Book Review: The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby

Is it a surprise that the very first (and so far, only) book that I finished so far in 2008 is a digital photography book? Anyway, I thought I'd start sharing more about the books I read, so here's a long overdue book review.

Title: The Digital Photography Book
Sub-title: The step-by-step secrets for how to make your photos look like the pros'!
Author: Scott Kelby


  • Plenty of good, practical tips for beginners.
  • Inexpensive (got mine for free as a gift from Darren, but you can get this for around US$15. Less for second hand)
  • Good photographic examples.
  • Not a lot of jargon and not text heavy.
  • Covers a few aspects of photography (Portraiture, Travel Photography, Sports Photography, etc.)


  • Too many lame attempts at humour.
  • Doesn't explain a lot of the basics that folks might want to learn about.
  • Some samples are insufficient.
  • Too many "expensive recommendations" (they may be ignored, of course ;-)).

Bottomline: Considering both the good and bad bits, The Digital Photography Book is an interesting read with enough useful information for absolute beginners in digital photography. I found that overall, it was worth reading and keeping.

Review: The book covered various topics in 11 chapters. I didn't find the Sports Photography chapter and Printing chapter particularly useful. But, I loved some of the quick and simple tips that Scott Kelby shared in the book. It felt like talking to an annoying (but good) professional photographer. He has plenty of good tips, but some of the delivery rubbed me the wrong way. However, the best bits of the book enabled me to overlook some of the bad bits.

Anyway, if you want to get some simple, basic formulas for taking good photos without all the heavy lecture and jargon about F stops and such, then this book can be a very handy reference.

Oh, and if you're interested, there's already a Volume 2 to extend this book. I haven't read that one yet, so I'm not sure what the second volume's like. If you've read it, would love to read your thoughts on it.


About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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