Review of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

When I saw the subtitle of this book – How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera – I knew it was for me. I have an older mid-range DSLR and upgrading is out of the question right now. Knowing I can improve my photos without investing in new equipment is always a plus.

eBook Review Gal Book Review of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

This is the fourth edition of Understanding Exposure, which important to note since technology changes so quickly when it comes to photography. The book begins with a generous introduction, in which Mr. Peterson discusses his photography background and expertise. He’s been a photographer since 1970 and he’s included a wealth of information in his intro. In particular, he discusses his concept of the “photographic triangle” at length, which I found quite informative.

From there the book is separated into six additional chapters:

  • Defining Exposure
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • Light
  • Special Techniques
  • Electronic Flash

In addition to the valuable information included in each chapter, each photo has additional details explaining how the photo was achieved, including the equipment used. This is excellent for anyone looking to replicate the author’s photography style. The photos are absolutely gorgeous. I’ve already been experimenting with the author’s techniques and have been pleased with the results.

This is the second book I’ve reviewed from Bryan Peterson, having read, reviewed and loved Learning to See Creatively. I was not disappointed. I found Understanding Exposure to be wonderfully thorough and packed with tips, techniques and advice – and the photos are beautiful!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Modern Printmaking by Sylvie Covey

eBook Review Gal Book Review of Modern Printmaking by Sylvie CoveyModern Printmaking is a beautiful, substantial reference book for the novice to intermediate printmaker, or for anyone who simply appreciates the beauty of uniquely crafted artwork.

Starting with a brief introduction to printmaking, that includes basic terms and definitions, the author expertly discusses the long history of this art form. As someone who frequents museums and art galleries on a regular basis, I have a better understanding of the painstaking work that goes into the pieces I’ve often admired.

Modern Printmaking is divided into sections, which detail the many types of printing. Within each of these sections, the author presents a variety of artists who specialize in each style. I’m particularly taken with the Woodblock Printing in Chapter 2. I’ve long been fascinated with this method and have an even greater appreciation for it after reading through this chapter. In fact, all the chapters in this book are incredibly thorough and detailed. The accompanying photos are breathtaking, making this book beautiful enough to be displayed on a coffee table.

Photographers should appreciate the section on the digital transfer process. The techniques in the chapter are definitely things I’d consider trying with my own photos.

I would highly recommend Modern Printmaking to anyone who may be interested in learning more about printmaking, someone looking to expand existing skills or readers who enjoy eye-catching coffee table books.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of The Other Side of Nowhere by Max Allen

Right at the beginning of The Other Side of Nowhere, the author discloses that the photos included in this book are his earlier work and that he struggled with whether or not to publish them. He admits that he finds “the quality of the photography is not nearly as good as the photographs (he) now takes.” He needn’t have worried. The photos in this book are GORGEOUS and well-worth sharing with readers.

The Other Side Of Nowhere by Max Allen

How many of us will ever see an absolutely still hummingbird, wildflowers spurting through the parched desert land, a freshly caught cicada in the mouth of phoebe or wild horses frolicking among the desert sagebrush? That’s what’s so wonderful about wildlife photography. It gives everyone the unique opportunity to view scenery and wildlife we might never get to see otherwise.

The author explains the stories behind many of the photographs in this book. Whether it’s the difficulty of patiently waiting for a rapidly-flying hummingbird to land long enough to snap its photo (or catching one in mid-flight), or the dangers of working so closely to the natural habitat of a venomous rattlesnake, Max Allen candidly shares his wildlife photography tales. (Incidentally, the badger with a dirt-covered face is priceless!)

The author also helpfully shares his camera settings in the caption of every photo. At the end of the book, Max Allen adds additional resources for photographers and readers, including information about his equipment, some of his favorite photography locations and an extensive listing of the many types of species photographed in his book.

I loved the photos and information in The Other Side of Nowhere and I can highly recommend it to other photography enthusiasts!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

 

Review of Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson

Bryan Peterson is a well-known photography expert, instructor and author, with several Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Petersonhighly popular publications on the subject, as well as being the founder of The Bryan Peterson School of Photography. When it comes to photography, Mr. Peterson clearly knows what he’s talking about.

