Finding Inspiration (Part 3)

posted on 7th of september, 2007

Yes, I'm also getting into the habit of article series... But don't worry, this is the last one of this series. So, push the attention button and read on!

Books are inspirational! Even when they're on photography... Or better said - especially when they're on photography! :)

In first grade I had a very loving and caring old man as my class teacher. One of the few things I still remember from his lessons is his phrase "Read books - they are like a window through which you can see the whole world!" Now I know that you can see even further! Yes, you can find a lot of info on the Net, it's free and all that... But to me it still can't come even close to a book. So, this is why I'm writing to you that if you really want to invest in improving your photography skills and technical understanding of that stuff - you won't get far without paying a visit to a quality bookstore.

Why buy books on photography? In brief: they are carefully prepared, edited multiple times, have high quality examples (well, the majority do; exceptions are present), offer you the ability to highlight and underline... :D You better know what the last two things are! :P And the vast majority of them are written by skilled professionals.

Perhaps the most important lesson you can get out of any book is: never believe that you're too good to learn more! Ever! Just as with anything you read - photography books also need to be approached with a humble attitude and desire for further development. You either learn or show off. Both don't really go together. So, that's how you need to start with the book.

But before you start with the book you'll need a book, right? There have been various posts on the blogs concerning reading materials. Dreamstime offers you a starter list of some good books in the Utilities section - here. They're all available on Amazon, so you don't really have an excuse for those. If you're still confused - just pick any, for crying out loud! You won't stay disappointed, plus you'll have to start from somewhere. :)

Now, what actually got me started on this article is one particular book on landscape photography, which I got on Amazon just because I had a coupon and had to use it. I got two books, but that's the one I've read so far. In fact, it was so interesting that I read it in bed one night, in one sitting! First decided to read so I can sleep, but then I wanted to not sleep so I can read. And this is what I call a good book. The title is National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris. You can search for both on Google for further links and resources.

The book itself is a wonderful guide. If you expect a step-by-step "Shoot Breath-Taking Landscapes"-type of a thing you won't get it. And that's precisely what's good about it. It teaches you how to think and see photography. The doing is always an individual matter, which depends on other factors... But that's another article. Nearly all of the images are shot with film and the camera settings are given next to the image for reference. What I found particularly amazing about that book is that it is truly practical and understandable. It pays special attention to the various elements of the image, as well as how they interact with our brains so that we end up liking some and disliking others.

I couldn't possibly summarize the book for you - it's that good and concise! But I strongly recommend that you read it, whether you're into landscape photography or not. I personally bought it because I know that my landscape skills are miserable and I need to learn a lot. That book got me so much on fire for shooting landscape that I was sooo close to getting a new camera... But then it was good I didn't have the cache. :)

To me it's an incredibly valuable book. I'm sure it will also be for many of you, too! And remember - approach all books with a humble attitude and willingness to learn. Otherwise no book will make you happy.

Let me know what you think of it if you've read it or when you read it!

Comments (3)

Posted by Mcmorabad on January 01, 2009
Thank you for guiding to find inspiration.
Posted by Marcelmooij on September 10, 2007
Nice article Petar and thanks for using one of my images!
Posted by Pureradiancejennifer on September 10, 2007
Thanks so much for using one of my pictures in your blog, it means a lot.

This article has been read 1562 times.
Photo credits: Tatiana Morozova, Marcelmooij, Orientaly, Jennifer Russell, Craig Hanson, Antonio Oquias.

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