Travails with my camera

2 Photography Books

Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs

I’ve recently finished reading a fantastic book called “Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs” by Henry Carroll.  I found the style really interesting.  Rather than the usual technical details of how a camera works, this book uses photographs from very famous photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank etc.) to examine the effects of camera settings, rules of composition, choice of exposure etc.  It concentrates on getting a great image in camera rather than the Photoshop obsession of many recent books.  This appeals to me as I grew up using film where the ability to retouch was limited (and I’m too cheap to pay for Photoshop and use open source alternatives instead ;-))

It is aimed at the technical novice and dogmatically stays away from the technical side of the subject (which is just as well, as the author does get the technical definition of telephoto wrong – but then so do all the other photographers I’ve met*).  It’s a brilliant book and , with the discount code, is a bargain for about £8.

Here is an example of the author discussing the effects of shutter speed on motion blur illustrated by an image from Ernst Haas.



Perfect Exposure


A second book I have received and dipped into recently is “Perfect Exposure” by Michael Freeman.  I got it as a free PDF using the method given on this page:

This book is far more technical than the first.  It’s not aimed at beginners as it discusses items like Ansel Adams’ zonal system and workflow charts to create perfectly exposed images.


It’s definitely worth a read – but start with the first book and build up.


*For reference, a telephoto lens is one in which the physical length is less than the focal length.  So you can get wide angle telephoto lenses.


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