Author: George Barr Publisher: Rocky Nook Review by Conrad J. Obregon “Examples: The Making of Forty Photographs” by Ansel Adams is one of the great books of photography. In it the noted landscape artist described the decisions he made from idea to print in creating some of his greatest photographs. “From Camera to Computer: How […]

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Book review – Christopher Grey’s Studio Lighting Techniques for Photography: Tricks of the Trade for Professional Digital Photographers Author: Christopher Grey Publisher: Amherst Media, Inc Review by Conrad J. Obregon Here’s an excellent book aimed at a very narrow segment of the photography market. It should be of interest primarily to studio portrait photographers who […]

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Digital Shoebox: How to Organize, Find, and Share Your Photos Author: Sarah Bay Williams Publisher: Peachpit Press Review by Conrad J. Obregon I’m of two minds about this book. If you are a casual shooter who takes pictures of family events and trips you might find this book useful. More serious photographers should look for […]

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Authors: John and Barbara Gerlach Publisher: Focal Press (Elsevier) Review by Conrad J. Obregon For those who want to learn the basics of landscape photography, Digital Landscape Photography is the perfect book. The authors have not just assembled all the information necessary for a new digital photographer to produce good landscape photography. The authors present […]

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Author: Chris Orwig Publisher: New Riders (Peachpit) Reviewer: Conrad J. Obregon With a title like “Visual Poetry: A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs” and a promise of “a creative guide for making engaging digital photographs”, this book sounds irresistible. Who doesn’t want to find more creativity, in photography or otherwise? The book starts […]

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Guest Book Review by Alan Lillich (Conrad has a well-deserved week off) My oldest daughter lives in Illinois, I live in California. She recently decided to get a DSLR because her point and shoot camera was too limiting. I went looking for a good photography instruction book to send her, and found it in “Digital […]

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Author: Robert Polidori Publisher: Steidl Review by Conrad J. Obregon Susan Sontag, the late social critic and public intellectual, complained that artfully-taken photographs of tragedy were, over time, likely to be considered more as art and less as tragedy, thus deadening our moral sensibilities. What would she have thought of Robert Polidori? Robert Polidori’s Havana […]

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Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before Author: Michael Fried Publisher: Yale University Press Review by Conrad J. Obregon Cutting to the conclusion, the answer to the question posed by the author in the title is that now photography has provided the author with the work of more photographers that the author can bend […]

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Author: Pete Carr and Robert Correll Publisher: Wiley Review by Conrad J. Obregon Almost as long as photography has existed, photographers have tried to make the images they capture look like the images captured by the human eye. The techniques applied have ranged from chemical wizardry in the old chemical darkroom to split neutral density […]

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Speedlights & Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at the Speed of Light Authors: Lou Jones, Bob Kennan and Steve Ostrowski Publisher: Focal Press (Elsevier) Review by Conrad J. Obregon The relatively new flash systems offered by Nikon and Canon, which allow an amazing degree of automated control over illumination (with an increase in a certain type […]

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Annie Leibovitz at Work Author: Annie Leibovitz Publisher: Random House Review by Conrad J. Obregon We are absorbed by celebrity photographers, that is, photographers who photograph celebrities and who have become celebrities in their own right. Lord Snowden and Richard Avedon come to mind. (Avedon was so famous that a loosely fictionalized movie musical about […]

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Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop Authors: Jeffe Schewe and Martin Evening Publisher: Focal Press (Elsevier) Review by Conrad J. Obregon When Martin Evening published his comprehensive “Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers” he told us that he had to tell so much about Photoshop CS4 that he would come out with another book […]

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Photoshop CS4: Essential Skills Authors: Mark Galer and Philip Andrews Publisher: Focal Press (Elsevier) Review by Conrad J. Obregon There’s no way around it. Photoshop is a very complex piece of software with a lot of capabilities. It’s because of this that there is no easy way to learn all the in and outs of […]

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Face to Face by Rick Sammon Publisher: O’Reilly Review by Conrad J. Obregon This book is about taking pictures of people; not just portraits, but also people at events, and even, in a few cases, people in the landscape. The book is divided into five parts. Part I includes a portfolio of pictures from Carnevale, […]

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Nikon D300 Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas

Published by Wiley

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

In his introduction, J. Dennis Thomas acknowledges that his book covers much of the same ground as the “D300 User’s Manual” from Nikon, but in a manner that’s easier to comprehend and more interesting to read. It seemed to me that Thomas didn’t quite reach his goal.

