Photographs, Pictures & compagny...

Reviews of books I've read

This section contains my little personal criticism on books I've read in different subjects of this site, that is to say mainly photography, graphics, but also a bit of computer. Of course, these opinions are those of me, knowing that I love books that explain well the things, or I sell them! ;-)

Livre Blender 3D This is the book with which I started in the use of Blender 3D, and it's excellent! It starts really from zero, it's the principle of this collection, so it's perfect for beginners. Even if you already know a 3D software, which was my case, Blender 3D has a working interface a bit special and this book has played his role to perfection !

Its structure is linear, it starts with Chapter 1 and then continues, I don't recommend to try pecking bits of information from here and there, it isn't designed for that! But, once you've read it in full you can come back without a problem.

Personally, I've read (and practiced!) this book about ten to twelve days, having three to four hours per day. At the end, you have a good foundation for the use of this superb free software what Blender 3D, in version 2.77 the date of this article. To improve yourself, there are other books, but especially huge amounts of tutorials on the web, and it's better to understand after reading this book ... ;-)
And I'm sorry but this book exist only in french for now...

Livre Corpus Delicti This time, after several books of photographic techniques, it will be an Artbook of a French illustrator, Serge Birault, that I love the style!

This book is a very good print quality, which is well worth the beautiful illustrations. The author explains his journey, and some of these drawing digital techniques! All texts are in French and English...
We also understand that before being a good digital illustrator, you must be first a good artist on paper, the computer is only a tool, it will never drawing at our place! ;-)
The last chapter is a detailed tutorial of a complete digital illustration, sketching and photo media to the final image. In short, this book is superb and if you like his style (his blog here: http://sergebirault.blogspot.fr/ don't hesitate, treat yourself!

Couverture livre Photographie Numerique de Nuit et en Faible Lumiere

Another book by the author-photographer Michael Freeman entitled "Digital Photography with Night and Low Light". Long reserved for specialists, photography in low light has now become accessible to the amateur with advances in digital photography.

The author mix postproduction to the techniques of shooting. Photography in low light located to the limits of acceptable imaging, much work must be done with specialized software. It's therefore essential to know, from the shot, how the shadows lead or retrieve details in the lantern of a street lamp...
You'll discover in this book hardware and software needed to create beautiful images. You'll also receive technical advice from Michael Freeman, from the estimation of ISO to the correct use of lighting. For example, great pictures (sunrises and sunsets, urban landscapes sparkling moonlight) illustrate the book.
Finally, you'll learn how they were taken and reworked by step so you can achieve the same result.
This book is very interesting to read, especially if you like that sort of atmosphere for your photos!

Art of Exposure Here again is a book by photographer Michael Freeman titled "Art of exposure". As its title indicates, this book is written to give maximum information from a professional on the difficult task of choosing exposure photos! Because in theory it seems simple with only three basic settings: aperture, exposure time and ISO sensitivity. But in practice, how to choose when the light is very powerful, or very low, especially when your subject is multicolored, or a relatively monochrome? In short, an infinite number of cases that are grouped into twelve types of expression and of course explained.

Of course, the basic techniques are also reviewed, as well as notions of style, but also a bit of postprocessing where the basic principles of HDR exposure are explained. There are many examples, this book, as usual in this collection is very well illustrated.
The only downside that I would is that photography beginners will, I think, a little difficult to follow because it is still quite technical. Having already practiced photography with an SLR-style camera seems a pre-requisite. But otherwise, it's once again a good book very interesting and enjoyable to read, I recommend it!

Photo lighting guide This book is great for all amateur photographers (or beginners) who want to learn (or improve) their lighting practise. This manual was written by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua, it's very didactic, while being well go deeper.
Often the books on this subject merely give "recipes " to copy, then this manual discusses the nature of light and its principles, to help each photographer to develop lighting that suits him - or is the more suited to his subject.
The learning is progressive, with many practical cases, you will learn to build your lighting, from simple to more complicated, and master the complex surfaces (metal, glass, gloss) but also highlights, exposure, and the balance between the subject and the background.

Finally, for someone who practices photography, but also the 3D design (like me) you can quite transfer these methods of lighting in virtual worlds that you create with your graphics software.
In conclusion, it's a very practical book and very well done that I recommend.

Photographer's Guide Traveler This is a very interesting book for all amateur photographers (or beginners) who want to do photography by traveling the world. This guide, written by Michael Freeman (yes, him again but I like his style!), is clear and organized.
The author shares his extensive experience in providing simple but wise advices on equipment to take, to different climates, on crossing the customs that may be difficult in some countries, and even the behavior to photograph without hitting usages of the visited countries.
In summary, whether traveling for pleasure or for work, this book is very practical, very well illustrated and full of good advice from a professional. It'll be the indispensable guide to view, see take with you before I leave for a distant land!

Photoshop Elements 9 books Here is a must for all amateur photographers, because everyone doesn't necessarily afford Photoshop CS4. The Elements version 9 is also very good solution. This book, written by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski, two big guys on Adobe products for years, is really well built. Explanations are clear, like "step by step", very well illustrated through 250 workshops, they cover all the operations necessary for a photographer to improve or correct all your photos (adjusting exposure, color, delete unwanted odds and ends, a little editing, special effects ,...). In short, a very good book for anyone who doesn't know Photoshop Elements!

Pentax K10D book All owners of Pentax K10D should have this Peter Burian's book! It's a perfect complement to the user manual. All settings and menus are reviewed step by step, with consequences that can have your pictures each of these settings, but also advice from a professional photographer. This book reads easily, and after we know much your SLR camera!

XHTML and CSS book This is a book without which this website wouldn't exist! It's intended for novices XHTML and CSS, and the author, Mathieu Nebra managed to explain in simple and very effective 90% of what you need to know in this subject. The remaining 10% I believe, is to practice, a lot of practice! For the examples in the book are very real, but that doesn't enough to "control" subject. This is particularly true for the CSS, after this book, it must apply by following what we have read, because the possibilities of layout are really very large! Note also a section on "how to upload the site" as well as the basics of Internet referencing. In short, it's a good book.

Photographer's Eye book This author, Michael Freeman, written books on various techniques of professional photographers, they're always beautifully illustrated and well explained through case studies and examples from the library from the author. It discusses how pro photographers view the world from the perspective of their pictures always succeed, but also the art of composition a photo following the effect that's sought, or what one wants to feel the audience of our pictures.

That's all for now, but other small book reviews will be added here over time.

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