Advanced photo books?

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  • 08-06-2004, 10:04 AM
    Gabe
    Advanced photo books?
    I was thinking of going to art school to open up my head some more, creatively speaking, but I've never taken a photo class in my life and would like to keep it that way ;) I learned through photo books (have a library of over 100; read 'em all) but sometimes I think I've read every one on the market.

    Anyone got some titles they want to share? Advanced stuff on working with models, thinking creatively, shooting unique commercial shots that stand out, etc. I found a couple of titles on Amazon, on outdoor lighting for fashion photography, and a glamour workshop retold in book format, but would like something more (also got a couple of monographs, SofaSexy by Rankin and Blonde, various shooters; over $70 total, lol).

    Anything else? They don't even have to be on photography, could be on another graphic art but relative to shooting in some way. TIA
  • 08-06-2004, 10:53 AM
    megan
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    I was thinking of going to art school to open up my head some more, creatively speaking, but I've never taken a photo class in my life and would like to keep it that way ;)

    Why?

    <clears throat, gingerly steps up on the soapbox>

    Photo classes teach you more than just technical stuff that can be found in books. It's as much about the class dynamic as it is technique. If you take a photo class, first, you'll be surrounded by people who love photography or are at least interested in it. Second, each one of these people will be interested in different aspects of photography. You'll learn from each other. Chances are, you'll have critiques. You all will put up your photos and talk about them. Each person will bring a unique background, and will offer differing opinions and responses to your photographs. Like the photocritique forum, except live people in the same room at the same time, brainstorming together. All this will expose you to new ideas, learn what works and what doesn't, see things from different perspectives, and ultimately, inspire you to grow in leaps and bounds with your photography. More than that, once the class is over and you all go on to apply your skills outside the confines of a class, you'll have a whole new set of important contacts. So - why would you want to deprive yourself of such a great experience?! Why the aversion to a photography class? One can always make the time if they *really want to*.

    Thanks for listening!

    <curtsies pertly, steps down from soapbox> :)

    Megan
  • 08-06-2004, 11:21 AM
    Gabe
    All good points =)
    ... But there are two reasons why I don't like photo classes: first, many instructors want you to shoot their way, and I already have mine.. still in development, maybe (shouldn't it always be evolving?), but not about to be changed just to please someone else. I'm open to new concepts (hence the books) but not from just one person.

    Second, it might have to do a little with pride. I'm self-taught. No one ever told me how to do any of this, I just read it, tried it, eventually started getting it right. Why change that now? Well, if I can't seem to push myself to the next level with just a little help from some books, then maybe I should reconsider. I want to try it this way first, though.

    As for hanging around other photographers, uhhhh ... I dunno. Most that I've met down here are a pretty boring bunch, lol. Always talking tech (f-stop this and guide number that) and gizmos (14.900002 megapixels, you know!) and never about the photos themselves. I got into photography to capture moments, not prove my prowess with a box full of buttons. I can find like-minded people on the Net (like on this forum), but it's somehow very hard to do that in Miami. Most of the artsy types are fake as hell down here. It's why I've never joined a camera club, and have no intention to join one.

    I guess I'm just funny like that :D
  • 08-06-2004, 12:01 PM
    Chunk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    I was thinking of going to art school to open up my head some more, creatively speaking, but I've never taken a photo class in my life and would like to keep it that way ;) I learned through photo books (have a library of over 100; read 'em all) but sometimes I think I've read every one on the market.

    Anyone got some titles they want to share? Advanced stuff on working with models, thinking creatively, shooting unique commercial shots that stand out, etc. I found a couple of titles on Amazon, on outdoor lighting for fashion photography, and a glamour workshop retold in book format, but would like something more (also got a couple of monographs, SofaSexy by Rankin and Blonde, various shooters; over $70 total, lol).

    Anything else? They don't even have to be on photography, could be on another graphic art but relative to shooting in some way. TIA

    Do you have the Ansel Adams books? They get as advanced as you want I think although I don't think the specific subjects you list are there.

    Betty Edward's "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" helped me to see things better - I also learned to draw.

    I used to feel kinda like you, being self taught in most things. Lately I've revised how I approach new things I want to learn because I was finding out that I may have missed some really basic understandings that took a long time for me to finally stumble onto. I now take a basic course or 2 figuring that even though it may be taking place at a boring pace, I will get SOMETHING out of it and probably learn some stuff that I wouldn't pick up on my own. I also pester the instructors with a LOT of questions and make sure I get my money's worth outta them.

    If you don't already paint, I'd recommend a basic painting course because physically mixing paint and pushing colors around somehow makes you more aware of color when you are looking at things photographically. I know I enjoy seeing more now that I can paint.

    All this post looks kinda confused (wonder why?) but I hope you see some of what I mean - sorry it doesn't directly address your questions.
  • 08-06-2004, 12:15 PM
    Gabe
    Chunk, I know what you mean. It sounds silly, but I must have read about apertures and depth of field about five times before I finally understood what it was all about! lol Then I read in one book, "no self-respecting professional photographer would let the camera choose the aperture for him." Oh well dang! And that made me sit down and really understand it. And it's sooooo damn simple too, ha! Thankfully, I'm past the basics, though I could use some pointers on flash and lighting.

    I'll look into Ansel Adams's stuff but I've always figured that mostly pertained to landscape photos - and I'm doing models. I'm fairly familiar with the Zone system, though have never put it to use. I'll have a looksee anyway.

