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Photo Book Reviews



Selected by Carol Cotton, Editor, Digital Camera Magazine

Photo Jojo!
Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas

By Amit Gupta and Kelly Jensen
Paperback 2009 Random House, Inc., 192 pages
ISBN 978-0-307-45132-2
$21.99 US

With more than 50 super-easy projects, Photojojo! will show you how to do things like make a wall-sized photo mural using any ordinary printer, create a custom photo laptop bag, bake photo cupcakes, make a photo time capsule, and turn a fork into a modern photo stand, a bottle into a tripod, a book into a photo frame ... well, you get the idea.

Photojojo! is a unique book filled with creative ideas to help you make interesting gifts for friends and family and conversation pieces for your home or office. Who doesn't love being surrounded by photos of family, pets, special events and favorite places?

This book is basically divided into two sections - One called "Do More with Your Photos" and the other called "Have More Fun with a Camera". By following the ideas in Photojojo! you can have your precious memories close by and displayed in one of a kind creative ways. One of my favorite projects in this book is called "Magnetic, Fridge-Based Mr. You Head". Also, the project of making a tripod out of a bottle is absolutely ingenious!

Wedding Photography from the Heart
Creative Techniques to Capture the Moments that Matter

By Joe Buissink and Skip Cohen
Paperback 2009 Random House, Inc., 192 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-2454-1
$29.99 US

Join premier celebrity wedding photographer Joe Buissink as he opens the book on the world-renowned style, with more than 150 stunning images, creative techniques, and unparalleled advice for capturing a couple's perfect moments.

Wedding Photography From The Heart is filled with breathtakingly beautiful images of weddings and special moments that are sure to thrill the beautiful people represented in the photographs for a lifetime. A wedding is something two people want to be perfect, and they want their photographs to capture the moods and the moments to spark emotions and memories to last a lifetime.

This book is filled with comments explaining the events that led up to the moment the photos were taken, which is extremely helpful for a photographer. The photographer talks about the equipment he uses and why. The photographer is totally open with his thoughts, hints, and ideas, and can prove to be priceless for anyone who takes his advice when it comes to photographing people and special events. This photographer is totally amazing and should truly be celebrated for his eye and for his heart. Capturing such images as the ones that fill these 192 pages represents a lifetime of experience and dedication to the art.

Mastering Filters for Photography
The Complete Guide to Digital and Optical Techniques for High-Impact Photos

By Chris Weston
Paperback 2009 Random House, Inc., 192 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-2451-0
$25.99 US

The most comprehensive updated resource on using optical and digital filters to create stunning effects.

Whether you're shooting nature, wedding, portrait, landscape, or any other type of photography, filters are indispensable tools for bringing images closer to the way our eyes actually perceived the scene in real life, as well as for creating unique mood and color effects. In Mastering Filters for Photography, author Chris Weston covers everything you need to know about the range of optical and digital filter options, showing you how to use them to master contrast, intensity, color, tone, and for creative special effects.

Filled with more than 300 images from master photographers, before-and-after shots, and step-by-step instructions, Mastering Filters for Photography is the one book you'll need to make filters an essential part of your photographic arsenal.

Chris Weston is the author of 20 photography books, and is a regular contributor to Practical Photography, Outdoor Photographer, and DSLR User magazines.

This book, Mastering Filters for Photography, is filled with breath-taking examples of how using filters while shooting photography should be. Not only that, but there are tons of useful images of examples of editing software in use. In this book, Chris Weston talks about filter systems, optical filters, creative and special effects, and digital filters, all in great detail. Well written and presented, this book is a must for any photographer's library.

Camera Creative
Professional Photography Techniques for Innovative Images

By Chris Gatcum
Paperback 2009 Random House, Inc., 176 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-2450-3
$24.99 US

Get the secrets behind cool, creative techniques your camera won't teach you!

