At the end of every year, a lot of people reflect back and give their opinions as to what was the camera or other product of the year. I decided to take a look in the statistics I receive from Amazon.com to see the products that were hot with Photography Bay readers last year. Below you’ll find a list of the cameras, lenses and more that were the most popular items among PB readers in 2009. [Read more…]
Alexander White’s new book, Photographer’s Guide to the Leica D-Lux 4: Getting the Most from Leica’s Compact Digital Camera, is now available. Apparently, it sold out rather quickly on Amazon; however, it has some early praise from reviewers.
Before digging in the book, my initial concern was that it would be one of these books that just paraphrase manuals, and don’t provide any added value apart their weight of paper. Starting from the first chapter and on, I quickly realized that this wasn’t the case with this book. You can sense that the author is communicating with you his experience and enthusiasm about that camera, and photography in general. The book goes to the essential of each feature, and the author doesn’t forget to share a few tips and insights. -via Amazon reviews
The book carries a retail price of $19.95, but it can currently be had on Amazon.com for $13.46.
Alexander tells me that a new batch is already on its way to Amazon, so you can get in line at Amazon for the next shipment. If you just can’t wait, you can order the book directly from whiteknightpress.com for immmediate shipment.
In Genuine Men: Journeys in Stories and Stills, Nancy Bruno has done more than catalog the lives of a few men in pictures. Looking through her book, you immediately get a sense of the time she spent in selecting not only the photographs that make up this book, but also the men themselves.
The photographs making up Genuine Men are black-and-white portraits. Bruno’s experience as an architectural and interior design photographer is evident throughout: where some photographers would have focused more closely on the titular men, Bruno has brought in elements of their surroundings. That addition provides a context that a stricter approach to portraiture would have reduced.
The context is particulary necessary with this project. Without Bruno’s subtle hints — and not-so-subtle text — this project would be little more than pictures of men standing around. Perhaps interesting, but not so intriguing as the idea that each man that Bruno photographed was so carefully selected. Furthermore, not every image in this book is technically perfect. Small flaws, however, juxtapose the idea that these are normal, everyday men. More refined images, whether through technical ability or computer correction, would change the nature of the characterization we find in these photos.
Bruno’s Genuine Men project grew out of a portrait project she completed in 2006, Beautiful Women. Both projects focused on everyday people — no celebrities, but instead folks of all ages and backgrounds. With Beautiful Women, Bruno worked to convery a healthier image of feminine beauty. With Genuine Men, Bruno focused on role models with an element of finding men that her young sons can look up to.
Bruno’s medium of choice is black-and-white 35mm photography. While she has done extensive architectural and interior design photography, Bruno has made a career of documentary projects, starting in 1996 with an examination of Canadian life during the long winter.
The folks at the Complete Idiot’s Guides picked the right guy to cover Photography Essentials. Mark Jenkinson is a photographer of the first order, routinely shooting for big name magazines like Maxim, Time and Vogue.
You might think that Jenkinson would jump to advanced concepts based on his own work, but he’s done a wonderful job of putting together a beginner-to-intermediate manual for photographers. Even if you have a certain level of photography experience, this book will still have plenty to offer.
The table of contents reads like an exceptionally user-friendly textbook:
- Basic Equipment
- Rules & Conventions
- Photographing People
- Photographing Events
- Travel & Landscape Photography
- Still Life Photography
- Next Steps
The writing style mirrors that approach, without suffering from the condescension many photography textbooks seem to ooze. Instead, this guide is a friendly manual. An added bonus is that Jenkinson does not assume that every beginning photographer will have a bag full of expensive equipment. He offers practical advice that does not require spending a fortune.
Take light meters, for example: Jenkinson gives a great overview of the average metering options on an SLR. He also makes mention of handheld light meters, but doesn’t make them an integral part of his discussion of the subject.
There’s an added bonus with Photography Essentials. The book is full of beautiful color photography, illustrating Jenkinson’s points. It’s always easier to learn a photographic technique when you know the end result you’re aiming for. The photos in this book making it an excellent teaching tool.
Despite my own photography experience, I feel like I learned plenty from his tips on shooting in different types of light. I have a feeling I’ll be dragging this book out as an essential reference for quite a while to come. I’m also asking my photography professor from back in the day to replace his textbook with Jenkinson’s book — it’s a much better introduction overall.