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04-13-2010, 09:26 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by casil403 Quote
I used the Scott Kelby "The Digital Photography Book" when I first started out....mostly because it was easy to read, basic and to the point (no heavy mumbjumbophotolingo ) and I could carry it around with me easily in my backpack or camera back as a handy reference.
I still bring it out and use it when I need a refresher.

The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3 by Scott Kelby | Photography, Books | Kelby Training
+1 on Kelby's books. Good info and easy to read.

04-13-2010, 09:30 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by krishna Quote
Infact, Pentax also should take some initative and bring some photography tutorial in the "Pentax Imaging" homepage.
The main Pentax site in Japan has several tutorials in English. Good resource that's not publicized enough.
04-13-2010, 09:45 AM   #18
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I agree with previous suggestions, especially about the Time-Life series, which I believe was turned into a single volume work. But, I'm going to recommend something in a different direction.

Freeman Patterson, a Canadian photographer and author, wrote several excellent books for beginners. The one I would start with is called Photography for the Joy of It. Why recommend this book, when it dates from the film era? Because it is mostly about exposure, ISO, aperture, and other topics that are applicable to digital, the writing is accessible, the perspective is the joy of photography versus the mechanics, he illustrates his points with his own photos, and he has some valuable hints and tricks. A book you will thoroughly enjoy reading, and you'll learn immensely at the same time. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down....
04-13-2010, 11:37 AM   #19
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I was just at a library book sale and picked up John Hedgecoe's The Art of Colour Photography. It's an old edition, copyright 1989, but it's got great information. Couldn't go wrong for $2!

04-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #20
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I'm not sold on the Understanding Exposure. It's okay, but I think most people can get those basic technical concepts with some experimentation and by reading a few articles on reputable web sites. Sometimes, I think his simple-explanation language does a disservice. Particularly, I think the language about an "exposure triangle" is unhelpful.

My favorite photographic author is Michael Freeman, who also happens to be an excellent photographer. Once you have those basics down, I highly recommend

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

and

Perfect Exposure: The Professional's Guide to Capturing Perfect Digital Photographs

The latter isn't quite in competition with Scott Kelby's "Understanding Exposure", although it's clearly titled and marketed in hopes of capturing some of those sales. It's more about developing a way of thinking about exposure for a wide variety of possible scenes and desired effects.

An earlier book, Mastering Color Digital Photography, is also excellent, but it's published by Lark Press and you have to get past their incredibly sloppy editing and questionable layout choices.

Last edited by mattdm; 04-14-2010 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Sorry, scott kelby. I got you mixed up.
04-13-2010, 08:56 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I'm not sold on the Scott Kelby books. They're okay, but I think most people can get those basic technical concepts with some experimentation and by reading a few articles on reputable web sites. Sometimes, I think his simple-explanation language does a disservice. Particularly, I think the language about an "exposure triangle" is unhelpful.

My favorite photographic author is Michael Freeman, who also happens to be an excellent photographer. Once you have those basics down, I highly recommend

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

and

Perfect Exposure: The Professional's Guide to Capturing Perfect Digital Photographs

The latter isn't quite in competition with Scott Kelby's "Understanding Exposure", although it's clearly titled and marketed in hopes of capturing some of those sales. It's more about developing a way of thinking about exposure for a wide variety of possible scenes and desired effects.

An earlier book, Mastering Color Digital Photography, is also excellent, but it's published by Lark Press and you have to get past their incredibly sloppy editing and questionable layout choices.
Are you mixing Scott Kelby and Brian Peterson? Peterson wrote "Understanding Exposure". I also don't remember Kelby discussing an exposure triangle in his book, but I could be mistaken. It's been a while since I read it. I think Peterson discussed it, though.
04-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #22
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I definitely reccommend the Scott Kelby books, they have lots of good stuff for beginners, as well as more advanced shooters to keep in mind. Also pretty photos with exif data.
04-14-2010, 06:26 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Are you mixing Scott Kelby and Brian Peterson? Peterson wrote "Understanding Exposure". I also don't remember Kelby discussing an exposure triangle in his book, but I could be mistaken. It's been a while since I read it. I think Peterson discussed it, though.
Oh wow, I totally am. I'll retract that.

