Alex (yakshaver) wrote,

Photography books?

A friend mentioned the other day that she'd been thinking of taking a photography class or at least looking into a couple of books, which reminded me that I've had much the same thought kicking around the back of my head for a while now. When I was in college I was able to check-out an old-school manual Pentax for a term from the media center, and and a friend who was enthusiastic about photography to the point of evangelism taught me a few things. I played in the darkroom enough to be certain that I was not the least bit interested in that side of photography, which seemed in those days to be something you had to be into if you were going to be remotely serious. So I pretty much dropped it as a hobby, in spite of having made a few photographs people genuinely liked, including a candid portrait of a girl in my theater workshop that she used as her headshot and an available-light shot of a jazz guitarist performing in a small club that he asked to use for the cover of his first album. Both of those were the kind of picture I really enjoy taking: Capturing a person in a real, candid moment.

Fast-forward to the 21st century and cheap consumer digital cameras. It's possible now to be serious about photography without having to play with a chemistry set in a darkened room. As I know some of you are. So: What's a good guide? I should presumably learn something about different kinds of light; about filters; about composition. What else? If you had a bright 15 year old niece or nephew who'd just gotten a digital SLR and wanted to be serious about it, what book would you give them?
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