Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review: The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos

Despite my best intentions and clearly written out goals, yesterday got completely derailed. It started with my trip to the DMV to change my name. I got there a bit before they opened, and the line was already very long. I ended up waiting in line outside for almost an hour, and while the temperature was actually nice, it was very windy, and my allergies went crazy. After waiting over an hour once I finally got inside, I was turned away because I hadn't taken my marriage license to be filed and have the little stamp and seal put on it. Sigh.

After driving downtown and filing the marriage license, I decided to save the second trip to the DMV for today (which I did do) and get to work on the million other things on my to-do list.

Well, I'm not sure if it was being outside in the wind for so long or what, but I became incredibly crippled by allergy symptoms and a nasty cough. Needless to say, nothing was scratched off my list yesterday.

Luckily, I got a package from UPS yesterday, containing two books I ordered from Amazon. The first one was The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum, and not having the will to do anything else, I spent some time flipping through the book.

While I wouldn't consider myself a complete newbie to the world of photography, it is definitely not one of my best skills. I've tried reading photography blogs, tutorials, etc., but my mind would start wondering when all I saw was technical mumbo jumbo, numbers, and decimals. Anything that feels like reading a math book isn't going to hold my attention. This book appealed to me because it wasn't written to photographers, but to artists and crafters.

The beginning explains a lot of the photography lingo, like aperture and exposure, and gives troubleshooting tips for each. Adnum breaks up crafts by category, and gives tips and tricks for shooting them. I was particularly interested in the Knitting and Needlecraft section (Chapter 6) obviously, and there is a lot of information on how to capture all of the textures involved in knitting.

Since this is written for crafters, and crafters generally like to DIY, Adnum also gives several tutorials to make your own photography equipment, like light tents and flash diffusers. If you need some help post-photoshoot, there's also a section at the end dealing with photo editing.

Overall, this book is very well-written and easy to understand. The photography in the book is just beautiful and is so much fun to flip through. I didn't feel like I was reading a math book at all.