Learning to See Creatively is in its third publication and it’s easy to see why it’s been such a hit with new and experienced photographers. With all new photos, this latest edition is sure to provide the perfect inspiration to motivate both beginners and experts to look at the world around them with an entirely new perspective.

The book is divided into five informative chapters:

  • Expanding Your Vision
  • Elements of Design
  • Composition
  • The Magic of Light
  • Photoshop

With tons of great information packed into each chapter, there’s a lot to digest within the pages of Learning to See Creatively. Admittedly, it will take a certain amount of practice to achieve the same results as the author has in his gorgeous photos. Although there’s a brilliant, yet simple photo of a lone jogger in a snow covered park that proves that breathtaking photos can be taken when you let the environment do most of the work for you. You just have to “learn to see creatively”. Practice is what’s so fun about photography. Experimenting with lenses, lighting, arrangement and other elements is what produces extraordinary photos and Bryan Peterson shares a ton of his trade secrets in his book so just about anyone can accomplish that.

For under twenty dollars, it’s well worth having Learning to See Creatively among your photography books. I highly recommend investing in it!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson

If you think you have to travel the world to take great photos Capture the Moment will Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkersonprove you wrong. Sarah Wilkerson begins her book with a chapter on “Natural Light” to show how inexpensive it is to take awesome photos without the need for costly lighting equipment or the dreaded red eye producing flash. From there the author progresses through:

  • Composition
  • Storytelling
  • Fine Art
  • Black & White
  • Low Light

She also includes a generous section at the end that addresses the technical terms associated with photography and a thorough directory where readers can find more about the photography contributors.

Capture the Moment will motivate the novice to pick up a camera and embark on an exciting hobby that could quite possibly become a career. It will also encourage experienced photographers to find creative inspiration in their own backyards. The photos are gorgeous and the accompanying text is easy to follow, concise and knowledgeable. It has certainly motivated me to grab my own camera and experiment with some of the detailed techniques!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Review of John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this guide. I’m a self-taught photographer and my favorite genre is nature/wildlife photography, so I figured this book John Shaw's Nature Photography Guidewould be helpful. I wasn’t disappointed.

I agree with some of what the previous reviewers have said. The most obvious to me was that the typeface could have been a bit bigger. Maybe the publisher was trying to squeeze in as much information as possible, which is understandable. John Shaw has been sharing his well-respected photography works and advice for over forty years – that’s a lot of information.

I love that Mr. Shaw doesn’t encourage readers to run out and spend tons of money on photography equipment. The concept of “the camera you have with you is the one you should use” is honest and forthcoming. I’m always surprised at the quality photos my older model Nikon produces. The accompanying photos in this guide are certainly breathtaking.

Mr. Shaw shares a great deal of practical photography advice. However, if you are a true beginner, you might want to start with a more basic guide. My advice would be to check out a companion manual for your camera. Most of these include some very basic, yet very helpful information that’s specific to your individual camera.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in building upon their current photography skills. The guide is reasonably priced and the photos alone are well worth the cost.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Idealism is an attractive flower by Oneida Morningstar Cramer

Via the brief introduction, Ms. Cramer describes the concept of her book as a combination of poetry and photography, “using the photograph as a trampoline” to bounce different elements off one another…“where taste and aroma become the drink”. I loved this Idealism is an Attractive Flower by Oneida Morningstar Cramerdescription and knew the author’s words were a sign of good things to come.

The wide array of photographs included in this book show that Oneida Morningstar certainly has an eye for capturing compelling imagery. There is a little bit of everything  – nature, pets, people, food, cityscapes and everyday objects – included within the lovely pages of Idealism is an attractive flower. Ms. Cramer’s poetry is simple, poignant and lovely. Each poem is thoughtfully combined with a photograph to create a completely unique experience for the reader.

