Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Get Started with Photography Books

July 14, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for July 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Digital SLR Handbook, by John Freeman

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Excerpt: How to Photograph Dogs and Cats Together

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

Excerpt: The Importance of Exposure

The Art of People Photography

Excerpt: Posing Basics

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Posing Basics

June 30, 2009

Photo © Copyright Michael Van Auken

The text and photo in this article are excerpted from The Art of People Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Copyright © 2007 by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “The Art of People Photography“.

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Posing Basics

Position your subjects so that they create pyramid shapes or triangles. Put people in small clusters. Stay away from the firing-squad approach (everyone standing straight in a row). And, don’t be afraid to leave a little space between your subjects.

If any of the subjects are to be seated, the art of communication is critical; you’re not just a photographer any longer, you’ve graduated to director. You want to make sure your subjects don’t sit flat on their backside. Instead, have them turn or shift so that they sit on their bottom thigh (more on their side than on their bottom) and have them lean forward, toward you, so that the majority of their weight is behind them.

If your subjects are standing, have them turn approximately 45 degrees away from the camera, separate their feet, and push their front hip away from you while turning the front foot toward the camera.

Remember, you can always break the rules, providing you understand them up front. For example, there may be times when you’re going to set up a “group hug” and create the infamous bunch-of-grapes pose, perfect for a message that screams “We love you, Grandma!”

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The text and photo in this article are excerpted from The Art of People Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Copyright © 2007 by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “The Art of People Photography“.

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Before you buy The Art of People Photography or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Get Started with Photography Books

June 16, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for June 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Digital SLR Handbook, by John Freeman

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Digital SLR Handbook, by John Freeman

June 2, 2009

If you’re new to photography or just enjoy learning all you can about photography, then Digital SLR Handbook by John Freeman is for you. The book is helpful even if you don’t have a DSLR (digital SLR), although all of the tips are written for DSLR users.

Digital SLR Handbook is 256 pages long and in a small page format, but it’s packed with information. There isn’t an extensive amount of detail for each topic, but John Freeman manages to cover an impressive number of photography topics and tips in a relatively short book. Of all of the photography books I’ve written about, this one manages to cover the widest range of photography topics in a single book.

In the beginning of the book, John Freeman discusses photography hardware, including DSLRs and how they work, lenses, sensor sizes, and accessories. Later, he writes about “seeing the picture”, including depth of field, foregrounds, backgrounds, perspectives, and composition. The rest of Digital SLR Handbook covers a wide variety of topics that you may be interested in photographing such as landscapes, nature, people, architecture, still life, and action, and John Freeman covers all of these from the perspective of using your digital SLR.

The text and photos in Digital SLR Handbook are sufficiently large and the book is well laid out. Granted, the book was released about 18 months ago, but photography concepts and topics have not evolved since then, so the book is still current. Of course, there’s newer DSLRs available than what’s covered in the book, but DSLRs seem to have a longer technology lifespan than compact point-and-shoots. Also, the target audience of this book will generally be just starting out with photography and won’t need the latest and greatest equipment; it’s best to start with established, well-known, and often less-expensive older photography equipment.

Digital SLR Handbook costs less than $15 on Amazon.com and is a valuable addition to your photography library if you’re starting out or just enjoy reading all you can about photography. As of today, the book only has 3 reviews on Amazon.com, but each reviewer seems to really like the book and gave it either 4 or 5 stars.

Digital SLR Handbook is published by Amphoto Books, which also publishes Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson, another highly recommended book. Here’s a list of other photography books I’ve written about in the Photobird Daily:

Enter the Photobird Photo Contest for your chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card which you can use to buy these books or anything on Amazon.com!

Before you buy Digital SLR Handbook or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Get Started with Photography Books

May 19, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for May 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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How to Photograph Dogs and Cats Together

May 5, 2009

Photo © Copyright Kim Levin

The text and photo in this article are excerpted from PhoDOGraphy: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog by Kim Levin. Copyright © 2008 by Kim Levin. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book and 10 pet portrait tips, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin“.

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Dogs and Cats

Tip: When photographing dogs and cats together, it’s best to get the cat comfortable first and then bring the dog into the picture.

