Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Crafter's guide to Taking Great Photos - Book review

I know ironic, I took some really crappy photos of a book about taking great photos.  It was late at night I was in a rush, but the content is still the same.  I just didn't want to be hit with fines from the library.

So this books is a great little guide. If you have never done photography before. Even for me with my limited photography skills found a lot of it to be a boring read but also since I've worked visuals in several retail stores some of the set ups seemed very obvious. It is wonderful for a beginner though, explaining ISO, Shutter Speeds, Aperture, manual vs. auto focus. I think the way everything is explained is very clear and makes sense so it is an easy read. I also like that it tells the pro's and con's of each scenario even if it is something they would never recommend you using (like flash on a macro setting of a shiny jewelry).

The illustrations they use are also clear and helpful. They site a ton of examples of other people's work and their photography which makes it pleasant just to flip through. It is also a little distracting because you are seeing such great products and you forget to look at what makes up the photo and makes it so engaging where it shows off the product. I think that is a challenge either way because you want a great looking book with great looking content.

The chapters move fluidly through each phase so you can set up and follow their exercises along with it as you read through. I book marked a few new tricks I learned but personally it wasn't enough for me to want to buy the book and keep in my collection. I took my notes and put it on a list of books that I can easily borrow from the library. If you are a beginner I think this would make a great book to keep in your studio to help inspire and as a reference for when you just can't figure out why the shadows are so harsh or the photos are coming out too dark or yellow tinted.

Another thing that I liked about this book is that it also gives you some great DIY tips for making things the help with your photography.  I especially like this lightbox idea. There were also tips of making a photo box to put items into and take photos, diffusers for your flash (if you must use flash at all).

Overall it is a great book. It's just not a book that I need in my collection. If I had a friend or student starting out in etsy who was struggling with their photography I would  definitely suggest this to them or get it for them as a present. It would also make a good reference book for people who aren't aspiring or current photographers. If I gave it am amazon rating it would be a 5 Star.

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