Book Reviews

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Staff Posted: Mar 29, 2013 Published: Feb 01, 2013 0 comments
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has announced the publication of Eliot Porter: In the Realm of Nature (Getty Publications/November 2012), presenting work from the acclaimed American photographer’s illustrious six-decade career spanning the 1930s to the 1980s. Known for his exquisite images of birds and landscapes, Eliot Porter (1901–1990) was a pioneer in the use of color photography during a time when most serious photographers were working with black-and-white film.
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With essays by Michael Somoroff and William A. Ewing Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 1 comments
From 1977 to 1983, Michael Somoroff, then a gifted young New York photographer in his twenties filled with passion, drive, and unbridled enthusiasm, had the privilege of photographing some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, including Brassaï, Elliott Erwitt, Andreas Feininger, Ralph Gibson, André Kertész, Duane Michals, Arnold Newman, Helmut Newton, and Jacques Henri Lartigue, among others. He was first introduced to many of these icons through his father, Ben Somoroff, who studied under Alexey Brodovitch, and was one of the most influential still life photographers in the history of the medium. These photo sessions granted to Michael were deeply personal, and it was never his intention to make the resulting images public.
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Al Satterwhite Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 1 comments
It’s getting harder and harder to find publishers for photographic coffee-table books. They cost so much to produce that most of them never make back their investment costs. Photographers, of course, want to see their work on the printed page, and books are the best venue for many of those projects.
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Staff Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 0 comments
When we received a review copy of Pring’s Photographer’s Miscellany (Ilex, $12.99, ISBN: 978-1-907579-43-1) we felt there was so much fun information about photography included that it would be great to share this book with readers. The excerpts here are just a few of the many illuminating, humorous, and at times arcane information Pring’s delivers. The book also contains numerous quotes to ponder from photographers and philosophers alike.—Editor

Agent Provocateur
The Minox subminiature camera was invented in 1936 by Walter Zapp, a German living in Estonia (this modern Estonian stamp celebrates Zapp’s original patent). Unable to get it manufactured locally, he eventually established production in neighboring Latvia, but during World War II the factory was overrun, once by German forces and twice by the Russians. Production resumed in former West Germany in 1948, by which time the Minox had become the preferred equipment of real or imagined espionage agents worldwide. Grasping the attached measuring chain, the spy in a hurry could extend it to touch the secret item, shoot without using the viewfinder, and be assured of a sharp copy of, for example, an A4 or 8 1/2 x 11 inch document. The Minox uses specially cut, unsprocketed film which is advanced each time the case is closed, an action which also protects the viewfinder and lens.

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Staff Posted: Feb 04, 2013 Published: Dec 01, 2012 0 comments
Colors define a lot about our world and ourselves—the season, our personalities and moods can be reflected in the colors surrounding us. National Geographic Books is showcasing the power of colors in a stunning new photography book, Life in Color: National Geographic Photographs (National Geographic Books; ISBN: 978-1-4262-0962-8; on sale now; $40 hardcover) with a foreword by designer Jonathan Adler.
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Scott Kelby Posted: Oct 22, 2012 Published: Sep 01, 2012 2 comments
Each year, Scott Kelby trains thousands of professional photographers during his seminar tours and now he’s taken that incredibly popular style of learning and put it into book form. Among topics covered are step-by-step layouts for creating the most-requested and sought-after lighting looks; the camera settings, gear, and power settings for every shot; retouching techniques the pros really use to make their subjects look their very best; and a host of insider tricks, invaluable shortcuts, and special effects. Kelby’s book is unique in that he combines his myriad skills for a full range of workflow options, from setup to output. (Abridged from liner notes.)

We are pleased to bring you this excerpt from an excellent book that takes it all in-house, from setup to lighting to retouch and output. Time spent with this book is certainly time well spent, as Kelby is that rare photographer/author/Photoshop teacher who brings it all together under one roof.—Editor

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Kevin Kubota Posted: Oct 12, 2012 Published: Sep 01, 2012 15 comments
Kevin Kubota is an internationally recognized speaker who has presented programs for every major photographic convention in the US. His Kubota Image Tools have won numerous “Hot One” awards and his Digital Photography Bootcamp workshops, and book by the same name, have been recognized as high energy creative environments in which photographers come away inspired and educated about the great creative potential of their work. In his new book, Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook (2011, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ISBN: 978-1-118-03510-8), Kubota shares creative lighting techniques that help create mood, define the subject, and give unique dimension to your images. In this excerpt we show but two of the 101 teaching lessons in this handsomely done and fully illustrated 298-page book.—Editor

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C.A. Boylan Posted: Aug 29, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 37 comments
Black and White Step by Step; by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz; $9.99; e-book; www.rogerandfrances.com.
This is one of the many new e-books from noted photography team Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz. Overflowing with plenty of sample images, the book begins with a review of the basics like choosing the right camera and lens, film, using 35mm, medium and large format, exposure, and filters. It then moves on to explain basic and advanced film development, chemicals, printing materials and technique. Hicks and Schultz provide a wealth of pro-quality advice and easy-to-understand lessons that are certain to help you not only understand but master black-and-white photography to take your work to the next level.

