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A Nonfiction Column
By Jeff Shelby


I got a new toy for Fatherís Day. A camera, to be exact. And it seems to have as many bells and whistles as, oh, say, the space shuttle. I know how to operate a simple point and shoot digital camera, but I have long-wanted an SLR to play around with photography a bit more. The only problem is that I know next to nothing about Digital SLR photography. All I know is I want some awesome pictures.

So Iíve been collecting books on how to use my new toy for the last month and I actually sorta kinda feel like Iíve got a handle on how to use it now. Here are the three books that have helped me the most.

Digital SLR Cameras & Photography For Dummies by David D. Busch

The Dummies Series has been around for a long time and offers simple, smart help for just about everything in your life and their guide to digital SLRs is no exception. It assumes you know nothing about digital pictures and explains everything in terms that are easy to understand and make sense. Lots of photos and diagrams to help you understand your new camera.

Magic Lantern Guides: Canon EOS Rebel XSi EOS 450D by Michael Guncheon

This guide is for the exact camera I was given, but Magic Lantern produces guides for every camera on the market. These books are like the instruction books that come with the product, only better written and easier to understand. It breaks down the camera and all of its functions and explains the proper way to get different kinds of photographs. And it fits in your camera bag, so you can take it with you for when you need a quick reminder.

KODAK Guide to Digital Photography by Rob Sheppard

This book contains some of the same information that the above two contain, but it offers plenty more on how to take specific kinds of photos. Action shots, portraits, children, nature. Pretty much covers the entire spectrum on what you might shoot and then offers suggestions in terms of lighting, shutter speed, aperture and other techniques as to how to best turn out the best shots. I find a lot of the terms confusing because they are new and this book does the best job at breaking them down into simple, explainable terms and techniques that I can refer to when I want to take a particular kind of shot.

Now hold it right there and say "Cheese!"

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