Build a Better Photograph [New Book]

Michael Stern’s new book, Build a Better Photograph, has just been released by Rocky Nook through O’Reilly Media.  Build a Better Photograph focuses on the creative process of photography.  Stern has been a professional photographer for 30 years and has worked with Disney, Warner Brothers and Universal Studies among others.

Build a Better Photograph carries a retail price tag of $34.95; however, it can be found on Amazon.com for $23.07.

More details in the press release below. [Read more...]

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i/500D Companion

Ben Long’s new book, The Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i/500D Companion, has been announced.   It appears to be a new version in the series, of which I previously reviewed the Rebel XSi companion.  As such, this is probably a book worth having if you are struggling to find your way with your new Canon Rebel T1i.

While the book retails for about $25, you can find it on Amazon.com for $16.49. [Read more...]

Nikon D400 Book on Amazon.de

Amazon Germany has a listing for a Nikon D400 book that is a hardcover book and appears to be set for release in July 2009.  A search for the ISBN numbers noted on the product page reveals nothing more than forum posts and blog chatter about this particular listing on Amazon.de.

Here is the link to the product page while it’s still up (copy and paste into your browser):

http://www.amazon.de/Nikon-D400-Michael-Gradias/dp/382724482X/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1233763021&sr=11-1

The screen capture above is the actual page on Amazon.de.  The below screen capture is just and automated translation of the same.

While the Nikon D400 clearly remains a rumor for now, this adds a little fuel to the fire that’s been building for a few months.  If you recall, there was a similar “leak” of a book on Amazon.com for the Canon 5D Mark II prior to its release way back in May 2008. Remember this.  After the leak, the author issued a statement vehemently denying any legitimacy to the rumor.  We all know how that one turned out.

For the latest news and rumors on the D400, stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Nikon D400 page.

The Nikon Creative Lighting System by Mike Hagen

The Nikon Creative Lighting System is a new book from Mike Hagen which explores (you guessed it) the Nikon Creative Lighting System, or CLS, as we so affectionately call it. It retails for $34.95, but can be had for $23.07 at Amazon.com as of the time of this posting.  I’m sure all the Strobist gearheads will want to take a closer look a this on.

More details in the press release below. [Read more...]

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS/1000D Companion

O’Reilly has just announced the release of their Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS/1000D Companion. It’s $24.99 and, as the title implies, covers the functionality of the Canon Rebel XS.  I recently published a review of the Rebel XSi version of this book (also by Ben Long) and was generally impressed with the content.  I can’t imagine that the Rebel XS version will be much different in terms of quality.  So, if you’re picking up the Rebel XS, this would probably be a good book to grab with it.  Details in the press release below.  It’s available for pre-order at Amazon.com for $16.49.

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS/1000D Companion–New from O’Reilly

Packed with Practical Advice You Can Take Anywhere

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS/1000D Companion Sebastopol, CA—If you’re thinking about investing in a new Canon Rebel camera, you’ll definitely want to check out the latest books from O’Reilly’s popular Companion series.

Noted photographer Ben Long’s The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS 1000D Companion ($24.99) serves as a full-on photography class built specifically around the XS. Ben also authored The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion ($24.99), which is tailored specifically for people who use that camera. [Read more...]

New Book Catalogs Sakamaki’s Early Work

Tompkins Square ParkQ. Sakamaki’s reputation as a photographer is based on his documentary skills: he has photographed conflict and suffering the world over. He has documented the painful lives of sex workers in Bangladesh and the destruction of the Liberian civil war.

But Sakamaki’s new book, Tompkins Square Park, is an exploration of Sakamaki’s roots — his work before global conflict. The images in Tompkins Square Park, are older, dating from the years when Sakamaki was first settling in New York City after leaving Japan and a career in advertising. Sakamaki moved to the East Village in 1986, living among and photographing the abandoned and decaying buildings of the area. Those photographs now comprise Tompkins Square Park.

The photographs have subtle touches of hope among the poverty of the area. The book is full of images of protestors and others working to improve that desperate time in the East Village

Arizona Highways Photography Guide Review

The Arizona Highways Photography Guide: How & Where to Make Great Photographs (“The Guide“) is a new book from the editors and contributors of Arizona Highways.

