Tag Archives: photography book

eBook Review: Photo Nuts and Bolts

Photography is just like every other skill — it requires three things: 1) a basic understanding of the fundamentals, 2) lots of practice, and 3) some raw talent (and maybe a little luck). Books won’t help you much with the last two, but they’re perfect for the first one.

Photo Nuts and Bolts: Know Your Camera and Take Better Photos is a book that focuses on the fundamental theories and mechanics of the camera. So this goes way back to the very nature of light and the tools we use to capture it.

Aimed at the beginner to intermediate dSLR user, the book steps through the foundations of modern photography. Understanding your camera and the light it captures is the basis of solid photography and is essential to more advanced topics.

You can purchase Photo Nuts and Bolts from digital Photography School. Links in this post are affiliate links to the product — It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but I get a cut of the sale.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Photo Nuts and Bolts is a 64 page downloadable eBook containing 10 lessons in the fundamental theories and mechanics of photography. The three column layout and minimalistic formatting make this book easy on the eyes and a pleasure to read. Supporting photos and diagrams are scattered throughout as needed, but are not overbearing in their presence. Each lesson is approximately three to four pages long, making them a moderately quick read.

The 10 lessons in this book are very concise and to the point (I’m particularly impressed because I’m a rambler). The material is presented as introductory reading for the given topic. While it does go into details, it will leave the reader with a basic understanding and a thirst for more. The last page of each lesson helps quench that thirst with homework challenges, additional resources to various websites and web articles, and questions/answers and comments from fellow photographers on the given topic.

The flow of the book is fairly important, and I would suggest reading the lessons in order since they build on each other. We start off with a few lessons in light and optics, followed by exposure controls, and finishing up with additional camera controls. The end of the book also has a glossary of the basic terms used throughout the book.

As a bonus for the launch of the book (1 week only), you’ll receive a one page pocket guide intended to print out, fold up, and… stick in your pocket. This little guide gives you some general camera settings that may be useful for 10 different situations (outdoor sunshine, outdoor dusk, indoor action, indoor low-light, etc.).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Creek is a fellow photography enthusiast that decided to take a shot at the professional side of things a few years ago. He’s been doing well photographing, teaching courses, and writing for the digital Photography School. I’ve known Neil for some years now, and his enthusiasm for the art of photography has only grown each day. The writing in this eBook reflects his high level of understanding in the technical and mechanical/optical aspects of photography.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a good solid book that teaches the foundations of photography in a concise and meaningful fashion. And even if you’re somewhat familiar with the topics, there are a lot of background and theory details presented that you don’t typically see outside of textbooks.

Readers of the digital Photography School blog will notice that many of the lessons in the book have been published in the past months. So why buy the book? A lot of stuff has been reworked and touched up in these articles. Plus, the last two chapters are completely new. It’s also handy to have everything in consecutive order and in one package so you can quickly reference the topics at any time.

I would suggest this book for beginner/intermediate photographers wanting to gain a better understanding of their equipment (the dSLR in particular). If you’re struggling with concepts like exposure controls, lens controls, light metering, white balance, and other fundamentals, this book should straighten you out.

You can purchase Photo Nuts and Bolts for $19.97 just for this first week for an undetermined time period, after which point it will return to the regular price of $29. Plus, the pocket guide is only available for the first week purchases, so grab it soon!

Photography Books Make Great Gifts!

Knowledge makes him young
Creative Commons License photo credit: hapal

It is very much the holiday season, and gifts are often a part of that. As photographers, we like to receive certain types of gifts… sometimes equipment, and sometimes things that inspire or educate us. Equipment can be a difficult gift to give because we’re often very picky about what we want. But photo books and photography books almost always please (and good photo books are great even for non-photographers).

Over the last few years, I’ve reviewed an assortment of books. This post is a gathering of those in-depth reviews. Most of them are photo books (whose main content is the actual photo rather than the paragraph), but I’ve done a few technical/educational books too. So if you’re looking for a gift for a photographer (or anybody with a coffee table really), here are some excellent choices.

