Sometimes authors go too far. They make a subject too interesting. Worse yet, they tell you way too much for your own good. Scott Kelby is one of those authors. He goes too far, says too much, and even tells you how to pull it all together. The man has no shame. He also has no consideration for my wallet, which always seems to empty after reading his books. To my knowledge, he doesn’t get a kickback for me emptying the wallet, so I’ll give him some credit there.
Fortunately Scott writes about photography, photoshop, and the cool things you can do with images. We should all count ourselves lucky that he’s not a nuclear physicist. If he were, and he kept his current instruction style, there would be a rather large subset of the population running around building our own fusion reactors based on Scott’s books. Luckily for society on the whole, Scott’s subject is safer than home grown nuclear generators. Instead he focuses on a fun subject where most of us can do no harm (although I’m sure some do find a way). Still, for those of us with the photo bug you could say we’re unlucky in a way. After reading Scott’s latest installment of “The Digital Photography Book,” I find myself needing to take up a collection for future gear. Somehow I think creating my own in home nuclear power plant might save me some money in the long run…….
Picking up where he left off in Volume II
In the second installment of the popular series Scott managed to help me spend several thousand dollars in the first few chapters. Right off the bat in that volume he got into flashes, and then into building a studio from scratch. Seriously, the guy was by my side in spirit as I kept popping my credit card number into B&H Photo. I think I understand how a gambling addict feels as they pop that next coin into a one armed bandit. Fortunately, I’ve got more to show for my addiction.
Volume III starts out with, drum roll, using flash like a pro, and then moves right into more information about your studio. Two chapters that can cost you dearly. In my case, as a landscape / nature / and “all things old” photographer, why the heck do I need flashes, wireless flashes, or studio gear? I mean, I shoot outside for Pete’s sake!
I’ll tell you why I need them……
Scott made them sound too cool. And reading his simple information I know what to do with the gear. Fortunately I did beat him to the biggest punch of all. Setting up a multi-strobe wireless kit. After reading Volume II I set myself up with a 580EX II and some 430’s as well. See, I knew what he’d be doing in Volume III, and I figured I’d jump the gun.
Deeper into the book
Like previous editions of “The Digital Photography Book,” Volume III continues on covering multiple subjects. Each subject contains a collection of quick informational pieces on a single page per topic. Makes for very easy reading, and each page is content rich. Here’s what each of the chapters covers:
- Using Flash Like a Pro
- 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
- Avoiding Problems Like a Pro
- Yet Even More Recipes to Help You Get “The Shot”
To readers’ relief, as you get further into the book the urge to spend money wildly fades into the background. Chapters 1 – 3 are the ones where someone needs to be on hand to intervene when you attempt to log on to your favorite online photo store. It’s similar to Volume II in that way…..
Each chapter really gets the ideas stirring for readers who are becoming serious photographers by now. And by that I mean that if you’re up to Volume III you’ve most likely read the first two. Volume III really does build on the previous books, and if you haven’t read them I’d suggest going through them first. That’s not to say a person off the street couldn’t pick up the third installment and understand it, it’s just they would have missed out on all that’s been taught in the first two books.
By the way……all 3 volumes are available on Amazon as a collection, and for a very reasonable price. If you’ve got a photographer on your holiday shopping list this would be a great collection to gift to them. And while you’re in the gifting spirit, you could also stop by my print sale site and get them a lovely image or two for inspiration…..heck yeah, plugging myself in a review, you have to love it!
Overall, “The Digital Photography Book Volume 3” continues Scott Kelby’s amazing instruction series in a way that he should be proud of. It’s very rare to come across a tech author who can easily explain complex stuff in a simple way that any interested person can understand. That’s a rare talent, and it’s probably why Scott is the most published tech author out there. He gets it, and he wants you to get it too.
With that kind of skill, you may now understand my concern about him ever delving into nuclear physics!
While I received my copy for free from this past summer’s World Wide Photo Walk, I strongly recommend the book for anyone interested in digital photography. From the amateur to the professional, I think there are pieces of information worthwhile to all readers. And so you know, Volumes I & II were purchased on my own dime over the last few years. Volume III was my first freebie in this series, and that’s only because I did the Prescott Photowalk. Had I not received this book for free I would have bought it happily.
By the way, I spent the last few months resisting the urge to just go out and buy it. I knew my free copy would arrive sooner or later. It arrived a little later then I expected, and I kept my keyboard away from Amazon and my person away from Barnes and Noble because I knew I’d be getting it for free…. 🙂
A final note on the series
Several years ago I purchased my first copy of “The Digital Photography Book.” Folks following my original blog will remember this fact. I read the book in no time, just like the latest edition. Easy read, quick information tidbits, some fun humor, etc. The books are a quick read to be sure, and they’re also great references.
After reading the first book I began receiving regular inquiries on the site. “Did you buy a new camera,” “Are you using some new software,” “Have you finally started editing?” Those were the common questions. And to each question the response was the same. I read this great little book by Scott Kelby, and I learned more in this slim book then I have in many books by other authors on the subject. The only thing that changed was the photographer and his knowledge.
Thanks for such a great series Scott! We appreciate it! Just wish you’d stop helping me spend my money!