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-hh
Feb 1, 2006, 01:59 PM
I've noticed that the Digital Photography group seems to be focusing on two different generalized topics.

The one is hardware-based: Camera X with Option A versus Option B, etc.

The other is pure photography: "what's a filter good for", how to sort out depth of field, etc. We're probably due for a composition thread.

To this end, I'm going to throw out a couple of books that I've found useful.


"John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide (Paperback)
by John Shaw " -- by John Shaw

"John Shaw's Landscape Photography (Paperback)
by John Shaw" -- ibid

"Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera" -- by Bryan Peterson


BTW, John Shaw's guides are a bit duplicative in that he's got a very good intro section that appears common in the beginning of each book - - it contains gems of insight, such as the fact that a camera's exposure meter is looking for the mystical 18% Gray, which is essentially why a dark composition will always be overexposed and a light one will always be underexposed.

For hardware, I've found the "Magic Lantern" guidebooks for the specific camera in question to usually be much more useful than the Manufacturer's free guide...its "always" worth the extra $20 or so on a $1000 camera.


-hh



Clix Pix
Feb 1, 2006, 09:37 PM
"Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera" -- by Bryan Peterson

[snipped]

For hardware, I've found the "Magic Lantern" guidebooks for the specific camera in question to usually be much more useful than the Manufacturer's free guide...its "always" worth the extra $20 or so on a $1000 camera.
-hh

I've got Bryan Peterson's books (both editions) and also a CD that he did a few years ago based on the book. I'll have to check out John Shaw one of these days.

I agree -- the Magic Lantern books are always excellent! I've got the one for the D70 but don't know if there is one available yet for the D200.

Abstract
Feb 2, 2006, 04:49 AM
I'll bite.

I was thinking about getting a book on photography, but I didn't know where to start. I'm looking for a more general book, but I guess a landscape photography book would teach me things I can use in many other situations.

I was recommended a book by an author named "London" --- possibly "Barbara London" or something. I forgot her first name. Is this a safe bet for someone like myself? I'm not looking for an "Idiot's Guide to..." type book, but something that'll teach me some basics for the first 5-10 pages, but then delve a little, or a lot, deeper into technique and such would be great.

I'll definitely look for this John Shaw Landscape photography book though. Maybe it IS what I'm looking for.

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 2, 2006, 06:43 AM
"Photography" by Barbara London

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131896091/sr=1-1/qid=1138884006/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-1012642-8186405?%5Fencoding=UTF8

It is an expensive book. BUt is one used by High Schools and Colleges. What is nice about this book is that it is not one that you read cover to cover. You can turn to each chapter as you need it, to understand certain concepts. And as a reference as an example when someone mentions swings and tilts of large format cameras.

ChrisA
Feb 2, 2006, 12:17 PM
An absolute clasic is "The Camera" by Ansel Adams.

If you are serious about photography this is a "must have" book. Adaems was a very good writter and teacher. Most of what he wrote in the 1950's applies today he covers the use of 35mm cameras to large view camera but mostly he writes about photography, not hardware. Thinks like the difference between walking up close with a wide angle and backing up with atele. to get the same shoot and how to choose wich is best for the effect you want. Basics like that.


Look at his other books too. In one "the making of 40 photographs" he walks you through the process he used to make 40 of his best and most famos images. Starting with the vision of the image he had before he set up the camers through to the darkroom work

Adam's darkroom technique translates very well to the digital age. He almost _never_ made "straight" prints all the prints we see were hight manipulated and in some cases look nothing like what was on the negative. We can use photoshop to do the same now. So don't think his work with large and medium format does not apply to today.

Clix Pix
Feb 2, 2006, 01:53 PM
I used a previous version of the London book when I took some photography classes at my local community college. Excellent source of valuable information and I still occasionally refer back to it.

And, yes, Ansel Adams' THE CAMERA is indeed a classic....

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 2, 2006, 08:43 PM
Adam's darkroom technique translates very well to the digital age. He almost _never_ made "straight" prints all the prints we see were hight manipulated and in some cases look nothing like what was on the negative. We can use photoshop to do the same now. So don't think his work with large and medium format does not apply to today.

In B&W, most of us that took classes had instructors that never saw a B&W negative that did not need burning, dodging, and the rest. That changed when color photography took hold. Except for those that had time and/or money, most accepted what the negative or slide produced, and had it printed straight by the lab of our choice.

Digital is changing that, whether from scanned negs or from digital cameras. We now have the same controls that Ansel Adams had, even more so.

I remember a night time shot taken from my hotel room in 2001 on B&W film. Was used in my photo class at the time. Got an A for the dodging and burning in that I did on the stream of lights from the cars, and the shadows of the buildings. But scanning in that negative, and working in PS I was able to get down to individual windows and headlights.

ChrisA
Feb 3, 2006, 01:15 AM
I remember a night time shot taken from my hotel room in 2001 on B&W film. Was used in my photo class at the time. Got an A for the dodging and burning in that I did on the stream of lights from the cars, and the shadows of the buildings. But scanning in that negative, and working in PS I was able to get down to individual windows and headlights.

You can get down to that level of detail using darkroom technique but it's "way hard" for example you can make high contrast masks using litho sheet film. But you'd have to be nuts to make a pin registerd set of masks, compositing multple negatives and so on. it's so easy using Gimp or something lke it.

Abstract
Feb 3, 2006, 04:54 AM
I still find it amazing that I might never know what "burning" and "dodging" is. :rolleyes:

Too young to know, maybe, but I guess I'm a sign of the times. Anyway, I'll check out the Barbara London book just because it sounds like a good place to start, or possibly the John Shaw book because I don't really "need" to start from the beginning.

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 3, 2006, 08:43 AM
I still find it amazing that I might never know what "burning" and "dodging" is. :rolleyes:

Too young to know, maybe, but I guess I'm a sign of the times.

Not to young to know, just never had a photo class I guess in B&W.

Burning-in is making a light portion of an image darker. Dodging is the opposite. The purpose is help balance out an image, or to bring back some lost detail, or to add impact.