Book review: Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1

An Ansel Adams Guide – Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1
JP Schaefer
1998, Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 978-08212-188-22

Bonne chance finding this book. As far as I can tell it is not published anymore, although Little, Brown and Co. still has in catalog several other books by Ansel Adams and another one by Schaefer. This one comes as the first volume of a series of two, but if the first one needs digging online (or in used books stores), the second one requires a bigger wallet because it is harder to find and more expensive (we’re still under £50, though). And if it does not seem a lot for a book, it is still a lot for a used book.

This masterpiece is like a Bible for the photographer. It contains everything from the basics (like the process of capturing a picture on film, different kinds of cameras and their workings, concepts like parallax, aperture, exposure…) to more advanced one (including film development). It is really well written, with lots of beautiful photos by the great Ansel Adams and excerpts from his notes and books.

All the concepts are very well expressed and clear, with loads of schemes and pictures to clarify the examples (besides, in a book about photography, you can’t really express concepts without having photographies in it, can you?).

Scan eBay or World of Books for a copy of this gem, it is really worth it, especially if you are a beginner like me. Prices vary but you should be able to grab your copy for something in between a fiver and £20 (that is, if you live in the UK).



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