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Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,110 ratings  ·  328 reviews
Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs is ideal for the new wave of snapshooters using DSLR, compact system and bridge cameras, looking for top photography tips.

• A bestselling photography book with over 300,000 copies sold!
• Learn top photography tips from 50 famous photographers
• A must–have guide for amateur photographers and professional photographers

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Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Laurence King Publishing (first published 2014)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  3,110 ratings  ·  328 reviews

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Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great little book from urban outfitters
Basics and easy understanding of photography
Peter Derk
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
Great book about the craft of photography.

And I use the word "craft" very intentionally.

Art books that focus on a how-to are always problematic. Because there's too much to the formula of what makes great art. You can do what Ansel Adams did, but then you're just doing what Ansel Adams did. You might paint a great painting with very little experience because your lack of experience also equates to a lack of preconceived notion of what is and isn't a painting, but on the other hand your lack of t
Jun 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: low achievers
This is one of those you-dont-need-to-know-anything books for those that really dont want to know anything. It is not a book for photographers, its for those that dont want to be. I'd like to see anyone improve as a photographer after reading this. Henry mis-interprets many of the photographs (none of them his by the way)and seems to have a odd understanding of operating a camera. He certainly doesn't understand the use of manual mode and clearly doesnt use it himself. It would be nice to say hi ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it is a good book, more technical than "Seeing things" by Joel Meyerowitz. A nice collection of photos. Highly recommended. ...more
Dolf Patijn
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for beginning photographers.
I'm already a well-seasoned photographer (you can see some of my photography here: https://digitaldolfphotography.wordpr... and here: ) and this book is not aimed at the likes of me. I still enjoyed reading it and found myself agreeing with him a lot. The only thing I didn't agree with was his renouncing of the Manual Mode. Okay, as a beginner you might want to stick to shutter speed or aperture priority bu
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
[Read this years ago, finally getting around to reviewing.]

This book is an excellent starting point for beginner photographers. The author focuses on principles of composition with example photos on every page, and includes just enough overview of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get started.

When i got my first dSLR, i made the mistake of starting with a dense textbook and got overwhelmed way more technical detail than i needed (which slowed my progress; i spent more time reading/studying tha
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you are taking your first step into photography as a hobby, then is probably as good as you could do. He will give you a quick grounding in the numerous aspects that make photography an art form.

He gives you key compositional concepts; from leading lines and framing, to rule of thirds and depth of field. Really making you think about your photographs while helping you develop your photographer's eye. There is an excellent chapter on light which every photographer should be thinking about con
Peter Knox
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I’ve had my DSLR camera for 2.5 years but only after having read this do I actually feel like I know what it can do better than my phone.

I highly recommend anyone else new to photography or getting a new fancy camera to also spend an hour with this book.

It’s incredibly straightforward, actionable, and basic (not for snobs or experts) plus doesn’t use technical language or jargon. Each page is very simply about one technique or setting and a clear helpful example of that variable used to succes
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whether you’re new to photography or a professional, this book keeps all the basics in one place for easy refreshers. Anyone can learn the basics of taking a good photograph with this book.
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for beginners at photography! Everything is explained in a simple way with an example on each page. Most importantly it's not the type of read where some too-full-of-oneself photographer is trying to tell you that what he/she does is the right and only way to shoot. Because there really isn't such a thing in photography.

