In the wrong hands, a camera can be a dangerous weapon (mine has cut off more heads than a guillotine).

Thank goodness for writer-photographer Henry Carroll’s “Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs” book series, a sort of “Photography for Dummies” that explains the basics of everything from lighting to landscapes. His latest, “Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs of Places” (Laurence King Publishing, $17.99) examines how to take breathtaking outdoor shots.

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The book is divided into five sections that cover composition, exposure, light, manipulation and location. In easy-to-understand language, Carroll explains technical terms such as aspect ratio, shutter speed and movement, and more.

The section on light focuses on such topics as the best times to shoot a sunrise, using shadows for effect and twilight (“it possesses a quality that is both calm and ominous”). Manipulation covers when to shoot in color or black and white. The locations section examines how to set your shot at different spots ranging from forests to factories. With these tips, all of your shots should be a snap.