Book Reviews

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C.A. Boylan Posted: Aug 29, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 38 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.

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.

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?
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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.
Wes Kroninger Posted: Apr 27, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 4 comments
In his new book, Wes Kroninger’s Lighting (ISBN: 978-1-608952-54-0, Amherst Media, $34.95 US), the author and photographer draws on his experience as a portrait, commercial, and editorial photographer to present strategies that will help photographers bring out the beauty and character in all of their subjects—from kids, to businessmen, to fashion models.
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Steve Sint Posted: May 04, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments
With over 35 years as a top professional wedding photographer, Steve Sint knows exactly what it takes to make it in this competitive, high-pressure field. This book is a thorough guide for every part of the process, from getting the job, to taking the right shots, to selling the albums, to making a profit, and most importantly, keeping everyone happy in the process. His book, Digital Wedding Photography (ISBN 13: 978-1-600595-65-3, 272 pages, $29.95, pixiq, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co.) brings that experience to bear on every aspect of the art and craft of wedding work, including an excellent shooting script, lighting, posing and business tips, all told from a veteran photographer’s point of view. This is one book those getting started in this field should own, and serves as an excellent refresher course even for those who have been shooting weddings for years. In this excerpt we highlight the author’s recommended packing list and organizational method, and how he ensures that his gear is working from job to job.—Editor

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David Tipling Posted: Jan 25, 2012 Published: Dec 01, 2011 30 comments
More and more birdwatchers are capturing images of their favorite subject using digital techniques. But having the equipment is only half the battle to achieving stunning bird images. A good knowledge of your equipment, an understanding of both photography and field craft, and a firm basis in postproduction techniques are also essential if you want to capture and create high-quality bird photographs. All these topics are covered in this portable guide to bird photography. Although small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or camera bag, The Bird Photography Field Guide introduces and instructs on each stage of the digital photography process, describing all the necessary equipment, discussing specialist field-craft techniques, and showing you how to manipulate and enhance your photos. In this excerpt David Tipling shares his thoughts on perhaps one of the most important aspects of the craft—seeing and using light.—Editor
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Scott Bourne Skip Cohen Posted: Jan 18, 2012 Published: Dec 01, 2011 1 comments
While it’s true that anyone can buy a professional-quality camera, the necessary business skills for running a successful photography venture are often overlooked. Thousands of aspiring professionals falter because they lack the skills to turn their dreams into a profitable business. GOING PRO: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer (Amphoto Books; $29.99) is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide for beginning photographers on how to launch a business in any genre of professional photography.
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Lindsay Adler Posted: Dec 29, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 12 comments
In Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography (304 pages, Course Technology, ISBN: 978-1-4354-5884-0, $34.99) Lindsay Adler shows photographers how to apply the concepts of fashion photography, including preparation, styling, props, lighting, posing, and post-processing, to their portrait and wedding photography. This practical guide demonstrates how to prepare for a shoot, including choosing the location, wardrobe, hair, makeup styling, and poses, as well as considering the lighting and equipment. You’ll also find in-camera techniques, fashion lighting essentials, Photoshop techniques, and a variety of other tricks to achieve the fashion flair aesthetic. Also included are business and marketing tips, including useful social networking sites, products, and services to help you maximize the fashion flair approach and make it work for you. Chock full of great shots and extensive how-to and lighting diagrams, this can easily serve as a study and workbook that will help elevate anyone’s portrait and wedding work. In this excerpt we’ve chosen just a few of the many lighting diagrams and tips found in the book.—Editor

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C.A. Boylan Posted: Jan 03, 2012 Published: Nov 01, 2011 2 comments
The New Complete Guide to Night and Low-Light Digital Photography: Updated Edition; by Lee Frost; Amphoto Books; $29.99; (ISBN: 978-0-8174-4968-1)
Don’t let low-light conditions cause you to miss another photographic opportunity. This informative guide solves that problem by providing information on gear choices, such as how to pick the right digital camera, lenses, filters, flash, and accessories for the job. Lee Frost then explores the fundamentals of understanding light, metering, exposure, and digital image processing. This wide selection of tips, tricks, and techniques are paired with sample images to make learning fast and easy.

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Rod and Robin Deutschmann Posted: Dec 22, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 0 comments
There is something magical about macro and close-up images. They provide a glimpse of a world few ever see and fewer still understand. In this book, acclaimed photography instructors Rod and Robin Deutschmann show all the ins and outs of creating outstanding images of small subjects. They begin with an overview of the key challenges of macro photography, including achieving correct focus, maximizing the depth of field, and providing optimal lighting.

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