Get The Picture You Want: Essential Digital Photography Techniques
by "the Element K Journals Creative Team"
Published by PeachPit Press
In the WLUG library

Reviewed by JohnMcPherson

I feel like exactly the type of person that this book is aimed at; someone with a low-to-mid-range consumer-level DigitalCamera, with no formal training but lots of enthusiasm :)

I have definitely picked up a lot from the book, especially how the terms aperture, ISO, and shutter speed are used when talking about digital cameras, and knowing how they inter-relate and need to be balanced together to get good photos. There is also a lot of information about the gadget side of digital photography (storage formats, archiving, adapters, file formats, etc) but this stuff was less useful to me personally than the photography side of the book (although I can imagine it being very useful to people who aren't computer geeks).

There are also many general hints and tips through-out the book for things to keep in mind when thinking about how the final image will look, although these aren't digital-camera specific. Also, they seem to be subjective --- in art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder --- so I'll just use them as guidelines. But it is better to at least be aware of these things and thinking about them (such as sense of balance and positioning between foreground and background objects).

The book has lots of images demonstrating the concepts and examples discussed in the text, and these really help explain some of the points (especially those to do with colours and exposure settings).

Some of the things discussed seem to be common sense (especially things to do with the physical care of the camera and peripherals), although one of the repeated themes through-out the book, play around with the camera to see what all the settings do, is a very important message despite seeming obvious. (I had my camera for over 2 years before discovering and playing with the long shutter exposure time setting).

I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't know particularly much about photography but is enthusiastic about using their camera, and wants to get more out of it.

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