78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
First, I will admit up front that I'm a fan of Scott Kelby and own all three prior "Digital Photography" books 1-3 as well as more than my fair share of photography books in general. Several dozen at least with dozens more that weren't sufficient to rate as "keepers".
Now, having said that, I actually was disappointed with the third volume in the set as it seemed redundant. Whereas 1 and 2 provided terrific basic information and seemeed to build up on it, the 3rd rehashed more than anything else. I'm thrilled to say that is NOT the case with this version (Part 4).
If you are just getting started with digital photography, there is no better place to begin than the first books in this series and when I originally purchased them, that was exactly my situation. I had owned a nice camera years and years ago but hadn't made the transition to digital. It's now been several years and my skills - as well as the digital camera's - have grown considerably over the years. This book meets that need with ooodles of fun, exciting and interesting techniques that take an average photographer to the next level.
I'm by no means a pro or anywhere near it but have improved enough that people are now commenting or even asking for photo's now and then. Still, I lack the bag of tricks to really make a shot stand out. This book gives great short, concise tips on how to achieve those nifty shots without all the confusion.
For example, want to know how to get three or so images of the same person in one shot? IT's on page 7. Using Hot Shoe - ohhhhh THANK YOU! I've bought other books that seemed more like a course in terminology...this breaks it down into short, simple tips. Ditto for white balancing, star and light trails plus much more.
The recipe section is superb but most importantly, this book answers many of the questions I have as someone who has gone beyond the absolute basics but is still far from pro. Over the last few years I've added several len options but always debate which is my best "walk around" option...it's in here! Why jpeg looks better than RAW - it's in here too. It's like Kelby walked around following me for the past several months and made a list of all my personal mistakes - then put them into a nice, easy to read, example filled volume.
Without a doubt, this is my absolutely FAVORITE Of all 4 volumes and a def "keeper". Perfect timing for the spring season and can't wait to get out there and try out a few new tricks.
GREAT book! However, if you are an absolute beginner, start with the earlier books in the set and go from there.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
My recommendation: If you own a DSLR and want to improve your photographic technique and produce better pictures then you should buy this book (Part 4), even if you have Volume 1. I'm an amateur photographer and this book contains information on how I can improve travel photos (be ready at sunrise and sunset, which I knew from experience and from reading his other books), improve pictures of people (don't cut off their legs below the knees and elbows), and suggestions on landscapes (use a wide angle lens and get up close to capture something interesting in the foreground). For group shots get on a step ladder so that you can see all the faces and for head and shoulder shots, use a long lens (say 200mm) to get blurry backrounds and complementary facial proportions. These are just some of the recommendations the book contains that amateurs can use. For professionals there are lighting hints and methods for handling people that will produce better pictures.
This book is written in the usual Scott Kelby style. Each chaper has a beginning page with Scott's humor which some may find tiring but is certainly clever. The rest of the chapter has suggestions usually one on a page with a color picture or pictures illustrating the point. The writing style is casual with the emphasis on DSLR photography since he discusses properties of different lenses. But even point and shoot camera users can learn something about technique and using different angles to improve their pictures. There is a reason that Scott Kelby has written so many books on photography: They are extremely helpful and direct. Now if only he could get his humor under control...
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
To be honest, I was afraid that Scott Kelby would come out with a crappy book because he can - it would've sold well, anyway. Thankfully, that's not the case - this book is as good as, if not better than other books in the same "The Digital Photography" series. Phew!
P.S. Please remember to actually go out and practice the book's tips and techniques - they don't magically travel from your bookshelf into your mind and camera at night while you are sleeping!
P.P.S. Here is abbreviated Table of Contents for this book:
Chapter One. Shooting People Like a Pro: Yet Even More Tips to Make People Look Their Very Best
Chapter Two. Using Hot Shoe Flash Like a Pro, Part 3: Picking Right Up Where the Last Book Left Off
Chapter Three. More Tips on Using Your Studio Like a Pro: In Volume 3, We Took It Up a Notch. Now, Let's Do It Again!
