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Google Offering Up Free eBook on Android Photography Through Google Play

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Google is currently sending out invitations for Android users to download a free copy of Android Photography, an eGuide written to assist smartphone users in taking better pictures. The book is written by Colby Brown, a professional photographer who specializes in fine art, so you know you at least have someone that is quite competent in walking you through the process.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just a beginners’ guide on opening the camera app and taking snapshots, but more of a look at the process of taking good shots, then also editing them using third party software on your phone.

If you want your Android device to capture the best pictures possible, then go give it a look.

Play Link

  • Cedres

    I am from Brazil and it is not available for my country, can someone upload this book in another place?

  • ezbbycame2play

    I like how the reviewers are “reviewing” Google’s credit card policy and not the book…just no hope for the human race

  • StevenRosas

    How can anyone compare a Smartphone Camera to a DSLR?

  • Android Pornography

  • Matt

    My personal solution is carry a small mirrorless camera with me (I use a NEX-5) and use a WiFI direct SD card (like an Eye-Fi) to drop them into the phone instantly. Doesn’t even have to be a fancy 4/3 or NEX, hell any decent point and shoot will outperform the phone camera. But regardless composition and general photography skill will always be a more deciding factor in a good image. I just bust out the NEX when I have the time to do so.

  • Can anyone share the book? It’s free so it will not be a problem. (Outside US :/ )

  • Anyone else having issues getting the book? When the Google Wallet page pops up I hit continue and the little circle with changing colors keeps going until an error message appears.

  • RLJSlick

    Not Free, don’t be fooled.

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      how is it not free?

      • RLJSlick

        I should not have to breakout my credit card for this item. Goggle has more than enough info on me. When I download “free” games I’m not asked for my credit care. Free should be free.

        I understand the “transaction record” deal, but again free games follow me from device to device. What happens of you don’t have a credit card, you can’t download it? Just my opinion.

        • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

          I guess man lol people will always have something to say.

        • Ryuuie

          It’s free. It costs you exactly 0.00 USD, no tax, no anything.

          If you don’t want your card on there, take it off.

          Stop being a dinosaur. :v

          • RLJSlick

            Ryuuie, I guess everyone has the right to their opinion.

            – dinosaur

          • Ryuuie

            Opinions can still be based on incorrect facts and assumptions. 😛

            You’re freaking out over privacy and claiming the book isn’t free. It is free, it costs you literally nothing but time to click the button to add it to your library forever.

            You can ALWAYS delete your CC info afterwards.

            People like you who are scared to buy things on Google Play give everyone else who DO a bad name. This is why developers like to stick to iOS for games and whatnot because “Android users never pay for anything”.


          • RLJSlick

            I agree with that Ryuuie, but people should have the exception of free meaning no attachments avoid.

            That’s not far to say Android uses don’t pay for anything, just because we disagree. I spend a ton of money on my apps :).

            Thanks D

            – dinosaur

          • MyStroPro

            People shouldn’t have the concept that free is ever truly free – I mean that is a HUGE marketing gimmick.

            Is Energy Free? The internet you use? How about any food you eat? The music you download (albeit most do so illegally)? (I’m using you in a generic sense here, so please don’t think I mean you directly RLJ).

            The concept of “free” is a misnomer. Nothing is “free” in this universe. Not the energy from the Sun, the food we eat, the air we breath. It all requires some form of exchange or energy exerted.

            Well – maybe Black Holes have free energy… we haven’t gotten to understanding much about those yet.

            Sorry – I couldn’t resist.

            You made a comment about games following you from device to device – I’m not sure that’s 100% accurate for books / magazines. The apps area is different from the books / magazines section. I think the issue lies in how that part of the Play Store is arranged. I’ve never worried about this as I’ve bought other items (books) before so my information was there even when I grabbed free books.

    • It is free but the Play Store uses Google Wallet to complete every transaction and they need a credit card or a Google Play Gift Card to attach the transaction to. Basically you are purchasing a book that cost $0.00, Google won’t actually try and process any payment information the info is just for receipt / record keeping purposes.

  • aaaaaaaaaand Google Play is hammered

  • Cant get it, get to the buy confirmation page then says there is a technical error try again later. Oh well.

  • Flyinion

    So I noticed the book is recommending Snapseed for editing. I have a copy of Picsay Pro that I picked up on sale for $1 so I’m not really attached to it or anything, but anyone have any input on which is better and why? I’d always heard Picsay was the best or one of the best editors for Android, but it sounds like Snapseed might be better?

    • dawn m. armfield

      I have all of the ones they suggest (and more). Snapseed is, by far, the best. It has nearly the full functionality of a desktop editor PLUS it was originally made by NIK, who make/made amazing Photoshop plug-ins until they were bought by Google, who then made the entire NIK suite free to those of us who had bought any of them.

