Ebook review – "Digital Photography Secrets", by David Peterson
The internet is awash with ebooks. Free, instant downloads, PDFs for everyone. But are they any good?
No, not from my experience they're not. And I've downloaded more than a few! I came to the conclusion that, generally speaking, you do get what you pay for.
But that leads to a problem. If the one you're interested isn't free, how do you know it is any good before you spend your money on downloading it?
That's why I started these reviews. I have personally bought and read the ebooks you see (and will see in the future) on these pages
. And my reviews are always independent and honest.
Read on for my ebook review of David Peterson's "Digital Photography Secrets
This review is split into the following sections:
Digital Photography secrets is a collection of photography tips aimed at beginners to keen amateurs.
It is especially useful for anyone who is generally satisfied with their photographs, but can't help wondering if there's something missing. They just can't quite put their finger on it.
This ebook spells out the simple little tips and tricks that seasoned photographers use to make photos really pop and shine.
The book describes itself as "Tips only the pros know about". I'm not sure I fully agree.
For a start it makes it sound as if professional photographers live by some mystic code where they aren't allowed to talk about their craft. Well, that's not true. I share many pro tips right here on this site.
I would describe the tips in the ebook as those that can be learnt by anyone, given some practice and some guidance. This book successfully provides that guidance
. The practice you will have to put in yourself!
Digital Photography Secrets is a good quality ebook. It includes lots of photographic examples of the points being made – essential for a photography book.
Another thing I like about the use of photos is the extensive use of before and after photos. It's something I like to use here on digital-photography-tips.net
wherever possible because I think it makes a point really clearly. I'm pleased to see so many examples in David's book.
The font used for the text is a nice "sans serif" font. I like this in an ebook because it makes reading on screen easier. And lets face it, not everyone wants to print out every page.
So for quality, Digital Photography Secrets
hits the mark.
Digital Photography Secrets is very
readable. Technical terms are explained well; for example, "Depth of field is the distance in front of and behind the focus point that is also in focus." And there's two photos provided that illustrate the point too.
It's nice to see both an explanation of the term, and then a photographic example to illustrate the point. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! By doing this it does make it far more readable, and far more enjoyable.
David's writing style is relaxed. If you find digital-photography-tips.net
easy to read, then you should have no problems with Digital Photography Secrets either.
Call me a perfectionist, but I like an ebook to be properly spell checked and to use proper grammar. I like to see this because I think it says something about the author and their commitment to quality. In reading Digital Photography Secrets
I only found one typo. I suppose anyone can be forgiven one mistake!
The content of this ebook is quite extensive. It is pitched at photographers who probably know a little about what makes a decent photo, but need a little help in turning "OK" photography into "great" photography!
It is also aimed at photographers who generally use their camera in "Auto" mode, and rarely make use of the other modes their camera has to offer.
If you are an experienced amateur photographer, possibly completed some photography courses, and confidently know your way around a digital SLR, then Digital Photography Secrets is not for you. You will still find a few tips that are worth knowing, but there won't be too much that comes as a surprise to you.
For the beginner to keen amateur photographer, the content in Digital Photography Secrets will genuinely help you
to both improve your photography, and help you to understand your camera better.
Amongst others, there are topics on:
And a whole lot more besides!
- Composition –
- how a new perspective can dramatically improve your shots,
- what to include in your shots to add instant impact,
- timeless "rules" that great photographs have.
- Photography styles –
- how to photograph children,
- take fantastic night time photos,
- taking vacation shots that will provide a lifetime of memories.
- Practical tips –
- essential camera maintenance to keep your photos sharp, and your camera working,
- how to name your digital files so that you can easily find them,
- digital printing tips.
- Common pitfalls (and how to avoid them!) –
- check out your background, before you take the photo,
- avoiding the dreaded "red eye",
- why prints don't appear the same as they did on the screen.
Digital Photography Secrets has 120 pages of useful photography tips
. And those pages do actually have tips on them.
I have read ebooks where the author boldly claims hundreds of pages, when actually a lot of pages are nothing but images or screenshots, and there is little useful content in between. Thankfully, this is not one of them. Sections are short
, which makes for an easy read, but they are all useful.
Value for money
When buying Digital Photography Secrets, you are actually buying a bundle. This is common in buying ebooks, but often the rest of the bundle is pretty lightweight when compared to the actual book itself.
With Digital Photography Secrets you also get an eleven page article on "Digital Noise"
. This is a useful article, but I don't know why it couldn't have been condensed a little and included in the actual book itself.
You also get a six page ebooklet "Jargon Explained"
. Some of the jargon explained is pretty basic (are there really photographers out there who don't know what a "tripod" is?), and again, I have to repeat what I said about the Digital Noise article; this could easily have been incorporated into the book itself.
The final "paper" extra in the bundle is a one page Cheat Sheet
. This is a useful little sheet that will give you plenty to be getting on with whilst you read the rest of Digital Photography Secrets. Again, I can't see why it couldn't have been included in the ebook itself.
The genuine extras
in the bundle are the The video clips
that you also gain access to. Now these really are worth a look and are genuine extras
. One of the clips (more a program than a clip, I suppose) is over an hour and a half long.
In it, David interviews a seasoned photographer, and the two of them go on to discuss various photos. They talk about what made the photo great, or the reasons why a particular photo missed the mark! This video presentation is a really nice extra, and is well worth watching.
By buying the ebook you also gain access to presentations
on how to set up an online photo sharing album (using Flickr as an example), and how to use the noise reduction software "Neat Image".
To be honest, the Neat Image presentation is only of value if you actually have the software (I do, and I have to say I think it is brilliant!). The Flickr presentation is going to be useful to a lot of people though, especially those who are may lack a little confidence about setting these things up online. It's worth including as an extra.
Well, the real question is "is it worth it?" If you don't yet have access to a straightforward guide on how to improve your photos, then yes, this ebook is definitely worth it.
When you throw in the extras you get in the download bundle (not the extra ebooks, I'm thinking of the videos), then it gets to look even better value.
You can access the Digital Photography Secrets home page here
You might also be interested in reading my review of David Peterson's other ebook, 267 Tips For Sensational Photos