- Paperback: 332 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media (May 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596006667
- ISBN-13: 978-0596006662
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Digital Photography Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
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About the Author
Derrick has been interested in photography since age 11, and a computer nut for decades. He's been waiting for years for these two passions to converge, and now that they have, it's everything he thought it would be. Managing editor of O'Reilly Network, Derrick focuses on Web authoring, digital media, and mobile computing. Favorite projects include O'Reilly DevCenters for Web Development and for the Mac. Derrick's experience includes more than 15 years as a photojournalist, a stint as the managing editor for Web Review, and a speaker for CMP's Web conferences. He is the coauthor of iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual and author of the Digital Photography and Digital Video Pocket Guides. Derrick also manages his online photo business, Story Photography.
Top customer reviews
Strengths: Here and there one can find useful techniques. For example, he has good ideas on eliminating red eye. Some of the recommended items are inexpensive and worth looking into. The book also does a good job of telling the advantages and disadvantages of the devices and software he recommends.
For example, we've all seen soft-focus portraits, but would you have thought to stretch nylons over the lens to get that effect? Or maybe you'd tear tiny holes in the nylons to get a more mottled appearance. Need a well-lit portrait but don't have a studio? Buy two flashes that can be fired by remote control, or consider using a mirror to bounce one flash around.
In the digital side, learn some tips about sorting an filing, backing up, and creating working copies so you don't lose your originals. Take your images into the 4th dimension by creating movies and slide shows - free! And learn to use the unique benefits of digital cameras to shoot many more exposures than you normally would with film, then combine the best parts of each.
The hacks in this book range from boring to quite imaginitive, and cover not only shooting techniques, but lighting setups, Photoshop tricks, archiving, weekend projects, and stuff you can do with a camera phone. Not all the hacks will be useful to everyone, but there is enough variety that most novice and intermediate photogs will be kept busy for quite a while.
The only drawback to this book is that many of the hacks rely on purchasing or building additional equipment. While this is not the fault of the author, it is a bit disappointing to open a book and be told to buy something else. However, Story does give plenty of information on do-it-yourself solutions, and generally provides alternates. Some things, like additional flashes, or more advanced digital cameras just can't be substituted.
Digital Photography Hacks really isn't meant for the shooter looking to solve very specific problems. Instead, the goal seems to be to get people thinking more creatively about their cameras and shooting. It might make a serious hobbiest of some, while give some inspiration to others. I've been shooting for a little while, and found lots of unique approaches to techniques I've already learned, and a few new tricks here and there.
This is a great book for anyone with a point-n-shoot digital camera who wants to do something more interesting than the typical travel or kid snaps.
The 100 tips and tools are organized into 8 chapters covering camera attachments, daytime and nighttime photo secrets, flash photography, photo projects, computer-based photo processing and organizing, and a special section on camera-phone photography. A number of hacks cover traditional photographic techniques not new to digital photography but useful to any photographer who wants to improve one or two steps above mere snapshooting. The bulk of them, however, relate specifically to the new digital photography world. The most interesting are those pertaining to camera-phones which have outsold regular digital cameras in 2002. The author demonstrates how to get the best use out of camera-phones despite their limitations in resolution, power, and features. Hack #75 explains that the prime value of camera-phones is in their immediacy allowing unique opportunities to obtain images. This hack reinterprets the traditional photography maxim that the "best camera" is the one you have in your hand when a special event is occurring.
Hack #79 cleverly shows how one can communicate in a foreign country by displaying pre-loaded images in your camera to the natives in lieu of learning and speaking a foreign language. Everyone will understand the meaning of the photos. Load up your disk with images of toilets, taxi cabs, and cheeseburgers! #83 discusses how to set up and run a photo mo-blog - which is the mobile version of a traditional blog site. Portrait-taking amateurs will learn how to improve their people shots with pro-style lighting effects (#41-43) and Photoshop manipulations like whitening teeth and eliminating red eye and skin blemishes (#16, 69-70).
Learn how to add music to movies and slideshows (#61) and analyze meta-data (EXIF format) contained in most digital photo formats (#28).
This book doesn't have the natural writing flow of Mr. Story's "Pocket Guide", as the Hacks were contributed by a large handful of experts, but it is a nice resource for those many digital photographers who need guidance or inspiration in using their cameras.