Landscapes, Tom Mackie,

 The Digital SLR Expert: Landscapes /Tom Mackie, William Neill, David Noton, Darwin Wiggett, and Tony Worobiec, Cincinnati: David and Charles, 2008, 144 p., (review originally published February 28, 2012)

This is one of several photography books that I reviewed as part of the Missouri Book Challenge. When I read the introduction my initial thought was “Finally, a book by Canon shooters,” since the many books are by Nikon shooters. I also thought that this book should be a fairly quick read since it was only 144 pages and about 2/3 of the book was taken up by photographs.

I was somewhat disappointed on both counts. First, once I had read the introductory materials, there was little reference to photography gear other than in the technical notes accompanying each of the photos. Second, while the material presented in the book was fairly complete, each set of two-three pages addressed an individual topic or technique and there was little or no segue between these groupings. As a result, I found it difficult to read more than five or six pages at any one sitting. This was further complicated by the extremely small font used throughout the book (younger readers may not find this problematic but my eyes just aren’t what they used to be).

While I found the overall body of the book difficult to follow, there were small hint blocks scattered throughout the text which many will find helpful. The book itself is divided into five chapters with one chapter written by each of the authors so you do get different perspectives as you move from chapter to chapter but it might have been more useful had the views of two authors been shared in each of the chapters.

Many of the sections include tips on how to use PhotoShop. The unfortunate thing is that because the book was published in 2008 these techniques are geared toward PhotoShop 3. The same techniques may be possible in later versions of PhotoShop but it may take some searching to locate the specific tools or techniques referenced.

After struggling through this book, I would probably give it 2½ to 3 stars of 5. It is definitely not a book for a beginning landscape photographer.

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