When I first bought my new camera, I "knew" most of how to use it from old film camera days. I also knew digital photography had more potential over film and, I believe, is more flexible. That summer I bought two books on digital photography;
- Understanding RAW Photography by Andy Rouse, and
- The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography by National Geographic.
The first book introduced me to camera RAW, the most flexible and forgiving form of digital photography. Andy also introduces the concept of a digital camera RAW workflow, one of the keys to obtaining high quality, consistent results and other not often mentioned "professional" tips and techniques such as high dynamic range (HDR), "shoot left - underexpose for highlights" and "shoot right - overexpose for detail".
Andy is a world renowned wildlife photographer. To a reawakened painter of light, his images are inspirational. Have a look at some of his work - quite a level to aspire to.
The National Geographic book is by far the broader and deeper of the two, covering topics from purchasing a digital camera to point-and-shoot techniques, digital darkroom workflows, film photography and camera phones. With chapters on managing digital assets, it includes printing, scanning and archiving.
While the National Geographic publication is more detailed and complete, I found Andy Rouse's book far more inspiring and in many ways more instructive. But both books made me aware I needed a more structured approach to understanding the elements of digital photography.
- JPEG vs RAW,
- types of composition,
- shutter speed vs motion,
- aperture vs depth of field and
- white balance.
So now, just before Christmas 2008, with all this "education" under my belt, it was time to get out there a do photography. This website and blog are the result. Enjoy!