04-14-2010, 07:24 AM   #24
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Ansel Adams books

I would say that reading Ansel Adams books on the print, negative, and the camera is a good starting point into understanding photography. I like film but I believe that the books can be easily be transitioned to digital.
04-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
The main Pentax site in Japan has several tutorials in English. Good resource that's not publicized enough.
I searched the Pentax site Japan and could not find the tutorials. Is it still available? If yes, can you please share us the link?

Thanks,
Krishna
04-15-2010, 01:25 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corbot Quote
I would say that reading Ansel Adams books on the print, negative, and the camera is a good starting point into understanding photography. I like film but I believe that the books can be easily be transitioned to digital.
Yes, Ansell Adams books are good reading for beginners too.

Another site for those beginning photography : Beginner's Guide to Photography - Photonhead.com

Cheers.
04-15-2010, 04:40 AM   #27
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I have to disagree with the Ansel Adams recommendation. A great photographer he was, but his books require enough basic understanding and have enough old equipment mixed in that I think they would be confusing for a beginning photographer.

Scott Kelby's books are good. Unfortunately, he tends to pick a subject and just tell you what settings he would use when shooting it. Therefore, you learn what settings to use for that particular scene, but not how to apply to other situations. Bryan Peterson does a better job of explaining underlying concepts that you can then use in all situations.

You didn't ask, but I think books on post processing with whatever software you use are as useful as photography books and there, Scott Kelby does shine. Remember that taking the photo is only the start -- you still need to do sharpening and burning and dodging, etc.
04-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #28
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A very good book I just found at the library is Digital Photography - Tricks of the Trade by Tim Gartside. It focuses mainly on software but explains in a way even I can understand easily. Highly recommended. I ordered a new copy from Amazon for $1.06 and $4 shipping.
I haven't even read through it all yet but it's already made a huge difference in the outcome of my pics. Shots I thought were lousy all of a sudden look great.
Check it out.
Tim
04-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I have to disagree with the Ansel Adams recommendation. A great photographer he was, but his books require enough basic understanding and have enough old equipment mixed in that I think they would be confusing for a beginning photographer.
Agreed. Ansel is not for digital beginners, and isn't really that accessible even for film work. I've recommended the Time-Life Library of Photography series, and I re-read them regularly. Not just for the text; they're filled with some of the greatest photos of all time, work that's a high standard of excellence.

But the book from my film days that I think has the most relevance despite technology changes, is for those who've digested the beginner's books. It's FIELD PHOTOGRAPHY: Beginning and Advanced Techniques, by Alfred A. Blaker (WH Freeman, 1976). It's a Scientific American book, for people doing technical and macro and micro work outside a studio. Absolutely outstanding book; I don't know if there's a newer edition. It's almost a constant companion.

Another I'd recommend for post-beginners is PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY: From Historic Technique to Digital Application, by Eric Renner (Focal Press, 4th ed, 2009). Even for those not fond of pinheads, er I mean pinholes, there's a wealth of information and amazing images here. Want to work with LARGE formats? Like the size of a delivery van, or boxcar, or jet hangar, or the VAB at Cape Canaveral? This is your guide.

And somewhere around here I have a book (but I can't find or name it, darn) about turning a room into a pinhole camera - a camera obscura, actually. Anyway, you black-out the room totally, hang a tight black canvas over the window and clear the opposite wall, and let the outside image project onto that wall. Set up your camera just outside the image cone, point it at the projected image, and take a LONG exposure. Pictures in the book are projections of the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Bldg, various cathedrals and bridges etc, all taken from rooms overlooking the sites. Sure wish I could find it... But I digress.

I'm glancing at the Peterson UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE and it seems like a decent introduction. At least Peterson sticks to cameras, not PP. Too many of the digital beginner's books delve too deeply into shooping to fix your errors, IMHO. After you know how to work the camera, THEN you can worry about shooping.

(Who am I kidding? Shoot and shoop, shoot and shoop, that's how it goes.)
04-17-2010, 03:21 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by krishna Quote
I searched the Pentax site Japan and could not find the tutorials. Is it still available? If yes, can you please share us the link?

Thanks,
Krishna
To quote Bones from Star Trek, "He's dead, Jim".

You're right. I just checked and that site is gone. It was called "Digiichi" (don't know what that means). It had good basic tutorials in photography and I read them a few times when I got my first dSLR a few years ago. Seems like I saw the site up at least a year ago, and it had been there a while. I guess they finally ditched it. Too bad, as it was a nice thing to have.
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