    I've been drawing for years, on and off ... I recently got into Manga a little bit (there's the girls again; girls = art? hmm), but haven't given a real chance to the technique books I bought. I thought they might help me with individualizing my vision. Thanks for the reminder. I'll also check out Edward's book - I think I picked it up once, should give it a better look. I tried painting once as well, but only dabbled a little ... hmm. Maybe... I can seee why it would help with color.

    And yes, your post made perfect sense to me ;) Thanks for your thoughts.
  • 08-06-2004, 12:26 PM
    megan
    Got ya!
    Cool. I'm glad you didn't take my response offensively, it was meant good naturedly!



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    ... But there are two reasons why I don't like photo classes: first, many instructors want you to shoot their way, and I already have mine.. still in development, maybe (shouldn't it always be evolving?), but not about to be changed just to please someone else. I'm open to new concepts (hence the books) but not from just one person.

    I can see that. There are certainly some instructors out there like that in any profession.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    ... As for hanging around other photographers, uhhhh ... I dunno. Most that I've met down here are a pretty boring bunch, lol. Always talking tech .

    Heh, you would never have that problem with me. My eyes glaze over after about a minute of that. Gah! That and politics...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    ... I guess I'm just funny like that :D

    I understand a little better now! :) It's certainly difficult to find a bunch like us in one place <LOL> Seriously, a good network of creative friends and colleagues is so important, and so hard to build sometimes. I can certainly relate. It took a long time to build one, and when it fell apart after my closest friend and creative supporter/partner in crime died, it took a long time to rebuild another network of creative people. It's hard to be the "Lone Gun" out there, I've certainly been there. I guess that's why I encouraged you to reconsider the class thing. :p

    I've actually never joined a camera club myself. I'm sure some could be good - but I recently joined a grass roots *organization* and some of the e-mails from the group list reminds me of the more negative points of being part of a club/organization. OY!!! So many politics that I could do without.

    Good luck though!

    Megan
  • 08-06-2004, 12:29 PM
    megan
    Not a book but a website
    I found this website while preparing for teaching a photography seminar last summer.

    http://www.artinarch.com/ct16a.html

    I'ts got some interesting concepts which might be in line with what you are looking for.

    Megan
  • 08-06-2004, 01:46 PM
    Elysian
    "More Joy of Photography" by Eastman Kodak Company (hardcover)

    100 tips. Every tip is spread over two pages. A joy to read and an indispensable book if you're more interested in creative photography than knowing how your camera works.
    I always go back to this same book; it's a great source of inspiration.

    You can still buy it on the internet.
  • 08-06-2004, 02:44 PM
    opus
    I picked up a book on clearance at Barnes & Noble called "Masterclass in Photography" by Michael & Julien Busselle for $12.48. I haven't really looked at it yet, but I know it's not a basic book. Maybe it's still on the clearance table at your nearest B&N....
  • 08-07-2004, 02:31 PM
    Gabe
    Megan, I don't think I could've interpreted your original message in a bad way, so no worries ;)

    I've never had a photo instructor, but have seen the effects of the kind I mentioned. In college there was this girl, very talented and with a good eye for interesting moments, who had a teacher that kept teliing her that she was doing everything all wrong - just because my friend wasn't doing it the teacher's way... I had an English professor like that, kept giving me Bs and Cs though the work I turned in was "very insightful" or "well written" but "not what I assigned". Grrr...

    Now as for being the Lone Gun, well, that's me. I'm always the loner in the bunch, I'm quite used to it. I actually work better on my own for some reason. In a team I always end up being the leader anyway so maybe that's why. I dunno. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, though. I've lost a lot of good people myself.

    And thanks for the website. I'll be reading and re-reading it over in the next couple of days.

    Elysian, I found used copies for cheap at Amazon, I'll pick one up. Thanks.

    kellybean, thanks for the heads-up. I think I've heard of that book - part of a series, no? I've gotta hit the local B&N anyway for the latest issue of Picture, I'll see if I can find the book there.
  • 08-07-2004, 03:06 PM
    megan
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    Now as for being the Lone Gun, well, that's me. I'm always the loner in the bunch, I'm quite used to it. I actually work better on my own for some reason.

    Yup! I know what you mean. Though in my early 30's I somehow managed to develop, kicking and screaming, a large and varied group of friends instead of just 2-3 good friends that I only associated with, I've been the loner for a good part of my life as well.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe
    In a team I always end up being the leader anyway so maybe that's why. I dunno. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, though. I've lost a lot of good people myself.

    Thanks. I've always been the kind to not take my friends for granted - but then again, you never really know how much they matter to you until they are gone. All of a sudden, I didn't have *anyone* who was a creative person to bounce stuff off, share in the creative process, etc. and you realize how important that is. Actually, finding PR helped! I've got the "in Real Life" creative network, and the online one as well. Brilliant!


    Enjoy the website. I sure found it interesting!

    Megan
  • 08-09-2004, 10:07 AM
    Gabe
    I actually have tons of friends, some for well over 10 years now, but I'm still a loner, lol. I'll put it this way, I don't talk to anyone about much of anything that's private, but everyone talks to me. So I'm everybody's best friend but in reality, no one is mine. Weird, no? Love 'em all, though.

    I have a couple of creative people around me, one is too set in his ways and doesn't like thinking outside the box, and the other is always outside the box, lol. It works out. I also recently met a model who is quickly becoming one of my better friends, and is also very creative. We're pretty much on the same page. And what's better than having a creative sounding board who is also part of the creation? ;)