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Digital Capture After Dark Book Review

Review

Digital Capture After Dark by Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler and Philipp Scholz Rittermann is a 181-page soft-cover book published by Rocky Nook. This book is devoted to the fascinating and difficult subject of night photography. Taking photographs after dark is challenging because camera systems have limited sensitivity. Autofocus and metering often fail and one has to compensate for that.

This book is written to provide comprehensive coverage from equipment to capture and then to processing. It is logically organized in 13 chapters split among 3 unsurprising parts: Preparations, Capture and After Capture. A chapter in first part covers equipment, including cameras, lenses, tripods, batteries and more. The next chapter provides an overview of photographic controls, yet assumes prior knowledge of photography. The third chapter discusses issues particular to night photography.

Digital Capture After DarkThe book is heavily illustrated with images. Chapter 2 shows some nice images but, for the most part, they are dull and uninspiring. The authors turned the majority of images black-and-white which robs them of the most vibrant aspect of night photography, how colors come to life and reveal themselves. It is difficult to take advice from a photography book with so little visual support.

There is worthy advice in the book but also misleading and incorrect ones. Some were just superceded but a number show an unrefined understanding of digital photography. With so many images which do little to entice the reader, there is also very little text in between, making Digital Capture After Dark quite thin on content.

A few chapters are devoted to subjects and packed as a gallery of mostly black-and-white images. There is a variety of subjects but the rendition is far from ideal. Even the cover which is an intriguing image of an unusual subject is lacking in impact.

The last part of the book on image processing is usually long. Some of the manipulations are highly complex and rarely needed with proper photography technique. This shows that the authors are struggling themselves with low-light photography. For this reason we cannot recommend this book fully.

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