Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Nook - photography books

If you stop by my blog now and then, you might have noticed the Sunday Brunch posts, where I chat about a favorite recipe.  Maybe you noticed it missing yesterday.  I do apologize - I was unfortunately up until the very wee hours in the morning, working on a photography assignment, photoshopping like a mad woman.  So, I thought in honor of photography, which has been taking up a lot of my time lately (but that's a good thing, in general - not so much in the wee hours of the morning, however), I wanted to share some of the books on the subject that I've been enjoying lately:

Light: Science & Magic - An introduction to Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver & Paul Fuqua:

My assignment was to photoshoot a ceramic mug.  Piece of cake, right?  I have spent two weeks of my life trying to figure out how to photograph a mug!  A mug, people!  The problem is, it's very reflective and curved.  So, when you shoot it, you see yourself, your room, your camera, everything on the surface of the mug.  The very nice guy at a local camera store told me that this is one of the hardest things to shoot.  I was so relieved to hear that, because I thought I was doing something wrong.  He suggested this book, Light: Science & Magic, specifically for a chapter on this very subject.  Straight to the library I went and two weeks later, I have a much better understanding of what it takes to photograph a simple mug.  Better understanding yes; better skills, still working on.  This book is a must for any photographer needing to understand studio lighting.

Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos by Jim Zuckerman:

I liked this book right away because of the topic of the first chapter: shoot great subjects.  Is a photo of a wild African lion better that a portrait of a house cat?  Why?  The author gets us thinking about our photography in new ways right from the start.  I don't always agree with his opinion, but I really appreciate the debate.

There's a lot of technical tips that you might find in other photography books, like how to work shutter speed, how to compose your shots, etc., but even after years of doing photography, I feel like I'm learning from this book.  And the author has included lots of gorgeous photos to inspire.  Dramatic photos, here I come!

A Beautiful Mess - Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing your Friends, your World, and Yourself by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman:

This is a fun book for anyone with a camera, not just pros.  The authors throw out one cute idea after another, anything from how to take a outdoor portrait, how to make your own homemade filters, how to photograph your reflection, wardrobe tips & crafty photo ideas, like making a storybook locket or a photo coaster set.  Our sister-authors have a great eye for photography and they share what works with us.  I got a handful of ideas I'm going to keep in my pocket, and I think just about anyone with a camera (so, everyone then) could get some new ideas after looking through this book.  This one's all about fun with photography - I love that!


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