The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 1, Scott Kelby

  The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1/Scott Kelby, Berkeley: Peachpit Press, 2006, 218 p. (review originally published March 9, 2012)

 The first volume of a series of four (as of March 2012) books written by Scott Kelby on digital photography techniques, this book quickly departs from the typical reference volume filled with both comments on how and reasons why a photographer should do anything. Instead, Kelby approaches this as though he and the reader were out together on a photo shoot and the reader asked how to do a particular task. The result is a 218 page book that contains about 200 one-page hints on how to make your photography better.

While you can read the book cover to cover as I did, you can just as easily pick it up and read a chapter or even a page or two on a specific topic of interest. Each chapter is devoted to a general area of photography like flowers, weddings, landscapes, and sports and most can easily be read in a single sitting.

For those who have not read other books by Kelby it may take a little time to appreciate the humor that he injects throughout the book. Although this is primarily limited to the introduction and first page of each chapter, it occasionally sneaks into other locations. If the humor bothers the reader, they can skip the introductory pages with no loss of content. For the rest of us, it offers a nice break as you are going through the book.

I will be reading the other four volumes of this series over the next few weeks and add comments on them as they are completed.  Peachpit rates this book as a Beginner Level volume but unless you are a true expert, any reader may find helpful information included. Chapter 11 may be of particular interest to more advanced photographers. In this Chapter, Kelby discusses techniques for taking specific photos which can be useful when trying to capture a certain mood or appearance.

Overall, a good book that can be read by photographers at all levels regardless of the type of digital camera they use (even those who use their smart phone as their only camera may find some of these tips valuable).

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