Amateur photographers looking to go beyond the basics will love this collection of 52 ways to take "wow" shots. These are the techniques you won't find in any camera manual, from exciting photo-taking ideas to post processing tips and even gear you can make at home on the cheap, including flash diffusers, reflectors, filter gels, lenses, and more. Throughout, you'll get expert insights, simple step-by-step instructions, and eye-popping photos from both amateur and professional photographers. If you're ready to push your camera further, break some rules, and take stunning, innovative images, Camera Creative will show you how.

Look inside for the secrets behind 52 of today's most popular creative photo techniques, including:

  • Bokeh
  • Water-droplet reflections
  • Fake tilt-shift (model world)
  • TTV (through the viewfinder)
  • Small-world panos
  • HDR
  • Reverse lens macro
  • Holga hacks
  • Star trails
  • And much more!

Chris Gatcum is an award-winning photographer and frequent contributor of technical and technique-based photography articles to various online and print publications. Formerly the technical editor for What Digital Camera? magazine and a technical editor of the Ilex Press.

This book is 176 pages of cool ideas! Amazing detailed "how-to" step-by-step illustrated directions on how to improvise with regular household items to make essential creative lighting options. Chris dedicates a third of this book to creative shooting. Another third of this book is dedicated to lenses and accessories, and lighting gear. The remaining third of the book concentrates on digital processing and printing. This is one book I catch myself referring back to time and time again!

Camera RAW 101
Better Photos with Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom

By Jon Canfield
Paperback 2009 Random House, Inc., 176 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-3229-4
$24.99 US

Many serious amateur photographers have trouble getting that "wow" shot from their digital cameras. And they're discovering that working in RAW (the digital equivalent of a film negative) takes their photographs to the next level, giving them the control they need to get the highest image quality possible. The problem is, while most photographers know how to shoot RAW, they might not understand how to best deal with "RAW captures" to achieve the ultimate goal: producing the best images.

In Camra RAW 101, digital photography and software expert Jon Canfield explains everything you need to know to make the most of RAW captures using the newest versions of Photoshop, Elements, and Lightroom. You'll find out how to get the most detail from your RAW files - whether it's correcting shadows and highlights, fixing white balance, or getting rid of noise. You'll learn how to convert RAW images using both basic and advanced techniques, as well as how to download and organize the images, and put the finishing touches on them after conversion.

Packed with beautiful images, solid instruction, and working examples - including screen grabs and before-and-after contrasts that show each step - this is a must-have for any serious amateur photographer who wants to take better, more creative photographs.

This book is laid out in a very organized fashion, with a lot of examples of how to make your great photos even better, and how to make your average photos a whole lot better. By shooting in RAW, you have more room to explore and experiment with editing techniques.

In this book, Jon discusses the importance of preliminary workflow, Adobe camera RAW, RAW conversion, beyond the basics, automating camera RAW, advanced conversion optics, and finishing touches. This is a great book to help lead any amateur photographer down the correct path to better photography.

Complete Guide to Ultimate Digital Photography
By Derek Doeffinger Paperback 2008 Lark Books a Division of Sterling Publishing Company, 160 pages ISBN 978-1-60059-116-2 $24.95

The changeover from film to digital has made taking great photos a lot easier. But creating what acclaimed photographer and author Derek Doeffinger calls ultimate quality pictures means navigating your way through a world of possibilities that's more complex than ever before. All the expertise you need is here: the art of choosing the right lens (and putting it through some rigorous tests) ... setting your camera's shutter speed and white balance ... using computer software to bring out details that might otherwise be lost ... making sure all your skill and artistry are captured in the final print ... and more.

What a great book! Whether you want to purchase your first digital camera or upgrade from one you already own the information in this book can help you make the correct decision. It's divided into four sections: Choosing Ultimate Imaging Tools, Shooting Techniques for Ultimate Quality, Adjusting the Ultimate Photo, and Printing for Ultimate Quality. Nicely organized and illustrated, this book will help you from the moment you open the cover. There are so many digital cameras and accessories on the market these days that it makes it next to impossible to choose. This book can help you make the decision so that you buy photography equipment that best suits your needs.

