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Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos (A Lark Photography Book) Paperback – November 1, 2010

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Zuckerman has lectured and taught creative photography at UCLA, Kent State University and the Palm Beach Photographic Center. He was a contributing editor to Photographic magazine for 32 years and now writes for Shutterbug. His images have been published in hundreds of books and magazines including publications of the National Geographic Society and Outdoor Photographer. He is the author of 14 books.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Lark Photography Book
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pixiq (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160059638X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600596384
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I normally don't like "tip books", that is, books that give you a lot of small ideas for photographs without really teaching you principles that you can apply generally to photography. And yet there was something about "Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos" that I liked.

Maybe it's because the book consisted of just fifteen tips that addressed broad ideas that were worth remembering. Each of these ideas got a chapter of its own. With titles like "Shoot into the Sun" and "Beware the Background", each of the ideas was reinforced by a short discussion and several of the author's images, both good and bad, that illustrated the point. Most of the chapters were mini-reminders of what a photographer should do to follow the tip. For example, the chapter "Wait for Twilight" explained why twilight was a good time to photograph, the importance of a tripod, the benefits of shooting wet pavement, and so forth.

There are no secrets here, despite the title and nothing that an experienced amateur photographer may not already know. On the other hand, although there was a discussion of some fundamentals, like the effect of lens focal length and depth of field, the reader should already know something about exposure and focus to benefit from the discussion.Although there are a few references to post-processing, there is no instruction or idea relating to that subject.

Some of the points may belabor the obvious like "Shoot Great Subjects", although reading the chapter may help one understand that a picture of a pet tabby, no matter how beloved, is not going to have the impact of a photograph of a lion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tom Curious on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many photography books, and this one ranks among the best. It covers 15 general techniques that can be used to achieve a compelling photograph. Some of these I already knew, but it is great to have them all in one book and described in detail. Each technique is documented with many example images which are superb and very well reproduced. Included are examples of "before" and "after" applying each technique which clearly show how an image can be improved. The techniques discussed in this book can be applied to many different areas of photography, from landscapes, architecture, macro, wildlife to portrait. The text is concise, easy to read and refreshingly focused mostly on photography rather than gear and theory. Gear is discussed as needed to master each technique. There is a lot in this book to improve one's photography rather dramatically. And best of all, all the advice is easy to follow and to put into practice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a first time SLR owner, Pro Secrets is admittedly somewhat out of my league, but is mostly clear and understandable even for this Potato Head. The book is well organized by the author with clear topics and goals stated at the beginning of the book and at the beginning of each chapter. At the bottom of each page is the chapter number, making it easy for a page flipper to land on a desired chapter.

Here's a book that entertains with its enthralling photographs and educates with both the photos and the explanatory text. The only segments in which I had little interest were the ones on off camera flash and pictures taken from airplanes,

Photo Secrets is a good book to read, retain and review from time to time. Having it in your home library is a little like having an expert on call. All of the photos are impressive, of course, and I'd be proud to have taken even the rejects of the author.

I'd like to have seen a segment on HDR photos and techniques, but that omission doesn't detract from this fine book. It's one to consider and well worth the current price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By doobie do on April 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
I consider myself an advanced amateur. I don't need books that tell me what an f/ stop is or why use a fast shutter speed. In fact I don't read too many books on photography now at all. I was attending a workshop and a suggested reading list was given. This book was not on it, but I got some the books through the public library and got a few extra to read before I went (including "Pro Secrets").

Well, to make a long story short, this was the ONLY book that had great value in my opinion. The others were dry, devoid of examples, dictatorial, and patronizing. Not so Mr. Zuckerman. Not only did I reread the book after I was finished, I felt it deserved a place in my library lest I forget some of the wisdom imparted, so I bought it! I don't buy too many photo books.

I found his rules for foreground subjects brilliant! Simple, but effective. In fact much of what he went over was either a wonderful review or a great revelation. His use of illustrations just brought everything home.

In summary, if you have learned the basics and want to take your photography to the next level, this is the book you want. And by the way, I used a few of the techniques in "Pro Secrets" in the field while I was taking the workshop I originally got books for!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Zerr TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Pro Secrets is up there with the Kelby Digital Photography books for the more advanced photographer to develop enhanced composition and photography skills. Great advice for the beginner and the more advanced photographer, alike.

I appreciated the discussion on classic curves, unifying visual elements and shooting into the sun (something which I have done in the past with an old 35 mm film camera with splendid results!

This may or may not be a reference book to keep available on the book shelf, perhaps for those who are serious about getting to the next stage of developing their eye for photography.
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