Part I of the book starts out with a quick tour of the camera which describes how to set the most basic functions necessary to use the D300, followed by a physical description of each of the controls on the camera. The author then follows up with a slightly longer discussion of the camera’s functions, followed by a line-by-line description of each of the camera’s menu items. In Part II, the author provides generic discussions of Nikon’s family of lenses, photography essentials like exposure and composition, the use of light, a long chapter devoted to snippets on different kinds of photography, like architectural or landscape photography, and then a chapter on viewing and editing images in-camera. There is an appendix which describes a few accessories in the broadest possible terms.

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“On Feathered Wings: Birds In Flight” by Richard Ettlinger Publisher: Abrams Review by Conrad J. Obregon Bird watchers and bird photographers know that the hardest view of their subjects to catch is when they are in flight. That is why this book of bird flight pictures is so amazing. I suspect that Ettlinger had to […]

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Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography by Kirk Tuck Publisher: Amherst Media Review by Conrad J. Obregon A better name for this book might have been “integrating new flash systems”. The main thrust of the book is how to use multi-light flash systems like Nikon’s CLS (and Canon’s comparable system, the author says) to […]

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Nikon D300 Guide to Digital SLR Photography by David Busch

Publisher: Course Technology Cengage Learning

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

I’ve been shooting Nikon cameras since 1960. When I look at the collection of buttons, dials, switches, screens and menus on Nikon’s D300 digital SLR, I wonder if I would have become a photographer back then if faced with so many choices.

All these choices are good. They let you customize the D300 to be used exactly the way you would want. And the embarrassment of riches means that one camera can do many things, for many different photographers, so that ultimately a highly sophisticated machine can be delivered more cheaply to photographers whose styles vary markedly.

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Criticizing Photographs (Fourth Edition) by Terry Barrett Published by McGraw-Hill Review by Conrad J. Obregon When I reviewed the third edition of this book several years ago, I didn’t rate it highly, but I thought that perhaps the fourth edition might be a better book, and it is. Despite its subtitle, which might lead you […]

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The Photography Reader edited by Liz Wells

Published by Routledge

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

As the editor Liz Wells remarks in her introduction, this book is concerned with histories of ideas about photography. Even though Wells herself falls into the trap of referring to the materials in this book as photography criticism, this is a book of readings in critical theory of photography, and as such is concerned more with history, sociology, semiotics, aesthetics, and epistemology. All of the works in the book were created after 1930 and include the writings of many of the great public intellectuals, like Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag and Umberto Eco.

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In our attempt to expand the valuable content we offer on the TWIP blog, I want to announce a new feature today. Book reviews.

In addition to our Audible pick of the week for audio books available from our sponsor Audible, we’re going to be providing reviews on photo books here on the blog.

And we’re not just providing reviews – we’re providing reviews by the best in the business; Conrad J. Obregon is one of the top reviewers on Amazon. His reviews are always entertaining, informative and never biased.

We’re excited to announce that he’s now an official part of the TWIP team.

To kick off this new feature, we’ve asked Conrad for his review of Joe McNally’s latest book – The Moment it Clicks. And this is very timely since the author will be our guest on the next episode of TWIP.

So without further introduction – here’s Conrad doing his stuff.

The Moment if Clicks by Joe McNally – New Riders
Review by Conrad J. Obregon

Picture this. You meet one of the world’s great photographers in a bar. He has a stack of pictures with him from his portfolio. As you go through the pictures, he talks about them, about the people in the photographs, and how he made each of them. About a third of the way through you realize that when he talks about the technical details he talks mostly about the lighting, and you are sorry you didn’t pick up on that right from the beginning, but now you listen avidly to try to learn his lighting techniques. Continue reading