In one of the very early posts on this blog, I confided that I had been lucky enough to win the Durban section of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk 2009. With over 900 winners and the same number of walk organisers, there were a lot of prizes to post out and problems were bound to occur. I had begun to think that my prize was never going to arrive but, shortly after Christmas, a courier rolled up to the door with a copy of Scott Kelby’s The Digital Photography Book Volume 3.
In format, the book is just over A5 in size with nearly 250 pages packed with information. The book is quite unusual and was designed by Scott not to be an in-depth description of photographic equipment and technique. He describes it:
“Well, that’s what this book is all about: you and I out shooting where I answer questions, give you advice, and share the secrets I’ve learned, just like I would with a friend – without all the technical explanations and techie photo speak.”
The blurb on the back cover explains further:
“Each page covers a single concept on how to make your photography better. Every time you turn the page, you’ll learn another pro setting, tool, or trick to transform your work from snapshots into gallery prints. If you’re tired of taking shots that look ‘okay’, and if you’re tired of looking in photography magazines and thinking, ‘why don’t my shots look like that?’ Then this is the book for you.”
The book is divided up into a number of sections including Using Flash Like a Pro, Part 2, Using Your studio Like a Pro, The Truth About Lenses, Shooting Products Like a Pro, Shooting Outdoors Like a Pro, Shooting People Like a Pro, Shooting Sports Like a Pro, Pro Tips for Getting Better Photos, and Avoiding Problems Like a Pro.
As promised, each of those sections is divided up with one hint or tip per page. Under the section on Flash, some of the topics include using a transmitter to fire your flash, how to see if all your flashes will really fire, shortening the time between flashes, and typical power settings for your flash.
I particularly liked the sections on shooting people, where you will find many very useful hints on pages with either explanatory illustrations or Scot’s own inspirational photography. There is so much included in the book that it’s difficult to describe it all in a short article like this, but the hints and tips are calculated to get to thinking: “I must do that the next time I go on a shoot”.
One factor that you will encounter with this book is that certain sections of it follows straight on from articles in the previous two volumes. It is more than possible to read the book in isolation from the other two, but newbies would probably benefit from starting at the beginning with the first two volumes. It even says on the cover that the book is aimed at the beginner but I feel that it could be equally valuable for the more experienced shooter who, even if he or she knows most of the stuff that’s in it, can dip into it in spare moments and get timely reminders about what they should be doing.