Sunday, July 3, 2011

My New Favorite Book

As I have mentioned from time to time in some of my infrequent posts here at DoodleDaisy…I am an art teacher. I work with high school students and I love it. One of the classes I teach is photography. To make a long story, well, shorter, this year we’ve been gearing up for a change. As the last term of the school year came to a close I started going through our photography cabinets, storage closets, the darkroom and processing room, gathering together all things pertaining to manual photography. Our enlargers, extra lamps, developing tanks, reels, trays, bottles, 35 mm SLR cameras (the manual ones), film, paper, extra chemistry, timers, easels, etc, and so forth.

I did an inventory and prepared everything to sell. It was a bit overwhelming to say the least. And a bit sad. It sort of marks the end of an era for us. No more manual photography. I mourned the loss for our students, for about five minutes, then shook it off, and started thinking about how I would piece together a curriculum for a digital photography class. By the way, for those of you who are curious as to why we would stop teaching manual photography, put simply, it is cost prohibitive. With such tremendously steep cuts being made in education now days I couldn’t let an opportunity to help save my district loads of money pass by in good conscience. Digital isn’t just the way of the future…it is the now. And our kids can have the same phenomenal educational experiences and growth with digital that they did with manual. And they will be better prepared as they leave us. You have to admit that the manual processes are certainly antiquated.

Okay, so on that note, I have been scouring the internet, Amazon mostly, for good references to use for my class. It was during one of these “scouring” sessions that I paused to take a break and was going through my Google reader when I came across a blog post about an ebook. A photography ebook.

It definitely piqued my interest so I left a comment in the hopes of winning a copy in the giveaway. Alas, that was not to be, but the fantastic author of this fine book contacted me and offered me the opportunity to look through it to see if it might be something I would use with my students. So, I read Katie Evans' ebook, The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer, and emailed her as soon as I was finished. Here’s what I can tell you:

I love this book. With a lot of love.

There are a few reasons.
Let me share some:

1. I have a huge and varied spectrum of learners in any given photography class I teach. This book will reach them all.

2. It is accessible to those who have no experience whatsoever with a camera while still being very appealing to those few who profess to be proficient with a digital SLR.

3. Katie speaks to the masses. She eliminates superfluous and wordy nonsense while giving enough technical information that we can still feel like we really know something and can talk intelligently about our photography.

4. She covers all the bases. So very informative.

5. It is perfectly organized with each chapter building on the prior.

6. Ummm, her photography is beautiful. Just take a look.

7. And hello, last but certainly not least, it is crazy affordable. Really.

Here are some sample pages for you to peruse. I am sure you will find, as I did, that this ebook would make a valuable addition to your reference library. Thank you so much Katie! This is just what I needed. For those of you who teach photography and are interested in taking a closer look at this great reference I can direct you to Katie’s blog. She has an email posted there that you can use to contact her directly. She is fabulous.

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