Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 5 2010 digital photography books that caught my eye (and may ensure you don't end up with Christmas holiday photos like ours)

List by Tosca

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
- Norman Vincent Peale

Except terrible family holiday photos! I'm dead certain Christmas can't fix those :) There is a way, however to make sure that you don't take ones as bad as ours were. My sisters and I have spent the last few nights going over old photos laughing and remembering terrible haircuts and even worse clothes but, we've all agreed, fantastic Christmas holidays. In this post I've chosen 5 digital photography books (published 2010) whose great tips and ideas I intend to use over the next few days (that allow me to take photos that hopefully won't look as dated as the ones accompanying this post but in reality probably will). As a bonus I also think these titles have great covers, too (click on the links to view them in the catalogue). I never trust a skinny chef so I'm not about to trust a photography book with an ugly cover. For each selection I've also attached old photos from our past Christmas holidays - the good, the bad and the oh-dear-heavens-never-again. Don't feel guilty for laughing - that's what the images are here for. Enjoy!

Creative portraits : digital photography tips & techniques / Harold Davis
Go beyond the basic rules of photography to capture stunning portraits. Portrait photography is a vital topic for photographers of every level of experience, from amateur to professional. Written by renowned photographer Harold Davis, this inspirational book encourages you to define our own photographic style and capture stunning, creative, and unique portraits.You'll discover tips and techniques for "breaking the rules" of basic digital photography so that you can go beyond the fundamentals such as composition, lighting, and exposure in order to create memorable and incomparable portraits. Explores the most common subject of most photographers-people-and explains when, why, and how to forgo the fundamentals to capture memorable portraits. Encourages you to define your own unique photographic style and offers information and inspiration to help you do so Delves into a variety of creative techniques that you can use when exploring ways to take lively and stunning portraits. Illustrated with Harold David's striking portrait photography, Creative Portraits will both inform and inspire you.

Tosca's note: Christmas holidays at Hicks Bay on the East Coast, 1980. In this shot my dad (terrible 80s shorts and facial hair) and siblings are returning from the waterfall.

The complete guide to digital night & low-light photography / Tony Worobiec
Photographing at night or in poor lighting conditions presents a technical obstacle to the photographer but with the right technique can produce beautiful results. This title provides the technical advice for producing digital images in low light including advice on equipment choices and camera settings as well as the post-production techniques.

Tosca's note: Christmas holidays at our home in Petone, 1980 (prior to leaving for Hicks Bay to see gran and great gran). In this shot are 2 siblings (John in brown jersey and nappy, Jax on the red bike) with 3 cousins.

The genius of colour photography from the autochrome to the digital age / Pamela Roberts
In this stunning collection, Pam Roberts has gathered the finest examples of the art of colour photography.

Tosca's note: Front lawn of our home in Petone, 1979. Me with the red Alice band (I was forever in an Alice band) and, just behind me, a younger sibling. The young girl beside me is a neighbour's child and, to the side of her, is our dog Hondo (named for a Louis L'Amour book character). He went everywhere with us and if we went to the park he'd come too and line up for his turn on the slide as well.

David Busch's digital photography bucket list : 100 great digital photos you must take before you die / David D. Busch
In this 9x7.5" guide for professional and amateur digital photographers, 100 color photos by 44 professional and amateur members of the Cleveland Photographic Society offer inspiration for shooting in different genres: portraits, special events, photojournalism, nature, animals, fine arts, urban life, and special techniques. Each image is laid out in a two-page spread with information on how the picture was taken and advice on how to shoot in a similar situation or setting. Photographer Busch has written numerous photography guides. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Tosca's note: Christmas holidays on our back lawn in Petone, 1980. Myself and two siblings. Living in Petone and being a 10 minute walk from the foreshore means we virtually lived in our togs. I also remember sleepovers on the beach and a couple of Christmas days spent at the seaside (right beside Ngauranga Gorge) eating mussels cooked on a beach fire.

How to photograph absolutely everything / Tom Ang
The step-by-step instructions in this book show you how to approach a huge variety of photography subjects. Professional tips give you the skills you need to achieve successful pictures every time. Includes advice on cameras and other equipment, and how to use your computer to enhance your photos.

Tosca's note: Christmas in Petone, 1977. My sibling sneaking into the Christmas presents. She still does the same today and my brother-in-law has to go to extreme measures to hide her presents :)

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