I don't have the time or energy to explain all the basics to a beginner who will be taking a job as photographer in a camp this summer. I learned almost all of my knowledge from trial and error and speaking to other photographers. Therefore I don't know of these beginner books that will get this person to take decent shots. Something that covers basic lighting arrangements (nothing too fancy) and how to look for a properly exposed picture and understand what makes a picture perfect. Any suggestions?
I would recommend Henry Horenstein and Russell Hart's text: "Photography" (revised edition). I've used Horenstein's textbooks for many of my beginner photo classes and he offers good information on everything from composition to lighting to film/print development. The most recent versions also have chapters devoted to digital. Hope this helps, and good luck with your photographic adventures. -Kristin Gleason
Well thanks for the tip. I must say though, that this is one expensive book. (not that I'm not used to expensive when it comes to photography :) I'm wondering if this is the standard price that you got them for also ($100)? thanks again, alterraid
Unfortunately it is a little pricier book, but in my opinion, it's well worth it. It's over 400 pages and combines a lot of the info from some of his smaller (and cheaper) texts (black and white photo, color photo, beyond basics) and explains some of the more complex topics in easy to understand ways. It's also well illustrated.
It starts with a chapter reviewing the history of photo, then goes into loading your camera, the types of cameras, focusing (manual and af), types/uses of lenses, making a pinhole, aperture and depth of field, shutter speed and motion, tripods and accessories, choosing film, reciprocity failure, exposure basics (including bracketing, exposure modes, pushing and pulling), camera filters, flash, fill flash and studio lighting, b+w film processing, color film processing, slide film processing, black and white printing, color printing, spot toning, matting, mounting, image permanence, darkroom manipulations and alternative processing, and finishes with digital imaging, color management, and the internet. I don't think it covers subject choice all that well; it's much more of a technical primer, but hopefully some of those choices are already innate for your new photographer.
I think $100 is usually par for this book, but you could buy a used version if you are looking to save a little cash. Honestly, I received my copy when the publisher was promoting it, but I'm sold and I think my students have found it useful. I hope this helps and let me know if I can assist any further. Happy shooting!
I appreciate your help. Also, I would like to know if you know or reviewed any Scott Kelby's books. I had been eyeing his work since it had such good ratings. I was wondering if you had any input or experience with teaching from them. Thanks
I'm sorry, but I can't help you there. I've never used Kelby's books, so I don't really have any input to give you. For digital primers, I'm a fan of the visual quickstart series; they give you tons of detail on software (I've used them for a few versions of Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and Dreamweaver) with screen shots so you can follow along. But again, it's all technical and on the software side - no composition, capturing the digital image, lighting etc... Kelby's books seem reasonably priced. If you do purchase one, let me know what you think!
Kelby's books are excellent and accessible. They have been a tremendous help to me and I recommend them unreservedly. I'm waiting for "The Digital Photography Book: Volume 3". Volumes 1 and 2 are the absolute best!