Digital Photography 1,2,3
Taking & Printing Great Pictures

By Rob Sheppard
Paperback 2008 Lark Books - A Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 96 pages
ISBN 978-1-60059-421-2
$9.95 US

This handy revised and updated reference demystifies shopping for and using a digital camera. Get professional advice on resolution and file formats, memory cards, exposure, downloading pictures, preparing and printing an image, and much more.

There are also expert tips on creating newsletters, posters, cards, and brochures.

Rob Sheppard is the author of several photography books, including The Magic of Digital Nature Photography and New Epson Complete Guide to Digital Printing. He is a founding editor of PCPhoto, a magazine dedicated to digital image creation, and editor-at-large for Outdoor Photographer magazine.

Digital Photography 1,2,3 is packed with images, instruction, ideas, and information about digital cameras and how to use them to get the best results. There are tons of examples of photos with additional images showing corrections, changes, and how the photos would look if shot using different settings. This is an absolutely wonderful book for anyone who is new to or considering digital photography. The book is filled with important information, so it's small size makes it even easier to carry in a camera bag for quick reference.

How to get Great Pictures of Your Dog

By Kim Levin
Paperback 2008 Amphoto Books, 134 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-2718-4
$17.95 US

How many times has that perfect photo of your top dog gone wrong? Here, pet photographer Kim Levin offers you simple tips and advice to help you capture that dream shot of your furry best friend in a book jam-packed with too-cute photos that will have you running for your camera.

Kim Levin has published fifteen books, including the best-seller Why We Love Dogs and Catitude. Her other pet portrait books include Pawfiles, Caternal Instincts, Dogma, and Working Dogs. Her company Bark and Smile Pet Portraits (R) combines her passion for photography and her love for animals. Kim lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and dog. You can view her work at

PhoDOGraphy is filled with amazing photos of dogs in varying environments, with other animals, and with their owners. Just by looking at these photos you will feel like you know the personality of each dog. Some of the topics Kim addresses are: the portrait, capturing the moment, photographing outdoors, photographing indoors, the black dog, the dog in motion, composition, making use of weather and seasons, and dogs, dogs, dogs. This book very thoroughly covers each of these topics and will help photographers to take better pictures of their beloved pets.

The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Children
By Jim Miotke
Paperback 2008 Amphoto Books 224 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-2448-0
$24.95 US

Take great shots of your kids today!

It's no secret that children can be less cooperative when it's time for a photo: they don't like to stand still for long periods and easily get distracted. In The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Children, veteran photographer (and father of three) Jim Miotke shares his secrets regarding lighting, composition, and other photo basics, but most important, helps you capture fast-moving targets, develop a rapport with your young subjects, and gain the cooperation, attention, and eye contact you need for the very best pictures of kids, whether candid or posed.

Jim Miotke is a professional photographer and an online photo course instructor with, a resource for photographers that he founded and runs. He is the author of the best-selling BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography, as well as The BetterPhoto Guide to Nature Photography.

A great book filled with amazing photos of children of all ages! Many of the photographs used in this book were taken by members of the Photographing Children Club at or finalists or winners in the monthly photo contest at The subjects that are covered in this book are: Light, composition, digital exposure, equipment, cooperation: being the boss, eye contact: getting and keeping attention, and a quick guide to posing. In this book you will find assignments and tips, along with page after page of valuable information that will help you take better, professional quality photos of your children.

Mastering HDR Photography
Combining Technology and Artistry to Create High Dynamic Range Images

By Michael Freeman
Paperback 2008 Amphoto books, 160 pages
ISBN 978-0-8174-9999-0 $24.95 US

A thorough introduction to the exciting new technology of HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE imaging.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is the latest challenge to face serious digital photographers, offering a unique, creative opportunity to extend one's technological repertoire. Vastly superior to any camera sensor, the human eye is capable of simultaneously perceiving a wide range of luminance levels without distortion like lens flare, burnout, and underexposure, technical shortcomings that have become inherent to the language of traditional photography, HDR offers a set of techniques that allows you to capture the full range of tones in a scene that replicates human perception more accurately.

