Mac Digital Photography
By: Dennis R. Cohen and Erica Sadun
Publication date: Sept. 2003, Pages: 304
Retail: $29.99 (Online price: $20.99)
- What the Book is About
- This book provides an introduction
to digital photography, with a Macintosh emphasis. It covers the following subjects:
- Basic photographic lessons
- Choosing and using a digital
- An introduction to iPhoto
and Photoshop Elements
- Digital photo editing and
- Digital photo printing
- Using CDs and DVDs to store
and share images
- Using the internet to share
and distribute images
- Examples of activities to
utilize a digital camera
Because the book covers such a broad spectrum of subjects, it cannot delve deeply
into any one of them. However, it does a very good job of introducing each of the
Included with "Mac Digital Photography" is a CD ROM with shareware and
demo software, including Photoshop Elements 2, Genuine Fractals Print Pro, DVD Picture
Show, Image Surfer, Mac Flip Album, REALVIZ Stitcher, and several more. As usual,
the demo software is either fully functional for a limited time or is implemented
with some kind of restrictions in functionality. Also included are sample images
that allow the user to manipulate images along with the book's examples to reinforce
certain lessons. The CD states that it is compatible with OS 9.2 and later (I successfully
used several packages under OS 9.1).
- Target Audience
- "Mac Digital Photography"
will be useful for someone who needs a basic introduction to one or more of the subjects
listed above. If you have a digital camera but little photographic experience, the
first chapter provides some solid basic information that will improve your pictures.
If you have considerable film camera background, and are just embarking on a journey
into the world of digital photography, the digital information will be instructive
and useful. If you recently bought your first digital camera but you are not sure
what it can do or what software to use, there is some very helpful guidance on how
to get started. If you have considerable experience in photography, digital editing,
printing and sharing your efforts, this book is not for you.
- What To Expect
- The first chapter provides
some basic rules for good photography that will lead many to improve their pictures.
The second chapter covers general information about digital cameras, how to use them
and accessories that will help maximize the chances of success (batteries, memory
cards, etc.). Chapters three, four and five introduce iPhoto 2 and Photoshop Elements
2, and cover several basic photo editing and postprocessing techniques. The sixth
chapter explores digital photo printing at home and by utilizing photo finishing
services. Chapters seven and eight discuss the use of CDs, DVDs, and Video on CD
(VCD) as well as the Internet and email for storage and sharing of your pictures.
Chapters nine, ten and eleven suggest many different ways that a digital camera can
be used beyond the "normal" use of taking snapshots. The book suggests
using the camera for documenting situations, playing games, assisting in craft projects,
adding animation to your photos, etc. The final chapter provides some projects to
get some hands-on experience with special effects from PhotoIsland.com
and some of the software provided on the CD accompanying the book.
The book's illustrations are primarily black and white. While this is fine for screenshots
of menus and such, often the reader must examine reproduced photographs very closely
to see the effect being described by the text. I think it would have been an improvement
to have exaggerated the image samples to make the effect being discussed more easily
visible. There is a small color photo section in the middle of the book that illustrates
some of the book's lessons. While these color photos are good and help illustrate
some of the principles and techniques covered elsewhere in the book, in my opinion
there are not enough of them. Having more color photos, and especially if they were
spread throughout the book, would have been a significant improvement.
- The authors do a good job
of using screenshots along with the text to help guide a user through various techniques.
The fact that the software versions, screenshots and text descriptions are all based
on the Macintosh is a definite plus.
The writing is clear and easily understood. There is even some humor injected at
times and, at least for me, it worked very well. The authors did a good job of selecting
key elements of their subject matter to cover in the book, and then explained those
The CD containing a 30-day trial copy of Photoshop Elements 2, other demo and shareware
programs, and photo samples that follow the lessons is a great bonus as well.
- Mac Guild Grade
- B+ (Great)
- Final Words
- The book is well written for
those that need an introductory overview of digital photography on the Macintosh.
It does a good job of explaining the subjects it covers in a way that is easily understood.
It also provides a glossary of terms that may be unfamiliar to some. The book must
assume that the user has read his/her camera manual so that at least the location
and function of basic controls are familiar. It also assumes that basic computer
skills are present (clicking, double-clicking, drag, drop, etc.). Since I am still
using OS 9.1, I could not try any of the examples or techniques related to iPhoto,
but the explanations seemed well written. In summary, this is a great book for those
interested in learning about digital photography, especially for Mac users.