As I read Idealism is an attractive flower, I wondered what came first, the photograph or the poem. I would have loved to know more about the author and thought that a book so full of personal feelings should have included a page about the author. However, this certainly doesn’t take away from this book – it simply makes me want to find out more about Oneida Morningstar Cramer.

I can honestly see why this book was a 2015 Feathered Quill Book Awards Gold Winner. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys photography and poetry. Beautiful!

 

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

In Search of Home and Voices of Haiti Book Blitz

In Search of Home and Voices of Haiti Book Blitz

In Search of Home Cover Photo

This award-winning* e-book focuses on an under-reported global crisis: statelessness. People who are stateless are not refugees, not exactly. Often they are living in their homes in a country they consider to be their own. Yet they are stateless—without the basic right to get an education, to work in the legal economy, receive health benefits, get married, vote or own property. The cause is often rooted in religion or ethnicity, but even when the stateless are not actively persecuted, they remain the most vulnerable. With reporting by Stephanie Hanes, and photography by Greg Constantine, this interactive book takes you on a journey to visit the stateless people of Kenya, Burma and the Dominican Republic. *Honorable Mention, NPPA’s Best Photojournalism 2013, Tablet Category*

This book was originally published as an enhanced e-book for the iBookstore. This version was built with the Creativist platform from Atavist.

*************************************************************

Voices of Haiti Cover Photo

An itinerant preacher whose story reads like Job—except for an incandescent smile and a mountain-moving faith. A woman who remains resolutely joyful despite the HIV that has infected half her family, young girls subjected to rape and forced into commercial sex, a couple whose triumph over the disease that challenges them both is a study in grace.

Haiti has always been a place of extremes, especially in the rubble of the earthquake that shattered the country in early 2010 and all the more so among those of its people who are also struggling with HIV/AIDS. The award-winning* “Voices of Haiti” tells their stories in a mesmerizing presentation that combines the poetry of Kwame Dawes, the writing of Lisa Armstrong, the photography of Andre Lambertson, and the music of Kevin Simmonds.

This enhanced e-Book is the capstone of a multi-year project by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The work has been featured in The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, USA Today and other media outlets—and in live performances at the National Black Theatre Festival and in Port au Prince, Miami, and Washington, DC. “Voices of Haiti” brings all of that together, with indelible portraits of remarkable individuals. “Voices of Haiti” was awarded a star by Kirkus Reviews, and was awarded “Special Recognition” from Pictures of the Year International in their e-Book category.

A version of this book was published exclusively for iPads in June 2012 in the iBookstore, using the iBooks Author program. To purchase that version, click http://bit.ly/VoicesofHaiti.
Voices of Haiti Press Release

Here is a sample of Voices of Haiti:

Tombs by Kwame Dawes

Every crumbled building is a tomb.
We step over grey crushed bricks
and the entanglement of steel.

The faint scent of death still in the air;
every sliver of laughter dries in the heat,
the dust, the stones, the dust, the stones.

The doctor offers a wry smile,
shrugs his shoulders and says,
“C’est la vie, ki pa—la vie ça est terib.”

He points to the grey slabs of cement
where the hospital once stood;
he counts eighteen—the women

in maternity with their new babies
and their families counting fingers
and toes—they were on the second floor;

on the first were the diligent nurses;
at the top were the broken bodies
of the healing: they are all entombed

in the stone. For days the scent
of their rotting blanketed our skins;
now, after the blue helmeted soldiers

sprayed the ruins (they have done
this before) it is bearable—death
sulks in the corner, like our hearts

which leap at each sound of rumbling.
The city dances to live, the music
leaping against despair; an old

woman skips to avoid a truck.
This earth devours the dead
with such efficiency; we are left

with our heads covered in dust,
our eyes searching for familiar
faces, our hearts safely tucked away.

 

Review of Chaperones by Megan Karasch

Chaperones Book Cover Photo
I was excited to begin reading Chaperones because it centered around one of my favorite things – photography – but I soon found it was much more than that. Chaperones is about love, relationships, growing up and finding oneself.

