Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Books on Lightroom and Photography in General

I'm a huge book fanatic but books have become extremely expensive.  Being a bit of a bargain hunter, price and quality is a must and finding both in one package isn't always possible.  Below are books that I have, with the exception of LR5 and PSE 11.

The Samsung NX300 comes with Lightroom 4 and I went searching for a how to book on LR4, even though LR5 is currently out.

Martin Evening's book The Adobe Lightroom 4 Book is extremely detailed and quite a large reference book (around 681 pages).  It does read a bit like a textbook but for the price it's worth owning as far as I'm concerned as being a newbie means starting from scratch.  I have looked at other authors like Scott Kelby but his books are a bit over priced for me.  I do have his Photoshop Elements 10 book, which I will link to.

For those who have Lightroom 5, I'm also providing a link below.

Scott Kelby - The Photoshop Elements 10 Book for Digital Photographers.  Scott Kelby is good at what he does but at times I feel he is a little too jovial.  Some people will go for his way of teaching and others want a slightly more serious way.  It's all about opinion.  He does know what he is talking about and the PSE 10 book provides valuable information on working with your photos.

TAKE NOTE: Scott Kelby doesn't like to repeat himself in updated versions of his books so if you are looking for a book on PSE 10 from beginning to end, this book won't be it.  See this as more of an extension of information.  I'm a firm believer in having at least one fully detailed reference book that explains from start to finish and then adding on other books more based on technique.

I will include books on the later versions of the software as well.

Adobe's Photoshop Elements 10 Classroom in a book is pretty thorough but tends to lean more towards organising your photos (as they seem to have done in the past with previous versions).  A CD is included that contains the project photos and is fairly good starting point for anyone new to PSE.  The link to the Photoshop Elements 11 Classroom in a book is for an ebook.

As said above, I find Scott Kelby's books too expensive but there is one book/DVD combo I think is worth looking at.  The price is way overstated and I was lucky enough to get this for a bargain.  Here you are taught lighting techniques and shown behind the scenes of how a photo was taken.  The book is small, only 73 pages with a few blank pages (maybe for notes).  The DVD is of more importance.

Tom Ang is known for producing excellent books.  He has a slightly more intense and serious approach towards photography than Scott Kelby.  Don't get me wrong, both are the first authors people turn to when learning about photography.  However, I like Tom Ang's way a little more.

Tom Ang's Fundamentals of Modern Photography was reprinted in 2009 and includes information on both digital and film photography.  I did not find this an easy book to read and yet it's one my of favourite books.  Tom Ang discusses how a camera works as well as what photography is all about.  I consider it a must have for my reference books.  There are colour photos on practically every page including set up ideas.

Tom Ang - The Complete Photographer.  No matter how many books you read there isn't a single book out there that is in fact complete for any photographer.  The Complete Photographer does cover the popular photography styles and so on, but oddly enough seems to be missing a section on Food Photography.  I would have liked to have seen Food Photography at least given some interest so while this book claims to be "Complete" it isn't.  

If any book was "Complete" it would be massive but still, The Complete Photographer wouldn't have suffered by adding a few more pages dedicated to Food Photography.  Other than that, Travel, Fashion and Nude (yes nude), Architecture and other styles/subjects are covered nicely.  The book doesn't contain step by step instructions on how to take the photos mentioned and contains portfolios and behind the scenes of other photographers.  There is a massive amount of photos in this book with image analysis of photos, showing you what to look out for.

Small assignments are also added for the reader and while this is a book you would want to add to your collection, it's not what I would call a reference book.  I look to The Complete Photographer as an aid for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing.

DK Publishers are known for having photos on every page, making their books a visual experience.

Keep in mind, not one book on photography is perfect and each book contributes to a bigger picture.  I usually take a look at the reviews on book sites especially Amazon.com.  Pay close attention to the negatives as well as the positives as not everyone complaining is doing so just to complain.  It doesn't mean you should forget that specific book, it just helps to know what the good and bad is beforehand.

If you have any books you think are worth reading, please leave a comment below.  I always like to hear what others think :-D.

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