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Elizabeth Messina Posted: Aug 16, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 1 comments
Natural light is by far the favorite choice of most amateur, wedding, and portrait photographers, but many stick to conventional approaches, leaving the myriad, gorgeous possibilities of natural light unexplored. In this first book by an award-winning wedding, lifestyle, and portrait photographer, Elizabeth Messina shares her secrets on capturing flattering natural light in any setting. The book (The Luminous Portrait, Amphoto Books, ISBN: 978-0-8174-0012-5, $29.99) is beautifully illustrated with accompanying text that offers an insider’s look into a wide range of subject matter and picture styles. This excerpt is part of an introduction to the many charms of working in natural light.—Editor

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Steve Christ Posted: Jul 24, 2012 Published: Jun 01, 2012 4 comments
Near Carmel, California, there is a small beach studded with rocks, shells, and sand formed over thousands of years. The tide pushes in daily with a great, uninterrupted force of life, pounding the giant rocks and sand, yet gently feeding and refreshing the sparkling tide pools that spawn life in all its amazing micro detail. Nearby on the cliffs above are paths carved between giant boulders, set next to majestic Cypress trees and greenery. This area is Point Lobos, and this beach—Weston Beach—is named for a man who changed the way many people saw these natural wonders, and so many other everyday things as well. Edward Henry Weston was his own great force of life. His photographs have become synonymous with the beauty of the West and California in particular, inspiring many photographers and admirers, and leaving his indelible mark as one of the 20th century’s most important photographers.
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C.A. Boylan Posted: Jun 29, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 3 comments
Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography, Fourth Edition; by Freeman Patterson; Firefly Books Ltd.; $24.95; (ISBN-10: 1-55407-980-2)
Author Freeman Patterson created this guide as a workshop designed specifically to train you to see artistically, to allow your eyes to pick out those special colors, shapes, and fine details that others would normally miss in order to find the art in the everyday objects that surround us. He provides a variety of tips and examples that help you think creatively and find ways to express your imagination in a unique and purely visual way. This is a wonderful resource for those who desire to expand their horizons and take their photography to the next level of creativity.

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Christopher Grey Posted: Jun 11, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 0 comments
When it comes to lighting, the tools and techniques at the fingertips of a professional photographer are almost unlimited. Developing a sense of what is possible—and how to achieve it—is part of the fun of being a professional photographer and a critical aspect of developing your personal style as an artist.

In this book, Chris Grey takes you beyond the basics of lighting and shows you the tricks professionals use to create more visually complex effects. Some of these “tricks” are complex strategies that rely on a sophisticated understanding of the physics of light, but more are simply inventive solutions (the product of a lot of trial and error readers can bypass using this book!) that make it surprisingly easy to produce a very sophisticated result.

David FitzSimmons Posted: May 22, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 1 comments
In June 2009, Sigma Pro director Dave Metz contacted me, requesting some wildlife images for full-page Sigma advertisements. He knew that I had been working on my first book, Animals of Ohio’s Ponds and Vernal Pools (Kent State University Press, July 2011), so he figured I could send him images fairly easily. He then made an interesting—and at the time slightly disconcerting—request: would I please photograph the animals not within their natural settings but against white backgrounds?
Lou Jacobs Jr. Posted: May 18, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 0 comments

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio are a photographer and writer couple who explore fascinating and focused subjects. One of their past books featured what 30 families in 24 countries ate during a week; another was about robots and their masters. Each of their books required challenging photography and extensive interviewing.

Their latest achievement, entitled What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, explores the foods and lives of 80 individuals. Photographs show what they ate in a recent day, food lists plus lively texts provide context for their diets and Peter added pictures of daily life. In their travels through more than 30 countries, Peter and Faith covered people shopping, cooking, dining, their recreation, and more in various venues. The couple are organizers extraordinaire.

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C.A. Boylan Posted: May 07, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 2 comments
Bay Photo Lab’s BayBooks are high-quality digital press printed photo books for any occasion. They are available in various sizes and in square, horizontal, or vertical formats with hard or soft full-wrap photo covers. There are 48 cover material choices and hundreds of customizable page templates to help you easily build a one-of-a-kind album.

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