You are given useful information in an easy to remember way. You're being shown your options and encouraged to try them! Most importantly this book inspires
Paul Stafford
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Plenty of good advice, especially for novice photographers. The only thing letting this down is the slip into self-appointed 'guru' mode when talking of avoiding the manual setting at all costs. You can almost guarantee that all the examples posited were shot by photographers using manual mode. This flaw aside, the rest of the book offers sound advice. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who has learned by watching my father take stunning photographies, and by fumbling with his cameras, I found this little book really useful. I do realize it doesn't replace a proper formation, but anyone self-taught can benefit from it in my views. It's a great first step to understanding how a camera and how pictures work, without spending hours taking nice pics only by chance and figuring out why they're good ones. People with more knowledge might not find it useful, though. ...more
Thomas Johansson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, photography
Every budding photographer should read this book. It's a fast read, it makes you think and then if you want to get deeper into something, there's a great index to point you toward other books. It really teaches you a lot about capturing images. ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 - really enjoyable. It’s what a design/art/photography book of this style should be. Really informative, really interesting.
Michelle Lampinen
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Some decent practical tips. I want to go back through and jot down a few notes so that I actually remember how to use my camera. I liked all of the example photos to illustrate lessons from the book.
Ahmad Hossam
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
A great introduction to photography. Loved the approach and the execution.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think this book will turn me into a great photographer but I liked reading the mildly technical descriptions of famous photographer’s work.
Danial Zabihi
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Short and to the point. Loved it.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Great introduction to photography! Will definitely be referring back to it to properly grasp the basic rules of taking a photograph.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: photography
I don't think I've ever given a one-star rating before, so I figured I owed an explanation as to why I chose to give it such a poor rating.

First of all, I should point out that I read the Norwegian edition of this book, and the translation was truly horrible. The language was so bad that the text hardly made any sense at times. It gave the impression of having been run through an automated translation program rather than being translated by actual human beings. Words were often misplaced in a se
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it

"Perfect is often imperfect" Robert Capa.

"See with your eyes, not your camera" Edward Weston

"Good photographers are contortionists"

"The power of the photography lies in its mystery, and photography keeps the secret."

• Hiroshi Sugimoto, Baltic Sea, Rugen, 1996.
There is sublime beauty, the smooth subtle gradations of grays, luminosity of sky and water.
Seascapes with name of place as stamp.
HS relationship with the sea as "a voyage of seeing"
and these deep, detailed images becom
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is great for amateur photographers.

I learned so much about elements of photography that I thought were luck, but it turns out they're skill.

The book is divided into five parts: composition, exposure, light, lenses and seeing. Each section edifies the reader about certain techniques and essential ideas.

The only down side is that it's not camera specific. I think if it were camera specific, even if the camera was different than the readers. The reader would have an idea of where to g
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was good for me since photography is an occasional hobby that I don't dedicate a lot of time to. It was just enough to remind me of what aperture does and some basic settings to get desired effects. To the disparagers out there: you are what the author refers to as camera club people. Basically you look down upon the average person who doesn't want all the detail. If we wanted that, we would join a club.

Not for a professional photographer.
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Simply constructed as an intro to understanding photography, Carroll includes short and comprehensible chapters, complete with images, to model the ideas. He helps photography feel approachable and an expression of art, not a display of technique. For anyone hoping to better understand manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to create unique images, this is the book for you. I'm carrying it around in my camera bag! ...more
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Super useful book filled with famous photographic examples, and explanations that don't condescend to readers. ...more
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Henry's title is the best review for this book. I did. And now I can. This is one of those books that you can get distracted from, if you are not a complete shutterbug. My advice is to read this with camera in hand so you can mess around. Straight reading will not work unless you already know what Henry is talking about...and if you already know that much, why are you reading this book? ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Being a photography student I've read my fair share of photography books. I just read this one and found it short and sweet; the ideal combination for anyone who just starts meddling with a camera. It sticks to the basics without making them sound overly complicated and the text is laced with humour - or at least, so it seems to me. ...more
cute little book i got as a gift! very much for beginners but it’s still good to remind yourself of the basics from time to time. it’s very unpretentious and and friendly. beyond that it’s a great collection of inspirational photographs on pretty glossy paper. the sleek, black and silver design of the cover makes it a kind of a low-key coffee table book so that’s definitely a plus!
Elle Fleischmann
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Simple, educational and full of examples... now I just need to go out and put them in practice!
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Has some good practical tips, but overall, detached from photography as an art form
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