I just finished a book on photography.

I just finished reading “Petersen’s Big Book of Photography”. It is the kind of book that I like because it has a lot of pictures. Of course in this case, the pictures are what makes this a good book. The pictures are all high quality and are designed to show what the writer is trying to get across about their photographic techniques. I say “their” because there are two different writers. George Schaub covers the sections on mastering exposure while Jim Zuckerman covers the rest of the book.

This is the first book that I have read about photography since I decided that I wanted to learn more about taking good pictures with a digital SLR camera. The book covers mastering exposure, composition, landscape photography and people photography. The book doesn’t cover any technical details of cameras but does cover many of the practical aspects of the camera such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO settings, white balance and how all of these things are related to each other to get the correct exposure. Although the book covers a little of taking portraits, the majority of the book is about landscape photography which is what I am most interested in. Jim Zuckerman also touches on the use of the computer to enhance the pictures that you take. Many times the exposures that you take don’t come out the way you want so you can use the computer with a program like Photo Shop to touch up the pictures.

Other things that are covered in the book include depth of field, rule of thirds, and how to frame a shot to get the best effects. Depth of field is something that I have never thought about when taking pictures but I have found that it is really a very important part of taking quality photographs, especially outdoors. I also learned that taking pictures on a cloudy day is better than on a bright sunlit day. That is not to say that you shouldn’t take pictures on sunny days but the better shots are taken on cloudy days or in muted light. I also learned that it is better to shoot pictures in the early morning and late afternoon. This again is because the shots are better in the muted light. On bright days you have to deal with the shadows and high contrast that the bright sun causes. Mr. Zuckerman uses an umbrella on bright days if he is trying to get pictures of flowers.

I have not illusions of becoming a great outdoor or nature photographer but I do want to learn how to get more out of my digital SLR camera. When we travel in our camper, we see some very beautiful scenery. We like to get out and hike in the mountains or drive and see as many sights as we can. I hope to be able to do a better job of recording the memories of the places we visit. All of our pictures to this point have been taken with Sony point and shoot cameras and we have gotten some nice pictures. Let’s see if the pictures get better!

The following pictures were taken about two years ago with a Sony digital point and shoot camera.

Big Thompson River

Picture of mountains

Colorado Mountains

Interesting rock formation



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