well. When I started, I bought this book on a recommendation from a photography magazine. I learned so much. Taking a good picture is much more than buying an expensive camera with lots of pretty buttons. This book is the key to taking great travel pictures, pictures of your kids, really any kind of picture you want to take.
You'll learn how to frame a picture correctly, (including how and why putting your subject gently off center makes a huge difference,) which is probably one of the biggest facets of a great photo. You'll learn how to pick the right film speed (you'll learn what the different numbers mean, 100, 200, 400 ect.), pick color or black and white film, how to pick a good photo finisher, the different kinds of flash most cameras come with and how to use them, why always using flash isn't a bad idea, moving with your subject, changing the angle from which you shoot, making those breath taking landscapes you stumble across look just as stunning on film, and that's just the tip of iceberg. If you've been waiting to buy that new camera, this book will help you pick which one is best for you. There are so many options now a little guidance will go far. It wasn't until after I read this book that I started getting nice compliments on photos.
Comment 36 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
May 25th. 1998 I walk into a local photography store and start chatting with the manager about cameras, having no clue about them. 25 minutes later I find I am the newest employee of the Nations largest photo retail chains (later to become thier digital imaging expert).
So what did I do? The only thing a rational person would do, buy a "how-to-book". Now I've had some experience with "For Dummies" books, and for some of them, I found them very insulting, however, for a total newbie to the photography field this was my saviour.
I read the book from cover to back. It taught me in laymens terms, how to use a point and shoot camera to shoot like the pros. Explained photographic techniques, tips and tricks, even down to how to choose a good mini-lab to process your pictues.
Well, within a month I was spouting the glories of this book to my co-workers and friends, as well as my customers, many of whom later thanked me for recomending this book. My sales were through the roof and customers would love to come in to get ME, ME, the novice, to critique thier photos based on the concepts I learned from this book.
I must say Russell did a bang up job, and is probablly in large part responsible for the success of my career with that chain, not to mention my current pasion for photography.
The text is easy to understand, well indexed, acts as a tremendous reference to readers who wish to come back to it, and the examples are visually stunning. The only issue I had with the book is that they pushed Kodak products, these being the ties of corporate sponsorship I suppose.
The one thing Russell did leave out was information on how to select a film and paper combination.
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Comment 70 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
After first reading Russell's book I admit I was not happy. I left the store not realizing this book was geared toward's point and shoot cameras...a fault totally my own since it is pretty clear after examining the cover. I'm glad I didn't return the book though. After mildly bashing Russell's book in my review here of the Idiot's Guide to Photography...I realized something. I had overlooked that, these two books work quite well together for the beginning SLR enthusiast like myself. The Idiot's guide goes the serious hobbyist/semi professional route by focusing on 35mm SLR cameras. Russell's book, while for point and shoots...really doesn't spend tons of time talking about equipment and accessories. Russell's book is heavy on "how to take darn good pictures." The Idiot's guide certainly has lots of good advice as well...but I think Russell's book actually exceeds Mr. Woodson's when it comes to explaining good techniques. I rarely recommend both an Idiot's guide and a Dummies book, but in this case I think it's appropriate. For learning about my new Minolta's features and how to buy, upgrade and understand my equipment, I'll refer to the Idiot's guide. For tips on taking great pictures, I'll refer to Photography for Dummies. Thanks to both authors for their efforts.
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