PHOTO BOOKS


Reza War and Peace

Reza War and Peace is a book about many things, very deep and emotional. As the title suggests, the book is about war and peace. But it’s so much more than that too. This book is a testimony of humanity — at its worst, and at its best. It is comprised of 30 years of Reza’s work from across the world, and it contains some of the most incredible stories I never knew.

Of all the books I’ve reviewed, this is probably my favorite. Truly great work from a great photographer.

Purchase from Amazon.com

Read my full review


Polar Obsession

Polar Obsession

An intimate view the northern and southern polar regions, including the animals and their environments. Paul specializes in photographing the Arctic and Antarctica with an emphasis on underwater photography, and it would seem that no location is out of his reach.

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Read my full review


44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World

44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World

This book covers the history of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 when the Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Republic was born. The major parts of this event took place in a mere 44 days, and David Burnett was there to capture a big part of it. Everything from mass protests, funerals, killings, the fall and rise of power, and everything else associated with the revolution.

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The Life of a Photograph

This is a collection of work from Sam Abell’s experience in the field as a National Geographic photographer. But the book isn’t about National Geographic or the stories covered by the photos — it’s about Sam Abell, his photos, and how they’ve taken on a life of their own.

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Odysseys and Photographs

This book is a collection of amazing photographs from four historic storytellers, and many of the images have rarely been seen outside of the National Geographic archives. The four photographers featured exhibit a collective work spanning most of the 20th century. Not only is the work extremely artistic, it’s also historic and serves as a permanent record of the World’s past.

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Visions of Paradise

Visions of Paradise is a collective publication from some of the most world renowned photographers of our time. 82 individuals attempt to present the audience with a vision of paradise based on their experience and travels. Each chapter is filled with brilliant and breathtaking imagery as large as life itself. Ranging from one to two page spreads, the photos contained in the book are easily appreciated and adored.

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Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration

Night Vision is a book about urban exploration — or the investigation of man-made places ignored and largely unseen. This includes old “ghost towns” and other sites that have been left to decay out of sight. Troy is a master of urban exploration, and he shares his thoughts and feelings on the topic throughout.

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Live, Laugh, Celebrate

This book is a collection of photographs from all over the Earth taken by many different photographers. This format suits the subject well because it allows for a wide display of imagery that wouldn’t be possible from a single photographer. But even with a diverse set of photos such as this, they’re all similar in the fact that they show people living, laughing, and celebrating. A good quick read and easy to get caught up in the photos.

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Mothers and Children

Mothers and Children

The photos in the book take us on a trip around the world while showing the many expressions and emotions of mothers and their children. This is a good one to have on the bookshelf or the coffee table.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS


What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection

What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection

Well… it’s a comic strip book. Don’t expect to find any breathtaking photos or golden nuggets of technical advice. The theme of the comic strip is a duck photographer and his journeys in the business. But you don’t have to be a professional to “get it”, since many of the strips are humorous to a wide spectrum of photographers.

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Fundamentals of Photography

Photography is such an expansive subject and it’s quite impossible to cover everything in a single book. Some books focus on very specific topics, but contain in-depth information. Other books are broad, but just skim the surface. Regardless of the style, many informational photography books drone on page after page, leaving the reader in a haze of technobabble and jargon. I don’t know how he did it, but Tom Ang managed to pack an incredible amount of information into this small handbook. Not only is the information valuable, it’s extremely concise and well laid out.

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Complete Digital Photography

Complete Digital Photography

The book focuses on the realm of digital photography, addressing those of us currently involved with digital photography and those looking to become involved. Digital cameras have matured over the last several years, bringing with them professionals and amateurs. Good photography is within reach for many people, and this book helps to lay the foundation for this hobby/profession.

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The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography

The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography

Whether you’re shooting informal family pictures or professional portraits, you’ll likely find new things in this eBook.

Purchase from dPS

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Sony Alpha DSLR A300/A350 Digital Field Guide

This is a great resource book for the Sony A300 and A350 photographer. It covers just about everything you can find in your user manual, plus a whole lot of practical stuff. New users will benefit the most from this book, as the assignments in Part 3 will familiarize them with the camera in-use.

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Do you guys have any other book recommendations? And which books would you like to receive this year?