Review: "Photography" by London et al

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Jul 21, 2003
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A short review of "Photography" (7th ed) by Barbara London, John Upton, Ken Kobre and Betsy Brill.

I picked this book up at Borders for AUD$92.95 which is a steal considering that the book sells for US$60+ at

This fantastic book is catered for the beginners and enthusiasts alike. I suspect that even pros would appreciate this book given the broad topics which it covers.

The book contains the technical basics, like cameras, lenses, aperture etc etc. It covers in good detail how different films react to light, and the effect of filters on absoroption of certain light rays. The book also covers the developing, printing and mounting aspects of photography. It is filled with instructional images to guide the reader along, so no worries there. There are advance chapters on special techniques as well. In particular, black and white snappers will appreciate the inclusion of a chapter on the zone system.

Digital enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there are a few topics devoted to digital photography, with a strong emphasis on digital darkroom techniques. If I'd bought this book ages ago, I wouldn't have had such a hard time with Photoshop 7.

In addition to the technical and instructional sides to the book, there is a chapter on the history of photography - a very interesting read indeed.

I have no qualms at all about this book - it basically answers alot of my questions on photography in general. What also makes this book interesting is the inclusion of tons of colour photos to illustrate and emphasise on techniques. It is a very colourful book (and pretty heavy as well)!

Sure the price maybe hefty, but think about it this way - this maybe the only general book on photography that you'll need. If I had found this book earlier, I wouldn't have bothered with the other crap books that I've bought.

My ratings:

(1) Number of topics: 10
(2) Ease of usage & understanding: 9.5
(3) Illustrations: 10
(4) Value: 10+
(5) Overall: 10

Conclusion: when it comes to a book on general photography, you will be hard-pressed to find anything better than this gem.

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