I've never had a John Hedgecoe book that I didn't love and the same holds true for the new edition of "The Book of Photography".
John Hedgecoe has been writing books on photography for decades and doing a great job of it. He began with what I like to refer to as his mentorship books in 1976 with the now classic "The Book of Photography". This new edition of that classic is no exception -- it continues to serve as a guiding light for those who want to learn the art of photography.
While "The Book of Photography" is not an encyclopedia of photography, it is an indispensable, superbly written, reference book for the beginner and more advanced amateur photographer - even professionals could learn a thing or two. The book is profusely and beautifully illustrated with color and black and white photographs, schematics, and advice that guide the would-be photographer through the fundamentals and more complex techniques used in photography.
Apart from Hedgecoe's beautiful photographs, he covers the very basics of photography and photographic equipment, including the various types of cameras from film to digital cameras, film types, lenses and filters, optical principles, depth of field, camera formats, flash, indoor/outdoor lighting, and much more. Hedgecoe then follows this up with what I consider the most important aspect of photography -- developing the creative mind and eye. Hedgecoe helps the reader to understand and work with composition, color, lighting, and the subject - seeing a picture where others see nothing - this is the essence of creative photography. Then he goes on to various specialties in photography, such as, portraiture, still life, landscape, nature and so on. This edition also covers digital photography and the equipment needed to take advantage of and enjoy this relatively new form of photography; he also covers the differences between film and digital photography -- the pros and cons. Hedgecoe also writes about the use of special effects to enhance photos, effects using the camera, accessories, the darkroom, and the computer screen.
What John Hedgecoe does in this book is to provide detailed explanations with examples that allow the shutterbug to take full advantage of his or her camera and equipment and to take the picture-taking experience to a whole new level while having fun. His writing is clear and practical; readers who follow his straightforward suggestions will have very little difficulty in creating eye-catching, stunning photographs.
Readers will not go wrong buying "The Book of Photography". It will serve its owner well; it is an excellent choice for the beginner and makes a great refresher and reference book for the advanced photographer. If the format were smaller, it would be in my camera bag.