Within our section of literary recommendations , today I bring you an essential. Jose María Mellado is one of the referents in our country in photographic and didactic matters. His books are always a safe value. The fundamentals of photography would not be less. In this article I will tell you about its content, for whom it is intended and why I recommend it. So you can decide if it will be one of the next books that occupy your photographic bookshelf.


Any person who wishes to learn photography. If you have already flirted with photography and are eager to learn and improve, this is your book. If your photographs need improvement, both at the execution level and revealed, here you will find the answers.


... yours is not the issue. If you are one of those who think that editing and developing programs like Lightroom or Photoshop are loaded by the devil and that the photo has to leave the camera already finished, this is not your book. You will be disappointed because much of this work is dedicated to this topic. I think it's not for you if you start completely from scratch. If it's the first thing you read about photography, maybe you get overwhelmed by so much information. Or I recommend the desire and motivation to learn, or you can do a little uphill. I, personally, would recommend you start with something lighter ( like this one ) and if you later see yourself wanting to continue advancing in the art of photography and dedicating time and effort, to launch yourself with The Basics of Photography.


It is a work conceived as a step-by-step guide and is composed of eight chapters, in addition to the Introduction and an alphabetical index as closing. Let's see one by one.


After a brief introduction, you will find a first chapter in which the author offers you the bases to begin to understand the concepts. It tells us about image formats (RAW, JPEG, etc.), the color space, the characteristics of the sensor (size, noise, trepidation) and the lenses. Regarding the optics, he reviews the types of lenses (zoom and fixed) and then focuses on aspects such as bokeh , depth of field, hyperfocal, sweet spot, etc.


Choosing a camera is an arduous task, as there are so many options in the market as types of photographers. And it is important to find the most suitable for each and every moment. Mellado introduces this chapter with a review of the different options: mobile phone cameras, compact cameras, mirrorless cameras or SLR cameras. In a second section you stop to review basic issues of camera settings and settings. The chapter ends with the exposure: exposure triangle, exposure modes, histogram and measurement modes.


In this third chapter, Jose María Mellado takes us into visual language, because a photograph goes beyond the exhibition or the correct approach. To seduce the viewer, excite and evoke memories, you have to know the keys to this unwritten language. After a brief initial reflection, the author explains some basic principles in terms of composition (perspective, focal length, types of format, space, center of interest, etc.) to later tell how to reinforce all of them with the treatment of the image .


We get into another type of matter. Specifically the laboratory. We took the analog photographs (and we continue to take them) to the laboratory to be revealed, with digital photography the route is in reverse and it is the laboratory that comes home. But of course, you have to set it up and work . In this chapter you will find the keys, be careful, do not worry that to start you do not need all the recommended equipment, over time you will see what you need. Now, if you want to professionalize, it is a good starting point. Computer configuration, monitors, color management, file organization or workspace are some of the topics discussed.


Prepared the laboratory, we can begin to reveal. In this chapter you will discover how to get the most out of your photographs. Start with the synchronization of Camera RAW, Ligthroom and Photoshop, to continue with the work files, workflow and basic development. The following pages are for local settings (tone curve, filters, bullets, etc.). It ends with the presentation of other tools (stain removal, noise reduction, etc.) and a case study.


Sometimes the development is not enough and the image requires special treatment, zone treatment and 3D light. This is what explains step by step Mellado in this chapter of almost 90 pages.


An extensive chapter focused on techniques dedicated to solving certain problems, such as excessive contrast between light and shadow, fusion and deformation and repair of images. Step by step in about 40 pages.


The last chapter is also the last step in the treatment of an image. It does not matter if it is for screen, for a printing press or to reveal on paper. The author tells you the necessary tasks to leave your picture perfect, ready to go out into the world .


With more than 200,000 followers on social networks, Jose María Mellado is the most successful Spanish-language photography author with his best seller “High Quality Photography”. His artistic work is included in four workbooks: "Silence and Light", "Iceland", "Landscape. The Eternal Return ”and“ From Heaven to Earth ”. He has been awarded on more than a hundred occasions and his works appear in important Collections and Museums, highlighting the following: Reina Sofía National Museum, Borusan Contemporary Museum in Istanbul, Chazen Museum of Art (Wisconsin-USA), Contemporary Art Collection of the Community of Madrid, Artium (Basque Museum of Contemporary Art), Santander Museum of Fine Arts, etc. He has participated regularly in the most relevant international art fairs such as ArtBasel, Art Brussels, Art Cologne, Art Karlsruhe, Photo Miami, Pulse, SCOPE, ArteLisboa or ARCO. He is currently represented by galleries from Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Switzerland, Panama and France.


  • Title: High quality photography. The basics of photography
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: ANAYA MULTIMEDIA (PHOTOCLUB) Edition: March 16, 2017
  • Language: Spanish
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 25.5 x 3 cm (approx.)
  • Price:  € 53.15


There are many strengths of The Basics of Photography . It is a very complete work that is very well written, Mellado's experience as a photographer and as a communicator are a guarantee that is breathed on each page. It is a book full of full color examples. Each explanation is accompanied by sample images. All steps are illustrated with screenshots, graphics and other examples.
In the book you will find tasks that will help you practice and strengthen the concepts you learn. It also offers the possibility to follow the steps with the same photographs in the book, since these are available for download.


Well, it is not exactly a paperback book, nor to read the flip or make the subway trip a more entertaining moment. One thing is that it is written in an entertaining way and another that is a pleasant book for long summer evenings. If you are looking for something like that, it is not the time to read this work . The only but that we can get in addition to this is that they are books that must be updated over time, because Lightroom and Photoshop are updated and their manuals are, logically, behind. This is already an update of what he wrote years ago. But this is what will happen to you with this and any other book that tells you about any computer program .


In this video Jose María Mellado, in addition to giving a master class, presents The Basics of Photography and his other book that we review in his day, and that complements this, entitled My best techniques and advice :


  • Cuba. On the other side of the mirror 
  • High Quality Panoramic Photography
  • Smart photography with Lightroom 5
  • Closer
  • High Quality Photography My best techniques and tips. (See review )


This is definitely a manual that should be on the shelf of any photographer who decides to really dive into this art. A complete and entertaining work (with many touches of humor), full of images, examples and screenshots so you can follow the explanations step by step, as well as tasks to strengthen knowledge and put them into practice. I also recommend it to make a good gift, or make yourself a good self-gift . And you? Have you read it? Can you tell us your impressions? If you found this article useful, do not hesitate to share it! Thank you and see you soon.
The basics of photography. High Quality Photography: Adobe CC 2017 (Photoclub) * - Paperback (480 pages)
De Mellado, José María (Author)
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