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*Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now* by Charlie Styr with Maria Wakem - young adult book review
Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now
by Charlie Styr with Maria Wakem
Ages 14+ 144 pages Amphoto Books April 2009 Paperback    

Itís so much fun to have a pocket-sized camera or even a cell phone camera at the ready whenever we want to capture a moment. After a few months of snapping at random, cutting off heads, and photographing blobs of sunlight, though, most of us lose interest.

For those few among you who aspire to becoming great photographers, however, Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now is the first step toward producing classy photos. This handy little book is the effort of Charlie Styr, an award-winning teenage photographer. Heís the guy who started flickr.comís Teenage Photographers group, so heís got some cred. Adults neednít be scared off by the age group targeted by Click, however; itís not too late for us to learn a few tricks, and Click is the easy way to learn them.

Click starts with the basics: whatís a megapixel? Whatís an exposure mode? How do I even know what kind of camera I want?

Once upon a time, cameras could only be operated by masters of the photographic arts. Thank goodness thatís no longer true, but if youíre serious about your photography, youíre going to need to know what aperture and shutter speed mean and how they are used. You may have a digital camera, but film speed and exposure still matter, and many of the rules used by professional photographers with classic cameras still come into play.

Most of us use our cameras to take snapshots of friends and family, so it makes sense that the first chapter on technique is devoted to portrait photography and includes tips on composition, lighting, and even self-portraits. Those into landscape photography will find advice for spicing up urban and rural landscapes, advice for photographing animals, and even a few tips for taking photos underwater. Freeze-frame and motion blur are also featured, along with suggestions for making your photograph tell a story.

After youíve clicked the button, though, there is still work to be done if you want a truly professional look to your work. Click goes on to cover some of the basics of cropping, retouching, and generally enhancing a photograph. Once youíve produced the perfect shot, youíll find a final chapter full of ideas for getting your work out there for the public to enjoy Ė through contests, books, and even by selling your images.

All of this information comes packed into a book that is loaded with example photographs that demonstrate the techniques and also inspire us to experiment with what weíve learned. Click is one of those introductory volumes that youíll never outgrow. Even after youíve mastered the basics, the ideas presented here will continue to serve as a springboard for creative photographic projects.
 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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