It was inevitable that I would eventually photograph cats. In my experience, cats are more difficult to shoot than dogs primarily because of their independent nature. They don’t particularly care if you call their name or squeak a toy. Therefore, I had to develop a whole new approach when I began taking pictures of cats.

You have to approach a cat on its own terms. I have never had much luck placing a cat in a particular area and trying to take its portrait. Rather, I ask the owner where the cat’s favorite spot is in the house. Usually it is on a bed or a windowsill where the sunlight is strong. Adding a dog into this mix is not easy, but if the dog and cat like each other, it is possible to take a unique and funny portrait. In most cases, it’s best to wait until the cat is comfortable and then bring the dog to it.

The technique I have developed for photographing dogs and cats together is the “wait and see what happens” approach. I have learned that no matter how hard you try, you can’t force a cat and dog to sit together.

The portrait “Nina and Kitten” (above) is a good example of what can result if you observe the interaction between a dog and cat and document their relationship as it unfolds before your eyes. Nina, the German shepherd, and her family were fostering a litter of kittens. The kitten wasn’t scared of the big dog, and Nina was fascinated by her. I positioned Nina on the sofa and put the kitten between her paws. Nina was gentle and loving with the kitten. I took this portrait with my Nikon D200 and a wide-angle lens, utilizing available light from a large window.

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The text and photo in this article are excerpted from PhoDOGraphy: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog by Kim Levin. Copyright © 2008 by Kim Levin. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

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Before you buy PhoDOGraphy or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Get Started with Photography Books

April 21, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for April 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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The Importance of Exposure

March 24, 2009

Photo © Copyright Bryan Peterson

The text and photos in this article are excerpted from Understanding Exposure Revised Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera by Bryan Peterson. Copyright © 2004 by Bryan Peterson. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

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The Importance of Light: The Importance of Exposure

“What should my exposure be?” is, as I’ve already said, an often-heard question from my students. And, again as I stated earlier, my frequent reply — although it may at first appearing flippant — is simply, “Your exposure should be correct, creatively correct that is!” As I’ve discussed in countless workshops and on-line photo courses, achieving a creatively correct exposure is paramount to a photographer’s ability to be consistent. It’s always the first priority of every successful photographer to determine what kind of exposure opportunity he or she is facing: one that requires great depth of field or shallow depth of field, or one that requires freezing the action, implying motion, or panning. Once this has been determined, the real question isn’t “What should my exposure be?” but “From where do I take my meter reading?

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Photobird’s Simple Guide to Great Photos

March 11, 2009

“Laguna Beach, Ca. 1” © Copyright David Cresine

Introducing Photobird’s Simple Guide to Great Photos. You can find this quick guide in the side column on the Photobird Daily front page.

It’s simple really:

1. Composition Is Key.

I wrote the following in the Photobird Daily article “Composition Is Key“:

“Composition is the key element for great photos. If everything else with your photo is not correct — such as bad color, poor lighting, image noise, and imperfect subjects — but your photo is well composed, you can usually fix the other things and still come out with a good photo. If the composition isn’t perfect right out of the camera, you can often crop the photo to get the desired composition, but you must start off with a reasonably well-composed photo.”

In the article, you’ll find links to nearly two dozen helpful articles that have appeared in the Photobird Daily that can help you learn more about composition, or refresh your skills if you’re a professional.

2. Read Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson.

Understanding Exposure gets a lot of attention here in the Photobird Daily because it’s a great photography book; it’s helpful for beginners as well as experienced photographers. I wrote about the book at this link here.

Another good book for beginners is Photographer’s Exposure Handbook. For a list of more great books, for both beginners and advanced photographers, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “Get Started With Photography Books“.

Of course, the books are available on Amazon.com. And if you win the Photobird Photo Contest, you can use your $50 Amazon.com gift card to buy photography books, memory cards, or anything else on Amazon.com.

3. Share your photos on Photobird.com.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. Here are just a few reasons why you should share your photos on Photobird.com:

But don’t take my word for it. Take our Quick Tour and see what people are saying!

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Get Started With Photography Books

March 10, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, including by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you win the Photobird Photo Contest for March 2009, you can use your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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