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VINE VOICEon March 7, 2012
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"'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.
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on March 23, 2015
I have bought and read the first four of Kelby's Digital Photogrpahy books and like many, many people, have enjoyed the way he uses humour and writes his explanations as if he's just having a casual conversation with you, as if you bumped into each other at a barbeque, you discovered he's a photography pro, and you picked his brains for a few tips, and struck gold because this photographer knows how to put things in normal language, refraining from using technical jargon and making you feel illiterate, dumb and a fool.

To be honest though, I've found that he is stringing out his books. I found that as you progress from Book to, to 2, then 3, then 4, the things you learn decreases, at least for me. Don't get me wrong, I am hardly a pro. And Kelby covers many situations that I'm sure I'll very rarely be involved in, like waking at 5am to take one of those beautiful landscapes with the still waters of the lake, over which a long shadow of the nearby mountain is casting.

Overall, should you buy this series of books? If you even a passing interest in photography, then yes, at the very least buy the first book. As the the next 4, it depends on your interest and knowledge levels.
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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...
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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.
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on May 21, 2017
I highly recommend this volume 4 and vols. 1 and 2 , skip vol.3. As usual Scott gives a ton of photography tips in simple and direct presentation.
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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.

Highly recommended.
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on December 24, 2013
This is another stepping stone in the road to learning about digital photography.
It has pages and pages of words that when joined together form sentences.
The photographes while tasteful still border on boring, but informative without even coming close to being ubsurd.
you find useful number at the bottom of each page that will help you know where you are. These number are know as "page Numbers" It helps to start at the number "1" page and go to "2" then "3" and so on....not "2" then 99 and 88 as one tends to do..
The cover is made of a laminated paper that while tough it is not bullet proof it will not en stop a .22LR at 10' I tried and trust me I am glad I didn't have mom hold it while I tried this.
If you are a cop or prison guard It can help you in your job. just hold it against the skin of the criminal that you are hitting and it will protect your hand while leaving no bruises on your prisoner.
I give this novelle two broken thumbs up!
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on September 27, 2013
So many photography books spend 90% of their space on very basic concepts, with only the remaining 10% being useful for photographers who already have a good command of camera controls and exposure knowledge. This is a book that is the other way around: 90% with specific tips and knowledge to solve specific photographic issues for those who already know their camera controls pretty well. As I turned the pages when I first got the book, I kept saying to myself, "So, that makes sense . . . I never thought of that." I've seen Scott Kelby's "The Grid" presentations on uTube, so I was thinking his training books might be either way below my level . . . or perhaps even far above and into marketing a photographic business. This particular book (Part 4) reveals professional tips and techniques for many, many specific situations. I will be referring to it for many months. I've ordered the other 3 earlier volumes to check them out.
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on April 1, 2012
I own the first three and the fourth is a nice addition to the series. I am a photography enthusiast with a full time job and other interests in addition to photography so I occasionally need to refer to other sources for the "how to" of certain situations just like the cook who uses recepies. Kelby does a great job in explaining the how and why of a particular shot which gives a nice learning experience while allowing the user to move beyond the info in the book and apply his/her own creative style. This is not a book you read cover to cover but like a good cookbook one that you refer to from time to time as the need dictates. I don't have as much time to give to photography as I would like and I like doing macro and landscapes and shooting at motorcycle events and I will occasionally volunteer to do a wedding. I will refer to the various sections prior to going out to shoot and the book gives me a quick refresher and helps eliminate some of the set up time and allows me to focus on what I am shooting rather than relearning a technique. My one gripe with Kelby in general is his failure to acknowledge any cameras other than Cannon or Nikon. Even though these two are the giants of the industry there are many of us who use other brands with great success (I have used Pentax for over 30 years) This is a minor irritation with an other wise nice set of books
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If your are wanting to learn photography these books are like an amateurs Bible they explain everything so directly and easy to understand down to how far away your equipment should be form the subject and what settings your camera could be on!! I love this series it's my go to guide for when I'm stumped and need a quick how to. This book also manages to be entertaining to read!
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