Book Review #2: Canon Rebel T3i/EOS 600D The Expanded Guide


I worked on this photography book for Ammonite Press, Lewes, in summer 2011 for publication in October 2011. It takes several months to create a book allowing for time for the author to write, editors to edit, picture research or illustration or commissioned photography, and for designers to layout the text and images. Then there are different stages where the layout and text are refined and then the print process and all this entails. I could write a whole post on the book creation process!

As there are many different cameras being launched all the time, the publishers that produce books to help the users make the most of their new camera have to work to a tight deadline to get them published in time to be useful. This expanded guide is part of a series that Ammonite produces on different cameras, for example specific models of Canon, Nikon, Sony.

I didn’t create the cover design, (above), as this is part of the series look and created at the publishers, but on receipt of my copy, I did notice the tactile matt-laminated cover with spot-varnish to highlight the title on front and spine, and camera image on the front plus the screen image on the back.

With books on creative subjects such as photography, the aim is to get the balance right between the practical side and the look of the title. These books are going to be read by people who are highly visual and therefore need to appeal to this side of their nature, for example with gorgeous colour photography to illustrate, as well as the technical aspects they need to learn to get the best shots, presented clearly. The Ammonite book does this and also provides a push out credit card sized feature at the back that shows all the symbols with a key. It also features a handy photographer’s gray card and camera raw white balance.  The other feature of this book, that doesn’t seem to be in any other I can see on the market, is that the actual symbols are featured embedded in the text rather than saying ‘the cross keys’ button, this title actually shows you the symbol in the text as part of the instructions (see the example spread below for some embedded symbols) – a very quick visual way of identifying what the photographer needs to use. This was one of the more time-consuming parts of the book layout that I had to do – but one I think that is well worth the trouble.

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