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94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star With Reservations - The Good, Bad & Repeat Info.
Okay, first a couple of quick disclaimers...
1. I'm a huge Kelby fan and think his prior two volumes are both fun to read and packed full of great information.
2. I like the biggest "bang for my buck".
3. I'm not a pro and not a complete amateur either but fall somewhere in between. If I find it too simplistic, professionals and serious shutterbugs are...
Published on July 29, 2009 by javajunki

versus
116 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me...
I like Scott's first two volumes. But this one is lost in repetition, filler and useless information. I am not sure what kind of photographers' author is trying to target, typically it should be advanced photographers as it is 3rd volume. Some reviewers mentioned that it's good for beginners but I don't think so it contained some advance info and some very basic stuff and...
Published on September 29, 2009 by L. Patil


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116 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me..., September 29, 2009
I like Scott's first two volumes. But this one is lost in repetition, filler and useless information. I am not sure what kind of photographers' author is trying to target, typically it should be advanced photographers as it is 3rd volume. Some reviewers mentioned that it's good for beginners but I don't think so it contained some advance info and some very basic stuff and it also keep referring to 1st and 2nd volumes.

Good:
If you are product photographer then you have got some information in this book.

Bad:
Repetition Topics: A few examples...
1. Sharpest Aperture: We already discussed this in first two books and same info is shared as topic.
2. Wake up early in the morning.
3. Most of topics in Sports are already covered.
4. As usual screen shot of B&H Photo-Video site which is not relevant to that topic. Ohh wait! This time it's different page not homepage. Why do we require this site's pictures while author is trying to explain myth about card speed.

Filler: This is interesting. A few examples, these points are covered as full page topic in book.
1. There is separate whole topic on how to change lens. (May be in Vol-4, Scott will cover how to properly charge/install battery)
2. How to clean lenses.
3. Shortcut for formatting memory card.
4. Resetting camera setting.
Come on! These topics are covered in detail in operating manuals of every DSLR/Lens.
5. As usual too much advertising of websites and expensive gears.

I was expecting real professional info/tips and going beyond volumes 1 and 2, not the same information/filler. This book is certainly not for me. If you really want to get some interesting tips, you may want to check out `Understanding Exposure:...' by Bryan Peterson.
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94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star With Reservations - The Good, Bad & Repeat Info., July 29, 2009
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Okay, first a couple of quick disclaimers...
1. I'm a huge Kelby fan and think his prior two volumes are both fun to read and packed full of great information.
2. I like the biggest "bang for my buck".
3. I'm not a pro and not a complete amateur either but fall somewhere in between. If I find it too simplistic, professionals and serious shutterbugs are likely to be very disappointed. If I find it too complex, novice readers are likely to do so as well. That might provide a good measure as to whether this book is right for you or not.

Now, on to the actual book itself. Like many others, I ordered this on a pre-release status and anxiously awaited the delivery at which point I consumed the entire book quickly at one sitting. Readers of Kelby's other books will recognize the same friendly style, conversational tone and jokes.

For those that are wondering if Kelby can really "do it again"...the answer is a resounding - "sort of". Here's Why...

First, the Basics and the Bad....

This book is of the same general length and writing style as the two prior books however, prior readers will immediately recognize some of the content used as "filler" or a bit of "fluff" here and there. For example, one of the pages/tips is dedicated to "cleaning" the item before shooting, another instructs to "remove distracting elements" from the picture...duh! Does that really constitute a tip? I think not. Likewise, there are several more tips dedicated to how to use your camera (Canon and Nikon users) for things like dust cleaning or turning off the beep...personally speaking, if I wanted that information I would simply read my owners manual.

Other less than impressive tips included using a tripod for tack sharp product shots plus some information that is basically a repurpose of content from prior books such as which essential filters to purchase or to use a neutral density filter. It is also somewhat disappointing to see that some tips consist of nothing more than 1 very short paragraph or as little as 1-2 sentences in their entirity.

Finally, the chapter on how to select the right lens is perfect for those seeking to purchase a DSLR or new to buying but most experienced users will find this a bit too simplistic for an entire chapter. Essentially it describes each lens type (ie, zoom, macro, fisheye, etc...) then when to use each. It also includes how to clean your lens, how and why to use manual focus, the difference between prime vs zoom etc...

The Good...

Having said all of the above, I still rate the book highly due to the engaging and readable format, excellent examples... and of course, what we all come here for...the actual tips. There are some good ones scattered throughout that more experienced users will likely appreciate - although far fewer than in prior books. Overall, this book seemed more introductory in nature than the other two volume's; still, there are plenty of great reminders and always some true golden nuggets that make all the difference like getting creative with the white balance, how to get that star effect without a filter (there - you saved the cost of this entire book plus never have to hassle with that filter again just by reading that page alone!, how to create those great reflections so popular in product shots plus much more.