Freeman explains how to shoot specifically for HDR; then discusses in detail the software for combining multiple exposures into a single HDR image; how to apply these techniques to various popular photographic genres; and how to successfully export and print HDR images. Perhaps most important, the book reveals HDR as a technology not of soulless automation, but one that requires the photographer's personal judgement and artistry.

Michael Freeman is an acclaimed international photographer and writer. He has photographed extensively for Smithsonian magazine as well as Time-Life Books, and Conde Nast Travelerand is a regular contributor to Photo Direct News. He is the author of more than two dozen books on photography, including the best-sellingThe Complete Guide to Digital Photography.

This book is filled with beautiful examples and well-displayed screen shots of actual adjustment windows to help you achieve the results you are looking for with your HDR photos. This book is well organized and arranged in a useful way. The topics discussed in great detail are HDP Scenes and Vision, HDR capture and generation, HDR tonemapping, and HDR workflows. This book is a must for any photographer wanting to understand High Dynamic Range photography.

Travel Photography
Documenting the World's People and Places

By Bob Krist Paperback 2008 Lark Books a Division of Sterling Publishing Company,192 pages ISBN 978-1-60059-110-5 $ 24.95

Part of the fun of traveling is documenting your trip in photographs. But do your digital images capture the thrill of actually being there? Acclaimed travel photographer and Nikon "Legend Behind the Lens," Bob Krist will help ensure that they do. He'll show you how to choose the right camera and take advantage of all its technical capabilities, give you professional advice on finding interesting subjects and creating eye-catching compositions, and outline the best ways to use your computer and printer to share your pictures with the world. In addition, this user-friendly guide is illustrated with many dramatic travel photos - the types of shots you could be taking on your next trip.

This is truly an amazing book! Every photo inside this book tells an amazing story. The images are filled with life and emotion and most definitely take you back to where the picture was taken! Bob puts his information in a format that makes sense and can help any photographer better organize and prepare to get better, more emotional photographs during their travels and in every day life. The sections are broken down into the topics of Gearing Up, Workflow, Light, Composition, Moment, Flash, Photographing People, Archiving and Sharing, Road Warrior Survival Tips, and Afterward. Everything you need to know about photographing people and places during your travels.

Fashion Photography
A Complete Guide to the Tools and Techniques of the Trade

By Bruce Smith Paperback 2008 Amphoto Books, 192 pages ISBN 978-0-8174-2721-4 $29.95

Today's glamorous world of fashion photography is hotter than ever, so if you intend to make your mark, you'll need trusted information and advice. Here, industry veteran Bruce Smith offers an indispensable collection of tips and tricks of the trade.

Must-know topics include improving your techniques, with hands-on information on equipment, exposure, composition, and all types of lighting, as well as issues key to fashion like directing models, achieving energy in your photos, choosing locations, and working with props and accessories, stylists, hair, and makeup. Smith addresses the refinement of your photographs in post-production plus the all-important subject of marketing and selling your work. In addition, he examines a number of renowned inspirational photographers like David LaChapelle and Barry Lategan.

Presenting a range of advertising, catalog, and editorial work, featuring swimwear, evening wear, bridal, lingerie, and more, Smith offers a comprehensive guide to shooting fashion and beauty photography in a book no aspiring fashion photographer should be without.

Bruce Smith has been a world-class fashion and beauty photographer for thirty years. He teaches master classes in France, Italy, and the United States, runs workshops in the United Kingdom, and is the fashion photography instructor at

An amazing book of fabulous images in fashion and beauty photography! Each page is filled with exquisite photos and explanations as to how to achieve photographs such as these. Smith divides this book into the following categories: Equipment, Team Building, Pre-Production, Lighting, Production, Post-Production, Marketing, and Inspirational Photographers. Each section is jam-packed with 30 years of Smith's experiences and helpful information. This book is definitely a must-have for anyone considering a career or hobby in fashion and beauty photography.


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