      • Flyinion

        Thanks, I thought I recognized the NIK name from photoshop discussions on photography forums I frequent. I’ve never used their stuff but I think their HDR plugin was the one mentioned a lot.

        • dawn m. armfield

          The HDR plugin is good, but I think Color Efex and Silver Efex are much better. They are really fine applications.

      • AussieDood

        Nik still makes a paid-for product. The entire suite of plug-ins costs $149.

        • dawn m. armfield

          Right. Sorry. I didn’t mean to make it seems like they weren’t making it, just that Google bought them out. You’re entirely correct. 🙂 And I bought Silver Efex, then got the rest of the suite for free when Google bought them.

          • AussieDood

            Damn, wish I had been in on that deal. 🙂

        • jose

          People still pay for software?? 😉

    • Bigwavedave25

      I haven’t tried Picsay Pro, but I have tried Snapspeed. I prefer Pixlr Express for all my editing needs. Fast, lots of filters and standard editing editing options.
      Maybe I didn’t give Snapspeed a long enough trial, it never really caught on for me.

      Probably to each his own, as with most things. If you like Picsay better then roll with what works best for you. 🙂

      • Flyinion

        I’ve actually not really used Picsay much. I mostly just bought it because I’d heard good things about it and it went on sale so I figured might as well pick it up.

    • MyStroPro

      I have all three of the ones mentioned so far (PicSay Pro, PIXLR Express, and Snapseed) and use all three. I’ve found they all work well for different things – depending on what your end product goal is with an image. They are all fine applications for editing photos.

      I have yet to read our eBook though, so I can’t comment on what is mentioned there.

    • jose

      Depends what you want. I like PicSay because it’s the most comprehensive for actual photo editing to get realistic results. If you want gaudy filters, you’ll want a different app.

    • Snapseed is pretty powerful. But takes to too long to get results I want so i dont use it.

  • Guest

    “Free” yet it asks for your credit care information.

    • Flyinion

      Because it’s normally a purchased item. You are still purchasing it just for $0 right now. I’m assuming they need a transaction record so you can access it anywhere like if you wipe your phone for example. I know that’s essentially the case for apps, not sure about books.

    • MyStroPro

      So you’ve never ever bought anything else through the play store? Confused.

      • Flyinion

        It’s possible believe it or not. My old boss absolutely refused to use anything but free apps.

        • MyStroPro

          I understand that – but its rare; especially given the audience of this site. It’s because Google Wallet requires a linked form for purchasing that the card is required. It is free, in the sense that it cost you nothing.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Man you goons on there are totally clueless. It uses Google Wallet, welcome to the world we’ve lived in for years now. How is the climate under that rock?

  • ddevito

    Dear Google,

    Make me a phone with a nice camera and we’ll talk, thanks.

    Sincerely Yours,

    A Galaxy Nexus Owner

    • jose

      Seriously. Google should be embarrassed posting this, considering how awful their stock Android camera software is.

    • dawn m. armfield

      You can take quality photos with your GNex. It’s more about the photographer than the camera. I’ve taken some sweet shots with mine (and I’ve taken plenty of awful ones). I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Colby Brown say this same thing when he was rockin’ a GNex.

      • Tyler Durden

        Calling BS

        • Ryuuie

          Most people who know how to take good pictures WILL actually tell you that it’s more on the person taking them and less on the actual camera.

          Yes, the camera could be a pos but if you know what you’re doing, you can still get decent photos.

          • Flyinion

            I can get great pics with my Gnex outdoors, in well lit conditions. Indoors is a very different story. The sensor just cannot do low light conditions well at all. It turns into a fuzzy pixelated mess even with the “flash”.

            Depending on the subject I can still get decent photos but the LED flash on the phone tends to really blow out parts of the photo. Also the LED’s light color screws with the colors in the photo.

          • dawn m. armfield

            I took several shots indoors with my GNex yesterday. I’m not saying it’s perfect (believe me — I have high end cameras that I can do MUCH more with), but I can get decent shots. Turn off the LED. It screws up everything. I rarely shoot with flash.

          • cusinemakaty

            мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

            I have all of the ones they
            suggest (and more). Snapseed is, by far, the best. It has nearly the
            full functionality of a desktop editor PLUS it was originally made by
            NIK, who make/made amazing Photoshop plug-ins until they were bought by
            Google, who then made the entire NIK suite free to those of us who had
            bought any of them.

          • jose

            For once I agree with Tyler. We’re talking cellphone cameras here, not real cameras.

          • S_T_R

            Back in reality, where most people won’t wait weeks for the perfect lighting and timing (like many pros will), mushy optics, blown highlights and lousy contrast make 99.999% of cellphone pics look like crap.

