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Thread: A good photography book for beginners - and general advice

  1. #1

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    A good photography book for beginners - and general advice

    Hello,

    Beforehand, I apologize for such an "open question", but I'm really a newbie in this forum and in photography as well.
    My interest for photography is bright new, it has started this year, after I came back from a trip. I had bought a new camera - a Canon Sx20 - before traveling (actually, only one week before), but then when I came back I've realised that my travel wasn't very well documented as it should. Surely, if I had at least read carefully the user's guide, things would be better. Anyway, on the last weeks I have been spent a lot of time searching on lessons about photography, reading about it, looking more careful many types of photographs and trying to do some good shots. The matter is much more complex that I imagined. I do not intend to become a professional. My first goal at the moment is learn how to use my camera Canon SX20 - at maximum.

    Although I can read a lot of nice articles about photography on internet, as in this website, I'd like to purchase a book - you know, it's always good to have something real in your hands. As for my main subjects at the moment, they are the ordinary moments of life - group pictures, family's celebration and Rio de Janeiro, which gives me a variety of scenes (beach, hills, green areas, city itself).

    So, if any of you have a nice suggestion and any nice advice on what I should focus now - because there are so much to learn that I'm little lost.

    Thank you =)

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    1. Learn to See Creatively - By Bryan Peterson
    2. The Photographer’s Eye - Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos - By Michael Freeman
    3. The Practical Zone System - For Film and Digital Photography - By Chris Johnson

    Hello, I am also a newbie here. These are the 3 books that I am studying right now and I must say they did help me improve my amateur photography shots considerably. Books 1 and 2 would help you (like me) see the art in everyday stuff to shoot. Book 3 deals with having the "right" exposure to go with the shot you're taking. As they say 'the camera is just a light-gathering box, it is up to you to familiarize yourself with it so you can "see" the picture you have in your mind and capture it in your photographic work.'

    Good luck, and we're looking forward seeing your first photographic output here at CiC.

  3. #3

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    2 penny for the guess..

    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hi Pohled,

    Add Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

    Leo

  4. #4
    Camellia's Avatar
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hi

    I can recommend Scott Kelby's series of 3 books called The Digital Photography Book. Volume 1 covers everything you need to know for starters while volumes 2 and 3 go into more advanced subjects. They are written in a very readable style and the presentation is logical and easy to follow.

    Have fun!

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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hi, You can always try the idiots guide to photography you can find copies on Ebay very cheep also try away from the books go to YouTube there are a lot of short tutorials on there on every subject within photography and also this http://www.ephotozine.tv/ very good tutorials on it.

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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    +1 regarding Kelby's books. He presents the information in a logical (to me at least) and informative style. Kelby also authored several books on post-processing, especially with Photoshop.

    However, if you do a Google search with the parameters "Basic Digital Photography" you will glean a plethora of information on this subject.

    Additionally, the Photography Tutorials on this website are also excellent.

  7. #7
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    I second "Understanding Exposure."

  8. #8

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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hello,

    Thank you all for your advices. I'll see if I purchase one of them soon.
    But considering that at the moment I don't intend - and don't have money too =D - to improve my photography equipment, would you say that one of these books is better for "simple" cameras holders?

  9. #9
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hi Pohled (Real name?)

    I'd agree with all the above but for a total beginner I'd go with the Scott Kelby series. They're a handy addition to anybody's kit.

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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    But considering that at the moment I don't intend - and don't have money too =D - to improve my photography equipment, would you say that one of these books is better for "simple" cameras holders?
    I find this situation often in my students. I try to steer them away from the photography books at that stage of their growth. I, instead, start todding art books at them, dealing with composition, visuality, color tones and such. Not the ones on how to make lines on paper look like a representation of something, but on how the human mind perceives the world when viewed through two eyes, captured by one eye.

    Drop by any art supply house and you will find them in slim volumes for only a few dollars each. My volumes on composition and posing models seem to get the most wear.

    Pops

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    I try to steer them away from the photography books at that stage of their growth. I, instead, start todding art books at them, dealing with composition, visuality, color tones and such. Not the ones on how to make lines on paper look like a representation of something, but on how the human mind perceives the world when viewed through two eyes, captured by one eye.
    I had just posted my response in this thread and then came across this post. Like I inferred in my comment on your 'In conversation with ...' interview Pops, your ability and skills as a teacher just jump out of every post you make. This is the sort of advice and guidance that needs to be bottled and sold to aspiring photographers.

  12. #12

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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Hi,

    Thank you all again for your answers.

    off-topic: The Blue Boy, o, a Chelsea fan living in Manchester =P At least nowadays it is better than a Real fan living in Barcelona =). My real name is Jonathan (I've updated it now on profile). Pohled is the Czech word for 'look'.

    These suggestions on general arts are interesting too.
    I'll see what I can find on photography and general topics of visual arts.

  13. #13

    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    I really must get around to reading one of these photography books some day.

    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson as suggested above gets a lot of plugging on other forums. The tutorials on these forums are not a bad start.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I really must get around to reading one of these photography books some day.
    Why? You do not too bad as it is. Don't start learning out all that skill and ability that's already embedded in the brain cells and in the bloodstream.

  15. #15
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    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Pops suggestion is interesting and to be recommended. I still think that 'seeing' the photograph is the hardest part of photography, which is why I spend so much time looking at fashion magazines, coffee table books of images etc.
    So much can be learned from professional photographers' work, particularly composition and lighting.

  16. #16

    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    Pops suggestion is interesting and to be recommended. I still think that 'seeing' the photograph is the hardest part of photography, which is why I spend so much time looking at fashion magazines, coffee table books of images etc.
    So much can be learned from professional photographers' work, particularly composition and lighting.
    That makes me think, Mike. Before I picked up the camera, I got my image fix from magazines. We joked that I WAS addicted to them. Love them!!! I haven't really looked at a magazine for two months. Since, about the time...... that I joined here. Now, that you mention them, I miss them. What I'm thinking is that I will see them completely differently than I did two months ago.

  17. #17

    re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    I got my image fix from magazines.
    I was the same until fast broadband and private browsing came along

    Why? You do not too bad as it is. Don't start learning out all that skill and ability that's already embedded in the brain cells and in the bloodstream.
    Not sure about the skill and ability thing but I see your point. I might end up taking somebody else's photographs. "if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes" On the other hand I might start producing images of fluffy water and shiny rocks (aka How to make friends and influence people) and then I would have to jump off Blackpool tower in carpet slippers and stripey pyjamas

    which is why I spend so much time looking at fashion magazines
    Strange...that's my excuse too

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    Re: A good book for beginners - and general advice

    40 Digital Photography Techniques

    Digital Photography has truly reached the masses, and with this friendly, full-color guide new users can immediately start having fun with their digital cameras. It provides dozens of tips for taking better pictures and getting creative with digital photography at a remarkably affordable price. Topics covered include: composing good shots, playing with light, close-ups, self-portraits, action shots and event photography.
    YOUNGJIN.COM - O'REILLY

    Opamp Technical Books
    WWW.OPAMP.COM

  19. #19
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    Re: A good photography book for beginners - and general advice

    Understanding Exposure, Bryan Peterson, look out for possibly the worst hair style in the world though! This is a beginers essential and links to a great website. IMO

  20. #20

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    Re: A good photography book for beginners - and general advice

    I've gotta pipe in and say thank you for the heads up on the Scott Kelby books. I just picked up Vol 1 and it is simplistic in it's approach. Which works for me. I feel too, that this will help me to understand the theory of photography also.

    So again, thank you.

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