September 1, 2013

Magbooks on Photography Help You Learn Techniques

I've been on planes quite a lot in the last six months and I always like to take plenty of reading material with me to wile away the time in the airport and on board. During a recent stop at +Barnes & Noble I discovered a series of specialty photography magazines called Magbooks published in the United Kingdom (UK). Each issue concentrates on one subject, providing an overview, lots of how-to examples using photos with long captions, and suggestions for equipment.

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The audiences for these magazines are serious amateurs with digital SLR cameras. The writers are working photographers who can offer their tips from experience. They also make an effort to suggest inexpensive or home-made options for equipment to help readers save money.

24-105mm lens at 80mm, f/4, with fill from built-in flash

I have read The Essential Guide to Portraits and The Essential Guide to Close-up Photography. I learned the most from the Portraits edition, probably because I have the least experience with that subject matter. The Close-up edition was also good, but I found the writers repeating themselves on some suggestions very frequently, to the point that it became annoying. However, that did not detract from the value of the info and special effects examples they detailed.

70-200mm zoom with two-element close-up filter

I recommend you look for these "magazine-style books" at your local bookstore. If you can't find them in your city, you can visit the Magbook web site where you can order either a print or a digital version (iPad, PC/Mac and other formats available) direct from the publisher.