My sweet wonderful friend Melissa
Who's really so much smarter than I am, but I'm not gonna let her live down her Madonna-wanna-be attire in highschool.
But I'm also not gonna press her too hard lest she bring up my unfortunate maroon hair incident of 1985. Melissa asked me a question on the Q&A post.
Melissa and I have had fun with cameras lately. She told me she got her first DSLR. I'm SO happy for her! And a little scared for her too, 'cause I know what a time sucking vortex a DSLR can be. A good time-sucking-vortex, but a huge time-sucker never-the-less.
Melissa asked me if had any books/reading material to recommend to help her improve her photography skills. Well, since it's not the potty training question that I'm actively avoiding, yes, I do have 3 wonderful sources to read. All have helped me immensely.
1---Understanding Exposure by Peterson (on Amazon used starting at about $15) This book is written in simple layman language and helped me think in terms of light and proper exposure as you click away. (Anyone remember the days when you had a roll of 24 or 36 if you were lucky and each click was savored! Oh, back in the stone age! Now we can just click away!) I wish this book was cheaper, but it really was worth the $15 and helped me "think" in terms of light and exposure... the very most important factor in making a good photograph.
2---Your camera manual. I can see your eyes rolling already, Melissa! But yes, the plain ol' camera manual. Get it out. Read it. All of it. Really. It will be very boring, so bring chocolate. But read it. It won't take that long, and you really will learn and will thusly take better photos. Then in about 2 months get it out and read it again. You can thank me later.
3---Do some blog surfing and find some photographers who's images you really like, i.e. you'd like to take pictures like they do some day when you grow up. Follow their blogs and watch the images they share. Find 3-4 different photographers and just watch what they do. Then try to copy a photo/style that you like. It's a little intimidating at first, but after a while it's fun and gives me a reason to take my camera out and take pictures, thus avoiding the laundry a little longer. Find your own favorite blogs, but to get you going these are the blogs that I'm following now and really admire their talent.
- Tara Whitney-She's my all time favorite photographer. I love the imperfection of her style. I love her lack of over-processing. I love the sweet light of the beach at dusk. I love the way everyone is having so much fun in her images. She is who really big accomplished photographers go to to get their photograph taken. I dream of one day having her shoot pics of my family.
- Simplicity Photography-I love her sense of fashion and and how every single one of her models looks like a super model. I love her back drops and her big, full, vibrant, post processing. I dream of one day having her shoot pics of my family.
- Christi Nelson- Her use of a wide-angle lens inspires me! Her wedding and engagement images just holler love then hit you over the head with it. She is incredibly versatile, and she is able to capture the pure joy from within a soul and put in on paper. I dream of one day having her shoot pics of my family.
- Audrey Wollard- She is an absolutely magical children's portrait photographer. I have no idea how she is able to capture the skin tones and light and eyes the way she does, but it hasn't stopped me from trying to copy her. I've never come close, but I'm still trying. I dream of one day having her shoot pics of my family.
OK, Melissa, and you fellow photography geeks... next, according to the Q&A, we'll move on to photography post-processing. You know, Photoshop, Lightroom, Picnik and what not...
Let me know how the photography is going!