Fundamentals of Photography By Tom Ang
Fundamentals of Photography, by Tom Ang, in its 351 pages, covers nearly every photography-related topic. It does so with only two or four pages per topic, enough to make readers aware of the fundamentals of each topic but obviously not enough to fully explain any topic. As a handbook, it serves as a quick reference for rules and examples of various aspects of photography.
This semi-hard-cover book is written as a reference, easy to understand in almost any order, making it easy to jump between topics of interest. Each topic is well illustrated with plenty of sample images and diagrams as needed.
This photography handbook is divided into eleven sections of related topics, starting with What Is Photography and to sections like Capturing Light and Using The Lens. Each section consists of from eight to twenty-five topics. Topics themselves range from the very general like Workflow to the quite specialized like Long Zooms. With such wide coverage one cannot expect to learn photography but to gain awareness of its parts and how they relate. At this, Tom Ang's Fundamentals of Photography excels.
The big question with modern photography books is their approach to digital photography compared to film-based art. A great deal of photographic knowledge applies to both mediums and some books easily apply to both, although they may have been written before digital photography. In contrast to this, Tom Ang mixes digital and film throughout his book with very few exceptions. Besides these rare exceptions, the book applies fully to digital photography.
This book can be read from one cover to the other without boredom because every topic in it is new and repetition is rare indeed. To keep things clear, there is a good number of cross-references. Once can tell that this book is written by a photographer - or at least someone very visual - since every page has illustrative images or diagrams. These are both examples and references on how some things work. The four-page Lighting Setups topic for example shows eleven images and ten diagrams to show results and the setups which produces them.
Another great thing is the variety of subjects found in this book. Some directly apply to taking pictures like Aperture, while some cover the things that make photography work: Camera Construction, Eye and Camera Compared and The Spectrum.
The writing in Fundamentals of Photography is clear and concise with a factual and slightly formal style. Sometimes it can seem a little strict, leaving little room for subjectivity, but overall it fits well with the quick-reference style of this book. Images are well-chosen to accompany the text. The presentation is equally good with frequent use of headings and captions. The sections themselves have color-coded corners for easy navigation. Advanced topics have cream-color backgrounds and image analysis pages have black backgrounds. These analysis pages are great for putting several topics together as they explore single images one item at the time, describing the principles shown there.
In the end, this photography book shows that it possible to cover a variety of topics in a useful way without being too general. Being informative and non-sequential, Tom Ang's book is well-deserving of its handbook subtitle. This book is incredible useful as a launch pad towards more in-depth learning. After all, one can only begin to learn something after hearing about it. Fundamentals of Photography does exactly that, it tells readers about most photography topics, so that readers can know where to go next.
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
2020 Digital Photography Computer Building Guide
Everything to know about building a Digital Photography Computer in 2020.
Fujifilm X-T4 Review
Fujifilm APS-C flasghip mirrorless with 5-axis builtin stabilization mechanism using the same high-speed 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the X-T3. New 15 FPS mechanical shutter and builtin HDR. Professional mirrorless with mechanical controls, dual control-dials, dual memory-card lots, a built EVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a huge feature set.
Canon RF-Lens Info
Info on all Canon native RF-mount lenses added to the Canon EOS R5 preview.
Canon EOS R5 Preview
Preview of the Canon EOS R5 flagship Full-Frame Mirrorless with 45 MP sensor on a 5-axis stabilization system effective to 8-stops. First 8K video capable digital camera. 20 FPS electronic and 12 FPS mechanical drive.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review
Third-Generation OM-D that packs a 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS on a 5-Axis Stabilization System. Fast 121-Point Phase-Detect AF, 30 FPS Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K Video and more in a weatherproof and freezeproof body. Features dual control-dials and a builtin 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor with 0.69X magnification and 100% coverage.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review
20 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless with 7-Stop 5-Axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect AF 30 FPS Continuous Drive and Cinema 4K capability in a weatherproof and freezeproof body with dual control-dials and dual SDXC memory card slots.
M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review
A review of the M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO added to the Olympus Premium Lens Roundup.
Peak Design Travel Tripod Review
Review of the unique Peak Design Travel Tripod with its own ballhead and the universal ballhead adapter.
Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup
Review of Nikon Z-Mount lenses for APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. Covers all current Z-mount DX lenses available.
Nikon Z50 Review
The first Nikon APS-C mirrorless is built around a 20 MP BSI-CMOS sensor with ISO 100-204800, 209-Point Phase-Detect AF, 11 FPS Drive and 4K Video capability. Compact body with dual control-dials and 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.68X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.