Bottom Line...

Good book and well worth the low price tag. Best suited for beginners but serious shutterbugs are still likely to find a few gems. Not quite up to the same standard as the first two volume's but perhaps the most useful of all three for complete novice users or those currently shopping for a camera/lens etc...

Targeted more for the general user (for example, Lensbaby coverage) rather than pro or serious camera buff but everyone is likely to find something they like that make the purchase price and time well worth the effort.

HIGHLY recommend for new users or those purchasing a new camera/lens etc...
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Third Book is the Worst, August 3, 2009
By 
wdwpsu "wdwpsu" (Orlando, Florida) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series. The second book was even better. But, the third book seemed a bit forced.

The author's goal of building upon each book was true in some sections. But, an entire chapter dedicated to lenses in the third volume was definitely something that seemed beneath me. The section on product photography was also 20 or so pages telling the same story. How to format a memory card, the importance of firmware updates, etc. all seem like Volume 1 material, not Volume 3.

There are many different times in the book that Scott Kelby references his website for more information, which makes me wonder if this book was more of a vehicle for his website. Why not just include the information in the book instead of making me put a book down and going off to some URL.

That said, the entire 3 part series are still a wonderful selection, and on their own make you an expert in any type of situation. I'm sure the author, if he knew that these books would be so succesful, would have indexed them differently. But, I already felt like an expert after volume 2, and felt like I didn't learn very much from volume 3.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars letdown :(, September 13, 2009
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After reading the first two books, I cannot help but feel that this one is a disappointment. Very little information was really useful for the amateur or beginning/intermediate photographer as the focus went to product and professional studio recommendations. If you are a person learning photography (or a hobbyist) you wouldn't use those chapters extensively (they mostly recommend what additional equipment to buy, which can expensive and of limited use for the non-professional) and if you are a pro, I would think you already know most of what is mentioned there. Then, the lenses chapter was very thin on information and its contents consisted mostly of knowledge that someone reading his third book would already know, given that most people would have read the other two volumes (and probably any number of magazines, blogs, etc). While the other two books are really good (especially the first one, which I would highly recommend), I wish I wouldn't have bothered with this one. It will sell, but I dare say that it would happen on the merit of the first series not on its own value.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kelby does it again with a great book, July 29, 2009
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I'm starting to *think* I know what I'm doing when it comes to photography. I took that as a sign that I should go back to basics and learn from ground zero. I know from previous experience that Scott Kelby writes really impressive books (his Lightroom book, for example, is awesome), and this continues the same tradition.

The problem with learning photography in general is that it's intimidating. Most books will describe esoteric theory, and that drives most people nuts. If I'm any representation of a normal photographer, I'll look at a photo and go "that's awesome - how did they do that?" and want a nice example without having to dive into theory and other things. I just want to take the best pics possible that I can with what I have.

The layout of the book is rather simple - like a cookbook. There's a great photo, and then a description of how that photo was taken. The strength of each example is that it's not only easy to follow, but it explains enough theory for you to understand concepts and apply that in other situations. Most books don't do that - they'll tend to lose you on specifics.

Kelby's books are written with the beginner in mind and would even reach into those with intermediate skills. I don't think that seasoned professionals would learn much from these books, but they're worth their weight in gold. The Digital Photography book series is what I recommend to those who are interested in doing more with their cameras and photos. Not all of us can be professional photographers, but we can make our images look better than they are now.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not even close to the first two, August 24, 2009
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I am a big fan of Scott Kelby. I have a number of his books, including the first two volumes of this series, watch him on Photoshop TV and subscribe to NAPP. But I have to be honest . . . this book is a real let down. For me it is just a bunch of filler stuff and inconsistent with the theme of the last two books. In fact, I am really not sure who Scott intended for an audience. Much of the content is studio lighting and shooting products like a pro. Come on, how many armatures are going to run out an buy all of this additional gear. Scott has a section on shooting sports like a pro. How many people get a change to do that? And then there is a section on lens. Really, this is basic 101 stuff and should have been part of the first or second book . . . if at all. If I wanted a book for pro's I would have sourced one. What I wanted and thought I would get is another in a series of very helpful tips and tricks that I can use with my Nikon D300.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another feather in Kelby's Digital Photography series, August 2, 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
While I agree with the majority of the other reviews about this book (most with high praise for Mr. kelby) I must point out that it is unfair to disqualify portions of the book based on the reviewer's level of understanding.
For example; "javajunki" made a comment about the inclusion of oversimplified tips about cleaning lenses and using tripods, but you have to understand that Mr. Kelby has a tough task about second-guessing what his readers do and do not understand about photography. He includes a little of everything in his hope that everyone can learn to appreciate photography and improve their shooting skills. Many of these tips are great for novice and non-professionals who wish to make their point and shoot pictures a little better.
I have been a semi-professional photographer for many years and I still find the occasional "duh" reminders amidst Mr. kelby over-simplified tips. Even seasoned photogs need a little reminder of the basics.
The fact that Mr. Kelby touches on a broad range of topics has also allowed me to flex photography muscles that I may not experience in my day-to-day work-related shooting. For example; I tend to do a lot of commercial product shots. While I have a comfortable understanding of lighting, focal ranges and other aspect of my style of shooting, I find inspiration to shoot outside my comfort zone when browsing through Mr. Kelby's books.
As I do not shoot on a regular basis, I find I often forget or 'space out' on some simple tips I should know. Having these ready references is a big plus. I know as I get older my mind isn't going to get sharper. I have a feeling I'll be refering to these books for many years to come.
N. Hawkins describes it best with the analogy to a cookbook. While this format may not work for some it does work for others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just an iconsistent remake, September 7, 2009
I bought the first two books, and when the third was
ready I ordered it. I have to say I am disappointed
wiht it.

