Some of my friends and I were thinking of publishing an ebook in our native language to help local beginner and amateur photographers. We will probably end up with a series of books later on but as a starter we'd like to publish a book with technical aspects of photography (and lots of photos to help them understand the camera settings better) that someone who is planning to start or has just started photography will need. Any suggestions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I suggest looking at existing books. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 17:48

3 Answers 3


Here would be my topics

  • How to Hold a Digital Camera
  • How to buy the right equipment for you
  • Composure - Some basic rules and how to break them
  • Shutter/Aperture settings - How they affect your shot
  • Depth of field
  • Lighting and Exposure
  • How to use flash
  • What is ISO?
  • How to pre-focus and use auto focus effectively
  • An introduction to White Balance
  • Lenses and Focal Length
  • Printing Your Work
  • How to Clean a Digital Camera and Lenses

If that was a book when I had started I would have been very pleased


One approach would be to look at the top questions on this site, and to make sure those things are addressed in a helpful and organized way. You could even reuse the content from here, since all user contributions are licensed under the sharing-friendly Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Translation into local languages is very much a part of what this license is intended to enable.

There are various ways to consider the top questions; one way, of course, is all questions sorted by votes, but I think the list of FAQ questions might be even more appropriate. I'm not sure exactly what goes into Stack Exchange's determination that a question is an FAQ, but the resulting list looks like a very good starting point.

It might also be interesting to look at Lesser Questions with Good Answers, or simply the Top Answers on the site. (Note that the data behind these queries is updated irregularly and approximately monthly; it may be slightly out of date, but for this purpose should be good enough.)

This may give you something slightly different than the typical "Get Started with Digital Photography!" book — but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

For bonus points (where "ponts" go towards making the world more awesome), you could contribute some of those "lots of photos to help them understand the camera settings better" back to the site under a CC-BY-SA license, making the answers here even better.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Makes me wonder if SE ever though about compiling QAs into a book of some kind. \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm:: That's exactly what I was thinking but in a slightly different way. I have already checked the SE license and as soon as I decide on the TOC, I'll search for relevant answers and information from here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 3:50

If this eBook is targeted towards beginners, please do not make it too technical.

I would make sure to cover:

  • Brief History of Photography
  • Introduce Different Genres of Photography (Include Visual Examples of Each)
  • Tools of the Trade (Camera, Flash, Lens, Tripod, etc)
  • Exposure Triangle (Aperture, Shutter & ISO)
  • Composition
  • Conceptual & Creative Thinking
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • What to Buy & What Not to Buy (Emphasize that buying more gear will not make you better photographer)
  • \$\begingroup\$ I might need to revisit my list and add READ THE MANUAL as number one item :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Alen
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've never found camera manuals to be helpful in a tutorial sense. They're useful for looking up specific functions, but as a starting place, they usually don't have enough explaining for beginning users and not nearly enough depth for intermediate ones. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm I agree. But it is your camera specific resource, so when you hear advice like Change AF mode to Continuous one should refer to the manual. I guess I should reword it to be Know Your Camera instead of RTM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alen
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I absolutely agree with you there. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 22:53

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