Books

No. Book Name Author
1 The Fundamentals of Creative Photography David Präkel
2 Lonely Planet Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures (How to) Richard I’anson
3 Digital Photography Masterclass Tom Ang
4 Digital Masters: Travel Photography Bob Krist
5 Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every Time Catherine Jaimeson and Sean McCormick
6 The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos Michael Freeman
7 Black and White Digital Photography Photo Workshop Chris Bucher
8 Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots DVD John Batdroff
9 Larry Bartlett’s Black and White Photographic Printing Works Jon Tarrant
10 Successful Self-Promotion for Photographers Elyse Weissberg

7. Black and White Digital Photography by Chris Bucher

Now that the course has taken a new turn and discusses the topic of Black and White photography, I thought it would be appropriate to do bit of reading on the subject. I bought a book through Amazon (had good reviews). I have finished reading the first three chapters. I found the information very basic, till now I have learnt anything new from this book. I feel this book is quite a good read for someone who is just starting with photography and wants to acquire some knowledge.

Of course going through the book has surely refreshed my memory. I am just hoping that remaining chapters will have something for me. Initial chapters surely addresses the topics like:

    • Why black and white
    • Visualizing in monochrome
    • When should you use B & W

However the author has not given in-depth explanation on the topics. I will post my new observations on the book here, once I process a bit more.

8. Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots DVD by John Batdroff

I have to admit that the audio version of the book is quite impressive. I am a very visual person, if I am reading something I will have to read it twice to grasp all the info in that paragraph, so it ends up being time consuming. Hence, seeing the same book in the DVD format was a pleasant welcome. In the beginning the DVD starts with the very basic stuff, like which camera kit to use, setting the correct exposure, setting the ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, white balance and the workflow in Lightroom etc. Hence the first few chapters can get bit boring for an advance user. I decided to watch all the chapters, I thought I might be able to pick up some essential basics (now after watching I can say, I could have easily skipped them). The author has also given assignments at the end of each chapter.

Note: This is an excellent DVD for someone who is just starting with DPP. It actually covers the topic of workflow, histogram, colour channels etc. in very easy to understand way.

For me, the chapter 4 and Chapter 5 were the most interesting part. I have been using Lightroom for almost 3 years now. However, there are many useful tips I got from John Batdroff. I have used the trial version of the Silver Pro Efex in the past and knew that it is one of the most useful add-ons to the Lightroom. However, seeing the efficient uses of it in B & W photography has convinced me to buy it. Digital processing plays an essential role in distinguishing your photographs. Off late the processing softwares are complex, and Batdorff has done a good job in explaining them by using some of his own work as examples. His explanation is to the point, and he has used very simple language.

I feel “Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots” is a great DVD for avid amateurs. If you understand the fundamentals and now want to improve on it, then this DVD is for you.

9. Larry Bartlett’s Black and White Photographic Printing Works

I am reading this interesting book on B & W printing. Though the methods mentioned in the book are for the film printing, what I found interesting is the process and the approach to achieve some really high quality prints. It is a fact that compared to earlier times now processing images have become very simple and economical. Hence, everyone tries his or her hands on it. Irony is many amateurs as well as some professional photographers use post-process to a such extent where the photographs start looking unnatural or at times completely loses their charm. This book explains why correct processing is so important. The illustrations about the exposure points are excellent. I also feel the dodging and burning techniques have been explained beautifully. The way the author has explained the process is unique and in-depth. For example, the explanation on the photograph of Mother Teresa, Pub window, Sheep walking really helps you to understand the methods used (the book is full of such examples). After my holidays, I am definitely borrowing this book again from the library. I will try to translate the techniques mentioned to suite the digital processing. I am sure following this book can improve post processing and subsequently printing skills.

10. Successful Self Promotion for Photographers

Before starting my work on the final project, I wanted to brush up my ideas and knowledge on portfolio building. I resorted to the book that I own for quite some time now; it has a full section on portfolio building that is quite interesting. . Elyse Weissberg has explained many of the market dos and don’t through her own examples. In this book, she shows how she commanded a position and respect in the industry. The book has some good insight on creating a marketing plan, at the same time it also emphasis on critically analyzing your portfolio. She pushes you to be critical of your work and work ethic.

The book is oriented more toward the advertising and print media. I also felt the book is bit out dated and the Internet marketing that is so important nowadays has been addressed very briefly. However, there are many tips that can be adapted in any type of photography. I would be coming back to refer to this book from time to time. I am still looking for more detailed reference book (in the similar lines), which is written with keeping more recent marketing strategies in mind.

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