Book Review – Photography by John Freeman

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If you are a beginner photographer looking for a good book that covers the basics, or an intermediate photographer looking to further improve your knowledge base, then I recommend Photography: The New Complete Guide to Taking Photographs by John Freeman.

This is actually one of the first books that I picked up when I was making the switch from my pretty basic point and shoot camera, to a digital SLR. It was written during a time when film photography was more prevalent, but the information and instructions translate easily to digital photography. The book is divided into four sections:

“Basic Techniques” covers everything from the different types of cameras (including film), an explanation of how lenses work, the differences between types of films and film speeds, how to properly hold a camera, explanations of aperture and shutter speed and how the effect photographs, the use of light and color, and the basics of photographic composition.

The section on “Photographing People” covers just that – techniques for photographing people as your subject. Among many other topics, this section covers head shots, full length portraits, group portraits, lighting, backgrounds, weddings, families, children, candid photography, studio photography, different lenses to use for portraiture, and the use of props.

The next section is titled “Travel Photography”. It covers photographic techniques for every season of the year, photographing at different times of the day, different types of landscapes (oceans, lakes, desert, etc.), photographing architecture and interiors, wildlife photography, and more.

The final section is titled “Advanced Techniques”, and this is where intermediate photographers can find a lot of useful information. This section covers such topics as advanced lenses and their uses, specialty photography such as sports, food, and night photography, producing digital composites, underwater and aerial photography, and the use of such accessories as filters and flashes.

The book is written clearly and provides many images as examples of the technique or topic being discussed. The size of the book makes it rather too large to use as a field guide, but when used as an educational tool or reference book, it will benefit any photographer wishing to improve their skills.

Photo credit – “Book by”, provided by Photos8 on Flickr Creative Commons.

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