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April 13, 2008

Book Recommendation for Digital SLR Cameras

Mallard Duck by Chantal ManseauAn interesting coincidence happened this weekend: two friends recently upgraded to digital SLR cameras, and both of them asked for recommendations on resources or books for learning how to use the features of their new cameras.

My friend Chantal emailed me saying:

I wanted to ask you about photography... How did you learn? Do you have a good book to recommend? I'm reading through the camera's manual and while it tells me how to use the camera, I need to learn about all the technical terms and how to actually make the best use of my camera. I went to the lake by my house last weekend and took amazing pictures using the portrait, macro, landscape, etc. pre-setting, but didn't adjust anything manually. Check out the green on the duck picture I've attached!

Let me know... thanks! Chantal
With my other friend, Karen, we had been talking about photography classes online. They are out there, but they tend to be expensive. So when I got Chantal's email this morning it made me think back over the books I have bought the last few years, and which ones have helped me most. So here is the one book from which I learned the most about using a digital SLR camera: The Better Photo Guide to Digital Photography by Jim Miotke.

Obviously, I haven't read every book out there on digital SLR photogrpahy, so there may be others that are just as good or even better, but of all the books I have read, this one by far taught me the most about using the manual settings on a digital SLR camera: how to use aperture settings, how to get depth-of-field in photos, good advice on composition and light. So that's my recommendation, and since two people came up with the same question within a matter of days of each other, I thought I'd share it with everyone.

Good luck Karen and Chantal, and be warned: photography can become a horrible addiction best pursued by people willing to cut off all social ties with friends, family, and society! Just kidding...I think.

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