Posted by dap

Resources

Books

I’ve found the following books pretty helpful:

  • Get the Most from your Digital Camera by Simon Joinson. This book looks fluffy, but it was my first introduction to many concepts in photography and it does a terrific job covering them for a beginner.  Covers topics like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, how sensors work, composition, etc.
  • Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang.  This book is very dense and covers an incredible number of topics.  It’s almost like an encyclopedia in terms of breadth and organization: the chapters cover broad topics (cameras, lenses, lighting, the digital process, the film process, printing, etc.) and consist of two-page spreads on each major subtopic (e.g., wide lenses, telephoto lenses, macro lenses, tilt-shift lenses).  This is a great survey, but there’s not a lot of depth on each topic (e.g., a paragraph or two about lens hoods, which could probably use its own two-page spread). Additionally, some of the more technical concepts are not well explained.  I had a hard time following the explanation of how some of the auto-focus systems work. (But that’s okay, because the Mansurov’s blog explains focus modes very well in depth.)
  • City Walks: San Francisco by Christina Henry De Tessan.  This is a deck of a couple dozen cards describing walks in San Francisco.  I’ve found lots of new places following these walks (and still haven’t tried nearly all of them).
  • The Photographer’s Guide to San Francisco by Lee Foster.  I was hoping this book would be a great resource for finding good shooting sites, but I’ve been disappointed by the focus on tourist areas (which I love to shoot, but frankly are just not that hard to find on one’s own).  I haven’t finished the book, though, so I’m hoping there’s more good stuff inside.

I also subscribe to Popular Photography.

Web sites

  • The Mansurov’s blog.  This family photo blog has tons of useful technical information, advice, and recommendations.  I don’t always agree with them, but they definitely know what they’re talking about and there’s a lot of good stuff there.
  • LensRentals.com Blog. This blog has a lot of great articles on technique and equipment (not just trying to sell you stuff). My favorite is post on ultra-wide lenses, where the author really considers how wide lenses affect the appearance of photos.
  • Photosig.  An online photography critique site.  You submit your photos and get critiques on them.  The site’s rules are setup to encourage useful feedback (i.e. you have to give it to get it) so the quality of critiques is much better than most comments on the internet.
  • Improve Photography. This blog has a lot of interesting articles. Again, I don’t always agree with the author, but there’s definitely some thought-provoking content there.
  • Ken Rockwell’s site.  He’s very controversial among the online photography community, and I swear he’s got about a dozen lenses about which he says “it’s the only one I ever bring with me!”  So take it with a grain of salt, but it’s at least entertaining and often does have valuable insights.
  • My photo collection.  My own photos.