I think it is full of stuff that was thrown out when
writting the two first volumes. Yes, it gives some useful
tips, but almost the whole book just say if you want to
make good shots, just buy this or that gear.
I wonder which is the target audience,
because most of the gear is really
expensive for an amateur or hobbiest like me.
Oh, and there's a whole chapter for studio gear, adn
believe me, I have no room enough for it.

Had I known this I probably wouldn't have bought it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best in the series., December 16, 2009
This series is truly progressing. And I think Scott as a photographer (Photographer, not as a Photoshop Wizard) has also improved tremendously since the time volume 1 was written and published. Just one prime indication: in vol. 1 many pictures used to illustrate the tips are from istockphoto, rather than the author's own takes. Here in volume 3, I remember only the two pages on Underwater Photography are from istock, the rest are either by Scott himself or his assistants.

The really useful tips have increased widely from Vol 1, Vol 2, to Vol 3. The chapter on Sports Photography in this book, for example, is meatier and useable. The studio shots are also more complicated and more varied. There's even a devoted chapter for Product Photography (new chapter) Just to cite two pages of solid tips: there is one regarding experimenting on white balance, and another on getting that starry effect from sunshine. You'll feel the sincerity in the informal teaching. Imagine: there's even one recommending to shoot puddles during travelling. Well that's been a technique not straightly being said in many books on Urban Photography, but you see it indeed every now and then on portfolios of "good, creative" travel photos.

The studio shots and setup are superb, the guides to getting these shots are very clear, there are even more inputs on manipulating sofboxes. The instructions are now longer, no feeling of being rushed. The accompanying website is also very useful and on a teaching mode. Other useful bits: a clear line drawn between continuous and hot-shoe flashes, a whole chapter on lenses (not afraid to take a stand and recommend what he actually uses). I also like how Scott shows what he packs for wedding, portrait, travelling shoots.

One of the unintended consequence though: Scott's recommendation for gears is getting more and more EXPENSIVE. From just discussing the several sizes of softbox in volume 2, we know have strip banks, grids, ring lights, beauty dish, cubelite, triflectors,... and these are just from one chapter! I think that's the point, however. If you are serious a photographer, your expense will also increase. You have to spend to get to the next level.

This is a very good book to complete the selection. But if you've started at Vol 3, best to just go back to Vol 2... then skip Volume 1. You'll feel shortchanged by Vol 1, and most tips in there are repeated in the last two volumes. I have no idea what is left to discuss for volume 4, except perhaps even more expensive gears, more serious location shoots, more complicated "recipes."

One other thing: Scott should also be congratulated for the choice for the girl model. Very expressive, very versatile, very pretty. :-)

I rambled too much here. But in a nutshell Im just saying, this book is easily the best in the series... so far.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too simplistic, September 15, 2009
By 
Ron Greer (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
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I passed on the first two volumes, as good as they might have been, because I considered them too basic, but figured I would give the 3rd book a chance. Well, it too is pretty darn simplistic; and I returned my copy.

Very light reading, considering this is the 3rd in the series, and many items could be learned by simply reading the manual that came with your camera; like how to power down your flash via the flash exposure comp button. How about the page devoted to carrying a back-up flash on a pro shoot. Really?

I like Scott's software books, his blog, and these books may be great for the beginner but if you have at least some experience I suggest saving your money. Take a look at the books by Kirk Tuck for starters.
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