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Tuesday, 08 December 2015


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OK, I bought LaP...I even used your link.

I feel better now.

I would have to agree on some of your books.
Any Ansel Adams book is good reading, especially the later books. Even the biographies of him.
Joe McNally's various books are great although they get repetitive after reading a couple.
Scott Kelby books are great how to books. He breaks down the how to into very clear sequences. Just ignore the very bad jokes.
And John Szarkowski's books ARE the history of great photography. A must read for any real photographer. Although he does miss several important yet overlooked photographer. Henry Mortenson is an example.
And you left out David Vestal' books on the darkroom, probably two of the best ever done.

It would be great if you could post a copy of the original poster (film related). It was much funnier as I recall and a bit nastier, e.g., "The Sound of Music is to music as Popular Photography is to photography."

"And in further news, I've found TOP's Book of the Year for 2015."
Please let us in on your selection.
The tension's getting to me. Not to mention it's getting late for overseas orders to arrive for Christmas.

"1/60 at f/8 is the correct exposure for all photographs."

Maybe not for all photographs, but you can get a proper exposure for most photographs at 1/60 f/8 by adjusting the ISO (though it could get noisy at high ISOs.) And if the ISO cannot go low enough, there are always ND filters. This does not take into consideration things like motion blur and depth of field.

Has anyone ever written a book on "Project Management for Photographers"? I think people would find that extremely useful.

"recalcitrant and obstreperous and pigheadedly refuse to see reason"

Well, that fits me, but that's not the reason. Chalk it up to just plain old ignorance of its existence. I need to check my wife's collection. When we married, a substantial collection of photography books came with the deal.

And of course it's pronounced shar-KOV-ski (gotta get the accent on the right syllable). Just the way it's spelled. Try this one: Władysław Szczepaniak. I've forgotten most Polish I learned as a kid, but even then, that "szcz" combination always got me literally spitting the name.

Ya know, Mike. Just about the time we start licking our fingers from the finger food you present to us, you come up with an entire buffet! Sheeze! Here's to a few million more.
Mi dos pesos.

updating my earlier "recalcitrant and obstreperous and pigheadedly refuse to see reason" message:

Aha! My wife did have the Szarkowski book, second printing. I know we have several Ansel Adams, and a couple others. Too many books to remember.

And thanks for helping me to flesh out my Christmas wish list.

Greg Heisler's book is a real joy. It's superbly produced with a separate pull out appendix so that you don't have to keep flipping pages to get more information on the picture. It was my Christmas present to myself a couple of years ago and I enjoyed every page. Annie Leibowitz's book was a revelation. I don't personally care for her recent work but came away from this book with a high regard for her as a a 'proper' photographer. I'd recommend either book but if I had to choose one I'd get the Heisler.

Tech, not art: Light -- Science & Magic (Fuqua and Hunter; I think more recent editions may have a third author). An actual textbook, rather than a cookbook as so many lighting books I have seen are.

All the Adams Basic Photo Series of course. But also Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, where he tells us, so far as memory allows, what ran through is head as he made 40 of his photos.

As David has mentioned textbooks rather than cookbooks, I have to add a mention for Matters of Light and Depth by Ross Lowell. Lots of text, not many pictures but if you want to truly gain a practical understanding of how to light a scene that you can apply in any situation, this is your book.

Hello Mike, this post has finally prompted me to recommend John Berger's Understanding A Photograph. I must confess to having read only half of it so far (in the summer, since when I haven't found the time to concentrate properly, will do one day), but have found it to be a remarkably insightful, stimulating and challenging set of essays on the essence of photography.

John Shaw's book, Nature Photography Field Guide, clicked for me for learning the nuts and bolts of exposure, and the use of different focal lengths and apertures. David Ward's book, Landscape Beyond, is a good read on the squishier aspects of a photograph. He's after simplicity, mystery and beauty. If you like ugly stuff, this book won't work for you. I don't like ugly stuff. But while I appreciate beauty and the other things, I just have a little brain that gets easily overwhelmed. I can remember simplicity, beauty and mystery, whereas 32 simple steps to glorious photography doesn't seem to stick for me. I can remember about three things.

Three other things I can remember are Light, Color and Gesture, which is the title of one of two relatively new books by Jay Maisel. The other being It's Not About the F-stop. Maybe they're both more inspirational than procedural, but they have some good examples of what it looks like when you get the light, or the gesture, or the color right. Or all three, as he of often does.

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