What books for photographing people in candid situations? Color Balancing? Optics?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris7, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    Thanks to those of you who recommended Bryan Peterson’s books here. I have found both Understanding Exposure and Learning to see Creatively quite interesting and extremely helpful.

    I am particularly interested in learning to photograph people in candid situations. I’d like to learn how to set up the shot so that the background properly directs the eye around the photo.

    It seems there are many situations in which either one cannot attain enough out of focus blur to make the background less of an “issue,” or one does not want to substantially blur the background because it is actually an essential part of the photo.

    Secondly, I’m interested in a book on color balancing, color enhancement, attaining proper exposure etc. in post production processing. I would like to learn basic theory and other information that applies to digital processing and printing of photographs in general.
    (I have PS CS4 with Camera Raw, Spyder 3, and may buy Lightroom 3 when the full version comes out. I’ve found lynda.com to be pretty helpful so far, so learning any particular software is not what I would want a book for.)

    Lastly, a book on optics as it applies to photography. I find myself easily lost in the “why” of optical principles. For example, “why exactly is the out of focus blur equivalent to opening up by two stops every time the focal length of the lens is doubled and thus the aperture is doubled?” Or “why is it said that there is about a 1 1/3 stop difference in out of focus blur at image level between 36mm and 22.3 mm crop sensor bodies, when it appears to take only a 1 1/3 stop difference to attain the same absolute aperture to compensate for the longer focal length needed to attain the same FoV on a full sensor body, but then the magnification factor is still greater on the crop?” (Again, I’m not asking for answers here, just a recommendation for a book).

    Thanks for your time,

  2. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    This is all learning about focus and depth of field. When framing a scene in your mind or through the viewfinder think what you want in focus and what you want in focus. You then need to think about how you can achieve that effect, do you need a long lens but a wide depth of field? Then you need a wide aperture. Etc, etc. Remember that the subject might not always be slap bang in the middle of the field depth you want. In that case either manual focus or autofocus on the point that is in the middle of the depth field you want.

    It's just about getting the right thought processes and the main thing to do is simply practice. Perhaps try just using manual focus.

    Hope that's what you were looking for but it's quite hard to explain clearly.
  3. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    I will suggest you read the excellent article on bokeh and depth of field in general from the April 2010 Carl Zeiss Newsletter (warning, PDF document in the link).
  4. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    I only had time to scroll through the article, but will read it this weekend. It looks like it addresses much of what puzzles me about optics. Many thanks.
    Thanks. Do you or any one here have recommendations for books about photographing people in candid situations, that discusses how to include the background as part of the composition (even if it is a bit out of focus)?

    For color balancing, etc., what do the people here think about Real World Color Management, by Fraser, Bunting, and Murphy? Another member suggested it as the definitive book on topic in another thread.

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