It’s almost a new year, and that means lots of promises (as previously discussed) but especially about improving and changing the outlook of our creative work. It’s a chance to refresh and get fresh about old feelings about old things, like your camera skills and your creative processes, and so on. I’ve got 2 books from Wiley Books that I think would be verrrrrrry useful to the average photographer looking to pick up some more skills.
The first book I have is Exposure Photo Workshop. This is a very nice book on the basics of photography and exposure. It’s perfect for someone who is just starting to explore photography and what light means to taking photographs. Description from their website:
Capturing an image and getting the right exposure is critical and Jeff Wignall recognizes exposure as the secret for creating an image that captures a vision and shares it with the world. When you apply his techniques with patience, experimentation, and a focus on the outcome, you will begin creating images that reveal not only what you saw, but how you felt when you saw it. In fact according to Shutterbug magazine Exposure Photo Workshop “may be the best book yet written about exposure.” By learning to work with natural light as well as when to use flash you will confidently capture action, night scenes, rainbows, sunsets, and reflections like never before. With stunning images, Jeff Wignall shows you how to perfectly expose pictures in even the most challenging existing light conditions, including poor weather, using a flash, and even a section guiding you through using multiple wireless flash units. You can upload your own images to Photoworkshop.com and get feedback from other photographers.
Wignall starts by explaining the fundamentals of exposure and why it’s important. This leads into learning the basics of exposure controls. By the end of chapter 2, you will know how to control the exposure on your point-and-shoot or digital SLR camera. Chapter 3 walks readers through measuring light using just about any light meter and Chapter 4 delves into lens apertures and depth of field. The focus moves to shutter speed and subject motion. After Chapter 6, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to turn off your camera’s automatic settings and take manual control. Wignall then examines natural light exposures, discussing the intricacies of light quality, light direction, and time of day. As you approach more advanced exposure options, you’ll need the troubleshooting advice provided in Chapter 8, covering difficult situations such as metering challenges, handling contrast, and creating dramatic silhouettes. With more advanced techniques mastered, you can then approach night and low-light conditions and then examine special considerations such as the weather and natural phenomena. The book finishes strong with a comprehensive look at all things flash photography.
The second book I have is Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook (101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers). The great thing about this book is that it literally takes through a bunch of photos and tells you how he got it, and what his settings were, what the lighting set-up was, what post he did; basically takes you through every step though various photos. It’s really helpful for those that have trouble learning look through intuition and prefer a step-by-step play of how certain types of images were created. The lacking part is that because this is all one photographer, the styles are all similar. If you’re into wedding or portrait photography, this book will be perfect for you, but if you’re into more esoteric, fashion, or photojournalist styles, this probably won’t do it. Description from the website:
Get professional advice from one of the world’s top wedding photographers Creative use of lighting is a hallmark of quality photography. Kevin Kubota has been listed among the world’s top 10 wedding photographers by American Photo magazine and named a Legend Behind the Lens by Nikon. This guide features dozens of his unique lighting and post-production recipes and techniques, each illustrated with a spectacular image.
- Author Kevin Kubota enjoys a cult-like following among professional photographers and has earned numerous accolades for his talent
- Includes the author’s unique lighting and post-production recipes and techniques that reinforce the theory that good lighting is the key to quality photography
- Presents a number of shooting scenarios with behind-the-scenes setup, a description of the photographer’s objective, the equipment used, and the resulting image for each
- Features a companion app that will enable the photographer to search and find lighting suggestions by subject, style, budget, equipment, and other guidelines, all while in the field
Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook for Digital Photographers is almost like having the famous photographer sharing his secrets with you one on one.
I always try to think of cool giveaway ideas, but I’m pretty bad at it. But since we’re all looking to improve ourselves, and that’s what these books help with, I’d like for you to post a comment with a photo (or link to a photo) of yours from this year, and also post a self-critique of how you could have improved that photo, as well as which book could help you out best in the future. On January 9th, I’ll pick two people to send their desired book to! US & Canada only please.
Happy New Year and my best to everyone for the new year!