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The Digital Photography Companion by Derrick Story

Prolific author Derrick Story will be in New York next week for PhotoPlus Expo -- teaching seminars and at the O'Reilly booth.

Check out his recent book, The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly, March 2008), which crams both photo basics and creative advice into a nicely packable 200-page book.

It's a handy guide to indeed serve as a companion, friendly and well-illustrated. Use it first to help you get started into the breath of options in digital photography (with alphabetical summaries of features and controls), and then to bring along for advice when moving from basic to more advanced photo situations.

Story starts with the basics of choosing and using a digital camera (DSLR or compact), by discussing common features and camera controls. He then provides advice on using the camera for various shooting situations, from shooting kids and museums to lens filter tricks with sunglasses and, yes, pantyhose.

The reminder of the book then moves to the computer, covering managing and sharing digital images with photo editing tools (but not deep into editing and enhancement techniques), and then printing the final results, including advice on photo printers and services (but not details on specific services).

The Appendix provides handy quick reference guides for camera modes and settings.

The Digital Photography Companion
    by Derrick Story
    O'Reilly Media, March 2008, 214 pages, ISBN 0596517661, $24.99 ($16 street)

See Derrick Story's blog, with photo tips and podcasts, at The Digital Story.

See O'Reilly Media for more information, including digital version in PDF format and access through Safari Books Online.

    Find The Digital Photography Companion on Amazon.com

More on the chapters ...

Story gets you started with camera basics in chapter 1, What is It? -- Helping you decide between a DSLR or compact camera, and then explaining common camera features.

Then Story explains how to use all those buttons and dials in chapter 2, How Does it Work? -- Covering controls in alphabetical order, from A (Aperture Mode) through Z (Zoom/Magnify). To help you put together these options, he also includes Practical Example pages with photos illustrating advice on shooting better photos.

Chapter 3, Shoot Like a Pro, then puts these options together to provide advice for basic and then more advanced photo activities, from taking group shots to simple and inexpensive tricks for shooting under more difficult circumstances, from sporting events to inclement weather (or even underwater).

After shooting your photos, it's time to move on to digital photo editing in chapter 4, I've Taken Great Pictures, Now What? -- Again moving from basic to more advanced advice on managing and sharing your photos (from slideshows to movies), plus thumbnails of popular photo editing applications.

Finally, chapter 5, Printing Made Easy, focuses on the now-quaint practice of actually creating photo prints, with advice on choosing your own printer, or using photo services.

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