Andrea is a sheltered, over-parented twenty-six year old young woman who lives in Los Angeles and is at a relationship crossroad with her boyfriend, Brandon. She’s offered the assignment of a lifetime – the opportunity to tour England while photographing castles, cathedrals and other spectacular English landmarks. Thinking she’s embarking on this journey alone, Andrea is more than a little surprised when she’s told she’ll have two chaperones – Rob and Harry – joining her.  Through a series of mishaps, missteps, disasters and personal revelations, Andrea finally begins to mature and grow.

I initially had some difficulty connecting with the main character, Andrea. As a former twenty-six year and now the parent of a twenty-six year old, I had a bit of trouble believing that someone could be that sheltered – especially someone who lives in Los Angeles. Andrea’s fears of practically everything became tiresome quickly to everyone around her (including me). And, the behavior of Andrea’s parents – George and Annie – bordered on psychotic at times (hiding in the bushes to make sure your tween makes it safely to the corner store?). This was helicopter parenting to the extreme. As I read the beginning I had a sense that the author did this as way to accentuate the character transformations that would probably be coming by the end of the book. And I was right, but that was alright because it worked.

The dialogue in Chaperones is witty, genuine and intelligent (although at times I had a bit of trouble believing that two people as pious and uptight as Andrea’s parents – and to some extent, Andrea herself – would use so many swear words). The interaction between characters (particularly after Andrea’s transformation) was insightful, lovely and charming. The descriptions of England and all its grand glory were detailed and described exceptionally well.

I eventually fell in love with Andrea’s character and found myself rooting for her romantic happiness. Megan Karasch has artfully taken a slightly irritating, overgrown child and turned her into a perceptive, confident, mature woman right before our eyes.

I would highly recommend Chaperones to readers who might enjoy a sweet and funny story about life, love and relationships (and who doesn’t?).  As a side note, this book gets major props for absolutely no typos! I look forward to Megan’s next work!

Voices of Haiti by Lisa Armstrong, Kwame Dawes & Andre Lambertson

Voices of Haiti was recently named one of the best e-books of the year by the Pictures of the Year International (POYi). The e-book combines poetry, journalism, photography, and music to capture state building in Haiti.

Voicesof Haiti Book Cover

 

iTunes Description:

“An itinerant preacher whose story reads like Job—except for an incandescent smile and a mountain-moving faith. A woman who remains resolutely joyful despite the HIV that has infected half her family, young girls subjected to rape and forced into commercial sex, a couple whose triumph over the disease that challenges them both is a study in grace.

Haiti has always been a place of extremes, especially in the rubble of the earthquake that shattered the country in early 2010 and all the more so among those of its people who are also struggling with HIV/AIDS. The award-winning* “Voices of Haiti” tells their stories in a mesmerizing presentation that combines the poetry of Kwame Dawes, the writing of Lisa Armstrong, the photography of Andre Lambertson, and the music of Kevin Simmonds.”

Voices of Haiti Press Release

Here is a sample of Voices of Haiti:

Tombs by Kwame Dawes

Every crumbled building is a tomb.
We step over grey crushed bricks
and the entanglement of steel.

The faint scent of death still in the air;
every sliver of laughter dries in the heat,
the dust, the stones, the dust, the stones.

The doctor offers a wry smile,
shrugs his shoulders and says,
“C’est la vie, ki pa—la vie ça est terib.”

He points to the grey slabs of cement
where the hospital once stood;
he counts eighteen—the women

in maternity with their new babies
and their families counting fingers
and toes—they were on the second floor;

on the first were the diligent nurses;
at the top were the broken bodies
of the healing: they are all entombed

in the stone. For days the scent
of their rotting blanketed our skins;
now, after the blue helmeted soldiers

sprayed the ruins (they have done
this before) it is bearable—death
sulks in the corner, like our hearts

which leap at each sound of rumbling.
The city dances to live, the music
leaping against despair; an old

woman skips to avoid a truck.
This earth devours the dead
with such efficiency; we are left

with our heads covered in dust,
our eyes searching for familiar
faces, our hearts safely tucked away.

Voices of Haiti is available for download on your iPad with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes.