Top Photography Ebooks for 2012

Over the past twelve months, I’ve had the opportunity to read and review quite a few photography ebooks, previously at my personal website and then here at Splat Photo. As we wrap up 2012 I wanted to highlight a few that stood above the rest. In no particular order, they are:

Finding Focus by Nicole S. Young

I really enjoyed Finding Focus because it aims for a mid-level audience. The author assumes that you know camera basics, and moves into practical applications and results from the settings one chooses when making a photo. As I noted in my original review, you’ll learn:

  • How lens selection (and lens compression) affects both the camera’s focus and your viewer’s perception of a subject.
  • How that lens selection affects the appearance of a person’s face in a portrait (hint: the wrong lens can be quite unflattering).
  • How to make a star-shaped pattern when photographing lights in the dark.
  • What is back-button focus (and why should you care)?
  • What’s that “DOF Preview” button on the camera for?
  • What’s hyperfocal distance, and should I care even if I haven’t eaten too much sugar?

Slow by Andrew S. Gibson

I’ve been known to play around with long-exposure and slow shutter techniques, and I found that Slow does a great job of diving into a variety of slow shutter techniques including:

  • Panning
  • Long exposure night photograph
  • Intentional camera movement

You can learn more in my original review, including how Gibson views Slow not just as a shutter speed, but also a mindset for this type of photography.

Forget Mugshots by David duChemin

This book by Craft & Vision founder David duChemin is offered in the form of “Ten Steps to Better Portraits” but each one of those steps is several pages including what are probably some of the best exercises I’ve seen offered in a photography tutorial.

There’s a chapter devoted just to the smile, and one just for the eyes, and so on… each of these items plays a small portion in the portrait, but taken together they make or break the image. I was impressed with how each element was taken alone and then put together showing the overall effect on the resulting image. Read more in my original review.

Finding Focus - Nicole S. Young cover image from Slow Forget Mugshots - David duChemin
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Aaron Hockley is a photographer with tech background; he frequently mixes these things together and shares the results. He works as a photographer in Vancouver, Washington and frequently writes and speaks about current photography topics. Follow Aaron on Twitter: @ahockley or send him an email.