Chapter Four. More Tips on Lenses: Going Way Beyond Which Lens to Use
Chapter Five. Pro Tips for Shooting in Natural Light: How to Take Advantage of the Most Beautiful Light on Earth
Chapter Six. Shooting Landscape Photos Like a Pro: Yet Even More Tips for Creating Stunning Scenic Images
Chapter Seven. Pro Tips for Shooting Travel Photos: How to Come Back with Images You're Really Proud Of
Chapter Eight. Shooting Sports Like a Pro: How to Get Professional Results from Your Next Sports Shoot
Chapter Nine. Shooting HDR Like a Pro: How to Shoot and Process HDR Images
Chapter Ten. Pro Tips for Shooting DSLR Video: How to Get the Most Out of Your Built-In Video Capabilities
Chapter Eleven. Pro Tips for Getting Better Photos: More Tricks of the Trade for Making Your Shots Look Better
Chapter Twelve. Yet Even More Photo Recipes to Help You "Get the Shot": The Simple Ingredients to Make It All Come Together
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
If anyone in their right mind does not like Scott Kelby, leave the room, leave photography, shoot leave the planet. I have laughed non stop at his humor in writing all of his digital photography books! I have the complete set and this is the 4th in that series. You get everything in each one of his books, now there are some parts with which yes, I will personally never use, sports photography esp., but what Scott does is gives you this sense that he is right there guiding you to be a better photographer, and get that tack sharp pic. I have use his books as both references to other books and to go back and see what I missed if I didn't feel that a pic came out just great. He language is easy to understand, I'm not dumb by any means, but sometimes if you are like me still just an kid, wet behind the ears, in the world of photography. You will not have any problems understanding Scott's teacher mentality. I highly rated this book because it just goes a little deeper into HDR and some other aspects of portrait and model photography.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
Scott Kelby is a leading photography author for one main reason - he delivers! The first three books in this series are really excellent for photographers of all levels of experience. He takes an interesting subject and discusses key ways to learn this skill over just a few pages in the book. Then he moves to another subject. His recommendations for equipment/software are right on and not overdone. These books are NOT, however, a complete textbook on digital photography. They ARE just interesting topics (like how to capture close-ups, simple on-camera flash, simple studio lighting, etc.) and provides step-by-step instructions to perform that specific set-up. His topics are very interesting and helpful. His writing style is conversational and easy to follow. His humor is interesting.
UPDATE: Having just completed his fourth book in this series, I must admit that I'm disappointed. It appears that he may be running out of new and interesting topics. In this book (the 4th in the series), he repeats the same topic or technique over and over again (e.g. exposure compensation) without really adding anything more - it's like he's just trying to fill pages. It's as though he wrote this book over the weekend without much thought as to new content over the previous 3-editions. To be fair, there are a few new topics worth reading, but I'm not sure they justify the cost of the entire book. Too bad - looks like Scott may have joined the ranks of other good authors who are now writing more for quantity than quality.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2012
If you have read Vol 1-3 and you are still looking for more tips on advanced techniques this is a great book.
Tings beyond the camera are also covered with more details: Post processing, Photoshop, Plugins. There is also a whole chapter on Video as well.
The average photographer may find some of these points too technical or complex to implement. For me it was a great reading with many tips I had discovered on my own or learned from others. It is great to have a reference with all these tips.
After reading this book I will not buy as much gear as I did after reading Vol 1-3
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Scott Kelby is my favorite author of photography books. His digital photography books are among the most informative currently available loaded with great photos any how to information. However the KIndle Version is not worth purchasing. There are no real page numbers and it is almost impossible to reference. There seems to be many photos missing. (I may be wrong) . Save your money and purchase the paper back edition. It is easy to read and reference. I will never again purchase a Kindle Edition of any reference book.
