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.