Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: The Key to Taking Pictures like a Professional Photographer

I had the great opportunity to review this book and I have a lot to say about it!

Katie Evans is a professional photographer and wrote about the basics and a bit beyond in this "easy to understand" book. She draws on her experience as a photographer and knows how to prioritize what newbies should learn first. As a person fairly new to the scene, I thought that everything a person would need to know to go on manual is right there and easy to follow. 

Here is the table of contents:

She gives the overall picture of whatever the topic is (ISO for instance) and then gives practical tips about how she applies that concept on a day to day basis (she uses a particular ISO setting as a default and adjusts from there). 

One other example of this is when she discusses lenses. She gives us the down and dirty about what different types of lenses do what and then what percentage of the time she uses which lens.

I am a teacher and know that brains need a framework in which to hang new information. If I understand the big picture in a general sense, then I can really understand the practical stuff. That is the format throughout the book. An example of this:

Another thing that I LOVED:
Of course, a photographer should include photos as examples of what is being written about and Katie does. Her examples really do give readers a visual of what the concepts being talked about are. She gives examples and non-examples to make things crystal clear.

2 things you oughta know:

1. It is only in an ebook format. I ended up printing it out since I wanted a hard copy of it instead of reading it on my computer. I don't know if there will be an option to buy something that you can hold in your hands or on an ereader in the future or not. 

2. Katie uses Lightroom for editing and there are a several specific tips in the Editing section that can be used in that program only. She gives a few procedures in PS or PSE and, personally, I ended up feeling like I knew what to look for in those other programs because of key words and clear explanations. I thought that it was a bit "Lightroom heavy" though. 

FYI-I have notes in front of me that I took as I read it of "Things to do" after reading this book: 
1. I will be going on a particular online store that she recommends to buy something that she uses all the time (not too expensive either) on her camera.
2.  I will be going into my kitchen to repurpose something into another small tool which will result in me taking better pictures. 
3. There are 2 settings that I will be making sure are defaults on my camera now and several items in the area of editing that I will be using on a photo that I already edited today. 

I highly recommend this book to people new to photography or to people who would like to get a perspective of someone with tons of experience and can explain complicated things in laymen's terms. It is full of nuggets of practical information and really makes a person feel like it really isn't AS difficult to learn as once thought.

Here are some links... 


  1. that looks like a great bike, Heidi!

  2. thanks for the tip on this book, I'll be sure to at least check out her website

  3. It seems to be a good book. Need to check it out. Thanks for the info and thanks for stopping by my blog.