I wish amazon would refund my purchase price.The Digital Photography Book, Part 4
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
Are you a pro, just getting started, or somewhere in between? I hear a lot of experienced photographers complain that Scott Kelby books are too simplistic and repetitive. I completely disagree. Scott Kelby does an excellent job at making the complex very simple and his style of writing is entertaining and engaging. It is true that 10% to 20% of the book has nothing to do with photography, but that is exactly what makes it an easy read. The humorous chapter breaks that Scott Kelby has become known for in his books provides for a nice break between the "good stuff". That said, as an experienced photographer there was not a lot for me to take away and use in the field. I knew that is what I would get going in to a Scott Kelby book. Still, I recommend Scott Kelby to every new and inspiring photographer that I meet. His books are an easy read, entertaining, and packed full of good, easy to understand information for the inspiring photographer.
33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
This is, by far, the least useful of Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography" series. I consider myself a Kelby fan; I bought and read the first 3 volumes and regard their influence on my photography as as profound and positive.
I bought the Kindle version of Volume 4 and it appears to me that this particular electronic version was released without anyone bothering to view it on a device. To start, Its formatting is hideous and distracting; section titles are seemingly arbitrarily re-located to the bottom of the page which precedes the section content. You end up with something like "Getting Both What's in Front & Back in Focus" followed by a half page of empty white space which is followed, on the succeeding page, by the photograph which references that section heading.
However, the most irritating of the formatting snafus are the line breaks that are inserted (again, arbitrarily) after some fraction characters. The book is pock marked with examples like this;
"....I crank it up to 1/2 power.....It it's too bright, I drop it to
power and take a test shot"
Why, I wondered, did the second fraction attract the useless line break that the first one didn't?
If you think this is minor, remember it's a photography book which, by definition is littered with references to shutter speed. After enduring, on a singly page, a formatting mess like;
"speed needs to stay at a maximum of
of a second... if it goes above
of a second, you'll see...
of a second...way above
of a second..."
you'll wonder, through your pulsating, Excedrin-class headache, whether it's too much to expect that some editor, somewhere, would trouble himself or herself with proof-reading the thing on an electronic device prior to release.
The above are irritating. By far the most significant letdown in my opinion, is the sheer paucity of fresh material. He dredges up material which is adequately covered in the earlier volumes and regurgitates them excitedly as if he was blessing you with stuff that's really new and interesting. I had to re-read the introduction to reassure myself that I did NOT assume incorrectly that this book was intended for readers who'd gone through Volumes 1 - 3.
This is seriously bothersome and totally unlike Kelby. After eagerly devouring every page of the first 3 volumes multiple times over the last couple of years, I looked forward even more eagerly to this one. I ended up with very little that was informative, inspiring or even (and this is shocking for a Kelby book), witty.
It seemed to me, as I slogged my way through each chapter that Mr. Kelby was labouring through this volume as would an author who had unthinkingly, a few years back, inked a commitment with his publishers to deliver a 4th volume by a set date without inserting a clause which would allow him an out if he had acummulated insufficient material. I am certain that he realised that he could not remotely approach the standards (of content or delivery) that his first 3 volumes had established; I'm shocked that he proceeded to release a volume which will surely sully his excellent reputation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
Several years ago I wrote a review on Scott's Digital Photography Book, Volume 3. I gave it a 3 star rating and spoke as to how disappointed I was.
I decided to buy Part 4 based on my experience with Volumes 1 and 2(Okay, naming is a little weird.. Volume vs. Part). I have to say, we're back on track. Again, a great educational tool full of many different tips. His writing style is and always has been very easy to read. The book isn't about amazing images, but the images he uses sum up the points he is making in the book.
One could say he's "Name dropping" a little. But, I took at as Scott properly crediting some of the greatest photographers out there with many incredibly useful tips.
As with all of these books, there may be pages that don't pertain to you. But, everyone from a novice to a seasoned photographer will learn something from this book.