            Nice cameras are not expensive and last far longer than a phone. Get yourself a Panasonic GX1 while they’re still on clearance. It’s basically a pocketable DSLR.

          • dawn m. armfield

            I have a Canon G12 that’s similar — and it takes great shots. But my go-to, besides my big DSLR, is the Olympus OMD-E5. It’s a wonder camera. 🙂

      • ddevito

        For a company who touts its automation and cloud prowess (i.e., Google+ Auto Awesome, etc) I find it rather backwards to release something like this.

        For what? To respond to Nokia’s Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel phone announcement?

      • jose

        That is bullcrap. This isn’t a DSLR with full manual control over the settings. Cellphones shoot in stupid-mode. You can only adjust the ISO and exposure compensation, all of which degrade image quality and result in more noise.

        Until we get cellphones that give you full control over aperture and shutter speed, it’s about the camera, not the photographer.

        • dawn m. armfield

          It’s not a DSLR? Really? Why didn’t anyone every tell me that? What have I been thinking all of this time? :-p

          It’s easier to complain about the camera rather than reading a FREE book that will tell you how to up your chances of getting good photographs. I understand that. But just because you can’t, doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone.

          • jose

            Nothing wrong with that at all, but AGAIN, what can you possibly learn about how to use a cellphone camera? You point the damn thing, make sure you’re not shaking like a crackhead and push the shutter button. There’s nothing to learn that will make your pictures better. If you have a crap camera (Gnex) you’ll get crap photos unless you have perfect lighting conditions.

          • dawn m. armfield

            Jose, I do shoot with a GNex. As I said, some turn out good, some don’t. Knowing how and when to shoot is good.

            So, for instance, I took this at the Grand Canyon: http://mobilizedphotography.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/points-beyond/

            And this: http://mobilizedphotography.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/the-watch/

            They aren’t too bad for a “crap camera.”

          • jose

            No they’re not bad! But they have been filtered beyond recognition 😉

            The Gnex camera does fine outdoors in full daylight. But aside form that, forget about it! Google’s stock camera software can’t handle low-light situations. I know because I owned one.

          • dawn m. armfield

            Actually, they weren’t filtered much. I ran them through Snapseed, but only slightly — and that wouldn’t alter the actual photograph, only the colors. And that day was very dark and stormy. So it wasn’t perfect light, either.

            I still own my Gnex. I understand that it’s not for everyone, but that doesn’t negate that it can take good photos.

          • TRIQ6

            “I still own my Gnex. I understand that it’s not for everyone, but that doesn’t negate that it can take good photos.”

            wow dude. just stop talking.

          • AussieDood

            Wrong. Here’s 2 examples off the top of my head.
            Take care with composition.
            Change the light by moving or using the flash (which while crappy can work well as a fill flash) so, for example the subject isn’t completely back lit.
            Neither are unique to using your phone for taking pictures but both can help make your cellphone camera pictures better.

          • jose

            Yes of course. That’s just basic photography know-how 101. Not really related to “Android Photography”

          • AussieDood

            But it will improve your photos, contrary to your assertions; “it’s about the camera, not the photographer.” and “There’s nothing to learn that will make your pictures better.”

          • jose

            You’re taking what I said out of context. I was referring to camera settings and whatnot. Not how you hold your phone.

            I just downloaded this book. Honestly, not worth the time. It’s mostly a walkthough on the on the camera settings, how to take a panorama, how to share a pic, view it, etc. MEH

          • AussieDood

            Forcing the flash to come on in a back lit situation using an existing camera setting that many people may not realize will improve a picture in the situation I described is entirely counter to your argument and entirely in context.

          • jose

            If somebody can’t figure out when to use flash, then I’m sorry, you probably have bigger problems in your life.

        • El_Big_CHRIS


      • Pedro

        Of course you can take excellent pictures with your GNex.
        As long as you place the GNex in your pocket and use a real camera.

    • sc4fpse

      Geez, I came here to post something along the same lines…

      Step 1: Get rid of your Galaxy Nexus
      Step 2: Buy anything else. Or, hell, even pull out your OG Droid. It’s got a better camera than the GNex!

  • Bionic

    Next up. Free e book. “How to hit it from behind in POV using google glass”

  • S_T_R

    Oh God, if anyone goes to Petra (or whatever that landmark is) with only a smartphone for their camera, they should be shot.

    • Bionic


    • Col_Angus

      I heard a whip comes in handy. But whatever you do, do NOT remove the chalice.

      • S_T_R

        The trick is do it really quickly. Run outside. Don’t slowly walk backwards, yelling “I got it” like a nazi bimbo. It takes like 10 seconds for the self-destruct to kick in.