Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll is an instructive book that will help you take better photographs. Mostly designed for DSLR users, much of the information contained herein also applies to other types of cameras. Basics such as composition, exposure, light, lenses, and the art of seeing are all addressed, plus more, all to help you… well… take great photographs.
Filled with photographs taken by famous artists such as Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, each section is broken down into two page spreads that isolate the most important aspects of subtropics such as symmetry, depth of field, white balance, macro photography, unexpected beauty, and the importance of intrigue. The book doesn’t go into a lot of depth on any of the subjects, but rather helps you make the most of your shooting conditions and orient you to how everything in photography works. Consider this book a fantastic starting off point to photography as a hobby or career, and you can look into other resources as your needs and finances allow. For casual hobbyists, though, this book, plus all of the experimentation that comes with it, may be all you need for some time.
If you prefer to always keep your camera on Auto, you will still benefit from this book, but you will get the most out of it if you try the other settings and work on experimenting with your tools.
Just like you can never improve your writing or find your voice by merely reading about writing (you need to actually write), you can’t improve your photography without taking photos. The book regularly reminds you to go out and practice what you have learned. Sometimes it isn’t as simple as that, since you have to have the proper lenses or lighting conditions, but you can work on the topics at your own speed, trying new things all the time. This book will show you where to begin.
Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs retails for $17.95 and is the perfect quick reference for photographers to toss in their camera bag for a bit of inspiration and reminder of the basics.
Note: I received this book for review purposes.