“We’ve been working on this guidebook for several years and it includes insights and photographic experiences from top photographers including Pulitzer-prize-winner Jack Dykinga,” said Jeff Kida, Arizona Highways photography editor. “We’ve structured the guide in such a way that people can read the book at their leisure or use it as reference when in the field.”

What It’s About

The Guide is divided up into three main sections: (1) The Basics, (2) Types of Photography, and (3) Places for Photography.  While the book benefits from cameras and pens of a number of authors and photographers, it suffers from this collaboration as well.  The Guide tries to do too much.  I never got into the “flow” while reading The Guide.  You know what the “flow” is right?  When you’re reading a book that you just can’t put down or working on something that you can’t stop for a break.  Time passes so fast . . . you’re in the zone, the flow, etc.

There’s some good info in The Basics section; however, there is also too much info.  At first, I thought the book was geared toward complete beginners that had never touched a digital camera before because of the elementary discussions that define sensors, pixels and LCD screens. However, after turning a few more pages, The Guide delves too deep into sensor sizes, ISOs and other, more advanced concepts without an appropriate transition.  Unfortunately, it just didn’t come together.

Jump to page 66, Exposure, in The Basics section and The Guide starts to pick up quality, pace and consistency.  Given the tone of the rest of the book, this is where it should have started.  If you are looking to learn more about creatively using your camera, then the rest of the book does a pretty good job of pushing your knowledge and expectations to the next level.  Particularly, the chapters on Light and Composition offer an excellent discussion of these concepts.

The section on Types of Photography continues on the foundations laid out in The Basics section.  Again, you get the insights from several different photographers with a variety writing styles and photographic examples.  For the most part, the Types of Photography section does a good job of introducing and offering tips for the different topics covered.

Arizona Here I Come

The Places for Photography sections is really what makes the book worthwhile.  The rest of the book just feels like an introduction (or, perhaps, filler) for the Places for Photography section.  Reading some of the photographers’ experiences of shooting in a variety of Arizona locations really makes me want to go there and take some photos.  The stories of shooting the Grand Canyon are really inspiring.

I never really thought about the lengths that some of the landscape and wildlife photographers go through in order to get “the shot.”  Kudos to you guys!  Hiking pre-dawn for several consecutive days for just the right light in the perfect sunrise or sunset?  Long hikes for miles upon miles to get a shot of some place that no one has photographed (or “successfully” photographed) before?  I’m glad somebody gets those shots. If this kind of stuff floats your boat, then you’ll dig the Places for Photography section of The Guide.  Note, you’ll also find some of these great stories in the Types of Photography section.

Where It Falls Short

The Places for Photography section is the best part of the book and, unfortunately, there’s just not enough of it in The Guide.  As I said before, I never got to the point while reading the book that I just couldn’t put it down.  Sadly, there were some parts that I just had to force myself through.  I just think that the book tries to do more than it should.  Most of The Basics section could be skipped over . . . unless you need to know things like what an LCD is.

When I read what I consider the meat of the book (Places for Photography), The Basics section seems very unfitting for The Guide.  These are two polar opposite audiences. Someone who is hiking to the middle of nowhere to get one great photograph does not need the primer on photography that The Basics sections tries to give.

Conclusion

The photos throughout The Guide are phenomenal.  Arizona is truly depicted as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  I think The Guide could have been a great coffee table book.  Unfortunately, it’s physical size is too small.  I would have loved to see some larger photos in a big hardback.

Likewise, if Arizona Highways Photography Guide had just sought to be what the title implies, it could have been a great book.  Unfortunately, the meandering range of topics that speak to a variety of audiences will likely bore many advanced photographers and stupify beginners.  For me, The Guide had some great potential, but simply missed the mark by trying to do too much.

In sum, I certainly learned a few things in reading this book.  If you’re heading to Arizona or are interested in the photography of Arizona Highways’ contributors, then you should pick up a copy.  For the price, it’s also worthwhile to read some cool stories from veteran photographers that have battled the Grand Canyon on long hikes and raging rapids.  If you need a book to help you develop your skills as an amateur photographer, skip this one and pick up Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson instead.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of  Arizona Highways Photography Guide, you can find it at Arizona Highways or Amazon.com.