Book suggestions for those wanting to try out new stuff.
I would like to present two books that I picked up recently for cheap.
I can recommend them to anyone interested in photography in general, and not just technical aspects of gear.
I have found and bought Dutch translation versions, but I will refer to the English originals.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship whatsoever with authors or publishers -- nor with Amazon,
(1) The first book is "Expressive Photography (Shooting from the Heart", wirtten by a collective of ten female photographers who operate under the name Shutter Sisters (they also have a blog/website).
The authors provide some interesting insights and examples into several types of photography (portrait, landscape, food, animals, relationships, etc).
Every subject is approached from various angles, including composition, perspective, post-processing etc. Emphasis is on how pictures can tell stories and evoke emotion. This book deals more with content than form, but it also makes very clear how formal and technical aspects influence the way we perceive content.
If you are already into photography, you will read a lot that is obvious or already known (like how White Balance and Depth-of-Field influence the mood and focus of a photo, and can be manipulated to do so), but you will also be inspired.
(2) The second book is "Creative Digital Photography" by author Chris Gatcum.
This book can be described as a DIY-guide for half-crazy photographers.
The author describes what he calls "52 projects" that are intended to breathe creative inspiration into the digital photo-making process.
Part I of the book involves certain techniques to achieve very peculiar effects (such as zoomburst, panning, manipulation of bokeh with filters, photographing smoke and water etc.). But also more complex stuff is explained, like how to modify a cheap Holga camera (something I am afraid I am far too clumsy for...)
Part II deals with lenses and accessories and includes instructions on how to reverse lenses for use in macro, how to make a tilt or pinhole lens, or a lightbox, all with cheap materials.
Part III describes the creativity that can be found off-camera, notably in lighting equipment, and includes simple how-tos for those who want to make their own beautydishes or softboxes, for use with external flash.
Part IV is the last part, concentrating on creative digital processing and printing techniques, including the inevitable HDR, but also digital cross-processing.
All in all, the book struck me as some kind of how-to recipe-book towards the digital equivalent of alternative photography (like Polaroid, Lomo, Holga).
Even if you don't follow any of the DIY-instructions, it is hard not to become inspired adn coaxed into trying out new and exciting stuff. A guaranteed anti-dote for the boredom that can be experienced because of the increasing perfection of modern cameras.
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