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Book Reviews

Two Great New Photography E-Books

New E-BooksI know many of you love photography e-books because they are:

(a) Inexpensive,
(b) Easy to refer back to any time,
(c) Portable on all your devices, and
(d) Did I mention inexpensive?

Well, while I was busy finishing my Event Photography course, two of my favorite photography teachers put out great new e-books that I am long overdue in bringing to your attention.

Let’s look at each separately. (more…)

Winters’ Road to Seeing is Worth Traveling

Winters Road to Seeing Book CoverDan Winters has a handwritten sign in his darkroom reading, “The print will speak of the love that has been infused within it.”

And that’s a pretty good description of his mammoth new photography book Road to Seeing.

It’s infused with love. Of photography. Of life. Of human beings. Of art. Of mystery. (more…)

Photography Book of the Year

Heisler: 50 PortraitsAs you know, I love photography books (even though I make videos for people who don’t like to read books…)

I keep an ever-growing list of my favorite books on my Resources page for you, and a new book has just claimed the top spot:

Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits

Heisler is arguably the greatest living portrait photographer.

And as if that weren’t accomplishment enough, he has now written what may be the best book on photography that I’ve ever read.

It’s a perfect blend of left-brain and right-brain, art and technique. (more…)

Book Review: How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional by Ashley Karyl

How to Photograph NudesHoly Moly! You’re not going to believe how much information is packed into this gigantic 328-page ebook from photographer Ashley Karyl, a 25-year veteran of the fashion and beauty industry:

How To Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

This guy knows it all, and he reveals it all in this book that goes WAY beyond nudes to cover almost everything involved in a photography career.

If you have ever dreamed of working in any way with models, fashion, beauty, or glamour photography, you’re going to want to download this book right now. (more…)

Book Review: ON CAMERA FLASH: Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography, by Neil van Niekerk

On Camera Flash - Book CoverI have a serious impulse-buying problem at my local camera store.

The other day I went in for a $5 lens cap and came out with $75 worth of stuff, including the book ON CAMERA FLASH: Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography by Neil van Niekerk.  I should know better than to even peek at the book rack.

But in this case I’m really glad I did.  Because this book kicks ass.

Now, I consider myself a fairly advanced flash photographer.  After all, I sell a course on off-camera flash photography on my own website.  I know a thing or two.  But of course, the more you learn about photography, the more you discover there is to learn.

That’s why I’m always thrilled to find a book like this one. (more…)

Book Review: The Photographer’s Legal Guide by Carolyn E. Wright

Photographer's Legal Guide - CoverTo be honest, reading any kind of book about the legal aspects of photography—from taxes, to corporate structures, to copyright laws, to government regulations—not only makes me want to never shoot another image, it also brings out a seething, anarchic, vigilante side of me.  I suddenly feel like hurling bombs at government buildings and torturing IRS agents with a cattle prod.  This is probably wrong, but I suspect I’m not alone in this reaction.

After all, most of us take up photography because we are artists at heart.  If we were interested in tax laws or the differences between S-Corporations and C-Corporations we would have gone to business school or law school.  You might even say that we incline toward photography precisely to the degree that we hate that kind of stuff.

So I suppose we ought to be grateful that there are people like Carolyn Wright, who is both a practicing attorney and a professional photographer, and who has written a guide to help the rest of us navigate the legal swamps that surround the business of photography. (more…)

Book Review: The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

The Photographer's Eye by Michael FreemanMichael Freeman has created a gorgeous, well-illustrated book that takes one of the most subtle and abstract elements of photography—composition—and makes it concrete and understandable.

This may be the most concisely written photography book I’ve ever seen.  Freeman is the anti-Kelby.  Every word is carefully chosen, every sentence terse and tight.   Freeman writes with the precision of a philosopher or a surgeon, as if lives depended on accurate understanding.

That doesn’t mean Freeman’s analysis is always simple.  Composition is a complex topic, and Freeman doesn’t hesitate to delve into formal theories of perception, such as “The Gestalt Law of Perceptual Organization” — topics that, in the hands of a lesser writer, would fill mind-numbing chapters with bloated verbiage. Freeman covers it succinctly in one bullet-point sidebar. Done. Next.

The illustrative photos are mostly drawn from Freeman’s Asian travels, and the subject matter can sometimes become a bit monotonous if you’re not a big fan of travel photography.  I would have liked to see him mix it up a bit more and include some other styles, but you can hardly fault a photographer for sticking to his own area of interest.

Accompanying many of the photos are sketches illustrating the vectors of movement, or the balance of forces, within an image.  I found these diagrams immensely useful, and after looking at a book’s worth of them, I find my eye now spontaneously recognizing these vectors in other photos, and even in my own viewfinder.  This is what education is all about—Freeman has imparted his wisdom at a visceral level that is apparently now ingrained in my view of the world. What more could one ask from a book?

Buy it from Amazon

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