Friday, March 10, 2017

Latest books

All of these are photography related books, so if you're looking for my experience with the latest thriller, sorry.

In reading order.

Photographic Visions

The front cover caught my eye and I had to get it. This is one of the books with lots of photos to illustrate various topics, such as action, architecture, landscape, macro, and others. They are taken from, and have comments by the author about the photo. This was a bit annoying, actually. It's full of I did this, that, the other, and simply manipulated things in photoshop and there I was.

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of general information about producing better photos, it's about how they got this particular one. There are some good ideas, though. The one that struck me was visualizing the result you want, and figuring out how to get it. They might be by scouting the situation, looking at software tools to see where sunrise is, tweaking the lighting yourself, or knowing what can be done in post processing.

Zen and the Magic of Photography by Wayne Rowe

I was disappointed. It's more about the zen than the photography. I stopped reading when I tripped over this, "With practice, your eye will be intuitively and subconsciously drawn to the light, and the light will be drawn to your eye."

Rick Sammon's Creative Visualization for Photographers

This was worth the read. Lots of stuff I knew already but it never hurts to be reminded again. Lots that was either new to me, or a different way of thinking about it. Lots of ideas. I'll browse through it again before it goes back to the library.

Last and best, Fundamentals of Photo Composition by Paul R Comon

This one is the pick of the litter! The best part for me was about using the Fibonacci number sequence as a composition tool. That sounds hard, doesn't it? A number sequence. Math. Artistic photographer brain. Oops.

But it's easy! In Lightroom everybody sees the rule of thirds grid when they crop an image. But there's much more. You can get the triangles, the modified grid, the Fibonacci spiral, and a finer grained grid like what you see when you are correcting the tilt of the horizon. Who knew?

This photo is my best photo-painting so far, and it uses the Fibonacci series in two ways.

Firstly, the crop is 1.618 : 1.

Second, I've darkened the image too you can see the spiral. I only wish I could convince my camera to display that in the viewfinder window. One trick that was mentioned is putting the spiral on a transparent overlay on your viewfinder. Given there's 8 different orientations, I'm not sure how useful that would be.

I confess I hadn't thought of the spiral when I took the photo. At best I was thinking it was an illustration of depth of field, where I wanted the broken end of the tree to be tack sharp, and the background increasingly blurred.

Comon goes through the usual composition tools, but for whatever reason, the way he said it made more sense to me. Or maybe he had better examples. I'll be going through this and making notes before it goes back to the library.

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