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Lunch » Tags » Digital Cameras » Reviews » Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera » User review

Some helpful tips, some pretty pictures -- but not really aimed at those who only have a compact camera

  • Apr 12, 2010
In the spirit of confession encouraged by the title of this book, allow me to make a confession of my own: I've never owned a DSLR. Given that I mostly only share images online, the ease of use and handiness (not to mention affordability) of my inexpensive compact has outweighed for me the flexibility and range of artistic control of an expensive DSLR. Still, I'd like the images I shoot with my compact digital camera to be as good as they can be. What I was hoping for with this book was a guide, starting with the basics, for how to make the most of an inexpensive setup. That's not really what this is, though.

"Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter" is not really aimed at those of us who only own an inexpensive compact, like the one depicted on the cover. Rather, it is aimed at those who, like the author, are used to shooting on DSLR's but like the convenience of shooting on occasion with something smaller, and want to be sure they get the best results when they do. While there are lots of camera-neutral bits of advice (some quite useful, others fairly obvious to anyone who's been shooting on and off for a while), some of the most helpful advice is aimed at those who own high-end compact cameras, cameras that can shoot in the RAW format (most of the photos in the book were shot on the Canon G10) and that have a number of other advanced features. As the author reminds us, several times, they don't call him "Rick 'Raw Rules' Sammon" for nothing. He likes it RAW, and that's great, but the problem is that only very high end compact cameras (unlike the one depicted on the cover of this book) shoot in the RAW format. Most, including every compact digital camera I've ever owned, shoot in the much more lossy JPEG format. The book also presumes access to photo-editing software, like Photoshop Elements (and he's probably right that Elements or something like it is pretty indispensable if you are serious about digital photography), and gives a fair bit of advice that is specific to a few other software programs he likes to use.

Still, while this is a bit of a grab bag, and a bit jumbled, I did find it to be full of useful pointers, and I learned several things from reading it. He suggests, for example, that sometimes getting the white balance wrong can make the picture right. On a sunny day, for example, you might set the white balance for "shade" and it will have a warmer look than otherwise. For those who do have Photoshop Elements, he gives a few helpful tips about the kinds of easy adjustments can improve a photo while maintaining its realism. None of this would be new to advanced users of Photoshop, but it is a useful reminder that amongst the wealth of tools available in Photoshop there are only a few that will be necessary most of the time. In fact, none of the advice given here is really all that novel, and most of it comes across as common sense, but the kind of common sense that comes from someone who lives and breathes his craft. That kind of common sense is worth something. Above all, the unifying message of the book is that you should always take the best possible picture, not by any means necessary but by whatever means are available, and I think that's a very good reminder, especially when the ease of use tends to push us in the other direction of just taking any old picture and focusing solely on content rather than composition and aesthetics. Reading this has made me pay more attention to how I shoot and not just what I shoot.

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More Confessions of a Compact Camer... reviews
review by . April 13, 2010
I ordered this book because I'd been getting more serious about photography as a hobby over the past two years, but I didn't want to invest the money required (often a thousand dollars or more) to buy a dSLR camera. My first rude awakening was on the second page of the foreword, where I'm told there is a big difference between a "compact camera" and a "point and shoot camera" (I thought they were one and the same). Um, gee thanks...I wish the book description had …
review by . April 03, 2010
Rick Sammon summarizes his learning philosophy with the following words:  I hear, I forget  I see, I remember  I do, I understand.  This short book is full of pictures that let you to see the techniques that the author describes. The text is short and to the point: you can read each page in less than 30 seconds. The author encourages you to try out the techniques with your own camera. Then you will understand how to take better pictures.     The …
review by . March 27, 2010
Rick Sammon is an accomplished and excellent photographer. Like most photo pros, he generally uses pro equipment, such as Canon DSLR cameras.     In this book, his mission is to help those using far more common cameras how they can get the most out of what they have.     In reality, most of Sammon's treatment is cursory and will provide little to the reader that isn't in the camera's instruction manual. For example, he expends about 100 words to describe the …
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Nathan Andersen ()
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I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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About this book


Top photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon shares his best tips and tricks for getting high-quality images with your point-and-shoot camera

Prolific author and renowned photographer Rick Sammon shares essential tips, tricks, and advice from years of vast and unique photography experiences. Packed with pointers and helpful hints, this handy, full-color guide can travel with you on your journeys for getting stunning photographs taken with point-and-shoot cameras. You'll learn how to capture proper exposure, create depth of field, use the appropriate flash settings, and much more.

More than 100 techniques show you how to improve your compact camera skills and hundreds of lavish photos serve to motivate and inspire you. Aim your sights at taking stunning photos with this helpful guide by your side!

  • Top industry expert, Canon Explorer of Light, and bestselling author Rick Sammon shares invaluable advice for taking amazing photos with a point-and-shoot camera
  • Explains how to capture proper exposure, create depth of field, use the appropriate flash settings, and more, all using your point-and-shoot camera
  • Boasts hundreds of beautiful photos with accompanying explanations as to the various techniques Sammon used to get a specific shot
  • Motivates and inspires you to improve your compact camera skills to a whole new leve

You'll be grateful for the amazing advice Rick Sammon confesses in Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter.

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ISBN-10: 0470565071
ISBN-13: 978-0470565070
Author: Rick Sammon
Genre: Arts & Photography, Computers & Internet
Publisher: Wiley
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