Photography Books for Beginners

Photographs have captivated humans since their inception in the 1820s. Once cameras became digital and easily mass-produced, photography became a hobby that just about anyone can enjoy. Nowadays, where almost everyone has a digital camera – probably even two – on their cellphones, we are now able to quickly memorialize moments of our lives with the push of a button. Although it has been made easier, there is still an art to the practice of photography that must be cultivated through practice and learning all of the nuances that come along with capturing the world around us.

Take a look at a few of these books about photography from the JMRL collection if you’re looking to enhance your skills:

Android Photography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity by Jolie O’Dell – Provides information on using an Android device to take photographs, covering such topics as hardware, techniques, applications, sharing photographs, shooting video, and mobile photography.

The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity by Stephanie Calabrese Roberts – Offers advice on taking photographs with the iPhone, explaining how to shoot and edit photos, manage media, find the best applications, share images, and experiment with different techniques and effects.

Digital Photography for Dummies by Julie Adair King – Filled with tips, advice and insight not found in any camera manual, a trusted resource helps readers quickly get up to speed on proven photography techniques for taking the best digital pictures, showing them how to interpret camera settings; shoot better portraits, action shots and low-light photos; and much more.

The Citizen Journalist’s Photography Handbook: Shooting the World as it Happens by Carlos Miller – Discusses the technical know-how required to be a citizen journalist, and explores such topics as building social media connections, obtaining press credentials, and understanding legal rights, from police interactions to copyright law.

Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business & Style by Steve Sint – Combining practical business and legal advice with technical photographic information, this book covers such topics as tools and equipment, shooting techniques, and finding a professional-quality studio.

Portrait Photography: Secrets of Posing & Lighting by Mark Cleghorn – Features easy-to-follow instructions and detailed photo sequences that cover topics ranging from software and studio lighting to equipment and interacting with models.

Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang – Explains how to see the world with a photographer’s eyes through tutorials, image analyses, assignments, and step-by-step image manipulation exercises.

Novels That Might Be New to You

rafridays3This week I’d like to mention a few novels which are not by James Patterson or Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts or John Grisham.  Not that I have anything against these authors, it’s just that their books tend to overshadow others at times.  So, here are a few novels which you might enjoy, even if you’ve never heard of them.

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

This powerful novel brings together a disparate group of people – a middle-aged housewife, an immigrant boy, and two very different soldiers – in the desert outside of Las Vegas, in ways that are unimaginable.  Your heart will break as each one faces his or her crisis.  Yet as connections are made, the characters are called to rise and we are reminded that it’s the small things that matter every day and ordinary folks who become heroes.  I actually copied a page from this book and carried it with me for weeks after I finished reading.

The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan

The unusual premise of this book raises disturbing questions about humans as scientific subjects, the pervasiveness of the media, and the essential definition of the individual.  While searching for small life forms in the frozen Arctic, Dr. Kate Philo and her team come across the perfectly preserved body of a man who fell overboard, and was instantly frozen, more than 100 years before.  Through techniques she had developed but never tried on a creature the size of a man, Dr. Philo is able to reawaken him and we meet Judge Jeremiah Rice.  The firestorm that follows will push all of the characters to their limits.

The Plover by Brian Doyle

I confess, the run-on sentences in this book almost made me put it down, but I became so engrossed with the characters that I relaxed and just “went with it.”  Declan O’Donnell has had enough.  The old fishing trawler he’s been tinkering with for years is finally in good enough shape that he takes off, sailing west to get away from the world with no intention of ever returning.  Of course, the Universe is rarely so considerate and he soon finds himself picking up passengers, both human and seagull, and becoming drawn back into Life again.  With his trusty copy of Edmund Burke’s speeches always close to hand, Declan ponders the trials and marvels of humanity.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

A haunting book about the internal lives of some very solitary people, The Orchardist is set in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century.  William Talmadge tends his apple and apricot orchards with a love that most folks show only to family.  His peace is disturbed when he catches two teenage girls stealing fruit – and running from a very violent existence.  Rather than turning them away, he chooses to help and all their lives are changed forever.  Amanda Coplin is primarily a short story writer.  I read in an interview that she started this one as a short story and just kept going; it took her eight years to complete the novel.  Well worth the effort!

Career Guides

parachute2Whether you’re looking to start a brand new career path or advance through your current one, we all need some career advice from time to time. Maybe you’re still looking for the right type of job for you or maybe you know exactly what you want to do with your life but need an extra push to set it all in motion.

No matter what your career aspirations are, the library should have exactly what you need. Try out one of these guides to get started:

What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles – The world’s most popular job-hunting guide, revised and updated annually. This 2016 edition features the latest studies and perspectives on today’s job-market, including proven strategies for finding jobs even when everyone tells you there are none.

The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry – A career guide for offbeat individuals seeking work that suits their unique skills, talents, and passions.

Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do by Chris Guillebeau – Demonstrates how to enjoy greater career success and personal fulfillment by finding one’s life calling, with recommendations beyond the entrepreneurial sphere to outline an actionable method for rendering one’s passions profitable.

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff – A consultant, public speaker and best-selling author describes how to make career changes and to avoid feeling trapped in the wrong job by changing the way workers view their skills, relationships and work ethics through the use of a “Career Savings Account.”

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson – A guide to self-improvement, happiness, and creativity outlines practical steps for identifying personal talents, merging one’s passions with inherent abilities, and transforming interests into income.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill it in Your Career, Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht – The global fashion communications executive, draws on her experience to share advice, inspiration, lessons learned, and personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers, as well as for people well on their way.

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore – A 21st-century edition of a classic career design reference for college graduates and midlife career changers shares more than 100 self-tests and diagnostic tools for identifying a career suited to one’s aptitude and personality.