Thursday, November 29, 2007

Image Conscious

Consider Yourself Booked

Exterior spiral staircase, Montreal. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Since I started posting photography advice, I've had several questions on the subject. One was from Mahina who asked:

"Your photography is beautiful. Are there are any photography books you would recommend for getting a better grasp on exposure/aperture/shutter speed/ISO?"

Mahina, there is a short answer and a long answer to that. The long answer is that there are thousands of books by photographers far better than I am. But the short answer is that Tom Ang's book "Digital Photography - An Introduction" is probably the book I would recommend for any blogger, any amateur photographer, anyone trying to make the switch from film to digital photography, or anyone tring to widen their technological understanding of the post-darkroom photographic era.

I guess I'm lucky that my professional background as a journalist means I have been exposed (no, that's an unintentional pun, I promise) to just about every aspect of photography, as well as the amazing leap in camera and image-storage technology in the past decade. In addition, my experience in magazine and newspaper layout and editing, I guess, gives me a more critical eye than most. In my professional and personal life, I guess you could say I deal with what I call the "totality" of photography.

Am I running off at a tangent here? No. Because I deal with the totality of photography, I have no qualms about recommending Tom's book. It presents just about every aspect you can think of or that you have a question relating to. Tom's book is concise, easy to follow, well illustrated, clearly laid out and presented - and it deals with problems and how to fix them. No, I'm not working on a commission here - but at ten quid (about $US22) it is money well spent.

There's also a photography-related query from Beachy's Cape Cod Cupboard:

"I'd love any photo-taking advice you have. Here are my usual photo-taking conditions: traveling around with a toddler in tow who never walks in my own footsteps but prefers to wander in a different direction; and I only have a digicam with zoom lens. I have been hankering after a macro for some time (I do watercolor paintings and I use close-up photos to reveal details I'd normally miss otherwise)."

You are so blessed to be walking with a toddler. As a father of three, I know so well the sheer joy of precious moments with my children. Here's a little trick - buy a little toy camera, a plastic $5 replica. You and your child can both get busy capturing the sights you really want to photograph. Like you, I also sketch and paint in watercolour. Regarding the macro, I posted some information about a week ago, so you might find that useful. Do let me know if you have any more queries.


Corey~living and loving said...

Hey David! Great photo of the stairs. :) love the perspective. :)
I got my new lens...and did a few quick shots. Check out my bloggity blog sometime. :) I am anxious to see what you think. :)
have a great day! I am off to bed!

david mcmahon said...

Hi Corey,

Just been to your blog - great work. I can see you have really moved up a gear a two - even though it's the first day with the new lens.

Wonderful perspective on each shot.



Winchester whisperer said...

That is very beautiful

lorenzothellama said...

Thanks for visiting me again.
Just been reading your last post. If the farmer kept his cock in a shed until day break, he wouldn't crow and wake up the neighbours.
Love Lorenzo.

San said...

Great shot from "down under" of the staircase.

Mahina said...

thank you for the recommendation. I will definately check it out! i am overwhelmed with all the literature out there. probably the best thing for me to do would be to get out there and experiment with different settings! the hands on is what will teach me the most! at the very least, i will most likely remember it better!

thanks again!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Thank you, David! And yes, you may add my blog to your blogroll - I will be doing the same. I just returned home from a 24 hour (wide awake!) trip with 2 buses full of middle school students to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, and other fabulous sights in NYC. I will have some coffee, try to download what photos I could manage yesterday with the four 13yr old boys I had in my group, and post the pics today. (I borrowed my second oldest son's digital camera, only to discover he has a macro lens! I will pratice with his for now.)

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Damn, I blink my eyes and there's 30 posts here I need to read. Great advise. I need to find that first book.