Review: How to Photograph Absolutely Everything

In preparation for Faith’s June wedding, and in a general attempt to improve my photographic skill, I decided to start borrowing books on photography from the library. With a title like How to Photograph Absolutely Everything, I figured Tom Ang’s book was a decent place to start.

For a new photographer, this book is extremely helpful. It gives tips on a broad variety of photographic subjects; pointers for weddings, portraits, children, vacation photos, and more. At the beginning of each section, Ang also gives some suggestions for camera settings to capture a given subject type. What’s more, the book is filled with large, full color photos to reinforce the tips.

However, if you’re anything other than a new photographer, this book might not be as helpful. It becomes clear rather quickly that this book is geared towards users with little experience, as the suggested camera settings at the beginning of each new section are often as simple as “use landscape mode on your camera.” As far as content goes, it gives a few pointers for each topic, but due to the broad nature of the book, lacks depth on any given subject. And while the book seems aimed at the newer, less experienced photographer, it doesn’t really cover the basics of photography.

What I would have loved to have seen was something a bit more informative as far as settings go. Perhaps including the EXIF data on sample pictures, so the reader has a better starting point. Or ignore the “camera mode” and stick to suggestions for aperture, shutter, focal length and sensitivity.

Overall, I think this book would make a lovely coffee table book, as the photos are quite lovely, and make up the bulk of the book. I might recommend it to a new digital photographer, or a film photographer just making the switch to digital. If you’re looking for a general reference book that is more inspiration than reference, this is probably the book for you. However, if you want more in depth information on any given subject matter, I’d keep looking.