Book: Fundamentals of Photography

I’ve just made a replacement on my bookshelf. One of my long-standing favorite photography reference books has been replaced by Tom Ang’s compendium – Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras. So why is it interesting, and should you even pay attention?

Fundamentals of Photography
Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang

The book is thick – 352 pages – and it is packed with information. I’ve seen quite a few photography books over the years, and I think that this one stands out as a rather comprehensive collection of photographic knowledge (or at least as much as can be fit into a single book). If you’re looking for a reference book that will help you or your child to understand the basics of photography and its principles, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.

The Fundamentals

Beginners and advanced users alike will find a staggering amount of information, all of it illustrated with interesting and well-annotated photographs, illustrations, and charts. One would think that such a description would go well with the term ‘Information overload’, but the book does no such thing. Instead of overloading you, it presents each topic with sufficient detail so that you can understand it. There is also enough information to guide you to the next topic of interest if you would like to delve deeper into the topic that you’re reading about. In short, It leaves you with enough information to understand a topic and appreciate its key points, and then move on to the next.

It Deals With Both Digital and Film

Most books such as these tend to focus mainly on film photography, with digital added-on as an afterthought or footnote. Fundamentals of Photography, on the other hand, takes you through the basics of both film and digital photography in an intimate and comprehensive manner.

It helps you understand the processes going on behind the scenes when you press the shutter release. This book is also a safe bet if you want talking material or feel like oozing geekery at the next photo walk. The breadth of material is so wide and varied that it will look right on just about any photographer’s bookshelf. It looks great on mine ;)

The Book is Really For Everyone

Having said all of that, this book really is for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran photographer, this book will teach you something new, in a way that you will understand.

If you’re a newbie who really wants to understand photography, this book will take you where you want to go. If you’re an experienced photographer who feels out of touch with the internet, self-learning, and digital photography, this book will bring you back up to speed in the traditional manner – with wisdom in black & white.

Did you know that there are three stages in JPG compression, and that not all of them are lossy?

Tom Ang, The Fundamentals of Photography

If you’re a professional photographer, owning this book can’t hurt… I’m sure you’ll find snippets of information that you’ve not seen before… For example, did you know that there are three stages in JPG compression and that not all of them are lossy? I didn’t… Find out about this, and so much more in this book!

Some of these nuggets of information may just help you squeeze out that extra 2% of brilliance in your photographs.

A Little More About The Author

Tom Ang is an experienced author, and it shows. He is also a respected photographer and TV presenter. With 19 titles such as “Tao of Photography “, “Digital Photography Masterclass“, “Digital Photographer’s Handbook” and “Advanced Digital Photography” to his credit, you can be sure that he knows what it takes to write a comprehensive book. You can read more about him on his website, and read some of his articles and tips on his blog, and on the BBC website.

How do you get one?

There are a couple of ways in which you can get a copy of this book.

  1. Take part in the Beyond Photo Tips ‘Detail’ Competition and you may just win one.
  2. Visit the Publisher’s website and buy a copy.
  3. Buy a copy from
  4. Buy one at a local bookstore. ISBN – 978-0-375-71157-2
Susheel Chandradhas

Susheel Chandradhas

Susheel Chandradhas is a Product Photographer and Filmmaker based in India. He has been taking photographs (almost) all his life. He has a diploma and a bachelors degree in Visual Communication, where his classmates all believed that he would write a book on photography... Instead, he writes on this website (because - isn't a community more fun?).

His passions include photography, parkour, wide-angle lenses, blue skies, fire extinguishers, and fast computers.

In addition to writing for Beyond Photo Tips, Susheel is a staff writer for, and owns and runs ColoursAlive, a photography, and video production studio.

You can connect with Susheel on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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