by Denise Nielsen Tackett and Larry Tackett.
The problem with any book which sets out to call itself the 'essential' guide to any subject is that it must inevitably fail some readers in some aspects; what you or I may find absolutely crucial in the quest for underwater photographic perfection may well not rate so highly in another's eyes. Nonetheless, the Tacketts have come up with a tome which seems to satisfy most of the people most of the time, and they ought to be commended for that.
This is a nicely laid-out book. Its ten chapters cover some basic questions such as 'Film or Digital?', 'Equipment Considerations' and 'Creative Lighting Techniques', while there are others that purport to reveal the secrets of 'Creative Composition', 'Telling Stories' and the (for me) more interesting approach, 'The Art of Photographing Behaviour'. Each chapter - the book is spread over 176 pages - carries pleasant enough photographs (but hardly "awe-inspiring" ones, as the publisher's
blurb somewhat breathlessly insists) illustrating the various points made. One of the more memorable of these is the 'full bucket' analogy, which is the Tacketts' way of providing a simple visual approach to the rights and wrongs of exposure; I must admit that I found this a rather entertaining way to remember the basics of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
The stated aim of this guide, as is so often the case with How To manuals, is to allow readers "to stop taking pictures and start making them", which is a noble aim and one which the authors try and pair up with above all having fun. I'm sure that any reader who assiduously combines study of this book with scrutiny of his own underwater efforts will see a real learning curve of improvement, and this alone justifies its price. Publisher: RotoVision. Price: $29.99, £19.99 http://www.rotovision.com/descri ption.asp?bookid=2325
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